Final Score: Mets 9, Nationals 7
Before this game, Terry didn’t include Wilmer Flores in the lineup. The general consensus among Mets fans was that this was a classic case of Terry being a moron. Wilmer had 4 home runs this week. He’s scorching hot. Everyone was furious about the decision. I must say, I was not angry. I was completely fine with sitting Wilmer. It’s not that I don’t like Wilmer. I just figured he’d play at least two games this weekend, and I didn’t feel like getting worked up about the benching. I’m excited about our new stable of viable infielders, and I got caught up in the depth celebration.
Well a man can only admit when he was wrong and ask for forgiveness. Wilmer has a .309 career batting clip in July. His next highest monthly batting average is .267 in August. His home run last night has started to help us avenge the June sweep by the Nationals in Washington. Wilmer is now Summer Flo. He is…The King in July! The King in July!
Murph Out The Gate: In the first inning, Bartolo Colon gave up a leadoff triple and of course Daniel Murphy drove in the run to make it 1-0. Murph’s public shaming of the Mets organization continued right away last night.
Clutch Single: In the first inning, James Loney struck out with two outs and runners on second and third base. But in the third inning with Yoenis Cespedes on second and Neil Walker on first, Loney came through with an RBI single to tie the game 1-1.
Love Getting Burned By The Big Dogs: In the fourth inning after retiring Murph, Bartolo Colon gave up a solo bomb to Bryce Harper. My first thought was that we really love getting burned by the best player on the team huh? Giancarlo Stanton had a field day and now Bryce. That was before I knew there was no stopping the ball from flying out of the park last night. Plus it’s not like we are going to issue first inning free passes to Harper with the bases empty.
Ball Was Officially Flying: After the Nationals fourth inning home run barrage, I was shook. But it wasn’t until the Mets homers in the bottom of the fourth that I realized we were playing this game with diminished gravity levels or something. The home runs did not stop. Travis d’Arnaud hit a solo shot. Jose Reyes launched an upper decker home run to right. Then Curtis Granderson doubled and Yoenis Cespedes doubled to make it 4-4. The Mets came back to tie the game instantly. They chased Lucas Giolito in the fourth inning. Hell, Neil Walker and Yo executed a double steal!
The First Botched Takeout Slide Call: In the fifth inning, Bartolo gave up a single to Oliver Perez and Ben Revere. Jayson Werth then grounded into a force at second. That set up first and third with one out for Murph. Murph hit a double play ball up the middle. The Mets turned the double play and the outs were called on the field. Unfortunately Murph was safe by a mile at first. The Nationals won the challenge, and Oliver Perez scored to make it 5-4 Nationals. My beef on the play was that Jayson Werth’s slide at second was a violation of the takeout slide rule. It was an obvious violation in April of 2016. At the start of the season they were making the call on the field every time. Since then they’ve stopped calling it because MLB listens to fan outcry and seemingly is run by a bunch of pathetic cowards who can’t implement a rule change to save their lives. Well on this particular play the umpires felt the slide was legal and the run scored.
Who Can Leave Their Starter In The Longest: Lucas Giolito should have come out after the Grandy double in the fourth inning. He couldn’t get ahead in the count at all last night. Frankly all the pitchers struggled to execute. But I felt Dusty left him in too long. Well in the fifth inning, Terry tried to steal the crown from Dusty. After the run scored on the challenged double play, Jerry Blevins should have been coming in to face Bryce Harper. Instead Terry left Tolo in. He gave up a single to Bryce and an RBI single to Wilson Ramos that made it 6-4 Nationals. When Terry finally did bring in the pen, Jerry Blevins walked his batter but Hansel Robles was able to get out of the inning.
The King In July: The most important part of Terry’s call to the bullpen in the fifth inning was that he double switched Wilmer Flores into the game. In the bottom of the fifth, Asdrubal Cabrera and Brandon Nimmo hit back to back singles off of Oliver Perez. Then with one out, Wilmer Flores hit the game altering 3-run shot that made it 7-6. TC said after the game it reminded him of Wilmer’s enormous home run last season against Washington. It was remarkable. He has 5 home runs this week alone. He has to be NL player of the week. Also in the fifth, Curtis Granderson doubled with two outs and the Nats intentionally walked Yoenis Cespedes. The Mets should probably take note and stop getting burned by the elite player on every team we face.
Ollie: In the 6th inning, Oliver Perez doubled for his second hit of the game. That was only notable because it was additional evidence that this particular game was completely insane.
More Bombs: Asdrubal Cabrera launched a solo shot in the bottom of the 6th that turned out to be the game winner. It made the game 8-6. As much as Wilmer had the big hit, every single Mets infielder contributed with the stick last night. Reyes, Walker, Loney, Cabrera, and Wilmer all had RBIs.
What Do We Do?: In the 7th inning, Antonio Bastardo reminded us all yet again that he sucks. He gave up a leadoff solo shot to Mets killer Daniel Murphy making it 8-7 Mets. Then he retired Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos. He then induced a comebacker off the bat of Clint Robinson and he made arguably the worst throwing error of the season. He just threw it away right past Wilmer at first. Terry was forced to go to Addison Reed who was just stellar in relief. He retired the side. I really don’t know what to do with Bastardo. We paid him. We need to see if he turns his season around. It’s a really crummy spot to be in.
Bonehead Pickoff: In the 7th inning with one out Jose Reyes walked. I knew as soon as he got on base he was going to try and steal, but I was completely against it. The ball was flying out of the park. I wanted to give Grandy and Yo a chance to put one in the seats. Unfortunately, Jose got picked off like an idiot. In the end we still got the insurance run because Grandy singled, the Nats walked Yo (Duh), and then Neil Walker hit an RBI single to make it 9-7.
The Second Takeout Slide Call: Addison Reed slammed the door in the 7th and retired the Nats in the 8th. He’s been absolutely stellar. Jeurys Familia came on in the 9th and walked the leadoff man like a fool. But then in true Curb Your Enthusiasm fashion, the entire game came full circle. With Jayson Werth on first, Murph hit a ball that nearly got past a diving Cabrera at short. But Cabby made a fantastic stop and started to turn the double play. The Mets got the out at second and made an unsuccessful throw to first. But Werth rocked Neil Walker on a takeout slide, and this time the umps called the Utley rule. They called the double play. The Werth slide wasn’t all that different from the play in the fifth inning. The bottom line is Werth purposely took out Walker and came off the bag. It’s a rule violation. Then Familia struck out Harper to end the game.
Nats Cry Like Babies: The Nats GM Mike Rizzo tried to fight umpire Jim Joyce after the game. I get their frustration. I share it. It’s appalling that the umps can’t make consistent calls in the same season, same month, same week, or the same freaking game. It’s a complete joke. But they got the call right. The Nats can’t complain about that. I’m done listening to complaints about the slide rule. The rule has been changed. Stay on the bag and slide directly at the bag. Period.
Also Harvey Is Out Forever: On the day of arguably the biggest win of the regular season, the Mets basically announced Matt Harvey is deciding between getting surgery for thoracic-outlet syndrome and missing the rest of the season or getting some interim thing done that will ultimately delay the inevitable surgery until after the season. He’s dunzo. I’ll have more on this once Harvey decides. Until then there’s really nothing new to report. Well other than what Sandy snuck in at the end of the Harvey press conference. Apparently Zack Wheeler is behind in his rehab from TJ and may not be back this season. Sandy snuck that gem into the conference at the last second. Jesus Christ we can’t have nice things at all.