Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Shit Show Week

Imagine, if you will, that the Subway Series is not simply a set of games between the two New York teams. Instead, picture the Subway Series as some horrible, demented green, or perhaps eggplant-colored blob, something like a cross between Shrek and Mr. Bighead. It isn't present except during these games this week, and usually it causes things that rarely, if ever, happen in a Baseball game to occur. Or it makes a player do something totally out-of-character. Or it makes a baseball bounce in such a way that defies general logic. Once again, the Mets and Yankees proved why the Subway Series is a horrible, wretched thing and needs to be stopped.

In spite of the fact that for a hot second, the Mets had a lead and things looked to be in a steady place, the Subway Series reared its ugly head and a series of dumb shit began happening to the Mets, culminating in the Yankees tying and eventually winning the game 6-5 in a miserable, predictable 10-inning crapfest.

The game had that dumb Subway Series thing going right from the start. Fire Hydrant Head hit Logan Verrett's second pitch of the game over the head of Justin Ruggiano and off the wall, and ultimately the ball caromed back towards the infield. Gardner appeared to have an easy triple, but he had an attack of Subway Series and decided to score, and fortuitously, Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker made perfect relay throws home to Travis d'Arnaud, who blocked the plate and tagged Gardner out.

But the tone had been set. The game was one of those back-and-forth affairs. Wilmer Flores homered of C.C. Sabathia in the 2nd. The Yankees struck back tied it in the 4th on a Verrett Wild Pitch. In the 5th, the Yankees grabbed the lead when they started hitting a string of 2-out doubles. At 3-1, conventional wisdom would have it that the Mets were going to fold their tents, but they can have an Attack of Subway Series too, and after a Michael Conforto RBI double cut the deficit to 3-2, Matt Reynolds had his Kaz Matsui moment by hitting a 3-run Home Run in the 6th to turn the game in the Mets favor, and everything, for the moment, was great.

But, lest we forget, this is still the Subway Series, which meant that even if the Mets were ahead 8-3, they weren't immune from the Subway Series. By this point, Erik Goeddel and Hansel Robles had worked clean innings, and Jerry Blevins came in to start the 8th, and of course he walked Fire Hydrant Head to start the inning, because Subway Series. With 1 out, Addison Reed came in and appeared to restore order by striking out Mark Teixeira's Carcass. Mr. Morality singled, and then was run for by Ronald Torreyes, who nobody's ever heard of, and appears to be no taller than 5'3" and of course is the embodiment of Subway Series so you knew he was going to do something to screw things up. It appears his mere presence gave Addison a Subway Series, because he then labored through an 8-pitch At Bat by Didi Gregorious, in the midst of which Torreyes predictably stole 2nd, before Gregorious hit a dying quail of a single to left to score both runs and tie the game.

The Mets, at this point, had packed up their bats for the night, since 5 I guess was more than enough for them. The game, however, was not over. Jeurys Familia came in for the 9th and somehow managed to fight off the Subway Series, but in the 10th, Seth Lugo, oddly the last man in the Bullpen for the Mets on this night, entered the game and the Subway Series literally ate him alive.

First, Lugo dug his own grave by walking Ellsbury on 4 pitches, which is just about unconscionable in that spot. Then he got 2 strikes on Teixeira's carcass, before he singled to left. Then some dude with a mullet was batting, which instantly meant that a Subway Series was about to attack, and of course it did because Mullet laid down a bunt back to Lugo, and instead of at least trying to get the sure out, Lugo threw to 3rd, and of course Ellsbury was safe because THAT PLAY NEVER WORKS AND IT ESPECIALLY NEVER WORKS IN THE SUBWAY SERIES!

You know what happened from there. Yankees take the lead, Yankee fans start smacking Mets fans with rubber chickens, the Mets get James Loney to 3rd with 1 out in the last of the 10th and strand him there when Curtis Granderson has a Subway Series and takes a pitch that Dellin Betances basically set on a tee for him to hit out of the ballpark.

So, I mentioned that Lugo was the last man in the bullpen for the Mets and that's of course because the roster was totally cocked up by this afternoon's trade deadline, which saw the Mets make a pair of deals, which were both totally necessary and completely puzzling at the same time.

First, there's the Jay Bruce trade, which seemed to unfold in typical Metsian fashion: complete, then almost dead, then done in totally backwards fashion. Initially, the deal included Brandon Nimmo, who I like but could understand moving here. Somewhere, the Reds balked at some medical records and so the Mets had to go back and figure out something else, eventually closing the deal at around 3:45 by sending Dilson Herrera and youngster Max Wotell to Cincinnati. I like moving Herrera even less, just based on the fact that he's so young and has, I think, a ton of upside. But then again, he also strikes me as one of those guys that the Mets just don't like, because they never gave him a real chance to earn his keep in the Majors and then kept blocking his path. Then again, the perfect scenario would have involved Neil Walker leaving and Herrera taking over next season. We won't see that now, which is a shame, but again, the Mets need something resembling a legitimate bat in the lineup right now, someone who will hit behind Cespedes and provide some protection. Is it a perfect fit? Hardly. But I also trust Sandy Alderson to make trades that have a purpose, so I'm going with it. And as far as the Herrera situation, well, Gavin Cecchini appears poised to ascend soon, too, and could slide over to 2nd Base. So, too, could Jose Reyes if he sticks around.

Then, of course, there's the trade the Mets made with Pittsburgh that somehow ended up with Jon Niese coming BACK to the Mets. Once you're done laughing your ass off over this one, you can shrug, and then laugh some more. I don't know if I can even call this trade addition by subtraction. Yes, the Mets got rid of Antonio Bastardo, which is probably the most operative thing here, but I guess the moral to this story is that sometimes, you have to take something lousy back in order to get rid of something lousy. So...yeah. After leaving and running his mouth a little bit, Niese is back and I believe the first thing he's going to do is sit down with Terry Collins, and Collins is going to give him a towel so that he can wipe all the egg off his face.

And then Bruce and Niese can turn around and dive right into the shit show.

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