New York Mets fans have something to smile about this morning, and it is their catcher Rod Barajas, who capped off a wild night at Citi Field with a walk-off homer to beat the San Francisco Giants. Barajas had homered earlier in the game, giving him nine homers so far on the year.
Enthusiastic Mets fans hollered and cheered and shook the house that Citi built as the stunned Giants stared at the field then quietly left the visiting dugout. This was an exciting and inspiring way to start off this home stand, especially after the miserable 2-4 road trip from which the team just returned.
After the game, Barajas was interviewed by SNY, and he is really a breath of fresh air for Mets fans. With his adrenaline obviously flowing, Barajas said he was hoping that the ball would stay up and go out. When it did, he said, “The place just went crazy.” Uh, yeah, it surely did, Rod.
A little bit of dramatic irony to note here is that Bengie Molina, the catcher the Mets sought over the winter who declined their offer to sign with the Giants, was in the park and saw the fireworks generated by Barajas. Sometimes victory is more sweet than usual, and this has to be the case for Barajas and the Mets on this night.
With Barajas leading all major league catchers in homers as of last night, the Mets have to be more than pleased with his performance. This old Mets fan found himself thinking beyond the Gary Carter years, although that is also on my mind, but way back to when Duffy Dyer took over for Jerry Grote and got off to a great start, but nothing close to as good as what Barajas is doing right now.
Add to this the addition of Ike Davis, who belted two homers in last night’s game as well and also made some spectacular plays in the field, and the Mets and their fans are starting to chant the old Tug McGraw line, “You gotta believe!” With games like this one, it is hard not to be caught up in the infectious, if not a little bit premature, feeling that this team is destined to be in the mix this season.
Yes, we have a long way to go in 2010, but at least for one night the ball was definitely bouncing the right way for the Mets, and you can’t blame the fans for daring to dream after a storybook ending like this one.