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The Amazins in Astoria: July 4-July 10

Welcome back to the Amazins in Astoria, a season long chronicle of my life in relation to the 2022 New York Mets.

For the first entry in this series, click here.

For the previous entry in this series, click here.

July 4th-6th- Away Series vs. Cincinnati Reds (49-30 Pre-Series)

With 4th of July weekend 2022 officially a bust for me, and with my food poisoning mostly dissipated, I take the bus of shame back to the city in anticipation of the week ahead. A set away against the Reds and one at home against the Marlins should give the Mets enough opportunities to widen the gap between themselves and Atlanta. Of course, the Braves play the Nats this weekend, so nothing is set in stone. Game 1 against the Reds goes about as smoothly as you can ask for despite some mid-game shakiness from Taijuan Walker, but the Mets are able to rally behind 12 hits and 7 runs to be the first National League team to win 50 games this year, and are now officially on pace for their 1st 100-win season since 1988.

While hitting the 50-mark is great to see, the real appeal to this series is in Game 2, as Max Scherzer takes the mound in a Mets uniform for the 1st time since May 18th. While I put myself in the mindset that his return would be a saving grace, there really isn't that much cleaning up Max has to do at this point in the season. Between his last start and today, the Mets have been 25-16, so all he's really doing is bringing the rotation closer to full form. That being said, a full form rotation with Scherzer in the mix is pretty damn scary. Through 6 scoreless frames, it feels like he never left, as Scherzer strikes out 11 and allows just 2 hits while pulling out all of his classic in-game antics. As he paces the mound after every strikeout and acts like a stalwart in the dugout, I gush over the fact that I'll probably get to see him pitch again in person sooner rather than later.

While Scherzer has definitely been the center of my attention tonight, the Reds' rookie Nick Lodolo also puts on a very impressive performance at the bump. Starting against Scherzer was almost the perfect matchup to watch a guy like Lodolo, as we can see how he finds his way in contrast to a guy who has perfected his craft. To Lodolo's credit, he proves that he's ironing out his kinks pretty quickly. First, his trouble with finding the zone quickly turned into an onslaught of breaking balls that the Mets simply could not hit. Lodolo gets Lindor and Alonso practically spinning off their feet with his curve. Outside of his pitch arsenal, Lodolo also looked very comfortable managing his infield, executing a nice pickoff throw on Starling Marte in the 3rd. While the Reds bullpen kept the Mets scoreless for the final 4 frames and paved the way for a walk-off sac fly, it was Lodolo's hot start that really set the tone for this one, flipping the narrative from Scherzer's return to a battle of the generations.

While a loss to the worst team in baseball is not a great way to start off the second half of the season, an extra innings win to clinch another series almost makes up for it. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, the Braves have taken the first 3 games in their set against the Cards, putting them at just 2.5 games back in the hunt for the East.

God. I have to really care about this Marlins series now, don't I?

July 7th-10th-Home Set vs. Miami Marlins (52-31 Pre-Series)

I'm looking at tickets for this weekend's series against Miami, and I'm very confused as to why Saturday's afternoon game is at least $20 more expensive than Sunday. Surely there isn't some sort of promotion that I'm forgetting about, right? Without bothering to click on the info for the game, my pea-sized brain snags 4 tickets for Sunday, and my thoughts immediately shift back to how shaky the Mets hold on the division could be if this weekend turns out to be a bust.

Game 1 quells my fears temporarily, as the Mets plow through the Chisholm-less Marlins 10-0. Also temporarily quelled are my concerns with the lack of power throughout the lineup, as JD Davis and the returning James McCann each blast homers on the Marlins rotation. On Friday, I'm quickly back in the red as not only do no Mets make the All-Star starters list, but they drop game to to Miami 5-2. As Atlanta begins their set against Washington, I am already foreseeing a moody weekend for myself.

On Saturday, I remember why tickets for Saturday were more expensive. As I watch from a bar in the Lower East Side, Keith Hernandez gives an incredibly moving speech about his time as a Met, and what it means to have his legacy forever enshrined in the rafters of Citi Field. However, all I can think about is the bobblehead giveaway that I'm missing out on. If I even want to think about having the complete GKR by the end of the year, I'll probably be spending a pretty penny on eBay. The only thing that makes up for what I've lost today is the fact that, after realizing the Bar's stream is behind, that I can goad my buddy into betting a beer on an upcoming Francisco Lindor home run. It doesn't always pay to be as plugged in as I am, but it's nice to milk the MLB app for unintended purposes every once in a while.

It's Sunday, around 4:30. I'm currently sitting in section 335, and by the 10th inning, the skin on my knees has burnt to something reminiscent of a leather handbag. Through 7 excellent innings, Taijuan Walker has kept the Fish scoreless, but Alcantara, as well as the lack of spark in this offense that seems to pop up every few days, has dumped the responsibility of closing this one out on Tommy Hunter. A throwing error from Nido and an RBI single from Luke Hamilton help this game and this series end on a wet fart of a performance. This week's series against the Braves will now determine who stays in 1st place for the time being, and all I have to show for the weekend is a Home Run Apple shaped fidget toy.


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