Monday, May 2, 2016

Bound To Happen At Some Point

The Mets lost for the first time in over a week on Sunday afternoon, which was kind of jarring on several levels, but I suppose there isn't too much you can realistically complain about. As always, the law of averages dictates that the Mets will probably lose at least 1/3rd of their games, and certainly given the fact that they were facing one of the more vicious lefthanders in the league in Madison Bumgarner, this seemed as likely a day as any for one of those games. But, of course, every time the Mets lose, it seems to be for some weird, troublesome reason.

Today, of course, the issue was Noah Syndergaard's inability to hold runners on base very well. This was apparently exploited by Cincinnati on Monday night and the Giants did this again on Sunday, swiping 4 bases, 3 of them during Syndergaard's 5.2 innings of work. Ron Darling made some mention during the game of Syndergaard tipping when he's delivering a pitch home that allows a baserunner to get a good jump. I suppose this is a correctable thing, but of course, correctable at what cost? Is it really worth taking Syndergaard out of a comfortable rhythm? Many top-flight pitchers have had difficulty holding runners on base, and the overarching reason tends to be that it's because they just don't work with that many runners on base.

Even then, the Giants weren't torching Syndergaard, but they took him out of his rhythm in the 4th inning, thanks to Matt Duffy running, and a Buster Posey hit that found a hole, and then Posey running on a 3-2 pitch that resulted in a RBI groundout by Brandon Belt instead of a potential inning-ending DP, and of course awkward Hunter Pence delivered the coup de grace, nailing a 2-run Home Run to Right Field, turning a 1-run inning into a 3-run inning and sort of turding the punchbowl of the whole afternoon.

On the other hand, 1 run might have been enough for Madison Bumgarner anyway. Bumgarner's been a little hit-or-miss so far this season but in general he's usually Hit against the Mets, and they weren't doing much with him other than a few scattered hits. In particular, Michael Conforto, who's been on a raging hot streak, was stopped cold by Bumgarner, striking out twice in his first start against a real tough Lefty. I'd suspect there will be better days against pitchers of this ilk for Conforto, but you have to start somewhere and there was no good reason to sit him on this particular day.

The rest of the game was about as mucky as the weather, which looked pretty bad and I'm sure felt even worse if you were one of the hearty souls that trekked out to Citi Field on this day. The Mets fell to 0-2 wearing their Sunday Throwback 1986 jerseys, which if you're at all superstitious means that though they're nice and nostalgic and all, but they gotta go. Save them for a special occasion but wear the regular uniforms instead. Don't mess with karma.

So, OK. Let's make sure we got this. What slows the Mets down at this point is the perfect storm of shitty weather, throwback uniforms, tipping pitches, eager baserunners, Hunter Pence and really tough lefty pitchers. When that happens, we're screwed. At least until the next time the Mets lose and we're grasping at straws as to why they looked so out of sorts.

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