Image: New York Mets
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.
May 10th-Game 31 vs. Washington Nationals (20-10)
Sometime around Monday afternoon, I find out that I may have been potentially exposed to Covid over the weekend. Because of this, I'm working from home all week, leaving me alone to nothing but my thoughts and the New York Mets. If it wasn't baseball season, I don't know how I'd manage. While my week is now defined by isolation, tonight's Mets game is defined by a rat.
As I'm sure anyone reading this blog series remembers, last year's Mets were defined by a different rodent; a raccoon, who was the alleged focal point of some commotion in the Mets dugout last year, rather than a scuffle between Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil. To many Mets fans, this raccoon incident was the perfect mascot for the disconnect between the Mets potential last year and their actual on field results.
However, as the Mets take a 3-2 off of a James McCann sac fly, a real rodent makes it's way across the outfield. Much like the Mets potential this season, this rat is real, and almost everything that led to the scuffle that Lindor tried to cover up has been fixed. The culture within this team is way more productive than last year, and Jeff McNeil, the other participant in that altercation, goes 2-3 with 2 RBIs to help secure a 4-2. Is it time t get rat shirts made? I don't think so, but it's good to know that rodents are now a good omen for this team.
May 11th-Game 32 vs. Washington Nationals (21-10)
Well, I guess they can't gel every night. As I'm recording the latest episode of the wOBA Wonderboys, Megill is rocked in 1.1 innings for 8 earned runs, and while the Mets get 10 hits, they can't find a way to score past the 1st inning. Maybe the Nats called an exterminator into the stadium in between games or something.
May 12th-Game 33 vs. Washington Nationals (21-11)
I've tried to fight it for days, but on my fourth consecutive work from day, my fingers tap through the Uber Eats menu seemingly at their own volition. As my Panera arrives at my door, the afternoon Mets game gets ready to go.
To say that all but 1 Mets series so far has followed pretty much the same formula so far would be a severe understatement, but I'm taking the time today to say it anyway; win the 1st game in exciting fashion, flop in the next one, and then close out the rubber match. In a 4-1 win over the Nats to close out their 9th series win, I like the consistency, but this cruise control just won't work against a legitimate contender like it does against NL East opponents.
May 13th-Game 34 vs. Seattle Mariners (22-11)
In a time where sports can be streamed on a million different services and cable tv channels, sometimes the radio can't be beat. Depending on the quality of my stream, I've watched games that are sometimes an at-bat or 2 behind what the apps are showing, forcing me to lock my phone away to avoid score notifications before I see them myself. To stay as up to date as I can, I end up ordering an AM radio off Amazon, and honestly, it works out pretty well in the series opener against the Mariners.
Before the game, Howie and Wayne get a real kick out of Scherzer taking the mound for warmups early, preventing the ceremonial first pitch from being thrown. That extra warmup time pays off for Scherzer, as he fans 6 over 7 innings, allowing just 3 hits and one run. Even after giving up the opening run in the 1st, as well as losing a 14-pitch battle to Jeff McNeil, Marco Gonzales is making this one a real pitcher's duel. He strikes out 5 over 6.1 innings.
The bullpen, namely Paul Sewald, also gave the boys some serious trouble, preventing them from breaking the tie, as well as giving their own guys a chance to do so in the 8th inning. Sewald, who pitched nearly 120 games for the Mets before getting his first career win, is pitching with a vengeance. Sewald caps both of his innings pitched on strikeouts to prevent the Mets from ending the stalemate. After striking out Starling Marte to leave runners on 2nd and 3rd, Howie describes Sewald's elation heading back into the dugout.
Sewald has his day, lets the press know the satisfaction of winning in Queens, and the Mariners take it 2-1.
May 14th-Game 35 vs. Seattle Mariners (22-12)
As I roll out of bed around noon on Saturday, my Covid test returns negative, continuing my undefeated streak of never testing positive. Yes, I am triple-vaxxed, but I would also like to attribute my negative streak to the fact that I am simply built different. As a free man, I grab some lunch, pick up my comics for the week on Broadway, and watch Liverpool grab the second leg of their potential Quadruple, taking down Chelsea in the FA Cup Final.
As the Mets and Mariners face off for Game 2, I'm down in Brooklyn watching my roommate's band play. One of the people I'm with is also a Mets fan, and he shouts some score updates to me over one of the other bands playing.
"...SOMETIMES I GIVE MYSELF THE CREEPS..."
"THEY'RE UP 4-0!"
"...AND I WON'T KILL YOUR PARENTS, AND ROAST 'EM ON A SPIT..."
"...CRAP! SEATTLE TIED IT!..."
"...I CHIMED IN WITH A..."
"MAZEIKA HOMERED! THEY'RE UP!"
While probably not the appropriate place to mosh, that last update regarding Flushing's shirtless king makes me want to. And so, the rubber match cycle continues for one more weekend.
May 15th-Game 36 vs. Seattle Mariners (23-12)
On a very hot Sunday in Queens, I'm once again listening to the game, this time while trying to finish a book that's taken me way longer to get through than I'm proud of. It's going to take a bit longer, as there is way too much going on in this game for me to be passively engaged in. Seattle goes up 4-1, 2 triples from JD and Brandon give the Mets a 5-4 lead, Seattle comes back to make it 8-5, setting up another tense top of the 9th. I hate to get cocky-comebacks in past games don't guarantee comebacks in future games-but I'm not too scared.
After a J.D Davis popout, the bats start crackin'; Escobar triples, McNeil sends him home, Mazeika gets on base, and Nimmo grabs an RBI double to make it a 1-run game. It's one of those moments where the broadcast booth's faux objectivity fades fast, as all of Citi Field tries to will a comeback into existence. Marte goes down swining on a slider, Lindor is walked intentionally, and Alonso comes to the plate. 3-2 count, bases loaded, Alonso gets set, hesitates, and is down on a checked swing. Game over. The Mets drop their 1st series of the year.
At 23-13, the Mets are still one of the best in the Majors, with a more than comfortable hold on the NL East. It's way too early for me to start getting mad, but considering the fact that every game ends in one of the two same ways every time, it may be time for this team to start perusing the trading block to patch up these holes.