Baseball is supposed to be fun. Baseball is supposed to be an escape from the real world. Baseball is supposed to make you think, feel, laugh, and get excited about things that don’t matter at all. It’s supposed to give you something to look forward to on a Wednesday night in May. Baseball is supposed to be a form of escapism. But it’s hard for baseball to be that avenue of escape when it provides you no actual relief from your real life issues. When things on your favorite baseball team are falling apart just as fast as things are in real life, it’s harder to view the game as a distraction. Instead, baseball becomes almost symbolic of your life, and you begin to draw parralels between the two. And then you remember that everything is really awful and there’s truly nothing to feel good about, ever.
Sorry, I’ll be okay. Give me a minute.
Hey, I have an idea to make us feel better. Let’s look at some funny old headlines:
Ha! Aren’t those just so FUNNY?!
Well, now it’s May 25, and that “great” Mets bullpen has been ripped to shreds. And last night, Terry Collins pulled Robert Gsellman after six solid innings and only 84 pitches, even though he knows he only has two decent relievers right now. They were still winning 5-3 at that point, but Fernando Salas—who has gotten ample time off lately and is still somehow overused—loaded the bases in the seventh for Wil Myers, the Padres’ best threat. And in this extremely high-leverage situation, Collins called to the bullpen for none other than Neil Ramirez, the guy with an ERA over 10.
He could’ve gone to Jerry Blevins, but he was unavailable because he had pitched in a blowout the day prior for no reason. He could’ve gone to Addison Reed, but he was being saved for a save situation that never came. He could’ve gone to Josh Smoker, but he was being saved for a spot start on Saturday, because the Mets don’t have a starter for that game, becuase they went into the season with Rafael Montero as their sixth starter and decided not to address the problem until it became a dire issue. He could’ve gone to Paul Sewald, but he had also been overworked in blowouts lately. He could’ve gone to Rafael Montero, but the object is to win baseball games.
So it was up to Neil Ramirez. It took him all of two pitches to give up a booming two-RBI double that tied the game at five; it was mere inches from being a grand slam. Then Josh Edgin came into pitch, and he got out of the inning. But then he was pulled for no reason after that to give way to Smoker, who apparently is not starting on Saturday now. Smoker pitched the eighth inning and got absolutely pantsed by Hunter Renfroe on a 440-foot solo shot into the second deck to give the Padres the 6-5 lead.
The Mets almost came back in the ninth against Padres’ closer(?) Brad Hand, loading the bases with nobody out. But Curtis Granderson and Rene Rivera would both strike out, and Juan Lagares flied out to end the game.
The Mets lost to the worst team in baseball by a score of 6-5. They lead 5-1 at one point. Then it was 5-3. Then Neil Ramirez and Josh Smoker pitched. Then they lost. I think I’m supposed to feel something. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be one or more of anger, frsutration, sadness, or even numbness. Perhaps these are the emotions other fans are feeling. But personally, I feel nothing. Probably because the Mets did not deserve to win this game. When Neil Ramirez is pitching a high leverage inning, you don’t deserve to win that game, nor do you deserve to be a winning team at all.
The Mets deserve to be where they are right now. And unless they make wholesale changes, they are not even close to a postseason team. Not with this bullpen.
Maybe it’s just easier if you only think about Michael Conforto. Yeah, just keep thinking about Michael Conforto. There’s your escape.
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
The Mets activated Travis d’Arnaud from the disabled list and placed Tommy Milone on the 10-day DL with a left knee sprain.
In Milone’s absence, Smoker was likely going to get a four-inning start on Saturday, but after his work tonight that may not be so certain. The start could still go to Montero, or even call up Tyler Pill from Triple-A Las Vegas to make a start. Boy, pitching depth sure is a hell of a thing isn’t it.
Jay Bruce was out of last night’s game due to back stiffness. He is hoping to return tonight.
The Mets play the rubber game of the series against the Friars, as Jacob deGrom goes against Dinelson Lamet, who will be making his MLB debut, and has an excellent name. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
Photo credit: Andy Marlin – USA Today Sports