I can remember a time not too long ago when the word "contact" gave me PTSD. "Death by 1,000 paper cuts" was an idiom that made me walk into my neighborhood bar and immediately start chugging. It's how the Royals beat the Mets in the 2015 World Series, and I couldn't stand it.
But today, on the morning of April 10th, 2018, contact is my new favorite word.
Admittedly, after the Marlins lost by 19 to the Phillies, I had no doubt or fear going into this series. But Monday night's game, a 4-2 Mets victory, wasn't as much of a breeze as I thought it would be.
The Mets didn't win by smashing dingers, and they didn't win by any miraculous defensive plays (Yoenis Céspedes' laser of a throw notwithstanding), they won because of their fundamentals. They won, and have been winning, because they have made contact and put pressure on their opponents' defense to make the plays.
I'm not sure if this is a Mickey Callaway thing, a Pat Roessler thing, or if guys like Amed Rosario have changed the entire complexion of the lineup. But for once, I don't feel like we're putting these stud pitchers on the mound and just crossing our fingers that they're enough. The Mets are aggressive on the bases, they're not just swinging from their heels, and they're playing to win, from the first man on the roster to the 25th. It's a rare sight to see, and it's got me fired up.
There is not one guy on this team that steps up to the plate and I think, "Well, this is an automatic out." Even a guy on the back end of his career like Jose Reyes is at least going to put an at bat together. And if we learned anything from 2015, even in a game of launch angle and big strike out totals, grinding out at bats and making contact wins ballgames, and that can win championships.
If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.