Random Thoughts From a Very Tense Evening:
I’ve been a huge fan of Jacob deGrom since he came up. He is always smiling in the dugout, connecting with his teammates, the center of things. I love his whippy delivery and his competitiveness, but I didn’t think he could win twice in Chávez Ravine against the pitchers Terry Collins respectfully called “those animals.”
So deGrom did win. He pitched six of the gutsiest innings you will ever see, getting by with whatever he could find in the tool box. It was one of the great games ever pitched by a Met because of what was at stake.
Four of their regulars remained in their slumps, more or less, but Travis d’Arnaud contributed a run-scoring fly, and Lucas Duda wangled a walk that led to Daniel Murphy’s alert steal of an unoccupied third base.
Murphy had an epic game. I’ve been reading he’s gone after this season because his contract is up. Maybe his defensive liabilities make him an American League player. I’ve used the word “klutz.” But I got an email Friday morning from my Yankee pal Big Al comparing Murphy to Billy Martin and Hank Bauer from the era that still gives me nightmares.
Murphy is a gamer. Keep him. Let him grow old, ungracefully. Let Cespedes make his nine figures elsewhere. He is 30 and does not know how to make contact with runners in scoring position.
I forgot that Terry Collins was a coach with Jim Leyland in 1992, when the Pittsburgh Pirates lost a heart-breaker to the Braves, as two more stars were packed and ready to leave. End of an era that never quite happened. On Friday night, Collins out-managed Don Mattingly. Donnie Baseball was a better hitter. Irrelevant now.
We had four people connected via smart phones Thursday night – CA upstate listening to the radio, Laura in town, me in front of the tube, and a nameless bloke keeping track at work. I probably should scrub some of the comments we made when Collins brought in Familia to start the eighth. The big gentle guy got six outs. I take it all back about totally breaking patterns for a closer. When it was over, CA texted: “Pipe Down!” How did she know?
Never thought the Mets could win out there, but they did. Today is a rest day.
“They may hate the cultural context they now find themselves teaching in, but they love their work. The Achilles’ heel of schoolteachers, one all too easily exploited by politicians, is that they love their students.”
(One of the best reads in the NYT these days is Margaret Renkl, in Nashville. In her latest post, Renkl describes the dedicated core of “born teachers” – the majority, she submits.)
(From Madeleine Albright in one of her final interviews in February):
“Putin is small and pale,” I wrote, “so cold as to be almost reptilian.” He claimed to understand why the Berlin Wall had to fall but had not expected the whole Soviet Union to collapse. “Putin is embarrassed by what happened to his country and determined to restore its greatness.” – Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recalling her first meeting with the relatively unknown Vladimir Putin in 2000. – The New York Times, Feb. 23, 2022.