Monday, April 14, 2014

Bad And Less Bad

Given that the Mets had flown cross-country after a Thursday night game in Atlanta and then managed to play two extra inning games on the West Coast, I suppose you couldn't blame the Mets too much for getting absolutely blasted on Sunday afternoon. The 14-2 pasting they received was, more or less, just one of those games that happens to a team that's gassed, although all the fearmongers are probably having a field day with it. The fact is, they were due for a true, first-rate stinker after walking a tightrope for a couple of games. Bartolo Colon got wrecked thanks to back-to-back-to-back Home Runs and everything pretty much went downhill from there. It's only my good fortune that I was out for a chunk of the afternoon and by time I arrived at home, the score was 9-2; the majority of the damage already done.

Long forgotten, then, was the fact that the Mets pulled their own asses out of the fire mere hours before, in a Saturday night affair that dragged well into Sunday morning on the East Coast. Their 13-inning, 7-6 win was more a stroke of good fortune rather than a great team victory. It would have simply been a good team victory had the game been closed out without any particular drama. The Mets got a Home Run from Lucas Duda, and a pair of key hits from Anthony Recker and, of all people, Omar Quintanilla, guys who seem to shine in Super Sub roles, and went into the bottom of the 9th with a 6-3 lead. Then, of course, Jose Valverde ran across his old nemesis Raul Ibanez, the game ended up tied, and an easy night turned into an endless, angst-y slog. But, against all odds, Scott Rice, Gonzalez Germen and John Lannan navigated their way through 4 perfect innings, long enough for Recker to finally run into a Matt Shoemaker fastball and hit it into the Orange County night for the game-winning Home Run.

The Saturday win was nice, and kind of helped take the sting away from the fact that they spit up the game on Friday. But, 24 innings in 2 games for an East Coast team playing night games on the West Coast isn't exactly a recipe for success, so as unwelcome as Sunday's debacle may have been, it can't really be considered a surprise. The best thing the Mets can do right now is to just pretend it didn't happen, shake it off and come out tonight in Arizona ready to go. A Major League team is probably much better-equipped to shake off games like this than we as fans are.

Then again, the Mets and D'Backs seem to have their own recent case history of absurdly-extended games, so maybe a trip to Arizona doesn't bode quite so well...

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