Mets 5, Diamondbacks 1
To quote Gary Cohen, “The impossible has happened!” While originally used after Bartolo Colon’s first career home run, it’s the most accurate way to describe the Mets scoring five runs in a Major League Baseball game.
The Mets improved to 2-13 in their last 15 and eclipsed three runs in a game for the first time since June 1 in Saturday night’s win at Chase Field. That’s…. not great, but one would assume that things can only go up from here (although this feels like it cannot be said with any sort of certainty.)
Steven Matz has really turned things around after a rough start to the season, a welcome sign for the left-hander after a subpar 2017. He delivered another strong start Saturday, allowing just one earned run in his 6.2 innings. The starting pitching hasn’t been a problem during this particularly rough stretch, but it’s going to need to remain that way if the Mets hope to contend for a playoff spot down the stretch (editor’s note: calm down, Alex).
Michael Conforto seems to have found his timing in Phoenix. A slow start after his return from shoulder surgery lingered into June, but talk of sending him to Triple-A was beyond ridiculous. Conforto is one of the best young hitters in the game, but the Mets either don’t agree with that obvious assessment or are still in the business of treating star players poorly (hint: it’s the latter.) Nevertheless, Conforto mashing again is an encouraging sign for a team that’s in dire need of positive developments in the lineup. He took Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin deep to left for a three-run homer that proved to be the difference and also added a double in the sixth for good measure.
Speaking of lingering injuries, Asdrubal Cabrera suffered a left-hamstring injury in last Sunday’s win over the Yankees. Though he exited the game early, Cabrera was back in the lineup Tuesday against the Braves, a curious decision that’s all the more confounding when you consider he entered Saturday night’s contest 0-for-his-last-13 since the injury. He collected a single hit in his five at-bats Saturday and almost assuredly is in need of a 10-day DL stint. The Mets are rostering a capable backup in Luis Guillorme and have Jeff McNeil waiting in Triple-A, but Sandy Alderson has remained steadfast in his decision not to place Cabrera on the DL. Does that make any sense to you?
A healthy Cabrera is a useful contributor who can play a passable second base. An unhealthy Cabrera is just about completely useless, unable to hit or move around in the field. So, what exactly is the point in trotting him out there at less than 100%? The Mets refusal to acknowledge the obvious is absolutely baffling. If the Mets were in the thick of a playoff race, sure, maybe they’d like him to play through the injury. But the Mets are 10.5 games back in June, partly due to the poor play of a clearly injured Cabrera.
OTHER METS NEWS
Although he has been dealing with various injuries all season, Jay Bruce’s struggles are front and center as a middle of the order bat for one of the worst offenses in the league. Or at least they should be.
After hitting a career-high 36 home runs last season, the Mets brought Bruce back on a three-year, $39-million-dollar deal. The Metropolitans unsurprisingly passed up higher priced options, such as J.D Martinez, and settled for the 31-year-old even after discovering the presence of plantar fasciitis.
Bruce has chosen to repay them with his worst season as a pro, hitting just .216/.297/.327 with a pathetic .229 TAv and .111 ISO. He’s looked downright awful at the plate and in the field since an early May series in Cincinnati, and his struggles were more apparent than ever this past week in Atlanta. It wasn’t incredibly surprising that the Mets decided to give Bruce a day off Thursday, but he told reporters he’d be in Friday’s lineup. Well, it turns out the Mets decided it’d be best to give Bruce another day off Friday, but again, he told reporters he expected to be in the lineup Saturday. Expect when Saturday rolled around, Bruce’s name was absent from the lineup card yet again.
So to the Mets, I say this: It’s literally a 10-day DL.
If Bruce is dealing with a multitude of different injuries that have impacted his game severely, as the Mets would like you to believe, why hasn’t he been given a chance to heal? It’s not like the Mets are in the middle of a playoff race and need Bruce’s production in the lineup because, in all actuality, he’s been one of the worst regulars in the league. Instead, what’s shaping up to be a lost season is the perfect opportunity to let Bruce get healthy.
So, why are they choosing to voluntarily play shorthanded with one of the worst players in baseball?
Well, I can’t answer that, because it quite literally doesn’t make any sense. But these are the Mets we’re talking about. The same team that’s become more concerned with not hurting Jose Reyes’ feelings than winning ballgames. And we wonder why they can’t score any runs.
Photo credit: Joe Camporeale – USA Today Sports