Written by: Eric M. Hammer
Originally posted at TheEricHammer.com.
Lots of ugly baseball this week. The Mets, the Marlins, and the Phillies are some of baseball's worst; the Phillies legitimately are the worst. It was a week of bad teams duking it out, and the Mets somehow emerged with somewhat high spirits. But don't be fooled because the team is still going nowhere fast.
Monday - travel day, no game, thus a great Monday
Tuesday - Another day, another injury. This time it was Robert Gsellman, pulling into first base grabbing his hamstring. He was put on the DL Tuesday, making him the 6th of 7 starters (in Spring Training) to miss time due to injury. The saga continues for the Mets and their injury woes. Enough is enough. Ron Darling had some choice words about it. He's not wrong. It's past the point of coincidence or bad luck. There's something seriously wrong with the way the Mets train. There are major issues with the strength, conditioning, and/or medical staff, and it's clear as day. They need to clean house and figure out a new plan of action because the people in charge now are incapable of keeping these world class players healthy. The '86 Mets were banging hookers and doing blow on the reg, and they were able to stay healthy and win a fucking championship.
Gsellman left after 3 innings of work, and Paul Sewald was surprisingly great in his absence with 3 shutout innings of work. The Mets lost 6-3 as they often do to the Marlins, despite Travis d'Arnaud showing some rare pop at the plate. His batting average is abysmal and cannot be trusted beyond this season to be the everyday catcher. Lucas Duda's defensive struggles reared its ugly head once again, and don't even get me started on Wilmer Flores. There was a play in the field where Flores literally ran the wrong way on a ground ball. A grounder was hit into the gap and he moved toward 3rd base because he said he didn't see the ball off the bat. I've concluded that this is the first time in baseball history that the third baseman couldn't see the ground ball hit towards him. Fuck that guy. Stop worrying about the opposition hitting bombs of you and learn how to play baseball.
Prior to Wednesday's game, Asst GM John Ricco was asked about the never-ending injuries. I'm actually going to give him a free pass here because there's no way he would say this on his own. He's speaking on behalf of Sandy Alderson who speaks on behalf of the cowardly Wilpons. I believe wholeheartedly that Ricco was told exactly what to say regarding this matter. While annoying, this is pretty standard in sports. I'll take unfiltered candor every time, but the press answers are almost always rehearsed and very bottled up. I get it, but it's still annoying.
Wednesday - On the 2 year anniversary of his big league debut, Steven Matz brought his A-game. I was there in person to see his debut, excited for what was to come. He's been plagued with injuries since then, but he's always been very good when healthy. On Wednesday, he pitched 7 scoreless innings on his way to his 2nd win and an easy 8-0 Mets win. Matz has made 4 starts this year, all of them decent or better.
Curtis Granderson has been RED hot at the plate. As of Wednesday's game, he has 5 HRs in his last 7 games, and he's risen is average from comfortable below .200 to .235. He's a really good lead off hitter when he's producing which seems to always be about 2 months into the season. Grandy is an awesome clubhouse guy and a great leader for some of the younger guys (Nimmo, Conforto, etc.), but he's also 36 years old. Best case scenario is he stays hot so the Mets can trade his old ass in the coming weeks.
Thursday - No injuries and a victory make for two wins in one day. The Mets took the rubber match from the Marlins and secured back-to-back series wins heading into the weekend. The 10-game road trip resulted in 5 wins and 5 losses for the Mets. Granderson got the offense started in the 1st, and the Mets jumped out to a quick lead that they were able to hold onto. I'm telling you, man, if there's any market for Curtis Granderson, then this hot streak could not be coming at a better time. Jay Bruce and TJ Rivera were also offensive catalysts in Thursday's win; TJ Rivera has never been given a fair shake from this team but has always performed when given the chance. I'm a big TJ Rivera fan. Seth Lugo's quality start earned him his 3rd win in 4 starts. The record is better than his actual pitching, but he's trending upwards which is encouraging considering the temperament of his UCL.
Also, Bartolo Colon aka Big Sexy was DFA'd by the Atlanta Braves. His ERA is over 8.00, but at this point what's the harm in bringing Bart back to NY? The season is lost, and the Wilpons need to sell tickets. There's no risk to inserting him into a disastrous pitching rotation. I don't foresee him saving the season or being very good, if brought back, but I'd rather see him out there than Rafael Montero. Make the Mets sexy again. As of Thursday night, the Mets were at least considering a Big Sexy reunion.
Friday - Michael Conforto went for his 3rd MRI in 6 days. He hasn't played since getting HBP on the hand/wrist on Sunday afternoon, and the Mets confirmed it was not serious, as always. Status quo for the Mets' medical staff as per usual. It's truly remarkable that a team who can't afford to lose is okay with playing with a short bench while crossing their fingers that an injury will heal overnight. It's baffling and frustrating, but sadly not surprising. He was eventually moved to the disabled list, obviously. The 10-day DL was literally implemented for this situation so that you don't have to play short while you debate the roster move. The sky is blue, the grass is green, and the Mets have no idea what they're doing.
Still no Big Sexy, which is bad. But the Phillies are in town, which is good. And Jacob deGrom has the ball, which is very good. Fuck the Phillies. I take great solace in the fact that they're the worst team in baseball. Irregardless to the Mets performance, the Phillies being dead last helps me sleep a little at night. A 2-1 victory was not as close at it looks by the score. While it wouldn't have surprised anyone to see Reed blow it in the 9th, the Mets were in command from the get go. The boy deGrom was outstanding once again. He allowed just one run (due to a Granderson miscue in the outfield) over 7 innings, making it his 4th straight start of 7+ innings and 1 or fewer runs. He's in a stretch that's tough to match, and he's been ace-like basically his entire career.
Jacob deGrom has allowed one run or fewer in 42 of his first 92 starts, matching Dwight Gooden for most in MLB to start a career since 1913.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 1, 2017
Saturday - 'Twas a come from behind victory for the Mets. When the defense commits 3 errors in the first 5 innings and the starting pitcher can't finish the 4th inning, expectations are low. And when the sacrificial bullpen goat of choice (this time was Fernando Salas) surrenders a 3-run jack in the 7th to bust open a tie game, it was full expected for the Mets to roll over and die. Yet they scratched and clawed their way back in, eventually taking back the lead off the heels of an Asdrubal Cabrera 2-run HR. Addison Reed was able to shut the door in 9th without much issue (rare), and the Mets secured another W and another series W.
Sunday - With Rafael Montero starting, this one was over before it even began. It certainly didn't help that the Mets had TWO hits, but Montero is as close to an auto-L as there is. He fucking stinks. I'd rather watch Bartolo get lit up every fifth day than this bum. To think that at one point he was our most highly touted prospect is truly unbelievable. Now he's more dispensable than any person on the roster. His final stat line was not awful for a 5th starter, but he dug the Mets a hole early. It was a gross game that I barely watched because there are so many better things to do. Another injury looming too as the red hot Curtis Granderson has a sore hip most likely because he's 65 years old. Classic.
It was a successful week from a W-L standpoint. The Mets took 2 out of 3 from both the Marlins and the Phillies, two awful teams who somehow made the Mets look competent at times; that's hard to do. As the All Star break approaches, the Mets have climbed their way back towards the .500 mark. As of Sunday's defeat, they sit at 38-43 with the Nationals and Cardinals on deck. I can't wait for the All Star break so people can stop lying to themselves about a Mets late-summer run. The sooner the break comes, the sooner everyone gets on board with waving the white flag. Here's to hoping for a Big Sexy reunion, more TJ Rivera, more Rene Rivera, more Brandon Nimmo, selling at the deadline, and a Tim Tebow call up in September because that would be hilarious.