Monday, August 24, 2015

Bizarro Scenario

The Mets have had a long and storied history of losing excruciating, high scoring, stupid games in Colorado going back to the very first game at Coors Field and a night we'd love to forget. The Mets go to Colorado once a year (some years it may be twice, whether planned or not) and usually what happens is they get the rug pulled out from under them. You can count on one, sometimes two games in a series in which the Mets run out to a big lead and then the Colorados come back against the bullpen and someone makes an error or someone walks in the winning run, or someone hits a Home Run clear out to Colorado Springs.

But that didn't happen this past weekend. For the first time in the 21-year mostly miserable existence of Coors Field, the Mets actually swept a series. Friday and Saturday, the Mets played typical Colorado games. They ran out to enormous leads and then had to cringe as the Colorados chipped away and hoped that the inevitable stupid play didn't happen. And Dammit, the stupid play never happened. The Mets won both games 14-9 which ought to tell you the kind of game it was.

That set up Sunday and the game that everyone who's still hung up on how stupid the Mets are were screaming about all week. This, of course, was the game where Matt Harvey's turn in the rotation came up, but Harvey wasn't scheduled to pitch. Instead, Logan Verrett was summoned to the mound and I'm sure everyone who was ripping the move was waiting for the Colorados to eat Verrett alive and score 13 runs in 2.2 innings.

But that didn't happen. Verrett instead gave everyone a giant shitburger by throwing 8 brilliant innings at the Colorados and allowing just 1 run as the Mets offense, in what I guess is now an off day for them, plated 5 of their own in assorted varieties, as the Mets wiped out the Colorados for the second time in 3 weeks. The 5-1 victory was not only Verrett's first in the Majors, but it gave the Mets a 7-0 sweep of the season series over the Colorados (in stark contrast to their performances against the Cubs and Pittsburghe).

Verrett obviously isn't replacing Harvey by any stretch of the imagination. But he was given an opportunity to show what he's got and he ran with it. True, the Colorados are a mess right now. They've been playing an especially stupid brand of baseball all weekend, with myriad mental mistakes and guys getting thrown out on the bases and what have you. The kind of stuff you expect from a last place team. But they still have a fairly potent lineup and outside of a 4th inning Home Run by Carlos Gonzalez, who, again, can hit Home Runs off anybody, Verrett basically stopped the Colorados cold. Sort of like Harvey did last week. Anyone paying attention would have been happy if Verrett could have worked his way through 6 innings. But he went beyond that and gave the Mets 8, allowing 1 run and 4 hits while striking out 8. So not only did he pitch well, but he preserved the Mets bullpen, which was needless to say taxed after a pair of absurdist shit shows.

The Colorados were, of course, all too happy to help the Mets out. David Hale, a Barves castoff that had the poor fortune of landing in Denver, basically handed the Mets two runs when he and Dustin Garneau (not d'Arnaud) decided, I suppose, to just wing it and the result was a pair of really Wild Pitches that plated a pair of runs. Later, in the 6th, the Colorados had Verrett on the ropes after he hit Charlie Blackmon to start the inning. With 2 out, Nolan Arenado lined a single to right. Nothing out of the ordinary, except McCharlieman decided to be a hero and take 3rd base, where he was promptly thrown out to end the inning. This killed the Colorados in this game, but it seems that this sort of fundamental abandonment has been going on for a while. Again, the trademark of a bad team. Contrariwise, it's the sign of a good team that they can beat you 14-9 or 5-1, and right now that's what the Mets are.

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