Saturday, July 30, 2016

(Yawn) Another Night With The Mets

I don't have tickets to the Mike Piazza number retirement ceremony tonight. I was thinking I would try to snag something on Stubhub (there are, in fact, tickets available from the Mets, but, you know, you have to be comfortable spending $250 a pop, which I am not). But after the two games I attended this week, I've decided I don't feel like going. I can watch it on TV.

I realize that yes, I'm passing on Mets history, and the honoring of an iconic player, but you know, I was also there for his first game, his last game, and his Mets Hall of Fame induction 3 years ago, and many key moments in between. I feel like I should be there. But the problem is that I can't justify spending money, and good money, on a ticket, going back to Citi Field for a 30-45 minute ceremony, and then follow that up by subjecting myself to the Mets slobbering all over themselves for another 3 hours while sitting in front of some back-seat-driver fan who's really a closeted rooter for the other NY team.

Friday night was my 14th game of the season, and you know, there are years when I just have the stink on me, and I think 2016 is one of those years. Most of the games I've attended have been patently awful. Wednesday's game was bad in that having-the-rug-pulled-out-from-under-you sense. Friday's game wasn't just bad. It was boring. And I'm not the only one who felt that way. I had the sense that there were literally people falling asleep watching this team play. My poor other half came with me last night, and she spent the whole time complaining that the game was unexciting. She's been to 2 games this season in roasting heat, and she's seen the Mets score a total of 3 runs in those 2 games. Somehow, they won the first game. This one, not so much.

Steven Matz, bless his heart, did yeoman's work. The Colorados kept singling him to death and he was working at an absolute crawl, but he allowed a single run in the 1st and nothing until the 6th. In between, he gave up plenty of hits, including so many to Charlie McCharlieman that I was ready to jump onto the field, run up to him, punch him in his dopey, bearded mug and yell "STOP!" Of course the Mets responded with a James Loney Home Run in the 2nd and nothing more than that. Tyler Chatwood, who if you'll recall was the starter for the Colorados in the "NNNNNNNNEY STINK" game 4 years ago, ensured that this game would leave me with the same feeling. The Mets, going into the 6th inning, had 2 hits. Once Matz allowed an RBI single to Nick Hundley to score the second Colorados run, I knew the Mets were screwed.

The remainder of the game could have been scripted, that's how predictable it was. McCharlieman got another 4 hits. Matt Reynolds hit a Home Run in the 8th, because Matt Reynolds always hits a Home Run when I'm at a game. The Mets got 2 singles off Jake McGee to start the 8th, and then Mcgee was replaced by Scott Oberg, who proceeded to get the next 3 batters out ON THREE PITCHES! Antonio Bastardo was summoned out of the Gulag for the 9th, worked at a pace to rival Steve Trachsel, essentially put my wife to sleep, and I guess spent so much time scratching his crotch that he forgot he was on a mound, in a game, and grooved a slider for Carlos Gonzalez to hit a 3-run Home Run, at which point 75% of the people in the stadium immediately got up and left.

In the last of the 9th, my wife said one of two things would happen: Either it would end quickly, or something stupid would happen and the game would go 11 innings. I reminded her that the Mets would need to score 5 runs in the 9th to get the game to go 11 innings, and they hadn't scored 5 runs all week. Fortunately, they did not somehow muster up the 5 runs. Not that anyone actually thought they were capable of doing so.

The entire season seems to be teetering on the edge of the abyss right now. I mean, I know this happens to the Mets every season, or at least it feels like it does, but doesn't it seem so much worse this season? It was one thing when ney stank, back in 2012, because that team had no expectations. That's part of the issue here, is that the Mets are falling victim to the curse of high expectations. And I wonder if management here fell victim to the same line of thinking that bit them in the ass between 2000 and 2001, because they went to the World Series the year before and that made them believe they were good enough. I know some improvements were made, but now they need more improvements and nobody seems to be quite sure how that will be accomplished. And for some reason, I keep hearing that they need another pitcher. THEY DON'T NEED ANOTHER PITCHER! I just said yesterday how they seem to have more pitchers in the bullpen than they know how to use. The starting pitching has been excellent. I mean, excellent. It's not deGrom's fault that he threw 7 shutout innings and the Mets lost. It's not Matz's fault that this happened last night either. When your starter gives up 2 runs in 6 innings, he's given you a very good chance to win the game.

The issue lies with all these hitters that are just up there swinging out of their shoes and not doing anything useful. There was some promise in this lineup, but right now it's all evaporated. To wit: after the game, I was thinking to myself, "Hey, you know, Michael Conforto looked really good tonight, he had four solid At Bats." Conforto went 0-for-2 with two walks. And somehow, in my mind, this is a success. Compared to the rest of the lineup, sure. But this just underscores the point. Not only are the Mets boring, but this is getting depressing. I sat through a Baseball game last night and it literally felt like a majority of the crowd didn't actually want to be there watching this team. And it's bad enough that they've made me willingly skip the Mike Piazza ceremony tonight, because I just can't get up the energy to go watch this bullshit team again after what they subjected me to last night.

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