Sunday, June 19, 2016

System Breakdown

It seems like, without fail, the Mets play these June series against the Braves and no matter what the state of either team is, the Mets usually do a great job of handing every game to the Braves. I know there was one year, I think 2008, when the Mets were on a little bit of a roll, and then went into Atlanta and got swept in a 4-game series. Last year, they played in Atlanta at home and then in Atlanta in June and I believe they lost 2 of 3 at Home, and had to mount a furious comeback in the final game just to get to that point, and then went to Atlanta and got swept and shut out by two guys making their Major League debuts.

And if it didn't exactly happen that way, at least it felt like it did.

The Mets are now doing the same thing once again, where for the second night in a row they basically did very little to stop the Braves from kicking them in the nuts and really enjoying it much more than they should.

For about 5 innings, everything was great. Cespedes hit a Home Run, Flores hit a Home Run, James Loney even hit a triple, Steven Matz was cruising along and all was well. But then the Braves started singling Matz to death, and then Jeff Francoeur dialed it back to 2005 and hit a Home Run, and Jim Henderson gave up the tying Home Run to Tyler Flowers and the whole game turned into a bad fish sandwich that someone tried to slam down the toilet.

In the 8th inning, Ender Inciarte led off against Addison Reed and slashed a double down the Left Field line, and started clapping and bouncing around like he was Shane Victorino once he reached 2nd Base. I knew right then and there the Mets were screwed, and of course I was right. It didn't matter if Curtis Granderson lollipopped a throw back into the infield and allowed Inciarte to reach 3rd, and it didn't matter that Inciarte charged home on a ball that trickled just far enough away from Rene Rivera. That's what actually happened, but if it hadn't, he still would have found a way to score. Sometimes, you can just tell from the way a guy looks out there.

The Mets have no such spark. Their attempts to dig themselves out of this 1-run deficit turned into horrible failures as in the 8th, Cabrera singled and was subsequently planted at 1st, as Terry Collins had the either brilliant-or-totally-stupid-but-definitely-divisive idea of pinch hitting for Michael Conforto once the Braves went to lefty Hunter Cervenka. This is OK, except that the best he could do was send up Matt Reynolds, who did nothing useful. In the 9th, Wilmer Flores got aboard and then James Loney hit a double up the gap. Certainly, the Mets would have been in good shape with men on 2nd and 3rd and none out, but instead, Flores was sent home, and in a sequence that just typifies the luck the Mets have had lately, the Braves executed a perfect relay and nailed Flores at the plate, and with that went the air from the Mets. what?  This game put me in a legitimate bad mood and I thought I was beyond the point where the Mets do this to me in June. I wasn't even at the game and it pissed me off. I mean, if this is going to turn into last year, that's one thing. But why make this so damn difficult?

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