The game is always secondary with the 2016 Mets. The injury plague has finally spread to the starting rotation. It was announced yesterday that Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard are both pitching with bone spurs in their pitching elbows. Double spur Monday may be the new low point of the 2016 Mets season. There’s no structural damage in their respective elbows. But that doesn’t really matter. They are pitching in pain, and the only way to end the pain is for them to have surgery to remove the spurs. For the record, Thor denied that he had a bone spur when asked by the media. He straight up said it’s a fabricated story. But that’s just something the God of Thunder would say to maintain his image. It’s clear Thor plans to just bathe in cortisone all year, fight through the pain, and get surgery after the season. Matz is apparently in significantly more pain, and the Mets front office braintrust will meet this week to decide if in-season surgery is the right move. Ultimately, Matz and Thor will be fine. Right? After all, Mets head trainer Ray Ramirez has been working with a brain spur for years.
Final Score: Nationals 11, Mets 4
As far as the game goes, what can I say. We got blown out. I’m kind of surprised the Mets came out flat tonight after that inspiring split against the Braves aka the worst team in the National League. Watching the 2016 Mets is like pitching through a bone spur in the elbow. Always uncomfortable. Often painful. Not gonna end well.
Early Lead: The game started on a positive note when the Mets got out to an early lead. Early lead? Yeah early lead. Don’t get too excited, it didn’t last at all. In the first inning, Curtis Granderson led off with a single and with one out Yoenis Cespedes singled him to third. Then Neil Walker hit a sac fly. Sac fly? Yeah sac fly! Hooray!!!! Then in the second inning, Brandon Nimmo and Travis d’Arnaud hit back to back singles with one out. And with two outs Grandy hit an RBI single. A two out run scoring hit!!! That made it 2-0. In the third inning, Walker singled, James Loney doubled, and Wilmer Flores singled to drive them both in making it 4-0 Mets. With Thor on the mound, it felt like 4-0 would be enough for a guaranteed win. Nope!
Thor: Let’s be clear about the elbow spur problem. I’m sure it is bothering Noah. He denied it was a problem post game, but athletes tend to lie about injuries. It is known. But it sure as hell didn’t stop him from throwing 100 MPH consistently. That being said, he just got smacked around. He went 3 innings, gave up 7 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, and he allowed 5 stolen bases. He gave up 5 runs in the third inning. Ben Revere led off with a single and stole a base. Bryce Harper hit an RBI single and stole a base. It’s honestly too painful to even recap all the run scoring hits.
The Contingency Plan: Thor was pulled after three innings with the score at 5-4 Nationals. At least the Mets have a great long man in Sean Gilmartin to bail out the starters when they have a rough day. Right? Wrong. Gilmartin gave up 7 hits and 5 runs in two innings. The Nats scored 11 unanswered runs. If this wasn’t the most embarrassing loss of the year it certainly was a nominee for the award.
Stolen Bases: The Nationals ran all over Thor as every team has all season long. He’s allowed 28 stolen bases on the season. That’s double any other guy in the league. Yeesh. Elbow spur aside, what the hell is Noah Syndergaard doing? What are the Mets doing? How are they not prioritizing holding people on as part of practice and as part of every game plan. At this point Rene Rivera has to be Noah’s personal catcher. But it’s not even about the catcher. Thor doesn’t even give his catcher a chance to throw people out.
Don’t Ignore The Wasted Chances: Listen the Nationals took a dump on the Mets last night. They scored 11 runs on 17 hits. But let’s not ignore that the Mets had 14 hits and 4 runs to show for it. They smacked around Nats starter Joe Ross to the tune of 10 hits. But they didn’t capitalize on all the opportunities. That’s just Mets baseball in 2016.
Loney Horrendous: In the fifth inning with runners on first and third and one out, James Loney fielded a ball at first base and made a mistake trying to get the lead runner going home instead of getting the easy out at first. The runner scored on the fielder’s choice. Loney had an ugly night defensively. Whatever. Everyone had an ugly night.
I Turned It Off: I turned the game off when the score reached 11-4. It was my first straight up boycott game turn off of the season. It was just too ugly to keep watching. In my opinion, Terry should have brought in Antonio Bastardo as soon as Thor left the game and made him pitch the rest of the night as punishment for being so crappy this season. Pitch him until his arm falls off. Hell Terry does it with everyone else. Might as well wreck Bastardo for our own good.
Pitching Depth: I wrote about this weeks ago. I said we can’t trade Zack Wheeler because we need all these arms. The only way we survive this season and the seasons to come is with our unrivaled pitching depth. The only guy we have that seemingly can’t be stopped is Bartolo Colon.
It’ll Be Okay (I Think/I Hope): I will say this. Pitchers fight through elbow soreness, bone spurs, bone chips, fatigue, and every other problem under the sun year after year. Remember Jon Niese and his annual elbow/shoulder problems? It was an early summer tradition. I’m not trying to belittle the problem that Thor and Matz have, but I do think it’s possible they can fight through the issue. I also think it’s hilarious that both Matz and Thor came out the gate so strong and before the end of June their arms are barking. They are such young studs. It’s a long season fellas. Rest up and keep those arms strong. The full year grind is intense. Pray.
Gurriel: The Mets watched the new Cuban third baseman Yulieski Gourriel (legally changed to Gurriel) workout yesterday. Sign him. Do it.
Today: Don’t worry, I’m sure Matt Harvey will save the Mets tonight. I never thought I’d type something like that and mean it 100% sarcastically.