Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Turn Back The Clock

The breathless intensity of Tuesday night was replaced tonight by an utter turd of a game, one of those endless slogs that seemed plucked directly from 2013 or 2014 when the Nationals would come in to Citi Field and just bludgeon the Mets. The Nationals didn't bludgeon the Mets on this night quite so much as the Mets just insistently handed them this game. Bartolo Colon slogged his way through 4 2/3rd innings, uncharacteristically walking 5 batters, consistently working from behind in counts and ultimately couldn't put away the Nationals in the 5th and departed behind in the game 3-1.

The Mets bullpen in 2016 has by and large been very good at keeping the Mets in games. This was not one of those games. A succession of relievers, first Hansel Robles, and then Gonzalez Germen, Antonio Bastardo, Scott Atchison, Logan Verrett, Jerry Blevins, Scott Rice, Jim Henderson, Greg Burke and Brandon Lyon proceeded to hand the Nationals baserunners by the bucketload, allowing them to continually tack on runs in painstaking fashion and ultimately allowing them to literally walk away with a 7-1 victory to even up the series.

This was destined for bad news from the start as Colon went to a 3-ball count on everyone in the 1st inning, and walked both Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper, not so much by design on either count (in spite of the fact that everyone seems to be walking Harper as though he were Barry Bonds). Somehow, he got himself out of a jam and only in the 3rd inning did Washington score, after Werth and Harper again walked and Daniel Murphy singled off of David Wright's glove.

The Mets tied the game in the 4th when Yoenis Cespedes hit a Home Run, and this is good because Cespedes has been going great of late, but bad because nobody else really is and, again, it continues to underscore the station-to-station nature of this team because they tend to only score by hitting Home Runs. Or at least it just seems that way. Nonetheless, this was the only way the Mets scored on Tuesday, and it was the only way they scored tonight. Just saying.

Then, the game turned into 2013 and everything was horrible from there. Colon was a strike away from getting out of the 5th inning about 6 times, even after walking Werth and Harper again, but he couldn't put away Anthony Rendon and ultimately Rendon singled home 2 runs and threw the whole game down the toilet. From there, happenings included a 40-minute top of the 7th in which Bastardo channeled his inner Steve Trachsel and Fire Hydrant Head doing what he usually does against the Mets and hitting 2-run singles. And more walks to Werth and Harper. In all, the Mets, who as we were reminded by Keith and Gary a multitude of times lead the league in fewest walks allowed, handed the Nationals 11 walks on this night, which is unconscionable for a contending team to do, virtually guarantees a poor outcome, and also leads to a game that lasts 3 hours and 40 minutes (blah blah blah glad I wasn't there). You also end up with cameras catching the Manager and Pitching Coach standing in the dugout looking like they just spent 6 hours eating spicy meatballs.

Sigh. Wipe the slate clean and come back tomorrow is the best cliche to say after a game like this. Hopefully Harvey has his act together. That'd be nice.

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