Remember the bottom of the first, when Travis d’Arnaud crouched down behind the plate in his very old-school catcher’s gear and made his major-league debut?
That was awesome.
Too bad the rest of the game sucked.
And it did suck — it was a sloggy, groggy mess that took the better part of forever while being alternately depressing and deeply boring. This was the kind of game you pray isn’t in the offing when you’ve got a baseball newbie on your couch or next to you at the park. It grieves me to think that was someone’s first baseball game — that unfortunate is off to MMA or Tic-Tac-Toe or something more interesting and elevating for the human spirit.
As for d’Arnaud, it feels more than a little stupid offering a scouting report off one night, but well, this is a baseball blog and I suppose the historical record compels me to put down a few thoughts. He came up empty with a chance to get the Mets back into the game but worked a couple of walks, seemed to frame pitches well, and looked nimble behind the plate. Yes, the Padres ran wild and too many balls wound up caroming around behind him, but Jenrry Mejia and David Aardsma seemed basically indifferent to the very idea of runners on first, and the Mets’ staff didn’t exactly cover itself with glory tonight. Mejia looked off from the very beginning, hanging sliders and looking fidgety and unsettled, and so it wasn’t an enormous surprise when he departed with his elbow barking. Just that bone spur
those bone chips ticketed for off-season removal? Let’s be optimistic for once and assume so. As for Aardsma, was terrible, continuing a recent rocky stretch, but he was also the saacrifical laamb, brought in hurriedly and then left to take a beating. We’ll give him a paass.
D’Arnaud? Let’s say he was patient, and that impressed me. He worked counts and he made a nice play on Edinson Volquez’s spinning bunt, letting it pirouette its way into foul territory. On the day he’d have been forgiven for being jumpy and not letting the game come to him, he kept his cool.
And as we all know, if you’re going to be associated with the Mets, keeping your cool is a virtue.
Plus his parents seemed like really nice people.