So let’s review what happened on this fantastic Tuesday:
- Brandon Nimmo was shut down from baseball activities for 30 days.
- Justin Wilson was scratched from his appearance in Syracuse with elbow tightness.
- Jeurys Familia, twelve minutes after Handsome Art Howe told the media he was fine, was put on the injured list with a shoulder injury. Bennett Lesion. Bone Spur. Something or other.
- And sometime during all of this, Handsome Art called a team meeting.
As Gare said tonight with a hint of cynicism, it’s a good idea to call a team meeting when your ace is on the mound. It also helps if your ace is pissed off, as Jacob deGrom was when nobody communicated to him that the ballgame was starting ten minutes late causing the timing of his warm-up routine to be off. deGrom was interstellar on Tuesday, going eight and a third while only giving up two 9th inning home runs when the outcome was no longer in doubt.
It also helped that the offense clicked against Julio Teheran, a pitcher they have had problems with in the past (10-7, 2.35 ERA against the Mets going in.) The Mets found themselves with a 6-0 lead in the fourth thanks to three runs driven in by Pete Alonso, and run scoring hits by Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario. Alonso wound up getting on base six times (!) and Jeff McNeil had three hits including a dinger to lead the Mets to a 10-2 victory.
I’m not teasing myself into thinking that this team meeting is going to spur the Mets to be the best team in baseball. If you want to, great. Go right ahead. I’d be more inclined to think that their best players (deGrom, Alonso, McNeil, Conforto) were their best players on Tuesday, and the bullpen didn’t get a chance to engulf the scorecards in flames. But it isn’t a stretch to say that this was a much needed victory just for the sake of mental state. I’m just thinking about the immediate impact of this game, being that the bullpen, such as it is, is rested and players, coaches, and fans alike can get a good night’s sleep.
The Mets still have one more to go with Atlanta, four with the Cubs, and four in Philadelphia. Win five or six of those and I’ll extol the virtues of a team meeting as something other than desperation. But at least I’ll sleep well.
Today’s Hate List
The MLB Umpires Association.
The hypocrisy is maddening.