Catch 22

New York Yankees v New York Mets

It seemed to be impossible to find a moment in 2017 that could top Noah Syndergaard walking off the mound with a torn lat in a game that would end up 23-5, and Mr. Met giving the finger to a Met fan. But I think Wednesday might be the day that typifies the season.

Wilmer Flores kicked off the proceedings by hurting his rib cage. Then during batting practice, Jose Reyes took a practice swing and hurt his rib cage. Even by Mets standards this is quite bizarre. Two middle infielders hurting the same muscle on their respective bodies. So in response, the Mets inserted Asdrubal Cabrera, who was slated for the night off because he himself is banged up, at second. But they still needed a third baseman. So they turned to their icon, David Wright.

And borrowed his glove so that Travis d’Arnaud can play third base.

Catch 22
Elsa/Getty Images

Pre-game video of d’Arnaud fielding faux-bunts looked like Wednesday could give us flashbacks of Todd Hundley playing left field. Those of you who were around for that know how bad that was. I’m sure Terry Collins saw this too, which is why d’Arnaud and Cabrera switched between second and third base 22 times to try to avoid ground balls, double plays, and basically baseball activities. d’Arnaud was moved around the diamond like he was the cheez doodle bag under one of the three Mets hats on the scoreboard between innings.

Rusty Staub knows this game.

The constant switching actually worked, as all d’Arnaud had to deal with was a ninth inning pop-up. But two things did the Mets in on Wednesday. First, Collins didn’t have an option to play d’Arnaud in section 536 to field Aaron Judge’s space shuttle launch off of a Robert Gsellman party balloon to make the score 2-1 Yankees. Second, d’Arnaud and Cabrera had switched so much, I think Terry actually got sick of switching things. So with the bases loaded after Aaron Hicks walked on the strikiest strike three you’ll ever see, and after Judge popped up with the bases loaded, Collins left righty Paul Sewald in to face lefty Didi Gregorius with the bases loaded and two outs.

Collins, same manager who constantly uses Hansel Robles in strict righty-righty matchups despite his numbers being significantly better against lefties (before Robles starting sucking against batters of all swing sides), left a righty in the game to face a lefty. Sewald, in his limited time in the majors, has given up a .212 average to righties (and looked like a champ against Judge). Against lefties? .274. This is the pitcher that Collins decides to get all YOLO with. Did it work? Have you not seen this movie? Gregorius hit a two run double to give the Yankees the lead for good as they won 5-3. Even by Liam Neeson’s standards, that was a predictable ending.

The Mets have one more against the Yankees on Thursday. Steven Matz goes up against Luis Severino. Gavin Cecchini and Matt Reynolds are on their way to New York on an airplane where they will probably contract malaria, forcing d’Arnaud to play third, second, and flip burgers at Keith’s Grill all at once. Collins will switch him out of the grill when a fan orders something other than a Mex burger. Because Travis lacks experience with ground balls and pickles.

Today’s Hate List

  1. Chad Whitson
  2. Ed Whitson
  3. Ed Bailey
  4. Homer Bailey
  5. Homer Bush


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