Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Settle Down, Beavis

This afternoon's game, surprise surprise, was one I didn't watch. But as it was the 12:10pm "Summer Camp Special," which I believe has also been known in past seasons as "Senior Citizen's Day," or "The Businessman's Special," I was at least able to follow the early portion of the game on my lunch know, on Gamecast at my desk. But as far as I could tell, the game turned on two pitches in the top of the first. With two outs and men on 1st and 3rd, Rafael Montero had 2 strikes on Joey Gallo, who is essentially a feast or famine hitter on the level of Rob Deer or Dave Kingman. But Montero balked to bring home a run. He then laid an absolute meatball in to Gallo who promptly hit it out for a Home Run. Just like that it was 3-0 and that was pretty much the game right there. The Mets managed a Wilmer Flores Home Run off of Martin Perez and lost 5-1.

The more interesting Mets news came later this evening when news broke of the Jay Bruce trade to Cleveland for an A-ball pitcher. I have no issue dealing Bruce and although the return is underwhelming, it's something, and that's all you can ask for given that there just wasn't a great deal of interest in him. Of course this has brought out all sorts of Idiot Mets Fans out of the woodwork screaming about "stoopid sandy and corny collins gotta go" and "here we go another seven years of losing." One particular nutjob went so far as to suggest that the reason Alderson didn't deal Bruce to the Yankees for a supposedly "Better package" is because the Mets are bitter that they're failing and the Yankees are having a good season. I wonder how many of these people actually pay attention to the moves Collins makes, or if they're even Mets fans because the way they behave I sometimes feel like they're trolls that were sent by the Yankees just to piss us off. You can blame Alderson at times for inactivity, but I've been watching him for seven seasons now and there has not been a single trade made that didn't come to serve some greater purpose. It's as though these people are yearning for the days of Omar Minaya, who would react to any minor adversity by babbling and making short-sighted, unnecessary trades. Bruce is going to be a Free Agent and probably wasn't going to be back anyway, I mean, sure, the Mets could use the offense but to what end? To help them finish in 3rd place instead of 4th? It's the old adage of "We're losing with you, we can lose without you," and so it seems to me there is no loss in this deal.

Then again, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by the Idiot Mets Fans. These are the same people that continue to crow for Wally Backman (who by the way still does not have a Major League managing position) and think the soul of the team left with Daniel Murphy, who was a great player for all those years. It's kind of like listening to the rhetoric of people who support the current Presidential administration. Sometimes I'm not sure what fans expect the team to do. This season is lost. We just have to try and make the best of what's left because I much prefer Baseball Summers to Winter and no Baseball.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In Retrograde

I was back at Citi Field on Tuesday night for my 14th game of the season, and what would finally be my first against the Texas Rangers. This should have happened nine years ago, but for a biblical rain storm that washed out the proceedings before they ever got started. It should have happened again three years ago, except that the Rangers came to town the same weekend I was getting married, so needless to say I was a bit indisposed. But, finally, the timing was right and the weather was right, and so here it was, my first-ever Mets/Rangers matchup, crossing them off my list of teams I've never seen and leaving only the Cleveland Indians, and that only sort of counts because I saw them in their own stadium, just never against the Mets.

Then again, just based on my experience at Citi Field, I wonder if I still really haven't ever seen the Rangers.

I was at Citi Field more or less on time. Maybe a little later than I would have liked, but if I was on my usual route I might have been in my seat after the first batter or two. But I knew I had to detour to the ticket booth and take care of an exchange, so that might delay me a little. I also had to battle my way through the security line, which on some nights moves pretty quick, but on this night did not, probably because I ended up in one of those lines where the guy was being "thorough," and as such picked through every individual item in my bag, including my house keys, my office keys, my chewing gum and other assorted papers that I have in my bag for no apparent reason. So that took some time. But I was still in the building before first pitch.

My ticket booth of choice is the "secret" booth to the left of the escalators in the Rotunda. Unfortunately it's not so secret anymore since there is usually a line there. Those of you loyal readers who aren't plan holders probably don't go through this often, but it is a perk that you can exchange unused plan tickets for future games. But there are restrictions as there is with anything, but nothing I'd deem too complicated. I try to exchange several times a year also, because one such restriction is that you can't exchange after September 1st. It seems a lot of plan holders don't realize this. I got on line and saw a husky fellow in a David Wright jersey standing there berating the poor girl in the ticket booth for whatever reason. Apparently he was exchanging about 20 tickets, and he didn't like the games, and he didn't like the seats, and he didn't like anything, and bear in mind there were several people in front of me already, many of whom were about to go through the same ration of bullshit. And then me, who was exchanging two tickets for one game and knew exactly what they were doing. So I stood and waited. And the game started. And things were happening. And I was checking my phone and talking tickets with the other people on the line. And then there was a Home Run by Michael Conforto, which I only knew from my phone since this appears to be one of the few areas of the stadium not within range of a TV or radio broadcast. And then there was another Home Run by Yoenis Cespedes. So now we were getting annoyed because this doofus was still arguing and this girl was clearly ready to shoot herself. Finally, he finished and the remainder of us in line broke into mock applause—except me, because I knew that the other 3 people in front of me were about to do the same thing. Fortunately, they were a little more expeditious, but it was well into the 2nd inning by time I got to the window, where the girl, whose name escapes me but whom I'll commend for her fortitude and continued politness, apologized and did my exchange rather quickly. So I'll say I spent probably 30 minutes holding my jock and 3 minutes doing my transaction.

Then, I had to stop and pick up a gift for someone in one of the little concession stores. I came out just in time to see Travis d'Arnaud's Home Run land in the seats in Left Field, which put the Mets ahead 4-0. Then, I went upstairs, where I wanted to get food, because standing on line like that really works up one's appetite. And, for whatever reason, on a dopey Tuesday night, every concession stand line was miles long. I can't figure it out. I thought everyone crammed in line for Shake Shack but now it's happening upstairs too at the plain old Burgers & Dogs stands. So I stood in line some more, where I eventually realized that Andrew Cashner was not pitching for Texas, it was A.J. Griffin, whom I was only vaguely aware of as a Major Leaguer in general. Still, it was creeping later and later into the game, into the bottom of the 3rd and I was still waiting on a line that seemed to be held up by more people who were either indecisive as to what they wanted or were somehow unhappy with what they got, but either way, the line moved at a crawl, until it was my turn and I ordered and was served in probably under 2 minutes.

Finally, I hit my seat with two outs in the top of the 4th. If you're keeping score, that's about 65 minutes standing on lines, 5 minutes actually conducting transactions, and another 5-10 minutes in transit. And none of the game actually watched, and if you know how OCD I am about being in my seat and keeping score, you can understand how nuts I was getting.

But then I did sit and get to see the rest of the game mostly undisturbed. I missed the three Mets Home Runs, but I did at least get to see Chris Flexen pick up his first Major League hit in the 5th, a double off the wall, and I also got to see him nimbly work into the 6th and not get outright hammered like he had his first couple of times out. He actually looked comfortable and in a groove, you know, more like a Major League pitcher should look. He had some trouble in the 6th and was removed, as the Rangers trimmed a 4-0 game down to a 4-3 game, mostly because the Mets were having a Joey Gallo problem and also because Adrian Beltre hit a Home Run, but from there, Erik Goeddel and Jerry Blevins did fine work, Asdrubal Cabrera drove home Conforto with an insurance run, and the Mets went to the 9th up 5-3. The game was then turned over to A.J. Ramos, who gave back the insurance run by allowing a 2-out Home Run to Robinson Chirinos, but he then got the final out to finish this 5-4 victory, pick up his first Met Save and close out Chris Flexen's first Met Win.

So, I missed most of the relevant or interesting action, but in the end I still got to see a win, which I think is what matters most in the big picture. Still, it would have been nicer were it not for the fact that Citi Field seemed to be in retrograde all night. Or maybe it was the other fans. Probably both.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Ruined By Replay

The entire outcome of Sunday night's debacle of a game was determined by Justin Turner. No, I'm not going to give a whole diatribe about Turner and the "stupid mutz let him get away" because he wasn't any good here and never showed signs otherwise. But nonetheless he broke the entire game last night. Steven Matz started for the Mets and if anyone needed a good outing, it's Matz because he just hasn't been able to get it together lately. He gave up a 1-out single to Corey Seager, but that's OK because Seager hits everyone. Turner followed and reached on a Fielder's choice. Then he tried to steal 2nd with Cody Bellinger at the plate and was thrown out by Travis d'Arnaud, and he looked it too. But Turner was pointing and waving for a challenge, and so the call was challenged, and lo and behold, because Turner is a Dodger and the Dodgers are The Hot Team, replay showed that he'd Ole'd his way past Amed Rosario's tag, and he was, in fact, safe. So after walking off, Matz had to come back out to the mound, and after going to commercial, ESPN had to come back, and reset the whole thing.

So, you know what happened. That reversed call immediately led to a walk, and shortly thereafter 3 Dodgers runs and the rout was on. The Mets once again had no recourse; after letting themselves get rooked into 3 Runs in the top of the 1st, they immediately came up against Hyun-Jin Ryu in the last of the 1st and struck out in order.

Nothing further is worth discussing. What the hell is there to say? They lost 8-0, they got embarrassed on National TV once again, and they lost the entire season series to the Dodgers.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Don't Get Cocky

I didn't see any of Saturday's game, which as is sometimes the case, just as well. The Mets came out a little chippy early against the Dodgers, hitting 3 solo Home Runs against Rich Hill, and Seth Lugo cruised along through the early innings, but then the Dodgers turned back into The Hot Team and reminded everyone why they're regarded as such. They hit 5 Home Runs over the final 4 innings, stormed back and rolled past the Mets, who had no means of recourse or response as they took another loss on the chin, 7-4.

The Dodgers now are starting to remind me of the Nationals in 2013-2014, when they would play the Mets and hit 33 Home Runs in a 4-game series. The Mets right now have played the Dodgers 6 times this year and lost all 6, and each time it seems like they are just getting massacred. Last night, when Taylor hit a leadoff Home Run, I just smacked my head in disbelief because it's just like, come on, man! I know the Dodgers are good, but the Mets aren't even trying to just make them a little uncomfortable. Or maybe they are and it's just not working. Either way, sure, they hit three Home Runs off of Rhich Hill, but did anyone actually think that lead would stand up? Of course not. These are the 2017 Mets and the 2017 Dodgers and placed on an even playing field, the Dodgers should be winning every time. And they have. And now we have to be subjected to it on The Biggest Game In The Galaxy tonight.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Did Me A Favor

I barely made it through half of Friday night's game at Citi Field. This wasn't so much because I couldn't take it, but because my other half, who was accompanying me for the second time this season, had taken ill and needed to go home. This was around the top of the 5th inning, when the score was still 2-0. So, we left. She wasn't thrilled about it and neither was I, but given how things played out the rest of the night, clearly she did me a favor by getting me out of there.

While the score said 2-0, which was perfectly in reach, the Mets weren't winning this game. They were too busy falling victim to the will of The Hot Team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have just been annihilating every team in their path for the last three months, including a sweep of the Mets. This should have been obvious minutes after the game started, when Chris Taylor got behind 0-2 against Jacob deGrom, and then started fouling off pitches, and taking balls, and finally, the count was full, and then he hit a line shot to Left that clanged off a railing for a Home Run. And what did I hear? Loud, raucous cheers from a crowd packed with Dodgers fans. So right there, I knew the Mets were fucked. Corey Seager followed with a rocket double and only because deGrom is deGrom and can sometimes will his way through innings did he escape with the score still 1-0. A lesser pitcher would have had a 6-spot hung on him. Or worse.

It didn't improve from there. Yasiel Puig hit a Home Run in the 2nd to make the score 2-0, and meanwhile, the Mets looked mostly hopeless against Yu Darvish, making his ballyhooed Dodgers debut after being acquired from Texas. Darvish hadn't been pitching well with the Rangers, but of course he hits the Dodgers and the switch flipped. The Mets mostly didn't touch him, though deGrom did manage a hit in the 3rd, and then stole a base which was academic. Amed Rosario, making his Citi Field debut, did the same in the 5th, after we'd departed.

But, of course, our early departure meant I'd been spared the indignity of seeing Chase Utley hit a Home Run in the 6th off of Josh Smoker, I didn't get to see more Dodgers Fans dancing in the Aisles, and I didn't have to watch the Mets fade out meekly into the night as clearly they're no match for The Hot Team right now. Given their record and the streak they've been on, I'm not sure anyone is a match for them.