Great Game Until It Wasn’t: A Mets Postmortem
When your starting pitcher has a no-hitter through 5 innings and finishes with a line of 7 innings, 2 hits and 10 strikeouts, you usually win.
Unless you’re the Mets.
You can’t do much better than Noah Syndergaard did.
Unless you’re Madison Bumgarner.
The man is a beast, inhumane, a legend, especially in the post season. The only time I’ve seen that guy rattled is when he’s facing Yasiel Puig. I wish the Mets had that kind of power over him. Or at least the time to just collectively stare at him. Maybe then he’d make a mistake.
That said, I can get behind losing to Madison Bumgarner. That’s respectable. He threw more than 100 pitches and was still pitching in the bottom of the 9th; propelling him to a complete game shut out.
What I can’t get behind is losing to Conor Gillaspie. It’s like watching Armando Benitez redux – a fastball thrown straight down the middle. It’s all too familiar yet that’s how our season ends? Fifty-one saves, sadly won’t be enough for Familia. It’s like cosmic joke with a bad punch line.
Especially after Granderson makes that catch! It’s 2006 all over again. The Catch. We lose. Season over.
I love Terry Collins and I can be his biggest cheerleader at times. But, other times, I question his decisions. Flashback to last year: World Series Game 5. I get leaving Harvey in. But when he walks that first batter, pull him. Same thing last night with Familia. If you have to put him in (because it’s the right move on paper), then take him out when the first batter reaches. Or at least when the second batter reaches. Don’t let him crash and burn. Totally put him in when the Mets have the lead. Let him save the game (his strength), not protect the tie in a non save situation (his weakness). Utilize the bullpen. Play for the long haul.
The days following the Mets loss and I couldn’t ask for a better support system – either you consoled me or were so positive that it’s helped me see the bigger picture. No one ever said “it’s just a game” (phew)!
And Yet…I’m having a tough time with this loss. What can I say about the Mets? I love them and I hate them. It’s complicated.
Yes, I’m proud of this team: their resilience, their heart, their fight. Yes, they were hurt and kept getting hurt. Yes, all the newbies did a phenomenal job, above and beyond what was expected of them. Yes, we’re lucky to have made it this far. And, yes we faced Madison Bumgarner, who I still do not believe is human !
But Thor pitched the game of his life. We had home field advantage. Citi Field was rocking (even if it didn’t quite shake like Shea did). It was loud…for 8 and 1/3 innings. Some boos. Then silence. Dejection.
You see, that game was ours to win just as easily. I really thought we had at least one more moment in the sun. On Thursday morning, I envisioned myself reaching out to all my Mets fan friends to watch the road games. I had plans to go to every home game or almost every home game with mom. Side note: My mom is my favorite Mets fan – she has heard me swear off the Mets more times then she can count. I say it in the moment of hurt, but I don’t mean it. I’ll be back. I see her rolling her eyes whenever I make such dire proclamations as “I’m not coming back next year”…we’ve had a partial season ticket plan since 1998. A single shitty moment can’t change that, especially when your mom is your best friend and puts up with your nonsense.
It doesn’t change the fact that the Mets were 60-62 on August 19th and then went were 27-13, but it did make us believe …again! Yet..pressure. Nerves wracked. A one game playoff. One and done. Maybe it’s better this way, like the Band-Aid being quickly ripped off. Now I can watch the playoffs without being emotionally attached.
Thor summed it up best in his tweet: Baseball has a way of ripping your ️ ❤️ out,
stabbing it, putting it back in your chest, then healing itself just in time for Spring Training.
(Especially if you’re a Mets fan)