Mets Game 58: Win Over Diamondbacks


Mets 6 Diamondbacks 3

Last week, I said that it would be an achievement if the Mets finished their NL West road trip with a 4-3 record. The Metsies fell one game short at 3-4 but a half game up in the NL East. And they saved the best for last with an efficient win over the Diamondbacks, a team who seem to collect more logos than wins. They have a curly snake logo on their caps, a diamond “A” shaped one, a “db” snake on their arm and an ugly Dbacks one on their chests. Get classy, guys… get pinstripes.

The Mets’ only blip was Eric Campbell’s throwing error in the first that eventually led to a couple of runs. But you can be forgiven when you launch a line drive two-run homer in the next inning.

I’m still trying to figure out Campbell, especially on defense. He’s the Mets fourth option over there but he seems steady enough. He made a nice barehanded play that Owings beat out for a bunt single RBI. I also think Campbell’s a better hitter than his current numbers because his 0 for 168 (or whatever it was) is still dragging him down. He’s got a level swing and a little patience.

Wilmer Flores hit another homer to almost exactly the same spot as Campbell and added a pretty defensive play, snagging a hard hit ball in the ninth and throwing over to get Saltalamacchia. Salty can barely move, but Wilmer still did a nice job.

Wilmer is on a nice little eight game hitting streak and the switch from chewing gum to bubble gum seems to have improved his game. For a guy forced into learning on the job, he’s slogging his guts out. If you watch Wilmer’s face when he fields and bats, he rarely blinks. His eyes must hurt because he’s trying to concentrate so much.

My other favourite player (yet perennial figure of apathy) is Curtis Granderson, who cranked out two home runs to deep right. As Granderson ages, he’s torquing his body even further around. He’s becoming a corkscrew, and that exaggerated twist means that he doesn’t always keep his eyes level. He’s now pulling everything. Opposing teams: keep the infield shift and add an outfield shift too.

You know that Babe Ruth was also famous for torquing his body? Curtis is smart enough to have studied the great man, and I think he’s doing it to compensate for his lack of bat speed. Both homers were off breaking balls and Curtis is a breaking ball hitter who walks (or strikes out) to pitches he can’t catch up to. But I’ll say this again… his OBP is .345 and that ain’t bad. And he’s trying to fulfil a role in a line-up shorn of a bunch of its big hitters. Cut the Grandyman some slack, just for me.

Jacob deGrom was Jacob deGrom again, and in his last two starts he’s been stellar on the road. He spotted his fastball nicely, but his change-ups really caught my eye. DeGrom is a relaxing pitcher to watch. He works quickly and fields his position well. How did scouts miss this guy’s talent? He reminds me of the Dick Van Dyke character in Bilko (only older readers will get that). He’s a lanky and almost goofy athlete capable of everything.

The only downside in the game was an interminable eighth inning where the Mets padded their lousy stolen base numbers by adding four off the Diamondbacks’ J.C. Ramirez. If you thought Steve Trachsel was slow to the plate, watch this guy. We have a new “Human Rain Delay” in Ramirez. That meant the newly christened “Speedster” Eric Campbell stole two bases. I passed out after fifteen minutes and when I woke up the Mets had scored another run. I don’t know how and I refuse to watch the inning again to find out.

The Mets return home with a half game lead over the Nationals, who continue to stagger me with their relatively lousy record. I still think they’ll have a 10 game winning streak at any time, and they have to win 90+ games. But, you know what, the Mets have a nice run of games in June.

July might be the killer for the Mets… check out their schedule for then…. ouch. Will d’Arnaud be firing by then? Will Familia’s electric arm have exploded? Will Wilmer be eating popping candy?

Ah, just enjoy the ride. I am… and I’m still convinced the Mets are only $10m or so from being a contender. Hmm… maybe that’s the key. Will the purse strings be loosened?

Steve Hussy has been a Mets fan since 1984. An insomniac as a kid, he watched baseball highlights at 4 AM on British TV. He credits Darryl Strawberry's long homers as the first cause of his obsession with the Mets. Now he gets to watch Mets games that finish at 3 AM and teach bleary-eyed lessons to his film students the next day. He also gets to shell out hundreds of pounds to fly over to New York and watch the Mets occasionally win. Steve Hussy's other job is as a writer and editor for Murder Slim Press, which specialises in confessional and crime literature. You can find out more about him on Just no threats, please.
  1. Extragooey June 8, 2015 at 12:06 pm
    Saturday’s 2-1 loss hurt, or they would have finished 4-3 on the trip. The offense as usual just wasn’t there. What the hell is “general body stiffness”. I’m not sure I’ve heard of that one. Wilmer is 23 years old. Playing 26 straight games at short shouldn’t tire him out.
  2. Murder Slim June 8, 2015 at 1:12 pm
    It was just an excuse to try Tejada at short. Murphy’s injury had caused management to be confused about what to do. The one thing I think they’ve decided is they’ll roll out Wilmer at shortstop for the rest of this year, out of blind stubborness. I’d love to see Wilmer at second, and I’d love to see Herrera given reps at shortshop before he returns.
  3. Bat June 8, 2015 at 3:14 pm
    I’m getting concerned that Wilmer seems to get ahold of a ball and hit it over the fence once in awhile, but the rest of the time he struggles to get hits.

    It might just be a semi-normal event: a 23 year old getting acclimated to major league pitching. At least that’s what I’m hoping.

    But Wilmer’s OBP is .274, which is awful.

    His OPS is deceptively reasonable at .697, but as many people have stated since OPS became a stat, OPS likely overvalues slugging percentage (SP) and undervalues OBP because at the end of the day it’s more important (relatively speaking) to get on base frequently than to tag an extra base hit now and again.

    Flores’s defense has stabilized for the most part – he’ll never a Gold Glover because he doesn’t have much range, but he’s now making the routine plays.

    I’m hoping his offense comes around because as I’ve said (1) he’s gotten crapped on by many people, which he handles with aplomb and (2) the Mets brain trust is responsible for his defensive struggles in the beginning of the year.

    I give Flores something of a pass for the early defensive lapses because again why did the Mets move him off SS two years ago if there was any chance – any chance – that he’d be playing SS in the majors? SS is the most difficult fielding position after catcher, and if they thought there was even an infinitesimal chance that he’d be playing SS in the majors, then he should have been kept at that position in the minors.

    That was a huge failure on the part of Mets management.

    By the way, is anyone surprised about the Mets announcing at 6 man rotation and then scrapping the idea after one poor start of Gee? I’ve been following the Mets since I was a small child, and they always seem to bungle this type of stuff (see the loyalty pledge of the offseason).

    And with respect to Gee: I think it’s high time for him to go. He had a couple decent years for the Mets, but he’s been a pain in the ass this year (e.g., complaining about “wasting bullets in the minors”, the gun control thing, whining about the six man rotation, now complaining about his move to the bullpen). I know his trade value isn’t high, but I’m tired of his nonsense and he needs to go, I don’t say things like that lightly.