Saturday, August 22, 2015

Something In The Air

I'd mentioned a few days ago that a trip to Colorado wasn't going to do anything to help the pitching. This was the case on Friday night. The Mets won anyway, though, because the Mets offense kept up their end of the bargain and took advantage of the rarefied air in Denver. Yoenis Cespedes had one of those once-in-a-lifetime kind of games, smoking 3 Home Runs and driving in 7. Behind Cespedes, Travis d'Arnaud and Michael Conforto also wend deep as the Mets overwhelmed and then survived the opening game of their series against the Colorados, winning by the rather uncomfortable score of 14-9.

The score alone should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the game: It was at best a total shit show where all pitching was abandoned and basically anyone who held a bat in their hand had a pretty good chance of doing something meaningful. For the Mets, this was to the tune of running out to a 7-1 lead in the 2nd inning, which was led by Cespedes, who doubled and scored in the first, and then clanged a Grand Slam in the 2nd, both hits coming off hapless Jon Gray, the Rookie who looked so impressive when the Colorados were in New York, and looked anything but impressive on Friday night. Gray failed to survive the 2nd inning and a loss on his ledger appeared imminent.

But it being Coors Field and it being a night where general Baseball logic was thrown out the window, the Colorados rallied to get themselves back into the game. Bartolo Colon, who you figured was in for a rough night to begin with, had his general issues compounded when he got drilled by a pitch on the wrist while attempting to bunt in the 2nd. Colon was reached for 3 Home Runs and by time Nolan Arenado's 3-run shot left the yard in the 4th inning, the Mets 6-run lead had shrunk to 1-run, and then the Colorados tied the game in the 5th against Sean Gilmartin when Nick Hundley of all people drilled an RBI triple. This, then, was what you figured would happen in this game, because this usually seems to happen to the Mets in Colorado. They race out to a lead, their pitchers can't hold it and then something particularly stupid happens. All they needed was Dante Bichette to somehow materialize at home plate and you figured the whole blessed mess was going to go down the crapper. But instead of Bichette, the Colorados could only send up Kyle Parker, and though Parker did hit a fly ball that appeared long enough to be a Sacrifice Fly, Curtis Granderson unleashed the best throw he could possibly make and managed to get Hundley at home, or at least that's what the umpires determined. It looked to me like Hundley's trick slide beat d'Arnaud's tag, but it didn't.

From there, the Mets steadied their hand and took the game back over. Cespedes' 3rd Home Run gave the Mets the lead back in the 6th, d'Arnaud and Conforto went back-to-back in the 7th, and Flores doubled home another run in the 8th while Hansel Robles, Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia combined to not let the Colorados back into things and the Mets managed to escape with a bit of a hair-raising victory.

This again was not a game to revel in, given that the Colorados banged Colon around but good and were a fortuitous call at Home plate away from turning this game into something considerably different. But the Mets have shown a healthy amount of fortitude in these kinds of games and where a month or two ago we probably would be looking at another head-shaking loss, instead the Mets have been able to hit their way out of difficult situations. Yes, it's Colorado and it kind of excuses the bad pitching, but the Mets still had to hit the ball and they did that many times over.

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