What a rollercoaster the past 3 days have been. If this series against the Nasties proved anything it’s that it’s going to be a long season with many ups and many downs. The highs will be high and the lows will make us want to drink bleach. Going into Monday, at 12-2, you had fans making plans for the World Series parade. Two days later and the season was deemed “over” by some. Baseball is a weird sport. With skipping Scherzer and Strasburg in the rotation, the series was an opportunity to take advantage of a beat up Nats lineup.
Monday was a meltdown in every sense of the word. Jacob DeGrom was lights out in his performance, but even he gave us some pause when he tripped up in the 8th inning. Seth Lugo threw 4 pitches and wasn’t near the plate on any of them. Jerry Blevins couldn’t get it done. AJ Ramos was awful. Jeurys Familia was awful. Hansel Robles was awful (and was promptly demoted the next day). What was shaping up to be a night off for the bullpen, thanks to DeGrom, turned into the first collapse of the season for the Mets. A 6-1 lead in the 8th inning should result in a victory every time. But for a team who’s pressed all the right buttons to this point, it was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped. Only one loss but it was a particularly bad one in a spot against a crippled Nationals team.
Tuesday’s loss was annoying. The Nationals were stealing bases at will effectively turning walks and singles into doubles. Just a few days after the Nido/Lobaton experiment commenced, it’s pretty clear that the Mets haven’t found their solution at catcher. Washington was moving runners on bloop singles and softly hit balls, but the more frustrating aspect was the Mets inability to get runners home. You won’t win many games leaving 11 left on base and going 0-9 w/ RISP. Also I’m still not over Mickey Callaway sending up Jose Reyes to pinch hit down 1 run in the 6th inning. Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Adrian Gonzalez were available to pinch hit. Jose Reyes is now 0-17 on the year though Big Dick Mick said he felt it was a good matchup. It’s been easy to back Mickey’s decisions to this point, but this one made absolutely no sense.
The Mets made a statement on Wednesday that all but erased Monday’s debacle and Tuesday’s stinker. Matz surrendered the long ball early and the Mets were playing from behind all game. It was set up to be another slow death with an imminent sweep ahead. Mickey Callaway pulled Matz after four in a big spot that didn’t result in a tying run, another questionable decision on his part. Paul Sewald was incredible in relief, a very important factor in yesterday’s victory that won’t get it’s rightful praise. But it was in Bottom 8 that the bats woke up. The Mets put the first 3 batters on, Todd Frazier tied the game on a big base knock, Juanny Beisbol gave them the lead (he has been fantastic), and Yoenis Cespedes delivered the jugular. He’s been striking out at a higher clip than Stanton but has been clutch as can be. He’ll look awful for 8 innings and then come through big late. He took the high cheddar deep to left on an 0-2 count that busted the game open and sealed the deal with a monster grand slam. I can get used to sending 12 batters to the plate and hanging a 9 spot in one inning.
Had they been swept they’d be sitting at 12-5; if you would have told me before the season that’s how they’d start, I’d sign for it in a second. But it would have been a real gut punch to head on a road trip after being swept at home. Nonetheless the Mets showed resilience again and are 13-4 with three big road series in Atlanta, St. Louis, and San Diego.