It’s hard to predict good things when the Mets get together to play the reigning NL East champions, regardless if the games are home or away. So when you look at Mets/Nationals with pitching matchups of Harvey/Strasburg, Hefner/Gonzalez, and Gee/Zimmerman, you can’t logically expect a series win. Or even just one win (although that’s really becoming the case with Harvey on the mound). But the Mets did just that, defying logic on so many levels to take two out of three at Citi Field.
Based on his last couple of outings, can the Mets logically expect Dillon Gee to throw shutout ball for almost six innings? He did exactly that in yesterday’s impressive 2-0 win. But even more so, can anyone logically expect a bullpen of Hawkins, Lyon, Rice, and Parnell to hold the lead against one of the best hitting teams in baseball? That’s why they play the game.
We’ve all seen players start off the season strong, but can we logically expect lifetime hitting .236 John Buck to continue pounding the ball almost into May? After hitting another dinger yesterday, Buck now has 7 homeruns and 22 rbi for the year so far. Travis d’who?
And we’ve also seen the results of that Bobby Parnell closing experiment over the past few years and it has not been pretty. How can you logically expect him to close games this year? But he has, and gained his second save of the year yesterday, striking out two and pitching to a 1.35 era. This makes no sense! But we Mets fans of course will take it.
Does it make any sense that a light hitting team would smack 4 dingers in a game started by Stephan Strasburg? (even though 2 of them where hit in the 8th inning after Strasburg had left the game). Ike Davis going yard twice with his struggles? And Lucas Duda of all people hitting .308 with 5 homeruns already? Better enjoy it while it lasts.
And finally, when you put a young hard-throwing pitcher in a bases loaded, no out situation in the seventh inning of a close game, you can’t logically expect him to get out of it unscaled. That’s what Matt Harvey faced in the Mets 7-1 win Friday night. He bore down, struck out Kurt Suzuki on a slider off the plate, got pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina on a popup and forced a ground out from Denard Span. He then walked off the mound to a standing ovation.
Whether his name is Matt Harvey or not, you have to be impressed by this kid’s composure, proving once again any team’s tired starting pitcher, regardless of his pitchcount, flu like symptoms, headache, or shoulder pain is STILL BETTER than any of the team’s best middle reliever in the bullpen. Your bullpen is your bullpen for a reason – the pitchers aren’t good enough to start or close – which is why automatically going to your bullpen for the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings completely defies logic as well.
“Peyton, you played a great game, but we’re putting in the backup quarterback for the final two minutes of the game because he’s left-handed.” You see how ridiculous that sounds? Yet major league managers use that logic all the time with their bullpens. How much sense does that make? Yet the Mets took two this weekend somehow. Bring on the Dodgers and Kershaw!