Yesterday afternoon, the Mets put up a ten-burger on the Cubs at Wrigley Field behind the efforts of Jason Vargas, just one day after none of those same position players could drive in a single run behind Jacob deGrom over eight innings, and just about 45 minutes after they officially lost that game because they still couldn’t score any runs in extra innings.
But the offense broke out immediately in this one, with Todd Frazier blasting a grand slam into the left field bleachers in the first inning. And, amazingly, it was basically all over but the shouting from there. Vargas continued his run of actually pitching well, reaching the sixth inning in his fourth consecutive start, while only allowing one run on four hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. The outing lowered Vargas’s ERA to a shiny 6.56 on the year.
Hey look, I’m trying not to be too snarky, okay? I’m trying not to turn wins into negatives. That said, though, the success of Vargas comes with a side of malaise and dread for Mets fans who have been paying attention, because we know what it means. With this team, and Vargas’s salary, it’s almost depressingly easy to expect the team to use his late-season competency as a reason to justify handing the struggling veteran a rotation spot next season. Guaranteeing anything to Vargas is, of course, a terrible idea, because even if he pitches well over the last handful of starts here, under no circumstances is he a viable rotation option on any team hoping to compete next season; he will be 36 years old next year, and coming into this game, he had a 6.36 ERA over his last 30 starts dating back to July 17, 2017. Don’t be fooled; he’s still not good.
Anyway, the Mets led 4-1 going into the seventh when they struck for four more runs. Singles by Amed Rosario and Austin Jackson drove in two, and then Jose Reyes tripled in two more [snarky comment redacted]. The lead was now 8-1.
But they still weren’t done. Frazier added his fifth RBI of the game in the ninth inning on an RBI single, and Brandon Nimmo got in on the fun with an RBI single of his own a few pitches later. The Mets led 10-1 at the time, and even though Jacob Rhame did his best Jacob Rhame impression and served up a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning, the Mets held on to win 10-3.
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
The Mets released their 2019 Spring Training Schedule, in case you want to try pinpointing the exact day you talk yourself into Jay Bruce, full-time first baseman.
Off day today, but the Mets finish off August by traveling to the Bay Area to take on the Giants in AT&T Park. Zack Wheeler takes the hill against Andrew Suarez at 10:15 p.m..
Photo credit: Jim Young – USA Today Sports