Yesterday at my job, there was nobody around and nothing to do, so I pulled the Mets game up on my phone and watched it for a while. I forgot my phone charger at home, though, so my battery died after the eighth inning. The Mets were winning 3-2 at that time, and, even though it was only a one-run game, I was still fairly certain the Mets were stll going to win. Why did I think this? Well, the San Francisco Giants do not come back from ninth-inning deficits; it’s kind of their thing. Prior to yesterday, the Giants hadn’t overcome a ninth-inning deficit to win a game in two full years to the day, on May 10, 2015. Surely this bad Giants lineup wasn’t good enough to break that trend. Surely this is how baseball works. I spent a good two hours telling myself this because I am a dumb person.
When I got home from work, I checked the box score. Whoops.
Jeurys Familia had yet another meltdown against the Giants. Familia actually got Conor Gillaspie out this time, but a Wilmer Flores throwing error on a potential game-ending double-play ball by Eduardo Nunez on opened up the flood gates. Flores’ defensive tribulations wouldn’t end there, either. The next batter, Hunter Pence, singled in the tying run that went #PastADivingFlores, just past his outstretched glove; it looked like a ball that a good third baseman gets to. Two batters later, Christian Arroyo delivered the big blow and cleared the bases with a three-run double into the left-center field gap, putting the Giants out in front 6-3.
Familia’s meltdown may or may not have something to do with the fact that this was his third consecutive outing after appearing in a tied game Monday night and a 6-1 game Tuesday night. Of course, we don’t know how worn out Familia actually was, but his pitching Tuesday night was unnecessary with a five-run lead and may have been a factor in his undoing yesterday. Familia has also appeared in an obscene 11 out of 18 games since returning from his suspension.
The Mets tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, and a two-run double by Flores that came just feet away from being a game-tying homer got them back within one run at 6-5. But then Kevin Plawecki came up with the tying run run at second and—as only he can—hit a ball that went about two feet. Buster Posey scooped it up and made the play to end the game.
Before everything had been burned to the ground, Tommy Milone made his Mets debut and was actually solid, striking out five batters over five-plus innings of two-run ball. Milone, who was deemed not good enough to pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers, may already be the Mets’ third-best starter. This is the state of the once-vaunted 2017 Mets starting rotation.
Jay Bruce also hit a home run, his tenth of the season, and the rest of the bullpen arms that were used—all six of them—did their jobs and none of them allowed a run.
Ultimately, you don’t expect to win a game in which you send Tommy Milone to the mound, bat Jose Reyes at leadoff and start him at shortstop, play Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores against a right-handed pitcher, and have Kevin Plawecki playing baseball for your team, but the Mets should have won this game. That said, they have now won four consecutive series against the Nationals, Braves, Marlins, and Giants, although it doesn’t feel like it. Rough, embarrassing showings still plagued all of these series, and the Mets’ flaws on defense and pitching are still very obvious.
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
The Era of Adam Wilk in Flushing has come to an end. Wilk was claimed off waivers by the Twins yesterday. I, for one, can’t wait to tell my children and my children’s children the story his legendary 72-hour Mets career. In all seriousness, best of luck to Wilk, who was not dealt the fairest hand in New York by only having a few hours notice to make a big league start.
Michael Conforto missed Thurdsay’s game because he’s been dealing with a hamstring issue, because of course he is.
The Mets travel to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers. Matt Harvey will ostensibly be in attendance, and he will make his first start since his suspension, going against Matt Garza. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m.
Photo credit: Brad Penner – USA Today Sports