I’ve never been one to wax poetic about titanic death struggles with the formerly Florida, formerly Miami, currently Scrub Island Marlins. Hell, last season Travis d’Arnaud hit a 16th inning home run in Skittles Park and there was temptation to anoint the game as “the launching point”. We all know how that went.
On the other hand, titanic death struggles with the Marlins that end in wins are good because you can only play the schedule. If the Mets played college football, they can schedule their opponents by their strength and earn a berth to the Sugar Bowl. (And if the Mets played college football, they’d have the best quarterback in the league.) These are the majors, where wins are wins and sheep are scared. (I don’t even know how that makes sense.)
It really is amazing how every time the opponents score, the Mets get something back in the very next frame. They did in in the sixth after Jacob deGrom gave up four runs in the bottom of the fifth, and they did it in the eighth with home runs by Wilmer Flores and Asdrubal Cabrera’s second dinger of the game to complete his Mickey Mantle and tie the game 6-6. I don’t want to downplay the home runs. Never downplay the home runs. But the Frazier run in the sixth was particularly impressive.
Todd Frazier talked to Steve Gelbs before the game, and of course he was asked about intangibles and camaraderie and all that nonsense. The Mets needed clubhouse vets, thus they signed Frazier. As I’ve said before: It’s always dicey to sign contracts on the basis of things you can’t see like positive clubhouse influence. But the Mets put themselves in a position where they had to do it, thus Todd Frazier is a Met. But Frazier also talked pre-game about all those extra bases that the Mets have been taking. How he stressed being the best first-to-third team in the league. Being aggressive so that you can score on sac flies and ground outs and passed balls. Frazier, in the sixth inning, tagged up from second to third on a ball hit to left field because he hustled, and because he paid attention to how Derek Dietrich caught the ball and how far he was away. Frazier made it to third with one out and … guess what … scored on a sac fly to tie the game at 4-4.
That impresses me.
You can talk about salt and pepper shakers all you want. But every team has salt and pepper shakers, spotlights, wavy arms, championship belts, Broadway Hats, crowns with fake jewels, and every team has wonderful human beings who have been around the block a few times. But not many teams have players who is a clubhouse leader who takes it to the field. Todd Frazier sings it, and brings it. I guarantee you what will make more of an impact in that room than any hand gestures will. (That, and all the walks he’s getting. That really helps.)
But let’s get sexy. The home runs that Flores and Cabrera hit were bombs. Both home runs, by the way, were off a righty. Wilmer needs to play more. Cabrera?
Oh my lord.
Let’s also not forget Yoenis Cespedes, who has two hits in the past week, but both of them have been game winners while fighting a cold which he won’t take a day off to recover from.
Cespedes put the Mets ahead in the ninth with a two run double down the line to put the Mets up 8-6, then Jeurys Familia, who isn’t the closer, set the Scrub Island Marlins down 1-2-3 to ice the win, survive Justin Bour’s two home runs, and go 9-1 for the first time ever. Yes … ever. That 9-1 includes two out of three against St. Louis, and three in Washington. Their strength of schedule hasn’t been something to sneeze at. If they keep this up, they may get that Sugar Bowl berth.
Today’s Hate List
- Houston Astros 9-2
- Boston Red Sox 8-1
- Washington Nationals 5-5
- Chicago Cubs 5-4
- New York Yankees 5-5