Sunday, August 24, 2014

You're Getting Old

Not even the return of Jacob deGrom could solve the Mets Dodger Stadium woes. In spite of the fact that deGrom was throwing quite well and staked to a 3-0 lead, the Dodgers continually put pressure on him and eventually overwhelmed him on their way to yet another come-from-behind win over the Mets Saturday night.

deGrom certainly didn't appear to be suffering any ill effects from the shoulder injury that had him on the shelf for two weeks. For a majority of his 6 inning outing, he looked perfectly fine as far as the quality of his pitches. The problem was that the Dodgers were hitting his pitches, and the end result was that the 3-run lead he received courtesy of a Juan Lagares Home Run didn't hold up. Adrian Gonzalez, who tagged him for a Home Run when these teams met in New York, tagged him for another one—a 3-run shot in the 5th inning that basically turned the game around—and the Mets as usual mounted very little in response against Zack Greinke.

deGrom's worst outing in weeks coming immediately after he came off the DL isn't especially alarming. The Dodgers knocked him around in New York as well, so sometimes a team just has your number, especially when you're a young pitcher. What was particularly alarming was the night David Wright had, particularly when measured against what's been a really bad season for the Mets Captain. It hasn't been talked about much, but very quietly Wright has had a patently awful season and last night's game seemed to hammer that point home with emphasis.

Wright had already grounded out to short, and hit into a pair of Double Plays by time the 7th inning rolled around. With the Dodgers ahead 5-4, and rallying against a tiring Greinke, the Dodgers decided to intentionally walk Daniel Murphy with two outs to pitch to Wright. In his formative seasons, intentionally walking someone in front of David Wright was an invitation to disaster, because Wright would get pissed off and hammer the first good pitch he saw. Now, you could almost sense Wright swinging out of his shoes as soon as he walked to the plate. He flailed at the first pitch, fouled off the second pitch, somehow laid off a pitch that was off the plate, and then swung and missed at the slider that's bedeviled him his entire career. Inning over, Rally over, and when the Dodgers tacked on two more runs in the last of the 7th, the game for all intents and purposes was over. The Mets weren't coming back, and just to spread a little more mustard on a night that was overcooked, Wright struck out again to finish the game and cap off an 0-for-5 night.

It's tough to say whether or not it's this shoulder injury that Wright has been dealing with that's been the cause of his woes, or maybe it's just the years of unsuitable lineup protection that have caught up with him, or, perhaps it's just the fact that he's a 10-year veteran, and at age 31, he's getting old. Granted, 31 isn't especially old in Baseball years, and Wright is certainly being paid like someone that's got a whole lot of years left in him. Hopefully this is just an injury issue that he's just trying to play through because that's his M.O., but it's not especially smart when this is the result we're getting out of him. Whatever it is, he won't say and he won't take himself out of the lineup either. So this is what we're stuck with.

Joy and rapture, the Mets still have one more game to play in LA. Is anyone at all optimistic?

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