Originally posted on Metstradamus  |  Last updated 7/26/13
You might not have recognized Jenrry Mejia today. Sure, there's the surface differences: the hair has grown out a little bit. There's a new number on the uniform as LaTroy Hawkins has Mejia's old number 32. But there's also the starting pitching arsenal. The extra pitches, the plan, the wisdom of years. It's comforting to know that Mejia wasn't totally ruined by Snoop Manuel after his stint where he was rushed up to the majors and told to just throw fastballs. But Mejia's encouraging outing during Game 1 of the Mets' doubleheader against the Nationals today merely highlights Snoop's stupidity instead of sweeping it under the rug. Think of how many Miguel Batista, Collin McHugh, and Chris Schwinden (who almost started today) starts we had to endure through last season, not to mention those Aaron Laffey starts this season that burned our retinas that might have been started by a more polished Mejia if Manuel hadn't sent Jenrry back to the GO square without collecting $200. That's not to say that there won't be bumps along the way for Mejia. Keep him in the rotation long enough and hitters will start to lay off those curves, cutters, and sliders. And remember, he did give up seven hits in seven innings. But they were seven scoreless innings, and the seven hits were singles. And his outing today was an encouraging look at what this guy's ceiling can be. He struck out seven, and even with all of that hard off speed stuff, he didn't walk any. The short term reward is that combined with Daniel Murphy's two home runs, four hits and five RBI, (not to mention a six run ninth featuring the start of the end of the world, otherwise known as an Ike Davis three run home run) the Mets got a win today over the slowly imploding Nationals, with Matt Harvey on the slab tonight. Long term? While I'll suppress the urge to let the names Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Mejia, and Montero dance in a row within the recesses of my synapses, at least there's another small hole in the cave where the sun can peek through. No thanks to Jerry Manuel, who I hope when he tries to imagine a baseball scenario, only imagines darkness. (Though he probably did that during the time when he collected a check managing baseball scenarios, which would explain a lot.)
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