Saturday, July 2, 2016
Storming and Storming
By not going, I missed a bit of what I was hoping to see and also a bit of what I was hoping to avoid. In spite of three rain delays that ran over two hours and shoved the game past midnight, the Mets thoroughly bludgeoned the Cubs, feeding them a bit of their own medicine by hitting 5 Home Runs off Jason Hammel en route to a 10-2 thrashing.
Since I wasn't at the game, I went home and took a nap after work and therefore missed the first rain delay that held up the proceedings by 12 minutes. By time I tuned in, it was the 2nd inning, but Jacob deGrom was humming right along, shutting down the Cubs lineup without much difficulty. In the bottom of the 2nd, James Loney hit a skyscraper of a Home Run to start the inning and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with one of his own, and the rout was on. More rain fell in the 3rd inning, stopping things for over an hour but failed to dampen the Mets' spirits. deGrom came back after the delay and didn't skip a beat and neither did the offense. Loney doubled in 2 more runs in the 3rd, Brandon Nimmo smoked a 3-run Home Run in the 4th, and in the 5th, Yoenis Cespedes hit his daily rocket of a Home Run and Cabrera followed with his 2nd of the night. Mercifully, Hammel was pulled after this, having absorbed a 10-run beating and, going back to his brief appearance in Game 4 of the NLCS last year, giving him an ugly line of 16 earned runs and 7 Home Runs allowed to the Mets in just over 5 innings pitched.
A third rain delay followed in the 6th, which seemed to greatly annoy deGrom, because he was pitching really well and probably would have kept on going. I suppose if I'd been at the game it would have annoyed me as well, because once the game is that far out of reach (and yes, the Cubs did score once when Baseball Jesus hit a Home Run in the 4th), you just want to get it over with quick. With the Mets ahead by 9, most of the crowd in attendance left during that delay and I think, had I been there, I might have taken my cue to depart there as well.
So, I don't know either. For whatever reason, the Cubs seem to bring out the best in the Mets, or at least this has been the case the last 6 times these two teams have met. Last season, everyone wrote the Mets off as a cute little story prior to the NLCS and instead the Mets stormed the gates and ruined the Cubs' coronation. This season, the Mets were essentially dead and buried and assumedly mere cannon fodder for the Cubs juggernaut. But instead, the Mets have woken up and fought back, coming back from a deficit on Thursday and riding that wave through Friday's game. It could have been Cespedes' Upper Deck Home Run on Thursday that started this in motion. Perhaps it's Nimmo, playing in front of the Citi Field crowd for the first time and coming up with some key hits and providing a spark that hadn't been there for a while. Whatever it is, the switch flipped once the Cubs showed themselves and the Mets all of a sudden look like they did last October as opposed to the team that couldn't get out of their own way. I don't know if this is going to last, but at least they're not just lying down like a bunch of patsies. This team is better than that.