Friday, September 30, 2016

Beyond The 162

The primary objective for the Mets going into the final weekend of the regular season was pretty simple: Win 1 and guarantee they'll play past Sunday. Win 2, and they'll play on Wednesday, at Home. They've accomplished 50% of this goal.

The Phillies, in spite of basically playing out the string and in spite of the fact that the Mets bombarded their pitching staff rather mercilessly last weekend, were a team that made me kind of nervous, because they're just the team that would like nothing more than to kick the Mets in the nuts and screw up their season. Fortunately, the desire of the Mets was enough to offset the spoiler aspirations of the Phillies, as they rode more hot hitting from Jay Bruce and more clutch pitching from Robert Gsellman to a 5-1 victory. They might have been able to clinch outright, but for the Cardinals winning. So the Mets will just have to try to wrap it up themselves tomorrow.

It being a Friday night game, I missed a large swath of the proceedings because I'd fallen asleep. So I didn't see the Phillies take an early lead, I didn't see the Mets again have a tough time with Alec Asher early on, and I didn't see the Mets tie the game on a Bruce single and take the lead for good on a subsequent T.J. Rivera single in the 4th. I also didn't see Bruce hit his 4th Home Run in 6 games in the 7th inning. Hey, it was a long week and I was tired!

The downside of course was that I ended up missing Gsellman's fine outing altogether. Though he wasn't as sparkling as he was last Sunday in his 7 shutout innings, he still pitched well enough, holding the Phillies to 1 run over 6 and, well, being another one of "those guys" who've sort of just appeared here over the last two months and wound up playing a major role in getting the Mets to this point. You can't plan on these things—hell, outside of him getting a small headshot and bio buried in the recesses of the Mets yearbook which you haven't picked up since April, you probably had no idea who Gsellman even was—but this is what happens in Baseball sometimes. You get contributions from guys you've never heard of and find yourself after 160 games now guaranteed of playing no less than 163 for the season.

So, now, the Mets have a chance to spare themselves of any weird tiebreaker scenario with one more victory tomorrow. Unfortunately, this game somehow got co-opted by FOX and moved to 1pm, which is kind of a turd in everyone's punchbowl, but the Mets will just have to make the best of it, and so will we, even though I'd rather the Mets clinching call not be screeched by Matt Vasgersian or whoever is doing the game.

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