It honestly felt like no one on the roster needed that walk-off on Sunday more than Travis d’Arnaud. I do not need to sit here and highlight the fact that our young backstop has been struggling recently — considering it’s already been brought up over and over on talk radio, Mets Twitter and what have you.
The problem, of course, is that a healthy d’Arnaud was supposed to help anchor us offensively — but the actual results have made him out to be less effective than Anthony Recker so far. There are a lot of factors that are at play here, however, from his general rookie status to the fact that he’s rusty working his way back from that freak injury. The most important thing down the line for d’Arnaud, I believed, was for him to demonstrate that he could just stay healthy with the MLB club and get to know his pitchers. It’s impossible to have a statistical impact on the game while injured, so finishing the season without any injuries and going into 2014 with a clean bill of health would put him on the right path.
There are a lot of things to like about d’Arnaud — intangibles being one of them that seldom get discussed. I am bringing them up for a reason, however, because of something I noticed while at the game Sunday.
At first glance, I thought d’Arnaud didn’t smile or anything during the whole over-the-top celebration, because he looked so uncomfortable throughout the whole thing in person. I even commented to Stephanie S. that he looked like he was trying to get as far away from them as possible. Upon watching the replay of the whole thing, I did see that he cracked a smile with his teammates and seemed genuinely happy about winning the game — but he did still look like he was actively trying to get away from the whole carnival atmosphere.
What furthered this for me was his entirely serious demeanor in the post-game interview — and he looked pretty ticked off after being pied in the face. If I had to venture a guess at his feelings, I think they’re on par with what a lot of Mets fans felt after the win yesterday. It was a good feeling, no doubt, but they barely managed to squeak by a Miami Marlins team that had shut them out for 11 innings prior — and they almost stranded the bases loaded in that inning itself! A win is a win, but we’re still what, 20 games back? If his serious demeanor was a result of feeling like we were going overboard and wasn’t just because he secretly dislikes Martino too, then I think I respect him a little more for that.
Thoughts from Joe D.
Satish, you weren’t the only one who noticed that. It was clear that d’Arnaud seemed uncomfortable with the raucous celebration that took place after his single put the remaining 1,000 fans at Citi Field out of their misery and leaving with a smile.
I had recap duties that night while many of our MMO writers were at the game and it was very terse and to the point. Not the usual for me. I thought the way the Mets were celebrating was too extreme and inappropriate, especially in light of an insignificant win in the battle for the worst team in the National League. Two teams that could not score one single run between them for nearly twelve innings and four hours. Pathetic actually…
Then on top of that, here comes Justin Turner and his pies… Man do I hate that crap… Sometimes I just wish he’d go away…
Getting back to d’Arnaud, I was happy for him. He admitted that he had been pressing lately and it was great to see him finally snap his 0-for-17 streak with runners in scoring position.
“I was just waiting for a pitch I can handle, put a good swing on it and fortunately it went through,” he said. “Extra innings, bases loaded. To get that hit, it’s an indescribable feeling.”
D’Arnaud looked a bit confused at the celebration that ensued on the field and wasn’t hopping and screaming for joy like many of his teammates. I wondered if he thought, like me, that the Mets had just beaten the Marlins in the battle for the NL East cellar and nothing more than that.
I wonder if this kid was pulling a Rusty Staub, who after a game-winning hit once said, “We won the game, that’s nice. I wish we’d have won the division instead. Next question.”
It would be cool to have that kind of winning attitude in that clubhouse moving forward.
By the way, I’m well aware that SNY’s Andy Martino is one of the least liked beat writers the Mets have had over the last decade. The amount of hate he gets on Twitter is unreal. That SNY would choose him to fill in for Kevin Burkhardt shows how everything they do is so questionable and second rate.
But that said, what was the deal with a player planting a pie to his face in the middle of performing an interview?
Again, what are these players thinking? Whose idea was it? Was there a message attached to it?
Thoughts from Matt M:
My thoughts on Sunday’s walk-off aren’t much different from the ones Joe and Satish have already shared, so I’ll make my brief. I was really happy to see d’Arnaud get that base hit. Hell, he needed it more than anyone in that dugout. I like what Satish said about just staying healthy and getting to know his pitchers. Don’t forget, he hasn’t played a lot in the last two years because of injury, so he’s got some catching up to do. I’m not worried about his performance so far since his call-up; it’s not fair to immediately expect success, especially for the catcher position. He’s doing a nice job getting to know the pitching staff, and it’s an experience that will allow him to hit the ground running come next February.
All of the other stuff that happened afterward? I thought it was a little ridiculous. Like Joe said, the Mets aren’t in a pennant race or anything. There’s nothing wrong with being excited about winning in walk-off fashion, but it also helps to know the situation, as well. It looks like Travis knew that. Honestly, actions speak louder than words, and I liked what I saw from d’Arnaud. He’s acting like a professional. That’s good, because that’s exactly what he is.
As for the pie in Martino’s face…maybe that was done for the said hatred? I’m not sure. Whether it’s warranted or not, I still thought it was immature.
The most important aspects of Sunday’s win for me was that d’Arnaud got off the snide, and he knows the Mets have bigger fish to fry… no pun intended.