The key moment in the game was an odd move by Handsome Art Howe when he pinch hit for Amed Rosario in the 7th inning with runners on second and third and one out. It isn’t as if Rosario hadn’t been raking lately, hitting home runs in two straight games including leading off Thursday’s game with a homer to right-center. But H.A.H. swapped out a guy with a 24% K-rate this season for a guy with an 11% K-rate this season, and with runners on second and third, a single gets you two runs while a home run doesn’t get you much more than that. It wasn’t the worst thinking in the world.
And wouldn’t you know, it worked!
Jeffy McSingles made Handsome Art Howe look, well … handsome as his pinch single tied the game and gave the Mets new life after a good performance by Zack Wheeler could only leave the Mets one run behind. McNeil’s pinch hit (along with his subsequent RBI in the 8th) was the biggest moment in the game.
The Mets then exploded for four runs off Mark Melancon in the eighth to salt the game away. Melancon probably deserved a better fate except for the fact that Rob Manfred decided to slicken up those baseballs and bring more casual fans to baseball, so Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead two run home run that in 2018 would have been a pop up to Brandon Crawford. Yay, except that Todd Frazier’s lunging one-handed feats of strength aren’t bringing any new fans to the park as attendance is down for the fourth straight season. But the Mets won today so to hell with your old timey hit-and-runs and sacrifice bunts anyway.
(Sorry, don’t mean to downgrade Todd Frazier’s recent accomplishments. He came into Thursday’s game hitting .325 since May 25th, and his “home run” won the Mets a game today. But I think even Frazier would tell you that he thought that ball was going to fall into the left fielder’s glove, at least if he was being honest.)
So the Mets have taken two out of three from the rotting corpse of a three-time World Series winner in the 10’s. Joy. But now, as previously discussed, comes the hard part. Let’s review:
- Three at home against Colorado (Daniel Murphy has a .383 lifetime average against the Mets in 181 PA’s.)
- Two in the Bronx. (Just days from the ten year anniversary of the Luis Castillo game.)
- Four at home against St. Louis. (5-1 in their last six.)
- Three in Atlanta (Did you know the Chop is sponsored?)
- Four in Wrigley Field (Hello, Craig Kimbrel.)
- Four in Philadelphia (Jay Bruce has a .559 career slugging percentage at Citizens Bank Park.)
- Three at home vs. Atlanta. (Hello, Dallas Keuchel!)
- Two at home vs. the Yankees (who won’t have Dallas Keuchel!)
- Three at home against the Phillies.
That is a brutal stretch for a team that has had death struggles against the Tigers, Marlins, and Giants. If the Mets survive this with anywhere near a .500 record I’d be impressed. It would certainly give them a better June than last year. But even a .500 record would take then into the All-Star break with a record of 44-46, and probably leave themselves with a lot of work to do in the second half of the season. They’re going to have to get some major improvement from the bullpen while the starters continue to improve (and not get pulled with two outs in the 7th) or this season is going to be over in July. Again.
Today’s Hate List
Suspending the hate list today because Travis d’Arnaud hit two home runs for Tampa on Thursday and I’m going to go cry in the fetal position for the rest of the night.