Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Mediocre Team Monday

I was back at Citi Field on Monday night for my 15th game of the season, but my first since it seems like the Mets had really thrown in the towel on the season. The Mets came into the game with a record of 54-68. 54-68 is one of those "benchmark" records for abject medoicrity, because that's the record the Mets had in 2001 before making a late charge that made their season look cosmetically better than it probably deserved to. While I don't see them running off a 28-12 finish, if there's ever a season where the Mets looked like a 54-68 team, this is it.

However, the Mets aren't drawing like a 54-68 team, as in spite of the fact that I was on a basically empty 7 train heading out to the game, there was still a reasonably healthy crowd for a Monday night against an Arizona Diamondbacks team that appeared to have shown up for the night's game while still in their pajamas. So you had all the fixings. An underachieving Mets team that looks like they've been sleeping through the season against a Diamondbacks team that literally looks like they're sleeping. And, unsurprisingly, I watched a 54-68 effort out of a 54-68 team that by the end of the evening sat at 54-69.

While the Mets collected plenty of hits against Taijuan Walker and a passel of relievers, they could manage none at moments where it really would have helped. Meanwhile, Robert Gsellman pitched admirably well and kept his baserunners to a minimum, but still found himself behind a run when J.D. Martinez singled home a run in the 4th inning. The Mets continued to get hits and strand runners until the 7th inning, when they loaded the bases with one out against Archie Bradley and his ferocious Relief Pitcher's beard. Yoenis Cespedes was up and finally picked up that key hit to drive home the tying run, and perhaps could have drove in the lead run were Asdrubal Cabrera a bit faster.

Having required 10 hits to score one run, the Mets then stopped hitting as both bullpens shot zeroes at each other through the 8th and again in the 9th. The game, in spite of being 1-1, was drifting and dragging along, well past 3 hours and to the point where I was running out of steam. My other half multiple times texted to see if I'd left yet. I hadn't, although by time the Mets went down in order against Jimmie Sherfy in the 9th (and, really, if there was a point in the game where you knew the Mets were screwed, it was when they couldn't manage a hit off of Jimmie Sherfy), I headed downstairs where I figured I'd watch for an inning and hope for a quick ending. Or maybe I figured that a quick ending was imminent when the Mets went to Erik Goeddel. Sometimes you have premonitions. Mediocre pitcher + Mediocre team = you get the picture. Goeddel played the part by walking the leadoff hitter, getting an out that advanced the runner, and then allowing a 2-run Home Run to A.J. Pollock, who himself has been perfectly mediocre.

In the 9th inning, I was sort of hoping that the Mets could get Michael Conforto to the plate because I have a fairly solid track record of him hitting Home Runs in games I've been to this season, but he didn't get to bat in the 9th. He did bat in the 10th, against Fernando Rodney, and he did hit a Home Run, but that only made the score 3-2, and there the score stayed and off into the night I went. A fitting end for a 54-68 kind of night.

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