Wednesday, May 10, 2017

More Relevant Action

I was back at Citi Field last night to see the Mets move on from the gobble gobble turkey that is the Matt Harvey saga and cruise—cruiseto an easy 6-1 victory over the Giants on the strength of a wonderful outing by onetime Harvey undercard Zack Wheeler.

It seems rather odd that here, on May 9th, I was attending only my 4th game of this season. April seems to have been a bit of a blur and in my whisened age I've decided against going to games in April simply for the sake of going to games and ultimately freezing my ass off in hopeless situations. It wasn't exactly warm out at Citi Field for May 9th regardless. But at least the Mets won the game and got me back on in the win column. It was also the second time this season I'd been to a Zack Wheeler start, which of course means I have now seen him as many times this season as Julio Teheran.

But at any rate, I was slightly on the late side in arriving, which can happen on these Tuesday nights, and so I was on line getting food while Wheeler was carving up the top of the Giants batting order in the 1st. The Giants still have these names in their lineup that can cause some irritation (that means you, Hunter Pence), but for the most part they've played rather poorly and haven't been helped by a rash of injuries of their own. So it's not just us if that makes you feel better. Wheeler struck out the aforementioned Pence, as well as Horshoe Dunkley in the 1st, but that seemed to be a mirage; those two early Ks represented half of his ultimate total for the night. The remainder of his evening wasn't necessarily a thing of beauty, but it accomplished what it needed to. Though he still threw too many pitches too early in the game, Wheeler managed to make it through 6 very solid innings, allowing the Giants a Buster Posey Home Run, a single by opposing Pitcher Jeff Samardzija, and not much else as he picked up a well-earned win in what was probably as good a game as he's pitched this season to date.

Wheeler was helped, of course, by the fact that the Mets attacked Samardzija early and often, to the point where they'd ran out to a 4-0 lead before I'd even finished eating. Neil Walker drove in the first two runs with what was charitably scored a triple after Eduardo Nunez (duh yankee prospect) butchered a sinking line drive, and later Jose Reyes and Rene Rivera drove home runs of their own. In the second, the Mets continued their onslaught when Michael Conforto and T.J. Rivera hit back-to-back doubles to extend the lead. Rivera, who's been hitting basically everything in sight of late, had 3 hits by the 4th inning. Conforto capped off his night with a long Home Run in the 7th, and the game basically sailed home from there, on a night when for whatever reason Terry Collins managed a 5-run lead as though it were a 1-run lead and burned through Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia in the 8th and 9th innings.

The win, of course, brings the Mets back to .500, which doesn't seem like much but, again, when half the team is injured, including the two players considered to be most critical to the team's success, and when they've been written off as tired and old and skidding back to irrelevance, it's sort of a leaping off point. You can write the Mets off all you want, and continue to kick them, but as some point you need to own up to the fact that you're kicking a team that's won 8 of their last 11 playing 2nd and 3rd string guys after most of the same group roared back from the dead to run into the Wildcard game last year. So, again, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the team just yet. Even if they appear to be a total shit show off the field.

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