Well, folks, the Sunday Mets showed up.
WHAT HAPPENED, THERE WAS THIS ONE INNING:
Look, this is getting weird for me. Last week I had the, well, I guess you could say opportunity to cover Rafael Montero’s start against the San Francisco Giants. It was his first since his demotion, and he looked pretty good. He looked to settle in after a visit to the mound in the third inning, and it looked like Montero might have some life going forward. There was one caveat to proclaiming that Rafael Montero had turned a corner, though — he faced the San Francisco Giants lineup. That is, of course, one of the worst lineups in all of MLB this season. In the National League, you’d really have to say that only the Padres and Phillies could compare. Naturally, Montero’s next start would come against that latter team.
For a second, set aside all of Rafael Montero’s history as a New York Met pitcher. If you were to paint the scene for ‘Montero Is Now Good’ mania to take place, it would be following two starts against the Giants and Phillies. The only way to make it better is if he had a third start against the Padres (side note: this might be a thing, as the Mets face the Padres the final week of July).
That’s all theory, though. What happened in the actual game, you ask? Well, here is Rafael Montero without the 2nd inning:
5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K
And Montero’s line with the 2nd inning:
6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K
As you can see, that second inning was brutal. The Phillies were 5-5 at the plate before a Freddy Galvis strikeout ended the inning. Without it, Montero had a nice line. Much like the start against the Giants, one inning was the cause of most of the damage. I’m not going to sit here and say that Montero is now good, I’m not going to say that he is still the awful nibbler that we have to come to know and…know. His offspeed stuff looks a little better, and it’s possible that he is turning a corner before our very eyes. It is also possible that he has faced very bad lineups. I don’t know. With all that has happened this season, a Rafael Montero turnaround would seem a fitting way to torment a fanbase that has already dealt with so much this season. In short, who the hell knows.
If history is a good indicator, he is very bad. If opposing lineups are a good indicator, he is doing what he should. All we can say is that we’ll likely see Montero and that weird fingernail get one more start. Knowing my luck, I’ll be recapping it.
WHAT HAPPENED, AT LEAST THEY WEREN’T SHUT OUT:
There isn’t much to say about how the Mets hit yesterday, but I do have a story. I was watching this game with my girlfriend, who isn’t the biggest baseball fan. With Nick Pivetta through 4.1 no-hit innings and T.J. Rivera coming to the plate for the second time, I turned to her and said that she might get to see her first no-hitter. As I turned back to the TV, Rivera blasted his first home run in about a month. I take full responsibility, and promise to only wield my power for good.
In terms of real analysis, the Mets only scratched across one run despite the Phillies walking four batters and committing two errors. Analysis: this is Not Very Good.
WHAT HAPPENED, YESTERDAY:
It, uhh, was a Sunday. The Mets don’t do Sundays.
WHAT HAPPENS, TODAY:
The Mets are starting a three-game series against the Washington Nationals in D.C.
Cons of playing in D.C. to start the week: The Washington Nationals are Very Good and have Stephen Strasburg going in game one.
Pros of playing in D.C. to start the week: cool fireworks for the 4th of July, probably.
Side note: the Mets are not in contention. They are out of the race. There is no race. They are 9.5 games back in the NL East through 81 games, otherwise known as half a season. They are 8.5 games back in the Wild Card race. They will not be making the postseason, regardless of how this series goes.
But Shawn, the Nationals are the first-place team and a sweep would put the Mets 6.5 games out. They could get right back in it with a sweep! No. Shut up. You’re wrong. Even in the event of a Mets sweep, they are *checks clipboard* 6.5 games out on July 6. The Mets are not going to make the postseason this year.
The thing is, though, that knowing this truth this early is far from a problem. The Mets could do very well to get in front of the deadline. The pieces that the Mets could be looking to sell aren’t overpowering or “best on the market” types, but they are nice additions to contending teams. By getting a jump on the trade market before more teams decide whether they are in/out, the Mets would actually be doing themselves a favor. Building for 2018 and beyond at the start of July is not bad.
So please, if I’m writing this recap next week and the front office is still giving off the “we might still make it!” vibe, please relieve me of my duties and burn Citi Field to the ground. Or fire Sandy Alderson. Either one would seem like an appropriate choice, in the event my hypothetical is realized.
Photo credit: Wendell Cruz – USA Today Sports