Monday, July 4, 2016

Coup de Grâce!

The Mets weekend was already a rousing success before they took the field on Sunday. They'd successfully won the series from the Cubs, and were now poised to pull off a clean 4-game sweep with Noah Syndergaard on the mound.

They didn't just finish off the sweep, they did so in style, whacking 5 Home Runs in a game for the 2nd time this series and booted the Cubs out of the building altogether in a 14-3 pasting.

I guess you could say everyone led the charge in this one, although Wilmer Flores earned the prize for the day by hitting 2 of the Mets 5 Home Runs and collected 6 of the Mets 22 hits for the game. Flores' day placed him in the Mets record books alongside his countryman, mentor and Ballclub All-time Favorite Edgardo Alfonzo. But he didn't accomplish it himself. Curtis Granderson's 1st inning Home Run tied the game after the Cubs scored early and appeared to be nicking Syndergaard to death. Rene Rivera hit a 2-run Home Run shortly after Flores' first shot in the 2nd inning and set the stage for the Mets to basically pick away at Jon Lester until he was little more than a carcass.

In keeping with the way this series had been going, the Mets 7-run 2nd inning was basically the Coup de Grâce. Lester was basically throwing the kitchen sink at the Mets, but they hit everything he had available. He was mercifully pulled after 8 straight batters had reached base and 8 runs had crossed the plate for the Mets, by which point the game had become mostly uncompetitive.

Syndergaard, given the luxury of a big lead, was then able to settle down and make his way through 7 innings mostly unmolested, save for his difficult 1st inning, at which point the game dissolved into farce and we saw things like Miguel Montero take the mound for the Cubs and Jacob deGrom get an at bat as a Pinch-hitter.

I'm sure nobody figured on this sort of a result from this series. Based on the way the Mets were limping in, even the most optimistic of fans probably figured there would be a lot of booing, sighing and early exits. The early exits did happen, except that they were induced by rain and blowout scores on Friday night and similar reasons on Sunday. Instead of asking What do we do now?, I guess most Mets fans are saying Go Figure.

Meanwhile, I guess we can say that the Cubs have a Mets Thing right now. They certainly didn't look at all like the team that's been storming over the National League for half a season. What I saw was a team that swings far too freely, strikes out far too often and appears rather sedentary on the bases. Defensively, they appear confused, probably because Joe Maddon has guys playing different positions on a daily basis (to wit: Baseball Jesus, a natural 3rd Baseman and not a bad one from what I can tell, played a game at 3rd, a game in Left Field and a game in Right Field) for no apparent reason, and it seems to have duped the "experts" into drooling over how "wonderfully versatile" all his players are. The Cubs pitching, which has carried them, looks kind of tired; Lester's performance on Sunday was an embarrassment to a Pitcher of his stature, GOLDEN JAKE seems to be relying on nibbling, and any team could wait him out if they're willing to be patient enough, and Jason Hammel and John Lackey are what they are. This works when you play 18-19 games a year against the Reds and Brewers and all your home games are in the middle of the day when most players are out of their rhythm. It didn't work this weekend.

I don't know. Perhaps I'm saying too much, because the Cubs scouts might read this and then trade for more big names. Or maybe, just maybe, they woke the Mets up.

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