Friday, June 27, 2014

Go Back To Sleep

Following a particularly taxing week, I found myself coming home this evening with a strong desire to just crawl into bed and take a nap for a while. The result was that I slept through a large swath of tonight's game. But I woke up in time to see the latter portion of the proceedings as they dragged further and further into the night.

Given the way things ended up, perhaps I should have just stayed in bed and forgotten about the game altogether.

That certainly feels like a recycled comment, and I know I'm pretty much echoing the sentiments of everyone who watches this team on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, the artfulness in which the Mets found a way to spit tonight's game up was one of those particular cake-takers.

The Mets scored their requisite two runs for this game in the 4th inning courtesy of a Lucas Duda single. That's now 3 games in a row that Duda has managed to net an RBI, and this time he did it without loafing the ball out of the ballpark, which is kind of nice, it shows he has a pulse in situational hitting situations, but when that's the sum total of the offense for the night, well, you can probably guess how things ultimately turned out.

But for the Mets, who continue to pitch well in spite of often hopeless circumstances, they stuck around in this game. Jacob deGrom once again pitched well, and once again was victimized by one bad inning and a lack of run support. The 2 runs he allowed in 6.2 innings was indicative of another fine outing, but one that could do no better than match his rookie counterpart Brandon Cumpton. deGrom was followed to the mound by Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia, who brought the game through to the 9th inning, when Jenrry Mejia took over and stopped the Pirates as well, sending the game into extra innings, setting the stage for one of those truly farcical Mets Moments that you look back on so many years later and smack yourself in the head.

The 10th inning began for the Pirates with Josh Harrison, one of those Brandon Phillips-types who has the look of a Met Killer all over him, singling. Fairly benign to start the inning, but then he stole second, although Ruben Tejada seemed pretty certain that he didn't. It looked to me like Harrison was safe, but Tejada got demonstrative enough to cajole Terry Collins into challenging the call, which was predictably unsuccessful. Mejia went back to work and got Gregory Polanco (not Gregor Blanco) to hit a comebacker. Harrison having taken off on contact, Mejia did the proper thing and ran directly at him to get him in a rundown, except that instead of a rundown, some horrible Baseball version of a Marx Brothers chase scene ensued, wherein Mejia gave up on the play too soon, made an ill-advised throw to Daniel Murphy. Murphy chased Harrison towards 3rd, dodging Harrison's helmet, which he may or may not have intentionally thrown off his head in some weird ruse to distract someone. Somehow the ball ended up with Ruben Tejada, while Harrison decided he was better off taking a left turn about 25 feet shy of 3rd base and crawling across the infield to avoid getting tagged out. Somehow, this worked, not because that was a great idea on Harrison's part, but because it's the Mets, and somehow every umpire on the scene neglected to note that Harrison was, in fact, out of the baseline. On the other hand, the Mets may or may not have deserved such a fate since Tejada decided to give up on the play as opposed to simply tagging Harrison, which would have sidestepped all this.

After the rundown and the Terry Collins bitch-fit that followed, Mejia was then tasked with having to get out of one hell of a jam, with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs, and he was very much up to the task, striking out Travis Snider and Neil Walker, and even getting Russell Martin (Mr. Low-rent Paul LoDuca himself) to fly out in a situation that seemed ripe for Martin to get a hit and rip off his own jersey while doing a Superman Dance across the infield. But, no, Mejia got LoDucu to pop out and end the threat. And after getting out of that particular jam, you might think the Mets would be energized enough to put together a rally. Vic Black took over for Mejia in the 11th, and he seemed primed to cruise right along until he walked Clint Barmes with 2 outs and Harrison came up again and I think we all know what happened from there.

In some other era, the Mets probably would have pushed a run across in their half of the 11th, and Black would have gotten a Save out of the proceedings. That's the same kind of era where the Mets are a perennial contender and have the intestinal fortitude to not only get out of impossible jams, but also get the necessary hits to win games afterward. Unfortunately, this isn't one of those eras, and the result is that games like this end up being those sort of games you can only chuckle about years later in happier times. You know, whenever those happier times may come.

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