Wednesday, July 20, 2016


I'm not quite certain that the Mets did anything, over a majority of the game last night, that would have made them deserving of a win, but somehow they did win. In one of those games that would have had Bob Murphy exclaim "They Win the Damn Thing!", they nursed Noah Syndergaard through 5.2 innings, they survived a seemingly rejuvenated GOLDEN JAKE, they grabbed a late lead thanks to a replay challenge and a 2-out hit by Rene Rivera, and then closed it out when Jeurys Familia somehow managed to escape a bases loaded, no-out jam, inducing a game-ending Double Play from Baseball Jesus to finish off a harrowing 2-1 victory.

Really, this seemed to be nothing but a gloom and doom game from the get-go. Syndergaard, whose arm I suppose may fall off at any second, kind of weaved his way in and out of trouble throughout the early part of the game. He allowed a run kind of by accident, when in the 3rd inning Willson Contreras, who's got a little bit of Marlins Spirit in him, doubled, went to 3rd on a Wild Pitch that Rene Rivera couldn't corral, and then scored when Rivera made an ill-advised desperation heave into Left Field. I mean, if that's not a Marlin-style run, what is?

Meanwhile, the Mets were doing nothing against GOLDEN JAKE, which I suppose is to be expected from him. GOLDEN JAKE even attempted to widen his own lead in the 4th when he doubled with 2 outs and tried to score on a Tommy LaStella single. In fact, according to Home Plate Umpire Eric Cooper, he did score, much to my chagrin, except for the rather obvious tag that Rivera got on him before he actually touched the plate. Replay, reversal, score remains 1-0.

And then it was tied, somehow, in the 6th, when Jose Reyes turned the clock back to 2006 and hit a triple, which is something we used to see with regularity in another time and place, and then scored on a Curtis Granderson sacrifice fly.

So Syndergaard was done in the 6th and GOLDEN JAKE got through 7, and you figured it was just a matter of time before something dumb happened and, well, while plenty of dumb things did happen, it somehow didn't manage to sink the Mets. Jerry Blevins finished the 6th and Hansel Robles worked a clean 7th and then an 8th for good measure, and so the game remained tied going to the 9th.

The Cubs went to their closer, Hector Rondon, another guy who looks like he'd fit in well as a Marlin, and the Mets mounted an excruciatingly slow rally. James Loney led off with a single, but Neil Walker grounded into a Double Play, except he didn't because he beat the throw to 1st and Umpire Ratso McGillicuddy blew the call. Replay, reversal, Mets have 1 on and 1 out. Cabrera follows with a single to bring up Michael Conforto, who has quietly returned to the lineup but still appears to be pressing. In a key spot, a hit here would have been enormous, symbolically, but Conforto appeared overanxious and struck out. This wasn't good BUT OH RENE RIVERA GOT A HIT TO DRIVE IN THE LEAD RUN! Somehow the Mets didn't screw it up!

To the bottom of the 9th and Jeurys Familia, who quickly got ahead of Addison Russell, didn't get a call and subsequently lost the plate, not finding it until he not only walked Russell, but Miguel Montero behind him, sending Cubs fans into a tizzy. Javier Baez followed by laying down a bunt that was obviously going foul except that Jose Reyes decided to field it and make a throw to 1st not especially close to getting Baez. So, bases loaded, no outs, Cubs fans peeing themselves over in glee and, of course, Matt Szczur coming up, and if you figured there was one guy ripe to spoil Familia's Save streak and drive a 2-run double into the Right Field corner, it's Szczur. And Syzygy did pull the ball, but right to Loney, who threw home for the out. No matter. Up came the Baseball Jesus himself, and again, there were visions of him hitting one to Waukegan and Cubs fans uniting for a giant collective orgasm. Except that Bryant slapped a shot right to Reyes, who started the 5-4-3 DP and somehow, the Mets escaped imminent disaster. Twice. Three times if you figure they had to face GOLDEN JAKE.

So it goes. The Mets alternately look awful and lose, or look great and win, and sometimes they manage to do both at the same time, like tonight. They didn't especially look like they were going to win this game most of the night, but somehow they did and at this point I'll take wins however I can get them.

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