Monday, August 8, 2016

Treading Water

Let's just punt Saturday's game, shall we? After a long day of hooting and hollering, I returned home at around 6:30 and promptly fell asleep, in spite of a loud, obnoxious block party being held directly outside my window. I woke up some time later and instead of watching the game or even checking the score, my other half insisted we go out to dinner, not so much because she wanted to go out, but she wanted to get away from the party. So, what I ended up missing was the sort of game I hate the most, the game where the Mets fall hopelessly behind, but then start mounting some thinly-veiled comeback that ends up falling short, and so the only thing accomplished was making the game longer.

Sunday, then, was going to be Waterloo for the 2016 Mets. They have been, as I keep saying, teetering on the brink of 2012 but yet every time that perilous loss seems to be at hand, they end up fighting back and winning a game, and that's what happened on Sunday. Jacob deGrom was his usual brilliant self, and I know at the end of the season his numbers aren't really going to tell the story, but no need to sugarcoat: He's been the Mets best Pitcher to this point this season. He was once again on top of his game on Sunday, keeping the Tigers off the scoreboard, which was fortunate because the Mets did squat against Anibal Sanchez and his 6.06 ERA. Sanchez, whom we've seen plenty of in his days playing on the Fake Team, has been patently awful this season, to the point where he lost his job and only got it back thanks to someone else's injury (you know, sort of like Nate Eovaldi). So of course the Mets couldn't hit him.

Until Michael Conforto got a hold of one in the 7th and hit a Home Run out to left-center field, the kind of ball it seems like he hadn't hit in months. I know that the Mets have basically done just about everything possible to screw up Conforto, but after all this he's still here plugging away and he might actually be starting to find his swing again. He's looked reasonably good over the past several games and now he drove one out of the park, so that's a good sign. A better sign would be if he starts doing it on a more regular basis.

But, alas, the Tigers tied the game in the last of the 7th thanks to a pair of 60 foot singles, one of which, by Austin Romine, loaded the bases with 2 outs and knocked deGrom from the game, and the second, by Ian Kinsler, "drove in" the tying run. The situation seemed ripe for the Tigers to then get a long hit or a Grand Slam from Jose Iglesias, but Addison Reed came in and would have none of it, so instead Iglesias was kind enough to pop out.

In the last of the 8th, the Tigers again threatened, and in fact Casey McGehee, another ex-Marlin, probably did the most Marlins thing he's done in his life, skipping an 87-hop single to right with 2 on and 2 out, that somehow got past 4 Met Infielders and appeared primed to score the lead run. But, fortunately, the Mets were playing the Tigers and not the Marlins, and instead of the run scoring, the Tigers managed to run, or not run, themselves out of the inning when J.D. Martinez decided to not run and Justin Upton decided to keep running, so the Tigers had two men on 3rd base and instead of scoring the lead run, Martinez and Upton basically just had to take a bite out of 3rd base and cut their losses.

In the 9th, Francisco Rodriguez came in for the Tigers and promptly hit Alejandro De Aza to start the inning. Rodriguez, who left New York in abject shame, continues to do the job since he's closing games, but he seems to be making things as difficult as possible. Just like a Good Closer should. He came perilously close to blowing Saves on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday the Mets finally got him when Neil Walker hit a 2-run Home Run to win the game, 3-1.

So, the Mets somehow managed to not get swept in Detroit, which was nice of them, and now they get to come home to play Arizona and San Diego. I have no idea what will happen to them from here. I don't even know what to say anymore.

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