Mets fans just enjoy the ride for now
Naturally, Chris Young sliced and diced the Phillies with a fastball that hovered in the 86-87 mph range, making just a few leaps beyond that. And contributed three hits, as well.
You knew that the Mets' lineup would knock out Cole "Best No. 4 Starter Ever" Hamels before he so much as completed the third inning.
The Mets -- more specifically, their ownership -- are counting on you to believe. And to go from believing to buying: tickets, concessions, Shack burgers -- or perhaps you'd like to purchase a non-controlling interest in the franchise?
Our take: It's way too early to believe. It's up to you regarding the expenditure. But there's no reason not to enjoy it, for now, when your 3-1 Mets slap around their tormentors from down the New Jersey Turnpike.
"It means a lot," Jose Reyes said afterward. "It's early, but it means a lot. We want people to know we can play with any team."
"Guys are fired up and playing hard, and everyone wants to be a part of it," Terry Collins said.
The Mets clocked another impressive effort, putting pressure on Hamels early and, when that didn't work out -- they failed to cash in on a second-and-third, none-out situation -- they kept at it. Their six-run third resulted from solid at-bats and good baserunning; everyone noticed when Angel Pagan ran from first to third on David Wright's run-scoring single to left.
Oh, and Young helped his own cause with two singles in the third. Doubts persist concerning how much the Mets can get from Young this season, due to his shaky injury history and his underwhelming stuff. However, given that Young required a guaranteed $1.1 million to join the Mets, he needn't provide a great deal to justify the investment.
At this very early juncture, the Mets possess a swagger they haven't possessed since, um . . . the first half of last year. Sorry. Swaggers come and go. When they come, though, you don't ignore them as a fan. You ride the wave while keeping perspective.
You embrace the challenge of playing the Phillies, and their historic starting rotation, at their home.
Hamels entered the night with a career 2-8 record in 13 starts against the Mets, yet his accompanying 3.83 ERA suggested a lack of run support rather than any sort of serial inadequacy. So Hamels represented a serious challenge, and the Mets embraced it.
Just as they tackled a blown save by Francisco Rodriguez in Florida on Saturday night. Just as they pummeled Javier Vazquez on Sunday. Even in the opener Friday, they made Marlins ace Josh Johnson and manager Edwin Rodriguez sweat a little despite Johnson's early dominance.
"It's a great beginning, but it's a long season," Pagan said. "We have to play hard like this all of the time, and hopefully, we can be there in October."
Said Wright, who contributed four hits: "It's about winning series . . . It's good to practice winning."
This Mets team fights, so far. It executes, so far. It wins, so far. Two more games in Philly to show off to the fans before Friday's home opener.
Pay for Mets stuff? Again, up to you. Pay attention? Might as well. They're a good show, so far.