Sunday, May 11, 2014


The Mets were a half-inning away from a 3-day debacle of games that took way too long to arrive at the same miserable result. Friday night's slog was followed up by a Saturday night affair that saw the Mets finally awaken after a week's worth of offensive no-shows and score all of 4 runs, but that wasn't enough as the Phillies stifled a trio of Mets rallies in the late innings and eventually scored the winning run in the 9th. Sunday seemed to be going no better; the Mets fell behind and did little in response, and so going to the bottom of the 9th, there was little reason to believe that the Mets would somehow manage to escape from this mess they'd created.

So, of course, the Mets came back, tied the game in the 9th and won it in the 11th. Of course they did.

As a team, the Mets haven't pitched especially poorly, but it's been one particular pitcher having a bad day that seems to have submarined their particular efforts in this recent poor stretch. Friday night, Jenrry Mejia had a bad game. Saturday, Kyle Farnsworth had a bad inning and it resulted in a loss. Sunday, Jose Valverde gave up a run in the 9th that appeared to be windowdressing for the Phillies, but instead wound up being a huge run when the dust cleared.

The run Valverde allowed made the score 4-1, and it seemed quite certain that Jon Niese would take the loss despite not pitching especially poorly and the loathsome Cole Hamels would pick up his 100th career win in a rare solid performance against the Mets. But rather than Jonathan Papelbon in to finish things off, it was Antonio Bastardo, and Bastardo instead let the Mets back into the game rather quickly. After an Eric Young double, Daniel Murphy launched a Home Run into the Bullpen, putting some juice back into the few fans that remained at the tail end of a game well over 3 1/2 hours long. David Wright struck out, but Chris Young followed with a double. Bastardo clearly wasn't getting it done, so out he went in favor of Friday night's starter, Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernandez, but he couldn't get things done either, allowing a single to Bobby Abreu that, once it ticked off Chase Utley's glove, gave you the impression that somehow the Mets would find a way, and then an RBI groundout to Juan Lagares that tied the game.

But, of course, what Mets game would be complete without some extra innings, and when Anthony Recker didn't finish the job in the 9th, the game continued until the Mets mounted their winning rally in the 11th, behind a pair of well-placed infield hits by Young and Recker, a cameo appearance by Zack Wheeler to lay down a bunt, and an intentional walk by Lagares that set the stage for the much-maligned Ruben Tejada. I surmised that this might be a good spot for Tejada to lay down a squeeze bunt, since Chris Young at 3rd has reasonably good speed and the Phillies were gearing up for a hot shot at somebody, but Tejada thought otherwise and spared the drama by lining the first pitch into Left Field for the winning hit that would have been a hit no matter where the fielders were playing, and the Mets picked up a sorely needed 5-4 win.

Next, it's everyone's favorite, the Subway Series, as the Mets engage in their annual fan-crotch-grabbing festival with their crosstown rivals for 4 games that will be talked about for years no matter what happens. Here's hoping for results much more like the ones we saw last season.

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