We’ve all been depressed about what’s going on in the world regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, and baseball has become collateral damage. The 2020 baseball season is set to begin in late July. Until then, 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.
Today’s game, a getaway day with two Sunday lineups, showed you how fun baseball can be when it is falling in line with our wishes for better “pace of play”. Michael Wacha gave up a ringing double to Evan Longoria in the fourth followed by a typical Hunter Pence single off the end of the bat into right field to drive Longoria in. But that was it in seven innings. Johnny Cueto, moved up in the rotation because he’s better in day games (and no doubt to give me agita over Game 2 of the 2015 World Series), was stellar through his first six innings of work, scattering four hits and walking nobody in what was shaping up to be his best work of the season. And with a lot of first pitch swinging (and popping up) taking place, We got to the bottom of the 7th at 2:55 PM, which is phenomenal for “pace of play” purposes.
(And look, I know that everybody wants quicker games. But when I’m in a ballpark, time isn’t a factor for me. I want the game to last forever. So when we got to the bottom of the 7th at 2:55 PM, I got sad. Fifteen minutes here or there tacked on to the time of gameshouldn’t make a whole hell of a lot of difference to a baseball fan who is at a Major League Baseball game. But this game would have definitely appealed to the Twitch crowd.)
Dom Smith led off the bottom of the 7th with a base hit, and Kapler immediately pulled him out of the game in favor of Tyler Rogers. who has that Chad Bradford vibe about him. Rogers struck out J.D. Davis and got Jake Marisnick to pop up to short. But he walked Tomas Nido to set up the pitcher’s spot, and Juis Rojas sent up Jeff McNeil to face Rogers. Kapler countered with old friend Jerry Blevins to face him, figuring that McNeil would have the submariner Rogers for lunch.
Blevins’ first pitch was a big curveball because he knows that McNeil is a free swinger on the first pitch. But not only was it low, but it scooted through the legs of Rob Brantly to send the runners to second and third. With Amed Rosario on deck, Kapler decided that the best course of action was to stick with the lefty-lefty matchup and continue the at-bat with McNeil. Perhaps a little hesitant to throw the curve after the wild pitch, Blevins tried to sneak a fastball in for a strike to get the count to his favor.
Good philosophy, but for Blevins it was a bad result. McNeil smacked it to right field for a two run single which put the Mets ahead for good. And wouldn’t you know it, the bullpen set down the Giants six up and six down without any sort of consternation. Seth Lugo in the 8th, and Edwin Diaz in the 9th. Like … whoa!!!
So it’s 48-39, second place … 7 games behind Atlanta, but tied for the wild card lead with St. Louis. Four with the Padres, and then it’s off to New York (AL) for two. Finally, for the first time since 2015, it seems to really be time for the Mets to take off.
Today’s Hate List
- Johnny Cueto
- That’s it.
- I had 2015 flashbacks at the park today.
- So it’s Johnny Cueto.
- That’s it.