Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fighting Back

The takeaway from Tuesday night's game in Philadelphia is probably going to be more about the fisticuffs-that-weren't-fisticuffs in the 7th inning and less about how the Mets once again got up off the mat, fought back and won a game late, but they're both worth discussing, so here we go.

YES, the Mets won, which in the big picture is the most important thing here. Their 6-5 victory on Tuesday was their 5th in a row, their 6th on this road trip and their 10th over the Phillies in 11 tries this season. The Mets jumped out to an early lead thanks to another Home Run, although Yoenis Cespedes' 1st inning bomb was the only one they would hit in the game, in stark contrast to the 8 they hit on Monday night. But as this road trip has proven, whether they hit 1 Home Run or 8 Home Runs, and whether they score 6 runs or 16 runs, they still come up with ways to beat you. Noah Syndergaard pitched reasonably well, but was still victimized by one bad inning, in this case the 3rd, which nearly did him in. In this particular inning, Syndergaard allowed a rather jarring 2-out Home Run to Freddy Galvis, and after Kelly Johnson booted what should have been an inning-ending ground out, he allowed another Home Run to Ryan Howard. Giving up a Home Run to Ryan Howard is, at this point, merely a rite of passage since he's hit about 870 of them against the Mets, and even though he's about the farthest thing from resembling 58 Home Run MVP Ryan Howard, he can still hit a ball out of the ballpark. And in this case it gave the Phillies a 4-3 lead.

Gamely, Jerome Williams held this lead into the 6th inning until he ultimately ran out of steam, or remembered that he was Jerome Williams, and when he departed, the Mets had 2 men on base and 1 out. Jeanmar Gomez, who I believe used to pitch for the other Pennsylvania team, entered the game and got an out but then totally unraveled, walking Michael Conforto to load the bases, then walking Travis d'Arnaud to force home the lead run (and how deep does the Mets lineup look now that d'Arnaud is batting 8th), and finally giving up a 2-run single to the suddenly rejuvenated Michael Cuddyer that put the Mets ahead 6-4.

This lead would hold up in spite of Eric O'Flaherty inflicting his general O'Flahertyness on the affairs and creating a mess that required Hansel Robles to come in and clean up, which he managed to do but still allowed a run to score to cut the Mets lead to 6-5.

And then there was the 7th inning and the ensuing chaos, for which I'll say this: Yes, Robles was probably a little bush for throwing a quick-pitch when Darin Ruf wasn't really looking at him, and had the pitch gotten away from him it might have been ugly, but on the other hand, I believe Robles threw a change-up. And sure, it's kind of a blow to the pride of the Phillies to have gotten their asses handed to them repeatedly by the Mets this season, so I get how this indignity might set Larry Bowa and Jeff Francoeur off a little bit. On the other hand, Fuck the Phillies. The Phillies have been the embodiment of everything and everyone that has stomped on the Mets over the past 8 years. They're the team that stuck it to us twice in '07 and again in '08 and won a World Series Championship and seemed more interested in taking cheap shots at the Mets. This is a team whose fans would take over our stadium, pick fights and walk around screaming Harry Kalas impersonations in everyone's faces. And now, their short-sightedness has led to them crashing back to Earth in spectacular fashion and they're back to being the league's doormat once again. So you know what Phillies? You get no sympathy from me. You had your fun. Now shut up and take your medicine.

Robles ensured this happened by striking out Ruf and glaring into the Philly dugout as he walked off. For a rookie, give him some credit for not getting rattled after all that. Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia, who are not rookies and are similarly unflappable, finished things out from there. Another win and another day maintaining this division lead.

No comments: