The red and white first-place not-Mets
WHAT HAPPENED, IT WAS A GOOD GAME:
It’s not as if the Mets got blown out, or the Mets couldn’t get a runner on base, or played sloppy defense, or really did anything poorly at all. Rookie starter and apparent wizard Robert Gsellman turned in a strong start, as he held the Washington Nationals to no runs in 5.2 innings of work. That being said, he was aided by solid defense throughout. Gsellman surrendered five singles and one walk to the Nationals, but half of those baserunners were put on to (apparently) contribute to one portion of a double play. The Mets defense turned three double plays for Gsellman, two of them were the Rivera to Rivera ‘strike ‘em out-throw ‘em out’ variety, the other was a good ol’ fashioned 4-6-3. It always helps when half of your innings contained a double play, but it isn’t like that is the only reason Gsellman pitched well. He kept the Nats off-balance, let them put the ball in play and was rewarded by solid defense.
After Gsellman came Josh Smoker and Fernando Salas, and neither did terrible. Smoker intentionally walked Daniel Murphy to get to Bryce Harper (!!!), which worked out in the end as he struck him out looking with a fastball on the outer-third. In reality, Salas made one bad pitch that Wilson Ramos hit a really, really far way. It just so happened that that one pitch turned out to be the deciding factor, which, I guess, you can just chalk up to baseball being baseball. It was a good game in which both sides pitched well in addition to playing solid defense.
WHAT HAPPENED, BATS START LOUD, END QUIET:
The Mets were able to load the bases to start the game thanks to a Jose Reyes leadoff single, which was followed by an Asdrubal Cabrera single. Curtis Granderson was able to walk two batters later, and voila — the Mets had loaded the bases with one out in the first. But remember who we’re talking about here. Jay Bruce succumbed to the always fun called third strike before T.J. Rivera, the hero from the night before, flew out to a sliding Harper in right field. After that, the Mets would record just one hit — though they would walk three more times (one being intentional). Other than getting a runner to second base with two outs in the fourth, the Mets never really put anything together. Normally I’m game for laughing at the Mets offense, but it appeared that yesterday was more-so the result of good opposing pitching than poor hitters. Tanner Roark, though noticeably displeased with home plate umpire CB Bucknor at times, pitched well and was followed by an impressive outing by the Nationals bullpen.
WHAT HAPPENED, YESTERDAY:
I’m a sucker for a good pitching dual and low scoring games, so maybe it is biased of me to say that the Mets really didn’t look terrible. Both teams pitched well, but ultimately it just came down to one swing of the bat. Yesterday, however, that swing just happened to not be taken by a player in a Mets uniform. The fact that it was the rubber match of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals just seems unfortunate.
WHAT HAPPENS, TODAY:
The Mets get the day off as the head back home to start a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Friday. Friday also marks the beginning of a 10-game homestand for the Mets, which also happens to be their last homestand of the year. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Mets will look to continue their momentum against three teams who are well under .500 (Twins, Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies). Oh yeah, and despite the 1-0 loss to Washington Wednesday the Mets still hold a half-game lead over the Cardinals in the Wild Card standings. Feel free to thank Jon Lester, Mets fans.
Photo credit: Brad Mills – USA Today Sports