Monday, September 2, 2013
This was bad enough, but the Mets also puked up a lead to the Nationals on Sunday night. Jonathon Niese, though not as sharp as he was against Philly, pitched well, but was forced from the game due to leg cramps in the 6th inning (and seeing him walk off with the trainer before anyone knew what the hell was going on probably sent more than a few Met fans down the dispensary). The bullpen, and on this night it was Scott Atchison, Scott Rice and Gonzalez Germen, then frittered away a 5-2 lead, as the Nationals kept pecking and scraping before finally getting the key hit from, who else, Jayson Werth. The end result was a 6-5 loss in a game the Mets probably should have won, and while taking 2 of 3 is nice, I would have preferred to sweep the Nationals and kick them in the nuts. Instead, the Nationals won, and all the talk was about the "gritty gutty Nationals" and how this could be the springboard they need to get back into the Wildcard race. And, of course, the Mets were left to carry around the stink from this loss straight from the ballpark to the airplane to Atlanta, where they had an approximately 13 1/2 hour turnaround before playing today.
Needless to say, the results this afternoon were not good.
This was pretty much a disaster from the outset. Matsuzaka, who I'm convinced has nothing left, was just as putrid as he was against Philadelphia, and the Braves jumped on him for long hit after long hit, running up 6 runs in 2 innings as he continued to work at a snail's pace. Paul Maholm for the Braves was no better pace-wise, but he at least got some outs. The end result was that by time Matsuzaka was mercifully lifted after the 3rd inning, the game was already nearing 90 minutes old, an appallingly long time for 3 innings worth of play.
Things didn't improve much for the Mets from there. They tried to claw their way back into the game, but realistically, they didn't have much of a chance. They got some hits from Zach Lutz, who has resurfaced to be the boring right handed guy off the bench (Andrew Brown has proven himself too useful of late), and Daniel Murphy (whose hot streak probably has another 2 days left before he goes back to hitting .248), but when they needed a big hit that would really make this a respectable game, it didn't happen, and instead the Mets just loafed through the game looking like they needed a nap while Atlanta kept tacking on runs. Gonzalez Germen and David Aardsma took the brunt of this beating, although outside of the recently resurfaced Tim Byrdak and the recently acquired Vic Black, nobody pitched especially well today.
Towards the end of this debacle, another mess of a game that took over 3 and a half hours to wrap up, Gary and Ron kept talking about the silver linings from the game, and how it was great to see Tim Byrdak back, and to see Vic Black come in and get a key out, and Zach Lutz got a big hit, but how important were these things? The Mets lost by 8 runs and none of these three particular things would have prevented that from happening. In fact, I think it's safe to say that 2 of these 3 guys likely won't have a job with the Mets after this season (well, unless the Mets really want a second lefty specialist). But, then again, you take what little positive you can in games like this. I suppose there's not much else that they can be expected to do. Except, perhaps, go back to the hotel and get some sleep.