Once again, the Mets did what they had to do, beating the Marlins 4-3, sweeping the series, and continuing for now the recent trend of beating the teams they’re supposed to beat.
I think it’s in Carlos Carrasco’s contract to give up two runs in the first inning every start. (I don’t know who his agent is but that probably wasn’t a smart clause.) He gave up a third run after Aaron Loup walked home a one of Carrasco’s inherited runners in the 6th to tie the game, but since then the bullpen was lights out thanks to Loup, Jeurys Familia, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz, and Dom Smith’s RBI single in the 7th gave the Mets the lead for good. Maybe it also started the turn of luck in the Mets’ favor, as it ticked off Jesus Aguilar’s glove, which turned it from a sure foul ball into a fair ball as Aguilar himself was in fair territory as the ball was screaming foul. These are the breaks that have been absent in the last few weeks.
But more than the runs, this game was about looking for any sort of signs that this team is in the right frame of mind. The players can tell us all they want that they are and to be fair, fans sometimes see bad at-bats and general lack of hitting as “this team has no fire and no heart”, which is silly. Good pitching can make any team look like they don’t care. But if you want to see signs that they care, consider the following:
Top of the 5th: Bryan de la Cruz flies into a double play as Jorge Alfaro was late getting back to first. But he was late getting back to first because Javy Báez deked him into thinking the ball was somewhere else other than getting to Michael Conforto on the fly. It’s that kind of heady play that has been Báez’s hallmark, and the fact that he’s still gives a shit enough to do things like that shouldn’t be dismissed as a minor detail. That’s a huge part of why the Mets got him.
Top of the 8th: Jesus Aguilar pops one up into foul territory. Patrick Maceika can’t find it. Then this happens:
Trevor May deserves a tweet just for the effort… 🔥 pic.twitter.com/jNteyyWUPO
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 3, 2021
No, he didn’t catch it. But a pitcher giving that kind of effort when he could have easily just assumed it was the catcher’s ball and mentally check out? It was a hell of an effort, but more importantly he’s dialed into the game. I absolutely love this.
Bottom of the 8th: Pete Alonso grounds to Miguel Rojas in the realm of the routine. But Rojas pulls Aguilar off the base. If Alonso is assuming the play is lost, Aguilar tags him out. But Alonso runs the play out and Aguilar misses him. Again, didn’t lead to anything as Alonso was stranded. But the hustle shows that he, like Báez and May, are dialed in to the game.
I don’t know if the Mets can pull this off. Their win tonight just kept them in lock step as the Nationals blew a 6-0 lead against Aaron Nola and the Phillies, and the Rockies despite a grand slam by Charlie Blackmon are still the f***ing Rockies so the Mets can’t assume they’re going to get any help right now as they end the night as they started it: five games back. Maybe I’m just talking myself into a pennant race. But whatever happens the next few weeks, at least we can all be reasonably sure that the Mets still have their heads in the game. At least until Luis Rojas leaves Brad Hand in to face a righty for his fourth batter of the inning and that batter hit a ball into Flushing Bay. Or Kips Bay. Or Jason Bay’s house.
Today’s Hate List
- Patrick Murphy
- Mason Thompson
- Andres Machado
- Kelbert Ruiz
- Carlos Ruiz
- Also, Trea Turner