Monday, August 11, 2014

Keep My Mouth Shut

So, right after I started waxing poetic about the Phillies being an aging group of has-beens, they go out and pull off a comeback victory that looked to be straight out of 2008. The only thing missing was Shane Victorino doing back flips around the infield after Ryan Howard's game-winning hit (and subsequent hobble to 1st base), but for the most part, it felt like the same cast of characters doing it to the Mets.

After Zack Wheeler, playing the role of John Maine, had another fine outing, backed by a 6-run outburst from the Mets offense, Vic Black and Jenrry Mejia faltered late in the game, evoking rather horrible memories of Aaron Heilman and Luis Ayala. After scoring their 6 runs, the Mets packed it in on offense and did nothing after the 5th inning, and of course the Phillies kept scraping and clawing until they were back in the game. Chase Utley—his part hasn't changed—hit a 2-run triple in the 7th off of Black, who couldn't finish his inning off, and in the 9th, Jenrry Mejia offered just about nothing, particularly since excuses aren't an official statistic (and if you're going to pitch hurt, particularly with an injury that can be as invasive as a hernia, don't turn around and use it as an excuse for poor performances), and after staggering through his inning of work on Friday night, couldn't shut the door on this game and ultimately took the loss in rather rapid fashion.

Zack Wheeler, on the other hand, has been healthy and improving by leaps and bounds over the past several weeks, and Sunday was another step forward. Coming off a start where he really had to grind his way through 7 innings of work, Wheeler again found himself throwing too many pitches in certain spots, but for the most part kept the damage to a minimum, departing after allowing 2 runs in the 6th inning, but prior to that, not much else of note. By all rights, he should have come away with a win, but then again, how many times have we said something like that over the course of life. 

The loss in a game that was pretty much won after 6 innings was just another kick in the pants for the Mets on a day where w√ľnderkind Jacob deGrom came down with some shoulder soreness. deGrom went back to New York for the dreaded MRI. Who knows what that will reveal but if nothing else he'll miss his start Tuesday night against Washington—conveniently a game I have tickets to—and beyond that we're not quite sure yet. It still doesn't sound good. It's not quite as deflating as Matt Harvey's injury news last season, but still, any time a pitcher who's pitched well and generated excitement goes down, it's a buzzkill. Couple that with a 5-run blown lead and it's even more of a buzzkill.

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