Thursday, June 15, 2017
Not So Fast
Matt Harvey came out and allowed a Home Run on the first pitch he threw to Anthony Rizzo. One batter later, he allowed another Home Run to Ian Happ. Later, he allowed a third Home Run, this one of the moonshot variety to Kyle Schwarber. All the while, his velocity dropped down to some disturbingly low levels, and after 4 innings and 4 runs, he was done, complaining of a "dead arm."
In the 3rd inning, Neil Walker attempted to lay down a bunt for a hit, came up lame and went down hard, leaving the game with what looked to be at worst a bad hamstring pull.
Michael Conforto missed his 3rd straight game with back stiffness and Yoenis Cespedes was given an off day and, given his bizarre preparatory routine, was unavailable to pinch hit in the 4th inning, resulting in the Mets needing to send up...Steven Matz.
So at this point in the game, everything has gone wrong, Cubs fans are once again hooting and hollering and throwing pizza pies in each other's faces, and the Mets are hanging their heads down 4-1.
But something funny happened. The Mets fought back.
Matz, who we already know swings like he means it, hit with one out and the bases loaded against Mike Montgomery and, well, it wasn't a thing of beauty, but his chopper to 3rd was well-enough placed that he beat the throw and drove in the run. Juan Lagares followed with a sac fly and 4-1 became 4-3, and in the 6th, it became 4-4 when Lagares hit an RBI triple off of Pedro Strop.
Thus the game was turned over to the bullpens, and with the meat of the Cubs lineup hitting, Jerry Blevins was summoned, and, you know, all he did was whiff Rizzo to finish the 7th, whiff Baseballs Jesus in the 8th, and finish out his 1 1/3 innings by making Willson Contreras look like an arrogant jackass by tossing his bat away on strike two and then freezing him for strike 3.
It remained tied in the last of the 8th, and the Cubs went to Carl Edwards Jr., one of those weird single-digit-wearing pitchers. Curtis Granderson led off and you kind of had a feeling something was going to happen, you know, late and close, packed house, and as no sooner did Gary Cohen mention that he was at 299 career Home Runs then Granderson uncorked himself and drove a pitch into the Right Field seats to put the Mets ahead. But that was just the start of things. Josee Reyes hit and Yoenis Cespedes hit (and was promptly run for by Robert Gsellman), and Reyes stole a base, and at some point Hector Rondon appeared and Lucas Duda blasted a pitch into a spot similar to where Granderson's hit landed for a 3-run Home Run and, dare I say, he skipped across Home Plate. The Mets still weren't done but the consequential part of the inning had occurred, and the Mets had gone from seemingly dead in the water to ahead 9-4, which Addison Reed locked down after an unnecessarily hairy 9th inning.
So, now, maybe there's something going here, as the Mets have rallied back to win 5 of 6, and take a series from the "unbeatable Cubs juggernaut," and send them out of town and send their obnoxious fans back to their cave. The key, then, would be if they can keep this going through the weekend against Washington. This has all the makings of a series that could either give the Mets more momentum or just kill the entire season. I'm not sure there's much in between. 3 of 4 is a tall order but if you want to make a statement, that's what needs to happen here.