Baseball and beer have a long history together, which is good because if you’re going to watch the 2018 Mets, you’re going to need a little something to dull the pain. While no alcohol was consumed by me during last night’s debacle – had to stay sober for the Gut Reaction, you know – I was thinking of a beer commercial from back in the 1980s. They would show a group of friends getting together and having a good time and the tagline was: “Fellas, it just doesn’t get any better than this!”
Of course, I was thinking about it in an ironical sort of way. Right now with the Mets, it seems more like, “Fellas, it just doesn’t get any worse than this!” But then I remember an unfortunate truism of life. Things can always get worse.
But let’s recap where thing are. Actually, let’s take it up to right before the start of the Yankees series. Here’s what’s gone wrong for the 2018 club:
Jacob deGrom has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball, yet the team somehow has a losing record when he starts.
Noah Syndergaard has become the most hittable starter who throws 100 mph in baseball history. Originally, this sentence contained the word “pitcher” but then it had to be changed to “starter” because, well, Gerson Bautista exists. And Syndergaard’s on the DL.
Neither Steven Matz nor Zack Wheeler has stepped up to be a consistent pitcher.
Jason Vargas was first injured and then mostly bad
Both catchers got hurt within a couple of days of each other and their replacements have been terrible.
Adrian Gonzalez has done his best James Loney imitation. He hasn’t been good at all but does just enough so that a team with a veteran fetish won’t be moved to do anything to replace him.
Amed Rosario shows glimpses of his talent but mostly seems like a guy with a lot to learn when he has a bat in his hands.
Jose Reyes tarnishes his legacy on a daily basis but seems to be kept around because … he’s done so well tutoring Rosario?
Yoenis Cespedes is on the DL with leg injuries again.
Michael Conforto had a Granny-esque horrible streak and was in the beginning of another bad stretch.
Jay Bruce got old overnight. Buster Olney ran some numbers how he’s doing against 95 mph fastballs. It’s not pretty. But I’ve got news for Olney – Bruce isn’t doing well against curves, changeups or sliders, either.
Anthony Swarzak, the big offseason addition to the pen, had missed most of the year.
We wish Hansel Robles had missed most of the year, as he was busy proving that last year’s home run barrage was not an outlier.
Jerry Blevins was so ineffective that some people were actually questioning the wisdom of carrying a LOOGY.
Not one single minor league guy called up, pitcher or hitter, got off to a Kirk Nieuwenhuis hot start. And quite a few guys got a shot.
Wilmer Flores forgot how to hit southpaws but remembered he couldn’t field any position. Oh and he’s on the DL.
Juan Lagares spent the offseason with coaches famous for teaching guys to hit the ball in the air. He then proceeded to put up a career-low 22.0 FB% before going on the DL, where he’s expected to miss the rest of the year.
The Mets went dumpster diving for a 37 year old with a .593 OPS and he’s actually been an upgrade.
That’s an impressive list of bad stuff. But it appeared like some good news was on the way. Todd Frazier and Swarzak returned from the DL and it looked like both Cespedes and Syndergaard would be back for the Subway Series. The starters put together some good outings and a few days off gave hope for a recharged bullpen. Shoot, there was even David Wright doing something that was described as “baseball activity.” Wright was seen on the field throwing the ball. It was a Christmas miracle in early June.
Could it be that the club would use this time when everyone was counting them out to do a Lazarus routine and somehow become relevant?
Of course not! Because, everyone say it with me now, things can always get worse
Let’s see what bad stuff has happened the past few days:
Jeurys Familia went on the DL.
Syndergaard had a setback and would not return to pitch in the series finale.
Cespedes re-injured himself during a minor league rehab game.
Mets took early leads in both games only to lose the first two games of the series.
If you submitted this as a premise to Hollywood, they would reject it for not being realistic. But oh, it’s happening, sweetheart. And it just leaves you wondering: What bad stuff is going to happen next? It would not be good to be Brandon Nimmo right about now. My advice would be for Nimmo to get a bodyguard, a black belt Judo expert with a machine gun. Also, throw in some holy water, a giant cross and a wooden stake to try to keep the bad luck vampires away.
It probably still wouldn’t work. You know, just like Mickey Callaway’s managerial moves.