Thursday, August 13, 2015

Supporting Roles

The latest Mets win, and jeez there's been many of them recently, was capped off by a blast from the most publicized Mets acquisition, Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes, who may or may not have been spurred on by a bright yellow bird that had been flapping around Citi Field most of the game, capped off a 3-0 Mets victory by slamming his first Mets Home Run in the 8th inning. Before that, though, it was the exploits of one of their lesser acquisitions that was having himself a fine evening.

Juan Uribe, who looks nothing like what you would consider to be a ballplayer, found himself in the thick of several key moments in Wednesday's game. His 4th inning double over everyone's head plated Juan Lagares with the game's first run, and when Michael Cuddyer subsequently singled, Uribe pushed the envelope, in spite of the fact that he moves with the grace of a Semi, attempted to score and forced a lousy throw from Charlie McCharlieman that bounced off the mound allowing Uribe to score. An inning later, with Jacob deGrom in a rare jam, Jorge De La Rosa hit for the Colorados with men on 1st and 3rd and 1 out, and attempted to lay down a bunt and maybe bring home a run in the process. D.J. LeMahieu, the runner on 3rd, essentially followed Uribe down the 3rd base line as he attempted to field the ball, but Uribe then pulled some bizarre looky-loo act, managed to fake LeMahieu out of his cleats, and by time he then wheeled and threw to 1st to get the sure out, LaNosehair had basically decided to give up and go back to 3rd when he probably could have walked home. How many 3rd Basemen have the wherewithal to do that? Uribe didn't do anything particularly noteworthy here but somehow his body language totally rooked LeMahieu out of a run and essentially ran the Colorados out of their best scoring chance of the night. And to top it all off, Uribe had Citi Field bouncing off the walls, singing along to his anthemic Marc Anthony at-bat music.

This has sort of been Juan Uribe's career. He's not a Hall of Famer. He's at best a role player at this late point in his career and even when he was younger, he sort of looked old and fat. But he wins. And he keeps on winning. Everywhere he stops, he wins. He's landed on two World Series Champions already (and played enormously important roles on those teams) and found himself in the thick of the action on other playoff teams as well. He was never a star, but he just seems to be one of those wily veteran players that bounces around to a lot of teams and manages to make everyone around him better. All he's done since he landed in New York has come up with a bunch of key hits, make some good defensive plays and aid the Mets to a bunch of victories as they've moved into 1st place and last night only underscored that some more.

It's good to talk about Uribe in that sense because in reality, if you watched the game, Uribe was a sideshow and the real story was Jacob deGrom, who basically had what's become the normal deGrom outing: 7 innings, no runs, 3 hits and 10 strikeouts, except that he walked 4 so apparently he didn't have anything working for him. How terrible. Guess meat needs to go back to the Minors for some more seasoning. But at any rate, how much more can be written about deGrom that hasn't already been said? He's been doing this for months now and for what it's worth, he actually hasn't had his best stuff in his last few outings, but this seems to matter very little to him.

And if this embarrassment of riches didn't seem like enough, the Mets can now go for the kill this afternoon with Syndergaard on the mound and maybe put some more distance between themselves and the Nationals.

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