We’re upon a big stretch in the 2019 season. A stretch of games against the Marlins, Tigers, and Nationals which good teams will chew up and spit out to the tune of, say, 12-4. Also a stretch of games that take place with the backdrop of a planted article where Jeff Wilpon told Brodie and Mickey that he doesn’t want the team to collapse this season. “Oh, really? That’s not what you wanted???” Took 90 minutes for this yahoo to say “hey, don’t suck this year, okay?” (Check out Nick Francona’s twitter thread on this absurdity.)
The Mets responded to the challenge the way all teams should against an organization without a soul: They scored eight runs in the first inning and never looked back. Poor Pablo Lopez didn’t retire a batter on his own until Zack Wheeler struck out. Had Jeff McNeil not been thrown out trying to go first to third on a perfect throw by Brian Anderson on a J.D. Davis single, the first inning might still be going. But it ended up good enough. Robinson Cano singled. Pete Alonso walked. Michael Conforto singled. The bases were loaded for Wilson Ramos, who reached on an infield single to drive in a run. At that point, poor Pablo Lopez probably should have laid his mitt on the mound, walked away, and retired to pursue a dream of working at a desk. Because it’s apparent that Lopez, no matter how talented he is, was not blessed with the luck gene.
Instead, Lopez walked Brandon Nimmo and gave up a grand slam to Amed Rosario to make it 7-0 and ice the game for the Mets. Lopez gave up another run after Wheeler struck out, then the Marlins made him pitch two more innings which if you watched it on FOX Florida’s Marlins coverage, you could hear Sarah McLachlan singing in the background.
This is the opportunity that is presenting itself to the Mets. Six with the Marlins, seven with the Washington Nationals who are brutal, and three with the Tigers who are probably locked in a season long battle for third place in the A.L. Central. I’m not sure what we’re really going to know about this team after this stretch, but that’s a good thing. Because the only thing we can definitively know after this stretch is that the Mets are pretenders and that Jim Riggleman is going to be the manager the rest of the season.
Thankfully, the Mets didn’t fall flat on their faces after the 1-5 road trip. The offense gave Wheeler some breathing room, and he was outstanding against the Marlins with seven innings, 11 strikeouts, and only the two run hiccup in the third which nobody really noticed anyway because we were all listening to Roger McDowell in the booth tell stories about how he got his uniform on upside down.
The 11-2 victory was a calming, relaxing way to start this stretch. Hopefully it continues before there’s another secret meeting leaked to the press.
Today’s Hate List
It took the Dodgers one at-bat to do what it took the Mets five years to do:
Will the Dodgers have a tribute video?