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.
The Sunday before the All-Star break tells you who has their concentration, and who is looking forward to four days off. You would think, in this matchup, that the Mets would be fully focused on the task at hand, while the Marlins, mired in last place, would be focused on their tee times.
But baseball has a funny way of twisting your latitude on things. The Marlins, with nothing else on in their vision but a vast wasteland, were just a little more focused on the game than the Mets, who have a playoff race to worry about. Giving away games isn’t the best course of action when you’re within a game and a half of five teams battling for two wild card spots, but it happens.
Don’t blame Marcus Stroman. Blame the shoddy defense behind him. Stroman worked out of trouble in the first and second as two errors made his life slightly harder. But in the third, errors by Amed Rosario at short and J.D. Davis at third made Stroman’s life untenable. He almost got out of this jam too but he threw an 0-2 sinker that didn’t sink to Garrett Cooper and he sent it to the Clevelander (well, in the spot that the Clevelander would have been if Derek Jeter wasn’t anti-bar … hell, he probably moved the Clevelander to his mansion so that he could enjoy it and the media wouldn’t know.) for a 3-0 Marlins lead. Stroman’s concentration went south after that as frustration set in, and Luis Rojas noted that too as Stroman was out of the game a couple of batters later as he couldn’t get the third out of the inning to save his life.
(Okay so first off, it’s amazing that a sinker baller like Stroman hasn’t really been victimized all that much by shaky infield defense until just before the break. But when it all happens at once … four errors in the first three innings … it looks really ugly. Second, credit to Rojas with the quick hook. I say that because maybe Rojas could have physically gotten a couple of more innings from Stroman. But the fact that he pulled him early tells me that he knew something wasn’t right with him otherwise. If that’s the case, then credit to Rojas for getting to know his players to the point where he can make decisions like this. When you’re talking about the advantages of a new age manager, one who has ceded most of the technical control to a front office or a general manager, this is it.)
Walker Lockett came in and immediately gave up a three run dinger to Isan Diaz to make the score 6-0 Marlins. Steven Matz, getting some work in as he will no doubt be repositioned in the rotation after the break, gave up a couple of runs in the next four innings to make the score 8-0. Michael Conforto’s grand slam in the 8th gave the Mets a little hope, but 8-4 was as close as they could get. The bad news is that the Mets lost two out of three to the Marlins in Miami, which isn’t anything that any reasonable person would have expected.
But the good news is that the Mets go into the break at 52-44, which is highly respectable considering that the last time they were in the good at the All Star break was 2016. I’ll take a little ketchup on my ice cream any time as long as I get the ice cream. I can scoop the ketchup out.
(Once again: Shoutout to Rick Peterson.)
Today’s Hate List
- Tony La Russa
- Matt Cain
- Garrett Cooper
- Isan Diaz
- Wes Helms