Saturday, April 29, 2017


The Mets won on Friday, in Washington, if you can believe it. I'm still sort of trying to process it myself. But it's true. They won 7-5, thanks to Travis d'Arnaud hitting a pair of long Home Runs off of Max Scherzer. They won thanks to Jacob deGrom ratcheting up another double-digit strikeout game. They won thanks to their offense stringing together some key hits and tacking on runs late in the game. Most notably, of course, they won because Terry Collins had the foresight to remove a struggling Jeurys Familia from a 9th inning jam, and replaced him with Josh Edgin, who managed to induce Bryce Harper to hit into a 1-2-3 double play to end the game.

This being a Friday evening game, it started with me getting home and falling asleep as opposed to turning on the game, and as such I didn't actually see either of d'Arnaud's Home Runs, and I didn't see deGrom have a 2nd inning hiccup and then go into lockdown mode from there. And that seems to be deGrom's season to this point. He's not the leading man like Syndergaard, he's not the ballyhooed reclamation project like Harvey or Wheeler and he's not a Rookie trying to prove himself like Gsellman. So it's easy for deGrom to fly under the radar and I think he likes it that way. Without anyone paying much attention, deGrom's had three very good starts in a row, he's throwing like he used to throw and he's been blowing guys out of the box outright.

So deGrom departed after 7 innings and 10 strikeouts and turned things over to the bullpen. By this point, I'd woken up and put the game on, and watched as the Mets had ran ahead to 7-3 and now had to try and negotiate through the final two innings of the game. Jerry Blevins got the first two outs and, in an indication of how much attention I've been paying or an indcation of how much the Mets have been struggling, or perhaps both, Addison Reed came in with 2 outs and a runner on and I thought "Jeez, Collins is going to him for the 4-out Save?" This feeling of course got a bit tenser after Reed gave up a 2-run Home Run to Ryan Zimmerman on his first pitch, and then a hit to Daniel Murphy, although the hit to Murphy seems to be a payment of penance for all Met transgressions nowadays, and I guess around this point I remembered that Jeurys Familia was the closer again and Reed was actually pitching where he was supposed to be pitching.

So Reed survived his hairy 8th and Familia came in for the 9th and started giving up hits and walks and then there was an infield hit by Adam Eaton in which Eaton tumbled over the bag in such a way that I couldn't watch the repeated replays, so whatever happened to him can't possibly be good, and then Familia finally stopped throwing his sinker or his slider, because it's just not working for him, and instead struck out Trea Turner with fastballs to finally get an out. And then Collins came and pulled him in favor of...Josh Edgin? I mean, I can get pulling Familia there. He's just not pitching well and it's been more than a week so I can't blame rust. He's struggling. He's pulling his sinker and burying it and hitters aren't buying that. And in a spot like that, well, I'm not sure how confident I felt in him going after Harper. I'm not certain that Edgin would have been my choice since he's basically been reeling from a Home Run he gave up to Howard 5 years ago, and of course if Harper got a winning hit the move would have been second-guessed for years, but instead Harper hit a comebacker to Edgin, who threw home, and d'Arnaud threw to 1st, and just like that the Mets had won. And of course with that everything was OK again.

Now, of course, the next thing would be to win another game and maybe use this as a springboard forward from the morass. 7 runs seems like a wealth of offense for this team so it's a start.

No comments: