Monday, August 18, 2014

Wake Up, A Little

After getting their clocks cleaned by the Nationals during the week, the Mets had a nice opportunity to get their acts back together with the lowly Cubs coming into town. Of course, playing the Cubs hasn't exactly been a winning proposition for the Mets in recent times. They already went to Chicago and got swept and looked pretty stupid in doing so. Basically, nobody knew what the hell to expect from the Mets this weekend, other than they'd be playing the Cubs in another wraparound series that concludes today with a game I had, and then sold, tickets for because the game is at noon and I'm at work. And Boyz II Men would be playing a postgame concert.

Friday, the Mets won, thanks mostly to Zack Wheeler. Wheeler as usual threw too many pitches too early in the game, and had one bad inning, but he managed to grit his way through 6 2/3 innings, striking out 10 and making an Eric Campbell 3-run Home Run hold up. Behind him, Vic Black, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia finished things up and the Mets held on for a 3-2 victory. The short of it is that this is a game that had it been played in Chicago, the Mets probably would have lost. One of the Mets relievers would have probably walked a bunch of guys, and then someone like Arismendy Alcantara would have hit a 2-run single and the whole thing would have blown up from there. That didn't happen, and the Mets came away with a win in spite of collecting only 4 hits against Travis Wood and his band of lesser men.

Saturday, the Mets won, thanks mostly to some timely hitting from Wilmer Flores and Juan Lagares, who each drove in multiple runs and accounted for half of the Mets 4 hits. In the 6th inning, the Mets managed to score 4 runs on the strength of one hit, and that hit didn't score any runs by itself. So, if you're counting, that's 8 hits in 2 games for the Mets, and somehow they managed to win both. Jon Niese had a fine effort, at least until he ran out of gas in the 7th and finally was removed when Ryan Sweeney (not to be confused with Mike Sweeney or Mark Sweeney or Ratso Sweeney) hit a line drive off his forearm, ultimately forcing him from the game. This would have been bad in and of itself except that he left a bases loaded, no out situation for a cold Vic Black. Black, however, was up for the challenge, retiring the 3 subsequent hitters, including hotshot prospect Javier Baez and hotshot established star Anthony Rizzo (not Ratso) along the way. With Boyz II Men warming up in the wings, Buddy Carlisle, not Mejia, finished the job and the Mets won 7-3.

Sunday, the Mets turned back into the Mets and were basically stifled by Jake Arrieta, one of those reclamation projects that shuts you down and you wonder how the hell he's doing it. But, Rafael Montero was equal to the task, allowing but one run into the 8th inning in what was easily his most encouraging Major League start to date. Granted, it was against the Cubs, but the Cubs are one of those teams that seems to be building backwards, with a ton of good hitting and not much in the way of pitching, so keeping them to one run when he was totally bludgeoned by the Nationals is something to hang your hat on. But the Mets didn't score, and then they did score in the last of the 8th when Curtis Granderson flared a 2-out, 2-strike RBI single in front of Arismendy Alcantara to tie the game 1-1. But before the paint dried on that run, Mejia came in and immediately allowed a 1st pitch Home Run to Starlin Castro that put the Cubs back ahead for good. The Mets had exhausted their offensive output for the day, once again banging out 4 hits in a 2-1 loss.

So, now we have one more game with the Cubs, in their element, an afternoon affair that I won't see live, since I'll be sitting at a desk, and if things don't go well, there's a reasonably good chance that I may not see any of the game. We'll see what happens, as always.

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