Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wednesday Surprise

The Mets swept their brief but spirited two game series with the Baltimore Orioles by relying mostly on their starting pitching, which may as well be the story of their season thus far. Aside from the occasional hiccup, this group has been as good as they've been hyped to be, and when that happens, it shouldn't be too surprising that the Mets remain ahead of the pack in the NL East.

Jacob deGrom was the story tonight, following up Bartolo Colon's sterling effort on Tuesday. After a pair of starts in which deGrom was unlucky, but also not especially good, he made his necessary adjustments and righted the ship, navigating his way through the Baltimore lineup for 7 innings giving up 1 run and striking out 9, while his offense exploded for all of 5 runs to pave the way to the 5-1 victory.

It seems, more often than not, that when the Mets win games this season, they do so with heavy contributions from some of the lesser names in their lineup. Though they did get a 3rd inning Home Run from Curtis Granderson, tonight it was Dilson Herrera who brought his bat to the game, driving home 3 runs and essentially icing the game with his 1st Home Run of the season in the 6th inning.

But it comes back to the job deGrom did on the mound that really tells the story, doesn't it? His Steroid Field II escapade begat another poor outing last week against Washington. Although his story was aided by an untimely error in that game, he still had opportunities to fix the damage and didn't, and ultimately the Nationals chased him from the game with a string of ringing hits. Tonight, Baltimore didn't fare quite as well. Their best opportunity came in the 5th, with the Mets down 3-0. Though deGrom got himself into trouble, hitting a batter and then allowing a hit, he worked his way out of trouble. First, Alejandro De Aza tried a squeeze bunt, but deGrom deftly bounced off the mound to pick it up, and then alertly threw to 3rd in an attempt to get the runner, Evereth Cabrera, who'd strayed too far off the base. This might have been a disastrous play, but for once, Daniel Murphy shit a diamond and his somewhat clueless attempt to catch the throw led him directly into Cabrera's path, blocking him from returning to 3rd Base and allowing Murphy to for all intents and purposes accidentally tag him out. Later, with the bases loaded and Goldschmidt-like Chris Davis at the plate, deGrom stoned up and struck him out to end the threat. The Orioles did nothing of note the rest of the night.

So, now, the Mets find themselves somewhat back on track, although they haven't exactly been lighting it up, they're doing what needs to be done in order to win games. They get good pitching just about every night nowadays and when their defense holds up and they can scratch out some runs, this can be enough to tally up the W column. Still, you'd like to see some more consistency from the position players before you can really start to feel comfortable.

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