MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

Game recap August 19: The all-singles album


The Mets! Another series! Rejoice!


It’s no secret that Jason “Vargy” Vargas has faced his share of struggles. Entering Sunday as one of the worst starters of the year, the lefty managed to look just good enough to hold the Phillies for five innings. Sure, the only NL teams below the Phillies in OPS against left-handed pitchers are the Mets and Marlins, but for five innings, Vargas looked like he might actually be fine. After all, five innings of scoreless baseball isn’t a small feat.

Yes, balls were hit hard. The clock struck midnight when we entered the sixth frame, but it was a fine start overall. Vargas has now allowed just four earned runs in his last 11.1 inning, striking out just as many over that span. He isn’t blowing guys away, but his change-up worked for him  last night and, more importantly, so did the gloves of his defenders.

Of course, we’re past the point of convincing, but it leads one to believe that Vargas might have something left to give. Some area left where he can succeed. Surely, it’s not against righties. Oh God no. He’s one of the worst in the league there. And, well, he’s not great against lefties either. Not as a taker of meaningful innings, that’s for sure. Maybe it’s somewhere more remote. Against offenses that don’t hit lefties well. Or, generally, well at all. Maybe it is on Sundays, when The Lord has commanded opposing hitters to rest. Somewhere around this area seems to make the most sense.


At the plate, the Mets had a very unique outburst. You look at the linescore, and one thing sticks out. The Mets scored a ton of runs (8) on a ton of hits (14). When you look at the boxscore, it looks even better. Jeff “JT” McNeil, Jose “JoeyBats” Bautista and Kevin “Plaw Dawg” Plawecki recorded two hits apiece, Amed “El Niño” Rosario recorded three. That’s a lot of hits, but here is the kicker: they were all singles. Only one (1) of the Mets’ 14 hits on Sunday netted extra-bases — a pinch-hit, RBI double from Dominic Smith in the eighth inning.

It’s certainly one of the wilder things I’ve ever seen, and was most apparent in how the Mets got to Nick Pivetta early on. In the top of the second inning, the Mets put up four runs on five singles. Singles to left, center, right. The Mets were hitting the ball everywhere, and everywhere it was earning the Mets exactly one base. It was an effective tactic, as it bounced Pivetta in the fourth inning after throwing 79 pitches. It wasn’t your usual outburst, but it was an outburst nonetheless. It only left one question to be answered: will the Mets go platinum with this album?


Vargas and the pen finished strong against the Phillies. The lineup singled the Phillies to death. Overall, the Mets have officially spent the last two weeks…not losing? It’s a wild concept, I know, but the Mets have played better ball against mostly subpar opponents. Who knows if it will last, and I’m sure you’ve stopped caring, but it’s fine. Everything is fine.


The Mets head back home to start a seven-game homestand, which starts with the San Francisco Giants. Derek Holland with face the scorching-hot Zack Wheeler, who owns a 1.41 ERA over the last month. It’ll be interesting to see if the Mets can keep up their improved play to wrap up the month of August, despite the competition getting a little tougher.

Photo credit: Bill Streicher – USA Today Sports

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