Monday, September 5, 2016

The Lesser Guys

The last time the Mets were on The Biggest Game In The Galaxy, I felt like they won purely to spite ESPN. I don't feel quite the same way about what went on last night, I suppose because the Nationals are currently sitting in victory formation with an 8-game lead, and without a clear story or player on their side to leech on to. Perhaps, I suppose, they could have rammed their heads up Daniel Murphy's ass just to annoy us (and on some level I'm surprised they didn't). Without a real "interest" story, this stood to be even more of a boring, content-free game than usual. Joey McTalkinghead and Eric Byrnes Aaron Boone were useless and the token woman had even less to say than she usually does. I watched the game from start to finish, amazingly, and I'm not sure she spoke more than once every three innings.

Pennant Race Baseball at its finest.

So if you could follow the game beyond ESPN's camerawork, which seemed to go out of its way to make sure you couldn't see the game (to wit: somewhere in the 1st inning, I believe on Reynaldo Lopez's Wild Pitch, we were treated to a shot of the 1st base umpire, who was nowhere near the play, as opposed to any shot of the action on the field), you saw the Mets once again ride one of these lesser guys to a much-needed victory, as Seth Lugo spun 7 sterling innings, allowing 1 run, 6 hits and no walks to guide the Mets to a 5-1 victory and a series win over the Nationals.

For this we can partially thank Dusty Baker, yes, as he moved Scherzer off this game, but really, the credit needs to go to Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo. After the Mets lost the game Noah Syndergaard pitched, and the Mets were back on their heels and falling into the same pattern of ineptitude that's befallen the Pirates and Marlins, they needed some big time starts and these guys delivered. It's kind of uncanny that these lesser prospects have come up and performed as well as they have, but considering that the top tier prospects, Harvey, Syndergaard, Wheeler and Matz all burst onto the scene with such hype and furor, well, it's easy to forget about these mid-level guys that find themselves once they hit the Majors. There's no better example than Jacob deGrom, who really had no hype coming to the Majors and then got here and hasn't looked back. Now, we have Gsellman and Lugo coming up with no hype whatsoever and performing well. Maybe it's just that they're all pushed by the success the big guys have had, relatively speaking, or maybe they're all just slept on. Whatever it is, they're keeping the Mets afloat.

Meanwhile, the Mets still had to hit to get the job done, and they did enough of that against Lopez and the Washington Bullpen Parade, as Curtis Granderson continued his recent resurgence with a Sacrifice Fly and a 2-run Home Run to put the Mets ahead, and later Jay Bruce contributed a 2-run Home Run of his own and so maybe things are starting to fall for him as well. That would be nice.

Then, of course, I remembered why ESPN probably wasn't picking on the Mets tonight. They screwed the Mets just simply by televising this game period. They moved this game to Sunday Night, the night before the Mets have to pack up, go on the road and play this afternoon at 1pm in Cincinnati. So, you know, they can be nice and rested for that. They're probably in midair right now, I would imagine and one can only guess who will be starting today, but I have a feeling it won't be pretty...

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