METS Disease Spreading Like Wildfire

Final Score: Phillies 6, Mets 4

The outcome of last night’s game really didn’t matter once Yoenis Cespedes came out with a hamstring injury. He said he felt a mysterious “shock” in his hamstring, and now he’s going to get an MRI. His injury comes one day after Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud left a game with a hyperextended elbow and bruised wrist respectively. I also read that Wilmer Flores was being treated for “an infection.” A mystery infection?!? And today Jacob deGrom was scratched from his start with a stiff neck. METS disease is really sweeping through the clubhouse. Sometimes the disease leads to a player mysteriously losing his skills overnight. And sometimes it just leads to a plague of injuries. This time it’s hitting us hard and just in time for the big April series against the Nationals. Great.

Playing Short: The Mets basically had a two man bench last night. At one point Rene Rivera and Travis d’Arnaud were the backups at every position. The league implemented the 10 Day DL so teams could avoid situations like last night. Somehow the Mets still find a way to put their roster in the worst possible situation.

Screw The Game: Dropping the rubber game of a three game set at home against the worst team in your division with your ace on the mound is about as embarrassing and pathetic as it gets. It doesn’t matter if it’s April or September. Regular season losses don’t get much worse than this one.

The game was filled with the same horrible baseball we’ve been watching this club play since Opening Day (but especially lately). The Phillies scored three runs in the second inning. In large part the runs were scored because Thor allowed a stolen base, he threw a wild pitch, and Jay Bruce made an error at first base. No that’s not a typo. Bruce was at first base due to all the injuries. Also the error wasn’t really his fault. He made a throw over to first base after fielding a ball, and Thor/Walker failed to cover the base.

In the third inning a hit by pitch and another error led to two more Phillies runs to make it 5-1. Neil Walker teased us in the bottom of third inning by hitting a three run homer and bringing the Mets within one run. But the offense didn’t do much else. Terry turned to dead arm Fernando Salas in the 8th inning, and he yielded an insurance run on a homer. He gave up three hits and failed to retire one batter. His arm is finished in April.

Thank God For Him: In his worst start of the season Noah Syndergaard pitched 7 innings, gave up 5 runs (3 ER) on 7 hits with 10 Ks and no walks. He was hitting 99 and 100 MPH consistently. He’s a monster.

Have Nats Number: It feels like the Mets getting swept by the Nationals is an absolute lock at the moment. From injuries to errors to lackluster offense, everything is going wrong for this team right now. I’m just hoping we inexplicably have the Nats number this year. Total pipe dream.

Just Make The Video Tribute Already: David Wright was transferred to the 60 day DL. I feel like Wright is going to play one farewell game in September, get a video tribute, and then retire. I’m not joking at all. Honestly we’ll be lucky if we even get to watch him for one game in September.

Today: The Nationals come to town. This series is going to get ugly. At least I have Max Scherzer in my fantasy league. That’s a guaranteed shutout.

Mets Fans Sentenced To Watch Remaining Games

Final Score (in 12 innings): D-Backs 3, Mets 2

Watching the 2016 Mets combined with long drawn out discussions on SNY about how to improve MLB pace of play is about as boring as TV gets. And that’s what last night’s game was. The Mets had 6 hits in 12 painful innings and Gary, Keith, and Ron just kept spitballing about how the commissioner can speed up baseball. You want to improve the league? Just get rid of a few teams and include the Mets on the list of teams to cut. Board up Citi Field. Jon Taffer would walk into Citi Field, watch one baseball game, and then shut the whole damn thing down.

Thank A Lot Kelly: The pain and suffering almost concluded in the 9th inning with a 2-0 Mets loss. At that point, the Mets had only mustered 3 hits. But Kelly Johnson just had to hit a massive pinch hit two-run bomb to send the game to extra innings. Johnson forced us to watch the Mets bat three more times and ultimately see Jerry Blevins give up the game winning homer to a guy who’s never hit one in his career. Kelly Johnson actually said after the game he thought his clutch shot would spark the team. There’s no sparking this lifeless corpse of a club.

Always Sexy: Bartolo Colon was obviously sexy as hell in this game because he’s great and also because the D-Backs stink. He went 7 innings, gave up 1 run on 7 hits and he struck out 8.

Terry’s Final Days: It’s hard to even find the energy to nitpick in this game. In the top of the 8th inning with a D-Back runner on third and one out, Terry elected to pitch to Paul Goldschmidt instead of walking him to set up a double play. Goldy hit a sac fly to make it 2-0 D-Backs. Terry burned Jon Niese in the 9th and failed to double switch him into the game. Without his long man, he ended up going to Jeurys Familia for two innings as if it was the NLCS. In the 10th inning, T.J. Rivera led off with a single and Terry asked Travis d’Arnaud to bunt him over to second base. Always a bad move giving up outs, but who are we kidding d’Arnaud probably would have hit into a double play anyway. Travis d’Arnaud obviously popped up and blew his chance to move the runner over. He has METS disease so bad. Poor Travis.

Joke Lineup: Terry made questionable calls throughout the game, and he set a joke of a lineup full of our Triple-A squad. Ty Kelly, Matt Reynolds, and T.J. Rivera all started. We might as well just call up Soup and cancel the season. It’s hard to believe that 9 months after playing in the World Series the Mets started arguably their worst lineup of 2016 as the calls to fire Terry Collins grow louder and louder.

D’Arnaud’s Horrifying METS Disease: Travis d’Arnaud transforming into an utterly useless ballplayer has been a real curveball that I did not expect in 2016. He’s got METS disease like you read about. The D-Backs stole 4 bases on him tonight. They ran all over him last night. I think the final number was 9 stolen bases against him in two games. He stinks behind the plate, and he stinks at the plate.

The Grandyman Can’t Do Anything: Meanwhile Curtis Granderson may wind up posting the lowest RBI to HR ratio of all time for a player with a minimum of 20 HR. In 2001 Barry Bonds hit 73 HR and 137 RBI for a ratio of 1.876. Not sure if that’s the lowest ever but Grandy has 18 and 31 which is 1.72. Grandy went 0 for 5 in this game and continued to kill the Mets at the top of the order. Michael Conforto has been a huge sophomore disappointment. Just brutal. Terry says we need to get Michael going, but he didn’t even start him.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses: The SNY booth made excuses all game about the Mets injuries and blah blah blah. This team has enough major league players on the roster to compete. They have failed to muster any offense all season. They failed with Yoenis Cespedes in the lineup, with Jose Reyes in the lineup, and with Asdrubal Cabrera in the lineup. Nothing has been able to spark this offense. I think the injury excuses are kind of lame at this point.

Today: This could be Terry Collins’ last game as Mets manager. A sweep at home to the D-Backs is a fireable offense. My sources tell me Terry has already purchased tickets for Saturday’s game against the Padres at Citi Field and is looking forward to watching the Styx concert as a private citizen. On the bright side they’ll probably hire bench coach Dick Scott on an interim basis. So at least we can call our manager Dick all the time.

Trade Deadline Is Over; Back To The Losing

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).

De Aza And Murph: The Curse Reminder Game

Final Score: Nationals 4, Mets 2

At this point, the Mets 2016 season has hit “rock bottom” too many times to even count. The term “rock bottom” has lost all meaning. But the outcome of this game goes much deeper than a simple loss. The recap is quick and simple. Daniel Murphy hit a solo home run off of Logan Verrett in the second inning to make it 1-0. Jayson Werth added a sac fly in the third inning and Murph added a two run shot in the 8th inning off of Sean Gilmartin to make it 4-0. The Mets never had a real opportunity off of Max Scherzer in this game. Scherzer was pulled in the 8th inning after going 7.1 scoreless innings and striking out 10. In the 9th inning, Yoenis Cespedes singled and James Loney hit a two run home run to make it 4-2. Yeah that’s right. James Loney our 2016 cleanup hitter launched a home run.

METS Disease: This wasn’t just some pitchers duel with a few key home runs. This game served as a reminder for all Mets fans how real the franchise curse is. It reminds all Mets fans how real METS disease is. We watched both phenomena happening simultaneously on the field. It’s been genuinely hard to watch Alejandro De Aza step into the batter’s box in 2016. He’s hitting .158/.208/.232 on the season. He is arguably the best example we have in 2016 of what METS disease can do to a player. De Aza is a man who once had major league skills and abilities and now he has none of the above. De Aza came to the Mets with a career .263/.326/.398 batting line. In his career he had success against right handed pitching to the tune of a .743 OPS.

All those skills and credentials became meaningless once he signed with the Mets. As soon as his pen hit the dotted line of his Mets contract he was instantly infected. Alejandro was no different than Chris Young or John Mayberry Jr. These were all players with decent major league resumes. They had known skills. They were versatile outfielders brought in to play a bench role. But with the Mets they couldn’t even make contact in batting practice. With METS disease you inexplicably lose your skills or you lose your health. In rare cases you lose them both at once (e.g. Michael Cuddyer). In last night’s game, De Aza came to the plate in the 8th inning with men on second and third and two outs. He struck out against Shawn Kelley in pathetic fashion. De Aza will suffer the same fate as Chris Young and Mayberry. He will be released mid-season. Goodbye Alejandro. Take some time off to recover from the METS and go rejuvenate your career somewhere else.

Mets Curse: The Daniel Murphy storyline is where we had the opportunity to see the Mets curse happening live. For Mets fans, his success is the least surprising thing of all time. The Mets spent the better part of two years trying to trade Daniel Murphy for a mid-level prospect. Gary Cohen once went on TV and referred to Murph as a “net negative”. We all know what Gary meant. Murph was an above average major league hitter, with limited power, and was an absolute liability at every single position. He cost the Mets games with defensive gaffes all time time. Sure we all saw him carry the team to the World Series with tons of dingers. But we also saw him Murph it up defensively in the World Series. We all knew Murph never hit more than 14 homers. Murph never posted an OPS higher than .770 in a season where he had more than 500 ABs.

Murph was an average to slightly above average hitter. That’s not an opinion. It’s a fact based on his pre-2016 career numbers. We all watched the guy for 7 years. Well he’s not average anymore. He’s having an MVP season. He’s now an MVP candidate and a Met killer for life. That’s not natural. No I’m not attributing it to steroids. It’s just the Mets curse. It’s the way things work. We’ve seen it all before. And now the curse is manifesting itself yet again in the form of Daniel Murphy.

The Takeaway: The only takeaway I have is to never forget. Never let a World Series run or some run of short lived success fool you when it comes to the Mets. The Fans Remember. We must remember the team that we root for and everything that goes with it. It’s not a matter of the fans being cynical or pessimistic. We’ve all seen METS disease and the Mets curse play out a million times in a million different situations. It’s not pessimism. It’s realism.

Today: The Mets open a home series against the Cubs today. Don’t be fooled. Don’t think for one second that anything that happened in the 2015 playoffs will have any impact on how this weekend series will play out. The season is unraveling. It’s all unraveling. The sky is falling. The Cubs are going to dance on our pre All-Star break grave.