The Mets have not exactly had a whole lot of highlights thus far in 2013. In a season marred by an overworked bullpen, a lack of clutch hits, and an inept outfield, Matt Harvey has pretty much been the only reason fans, as few as they may be, continue to go to Citi Field. But Monday night proved to be a little different. In the first game of the Subway Series vs the New York Yankees, Jon Niese pitched a splendid seven innings, only giving up one run in addition to recording four strikeouts. David Wright displayed numerous instances of spectacular defense, and Daniel Murphy came through with a clutch hit that ultimately allowed Bobby Parnell to close out their rivals from the Bronx in the ninth. There was even a crowd present that would have overflowed Madison Square Garden, as has not often been the case throughout much of this season. For what seems like the first time in a long time, the Mets played a clean, crisp baseball game that resulted in a truly impressive victory, their 19th of the season.
Sure, Ike Davis is still hitting .155 and went 0-3 with three strikeouts, continuing his pathetic excuse for a Major League season. Lucas Duda horribly misplayed a ball in left field, arguably allowing the eventual lone run for the Yanks to score. But for one night, you felt as if the Mets had something to offer. Though Phil Hughes limited them to only four hits over seven innings, Terry Collins' squad did not fall over and concede, as it often seems like they have done throughout this season. Even after Brett Gardner made arguably the catch of the year to rob Daniel Murphy of a two-run homer, the Mets kept their heads up and fought with good at-bats and solid execution of fundamental baseball, particularly against one of the best set-up men in the game, David Robertson. And what else could you ask for on the night before Matt Harvey steps on the mound to try and defeat the team he rooted for growing up?
If you are a Mets fan, you are just begging Matt Harvey to have a "Harvey" start on Tuesday night. After facing easily the toughest lineup he has faced so far in 2013, Harvey seemed lost last week against the Cincinnati Reds. His pitches were catching too much of the plate and the movement on his pitches were less so than normal. If you are a Mets fan, you want Harvey to prove to the baseball world that he is no fluke who only succeeds against weak teams. Sure, the 2013 Yankees have a bit of different makeup than a typical Yankee squad, but the pinstripes themselves represent the kind of momentum that could potentially be created should Harvey come out with a victory.
No one is expecting this team to have some sort of miraculous second half turnaround that puts them in contention for a playoff spot. They simply do not have enough talent in nearly every facet of their roster. I think they have potential for upcoming seasons, but all you are hoping for them now is just to put up a fight. Even if they had lost Monday's game, I would have been satisfied with the sight of entertaining baseball, something that has been hard to come by these days. If the Mets can continue to provide that type of play for the remainder of 2013, it might make me a bit more excited for days to come.