I have had this picture in my mind when it comes to the New York Mets over the last few years. Don't bother running a Google Image search for it, because it doesn't exist except for in my head. I picture David Wright in the dugout, looking at the camera with the most exasperated look on his face as if to say "you're going to make me go out there again", or "dude, we're trying our best ... lay off." With a myriad of teammates behind him that have the exact same look, it's a picture that has that Sarah Mclachlan look to it.
Probably the closest thing that I've seen resembling the picture that I've had in my head for years is that of Wright entering the dugout after crushing a solo HR over the Clevelander on Wednesday afternoon against the Marlins. Marlins North was already down 3-0 early in the game when Wright hit the dinger, and when he came into the dugout the team just looked drained. No energy ... going through the motions with their simple high fives. There was only one teammate to the best of my knowledge that had any semblance of energy when he was high fiving Wright.
Would you be surprised to learn that guy was Jordany Valdespin? Of course you wouldn't. Full of energy and life, that guy. When the Mets needed the dreaded combination of runs and life, it was JV1 to the rescue. Losing a series to the Marlins is bad enough. But to be swept by them? I can't even imagine what the fallout would have been, just among the diehards. Valdespin changed that in one fell swoop with a pinch hit three run HR in the sixth which was instrumental in the 7-6 victory by Marlins North.
What I wonder, what I always wonder, is whether any Marlins radio announcer suggested that somebody put one in Jordany's neck for keeping his finger in the air past the acceptable spot between first base and the first baseman. I also wonder if Larry Andersen himself will at some point watch the highlight and get so mad that he'll start warming up that 73 mph change up again so he can take care of matters. Well screw him and screw them all who go against JV1 and the raised finger. Because what Marlins North needs more than almost anything during these trying times is his energy.
The only thing they need more are his at-bats. And I know everyone is frustrated that he isn't getting more. With a player like Valdespin, there is a risk of overexposing him by playing him every day, whether it's in the field or against lefties, or what have you. I understand Terry Collins' thinking here, even with the backdrop of this season (especially the last two weeks) where it seems that everything Collins has touched has turned into the residue under the inside rim of the toilet bowl that nobody remembers to clean. But with Jordany, I get it. I always thought he'd get enough at bats to keep him effective, and the last thing I want to see is to have him turn into Endy Chavez, who everybody wanted to see play every day because they loved him for The Catch, and the other corner outfield options weren't that great. But then when he got to play every day he hit .220 and that was that.
But, maybe it's high time to reward him with more at-bats. He's hit big home runs. His defense, while it has had its moments, isn't killing them in any of the outfield slots. And he does provide some spark. Maybe not start him every day, but perhaps one or two more starts a week might help this team while still not overexposing him. Why not? He's earned it. Who else is going to get the at-bats ... Mike Baxter? Who can't hit and is a liability in the field, even though he is what passes for a late inning defensive replacement in the Lucas Duda Regime? And it isn't like Collin Cowgill's defense has earned him a spot in CF over Valdespin, and at the beginning of the season the scouting said that Cowgill was leaps and bounds better in center field than Jordany. That hasn't really panned out this season yet, has it? So get him in there and let him take selfies and put his finger in the air like he just don't care.
The big hit, as big as Valdespin's home run, was John Buck's two run single to make it 7-4 in the seventh. I only wish that April had 31 days so that Buck could have wiped Jeff Kent name off the Mets record book for most RBI in a month. Buck ended April with 25 while Kent had 26 in April of 1994. But of that 26 it's really only 19 once Obama takes his cut.
But then on a Lucas Duda error (what a surprise) on a base hit which seemed to take a hop off of the ghost of Chuck Carr, the Marlins North lead was cut to 7-6. But the bullpen held on from there and then Bobby Parnell pitched a very angry and efficient ninth inning for the save after being held out of Tuesday's loss. Again, I see Collins' dilemma with Tuesday and Parnell. As it worked out as a choice between Tuesday and today, today was the play for Parnell ... starting the inning in the afternoon game rather than coming in the middle of the inning Tuesday night. They do come in bunches for Bobby though. He was the last closer to get a save, and now there are opportunities on top of opportunities. Luckily, Parnell channeled whatever anger he might have had and put it into putting away the Marlins, who are 5-17 against teams not named Mets. Which is an embarrassment regardless of today. But the win was much needed to end a six game losing streak which could have gone a lot longer with three coming up in Atlanta. And to temporarily get the look of exasperation off their faces, real or imagined.