This was supposed to be a lighthearted post about Adam Duvall hitting a home run off of the cutout of Jeff McNeil’s dog. “Why Does Adam Duvall Hate Dogs?” was supposed to be the title. It was going to lead into Steven Matz’s good outing (six innings, struck out the side in his last inning, perhaps a slight acknowledgement of how his motion slows down when he throws off speed pitches, but overall a good outing.) Then I was ready to discuss Jeurys Familia’s clean inning, Dellin Betances having great stuff but not being able to throw first pitch strikes, and Justin Wilson’s sexy reverse splits getting him out of trouble in the 8th after he struck out Ronald Acuna to end the inning (a batter he had to face because of the three batter rule, a rule that should not affect Wilson adversely with those sexy reverse splits.)
But then with a 2-1 lead in the 9th, Edwin Diaz happened. But more importantly, whoever called a fastball to Marcell Ozuna happened. Look, Diaz’s stuff was excellent. Remember last year when Diaz’s slider was trash and his only chance to survive the season was to throw his fastball? Well it’s different this year. Diaz’s slider was great yesterday, and just as great today. The slider he threw to strike out Ozzie Albies to lead off the 9th was the smoothest and silkiest cheesecake you’ve ever eaten. Then he got Freddie Freeman to pop up for the second out.
So I’m messaging with @ThereItIsJake on twitter (go follow him) and he tells me: “Guy like Ozuna with big long swing should NEVER touch Diaz.” So Diaz gets down 3-0 and he throws a fastball for strike one that Ozuna looked at, then threw a nasty 3-1 slider that Ozuna couldn’t touch. Now, two outs and nobody on, do you throw the slider that’s humming and the worst that can happen is a walk, or do you throw a fastball that’s belt high on the outside corner and hope that Ozuna tries to pull it?
Brodie called a fastball from his couch at home. Ozuna put bat to ball and it went out to tie the game. Jake is apoplectic. I’m praying that the Mets could make it not matter with a rally in the bottom of the ninth, and after singles by Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario, I was hopeful. But Brandon Nimmo flied out to left and Jeff McNeil struck out to end the inning, and now I figure it’s over. Sure enough, Hunter Strickland, whose Mets legacy without a doubt will probably wind up being “well he looked great in that exhibition against the Yankees” gave up the first leadoff RBI single in major league history (that would be his overall legacy except that he punched Bryce Harper that one time), and then proceeded to set the game on fire, giving up three runs.
Now with the runner on second to start extra innings this year, Pete Alonso only needed one single to come up to the plate as the tying run, and he got it thanks to Jake Marisnick. But after Alonso singled to load the bases, Eduardo Nunez came up in a spot that you would have loved to have seen Yoenis Cespedes in. And he had that spot except that Nunez pinch ran for him in a totally meaningless spot in the 8th after a two out single and Andres Gimenez at the plate as if he was going to hit a double. So instead of Cespedes up with nobody out and the bases loaded, you have Eduardo Nunez. Predictably, he popped up for the first out. (I mean really, it’s not as if Nunez is that much faster than Cespedes, and now one of your feared bats is out of the game for no reason. Yes, Nunez stole second in the 8th. But moves like that always, always come back to bite a team … not just the Mets either. Everyone.)
Dom Smith pinch hit and drove in a run with a sac fly, and Wilson Ramos, who swung and missed at a 1-0 fastball down the middle, grounded out to short to end the game. The Mets finessed themselves into a Game 2 typical Met gut punch loss. I blame you. Because you wanted baseball back to heal the nation. But all it did was scar my heart again.
Today’s Hate List
- Marcell Ozuna
- Luke Jackson (aka Derrick Turnbow with a soul patch)
- Adam Duvall
- Dansby Swanson
- Ozzie Albies