Monday, August 29, 2016

Third Game Snooze

There was a season, some time ago, where the Mets had this problem of being unable to finish out a sweep. No matter how many times they would win the first two games of a series, they would inevitably come out flat and complacent in the 3rd game, and then lose, and eventually those losses would bite them in the ass. I can't remember the year. Let's just say it was all of them.

The Mets did this again on Sunday against the Phillies, as they came out flat against Vince Velasquez. It didn't help that they once again decided to play a game shorthanded as both Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker were held out of the lineup. This was bad enough, but then Asdrubal Cabrera was lost in the 1st inning after colliding with Tommy Joseph on a bad throw at 1st Base. The Mets subsequently loaded the bases with 1 out and ended up scoring one run...and that was the sum total of their output for the day.

Robert Gsellman acquitted himself well enough in his first Major League start that kind of felt like his second, until you remember that he didn't actually start in St. Louis. Regardless, he did fine against the Phillies lineup, which remember isn't much of a lineup these days, but he also got plenty of help from the Phillies in the process. In the 3rd, Freddy Galvis doubled and moved to 3rd on a Velasquez sacrifice. He then proceeded to pull one of the worst baserunning moves conceivable. Cesar Hernandez attempted what I guess was a safety squeeze, but he bunted the ball basically right back to Gsellman, who looked Galvis back to 3rd and then threw to 1st for the out. THEN Galvis decided to break for home, where James Loney threw him out by a good 30 feet.

In the 4th, the Phillies looked similarly foolish when, with two outs and men on 1st and 2nd, Jimmy Paredes lifted a high fly ball to right that, for a second, looked horrifyingly close to being a 3-run Home Run. But it instead bounced off the wall, and scored the tying run with ease. Aaron Altherr should have been right on the heels of the lead runner, but for some reason he started coasting, then looked back to see where the ball was, rather than looking at his frantically-waving 3rd base coach Juan Samuel, and then was subsequently thrown out at home, while Samuel nodded disapprovingly and Keith Hernandez had a conniption fit.

Gsellman was then cruising along until the 7th, when his luck ran out and he gave up 3 straight hits to start the inning. It's debatable as to whether or not Gsellman should have even started the inning, but I had no problem sending him back out there. Then again, when he got in trouble, I probably would not have gone to Hansel Robles, who's been terrible of late, to get out of this particular jam. Maybe go to one of the other 8 relievers you're insistently carrying instead of a useful bat off the bench? Robles, of course, torched the whole game, allowing a 2-run double to A.J. Ellis, walking another guy, and then hitting Peter Bourjos to score another run before departing to a chorus of boos. Once again, he's proved that there's no in-between with him; he's either really good, or he's absolutely putrid and you can usually tell after 3-4 pitches which one you're going to get.

By this point, the game was beyond salvage and the Mets faded out with a 5-1 loss.

You hate games like this because it can be a bit of a momentum killer, and it didn't help that they started the game short two starters and finished short 3 starters. On the other hand, I can see the Mets wanting to show a little precaution because the next four games could conceivably make or break the season as the Mickey Mouse Marlins are coming to town. Yes, if you can stomach the thought, this fake-ass team is actually a game ahead of the Mets and, really, I'm totally dumbfounded as to why this is the case. To make matters worse, they're starting the series tonight with Jose Fernandez, while the Mets have had to dip down to Binghamton for Rafael Montero. Remember him? He actually pitched in two games this April. I'd forgotten that completely. But here now he's coming up in a really big spot in what Mets fans should really view as a week for pure, unadulterated sports hatred. You want to pay the Fucking Marlins back for all those years of being a pain in the ass and put them back in their rightful place as irrelevant? Now's the time to do it.

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