Friday, June 10, 2016

Not As Good As It Appears

If you were casually watching the Mets/Brewers game on Thursday, only paying attention in bits and pieces, you probably would have figured the Mets won the game 10-0.

It felt like the Mets probably should have won the game by that score, or at least scored that many runs in the process of winning, but they only managed to plate 5, and it took a pair of late-inning rallies to push their tally to that high a number as they beat the Brewers in the opening game of their 4-game series, 5-2.

The Mets jumped on hapless Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson early and often. Curtis Granderson does what he usually does and hit a Home Run to lead off the game, and the Mets generally had a lot of men on base, as their 13 hits for the game would indicate. But even though they were getting hits, they didn't score much in the way of runs, which is of course the ongoing problem that the offense has had. They hit tons of Home Runs, which is great after years upon years of the Mets not being a team that hit with a lot of power, but while this is a departure from years past, the inability to get hits with men on base and 2 outs seems a bit of the same old story. No, it's not always the case, and even this season they've had stretches where those hits do fall, but by and large it seems like the Mets have a problem killing their own rallies. The Mets had a runner in the 2nd, 2 men on in the 3rd (when in their defense they did score a run), and the bases loaded in the 4th, and none scored. And Nelson, who appeared Headed for an early exit, somehow managed to weather his way through 6 innings.

But, of course, the Brewers were little more than a minor irritant for Bartolo Colon, who gave them a healthy dose of Cheesele Gum en route to yet another strong 7-inning effort, in which he was basically cruising the entire way and only hiccuped right at the end, when his pregame block of cheese finally caught up with him Kirk Nieuwenhuis reached him for a double and then scored when Hernan Perez basically hit a line drive through Neil Walker.

The larger issue, of course, was that once the Brewers scored, it was then a 2-1 game and kind of a dicey situation. All those missed opportunities appeared primed to bite the Mets in the ass. In the 8th, against Corey Knebel, the Mets again got men on base, and in fact had the bases loaded with none out. Unfortunately, Kevin Plawecki, who's lost in the Keith Hernandez Dark Forest, the Pitcher's spot and Granderson were to follow, so nothing was guaranteed. In fact, I was waiting for the 5-2-3 DP followed by a strikeout or something similarly horrible like 3 straight pop outs. But Plawecki shut me up this time by grounding a ball through the left side for a 2-run single. In the 9th, there were more baserunners and an RBI single from Matt Reynolds, pushing the Mets run total to a mighty 5.

This was, ultimately, enough to net a victory. Even though Addison Reed allowed a run in the 8th (and he was due after not allowing a run in about a month), Jeurys Familia came in and this time worked a perfect 9th inning to close things out.

After a JoFer-induced 3-game slumber, the Mets now have come back and scored 5+ runs in 2 straight games, which feels like a bit of an avalanche in the grand scheme of things. Yes, the Brewers porous pitching does help things, but again, the Mets have faced plenty of porous pitching and not hit at all. You take advantage of the situation as much as possible.

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