Steven Matz looked great in the first inning. Really great! And that was about it. In the second inning, the Marlins blasted him. The inning started with two straight walks to Martin Prado and Chris Johnson and Matz was certainly getting squeezed a little bit. Keith and Ron were definitely getting on the home plate umpire for sure. But it didn’t end up mattering that much because Matz just kept giving up hit after hit. J.T. Realmuto got a single to load the bases. Then 8 hitter Adeiny Hechavarria singled to drive in two. After the pitcher bunted successfully, Dee Gordon singled in another run. After Marcell Ozuna popped out Christian Yelich singled to drive in two more. And to cap it all off, Giancarlo Stanton hit a 2 run bomb to make it 7-0. That was really the game. We scored a few in the 4th inning after a mini-rally. Yoenis Cespedes had an RBI single. They gave us a run on a wild pitch. Asdrubal Cabrera drove in our third run on a fielder’s choice, but again none of it ended up mattering.
Matz had a huge layoff before this start. I blame this crummy start on the MLB scheduling people and the bullshit first week full of days off that they gave us. I intend to write a sternly worded letter to the MLB offices. But Matz also stunk this spring, and he’s a rookie. So who the hell knows what to expect. We definitely don’t have the best team ERA in the NL anymore I can tell you that much.
The bottom line is our pitchers got rocked tonight. No way around that. And both teams played sloppy awful baseball tonight. Mistakes on both sides. But as George Contanza’s boss Mr. Kruger said many times, I’m not too worried about it. Why? Because generally speaking, so far this season our issues haven’t been about lack of effort or sloppy play. The problem has been almost exclusively the lack of offense. We only scored three runs tonight. Even if we got a quality start out of Matz, that may not have been enough to win. And the reason I’m not worried about the lack of offense is because it’s been the result of bad luck. Our team BABIP has been .235. BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) is the metric that tells you how often batted balls that aren’t home runs fall for hits. Essentially it’s the hitting luck metric. Typically 30% of balls in play fall for hits. We’re at 23.5%. Our BABIP is good for 28th in the league.
You can read about the metric here. But long story short, we’ve been unlucky thus far on offense. It’s been apparent from watching. Everything we hit finds a glove. At first I chalked it up to the Royals being the luckiest team on the face of the earth. But it continued against Philly and again tonight. Cespedes roped a ball that was caught by the second basemen in the 4th inning. And the game ended on a ball that was roped by David Wright that the shortstop snagged. Now it hasn’t all been bad luck. As I said in the series preview, Travis d’Arnaud and Curtis Granderson haven’t done much of anything so far. But bad luck has had a lot to do with our lack of offensive results. My point is the pendulum always swings the other way, and it will swing in our favor soon enough.
Cabrera Bailed: Asdrubal Cabrera was mysteriously double switched out of the game in the 5th. There was no explanation from the booth regarding why. Terry said he wasn’t injured after the game. I’m guessing he got sick of our poo poo play and just bounced. He probably figured most of the crowd already left, and he could grab the 7 train unnoticed.
Murph King of the Dinger: Daniel Murphy hit another home run for the Nationals tonight. He’s going to punish us so bad when we play the Nationals. I can’t believe we refused to pay him and broke up the damn band. But whatever, we have to trust Sandy. At least for a few more weeks.
Soup Keeps The Highlights Coming: Eric Campbell struck out tonight and his bat went flying into the crowd. At this point the man is more than an auto-strikeout. He’s a freaking personal injury lawsuit waiting to happen. Maybe the Wilpons will become concerned about the litigation risk and banish him to Vegas. And for God’s sake if you’re going to fling your bat wildly at least fling it into the outfield and nail Giancarlo Stanton in the knee or something.
Papa deGrom To DL?: We used the entire bullpen tonight. We need fresh arms. Our choices are to put deGrom on paternity leave or put him on the DL. We’re hesitating to put him on paternity leave because if we do, then we can’t backdate any potential DL stint. I think at this point we should DL him and hope his lat is better next week. Pray.
Tomorrow: Noah Syndergaard vs. Jose Fernandez should be a real pitching showdown tomorrow. Unfortunately it’s going to get rained out. But be sure to head out to Citi Field for the 3 hour rain delay and spend $500 dollars on food so the Wilpons can buy back Piazza’s 9/11 jersey.