Final Score (in 10 innings): Yankees 6, Mets 5
It was reported yesterday that Terry Collins was seen cursing in the Mets clubhouse around 4:30 and storming in and out of the Mets training room. A lot of people wondered if there was a new injury or something like that. Nope. I know what happened. Terry got the call from Sandy. Alderson said, “Hey Terry. We traded for Jay Bruce. Don’t blow this. If things don’t work out this season you’re fired.” Then he hung up.
Well Terry did not disappoint last night. He completely blew it. This Subway Series opener had all the elements of a classic Mets vs. Yankees matchup. It had the Mets coming through with a big hit to tease us, the Mets manager making horrendous decisions, game changing bloop BS hits for the Yankees, and the Mets ultimately beating themselves. Classic!
It even had all of our favorite things about the 2016 season. The Mets left men on base and failed in big spots with runners in scoring position, Terry mismanaged the bullpen, and the Mets failed to comeback late in the game despite having opportunities. We’re the best! The Wild Card Mets and the rebuilding Yankees basically have the same record. But don’t worry we’re still Kings of The City! I think? Nah not really.
Inside The Park Nope: The game started with Brett Gardner crushing a ball to center field over the head of brand new scrap heap center fielder Justin Ruggiano. Gardy decided to go for the inside the park home run, and the Mets successfully executed the relay throw to home and nailed him at the plate. I saw a lot of people complaining about the Yankees sending Gardner. Umm first of all Gardy is playing like a guy who just watched his front office waive the white flag on the season and doesn’t give a damn about send or hold signals. Second of all, when has it ever been a bad idea to force the Mets to make a play? I can’t believe the Mets executed. 9 times out of 10 we throw that ball to the backstop or way off line. Good send in my mind.
Wilmer The King In July: In the second inning, Wilmer Flores hit a solo blast against CC Sabathia. Wilmer was the King In July with his .290 average and 7 homers. Hopefully it’s carrying over into August now.
METS Disease: In the third inning, Justin Ruggiano grounded into a double play and instantly strained his hamstring. He’s going on the DL. The Mets signed him off the scrap heap this weekend, and he instantly contracted METS disease. All he had to do was sign the contract. Very dangerous stuff. Best to stay away from the Mets. I can’t wait to see Jay Bruce step to the plate for the first time tonight and foul the first pitch off of his foot. Shatter every single bone. Yo won’t be starting tomorrow because he’s still hurt. But Terry said he can pinch hit. So maybe Bruce will come up late in the game and foul a ball off of Yoenis Cespedes in the on-deck circle. It’s a disease folks. Pray for them all.
Terry’s Choice: Logan Verrett pitched 5 innings and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits. He isn’t very good. In the top of the fourth inning, Jacoby Ellsbury doubled and then Verrett walked Mark Teixeira who hasn’t done a damn thing all season. Then Ellsbury advanced on a fly out, and Verrett threw a wild pitch to let him score. The Yanks tied the game at 1 thanks to Verrett’s wild hospitality. In the 5th inning, Verrett walked Rob Refsnyder with one out. Smart. Then CC bunted him over and Gardner drove him in with a double to make it 2-1. Ellsbury followed that with an RBI single to make it 3-1.
Verrett stinks. Yesterday the Mets re-acquired Jon Niese. He stinks too. I can’t wait for Terry’s choice. Every Verrett start the rest of the way we’re going to hear “start Niese instead” and then when Niese starts we’ll hear “start Verrett”. These two guys are worse than Matt Harvey pitching with thoracic outlet syndrome.
Rally and Reynolds: In the fifth inning, the Mets teased us and actually showed some life. Brandon Nimmo ripped a one out single and with two outs Michael Conforto crushed a double that scored Nimmo from first. That made it 3-2 Yanks. Then in the 6th inning Wilmer Flores singled, Travis d’Arnaud singled, and with one out Matt Reynolds hit a three-run homer to make it 5-3 Mets. An unlikely Subway Series hero? That’s what it felt like. Until he wasn’t.
They’re All Dead: CC was pulled in the 6th inning after he walked pinch hitter Steven Matz. Let me repeat that. The Mets are pinch hitting Steven Matz in the Subway Series during a pennant race because they are still electing to play short-handed rather than actually placing guys on the DL. Anyway Matz walked, Curtis Granderson singled, Michael Conforto walked, and Neil Walker left them loaded. That’s one of our 2016 signature moves.
Terry’s Blunders 1.0: Honestly, I felt confident with the score 5-3 in the 7th inning. Hansel Robles made quick work of the Yanks in the 7th, and Addison Reed/Jeurys Familia have been lights out all season. Instead of just going to Reed in the 8th, Terry decided to screw around with matchups because he’s a moron. Jerry Blevins walked leadoff man Brett Gardner. He retired Ellsbury, but then Reed came in with a man on and the Yanks beat him. They beat our light out setup man because of course they did. He struck out Tex to make it two outs and man on first. But then Brian McCann singled and Didi Gregorius hit a soft little BS Yankee single to left that scored Gardner, and that tied the game at 5. Walking the leadoff man killed us again. Shocker.
Grandy Temporarily Saves The Day: Curtis Granderson made a fantastic catch in the 9th to help prevent Familia from blowing the game thus ensuring we’d lose in extras.
Terry’s Blunders 2.0: Because of Terry’s horrendous bullpen management and playing short, all we had left in the pen for extras was Seth Lugo. He instantly gave up a run in the 10th. I’m happy it was quick. It helped ease the pain.
Terry’s Blunders 3.0: In the bottom of the 10th, James Loney hit a leadoff double. Terry had Matt Reynolds bunt and sacrifice Loney to third base because he’s a fool. Let’s just give up outs with Alejandro De Aza and Rene Rivera on deck. I get that Betances is incredible and you want to set up the sac fly and you don’t expect to get hits off of him blah blah. It’s dumb to give up outs. Period. Anyway, De Aza was hit by a pitch but Rene hit one right back to Dellin Betances for the second out and Grandy struck out. Game Over.
Why Are The Gods So Cruel: Under normal circumstances, I would say that my behavior this season is the definition of insanity. I’ve been watching the Mets over and over and expecting different results. Yankees fans will quickly learn by watching four games against this Mets team that we are mediocre and one of the most overrated .500 teams in the game. I think mediocre is starting to be a generous way of describing our play. Yet I keep expecting things to turn around. Why? Because last year the baseball gods proved that it’s possible.
In 2015 the Mets were somewhere between terrible and mediocre for April, May, June, and July and then they because exceptional. Now I’m not saying one season should be arbitrarily compared to the next, or that it’s reasonable to expect that to happen this season. The set of circumstances in 2015 were different. But it still happened. Why? Why are the gods so cruel that they would show us something like that is possible? Is it because I switched jobs in the middle of the 2015 season? I don’t know if I can just switch jobs again to bring back the magic. Is it because of “That’s baseball Suzyn” or whatever expression that Yankee mook says? I don’t know. But it’s not fair.
Today: Jacob deGrom vs. Masahiro Tanaka, and it’s Jay Bruce debut night. That’s nice. Things will be different tonight. You’ll see! (Cut to me gently rocking back and forth in a rocking chair with a straight jacket on at an insane asylum. Fade to black).