A wacky Wednesday which turned ugly for the Mets had the best possible outcome
Wednesday night in Philadelphia will hopefully be a night the Mets can laugh off in one of their many celebrations this October.
And it’s not even because they lost.
Wednesday night’s loss was one of the ugliest games the Mets have played in recent memory.
Sure, there are blown leads – and that was certainly a theme on Wednesday – sloppy defense, poor pitching, lack of a fluid offense, and generally flat days that are just a part of a baseball season which are all out of control thanks to this simply being a 162-game, six or seven month loss season.
But Wednesday’s game featured all of that. The Mets blew a 5-0 lead they built in the first thanks to a stalled out offense, used nine pitchers to issue four walks, throw four wild pitches, hit two batters, and lose two people to ejections.
Oh, and the Mets lost 7-5 to the Phillies, who drilled both Yoenis Cespedes and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, threw three wild pitches and walked four batters of their own, and committed an error.
Yes, the Mets lost to that, because they played that much worse than the Phillies.
“We’re better than that,” Collins said. “After the big celebration and the big events over the weekend, we’ve got to get rekindled here.”
One would hope a team angling for more than 90 wins and has lapped the Nationals for the division title was just getting a poor performance out of their system ahead of the postseason.
The sixth inning epitomized terrible for the Mets on Wednesday. It started with the Mets leading 5-2 and Hansel Robles quick pitching Cameron Rupp – conveniently after the Phillies knocked Cespedes out of the game with a contusion on his hand and drilling Nieuwenhuis – throwing a 94 mph fastball by his face.
“It was a fastball that got away from me and I was trying to quick pitch and the ball got away from me,” Robles explained.
Rupp wasn’t nearly as content with the situation following the game.
“That was the second time at home,” Rupp said. “This one was a little more dangerous. I don’t know if the guy knew where it was going or not. I don’t know. If you’re going to do it, make sure you know where it’s going.”
Travis d’Arnaud appeared to call for an off-speed pitch, and he flinched when the ball didn’t break.
Again, the pitch Robles threw by Rupp’s face was clocked at 94 mph.
Robles and Terry Collins were immediately ejected. That’s when Bobby Parnell took over and his lost season fell deeper into a black hole.
For the sixth time this season, Parnell allowed one or more runs while recording one out or less in an outing. On this occasion, Parnell allowed two runs on a hit and a walk, and contributed one of the four wild pitches on the Mets ledger.
Parnell took the loss. His outing was quite representative of this game for the Mets.
When the dust settled and all of the wild pitches and ejections were tossed, the Mets had allowed three runs and handed the lead to the Phillies.
They weren’t done looking terrible, however. Aside from their bats which caused them to go down in order in the second, strand two runners in the third, be retired in order again in the fourth, strand two more in the fifth, and get sent down in order from the seventh through ninth innings, Tyler Clippard added to the ugliness with a double and a run allowed sandwiching the final wild pitch of the night.
Clippard has now allowed ten runs in his last 11 2/3 innings, a span of 11 appearances since September 6.
But the outcome of this game became very secondary for the Mets, at least during the middle innings.
For the organization held their collective breath and got on their hands and knees, hoping and praying they didn’t lose Cespedes to a broken hand after he got beaned in the hand by Justin De Fratus in the third inning.
“The first thing that goes through your minds is, if he’s out how are you going to align things?” Collins explained. “Who would hit where? If he’s gone, how are we going to fill that hole?”
It’s simple. They wouldn’t fill the hole. Cespedes is irreplaceable. They’d simply have to hope for the best from the people which caused them to go get Cespedes to begin with.
Thankfully, the stars remained aligned for the Mets. X-rays came back negative, and Cespedes will have Thursday’s finale off.
“That’s always scary — a scary place when you get hit,” Collins said. “We’re very relieved that he’s OK.”
So the Mets can simply chalk this up to a forgettable night in what is really an insignificant, albeit disappointing series lost to the Phillies.
But at least they’re coming away from it relatively unscathed.
And from that perspective, it might have been one of their biggest wins of their year, even though it doesn’t show up in the standings.