In what can easily be described as the most Amazin’ game of the year, the Amazins came out on top 5-2 over the rival Phillies. This game had the most intensity I can remember in a few years, potentially dating back to another game where Papelbon gave up the lead in the ninth inning, almost 3 seasons ago on a monster home run by Omir Santos.
This game had it all, from Niese battling through 5 innings with far less than his best stuff, to being utterly dominated by one of the league’s best, Roy Halladay, but still managing to scratch out two runs. Parnell walked a tightrope in each of his two innings of work. I think all of Mets fandom leaped off their couch at the same time to scream at the first base umpire after Pence was called safe at the end of the 7th inning. I was still shouting obscenities when I saw Terry turn back toward the dugout and realized Victorino was called for interference. Confused and still quite mad at what had just transpired, I let out a sheepish laugh. Even more sheepish, when the replay revealed Pence may have actually been safe. It’s about time Victorino gets penalized for his borderline illegal plays. And onto the eighth we went.
AQt this point I could feel this game was a classic and it was the first time during the game I actually thought the Mets might win the damn’ thing. Parnell came back out for the eighth frame and with former Met Ty Wigginton promptly ripped a single up the middle. On Carlos Ruiz’ sac bunt attempt, Parnell took a seat and everyone was safe. After a sac bunt by Polanco, Freddy Galvis had a swinging bunt and Parnell came home with the throw to nail Wiggy at home, although Wiggy nailed Thole at home too and he likely has a concussion. Which brought Mike Nikeas, a recent addition to the Mendoza club, into the game. Byrdak replaced Parnell and struck out pinch hitter Eric Kratz to end the eventful eighth inning.
In the top half of the ninth with two down and Ike Davis on first, Mike Nikeas had a long at bat against the dominant looking Jonathan Papelbon. Nikeas waited and got his pitch and ripped a curve ball off the left field fence. So with second and third and two outs, just recalled Jordany Valdespin approached the plate still looking for his first major league hit. The 0-1 pitch he got was about a foot off the ground and he golfed it with authority into the right field stands for a three run home run and his first major league hit was a memorable one.
All I could think of was how it was the type of moment, if it had been a home game, that would have made Shea Stadium rumble and shake to its core. And it has been a long time since I can remember a moment like that in the recent past. Hopefully Valdespin can make something out of this opportunity and go on to create more memorable moments as a Met in the future, which is more than we can say for Omir Santos. And hopefully the Mets can seize this momentum and turn this nice little three game winning streak into a couple more wins in the city of brotherly love.