Matz Fantastic: Steven Matz obviously gets the game ball. The early rookie of the year candidate pitched 7 dominant innings gave up 2 runs, and struck out 8 Brewers. Ryan Braun didn’t start this game due to injury or something but whatever Matz basically carved up everyone else. Other than a first inning two run homer surrendered to slugger Chris Carter, Matz was efficient and untouchable. The home run ball is great, but this is what I love to see most of all. The dominant starting pitching is the main attraction for our club. Matz was incredible. He had his velocity cranking up to 95 MPH, and he was flawlessly locating his breaking ball. Also, not to continue to dwell on the Dark Knight, but Matz is another positive sign for our boy Matt Harvey. Matzy-poo had TJ surgery back in 2010. Last season was when Matz finally got his velocity and command back. Look at him now. The guy can do it all. The point is Harvey’s post TJ struggles are to be expected and he will overcome.
Daily Soup Reminder: Let me get this out of the way because the Soup apologists came out in force last night. Eric Campbell drew a walk in the bottom of the 6th inning off of the dead tired starter Wily Peralta who was then immediately pulled from the game. Congratulations! He made a stellar play at third base to get the second out in the 9th inning. Diving stop and throw to first base. Hooray! You know what else he did? He struck out twice. In the bottom of the second inning, Neil Walker drew a leadoff walk and Lucas Duda singled. With runners on first and third and nobody out Eric Campbell struck out in pathetic fashion. Luckily Rene Rivera crushed a fantastic RBI groundout to at least give us something to show for the inning. My point? Stop giving our black hole in the lineup pats on the back.
Spoiler Alert, We Scored On A Home Run: In the bottom of the 6th, Michael Conforto launched an opposite field two run homer after an Asdrubal Cabrera leadoff single. We really only score on the home run. It’s not an exaggeration at all. We left men on base in the second, sixth, seventh, and eighth inning. A lot of Mets fans are genuinely worried about the fact that we only score on the home run. An equal number of sarcastic Mets fans mock the “chicken little” fans when the team hits a home run by saying things like “we should have went for a single there” and stupid crap like that. Ummm the Mets are 24th in baseball in runs scored. Who cares how many home runs we hit when we are objectively scoring a small number of runs relative to the rest of the league? Our inability to score consistently without hitting the long ball is a real issue. That’s the bottom line.
Summer Is For Hitting: So maybe the offense will pick up when the weather gets nicer? Offense in general picks up during the summer. But let’s be real here, the offense picked up last year in August when we dumped our black holes on the roster and started playing with a real 25 man group. Everyone talks about Yoenis Cespedes in 2015, and he deserves the praise. He crushed it. But remember in the offseason before we re-signed him, all we heard about was how big of a boost Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson were for the bench down the stretch. The Mets preached depth as the key to winning and consistency on offense. Well Soup and Rivera are not depth. The rest of the lineup is struggling too so we can’t blame Soup all day. That’s just unfair. But it’s worth talking about because eventually Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera are going to need a damn breather. Look at David Wright. He’s dying after a quarter of the season.
Here’s Why Soup Is Here: So I’m going to put financial reasons aside. It’s possible the Mets didn’t want to invest more in the bench because of penny pinching but the Cespedes signing sort of put that idea to bed temporarily. Soup is here because Sandy wants to be able to observe the roster for half the season and then make an assessment of our true needs. He wants to decide on July 10th whether he needs to trade for a reliever, bench bat or perhaps a starting pitcher/starting position player due to unexpected injury. I get the strategy, but I just hope we have the depth needed to stay competitive now. It worked last year so I can see why Sandy and his team are doubling down.
Today: As I said in the series preview, we have three of our aces going. Jacob deGrom toes the rubber today. The Brewers have poop pitching. Let’s win all these games. We really need a big rebound after our recent horrendous slump.