It seemed like an uglier game to play than it was to watch, what with the low temperature, the lack of hitting, and J.D. Davis double tapping his glove and chucking balls away like he was Richard Todd. I could have sworn one of them was interception Bill Simpson in the Shea Stadium end zone.
(Kids, just google it. I’m not just going to make Sam Darnold references to be in line with your sensibilities. I’m old. Deal with it.)
I don’t mean to get on J.D., but he was all over the Mets’ 3-1 loss on both the good and bad sides of the ledger. In addition to the two throwing errors, one of which brought home the first Cubs’ run of the game in the third inning with two outs, he did hit a home run for the Mets only run and reached base three times. He also had weak check swings at two garbage Craig Kimbrel off speed pitches in the ninth when the Mets were trying to rally. One of those games, though. And in the cold while he’s still working his way back into game shape after the bruised hand, these things are going to happen.
The second Cubs run came as Eric Sogard drove in Jason Heyward with a single. The interesting part was that Heyward stole second, and replay showed he might have been out as there was a split second between his front hand leaving the bag and his back foot touching it. And usually, replay calls that stuff very strict. But the call was upheld, and I’m fine with it. I love replay, but not for things like that. It wasn’t what it was designed for.
(Bookmark this later in the year when the Mets benefit on a call like this.)
(Oh who am I kidding? The Mets will never benefit on a call like this.)
The third run came as Taijuan Walker walked Willson Contreras with the bases loaded in the fourth before his departure, and subsequent ejection for arguing with John Libka about his strike zone. The 2-2 pitch to Contreras was, maybe, a hair below the plate. And later on in the game, Luis Rojas was ejected for a similar pitch being called against Michael Conforto to ring him up. I can’t blame Rojas for getting upset. But Walker, in addition to his seven strikeouts in 3 and 2/3’s innings, also had six walks. So his complaining was misplaced as merely frustration, which Walker acknowledged after the game. (Also, the Walker pitch in the 4th was a touch lower than the Rex Brothers pitch in the 6th, but again … I can’t blame Rojas for being upset as I wouldn’t expect John Libka to be able to tell the difference between pitches that close.)
In Rojas’ defense, Libka was frustrating. In the ninth inning, Kimbrel threw two balls in the exact same spot to James McCann, and one was called a ball while the other was called a strike. Between that and every umpire in the league seemingly calling balls two inches off the outer half of the plate strikes to lefties, umpiring balls and strikes in general has been a bit of a clown show this season. But not quite as bozo as the Mets offense was in the ninth inning. They rallied to load the bases with one out, thanks in part to McCann’s walk and Luis Guillorme’s excellent at-bat resulting in a single to load the bases. The Mets had the right guys coming up to knock home two runs and tie the game against Kimbrel. But Brandon Nimmo struck out to end his long consecutive game on-base streak, and then Francisco Lindor, who we’re all desperate to see a “Welcome to New York” moment from, swung at a curve on the first pitch to ground out to Anthony Rizzo to end it.
Say what you want about any aspect of the game, the umpiring, the weather, perhaps pulling Walker too late, the bottom line is that the Mets’ bats need to heat up, especially with runners in scoring position. But you knew that, right? You knew that since what … 1989?
(Oh, I forgot, you don’t even know who Richard Todd is.)
Today’s Hate List
- Okay, I probably enjoyed the Yankees being 5-10 a little too much.
- Don’t think I don’t see the irony of them snapping their five game losing streak …
- … on a wild pitch that eluded Travis d’Arnaud.
- The baseball gods never fail to move their pawns in place to teach me a lesson.
- Oh, and John Libka’s strike zone, I guess.