Sunday, August 28, 2016

All The Love

The Mets raked the Phillies over the coals on Friday night and on Saturday they did more of the same, as they whacked another 4 Home Runs, one of them a Grand Slam, and coasted behind 7 strong innings from Noah Syndergaard to win a genuine laugher, a 12-1 victory that gave them their second 3-game winning streak in a week.

For once, I actually was around to see a game from start to finish, as my evening was free and my other half was out for the night, and although I was up early for odd business, I was also finished early and as such, came home and took a nap well before game time, so I was up and raring to see a game from start to finish, and oh, did I see a game.

Syndergaard against the Phillies should in most cases be a mismatch, and on this night it was. His late-Summer rally continued as he delivered his third straight sterling effort. The Phillies, who were a bit of an early-season surprise thanks to their young pitching, have come back to earth as the rigors of the season more than caught up with them, and as such, their lineup, which continues to feature the carcass of Ryan Howard, and a multitude of youngsters, were little match for Syndergaard. Outside of a solo Home Run by Freddy Galvis in the 3rd inning, that seemed to be more of an accident than anything else, the Phillies barely made a peep against him. Over 7 innings, Syndergaard whipped the Phillies to the tune of 1 run on 2 hits, 2 walks and 7 strikeouts.

The Galvis Home Run gave the Phillies a temporary lead, but in reality I suppose it was a matter of making Bruce Banner angry, because once the Phillies got ahead, the Mets got angry and started dropping haymakers on Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson, who works at a pace that's somewhere in between Steve Trachsel and Daisuke Matsuzaka, divided by the square root of Hansel Robles, allowed a leadoff single to Jose Reyes in the bottom of the 3rd, then started getting peckish because he was afraid Reyes would steal, and ultimately left a fastball down over the plate for Asdrubal Cabrera to golf it into the seats.

Helllickson ate his own milk again in the 4th inning. With one out, he gave up a double to Syndergaard, who has 7 hits this season, 6 of which have gone for extra bases, and then a single to Reyes. Though he got Cabrera out, he then set out to try to get Cespedes, and after working the count to 2-2, Cespedes started fouling off every pitch. When Cespedes gets into one of these at bats, where he's wasting pitches and the Pitcher isn't fooling him, well, you kind of know where this is going, and where it went was in someone's wine glass on the porch of the Acela Club Porsche Grill for a moonshot of a 3-run Home Run to extend the Mets lead to 5-1.

The Mets didn't score again until the 7th, when they decided to treat Michael Mariot as well as they did Hellickson. Although Mariot did himself no favors by walking the first two batters of the inning, and then a hit and a walk later nearly allowing a Grand Slam to Alejandro De Aza. De Aza's hit didn't go over the fence, but it also didn't land in the glove of Odubel Herrera and as such a pair of runs scored. A walk and a strikeout subsequent to De Aza, Mariot then actually allowed a Grand Slam to Kelly Johnson, which represented the Mets 2nd in as many games and opened up the score to 11-1. With the Wheels officially having come off, Mariot was finally removed from the game, but not until he'd allowed another hit to Reyes, you know, just for good measure.

In the 8th, Neil Walker added the frosting by hitting a solo Home Run, because at that point, why the hell not?

The Mets, then, have done what they needed to do to keep this thing going, and can now go for the kill this afternoon against the Phillies before the Fake Team comes to town for an absurdly important 4-game series. The Mets, though, seem to be clicking, and enjoying themselves again. Jose Reyes, who I've already said has just been a joy to have back here, seems to be acting like the Jose Reyes we remember, and has made himself some new friends in Cabrera and Cespedes, who were seen doing some weird Home Run Mosh Pit dance in the dugout. This, of course, is nothing new for Reyes. It's good to see it again.

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