What Happened, In a Sentence
The Mets rode five first inning runs to an 11-3 win, but lost Asdrubal Cabrera to a left thumb injury.
Mets Start Hot
With Wei-Yin Chen out with a tired arm, the Marlins turned to Odrisamer Despaigne to make his first major league start of the season. Despainge was so wild and ineffective that even the woeful Padres cut him loose a few years ago. If Mets fans said “oh no, Montero’s pitching, I’m going to skip the game” on Friday night, Marlins fans might have seen Despaigne and said the same thing today. The one thing any Marlins pitcher might have going for him is a consistent defense that rarely makes mistakes.
Somehow, the Marlins fielders had even less control than their pitcher! Justin Bour botched a routine grounder on the first play of the game and Asdrubal Cabrera lined the next pitch to the right-center gap to drive in Michael Conforto. Jay Bruce doubled and the Mets quickly had a 2-0 lead. Neil Walker made the first out, then a walk and hit batter loaded the bases. Bour decided to hold T.J. Rivera on base, so Jose Reyes was able to single past him for another run. A sacrifice fly and two more walks made it 5-0 after an inning.
Rain and Pain
Sandy Alderson stopped by the booth in the top of the third for an interview that began with Gary Cohen asking about players aggravating injuries and whether it was just bad luck. After some back and forth, Alderson said he has “great confidence” in the Mets medical staff. Like a script from a Shakespearian tragedy, the rain started pouring down as he uttered this phrase. That at-bat ended with a thumb injury for Asdrubal Cabrera. After Cabrera laid on the ground, screaming in pain, the umpires decided it would be a good time for the tarp. X-rays taken during the game were negative, and an MRI is scheduled for Sunday.
Gsellman Gets Through Five
Some young pitchers have a great start to their career and keep getting better and better, barring injury. As Mets fans, it’s something we’ve come to expect. But pitchers can also struggle after early success, like Robert Gsellman has. Saturday’s start was like his previous starts. His sinker had more lateral run than sink at key moments against right-handers. Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna both took him deep off poorly located fastballs. It looks like Gsellman has also decided to pound the zone with his fastball and rely on his defense instead of trying to strike hitters out. He finished with eight hits and three runs allowed, only striking out two .
Can Fish Catch?
With a 5-3 score headed to the bottom of the fifth, it looked like we might be in for a reversal of Friday’s surprise comeback. Despaigne had retired 10 straight since walking Conforto for the Mets’ fifth run, but Walker broke that streak with a double over Ozuna’s head then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Curtis Granderson walked and Rivera singled to left. Reyes grounded to third, but Martin Prado was distracted by Granderson and booted the baseball. Don Mattingly tried to get some semblance of order by calling on veteran reliever Dustin McGowan to face pinch hitter Juan Lagares came it to hit for Gsellman. McGowan promptly threw a breaking ball in the dirt, between the legs of Realmuto for a run-scoring passed ball. Lagares walked, then Conforto drew his second RBI walk of the night to make it 8-3. The Mets tacked on three more runs in the eighth to pad some stats.
Amed Rosario Call-up?
Due to the timing of Alderson’s in-booth interview, the Mets general manager was put on the spot just as Cabrera went down. Here’s his off-the-cuff response when asked about Amed Rosario’s possible call-up:
“If we had a need at this point in the season, would we consider it? Yes. I’ve said before that if a player’s ready and we have a need, we’ll certainly consider it. I don’t think – I’ll use Conforto in the past as an example – trying to save, uh – if we sent Conforto down to Las Vegas for a couple months this season, we would have gotten another year of control, which is pretty significant value. We didn’t do that. Why? Because we want to put the best team on the field. Now we obviously take those kinds of things into account. But I’ve never found them to be uh, uh (long pause), to override other considerations. When we’re in this period of time, like we have been the last couple years when we’re, you know, we want to win.”
I wouldn’t call that a no…or a yes.
Alderson on Other Injuries
Alderson explained that the Mets’ philosophy wasn’t to immediately put players on the DL. “What you do first is try to manage a player through injuries,” he said, comparing it to doctors starting with less dramatic treatments versus going immediately to the most dramatic option. As someone who has looked a lot at injuries this season, the analogy doesn’t make sense. One of the least dramatic treatments is rest. Immediately putting Cespedes on the DL as a precaution isn’t a “dramatic” option. Immediately sending him to surgery is the dramatic option! After hearing Alderson I can’t help but wonder if he bears more responsibility than the medical staff for the Mets’ continued inability to handle injuries.
Before the game, Noah Syndergaard and Alderson met with the media. Syndergaard said it’s six weeks before he can throw again, followed by some time to build up strength in his arm before returning to the club. Mid-August is being thrown around as a recovery date.
Alderson said before the game that the team was “disappointed” by Rafael Montero’s start and he’s not a lock to make his next start. The Mets are looking at options in and out of the organization. They could move Syndergaard to the 60-day DL to open a roster spot.
Jose Urena – who has been awful as a starter – makes a spot start for the marlins as the Mets look for a sweep.
Photo credit: Adam Hunger – USA Today Sports