Saturday, June 20, 2015

deGreat deTravesty

I was out for most of Friday evening, and when I returned home, the first thing I wanted to do was take a nap. So much so, that this precluded me from flicking on the TV to see what was going on between the Mets and Braves. Instead, I opted for the radio, and the dulcet tones of Howie Rose and the slightly more-grating Josh Lewin. From what I heard, things seemed to be going just fine. The Mets had but a 1-0 lead, as once again they seem to lose the ability to hit the baseball on these road trips, which isn't good, but what was good was Jacob deGrom continuing to pitch like he's one of the best in the National League. He'd already thrown 6 shutout innings when I put the game on, and he got through 7 by retiring the Braves on 9 pitches.

deGrom's counterpart, the equally young-ish Matt Wisler, matched deGrom through the early innings, only breaking to allow a Michael Cuddyer RBI single in the 6th. For a while this looked to be the run that would beat him. But, then, the bottom of the 8th happened, and the Mets were done in by their usual assortment of team issues.

First, deGrom didn't help his own cause by allowing a leadoff double to Andrelton Simmons. This is nothing new, because for whatever reason Simmons just destroys the Mets. Clearly, he's got Greg Dobbs Syndrome, because he can barely bat his weight against most teams, but when he sees the Mets, all of a sudden he's turned into Cal Ripken. This wasn't a devastating blow, because deGrom regularly gets out of these kind of jams. Eury Perez followed with a sacrifice bunt, and it sounds as though it wasn't a very good bunt, because there was ample opportunity for deGrom, who fielded the bunt, to get Simmons at 3rd...except that nobody bothered to cover 3rd. Pedro Ciriaco followed. I believe I saw Ciriaco's Major League debut at Citi Field a few years back in a game where the Mets were blowing out the Pirates. He hit a triple and singlehandedly broke up an R.A. Dickey shutout in the 9th inning, so I know he can run. I also know that he's one of those players that's more of an annoyance than an actual threat, so it didn't surprise me too much that when he grounded to Flores, and Flores took about a hair too long to look Simmons back to 3rd, he ended up beating the play to 1st.

Now in an actual jam, deGrom was removed from the game, although at that point nobody was quite sure why. Even Howie Rose questioned the move, and when he does that, you know it's probably not going to end well. Sean Gilmartin came in to face Jace Peterson, who's already provided plenty of headache over the past week, and Peterson of course ended up doubling over Juan Lagares' head in center to score both runs and give the Braves the lead.

Then, Gilmartin was gone, and I kind of nodded out. Bobby Parnell was involved and so was Jeurys Familia in finishing out that shit show of an inning, which basically sunk the Mets. Elmore Farkas Jason Grilli finished out the Mets in the 9th, the Mets lost their 3rd game in a row on the road, and instead of hearing about what a brilliant, gutsy effort the Mets got from Jacob deGrom, instead the story of the game is the preternaturally brilliant debut performance from Matt Wisler, and how he's going to lead the Barves to the promised land. And instead of picking up a win he so richly deserved, deGrom got hung with his first loss since early May and has to sit there wondering why exactly he was pulled when he was pulled, instead of being given a chance, with 97 pitches in the bank, to clean up his own mess.

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