Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fighting Back

Through 6 innings last night, the Mets appeared headed for certain doom. They'd managed to plate a run against Joe Ross in the 4th inning, but nothing further than that. Though Jacob deGrom pitched about as well as you can expect a pitcher to do with zero margin for error, but finding himself one out away from escaping a 5th inning jam, deGrom finally bent and Wilson Ramos reached him for a 2-run Home Run that put Washington ahead. This wasn't any particular mistake by deGrom; he'd allowed Washington to get Yunel Escobar to 3rd base with 1 out, but rebounded to notch a huge strikeout of Ian Desmond in the sort of situation where Desmond would normally have killed the Mets. But Ramos, who like Desmond is basically a Greg Dobbs clone, reached out and flicked a slider over the fence.

deGrom was, needless to say, Harvey-level pissed off and screaming expletives on the mound, something I'm sure every Mets fan was doing along with him, but he regained his composure, finished the 5th and iced the Nationals in the 6th.

But, of course, the real question was if the Mets could somehow get that run back and keep Washington from pulling away like they usually do. They got a little rally going in the 7th, when Flores singled and Kirk Nieuwenhuis poked a cue shot towards Clint Robinson at 1st that snaked past him for a 2-base Error that probably should have been a double. This gave the Mets 2nd and 3rd and none out, and of course the prevailing thought here wasn't the approaching strategy, it was how were the Mets going to screw this one up. Washington pulled their infield in, I suppose because even they assumed a weak ground ball was in order. Plawecki followed by popping out, and with deGrom's spot due up, Terry Collins went to Eric Campbell and his .087 batting average, because when you need a big hit, I mean, who else would you turn to? So naturally Campbell fired a 2-run single to Right Field to give the Mets the lead, because in this season that's been totally ass-backwards, it would have to be Campbell coming up big in a spot like that, wouldn't it?

This breathed new life into the Mets, even if it meant removing deGrom from the game after a mere 82 pitches, but this Bullpen Tryptich of Jenrry Mejia, Bobby Parnell and Jeurys Familia (which has taken over the Familia/Mejia Report of last season) was up to the challenge of holding the lead, and holding the lead...but something funny happened in the 9th, which was that the Mets tacked on more runs. A novel idea, no doubt, because it made Familia's job easier (and in fact removed the Save opportunity altogether). Tanner Roark, one of those Awesome Nationals Pitchers that's so good he can't even crack the rotation, came in for the 9th and the Mets basically singled him to death, getting runners on and then getting scoring hits from Granderson, Tejada and Murphy and rather than sitting around waiting for the roof to cave in, the Mets wound up walking away with a nice little 7-2 victory, getting them even in this series and putting them just one win away from a .500 road trip that seemed a long ways away a few days ago.

So, after the horrible sinking feeling that was permeating every Mets fan last night, now there's a less-horrible feeling today because if they can get a win this afternoon—€and certainly you have to like their chances with Noah Syndergaard on the mound—€they'd be all of one game out. Amazingly.

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