Thursday, April 04, 2024

Light The Cigar

After the Mets lost the first game of their doubleheader against the Tigers on Thursday, the Mets had completed Soul Crush Bingo.

Opening Day: "The Mayberry Campbell", where nobody hit.

Game Two: "The Carrasco", where the starting pitcher was useless (Although Luis Severino saw his ERA cut in half today when Zack Short was retroactively credited with an error, bringing Severino's ERA to 5.40 from 10.80 ... which is a reminder that it's somone's job to look at errors from six days prior.) The judges will also accept "The Estes", where the Mets awkwardly respond to a dickhead move by an opponent.

Game Four: "The deGrom", where the starting pitcher (in this case Sean Manaea) pitches excellent, but gets no run support in an extra inning loss by five runs.

And then you have the first game of today's doubleheader against the Tigers: "The Rojas", where the bullpen implodes. Thankfully it wasn't Edwin Diaz, but Jake Diekman threw a pitch to Pomona while Riley Greene hit one to Teterboro off Adam Ottavino to blow a 3-1 lead. This game also gave us a new category: The Mets not responding to the Tigers stranding their ghost runner in the 10th by also stranding their ghost runner. This was thanks in part to Carlos Mendoza inexplicably asking hot hitting Brett Baty to bunt the runner over.against Shelby Miller. The Tigers would then score three in the 11th off of Michael Sisk-Tonkin to salt the game away.

That's pretty much every page from the "How to Break Our Fans' Hearts" that the Mets have referred to for years and years. Thing is, it usually takes three months to see all of these in a given season. 2024 gave us all of these in a week.I mean, what could the Mets do to possibly top this?

Oh, right. "The Heston".

In Game 2 of the doubleheader, the Mets were no-hit for seven innings by multiple Tigers pitchers, including Matt Manning who they had just called up, and held a 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Javy Baez (and congratulations to Baez for his first Tigers hit on a slider three feet out of the zone.) The amount of people who would have checked into insane asylums if the Mets had lost a no-hitter where the only run was driven in by Javy Baez would have been off the charts.

Thankfully, Jesus, Buddha and Josh Satin (baseball god in training) took mercy on the Mets. Harrison Bader broke up the no-hitter on an excuse me hit to the outfield in the 8th. He was stranded there, but at least the no-hitter was over. Then in the 9th with the score still 1-0 thanks to three shutout innings in relief by Reed Garrett, Pete Alonso faced Alex Faedo to lead off the inning. I remember thinking that Alonso is usually extra motivated when he faces his old college teammates.

Alonso's dinger, reminiscent of Gary Carter's Opening Day homer from 1985, was a huge relief. But it was only half the battle as the Mets needed to win this before it got to extra innings, which have treated the Mets poorly so far this season. Thankfully, Tyrone Taylor prevented what was sure to be another heartbreaking defeat. Suddenly, the Mets went from taking the most embarrassing start to the season anyone can think of to Cincinnati with them, to a 2-1 victory to earn the split of their rain aided doubleheader. Also not accompanying Carlos Mendoza to Cincinnati is the Willie Randolph memorial first win metaphorical cigar, which sat in Willie's luggage for a similar five game stretch to start 2005.

Days with a win are special. Days where your manager gets his first major league win are two be cherished. Days wher yout team plays 20 innings and the look like dog piss for about 16 of them but still comes away 1-1 ... well those are days you look back on when you're old and gray to try to find that twinkle in your eye again. 

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