A Week’s Worth of Mets Notes, Vacation, deGrom Still Alive

 Welcome to another of my Mets blogs. I’m told one person actually took the time to ask what happened to me while I’ve been AWOL. Thank you for that. It’s nice to be missed. So, in a matter of full disclosure, I was just on vacation and wasn’t near a computer whatsoever for the past week, but I’m back now so let’s do some catching up.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @MaximusSexPower and come interact during the games. I’m fun.
I flew up to NY last Thursday. My buddy Gomez and his wife (from here referred to as Gomez’s wife) had a baby in March and I had yet to meet my new niece. So I went up there and met up with them as well as our other buddy, BAC and his wife (from here referred to as BAC’s wife) so we could see the new Avengers movie in Ronkonkoma Thursday night. The Mets got spanked by Washington that night. I had to watch a replay of the game after and it was just gross. 
Jacob deGrom had his second consecutive poor start, but his line looked a lot worse because of the shoddy defense played behind him. I’ve said all season that this is the bed the Mets have made for themselves. I’ve also said that I agree with them going the Wilmer Flores route. I just didn’t see where there was a significant upgrade to justify the cost in either money, prospects or both  that it would have taken to bring in somebody from outside the organization.
So far, if you look around the league at the names that were being thrown around as potential shortstops, you’d have to say the team has made the right decision. Rich MacLeod over at justmets.net even posted an article last night where he compares the players that were being bandied about. With one obvious exception (Troy Tulowitzki) the Jed Lowries of the world haven’t been much better than Wilmer if even at all.
So, for now, there are going to be games like last Thursday where the Mets kick the ball around like a bunch of 9 year-old little leaguers. Until further notice it’s just one of those things we have to deal with. Yeah, obviously, I’d also like to have Tulo on my team too, but you have to be realistic, people. The Mets have just spent the past four years rebuilding and stocking what was a thin, but not barren, farm system and they’re not just going to blow 3-4 top prospects PLUS take on the the $120m or however much it is to land Tulowitzki. If it was prospects OR money, I could see Sandy and company go for it. But not both.
On Friday, I had my first meeting with my niece, Shilo and she’s adorable. She’s incredibly tiny. Babies are weird. I read her some stories off other Mets blogs (always read to your kids, people) and was going to sit her down to watch BOOGIE NIGHTS, but she had fallen asleep so Gomez and I watched it alone while we dined on bacon-wrapped fried Oreos (delicious) and White Castle (which is not available to me in Florida).
The Friday game was the one of the four against Washington that the good guys actually won. It was nice of Jayson Werth to fall down in LF to give us some insurance late in the game, but Matt Harvey and the bullpen held the Nats at bay all night. Fun game.
I actually attended Saturday’s game a CitiField which was Jacob deGrom Garden Gnome day. Let’s just say that I didn’t schedule my vacation by accident. This game fucking sucked. Outside of a first-inning opportunity which saw Juan Lagares thrown out at the plate, the Mets bats didn’t just go quiet, they went six feet under never to be heard from again.
They lost Saturday and Sunday by the score of 1-0 in both games. Frustrating. That’s the best word I can think of for it. But, as the saying goes, good pitching always wins out. Even though the Mets only won once in the four games (which sucks especially against the Nationals), I took a few positives out of the series overall.
First, the team isn’t perfect, but they’re going to battle and hang in there all year. They didn’t roll over and die like some of the Mets teams of seasons past and you could visibly see how frustrated they were at their own performances. As a fan, I appreciate that. We put a lot of feeling and emotion into games and it’s good to know the guys you’re cheering for care too. I think we can all say that we’ve cheered for teams or players at one point or another where you genuinely wonder if they give a shit at all or are just there collecting a check.
Besides that, and I feel like I say this in every blog, but the pitching is super good. The starters have been wonderful and the bullpen has been better than it probably has any right to be. Jeurys Familia has emerged as a legitimate closer almost overnight, Alex Torres (despite concerns about his location) has patched the 8th inning together very well and Carlos Torres is just Mr. Dependability. Really hoping Terry Collins can temper his use of Carlos as the season progresses because you just know there’s going to come a day where he just doesn’t have a right arm anymore.
My biggest takeaway, though, was that the Mets – for the most part – played a hard, close series against the class of their division (and possibly National League) without David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud and half of their intended bullpen. Not trying to make excuses, but both Wright and d’Arnaud were playing well before they went down and, although Kevin Plawecki has been as advertised thus far, the team simply gives away a lot by playing Eric Campbell at 3rd Base everyday where he gets exposed. 
After the Thursday game, the team called up Dilson Herrera who was killing the ball in Triple-A Las Vegas to play 2B while they shift Daniel Murphy to 3B until David returns. Murphy is probably best-suited at third. I’m surprised nobody actually thought of going this route sooner. Maybe because they were hoping Murph and Wilmer would develop some kind of keystone chemistry. But all those two would accomplish on defense together is blowing the entire fucking science lab sky-high.
After an off-day on Monday (where I spent the day in Milwaukee taking in Brewers/Dodgers and drinking many craft beers – report to come), the Mets swept a two-game interleague set against Baltimore. After the back to back shutouts at the hands of the Nats, getting that first win and run were important just so you could almost exhale. I think after the hot start, a lot of us are sitting around waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop and the team going back to being the Mets of yesteryear that just invents ways to lose ballgames. 
Taking both legs against a good Orioles team was a great way to finish a homestand and will hopefully have some momentum going in their direction as they head to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies who are fucking terrible. 
The pitching ruled once again as we got two dynamite performances from our starters, Bartolo Colon and the aforementioned deGrom. Jacob needed that desperately and, I think, so did we. We haven’t seen deGrom struggle at the big level at all yet and, after two less than splendid starts, there was a lot of questioning if this was the well-known sophomore slump or even if he was just a flash in the pan and would suddenly turn into a pumpkin. So a much-needed good outing for him.
What else is left to be said about Colon that hasn’t been hammered home everywhere else? The man is just amazing right now. Locked in, hitting his spots with ease, hell, it almost looks like he’s bored out there throwing darts wherever he wants to. I didn’t love the idea of giving him a second year on his contract last year and I know most people hated the idea of him being the Opening Day starter this years, but he has proved to be a beast. He absolutely absorbs innings, lessening the strain on the pen and has been said to be an extremely positive voice to the younger pitchers on the staff. You always kind of take a statement like that with a grain of salt, but if he’s been that big of an influence on someone like a Familia or Mejia or even a Harvey, Wheeler, deGrom, etc. just so they see that you can win and win convincingly without throwing 100 MPH, then Bartolo has been worth triple what the team has actually paid him.
I know this has gone on incredibly long today and, for that, I apologize. Honestly, this was the longest vacation I’ve had in about 7 years and I didn’t feel like stopping everything to find a computer to e-mail Sean some Mets game notes. Thanks for reading if you made it this far and #LGM.
Joe DiLeo




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