We are a little more than a day away from the marquee NL Wild Card pitching showdown that the MLB script writers have been fantasizing about for weeks. My winner-take-all single-elimination Wild Card game anxiety is approaching dangerously high levels. But I’m ready for Thor vs. MadBum.
- Jose Reyes 3B,
- Asdrubal Cabrera SS
- Yoenis Cespedes LF
- Curtis Granderson CF
- T.J. Rivera 2B
- Jay Bruce RF
- Lucas Duda 1B
- Rene Rivera C
- Noah Syndergaard P
This is the best lineup we can roll out there right now. Rene Rivera obviously starts at catcher for defense, and because he went 2 for 3 (with a homer) against MadBum this season. I think the only question in the lineup is around first base. In my opinion the starter has to be Duda. If he’s healthy you have to roll with the heavy hitters. But early indications from the Mets are that James Loney will draw the start. If Duda isn’t in the lineup it’s obviously due to health reasons which is extra disappointing.
MadBum Duh: Madison Bumgarner is capable of dominating any team at any time. And he’s MLB’s best big game pitcher (career postseason ERA 2.14/road postseason ERA 0.60). The Mets will have to do what hardly anyone has done. They’ll have to beat MadBum in a big game. Our lefty heavy lineup (Grandy, Bruce etc.) isn’t ideal for a matchup with MadBum. But Grandy is hot, and we have no choice but to roll with our veterans.
Not 100%: Yoenis Cespedes looked like crap in the season finale. He was furious after the game, and he said it was because of his performance. He denied any physical issues, but he’s been playing banged up all season. Asdrubal Cabrera has been playing hurt too. Duda is still rusty. Are they ready to go? We’ll find out.
Always The Defense: The Mets D always worries me. Noah Syndergaard has to hold men on base. Lucas Duda can barely move out there when his back is healthy. Jose Reyes isn’t perfect at third base. Hopefully the Giants don’t expose any of his defensive inexperience. Grandy in CF? How are Yo’s legs? We all know Bruce is as slow as they come.
Terry Hits The Panic Button: After HarveyGate last year in Game 5 of the World Series, I’m worried Terry will have PTSD and pull Thor at the first sign of trouble or something crazy.
Rocket Science Over/Unders That Equal Victory
MadBum pitches under 7 innings: If Bumgarner is out of the game after 6 innings or gets pulled in the 7th it means the Mets drove his pitch count up and the Giants bullpen is involved in the game. The Giants pen has been atrocious this year. Pray for the pen.
The Mets lineup has over 2.5 homers: The Mets win when they hit home runs. If the Mets hit 3+ homers they’ll win #rocketscience.
Jose, Cabby, and Yo combine for over 4.5 hits: The Mets need the top of their order to stay hot. Jose, Asdrubal and Yo have all had historical success against MadBum. If they have success tomorrow the Mets will triumph.
Thor has over 9.5 Ks: I’m hoping Thor has his best stuff. Overpowering fastball, nasty slider, 90+ changeup. Hopefully the adrenaline brings out that 101 MPH gas. If he’s striking everyone out we don’t have to worry about him holding men on base.
Rene Rivera throws out over 1.5 prospective base stealers: Hopefully Noah strikes out the world. But if men get on base he has to at least hold them on effectively enough to give Rivera a chance to throw out some base stealers. I hope the Giants run themselves out of opportunities to score.
Duda (or Loney)/Bruce combine for over 2.5 hits off of MadBum: If Bumgarner is able to plow through the bottom half of the Mets order consistently, we may deal with some of those RISP woes we complained about all season long. Let’s hope Duda (or Loney) and Bruce can lengthen the lineup.
- Jose Reyes hits a leadoff homer off of MadBum.
- MadBum has pitched in 7 road postseason games for the Giants and in those games the Giants are 7-0. That will be 7-1 after Wednesday and MadBum will take the L.
Please God No BS
All we can do is pray at this point. But please God make sure there are no BS calls, no BS replay issues, no BS game-changing bloop hits for the Giants, no BS home plate collision or takeout slide controversies, no BS freak injuries, no BS player ejections. No BS at all. Please God?!? Let’s go Mets!