The Metssiah Is Ready For Thor vs. MadBum

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.

My Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes 3B,
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes LF
  4. Curtis Granderson CF
  5. T.J. Rivera 2B
  6. Jay Bruce RF
  7. Lucas Duda 1B
  8. Rene Rivera C
  9. 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.

My Fears

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.

Waddya Say Rook: T.J. Rivera looks like a Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez love child. That Bronx blood flows through his veins. But does he have the clutch gene like Jeter? I hope so.

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.

Bold Predictions 

  1. Jose Reyes hits a leadoff homer off of MadBum.
  2. 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!

The 2016 Wild Card Mets

Final Score: Mets 5, Phillies 3

The Mets have made the playoffs for the second year in a row. The Mets have achieved two straight playoff appearances for only the second time in franchise history (the other being 1999, 2000). We went into the season hoping for the NL East crown and a World Series Championship. After a hot April the Mets proceeded to play mediocre baseball for roughly four months and lose key player after key player to injury. They failed to produce with runners in scoring position at historically bad levels. The entire young pitching staff that carried the team to the 2015 World Series fell victim to some type of arm injury. But despite all those problems, the Mets went on to be the hottest team in baseball over the final month. They took advantage of a Giants collapse and won all their “meaningful games in September”. Wild Card playoff, here we come!

Early Scoring: In the fourth inning of yesterday’s clincher, T.J. Rivera hit a clutch two out RBI single to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. In the fifth inning, after a Travis d’Arnaud single and a sac bunt, Jose Reyes hit an RBI single to make it 2-0 Mets.

The Lock: In the bottom of the fifth inning, Maikel Franco singled off of Bartolo Colon and Ryan Howard came up in an obvious game-tying home run situation. Lock of the century. Every Mets fan felt it coming. Right on cue he put one in the seats to tie the game at 2.

The Unexpected: In the 6th inning, James Loney broke the tie with a two out two-run homer to make it 4-2 Mets. Loney smiled at the Mets dugout and gave the bat a drop flip. I thought the Phillies were going to retaliate in some way, but luckily they let it go. Hopefully it’s a sign that the game is moving past the bat flip retaliation crap.

The Fusion: In the 7th inning, Darin Ruf hit a pinch hit solo homer off of Fernando Salas to cut the Mets lead to one run. For some reason Darin Ruf and Cameron Rupp just blur together in my mind as one large bearded Philadelphia baseball player.

The Umpire BS: In the 9th inning Asdrubal Cabrera added a huge two out insurance RBI single to give the Mets a 5-3 lead. Jeurys Familia slammed the door in the 9th and that was the final score. But right after the Cabrera single, Yoenis Cespedes came up and was called out on strikes. Yo had a rare awful day at the plate. He went 0 for 5 and hit into some double plays. So obviously the tension was bubbling up for Yo at that point. But the umpire had an awful zone the entire day. And the strikes he called on Yo were awful borderline pitches. Yo had words for the umpire after the K and the ump instantly tosses him. All I have to say is this. I don’t really care what Yo said. If an umpire tosses a team’s best player because the guy said a few curse words over some questionable strike calls then that umpire needs to be banished from the sport. Pathetic disgraceful display by the home plate umpire yesterday.

One Note On Terry: I think it’s absurd that everyone feels the need to take an extreme view on Terry. For some reason when it comes to Terry Collins people seemingly have one of two stances. Either they say “he’s a great manager and his players love him” or “Terry is a moron who doesn’t know how to make the right in-game managerial decisions”. Umm it’s both people. Terry kept this team playing hard for 162 games and deserves credit for that. Terry also blew a bunch of games over the course of the season due to poor decision making. It’s both. I just hope nobody ever likens my parenting skills to Terry’s managerial skills. The Metssiah is terrible at the day to day parenting decision-making but his kids will run through a wall for him.

Wild Card Thoughts: I’d prefer to play the Cardinals. I don’t care that they are heating up lately. I don’t want to face Madison Bumgarner in a do or die playoff game. Nobody in their right mind wants to face MadBum. But I think we all know it’s going to be the Giants and MadBum at Citi Field on Wedneday. Noah Syndergaard vs. Madison Bumgarner feels like the matchup MLB would want. We’ll see what happens today. But whether the Mets play the Cardinals or the Giants, I assume both teams will shake off their regular season flaws and play like the classic National League clubs we all know. The Giants will do their inspired October magic routine and the Cardinals will channel their dark magic powers.

The MadBum matchup isn’t ideal considering he’s a lefty and our lineup is full of lefty sluggers but the more I think about it the more confident I become. Jose Reyes has been mashing as a right-handed hitter and is 3 for 9 lifetime against MadBum. Asdrubal Cabrera (2 for 4 lifetime) and Curtis Granderson are both en fuego and can hit anyone right now. T.J. Rivera went 2 for 3 against him when he faced him. Yoenis Cespedes is 3 for 10 lifetime against him. Rene Rivera hit a homer during the season against him. He’s not an ideal matchup for Lucas Duda and Jay Bruce but they are professional hitters. I think they’ll step up in the big spot.

Today: I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this meaningless game 162 today. No pressure. No worries. Rest and relax. Let’s go Mets!

Robert Bruceman Wins It For Mets



Final Score: Mets 5, Phillies 1

It comes down to today’s game. The Mets need one more win to lock up the first Wild Card spot and home field advantage. The Mets performance over the past month has been incredible. Sure the schedule has been soft overall, but they beat the Cardinals and Giants down the stretch. They deserve praise for this improbable run. If the Mets make the one game Wild Card playoff and lose, it’ll leave a sour disappointing taste in our mouths for 2016. As I’ve said many times, I barely consider the Wild Card game a playoff game. But the bottom line is the Mets deserve praise for waking the hell up a month ago and getting to this point.

The Mets won last night because of Robert Bruceman (i.e. the combined stellar pitching performance from Robert Gsellman and the three hit, three RBI night from smoking hot Jay Bruce). Robert Bruceman sounds like a swarmy classless business man that would pick up a woman in a hotel bar, accompany her to her room, and then disappear the next morning leaving her with an enormous room service bill.

The Bruce Is Beyond Loose: Jay Bruce hit an RBI single in the 4th inning, a solo homer in the 7th inning, and an RBI single in the 8th inning. Streaky players are completely ridiculous. He went from completely lost at the plate to absolutely en fuego. T.J. Rivera also added a 4th inning RBI single, and Yoenis Cespedes had an RBI in the 8th on one of the most absurd pop force outs to first base that I’ve even seen. God I hope this team clinches today and wins the damn Wild Card game. Bruce is hot. The offense is hot. Please just give these bats a chance in a short playoff series. Also, after all the struggles we had on offense this season I can’t believe I just typed that sentence.

Trust Issues: Robert Gsellman gave up 7 hits and 1 run over 6 innings. He struck out 7. Is it weird that I don’t trust him? He’s been spectacular. ERA under 3. He’s firing off quality start after quality start. And I just don’t trust him. I’m expecting him to turn into a pumpkin despite the fact that he’s always been a promising minor league arm, and he’s showing his talent at the major league level. I suppose the skepticism has more to do with being a Mets fan than anything else. We’re always doubting the validity of every good thing. We just sit around waiting to be burned.

Trust Issues 2.0: Speaking of skepticism, the Fernando Salas, Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia combination struck out 7 Phillies over 3 innings. The back end of the pen has been logging so many innings, but it’s remained dominant. Terry used all the big guns again last night because he’s trying to lock this damn Wild Card spot up. I get it. But I’m skeptical yet again. I’m waiting for their arms to fall off when it matters most. Reliever trust issues also come with the territory when it comes to being a Mets fan. All teams really.

Cancel The Game: Terry Collins said after the game that he’d consider starting Eric Campbell at first base if the Mets make the Wild Card game and face Madison Bumgarner. If that’s the case just cancel the game now. I’d rather start any left-handed hitter on our 40 man roster in that game over Soup. Soup stinks. I’m just going to assume Terry had a moment of temporary insanity after the game when he said that. Please God no Soup. Also, the Mets confirmed after last night’s game that Wilmer Flores tried to swing and failed. He’s out forever. It’s a huge blow. It’s the reason we’re talking about Soup and playoffs in the same sentence. I’ll never forgive Terry for that pinch running oversight that led to Wilmer’s home plate collision if it means we see Soup hitting in a big spot.

Today: Clinch today baby! Let’s go Mets!