The 2017 season has largely been a practice of Murphy’s Law for the Mets to this point. And their failures have been well-documented; I don’t really need to rehash everything that’s gone wrong. I don’t need to talk about the starting rotation. I don’t need to talk about how frighteningly close they are to Paul Sewald, Closer. I don’t need to talk about their record and place in the standings. And I certainly don’t need to talk about mismanagement or hamstring strains or lat strains or dildos or middle fingers.
But sometimes, even in the worst of times, the gods can still smile down upon you. Sometimes little things can still go right when everything is going wrong. Sometimes those little daily victories feel incredible when there aren’t many other victories to feel good about.
And last night, something incredible happened: the Mets had something actually go right for them. Yes, they were the benefactors of a huge, fortunate break in an extremely opportune spot late in a game, and actually capitalized on it to obtain victory. Minor miracles, they do still occur.
With the score tied at four in the top of the ninth inning, Jose Reyes, the man with the fifth-worst OPS in all of baseball, came up with runners on first and second with two outs against Matt Bush, a good pitcher. This is not usually a cause for optimism. And of course, Reyes hit a weak line drive that bounced on the infield. But that poorly struck liner required Rougned Odor to range into shallow center field to make the play, and, with his momentum going the wrong way, he spiked the throw to second base. Elvis Andrus bobbled the ball, and couldn’t get a handle on it. In the time it took for that to happen, Matt Reynolds —who I genuinely had no clue was on the Mets’ roster before I looked at the team depth chart a few days ago— came all the way around from second base to score the go-ahead run. Reynolds had previously come in as a pinch-runner for Lucas Duda, which was a questionable decision, but paid off in the end.
So, to recap, the Mets took the lead because a bad hitter hit a poorly struck ball against a good pitcher, and two decent middle-infielders messed it up badly enough that a player who probably should not have been in the game could make a great baserunning play for a team that can’t run the bases, and score the go-ahead run. This sequence of events does not get any less amazing with familiarity.
So the Mets grabbed a 5-4 lead on that play, and didn’t score any further in the inning. Addison Reed came on in the bottom half inning for the save, and was able to deliver a steady, 1-2-3 inning to seal the deal.
Of course, we would not have gotten to that point had Jerry Blevins not blown the lead the inning prior. After de facto ace(?) Zack Wheeler pitched seven strong innings while allowing only one run and Jay Bruce cranked two homers and knocked in three RBI, the Mets led 3-1 in the eighth inning when Terry Collins called on Blevins to appear in his league-leading 31st game. Blevins got two quick outs, but walked Nomar Mazara, and then served up a game-tying homer to Robinson Chirinos. It appeared as if the Mets’ bullpen woes had bitten them again, and this was going to be another head-shaking loss for a Mets team falling quickly out of the race and getting firmly entrenched into seller’s territory.
But thanks to Odor stinking it up*, the Mets were able to salvage a win and split the two-game series in Arlington with the Rangers. They may have lost a game against Dillon Gee, but at least they won the game Yu Darvish started.
*I came up with that one by myself.
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
The Mets are apparently interested in trying a six-man rotation when Steven Matz and Seth Lugo return this weekend. Given that they still have to manage the innings of Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and Robert Gsellman, that could be a resourceful way to help with that.
The Mets have another off day today, but they return to Atlanta for a four-game series this weekend in SunTrust Park. Matt Harvey takes the ball for the Mets on Friday night, and the Braves have not announced any starters for the series yet. First pitch is at 7:35 p.m.
Photo credit: Tim Heitman – USA Today Sports