Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hard To Imagine

In spite of the fact that yesterday's 3:whatever pm start time precluded me from seeing any of the game live, it did, in fact, allow me to see more of the replay of the game last night than I did of any of the other two games the Mets played in Seattle this week combined. I made it up until the 8th inning of the game before other activities took precedence; by that point I'd seen the story of the game, which was Bartolo Colon rather quietly and effortlessly setting down the first 20 Mariners that came to the plate, finally surrendering a hit to the 21st man, Robinson Cano.

It was mentioned that this was only the 5th time in Mets history that a starting pitcher had retired the first 20 batters that had faced him in a game. One such effort came just last season, when Matt Harvey had perhaps the single best game of his career to this point against the White Sox, a game I was fortunate enough to witness in person. Tom Seaver did it during his "Imperfect" game in 1969. Then, there were the two times in June of 1998 that Rick Reed accomplished this feat, both of which happened to be nights I was in attendance at Shea Stadium. Colon was the first Mets pitcher to carry a Perfect Game into the 7th inning on the road, and this, combined with the bizarre start time, may have served to ensure that this game is kind of lost in the shuffle when it comes to great Mets Pitching Performances. It also doesn't help that Colon unraveled slightly in the 8th, and eventually had to be rescued by the suddenly stellar Bullpen tandem of Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia in order to close out a tenuous 3-2 win over the Mariners. That's not to take anything away from Colon. When you retire the first 20 batters that face you in a game, no matter when it happens or whom your opponent is, it's still an accomplishment.

Colon's effort was backed by a minimal offensive output. The Mets scored a run early off of Taijuan Walker courtesy of Daniel Murphy and at some point other runs were scored but I can't say I remember how they happened. Somehow, the Mets ended up with 3 of them, which was enough to win the game. It would have been a bit of a burn if, after Colon had pretty much stuck the bats in the Mariners' ears all afternoon, they came back and stole the game. But that didn't happen, and thusly, almost 10 years after their first trip out to the great Pacific Northwest, the Mets came away with a series victory in Seattle, evening up their record on the West Coast to 3-3. That's fine and dandy for a West Coast trip, and certainly beats them doing something disastrous like going 1-5 and completely falling off the cliff, but if they're going to prove that they have some life in them for the remainder of the season, 3-3 against teams like the Padres and Mariners isn't necessarily going to cut it. Particularly since they're now leaving the land of Pearl Jam in favor of Jaegermeister and Bratwurst in Milwaukee. We'll see how this goes.

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