Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Walker Strikes Again

So, for the 4th day in a row, I saw none of the Mets game and only sort of caught some of the action online, and the Mets won. Maybe there's something to this?

For once, on a night when Noah Syndergaard pitched for the Mets, he wasn't the story of the game. That's not to say Syndergaard pitched badly, in fact from what I understand he pitched just fine. But when you're used to such a high bar—and in this early part of the season Syndergaard's set an especially high bar—an outing where the scoreboard isn't lit on fire seems kind of pedestrian.

The Reds, another one of these downsizing teams,  didn't really generate much against Syndergaard. They just made well-placed contact when they had to. Syndergaard allowed 7 hits in his 6.2 innings, but 6 of them didn't leave the infield, and when he departed, following a 9-strikeout effort, he was in position to come away with a win as the Mets held a precarious 3-2 lead. But Antonio Bastardo couldn't get out Joey Votto, another instance where the "lefty specialist" doesn't get the lefty out, and the game was tied.

Then, the game was untied, because Neil Walker struck again.

I know that the guy that used to play 2nd base for the Mets is off in Washington hitting .400 and loving Jesus, but we all knew that was going to happen. Just wait until he starts getting overeager and spends the next 3 months grounding out to 2nd base. I know I keep saying that but I feel like I need to remind everyone because we all know it's coming. I'm looking forward to May 17th at Citi Field when he tries to score from 1st on a single or throw a runner out at home while running into the Outfield. The Mets now have Walker, whose career is marked with less of the severe mental mistakes his predecesor used to make, and more consistency. Walker's warmed to New York well, and his 7th inning Home Run, his 8th of the year, put the Mets ahead for good. It's nice to get hits, but Walker's been making his count. I don't know how long this power surge will last for him, but I feel more inclined to think that once he regresses to his mean, he'll still do useful things and not try too hard and make absurd, head-scratching mistakes.

Jeurys Familia closed out the win with what was probably his best inning to this point this season, so maybe he's rounding into his regular form. Over the previous road trip, it seems like most of the team has kicked themselves into gear, and now the pitching staff is starting to get going too. Granted, the Mets aren't playing the stiffest of competition, but you should beat teams like this and now the Mets have been doing that. 

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