It's only the third game of the season and the Mets' weaknesses are already being laid bare.
Firstly, the Mets' mattress game seems incredibly soft. After Steven Matz got sidelined last fall with a lat issue from a bad night of sleep, Sandy Alderson did nothing in the offseason to address the issue. As a result, Jacob deGrom missed a start last month because of a back complaint from sleeping on a 'too soft mattress', and young Mets continue to do as young people have done since time immemorial: shop for mattresses in ignorance. This could well be the reason why deGrom's lat locked up on him again today, forcing him to leave the game after only 76 pitches. You can bet his wife will not have a sympathetic ear for deGrom's discomfort tonight.
With all due respect, I would be surprised if either youngling could spell 'lattisimus dorsi', let alone 'tempurpedic'.
What do young people know a lot about? Pop Tarts, which could be a fitting nickname for these Mets hitters who lofted eight pop-outs to infielders from the second inning onwards today.
What would you expect from a lineup whose 4-5-6 demands opposing managers to bring in lefties to face Lucas Duda (.669 career OPS against LHP), Neil Walker (.655 OPS vs. LHP), and Michael Conforto (.450 OPS in 15 career ABs against LHP coming into today)? And what did this group do today against lefties? 2-for-2 with a walk and 3 RBI during the game-breaking rally in the seventh inning, and 5-for-9 with 5 RBI, 5 runs, 2 walks, and 1 HBP against all pitchers overall.
Guh. Please don't encourage Terry. After all, the seventh inning outburst came against lefty James Russell, who has an 81.00 ERA so far this year, and came on in relief for lefty Daniel (Make Donald) Stumpf (Again), who has an 81.00 ERA so far this year. SSS be damned; the Pope himself is on record for taking Philadelphia to task for crimes against God.
Meanwhile, Travis d'Arnaud, who mashed lefties last year in limited action and could soon be one of the Mets' top hitters, is batting eighth and rarely sees a reasonable pitch to hit. It doesn't matter that optimized lineup construction is worth around one win a year or that it could help hone his batting eye for the moment—I don't like it. d'Arnaud got his first hit of the year today in the seventh inning and drove home a run in the process.
d'Arnaud also helped his batterymate out by cutting down Cesar Hernandez trying to steal with a perfect throw in the first inning, fitting for a light-hitting defensive catcher who you would bat eighth or ninth in the lineup.
Meanwhile, deGrom, who would be better off using his mane as a pillow instead of whatever non-memory foam action he has going on, also kept the lights on in Panic City by sitting at 91-92 MPH today (according to SNY's gun). It doesn't matter that he reached back to hit 93 in order to notch four of his six punchouts, or that he had great rise and run on his heater. He needs to throw hardah. Now. Regardless of how his latte feels, or whatever it's called.
On a similar note: Jim Henderson showed cause for concern by hitting a high of only 95 on the gun, after reaching 97 against Kansas City in 80 degree weather. He struck out only two of the three hitters he faced for the second straight outing.
There's also concern that Jerry Blevins may not be human, as he has now retired all 20 hitters he has faced as a Met.
Also, David Wright's career is over after a turn-back-the-clock double to right-center and a similarly familiar charging barehand pick-and-throw on a bunt. He sure makes a pretty corpse though.
But ain't nobody can say no nothing about no Michael Conforto. The guy saw 14 pitches in his first two at-bats against Phillies starter Jerad Eickoff, and gave all interested onlookers a half-chub through the authority with which he took the first pitch in his third at-bat, and finished the job on the next pitch by ripping an RBI double. He has now reached base seven times in his first 12 trips to the plate this year.
Also in midseason form with inadvertent sexual comments: GKR.
Exhibit A: "Even Yoshi the massage guy got a hand" -- Ron, before first pitch, referring to the applause that everyone in the Mets org got to bask in during introductions.
G (meaningfully) : We all have different ways of keeping warm, Keith.
K: Let's just say I'm hiding my bias.
G: Your bias is going to get uncovered.
So at least Mets fans have something to look forward to: one position player, who will assuredly leave the team in free agency in 2021, and lotsa loose talk until they beat somebody worth beatin'.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Michael Conforto, +17.1% WPA; Jacob deGrom (pitching + hitting), +15.5% WPA; Lucas Duda, +10.4% WPA
Big losers: Curtis Granderson, -11.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto's RBI double in the sixth, +13.0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Odubel Herrera's RBI single in the sixth, -16.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +22.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: +28.0% WPA
GWRBI!: Michael Conforto!