I’m no mathematician, but I think this thing the Mets do where they lose more often than win isn’t going to lead to a playoff birth. I’m not a hundred percent sure on that one. I can’t say it with certainty yet. But since April (when they were actually good) the Mets have a record of 35-37. It’s starting to look like our April performance (15-7) might represent what my statistics teacher taught me is an outlier, and the record over the rest of the months are more in line with the mean. This team has been a below .500 club for almost three months now. I’d love to celebrate the fact that the Mets won 5 out of 7 games in the season series against the Cubs. I really would. But it doesn’t matter. We need to win games. We failed to beat the Braves and Nationals and Rockies and other teams when we had opportunities to win. Now every game is precious.
Start Them, Sit Them, Who Cares?: The Mets sat Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes in this game. I really don’t give a crap about sitting Cabrera and Walker. Walker hasn’t done a damn thing in months. We should consider giving Wilmer Flores more starts over Walker at this point because of how bad he’s been lately. Plus Wilmer Flores hit a garbage time two run homer in this game. He’s hot. Anyway, the Yoenis Cespedes benching is completely insane on the surface. You can’t sit your star against the Cubs in a rubber game when you’re in the Wild Card race. But we all know why he sat. Yo is hurt and couldn’t take the field today. He’s playing hurt, and Terry is trying to get what he can from him when he can get it. Without Yo the offense has no chance.
Socked In The Nuts: In the first inning, Kris Bryant singled. With two outs and a man on, a Bartolo Colon pitch rocked Travis d’Arnaud in the nuts. Then once he recovered, Bryant stole a base on him. What a jerk. Bartolo proceeded to walk the next two batters and gave up a two RBI double to Addison Russell to make it 2-0 Cubs. I thought last night’s win might be a momentum builder. But this literal sock in the nuts, and the runs that followed made the game feel over instantly.
Rich Man’s Duda: Anthony Rizzo gutted the Mets during this Wednesday matinee with a third inning solo blast and a fifth inning two run shot. After his four strikeout performance last night, I guess he was out for blood. Rizzo is totally the rich man’s Lucas Duda. He was launching bombs while Duda does his daily physical therapy.
Send Him, Hold Him, Who Cares?: In the fourth inning with two outs James Loney, Travis d’Arnaud, and Kelly Johnson hit back to back to back singles. The Kelly Johnson single was a clutch hit with men on base AND in scoring position. And of course James Loney was gunned down trying to score by a laser Jason Heyward throw. I get being aggressive and sending the runner with two outs and Juan Lagares on deck. The Mets never get clutch hits. We were trying to make something happen. I also would have understood if we held Loney. He’s so slow. I always prefer to be conservative. The umpire ended up doing that thing where he calls the runner out because the throw beat him to the base. Umps have been doing it for 100 years. But…when you watch the replay Loney actually appeared to be safe. Too bad challenges aren’t allowed. And by that I mean Terry just forgot that you’re allowed to challenge. Nice!
Double Play Cut and Paste Section: I could have gone back to the posts from half of the games this season to get some generic “The Mets hit into multiple rally ending double plays in this game” language. But instead I’ll just re-type it. Juan Lagares squashed a rally in the second inning by hitting into a double play with two men on base. Then in the 7th inning, Travis d’Arnaud walked and Kelly Johnson singled. Then Lagares popped out and Michael Conforto hit into a double play.
Mr. Mop: The Cubs chased Bartolo from the game in the 5th inning with a barrage of hits. He gave up 6 runs over 4.1. Mop up man Antonio Bastardo entered with two men on base. After getting one out, he gave up an RBI single to Javier Baez to make it 6-0. He is so bad.
Guy At Work: A guy at work asked me what the Mets should do at the trade deadline. He felt they should trade for a reliever. Another guy said a starter. Another guy said they have to add at least one bat. Ummm the Mets need everything. If your team is weak at every position in July you have problems. Problems that you are unlikely to magically solve in-season.
Selling Is A Pipe Dream: All that being said, the notion that the Mets might sell at the trade deadline is a pipe dream. I’m not saying they shouldn’t sell. A strong argument could be made for the Mets to buy or sell. But we all know there’s no way the Wilpons will allow Sandy to sell away their August and September ticket sales. So forget that idea. Don’t even waste your breath. Also the team is coming off a World Series appearance and is in the thick of the Wild Card race. In my opinion giving up would be insane.
Everyone Sucks: Speaking of being in the Wild Card race, how is that possible? Every team is so mediocre. I suppose that’s the price of competitive balance. In the NBA Warriors vs. Cavs is a lock. In the NFL there’s like four to six real contenders. And it’ll still probably be the Patriots that win the Super Bowl this season. But MLB has like six very good teams and the rest are mediocre and fighting for a spot in the playoffs. I’ll take the mediocre team situation over the faux competitive balance that the NBA and NFL pretends to have year after year.
Tomorrow: The Mets are off tomorrow and then open up a weekend series against the Marlins on Friday. Obviously it’s the biggest series of the season. The Marlins are ahead of the Mets in the Wild Card. But every game is enormous now. The Mets need wins. You don’t need to be a math major to figure that one out.