Thursday, April 9, 2015
The script that the Mets flipped on the Nationals on Monday got flipped back on them last night. Following their first rain delay of the season, the Mets went out with another one of Terry Collins' bizarro lineups that featured David Wright hitting 2nd, Juan Lagares hitting 6th, Jacob deGrom hitting 8th and Wilmer Flores hitting 9th. This lineup was able to muster all of 1 run in support of deGrom. This was not enough to offset the 2-run Home Run that deGrom allowed to Ryan Zimmerman in the 1st inning, and thus, the Mets lost a 2-1 game that featured no runs scored past the top of the 2nd inning.
deGrom certainly pitched just fine outside of the Zimmerman Home Run; I'd think on any night we'd happily take 2 runs, 6 hits, 6 strikeouts and 2 walks over 6 innings out of him, but if I were to venture a guess the story of the night is Terry Collins and his lineup bonanza. I've already gone through my spiel about how Collins needs to stop thinking he's Inventive and Creative like Tony LaSchmucko and hitting his pitcher in the 8th spot in the lineup, and breaking up his lefties by putting Granderson in the leadoff spot and Wright 2nd. Somehow, Collins lucked into a couple of wins last year before abandoning the charade, but now it's only taken him two games before he's started trying to reinvent the team. I know 4 runs in 2 games is a small sample, but the Mets offense was gangbusters in Spring Training with a "normal" lineup (Lagares, Murphy, Wright, Duda, Granderson, Cuddyer, d'Arnaud, Flores or some variation thereof) and then come Monday things got flipped around. It's a good way to confuse your players and get them out of a particular rhythm.
Then again, two games into the season, I'm not sure how crazy you can get. Particularly when you lost to a team that throws an ace pitcher at you every game and will be your chief competition over the course of the season. I think, and maybe on some level I hope that this is how most Mets/Nationals games will play out this season. Well-pitched, low scoring games where it takes a good break to get the win. Last night, the Mets didn't get it. It's a hell of a lot more attractive than the 14-3 bludgeonings the Nationals have a habit of inflicting on the Mets.