Saturday, July 29, 2017


Seattle is a place where the Mets seldom visit (and aside from that a place I've never visited, but that could be said of most Major League cities) and the Mariners are a team that the Mets seldom play. I know that these Interleague games work on a 3-year shift schedule but for whatever reason, it seems like the Mets and Mariners took a particularly long time to fall into that schedule. The Mets did play in Seattle in 2014, but prior to that they hadn't faced each other since 2008, which is the last time the Mets and Mariners played in New York, which means that the game was at Shea Stadium, which means that the Mariners have never played a game at Citi Field, one of only two Major League teams to not have done so (the other being the Cleveland Indians, who haven't played the Mets in New York since 2004). So if the Mets and Mariners seem like a rare matchup, it is.

The Mets can boast a native son of Seattle in Michael Conforto, who has come out of the land of Pearl Jam and Coffee and turned into a pretty good player, as he showed in his return home, in front of a passel of Confortos. In the 3rd inning, he hit a Home Run off of lefty Ariel Miranda which, at the time, put the Mets ahead 3-0. In the 8th inning, facing Mark Rzepczynski, another lefty, he hit another Home Run, this time dragging the Mets out of a deficit and tying the game at 5-5.

In between Conforto's two Home Runs was a Rafael Montero meltdown in which he took a 4-0 lead that had been handed to him thanks to, among other things, a 2-run Home Run from Jay Bruce, and summarily handed it back. First, he allowed a Home Run to Mike Zunino, the Seattle Catcher who's one of those "Trades High" guys because he has a ton of power and no particular plate discipline. So giving up a Home Run to Zunino was no great shakes. In the 5th, he had a Montero inning, where he started giving up hits, and throwing wild pitches, and walking guys and finally was pulled from the game after walking Nelson Cruz and loading the bases. But just so you remembered, Josh Edgin came in and allowed two of said runners to score by allowing a 2-run single to Kyle Seager (because of course it was one of the Seager boys who did it to the Mets).

Meanwhile, after a lousy first few innings, Miranda had settled down and quietly put the Mets to sleep. He departed after 6 with a lead, which Hansel Robles threatened to turn into a greater lead in the 7th. Then, of course, came the 8th, and Conforto's 2nd Home Run, and then a Met rally ensued when the Mariners brought in recently-acquired former Marlin David Phelps, whom the Mets usually knock around and they were kind enough to knock him around some more. Wilmer Flores managed to beat out a potential inning-ending double play and that opened the door for Neil Walker to double home the lead run, and Curtis Granderson to drive in the insurance run to put the Mets ahead 7-5.

Paul Sewald got the Mets through the 8th, and Addison Reed worked the 9th to finish off this series-opening victory up in the Northwest. Meanwhile, if one could use this as a segue opportunity, as the game was going on, news of another Mets trade broke, which seemed kind of mystifying to me, but while the Mets are and should be in sell mode, they traded for Marlins closer A.J. Ramos. This, I would assume, is insurance for an impending Reed trade, and nothing further. While Ramos is a perfectly capable pitcher, well, he was on the Marlins and you all know how I feel about that. I've particularly singled out Ramos for Marlin-ish behavior (excessive celebration, irritating gyrations on the mound) and part of me isn't convinced that this is another Marlin Ruse that's going to bite the Mets in the ass at some point. But, on the other hand, he is a capable pitcher, and he's a Met now, so, welcome, A.J. Ramos. We hope to wash the stink of your prior franchise off of you as quickly as possible.

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