That 11-10 loss to Atlanta in which the Mets blew a 10-5 lead in just three innings was pretty bad, but I think last night’s debacle is the new leader for most Mets loss of the season so far.
With Miami’s roster depleted due to positive COVID-19 tests, the Mets had a chance to make up ground on the unlikely division leader. Of course, they did not count on (although many fans did) Marlins starter Humberto Mejia pitching striking out six batters in a little more than two innings. Mejia had not ever played beyond Class A Advanced, but the Mets only scored a single run against him on a Dominic Smith home run.
That wouldn’t have been too much of a problem, but Michael Wacha gave up a three-run bomb to Francisco Cervelli in the second inning, and the New York offense looked listless against the no-name Miami bullpen. When the Mets finally did break through for a crooked number in the eighth, they came tantalizingly close to tying the game only to fall one run short.
Even a brutal throwing error by Brian Anderson wasn’t enough to put the Mets over the edge. And of course, Edwin Diaz pitched brilliantly when it didn’t matter. At least we got another great defensive play by J.D. Davis, who might have to change his phone number to 877-GLOV-NOW.
Yeah, it was a pretty brutal loss. Considering the dire straits of the opposition, the fact that the Mets had to have this game, and the way they left the bases loaded while down a run in the eighth inning, it might be the worst of the campaign.
Don’t worry; there’s still plenty of baseball left for the Mets to ruin our dreams! Or is there? I’m still optimistic that the season can be completed, but the Cubs and Cardinals had their whole series postponed this weekend because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the St. Louis clubhouse. MLB did a good job getting the Marlins back on the field, and the league has shown that it can handle one team going down at a time. But what happens if multiple outbreaks occur simultaneously? Hopefully we won’t have to find out.
It’s easy to drag Rob Manfred because of his ugly battle with the Players Association and his failure to establish a bubble for MLB. On the other hand, a baseball bubble would be a lot harder to pull off than what the NBA and NHL did because of the daily nature of baseball. You can’t eliminate any teams because you’re starting everyone at 0-0, and with every team needing to play every day, you’d need a ton of real estate to get a proper field for every game.
I’m not saying that MLB couldn’t have pulled off a bubble situation with proper planning, but with an outdoor daily sport there are a lot more factors to consider. My issue with Manfred is how he has implemented rules like the universal DH and the three-batter limit for pitchers that won’t due much to add excitement or pace to baseball. Once we overcome the pandemic, Manfred needs to get to work speeding up the game by eliminating the wasted time between pitches.