Before this series against the Diamondbacks, much of the discussion surrounding this Mets team was about what was wrong with this team. There were many, many answers, but two of the more surprising ones were Amed Rosario and Noah Syndergaard.
With Rosario, he was struggling at the plate. He was swinging at too much, and he was not hitting for any power whatsoever. This also prevented him from using his game breaking speed, and when he tried, he was inevitably caught stealing.
With respect to Syndergaard, he hasn’t been bad, but he hasn’t been Thor. Considering how this team and pitching staff has been assembled, for this team to have a shot at competing, they needed Thor to be Thor. Yesterday, Syndergaard made a huge step getting back to that point.
At first, it didn’t seem that way. Syndergaard got himself into a bit of trouble in the first, but he managed his way out of it. He would not be as lucky in the second allowing back-to-back hits to Jarrod Dyson and Nick Ahmed, i.e. the soft spot of the Diamondbacks lineup, before yielding an RBI groundout to Jeff Mathis to give the Diamondbacks an early 1-0 lead.
Through those first two innings, he had thrown 44 pitches, and it looked like it was going to be another one of those short five inning starts Syndergaard has made this year.
Then, something clicked . . . finally, and it began with a 1-2-3 third, and it also helped that Syndergaard got some help in the fifth.
After Mathis led off the inning reaching on a Wilmer Flores error, Buchholz sacrificed him to second. David Peralta hit what initially looked like an RBI single, but Jay Bruce made a perfect throw to nail Mathis at the plate.
This was really the last time all game the Diamondbacks threatened. Part of the reason for that is in the sixth Syndergaard actually picked Paul Goldschmidt off of first:
#Dbacks challenge call that Paul Goldschmidt is out at 2B in the 6th; call stands, runner is out.
— MLB Replay (@MLBReplays) May 20, 2018
Syndergaard’s final line was a very Thor like 7.0 innings, six hits, one run, one earned, on walk, and seven strikeouts.
The only problem is with the Mets offense being stymied by a Clay Buchholz, who had not pitched in over a year, and the strong Diamondbacks bullpen, Syndergaard was not in line for the win.
Fortunately, he was not in line for a loss because in the sixth inning, Rosario hit his first home run of the year off of Buchholz to tie the score at 1-1:
1️⃣ swing, 1️⃣ run from #️⃣1️⃣. pic.twitter.com/D4rpKaMIJ8
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 20, 2018
In the seventh inning, it was apparent Syndergaard was done for the day, and with two quick outs, it seemed as if he was destined for a no decision. However, Tomas Nido, who took the place of the recently designated for assignment Jose Lobaton, singled to allow Mickey Callaway to use Asdrubal Cabrera to pinch hit. Like he has done all season, he delivered hitting a go-ahead two run homer off Jorge De La Rosa.
Then, Rosario is what might have been his best game in a Mets uniform, followed with his second homer of the game to give the Mets a 4-1 lead:
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 20, 2018
For Rosario, this would be his first two run homer game of his career. It was also a big step forward after his making incremental steps forward over the past few weeks. If he really takes off now, the sky is the limit for this Mets team.
With that, the Mets have their first three game home sweep of the season, and they have their first series win at home since the April 13-15 series against the Brewers. They are now back on track and once again ahead of the Nationals. Things are once again looking much better.
Game Notes: Luis Guillorme went 0-4 snapping a 13 game hitting streak he had combined between the majors and Triple-A.
Yesterday, while at Target, I stopped to get a Diet Coke. With the summer nearing, they’re back to putting names on bottles. Here’s what I would up grabbing:
Vargas as in Jason Vargas.
With Coke now having the Coke Corner at Citi Field, you’d think they can do better than that.
Really, any other pitcher.
In retrospect, maybe it was genius. After all, the soda was done in the first inning. After that, there was nothing left leading me to find something else. And that Vargas bottle was quickly discarded.
On the bright side, I didn’t have to overpay for it or carry it around empty for two years, so that was a positive.
Yesterday, the discussion about the Mets even entertaining Jacob deGrom happened on CMB on WFAN. The lively discussion wasn’t about just the possibility of trading deGrom. No, it was also about the possibility of trading him to the Yankees.
Like Carlin of CMB, Harper dismissed the notion deGrom would be traded to the Yankees as the Mets did not want to give the Yankees the final piece of their championship puzzle. Still, that did not stop the New York Daily News from printing this back page:
It should be noted Carlin was a former SNY employee who still has ties to many at both the network and the Mets organization.
For his part, Harper regularly appears on SNY, especially on Daily News Live.
Yes, for those who forgot, the Mets, SNY, and the New York Daily News are in bed together.
If the Mets were ever going to contemplate trading their big pitchers, especially one as popular as deGrom, you first want to gauge fan reaction. Ideally, if possible, you would want to begin to manipulate fans into agreeing this decision is best for the team.
The best way to do it? Well, that back page is a good start.
At the moment, Mets fans are in a panic deGrom will be pitching the Yankees to a World Series title much like David Cone once did. Only this is worse because it was the Blue Jays who traded Cone to the Yankees. This time the Mets are trading deGrom to the Yankees!
This causes many a Mets fan to exclaim, “Anywhere than the Yankees!”
That’s not the same as don’t trade deGrom.
Now, we know the Mets aren’t trading anyone just yet. It’s still way too soon, and even with a 3-10 May record, this team is still just 4.5 games out of the division and one game in the loss column from a Wild Card spot.
Still, when things are this bad, and everything is on the verge of spiraling out of control, you begin to at least lay the groundwork for being sellers at the deadline. If you want to blow it all up and do a full rebuild that means trading deGrom.
From a PR perspective that’s a nightmare, which is why you put it in Mets fans heads he could be a Yankee. When he’s not a Yankee, you’re relieved.
Then, when you turn on the radio or SNY, you will get to hear what a great return the Mets received in exchange for deGrom and how these players will accelerate this rebuild.
You’ll hear that because the Mets have ties all over the local media to help them manipulate the Mets fan into buying the team’s narrative.
And it all started with then laying a foundation for the Mets trading deGrom . . .
This was panning out to be another one of those horrible Mets losses we have seen recently. The Mets were not scoring runs at all even though they were in a hitter’s park. And yes, there was even the really embarrassing and inexcusable moment.
After a Devin Mesoraco double play grounder erased a Michael Conforto seventh inning leadoff single, Jose Reyes got his first pinch of the season in 11 attempts. Understandably, with Reyes’ speed, the Mets reeling, and the team down 1-0, Mickey Callaway went for it.
Instead of going with Amed Rosario, Callaway went with Dominic Smith, who was up due to Jay Bruce going on paternity leave, to get that big hit. Smith wouldn’t get that hit because Jake Arrieta picked Reyes off first base. And with that, all hope seemed lost yet again.
Then Wilmer Flores battled back not just from 0-2, but looking over-matched on the first two pitched of the at-bat to rip a single into left. The Mets at least had life, and for a split second, it looked like Conforto was going to give the Mets the lead, but he pulled it foul. Two pitches later, and Conforto wouldn’t pull it foul.
Conforto HOME RUN puts the Mets ahead 2-1!! pic.twitter.com/GaOTKkqImn
— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) May 12, 2018
Mesoraco followed with a homer on the very next pitch. Suddenly, the Mets 1-0 lead, and the team falling to .500 turned into a 3-1 lead. That became a 3-1 victory after a Jeurys Familia 1-2-3 ninth.
Suddenly, the stories weren’t how Steven Matz walked four while somehow managing to allow just one run over five. It wasn’t about how a combination of Seth Lugo, Paul Sewald, and AJ Ramos had to pick up the slack to keep it close for an offense, which did nothing.
No, the story is now how the Mets had perhaps their best victory of the year, and how they may have turned things around with Noah Syndergaard taking the mound tomorrow.
Game Notes: Mesoraco’s teams are now 1-20 in games he has played this season. In Los Angeles, Matt Harvey made his Reds debut pitching four scoreless while allowing just one hit while striking out two.
Given everything that has happened since Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, you can hardly blame Matt Harvey for refusing a minor league assignment and for the Mets designating him for assignment. Ultimately, this is something which may prove beneficial to all parties involved.
For Harvey, he has a lot of work ahead of him. Unfortunately, the same goes for the Mets, who for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, stopped their roster alterations at Harvey.
There is no doubt Harvey was under-performing, but at the time of the Mets decision he was the last guy in the bullpen mopping up games like the 6-0 mess left for him by Jason Vargas. Rarely is the last guy in your bullpen the real issue with your team, and the Mets are not one of those exceptions.
One of the main issues with this time right now is the lineup. With injuries, slumps, and flat out benching more talented players, the team needs to make changes there desperately.
One of the changes that needs to be made is to get Brandon Nimmo into the lineup everyday. At the moment, Nimmo is hitting .256/.448/.442 with a 17.2% walk rate. By OPS+ and wRC+, he is the second best hitter in the Mets lineup. There is no justifiable reason to keep him as the fourth outfielder.
However, he is because the Mets are trying to make Adrian Gonzalez happen. Well, if you go by his hitting .231/.311/.372 with a -0.4 WAR, it’s not happening, and it’s not going to happen. Game-in and game-out, he’s showing why the Dodgers took on Matt Kemp to get rid of him and why the Braves were happy to pay him $21.8 million to go away.
Really, there is no reason why the Mets continue to trot him out there when they can put the hobbled Jay Bruce at first base.
Whether it is the plantar fascitiis or something else, Bruce has struggled this year and playing the outfield is doing him no favors. Really, he and the team is best served by moving Bruce to first and allowing more athletic players like Nimmo and Juan Lagares play out there.
Again, the only thing standing in the way of the Mets optimizing both their defensive alignment and their lineup is a 35 year old with a bad back who already has a -0.4 WAR.
Speaking of players in their mid 30s, well past their prime, and standing in the way of more talented players, the Mets need to do something about Jose Reyes.
So far this season, Reyes is hitting .139/.184/.222. To put that in perspective, the recently designated for assignment Matt Harvey was batting .286/.286/.286. Put another way, Reyes is hitting like a pitcher . . . or worse.
That’s except when he’s coming off the bench. When he’s pinch hitting, he’s not hitting at all going 0-9 with three strike outs. When he substitutes into games, he’s 0-4.
Really, what’s the point of having a bench player who can’t hit when he comes off the bench?
Remember this was the same Reyes who posted a -0.6 WAR last year and his -26 DRS was the worst among Major League infielders. There is really not hope there’s any upside.
Looking at Las Vegas, Gavin Cecchini is hitting .313/.359/.500 while mostly playing the middle infield with a game at short.
After a slow start, Luis Guillorme is in the midst of an eight game hitting streak that has seen him go 13-28 with three doubles and seven RBI. After starting the year hitting .211/.338/.281, he’s not hitting .294/.394/.376.
In addition to Cecchini or Guillorme, the Mets could opt to go with Phillip Evans, who won a bench job out of Spring Training or Ty Kelly, who is once again dominating in Las Vegas hitting .300/.364/.600 with four doubles, four triples, six homers, and 21 RBI.
Even if you didn’t like the group as a collective, you’d be hard pressed to present an argument where they would not be able to get at least one hit while coming off of the bench.
Now, are Gonzalez and Reyes the only two problems? Far from it. The catching situation is still a mess, the bullpen is regressing, and every starter not named Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard has been completely unreliable.
That said, Gonzalez and Reyes are blocking more talented players who promise to be more productive than what we have seen from both players not just this year, but stretching back to last year. If the Mets are truly interested in becoming a better team, these two need to join Harvey in looking for another team.
This is the point where the Mets were in 2015, 2016, and 2017. A Mets team with much promise has either regressed or been exposed, and you are left wondering how exactly things were going to get better for this team.
One of the more troubling things we saw both yesterday and throughout this season was how Noah Syndergaard hasn’t been Thor. It’s not too dissimilar to how Matt Harvey had stopped being The Dark Knight, except with Syndergaard there really isn’t any reason to suspect any injury.
That’s not to say Thor was or has been bad. Far from it. His only allowing two runs over six innings is a testament to that. However, it was the way he pitched that was the problem.
A pitcher with remarkable control walked four batters. That included him issuing back-to-back walks in the third inning to Nolan Arenado and Gerardo Parra to force in a run. Between that and the solo home run he allowed to Ian Desmond in the second, he gave away the Mets 2-0 lead. Yes, it was a thin margin of error, but we have seen Thor thrive with even narrower margins.
The Mets two runs were scored in the first off of Kyle Freeland. The first run was the result of three straight singles from Juan Lagares, Yoenis Cespedes, and Asdrubal Cabrera to start the game. After that, Todd Frazier hit a sacrifice fly to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. In that first inning, Cespedes once again injured his right quad:
I thought he was just doing the Robert Gsellman exercises pic.twitter.com/aUQXXO631T
— Good Fundies is short for Good Fundamentals (@goodfundies) May 6, 2018
He would be removed from the game for Brandon Nimmo, who we would find out can still draw a walk off a left-handed pitcher, but with two strikeouts, he sure does struggle hitting off of them.
Really, the Mets struggled to hit Freeland for the rest of the game. After that three hit onslaught to begin the game, the Mets would get just one more hit off of him until he departed after seven strong innings.
With the Mets not hitting, Syndergaard settling back down, and Jerry Blevins and AJ Ramos combining to pitch a scoreless seventh, Mickey Callaway went to Hansel Robles in the eighth. No one can be quite sure if Robles pointed to the sky again, but we do know he surrendered another homer. This time to Desmond, his second of the game.
With the Mets inability to hit right now, it might as well have been a walk-off home run for all intents and purposes.
The 3-2 loss ended a dreadful home stand which saw the Mets go 0-6. They pitched poorly and hit even worse. They dropped from first to third place in the NL East. They don’t look like a team in a freefall inasmuch as they look like a bad baseball team without any answers. Hopefully, the trip to Cincinnati and Philadelphia will awaken their bats. Although, we should shutter to thing what will happen to the pitching.
Game Notes: Wilmer Flores was 0-2 with a walk against Freeland. He is now hitting .161/.235/.226 off of left-handed pitching this season.
In September 2015, Scott Boras tried to intervene and limit Matt Harvey‘s innings in what could be perceived as an attempt to save the pitcher not just from the Mets, but also from himself. There would be a modified schedule and some skipped starts, but Harvey eventually took the shackles off because he wanted the ball.
Harvey always wanted the ball.
He wanted the ball in the NL East clincher against the Reds. Instead of the five innings he was supposed to pitch, he pitched into the seventh because, well, he wanted to get ready for the postseason, and the Mets were lucky he did.
Harvey won a pivotal Game 3 of the NLDS. With that series going five games, it was Harvey who got the ball in Game 1 of the NLCS. In front of a raucous Citi Field crowd, Harvey set the tone for that series. As he stepped off the mound with two outs in the eighth, he wasn’t tipping his cap. No, he was pumped up like all of Citi Field was because he knew what we all knew . . . this team was going to the World Series.
When telling the story of Matt Harvey, we will forever go back to Game 5. With the Mets team trying to rally back from a 3-1 series deficit, Harvey wanted the ball for the ninth. Terry Collins initially wanted Jeurys Familia, but he relented, and he gave Harvey the ball.
You’d be hard pressed to find a time in Citi Field history louder than when Harvey took the mound in that ninth. A blown lead and Game 5 loss later, you’d never find Citi Field more despondent.
Now, looking back, that Game 5 was the microcosm of Harvey’s Mets career.
He came in, and he gave us all hope the impossible could happen. He brought us all along for the ride. There was no one we wanted out there more than Harvey. And yet at the very end, despite all the hope and brilliance he brought, we were all left in disbelief, and yes, some in tears, over the how and why Harvey was still out there.
Mainly, Harvey was there because despite no matter what anyone said, Harvey wanted to be there, and he was not going to let anyone stop him.
And you know what? Back in 2013, no one could stop him.
In 26 starts, Harvey was 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, 0.931 WHIP, and a 9.6 K/9. His 2.01 FIP that year would not only lead the Majors, but it would be one of the 10 best over the past 100 years. His WHIP still remains a single season Mets record. It may have seemed premature to put him in the conversation with Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden, but really, it made sense. Harvey was just that good.
He was the reason to watch a terrible Mets team, and on May 7th, he may have pitched the game of his life. If not for an Alex Rios infield single Ruben Tejada could not turn into an out, Harvey likely pitches a perfect game. Instead, he had to settle for a no decision despite allowing just one hit and 12 strikeouts in nine innings. Just file that away next time someone points out his win-loss record.
That game was the signature Harvey moment. He took the mound with a bloody nose. He was reaching near triple digits with this fastball. He was becoming a superstar. He was making Citi Field his playground.
When we look through the history of Citi Field one day, it will be Harvey who emerged as it’s first superstar. He was the one who brought the crowds. He started the first All Star Game at Citi Field. Arguably, he pitched the two best games ever pitched by a Met at that ballpark.
It would be that 2013 season Harvey broke. He tore his UCL, and he needed Tommy John surgery. Mets fans everywhere who were once so hopeful were crushed. There were many low moments in Mets history since the team moved to Citi Field, but that one is among the lowest.
But when he came back in 2015, hope returned. He may not have been 2013 great, but he was great. For all the criticism over his innings limits, he would throw more innings than any pitcher in baseball history in their first season back from Tommy John.
Looking back at that 2015 season, Harvey gave the Mets and their fans everything he had. He pitched great in the regular season, and he was even better in the postseason. Just like in 2013, he was trying to will the Mets back to prominence. He was taking an organization on his back and trying to win a World Series.
It broke him in 2013, and apparently, it broke him again in 2015.
Really, when he stepped off that mound in Game 5 of the World Series, Harvey was done as we knew him. In 2016, he’d be diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome requiring season ending surgery. Last year, Harvey was rushed back to the rotation before he was physically ready, and he suffered a stress reaction. This year, he was healthy, but lost.
Looking back, no one will ever know if Harvey listened to Boras if he’d still be The Dark Knight instead of a guy now looking for a job.
The real shame is how Harvey went out. The same guy who heard the loudest ovations from the fans, the same one who heard Mets fans serenade Stephen Strasburg with “Harvey’s Better!” chants, was booed off the mound the last time he ever pitched on what had once been his mound.
There are some who will find behavioral excuses why Harvey faulted, and maybe they do exist. However, you’d be hard pressed to find a pitcher who was at the top of his game in November only to completely lose it by the next April. Most pitchers get a transition period to figure things out. Harvey’s cruel fate was he had more injuries followed by his getting about a month and a half before being given an ultimatum.
In what once seemed impossible, Harvey was designated for assignment. Sure, Mets fans always expected him to leave one day, but we all thought it would be Harvey who spurned the cheap Wilpon family, not the Wilpons kicking him out the door despite the team still owing him around $4 million.
Much has been made of the Mets crop of starting pitchers, the group who brought them to the 2015 World Series. Make no mistake, Harvey was the best out of the group. Better than Jacob deGrom. Better than Noah Syndergaard.
Really, he was better than anyone not named Seaver or Gooden, and if things had broken right, Harvey could have been a Hall of Famer. He was that good when he was healthy, but he wasn’t healthy making him this generation’s version of Paul Wilson, Jason Isringhausen, or Jon Matlack.
Harvey being designated for assignment wasn’t a shock. With every struggle on the mound, and yes, some personal issues that emerged, he was getting closer and closer to this point. It doesn’t mean this doesn’t hurt the Mets fan, the ones who got to experience in the joy of seeing the real Harvey pitch, any less.
There will come a day down the line where all will be forgiven, and we can all just look back and appreciate all Harvey did for the Mets. We can take a step back and marvel how he potentially sacrificed his entire career to win that one World Series. Really, he has never been thanked or appreciated enough for that.
Now, he is looking for a new team and a new fan base. Hopefully, Harvey rediscovers some of that magic he once had, and hopefully, he gets those cheers again. He’s certainly earned them.
And when he does return to Citi Field, whether it be this year or the next, let’s hope he gets that true standing ovation he deserved, the one he might’ve received on Thursday had we all known it was going to be his last game in a Mets uniform.
No matter what happens, Mets fans everywhere should wish him the best of luck. There was a time we showered him with all the love we had, and he returned the favor by giving us everything he had. Everything. Here’s hoping he gets everything he is looking for in his next stop.
I know no matter what he does, I’m rooting of him. More than that I appreciate Harvey for all he did as a Met. Really, best of luck to you, Matt Harvey.
Through the first four innings, Jacob deGrom was pitching like the ace we know he is. After a tough loss, and with first place in the balance, he was as great as he has ever been. Through the first four innings, deGrom had walked none, allowed just two hits, and he struck out six.
He then went into the tunnel into the clubhouse. He was done for the day with a hyper-extended elbow. Based upon the ensuing MRI, he may be gone longer than that. If deGrom is gone, the Mets will have lost much more than a 7-0 game.
Look, we can get into Tom Glavine–Greg Maddux–John Smoltz 1999 strike zone Sean Newcomb was getting from Home Plate Umpire Lance Barrett. The Mets were clearly irritated by it, and we even saw Todd Frazier say something about umpiring in general after the game.
We can even wonder how in the word Wilmer Flores forgot to do the one thing in baseball he is actually good at doing – hitting left-handed pitching.
Really, right now, none of this matters. As it stood, this pitching staff needed at least one more starter, and that was assuming Jason Vargas will get better and Zack Wheeler won’t turn back into the guy who forced the Mets to put him in Triple-A to start the season.
Sure, the Mets are just a half game back, and it is possible Matt Harvey, Seth Lugo, and/or Corey Oswalt step up here. We saw something like that happen in 2016 when Lugo and Gsellman performed a miracle over the last month of the season.
Maybe it’s being a little overly dramatic, but after what we saw with Noah Syndergaard‘s injury last year, and how the energy from the team and the ballpark flat-line after deGrom left the game, it’s very possible the Mets need a miracle.
I guess it’s times like these we all channel our inner Tug McGraw and say, “Ya Gotta Believe”
With the Braves sending to the mound RHP Mike Soroka for his Major League debut, you knew this was going to be a rough game for the Mets. The players change. The managers change. Even the uniforms have changed. And yet, somehow, whenever a pitcher makes his Major League debut against the Mets, you know he is going to shut the Mets down.
For a brief second, it seemed like Soroka would be the exception. The Mets had two on and two out, but Todd Frazier would ground out to end the threat. From there, it was pretty smooth coasting for Soroka. Even with he was in trouble, he would be aided by an Adrian Gonzalez double play grounder in the third and a Mets team who was 0-4 with RISP.
Really, the only blip from Soroka on the night was one pitch he threw to Yoenis Cespedes:
Yo seems fine to us.
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 2, 2018
Even in this frustrating loss, the good news was Cespedes was still sizzling hot even after his thumb injury which forced him to leave Sunday’s game. On the night, he was 3-4 with a run, homer, and an RBI. In the field, he made a couple of nice plays, and he had one of those trademark Cespedes throws:
The throw. 💪
The tag. 💰
The celebration. 😃 pic.twitter.com/bu5K4OkkKQ
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 2, 2018
The problem with the Mets tonight was they needed more than just Cespedes. Ideally, that would have come in the form of Noah Syndergaard.
It wasn’t to be as the Braves were very aggressive against Syndergaard with many attacking the first pitch. To start the game, the Braves got consecutive hits from Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, and Nick Markakis. After that Syndergaard settled in a bit, and he gutted through six innings. That’s what a true ace does. Even when he doesn’t have his best stuff, he finds a way.
Unfortunately, even with him figuring a way to get a quality start, the Mets just didn’t have it. After Soroka, Dan Winkler, who was pressed into action after a Shane Carle injury got through the seventh. In the eighth, Michael Conforto, Cespedes, and Jay Bruce failed to plate Asdrubal Cabrera, who had led off the inning with a single off A.J. Minter.
In the ninth, the Braves turned to Arodys Vizcaino for the save, and Frazier got it all started with a single that bounced just in front of the diving Markakis. Then, the Braves did their best Luis Castillo impersonation with seemingly their entire 25 man roster incapable of fielding a pop up to right before second base.
Amed Rosario twice tried to butcher boy it, and he swung and missed both times. He then just fanned on the third pitch of the at-bat. Still, the runners would advance on a Vizcaino wild pitch thereby allowing Frazier to score on a Wilmer Flores RBI groundout. With the Mets down 3-2, the game was then in Jose Reyes‘ hands.
In a surprise to no one, Reyes failed to deliver.
Back in 1948, Gerald Hern of The Boston Post penned a poem, which was shortened, and the words have forever lived on in baseball lore: “Spahn and Sain and Pray for Rain.”
The reason for the poem was not so much a reflection on the Boston Braves staff as a whole, but more of a reflection of the greatness that was Johnny Sain and Warren Spahn. Both pitchers were aces, and any manager in their right mind would want them pitching more frequently than the rest of their rotation. And that’s basically what happened with Sain making 39 starts and three relief appearances and Spahn making 35 starts and one relief appearance.
The Braves followed that plan to win the 1948 National League pennant.
With deGrom and Syndergaard, the Mets have two aces and Cy Young contenders atop their rotation. After that, at best, you have question marks.
Matt Harvey has been removed from the rotation, and so far, he can’t figure things out in the bullpen. Steven Matz has been struggling just to get into the fifth inning. Zack Wheeler had a Spring Training so poor he began the year in the minors, and after two strong starts for the Mets this year, he reminded you of that guy again in his last start. Finally, Jason Vargas, the guy who was supposed to be an innings eater, got lit up by the worst hitting team in baseball in the ultimate pitchers park.
Seeing what has happened to the once vaunted Mets rotation, they are now in Spahn and Sain territory. The question is what should the quip be. Here are some ideas.
- Thor and Jake and Pray for an Earthquake
- Jake and Thor and Can’t Watch Anymore
- Jake and Thor and the Revolving Door
- Thor and Jake and Oh for God’s Sake
- Thor and Jake And Who is on the Take?
- Jake and Syndergaard Followed By Batters Going Yard
- Thor and deGrom And The Rest Bomb
Personally, I like the first one as it encapsulates both an event which would cause a game cancellation, and it also conveys the disaster the third, fourth, fifth, and now sixth starters have been to start the season.