So you mean to tell me that we get off to the best home start in team history, win our 8th straight game overall and finish off another sweep of a divisional rival, but we’re all still walking around like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulled back the football again?
I can’t ever remember being in such a somber mood following a win. But when you lose your starting catcher and top lefty reliever in one game with fluke fractures, it tends to put a damper on all the excitement. Jerry Blevins, who has been incredible out of the pen since coming over in a trade from the Nationals was struck by a comebacker in the 7th where X-Rays revealed he had a fracture in his forearm. Not to be outdone, Travis d’Arnaud, who has been stinging the ball, was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the frame and ended up with a fractured hand.
As Fred Wilpon once so eloquently put it, “snakebit, baby.”
The Mets stumbled to the finish as a 7-1 lead became 7-6, but that was the closest the Marlins would get and Jeurys Familia was able to induce a ground ball from Giancarlo Stanton to finish business in the 9th.
Matt Harvey sells some fuckin’ tickets, eh? Frank Goodman would love him. (That’s a reference only a handful of people will get, but it’s worth it.) Citi Field looked packed and sounded great. The quality product is on the field and the people have responded by showing up so far. Now to keep it up.
Harvey wasn’t dominant by any means today as he seemed to run out of gas in the 7th. His final line of 6 IP, 4 runs is very ordinary, but it was enough today. Terry Collins announced after the game that Harvey had been battling an illness, but even a sick Matt Harvey was enough today.
All the scoring for the good guys came in a 7 run 4th inning. After Marlins pitcher, Tom Koehler, retired the first nine hitters, Curtis Granderson led off the 4th with a single, to be followed with a single by d’Arnaud, a walk by Lucas Duda and a bad looking strikeout from Eric Campbell. With the bases loaded and one out, Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares and Kirk Nieuwenhuis all contributed RBIs before Ruben Tejada cleared the bases with a three-run double.
It was a fucking great inning. Guys took good at-bats (except Campbell, his strikeout was just bad), stayed within themselves and kept the line moving. Granderson ended up with a hit and a walk in the inning and d’Arnaud had two hits himself.
These are games the Mets have to win. Yeah, if they would have lost, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but when you have the opportunity to close out a divisional opponent, you have to capitalize. It was pretty, but they held on and did what they had to do. That’s the sort of thing that good teams do and the Mets need to start making a habit of this.
In the middle of writing this, the team just announced that Kevin Plawecki and Hansel Robles would be promoted to replace Blevins and d’Arnaud. Plawecki was the obvious choice. Most people see him as a solid, not spectacular MLB regular. He’s hit everywhere he’s been and has shown the ability to make adjustments and continually improve his game to adapt to the next level.
Robles is a somewhat interesting choice. He’s been good at Triple-A Las Vegas thus far and the team has always projected him as a reliever making him somewhat more of a better option than the better known trio of Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Rafael Montero. In 7.2 innings so far, he’s got 10 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.00. Robles first made waves pitching in Brooklyn a few years ago as a starter, but his stuff has always profiled more as a reliever.
The Mets are now 10-3 on the season and 7-0 at home where they’ve been just abysmal since the building opened in 2009. The loss of Wright, Blevins and d’Arnaud will hurt, but this is why Sandy and company have been building up the farm system, right? Campbell’s already here. Danny Muno was called up. Now Robles and Plawecki. There was a reason that Sandy was reluctant to trade guys from the farm so now they’ve got to produce. Come up here, get the job done and keep this ball rolling in the right direction.
Thankfully, the starting pitchers are still healthy and they’ve been terrific up to this point. All five of those guys give us a chance to win every night. In years past, I’d almost expect a mental letdown from the Mets after this, but not this year. You’ve got a nice mix of young guys still trying to prove themselves as legitimate MLB players with solid, respected veterans to keep the younger guys heads where they need to be to get through the long grind of the baseball season.
Tomorrow is a good day to have off. Regroup, catch your breath. Come back Tuesday ready to battle. Three more within the division as we see the Braves again before heading across town to see the Yankees. First things first, though. Jon Niese and Trevor Cahill are the probable starters Tuesday night and hopefully, we can keep making headway in the division and the reinforcements can hold the fort for the next few weeks. #LGM