Gut reaction: Mets 9, Nationals 7 – 7/7/2016

Put it in the books! The Mets out-slugged the Nationals on a night when neither starting pitcher was effective and the ball seemed to fly out of Citi Field. Bartolo Colon coughed up six runs on 10 hits in less than five innings, but was equaled by the young phenom Lucas Giolito, who couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning. But the story of this game, besides some fantastic vitriol from Keith Hernandez, was the bats.

The Nationals took a 4 to 1 lead after Colon surrendered three home runs in the fourth inning, but the Mets came roaring back with solo shots of their own from Travis d’Arnaud and Jose Reyes, followed by doubles by Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes to tie it up. The Nats retook the lead 6-4 in the top of the fifth, but the Mets answered with a three-run home run by Wilmer Flores and a solo shot by Asdrubal Cabrera. Our old friend Daniel Murphy hit his fifth homer of the season off the Mets to bring the Nats within one. In the bottom of the seventh, Neil Walker drove in an insurance run with an RBI single and Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia kept the score at 8-6.

Great win and a great way to start this critical series. LGM!

15 comments for “Gut reaction: Mets 9, Nationals 7 – 7/7/2016

  1. Eraff
    July 7, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Certainly up there on the “Fun Watch” list!

  2. TexasGusCC
    July 8, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Driving home, I was all fired up! I was gathering material and tonight I was going to really run my mouth about my buddy, “The Oppressed One”. I was planning to really be obnoxious. But when I came home, the news was on, and what happened in Dallas really tore me up: that’s reality there. The game and it’s result don’t even matter when compared.

    But since we are a baseball blog, I will go on with my comment without the boasting.

    Wilmer Flores has passed folk hero and is on his way to legend, the likes of if we tell our grandchildren someday, they will look at us and say, “Come on grandpa, stop making stuff up. I’m not buying it.” His life could already become a movie based on a true story.

    A top prospect is trying to make a career in the major leagues but has one obstacle after another happen to him. In 2013, called up to take over for an injured David Wright, he sprains his ankle in his first game legging out a two run triple in Los Angeles, and tries to play with the sprain, but is ineffective and shut down.

    Then, after healing he comes to spring training 2014 to win a job, but is sent down. He rakes at AAA and with the team in a hitting slump, he is brought up by the general manger on May 9th. After a successful two games is benched for a week, until March 17th. With him struggling to find his stroke, he is sent down. In late July, after continuing his onslaught of AAA pitching he is brought back up, but again his manager will not play him. Finally after a meeting on August 3rd between the general manager and the manager, the manager agrees to let him split time with a player that far inferior to our hero but relents after an injury to Daniel Murphy in late August and lets Flores finish the year at second base.

    Our hero goes into the off-season more determined to win a job in spring training in 2015 and goes to a fitness guru to help his quickness and agility in order to compete for the shortstop position. However, like all heroes he must overcome the immense scrutiny and initial failure of multiple errors at his position. Eight errors the first month, and his detractors have blood dripping from their lips. However, once again the player who is inferior is supported by the manager and in what is called a split of at bats finds our hero usually facing the other teams’ better pitchers and the inferior player facing the weaker pitchers. Based on an offensive eclipse of the offense, the manager is once more forced to give him more time than he prefers and with the general manger realizing this player will be an asset that loses value on the bench, agrees to trade him. At the time the agreement is made, our hero is playing in the field and carries the emotion of being unwanted by his organization and the emotions of realizing he would never get a chance with the only team he has ever known. But, divine intervention steps in. The agreement to trade is voided and our hero doesn’t get traded. Two nights later, our hero hits the game winning home run in the first game of a three game series that his team would go on to sweep and catapult themselves into a tie for first. Our hero is now more confident, and plays more often. He becomes more confident defensively and starts making some dazzling plays with very few errors. The team wins their division, but in the playoffs the manager once again turns to the inferior player to play more often due to his lack of trust in our hero. Again, divinity steps in and the inferior player suffers a broken leg and our hero is restored to his rightful place.

    Again in he next off-season, our hero goes to the fitness guru and tells him to make him even more agile. He comes to spring training 2016 ready to play several positions, as he is given the crumbs of a utility player but yet again, his manager informs him that he must compete with the inferior player once more for playing time. This time the general manager has had enough and cuts the scrub! When the scrub is finally cut from the Mets, he gets picked up and by another organization, fails and is released in less than a month and lands in the minors of a third organization in just half a season.

    Meanwhile, David Wright gets hurt again. Our hero is the heir apparent, but not so fast. This time the general manager has doubts and trades for a journeyman player to play Wright’s position taking at bats away from our hero. Our hero is not to be denied. He hits over .300 with 19 RBIs in a month to take job away, but the general manager picks up a former fan favorite to play Wright’s portion once more making a utility player of our hero. However, our hero goes 6-6, has consecutive two home run games, and comes off the bench to hit the game winning homerun in the first game of a four game series against the first place team, just as he had done almost a year before.

    All that is left is for him to be on a team that can appreciate him and an agent to get him a big contract (His agent is Scott Boras).

    Tell me this movie wouldn’t break records.

    Meanwhile, in Dallas…

    • TexasGusCC
      July 8, 2016 at 1:32 am

      Correction: His agent is Levinson Brothers.

    • Name
      July 8, 2016 at 1:55 am

      From May 29th to July 2nd, he started 27 of the 32 games, and he hit a meager .247/.311/.366. And this is done with a .280 BABIP, which normal for him. I wonder why we wanted an upgrade…

      Hmmm… what should we believe. A 5 games or 27 games… Don’t let the small sample size fool you. He’ll slump again, and probably very hard. I mean, Trevor Story started out his career with 7 HRs in 6 games, but since then he’s been a below average hitter. The overall numbers look nice for now, but eventually all the hot and cold spells will average out, and there’s no reason to believe the cold won’t win as it has all these years.

      • TexasGusCC
        July 8, 2016 at 2:17 am

        Name, tell me the website again where I can find stats for specific periods? My info was from Adam Rubin’s article yesterday:

        Flores has produced a pair of two-homer games in a four-day span roughly coinciding with Reyes’ arrival. After opening the season as a backup infielder and struggling with limited at-bats, Flores stepped into a regular role at third base with David Wright injured and has been productive at points. He is hitting .313 (31-for-99) with four doubles, six homers, 19 RBIs and 13 runs scored in 31 games since June 3.

        By the way, there’s an article in the nine lives of Bartolo Colon. LOL!

      • July 8, 2016 at 9:13 am

        That stretch you include for Flores ends with an 0-14 and is not indicative of what he’s done since getting regular playing time. Leave out the 0-14 and you have .291/.352/.430

        Include the 0-14 and the next day and you have .293/.349/.465

        Take it through last night’s game and you have .295/.347/.527

        At this point, I don’t know what to think of Flores as a hitter. But I don’t believe he’s the .673 guy he’s been prior to this year. His defense at 3B is really bad, even if his throws seem more accurate than they were at SS – low bar, I know.

        Play him while he’s hot, I guess.

        Gus, you can get day-by-day stats at the player page at Baseball-Reference. Click on “Game Logs.” Here’s the direct link for Flores:

        • TexasGusCC
          July 8, 2016 at 9:36 am

          Thank you Brian. I did the breakdown of Flores from June 3rd until today and got .314/.363/.559/.922. You’re right, ride him.

          I agree that Flores doesn’t have the reflexes to play third base, but the night after we laud Prado for being “a real third baseman” he lets Cespedes’ grounder go down the line under his glove for an 8th inning double that Mets broadcasters assume he should have caught.

          Flores is able to stand-in at third, he is able to stand-in at shortstop but it’s obvious that his best position is second base. He can play back, turns a good double play, and is comfortable there. He isn’t pretty at the plate, but seems to keep improving. Furthermore, he’s only 24. Why the abuse on this kid? What did he do wrong?

    • July 8, 2016 at 9:20 am

      Glad I didn’t see the comment with the boasting…

  3. Name
    July 8, 2016 at 2:04 am

    I’ll be the first to say I’m very happy of the new contact rule changes and the fact that umps are starting to enforce it. It’s hard to get people to change their ways, but eventually people should and will come around. Eventually, i hope we come to the realization that any intentional contact should be illegal.

    If you had to construct baseball from scratch today, it’s hard to believe one would allow players to try to break people’s legs or run full force into people, that’s not baseball. Baseball should be won based on pitches made, clutch hits, or stellar fielding, and not because you can injure someone.
    Absolutely no one would condone a player pushing the first baseman to the ground while running to first, so why are we allowing certain players to be vulnerable?

    And no, just because that’s how it’s been done for years doesn’t make it OK. That’s a weak excuse and that means that society would never learn and grow if all we did was follow the status quo.

    • Jimmy P
      July 8, 2016 at 9:00 am

      Well said. Unfortunately, during this period of transition, we’ve got to listen to a lot of false macho toughness. The “back-in-my-day” crowd. It’s too bad that the guys in our own (excellent) booth are adding to that blather.

      The slide was clearly late and clearly against the new rule. The days of “taking out” the vulnerable fielder at second base are over. Boo-hoo.

      Also agree with Metsense: Team needs another arm in the pen, a Clippard-type deal. Minor league system is thin, however; this won’t be an easy trade.

    • July 8, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Yes, I co-sign here.

      And the same goes for throwing at people. Most people accept the running into guys but too many people romanticize throwing at people. It’s disgusting.

  4. Eraff
    July 8, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Wilmer was a “victim” of sporadic use at the beginning of the season…and his own poor play.

    I’m a Wilmer Fan…. and I think he’s not yet an every day player. He does very little well…and he has no prospect of doing “most baseball things” well. What he “might” do well is Hitting. He has hit sporadically.

    If he hits like a Brick, he’s a keeper…

  5. Jim OMalley
    July 8, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Having a nice glove at first base and at shortstop also doesn’t hurt Flores. This was a nice victory tempered with the Harvey news (and of course, the Dallas news).

  6. Metsense
    July 8, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Exciting and fun game. Flores should be playing while he is hot.TDA is hitting well and has heated up. There are no holes in this lineup and the bench is solid. Cabrera’s play turned first and third into two outs and it was an illegal slide by Werth. Familia and Reed again but Sandy is going to need a third reliever for the 7th inning. TC got everyone involved last night and did a masterful job. It is difficult to keep everyone happy but TC seems to have the knack. Let’s light up Strasburg tonight.

  7. MattyMets
    July 8, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Granted everyone is hitting now so it doesn’t much matter, but Terry makes zero sense the way he constructs a lineup. TDA is not an 8 hole hitter and Grandy is the antithesis of a 2 spot hitter. I’m tired of seeing solo homeruns. High OBP, low K guys belong at the top, bombers in the middle, alternate left/right. It’s not rocket science.

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