Monday, April 20, 2015

Know Your Place

By all rights, if there was a day that the Mets were going to lose a game, it sure felt like yesterday would be that day. Matt Harvey took the mound with a stomach bug and ultimately the Marlins wore him down to the tune of 4 runs in 6+ innings, Jerry Blevins was hit by a line drive and had to leave the game, Travis d'Arnaud was hit by a pitch and had to leave the game, both players were diagnosed with fractures that will keep them out for weeks, Buddy Carlyle let the Marlins back into the game and the Mets nearly blew a 6-run lead, but somehow, the Mets still managed to hang on and finish off a 4-game sweep of the Mickey Mouse Marlins with a 7-6 victory. The win, their 8th in a row, kept them the only team in the Majors to remain undefeated at home and extended their record to 10-3, or, more appropriately, the kind of record they've only seen in years that were 1986 and 2006 and we know how those years turned out.

One thing that was hallmark of the Mets in those particular seasons was how they handled lesser competition. In 1986, the Mets smoked the Pirates to the tune of 17 wins in 18 games. The 2006 Mets were 11-7 against Atlanta and 12-6 against Washington. So far this season, the Mets have swept the Phillies, and now they've swept the Marlins, kicking the season series against each of these teams off on the right foot.

But it's particularly gratifying to sweep the Marlins, for a variety of reasons. Whether the Mets have been good or bad, the Marlins seem to constantly be a scourge in the Mets lifestyle. When they're bad and the Mets are good, all they seem to do is whine about the "big bad Mets." And do I even need to go into how they acted like a bunch of petulant brats in 2008? They're basically an embarrassment to Baseball. Their owner, who's one of the chief culprits in the murder of the Montreal Expos, basically conned the people of South Florida into building him a new playpen (I can only imagine what dinner with this clown must be like. He's an art dealer, so he's probably one of those people that slurps his wine, walks around with a perpetual sneer and speaks without moving his jaw with some weird Michael Caine-like affectation). Every few years, after he's built up his team to the point where they're sort of contenders, he trades everyone away and starts from scratch again. And then there are the years where he tries to make everyone believe he's trying to build a winning team, and he buys up a bunch of Free Agents, and all of a sudden everyone says "OOH, THE MARLINS LOOK GOOOOD!" and then they go 7-13 in April and they tank the rest of the season before dealing everyone away. I'm not sure why any Free Agent would want to sign a long-term deal with the Marlins, because they're basically signing up for 1, maybe a year and a half in South Florida before they get traded. So, here, the Marlins have done it again, in are these fresh faces like popgun hitter Dee Gordon, and Tattootier Mat Latos, and Martin Prado, and Ichiro, and Jarred Cosart, and here we go. The Marlins get all the ink and nobody takes the Mets seriously. And why should they? Even when the Marlins were bad, they seemed to beat the Mets and start jumping around like they won a pennant or something.

But instead, the Marlins came into Citi Field 3-6 and left 3-10 and really got outclassed in doing so. Nobody deserves it more. I didn't buy the Marlins for a second and the Mets just put them in their place. At every turn, the Mets had an answer for the Marlins, and big early-season series that end up as badly as this one did for the Marlins can set the tone for the season and take you out of it before you ever have a chance to get started. Look at them. They were gonna be the Wildcard! Now, their $325 million dollar monster is grousing and grumbling already, and his contract is barely 2 weeks old. How do you think this one's going to turn out?

I know there's more to focus on, such as the fact that the Mets have some major injuries to a couple of guys that were really playing well and were a big part of the team starting 10-3 and having won now 8 games in a row, but big picture, the Mets right now are playing like such a cohesive unit that they're surviving their injuries on guile and teamwork. And they just stuck it to a team that really needed to have it stuck to. They couldn't have done it to a more deserving group of jerkoffs. I really enjoy this right now.

1 comment:

Tom Diriwachter said...

The Marlins look like they're for real -- real flops, that is! It's too bad for baseball that Mike Stanton got hit in the face to end last season and may never be the same, but it was a stupid investment to throw 300+ million at him.