Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Plan C

Tuesday night was, as the calendar fell, my 11th game of the season at Citi Field, and an important one at that, as the Mets had lost the last 4 games I'd been to, each one a more horrible slog than the one before it. I'd figured that the scheduled starting pitcher, Noah Syndergaard, would be helpful in ending this streak. But the Mets intervened in the middle of the day by dropping, rather innocuously, word that Syndergaard would be pushed to tomorrow, and Bartolo Colon would pitch tonight.

No matter, I hadn't seen Colon yet this season, so perhaps he could bring me some luck. Or perhaps my other half might bring me some luck, as she made the trek to Flushing with me for the first time this season ("I'll go when the weather warms up," she said. Have I mentioned she's not the sadist I am when it comes to this stuff?)

Of course, Colon lasted all of 4 pitches in this game, as his last one was whacked back at him by the whimsically-named Whit Merrifield, directly off his thumb. Not that you could tell the severity of it from my perch in section 513, but it didn't look great and, well, it spelled the end of his night.

So...now what? I go from Syndergaard to Colon to...Hansel Robles?

I've had a bit of love/hate with Robles this season because he still pitches like he did last year, which is that sometimes he looks really good, and sometimes he looks really terrible, and there tends to be no in-between. Lately, he'd been more terrible, so let's just say I felt a bit dubious when he emerged from the bullpen with 1 out in the 1st inning, and even more dubious when he gave up a hit to Alcides Escobar. But it turned from there. Robles struck out Eric Hosmer, Travis d'Arnaud, back from Purgatory, threw out Escobar attempting to steal, and the Mets just took it from there. Robles probably earned back some of the luster he'd lost with his effort this evening. Put in an impossible spot, Robles somehow managed to make it all the way to the 5th inning, mostly on what I have to imagine was guts. I figured he'd be done after the 3rd.

It took 5 relievers in total, but somehow, the Mets managed to hold down the Royals in a game that seemed to be heading down a path similar to a majority of the games these two teams played last Fall. The Mets took an early lead off Ian Kennedy thanks to a Home Run from AsdrubAl Cabrera and, later, a Home Run from Yoenis Cespedes, and that was it. The Mets opportunities were constantly snuffed out by Royals Outfielders running down fly balls that appearEd Headed for greatness, and as such the slim lead the Mets had remained slim throughout the game. This didn't bode well. Of course, Royals batters would get hits, and constantly had men on base, and they were doing their usual annoying thing of fouling off multiple pitches and making me squirm uncomfortably. They appeared primed to break through in the 5th, when Robles finally ran out of gas and gave up a run on a single by Tyler Eibner, one of those Social-Studies-Class-Kids. Erik Goeddel then came in and gave up a frighteningly long fly ball to pinch hitter Kendrys Morales, but it died at the warning track and landed in Granderson's glove. A rare opportunity where the ball didn't fall for the Royals.

You could, I suppose, make the argument that this is a vastly reduced Royals lineup, without hell-raisers like Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon or Ben Zobrist, but then again, the Mets are pretty reduced too. Whatever the Royals threw at the Mets, Robles, Goeddel, Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia weathered and the Mets managed to come away with the 2-1 victory.

So, the streak has been broken. I'm not sure if this means I now have to bring my wife with me to every game (she would probably object), or if the Mets have to lose their starting pitcher after 1 batter, or there needs to be a drunken idiot running onto the field, but at least I don't have to carry around a losing streak any further. At least not until the next one.

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