RECORDS: Mets 63-80 Cubs 77-66
GAMETIMES: 7:05pm Tuesday-Thursday
TV: CSN Tuesday, WGN Wednesday, ABC Thursday
SPIDERMAN OVER CAPTAIN AMERICA: Mets Merized
The Cubs got an off day, which we all needed probably just as badly, to lick their wounds and think about what they did, or didn’t do, against the Brewers at the weekend. A day of reflection should have let everyone get to the conclusion that as ugly as it was, the Cubs still hold all the cards. And with four games against the Brewers still left, and seven against the Cardinals, the Cubs get the most say on what will happen to the Cubs this year. Maybe that’s not a good thing, as they keep dropping the ball when it’s time to finally get over the line, but there’s really no other place to be. And they can start to warm up to the task against whatever this is parading around as the New York Mets for the next three nights.
The Mets weren’t the deepest team to begin with, at least not in the every day lineup. Now that they currently have seven players done for the year, there’s a whole lot of trash here. Oh sure, Noah Syndergaard is supposedly on a rehab assignment, but you’d have to be utterly nuts to have him throw another pitch this season. Then again, they had Matt Harvey go on short rest when their season fucked off with someone prettier months ago, because METS.
We now look back on it fondly, but it was only two years ago that the debate of building a team like the Cubs vs. building one like the Mets, i.e. one with bats against one with arms, was raging and a lot of Cubs fans were worried they missed out. But a team built solely on young arms has a foundation in sand, and the Mets have sunk the past two years. Matt Harvey may never recover. Thor might simply throw too hard for the human body to handle. Zack Wheeler is likely toast. Steven Matz, who was always a touch below the others, has had injury problems for the past two years. Who are you counting on going forward? deGrom would be the only name you’d pencil in there.
Ah, but the problems haven’t just been in the rotation. The Mets were too old and too bad in too many places and content to stay that way. They tried to somehow jimmy an outfield with Granderson, Cespedes, and Bruce at the beginning of the year even though they’re all left fielders. And they did this at the expense of Michael Conforto, who is their best hitter and he had to be so to force his way into the lineup when one of those three, or all of them, inevitably got hurt. And then Conforto did. Then Bruce was traded. And then Cespedes got hurt. And then Granderson was traded. So that was a good plan. The Mets will trot out an outfield of Nimmo-Lagares-Aoki or so the next three days. Feel the burn!
The infield isn’t too much better, but at least has two promising kids Mets fans can observe for the season’s closing in Ames Rosario and Dominic Smith. Asdrubal Cabrera is filling in for Wilmer Flores at the moment, but they’re essentially the same guy. The corpse of Jose Reyes will wander around second base, trying to convince everyone it’s still 2011. Travis d’Arnaud also died a few years ago but the Mets keep trotting him out there, probably because Kevin Plawecki is even more dead. Yes, the lineup stinks. Quite so.
The pen… I mean, do you really give a shit? Jeurys Familia is back from whatever suspension it was this time. With the Mets you can just spin a wheel. Jerry Blevins is the LOOGY for what seems like the 38th straight year and quite good at it. They picked up A.J. Ramos from Miami for some reason. But it’s September, which means any number of goobers and jamokes will be trotting in from right field. While Terry Collins tries to keep his brain from dripping out of his ear in the dugout. Good times.
Simply acceptable against bad teams won’t do anymore. If every game is going to count, the Cubs really only have eight games left against bad teams, and that’s if you count the Rays who aren’t “bad” per se. The Cubs need to throttle this home for wayward children, and really anything less than a sweep isn’t enough. They don’t have to deal with deGrom, and of the three starters they will see only Gsellman has even been ok of late.