To say the Mets needed this game would have been an understatement. The bloodletting of the last eight games at Citi Field was more than even the eternally optimistic Mickey Callaway could handle.
So, the relief in his voice after the Mets 2-0 win over the Yankees to take not just the last game of this series, but the only game of homestand, was genuine.
“It was tremendous,” Callaway said. “It was a big win. Beating their best pitcher and having a day off tomorrow, letting that sink in. We need to get things rolling. It wasn’t a now or never, but we needed to get things going.”
Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves. A win is a win and the Mets are off the snide. Now they go on the road to play first place Atlanta and then out west to Arizona and Colorado, meaning they don’t have too many gimme games.
Not the way they were playing, there weren’t any gimmes anyway.
Look, the Mets were built around pitching and pitching they got this homestand. Before tonight they had a 2.16 ERA for the first eight games. That’s good enough to win eight in a row, let alone have a streak of futility.
The problem the Mets have is that they are not hitting home runs at a record clip anymore. As mention both Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto are killing this club and up and down the lineup, the Mets are just not jacking them out of the park. Only, Asdrubal Cabrera with 11 homers is hitting above his normal average.
That’s why this win means so much. Todd Frazier came through with a two-run homer and that was enough for the Mets tonight.
The Mets are going to need more of Frazier and maybe more of Jose Bautista if they are going to build on this win. Yes, they will also need Bruce and Conforto, but you must wonder if they need some time off for this to figure things out.
But right now, it’s up to Frazier to lead.
“[Frazier] has to go out there, like he did the last couple of days and get the job done,” Callaway said.
Here is the scary part, when you pitch this well, you need to put up wins, because you won’t pitch that well as a team all the time. The worry here is when the Mets start hitting, the pitching will start to faulter and all this would have been a wasted opportunity.
The good news is that it’s June 10 and the Mets have more than ample time to catch up. They need more games like this and they need games where their hitters pick up the pitching.
It’s not off the cliff time for the Mets, but at least there’s a relief. They need to build on this game in Atlanta and maybe get back some of the games they gave away in this homestand.
A win is a win, sure, but right now that’s not good enough for the Mets.