Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Glad You're Here

Philadelphia is a place where the Mets have, at least in the past couple of seasons, gone to wake up. Back in the days when the Phillies were the top banana in the league, it wasn't quite so pleasant, but as they're no longer the team to beat and those guys that made them such aren't around anymore, this neutered version of the Phillies are, well, kind of a punching bag. And the Mets treated them as such last year.

Still, I have this residual anxiety about playing the Phillies, probably because their young pitching staff can be sneaky good, as long as they remain healthy, and because the Mets have really stuck it to them so much over the past couple of years that they're probably pissed off and it's boiled over in a few sporadic instances.

Monday night was one such instance where their young pitching kept the Mets off balance and then they got a little chippy. But it didn't work. After Jerad Eickhoff mostly silenced the Mets for 7 innings, Edubray Ramos came into a tie game and immediately threw a pitch over Asdrubal Cabrera's head. You may recall what happened the last time these two crossed paths so I'd guess it wasn't lost on either party. But so that happened, benches got warned and the game went on. Ramos then proceeded to eat his lunch because he walked Cabrera and subsequently gave up a 2-run Home Run to Jay Bruce that ultimately served as the winning runs in this 4-3 Mets victory. For Bruce, who emphatically slammed home a high-five at home plate, this has to be a gratifying start. On Opening Day, I talked with George about how Bruce on this team didn't seem to make sense. George kept confusing him with Lucas Duda. It's not because I don't like Bruce or because he's destined to be a Ballclub Flog. It just felt as though he was here just because he had to. The Mets essentially found themselves stuck with him. And it wasn't lost on him either, and I can't imagine he was too thrilled about the situation either. But to his credit he's making the best of it and as most of the Mets batters have been kind of quiet over the first 7 games this season, Bruce has opened like a house afire and essentially won this game by himself (with an assist from the generally silently solid Jacob deGrom, who quashed an early rally, buckled down with less than his best stuff and ground out 6 solid innings).

This little gem of a game was of course mostly lost on me as I was out at a Passover Seder all night, as can happen early in the season. So I can't provide much in the way of observations beyond what I've seen on highlights. But I know pretty much everything I need to.

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