The All Star Game Is Already a Letdown
Back in 2012, there was a debate over whether R.A. Dickey should start the All Star Game. He deserved the start as he was the best pitcher in the National League in a season where he would go on to win 20 games and the Cy Young Award. Instead, Tony La Russa would go with Matt Cain to win the game leaving Mets fans to wait until the sixth inning for Dickey to enter the game. Each and every Mets fan was excited as Dickey pitched a scoreless sixth inning.
The following year, Matt Harvey would get the start at Citi Field in the first All Star Game hosted by the Mets since Shea Stadium opened in 1964. Harvey would be the first Met to be the starting All Star Game pitcher since Dwight Gooden in 1988. There was an electricity in Citi Field and amongst the fan base as Harvey pitched two scoreless innings striking out three. There was more excitement due to the fact that David Wright was the starting third baseman in the game.
Last year, the Mets would only have one All Star in Jacob deGrom, but it wouldn’t matter. He would become the story of the All Star Game with his dominant sixth inning appearance. While getting his fastball up to 98 MPH, he only needed ten pitches to strike out Stephen Vogt, Jason Kipnis, and Jose Iglesias.
In each of these instances, Mets fans felt a certain sense of pride and excitement in watching their favorite players not only play in the All Star Game, but also in dominating in the All Star Game. With Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jeurys Familia named to this year’s All Star Game, Mets fans were expecting more of the same.
Syndergaard was supposed to be the All Star Game starter striking out the side in the first and second inning while getting his fastballs over 100 MPH. He was supposed to be in line for the win while Cespedes showed the world his Feats of Strength that caused Mets fans to wall in love with him last year. Finally, Familia was supposed to come in and get the save in the ninth. The win was supposed to let the world know that the Mets are still a force to be reckoned. It was supposed to give not just the National League but the Mets specifically home field advantage in the World Series this year. Instead, injuries struck.
Syndergaard has a dead arm and will not be pitching in the game. Cespedes is missing the game with a strained right quadriceps. Terry Collins has stated that deGrom declined to replace his teammates and/or Madison Bumgarner in the All Star Game. Accordingly, there would be no repeat of his 2015 performance. In their stead is Bartolo Colon, who is not likely to pitch as he is slated to pitch against the Phillies this Saturday. The only real hope the Mets fans have is with Familia, who probably won’t be taking the mound until sometime after midnight, well after many fans have already gone to bed, in the event that the National League has a chance to record the save.
No matter the outcome tonight, the All Star Game has already been a letdown for Mets fans.