Monday, August 19, 2013

Long Long Long

After a pair of games where the Mets looked peppy and played with a bit of a spring in their step, it seemed like the air went out of them over the weekend, where they slogged through a pair of really long, sweaty San Diego games, the kind of games where nothing goes right, they go on too long, and they end up losing.

In spite of starting 90 minutes earlier than any other game they'd played in California this week, Saturday's game was submarined by Jenrry Mejia's sore elbow knocking him out of the game in the 4th inning. To that point, things seemed to be breezing along and the only noteworthy story of the game was Travis d'Arnaud's debut. If d'Arnaud's first game ended up being the big story of the night, that would have been OK. But, instead, Mejia ended up leaving hurt, and in his stead, David Aardsma inspired little confidence as the Padres wrecked him for 3 runs in the 4th and another in the 5th. Worse than that, however, was that after Mejia left, the game just slowed down to a crawl, and by time Jedd Gyorko's Home Run sealed the deal in the 8th, it was pretty much midnight and you wouldn't have known the difference between an 8:40 start time and a 10:10 start time. The box score says 3:36, but it felt like about 4:40 the way things were proceeding, and I really have no idea why this happened. It's as if every pitcher on both sides took a dose of Shaun Marcum pills before the game started.

After all that went on, I guess d'Arnaud's debut kind of got lost. I saw Kevin Burkhardt interview his family, a very happy-looking group, during one of his at bats, but he ultimately seemed secondary. In 4 at-bats, he walked twice and generally looked patient, and grounded out in a key spot in the 5th on a slow roller that a faster runner might have beaten out. But that's OK. He also had some difficulty stopping balls in the dirt but that's also OK, because Aardsma was all over the place, and Feliciano throws a lot of sweeping breaking balls, and Carlos Torres is Carlos Torres.

d'Arnaud's Sunday was more or less a mirror image of Saturday, where he walked twice, looked patient at the plate, and didn't get a hit, but hit into a Double Play in the 2nd inning. Thusly, he departs San Diego hitless, so hopefully Minnesota will treat him a little better. You'd obviously rather this not turn into one of those things.

The Mets' Sunday was similar to Saturday only in that they suffered an annoying loss that took too long. Nobody got blasted and nobody got hurt, which was good, but Matt Harvey ended up sitting idly by while yet another good outing ended up squandered thanks to a lack of offense and a porous performance by the bullpen. Harvey pitched well, as usual, but got victimized by a hit batsman and some bleeders and his tenuous 2-0 lead evaporated. The Mets got him another lead in the 7th, but Gonzalez Germen couldn't hold it and Pedro Feliciano gave up the death blow by Will Venable in the 9th inning, which was terrible, because the Mets lost a game they probably could have won had they hit at all, but good, because it prevented the perfect shit storm for the Mets, which was an Extra Inning game on the West Coast on a Getaway Day when they had a Makeup game scheduled on what was supposed to be their Travel Day. That probably would have been worse, so if they had to lose the game, at least they lost it in a 9 inning game that took too long instead of a 13-inning game that went even longer.

So, California has come and gone and the Mets ended up 2-5, leaving them at 4-6 on the road trip to this point. They now get the high privilege of spending their day off playing the aforementioned makeup game in Minnesota, something I'm sure everyone must be thrilled about. The Mets have had success in this sort of scenario already this year, but I have this eerie premonition that the game will end up being somewhat more annoying. We'll see.

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