MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets

Game recap August 24: RIP Conforto

Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2 Final

The Mets lost to the Diamondbacks on getaway day as they head off for a 10-game road trip to nowhere. That the road trip starts in Washington is painfully fitting; they can watch Daniel Murphy carve up his former team and, as he circles the bases, perhaps ask their old buddy what it feels like to play meaningful games.

But coming off the heels of an encouraging win behind a slew of rookies, Mets fans could have been forgiven for harboring some hope for the future. The bloom has come off the rose when it comes to the Rotation (that was supposed) to Beat All Rotations, but this week it was the offense’s turn to make fans dream of pennants to come with timely hitting and speed on the basepaths. Mets fans could also be forgiven for not letting down the guard, even for a second, lest the slings and arrows of fate catch them unaware.

The cynics were proven right. Michael Conforto, one of the more proven quantities in a lineup bound together with bubble gum, scotch tape, and more than a little misplaced hope, went down in the fifth inning, dislocating his left shoulder on a swing. As of this writing, the Mets had not announced whether Conforto would spend any time of the disabled list, nor had they put out a timetable for his return.

Other signs of hope, if you believe in such false gods, included Rafael Montero’s 5.1 innings, surrendering three earned runs and notching five strikeouts. His record is now 2-9, but it doesn’t matter. Nothing does. Arizona starter Robbie Ray went five innings surrendering one earned run and striking out nine, returning from a four-week layoff following a scary concussion sustained on a comebacker in St. Louis; it was a heartening triumph over adversity that helps make one forget that Sandy Alderson traded Curtis Granderson to Los Angeles for magic beans.

Yoenis Cespedes hit his 17th home run of the year. Erik Goeddel threw a baseball very hard. The Mets did manage to come within striking distance, mounting rallies in the seventh and ninth innings, but by then the Tigers-Yankees game had descended into a beanball war and the possibilities of this game, this season had deteriorated into nothingness, into sheer dust much like the dirt that caked on Michael Conforto’s jersey as he crumpled in pain and fell to the ground. Injuries players sustain while making daring catches, or even just celebrating big hits somehow seem more acceptable. Adding insult to injury, Conforto dislocated his shoulder whiffing, explosive kinetic energy expended to no actual effect; that must have made it hurt that much more.

The Mets take on the Nationals tonight at 7.05 p.m. Jacob deGrom (13-7) will be facing TBD. With apologies to the former Stetson shortstop, smart money is on the other guy.

Photo credit: Noah K. Murray – USA Today Sports

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