Requesting A Larger Measuring Stick

Alonso Stretch

After building up a 6-3 record against the likes of the Nationals, Diamondbacks, and Phillies (settle down, Philly … you’re 4-7) it was time to step up in weight class to see what they could do against the 7-2 Giants who had won 107 games last season. And it didn’t look great early in Game 1 of the doubleheader. Tylor Megill had lost a couple of ticks off his fastball, and had given up a two out, two strike, two run single to Brandon Crawford in the 3rd to give the Giants a 4-1 lead on a windy day which threatened to make this game about aerodynamics or some garbage.

But with many among us already hoping for Max Scherzer to salvage the split, the Mets fought back in the 5th. Jeff McNeil bought the Mets back to within 4-3 with a two run double, and after Alex Cobb left the game due to an injury, McNeil was brought home by Francisco Lindor’s double in the same inning to make it 4-4. Of course, I missed a lot of this because “SNY, The App” froze every four minutes, ensuring that I saw more commercials than actual game action. Funny how it never froze during the damn commercials.

I thought the key moment before the key moment before the really key moment was Seth Lugo’s performance in the 8th. There were runners on second and third, two outs, and a 1-2 count on Jason Vosler. Lugo went to the curve twice in a row to run the count full. With first base open, you wouldn’t blame Lugo for being careful and leaving the game in the hands of the .240 hitting righty Joey Bart. But Lugo said screw it and elevated a fastball in which Vosler gave a half hearted half swing at it and had no chance to do anything. That ended the inning and gave the Mets some good vibes.

The key moment before the really key moment was the top of the 10th with the ghost runner on third base with two outs. Adam Ottavino got Thairo Estrada to ground sharply to Lindor who threw it wide, pulling Pete Alonso off the bag to allow the go ahead run to score.

Or did he?

Then of course, there was the really key moment, the one which actually won the game in the 10th, as Francisco Lindor made sure our ghost runner came home.

Also notable was that the ghost runner came on a double switch that allowed Nimmo to hit 9th and Tomas Nido to hit 8th, and it had to be done in a certain way to allow Nimmo to actually be that ghost runner. Needless to say Mickey Callaway would have pulled a damn hamstring pulling that off.

Max Scherzer made the nightcap into a surgical affair. He no-hit the Giants through 5 and 2/3’s as his stuff was as good as it’s been this season. What was most impressive was that it would have been easy to take him out after the 6th at 94 pitches with the no-hitter being done. But after he gave up a run to the Giants to cut the Mets’ lead to 3-1, he went out there for the 7th and threw an 8 pitch inning to close out his night. You saw the reference to Lugo’s “f*** you pitch” from Game 1, the 7th inning was a “f*** you inning.” And you wonder if Max told Buck “don’t let me out like that. Give me one more. IF that was the case, it could have gone horribly wrong. In past seasons with other pitchers, it would have. But it’s Max. And Max never comes out on the short end when he’s in Bulldog Mode” I think that 7th inning was the first “Bulldog Mode” in Scherzer’s Mets career.

The Mets got their runs in the 3rd on a two run Eduardo Escobar double and a Dom Smith single to make it 3-0. Max, Drew Smith, and Trevor May took that home to complete the sweep. And this is where I have to be careful, because I know that if you look at my posts from past Aprils, and I’ve probably said “hey, this team looks pretty good.” Hopefully I had to good sense to be cautious as many of those Aprils which featured the likes of John Buck and Angel Pagan turned out to be mirages. But this team has all the hallmarks of a truly legit team. And if the Braves are truly having a World Series hangover, the Mets have a chance … probably their only chance … to run away and hide. A lot has to happen before we get to that point, but at least it isn’t completely out of the realm of possibilities.

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