(Note: This is a two-fer as we discuss the last two games …)
Johnny: [after Taylor signals to the bullpen] He wants the righty, he wants the Mild Thing, the grab your throat and choke thing.
Rick Vaughn: Shove it up your ass, lard mouth.
Johnny: Oh my god, Oh my god!
Yeah, I quote Major League 2 a lot, but when Matt Harvey took the mound on Thursday clean shaven and looking like the 2013 Harvey at least facially, it reminded me of that scene where Ricky Vaughn ditched the new corporate look and went back to the funky haircut and the glasses. It certainly looked like Matt Harvey was back to form, even though it seemed to be a new form where he was economical with his pitches and tempted the Braves into quick outs. 77 pitches in 6.2 innings is a dream for all of us. And it would have been a longer outing had it not been for two solo home runs by Matt Kemp.
Who knows if that night’s outing was born out of necessity with the thoracic outlet syndrome, or whether it was a specific game plan to get out an aggressive Braves lineup (they were the second least patient hitting team in baseball and last in the N.L. in pitches per plate appearance last season), but for one night, it worked and Matt Harvey got the Flushing crowd firmly on his side last night as the Mets won 6-2. Wilmer Flores had a home run last night, and it was the only run scored on the home run in case anybody is still obsessing over the “home run reliance”. Travis d’Arnaud drove in the first two runs of the game by not letting a fastball down the heart of the plate go by him. Keep doing that, Travis. Maybe it’s a new beginning for you too.
Zack Wheeler tried to keep the redemption tour rolling on Friday against Miami. He was amped up in the first inning and everybody had visions of the Big Four Plus Whoever finally taking their rightful place as the best rotation of all time. But then Wheeler reminded us who he still is: A guy who was making his first major league start in two and a half years.
Although he only walked one batter, the bugaboo of too many pitches in two few innings remains for Wheeler as he blew threw 80 in his four innings, giving up five runs. His first sign of trouble to me, honestly, was an out that Giancarlo Stanton made as he put a really good swing on one of Wheeler’s curve balls, and it only fell into the glove of Yoenis Cespedes because it was off the end of the bat. Once the Marlins started making good contact, Wheeler was toast. Heck, even Wei-Yin Chen who was 0-for-51 in his career got himself a hit off Wheeler. (That it was a 40 hopper to shortstop is a minor detail.) Friday was a reminder to all of us to keep our fantasies in check for a little while.
But at least the blowout loss to Miami gave Gary, Keith and Ron a chance to dive into my closet and show everybody my baseball card collection.
Why yes, that’s a Bill Doran card. Don’t judge.
Today’s Hate List
- Francisco Rodriguez
- Jayson Werth
- Aaron Altherr
- Gary Sanchez
- Toasted Grasshoppers