We’re all depressed about what’s going on in the world regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, and baseball has become collateral damage. We all need to escape, and now you can read this blog in the alternate: the one where global pandemics were a myth and baseball was around no matter what. We’re imagining the 2020 Mets season as if everything was normal. Enjoy these works of fiction.
If ever a team and a pitcher needed a win in May, it’s the Mets and Rick Porcello. The Mets, because they’ve stumbled out of the gate in May at 2-5, and Porcello because his last two starts have been nightmares and he could probably use a good ol’ fashioned Rick Porcello seven inning start where he gives up 3 or 4 runs and gets the Mets inches from the finish line to save his rotation spot.
It started inauspiciously for Porcello on Saturday, as Kolten Wong led off with a base hit, stole second, and took third on an infield hit by Matt Carpenter. Trouble already. Brodie Von Monorail is by the phone. Kate Upton has twitter open. It’s all swirling around Rick Porcello. Then, as if the gods of Cy Youngs past opened the skies and shone a light down, it happened.
Porcello struck out Paul Goldschmidt on a 3-2 pitch that he stuck right on the inside corner. Goldschmidt was upset, but slinked away relatively quietly. Then he got Paul DeJong looking on a slider whose cut was razor sharp. And that’s how we should have known that things were turning around, because DeJong has a lifetime batting average of 1.093.834 against the Mets. Then, after Carpenter took second on a dirt ball read, Porcello got Yadier Molina to top out to Amed Rosario to end the inning. It’s as if all of Flushing exhaled (which would explain the 50 mph wind gusts in Queens) at that moment.
While it wasn’t all peaches and cream for Porcello, he gutted through 6 and 1/3 innings giving up four runs (three earned) and struck out five and gave the Mets a chance to win. That chance was held tightly by the Mets offense, but not too tightly so as to seem nervous. The Mets touched up Adam Wainright (always soothing antidote to a slump) on a two run single by Amed Rosario in the second, a two run HR in the third by Wilson Ramos, and an RBI double by Jeff McNeil and a two run HR by Pete Alonso in the sixth.
With the Mets holding a razor thin 5-4 lead in the 7th, Luis Rojas took no chances and sent in Seth Lugo to try to hold the Cardinals at bay and go for the jugular. Lugo was brilliant, setting the Cardinals six up and six down, striking out five in the process to give the dugout a huge lift. You could tell they were pumped as they exploded for five runs off the Cardinals’ bullpen to give them a 10-4 lead in the 9th, and in the process putting to bed the fears that the Mets’ lineup would never get a hit again. Dominic Smith, Rosario, Brandon Nimmo and McNeil all drove in runs in that 9th inning to give the Mets relief.
Edwin Diaz came in to try to hold a six run lead in the 9th. Now if you remember the Edwin Diaz from last season, you know that a six run lead isn’t a given for him. First batter he faces results in a walk to Tommy Edman …
… then Diaz struck the next three batters out to preserve the victory, a huge one for the Mets. If you didn’t watch the game, then sorry for the heart attack. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of ninth innings to worry about in the future, but not this one. Thankfully for Rick Porcello and the Mets, their worries have crawled away to take refuge off the side of I-90 for the time being.
Today’s Hate List
- Kolten Wong
- Matt Carpenter
- Adam Wainwright
- David Eckstein
- Aaron Miles