Going up against the Dodgers, the team that severely outclassed them in a four game series in Los Angeles earlier in the season, the Mets had to hang their hat on Jacob deGrom to dominate game one of this Citi Field series and then hope for the best during the weekend. Not that this series is so meaningful to the Mets for playoff positioning or anything, but we as Mets fans just don’t want to be embarrassed this weekend. And deGrom being deGrom was the Mets’ only chance for that.
deGrom wasn’t deGrom. The first at-bat of the game told you as such. Chris Taylor worked a nine pitch appearance where he went from 0-2 to 3-2 with a few foul balls mixed in, and capped it off with a jarring home run to start the game at 1-0. deGrom would give up two more runs in his five innings as the Dodgers made him throw 88 pitches in his first four innings. Our SNY friends were throwing out conjecture about deGrom being affected by hitting Mitch Haniger in the mouth during his last start. But I didn’t see any of that. I just saw deGrom facing a Dodger team that is really … really good. Taylor is having an unreal season. They might have the best bench in the league. Without Clayton Kershaw their rotation is still solid and their bullpen was fortified with two good lefties and they have one of the best closers in baseball.
Speaking of the rotation, Yu Darvish (a guy I’ve wanted forever) went seven shutout innings in his Dodgers debut, which only cements Los Angeles’ position as the overwhelming favorite to win the pennant. The Dodgers should send a World Series share to the Marlins scout who leaked to the press that Darvish was tipping his pitches. Really, the Dodgers might have the closest thing to a Golden State Warriors super team that you can have in Major League Baseball … do they really need your help, Marlins scout?
What really worries me about the Mets going forward, and you saw it tonight and in the last few days, is all the confusion about simple baseball things. Tonight alone: Travis d’Arnaud not giving signals to his infielders until Yasmani Grandal was settled in the batters box. The Dodgers stealing second base on first and third because nobody bothered to cover second. Jay Bruce forgetting to hold the runner at first until the last minute. In past games you saw Asdrubal Cabrera forget to shift over to the right side of the infield on a play. You can explain instances like Bruce and Cabrera as players learning new positions. Forgetting to cover second could have been Rosario’s inexperience. d’Arnaud’s late signals perhaps as a bench malfunction. But even if you can explain them all individually, it doesn’t say good things about the organization collectively. That’s all on the coaching staff.
What’s funny is that the Mets sources … laughable human beings that they are with these nuggets of information, were so scared of Cabrera potentially being a bad influence on Rosario that they waited to bring him up for about a month because they didn’t want Cabrera’s “poor attitude” poisoning Rosario. And what’s laughable about that is that the Mets inner sanctum of WikiLeaks went from slandering Cabrera’s clubhouse presence to now leaking that they might bring him back and pick up his option for next season, which should show you once and for all that “inside sources” can be full of shit.
So that, they worry about when it comes to Rosario. Not being prepared on the baseball field, to me (and hopefully to you) is a whole lot worse in terms of cultivating bad habits in a baseball career. But we all know that the Mets worry so much more about clubhouse intangibles since the ’93 team congealed from a sewage plant. That’s why we’re getting this buddy cop series with Rosario and Jose Reyes pushed on us in the last few days and weeks. Not to mention Jay Bruce’s clubhouse leadership. All well and good, but when the roster is built around clubhouse influence in the absence of having the cash to build around talent then that drives me nuts (see 2009 if you don’t believe me on that). It had better change next year. It probably won’t, since it is increasingly looking like everybody is coming back next year and the Mets will wish upon a constellation that the starting pitching will be fully healthy next season. I bought into that this season and look where it got me. You can’t fool me again.
All that anger from a 6-0 loss to the best team in baseball? Perhaps I just need to relax.
Today’s Hate List
- Hell, Chase Utley of course.
- His home run in the sixth?
- I’m sure it broke somebody’s leg in the Coca-Cola corner.
- Because Utley hit it, the ball probably grew spikes.
- And knives. I hate that guy.