Unlike Bono’s testimony from when Matt Harvey warms up (at Citi Field, anyway), I can close my eyes and make it go away. Matt’s casual excellence on Sunday Harvey Sunday — 6 innings, 6 hits, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts, just enough untamed action to permit 2 Padre runs in the fifth — was going to be sufficient to earn him a win once Andrew Brown doubled as his pinch-hitter and put the Mets up, 3-2.
With the Harvey part of the story ended after the infield and the bullpen couldn’t quite smother San Diego, Matt was eventually left no-decisioned yet again. Also, the Mets lost, dropping them ten games under .500 for the year and two games under .500 on the trip, with this afternoon’s excursion to Minneapolis pending.
I literally closed my eyes and made it go away, which is to say I fell asleep last night before getting around to blogging, but it works when I’m awake, too. My eyes are figuratively closed. Yesterday’s loss…gone. This season’s trudge to contemporary oblivion…gone. The sense that all these maudlin August results will forever be interchangeable…
At first glance Sunday, the Met lineup was its usual underwhelming self, partly a function of David Wright’s uncooperative hamstring, partly attributable to the “who?” factor. I knew who these guys were, but who were these eight guys piled atop Harvey exactly? You step back from your day-to-day immersion into all things Met and you’re sorting among journeymen and unknowns. One or two of the journeymen have provided a legitimate boost to the proceedings in 2013; one or two are filling slots that weren’t supposed to require filling, but these things happen.
It’s the unknowns who entice if you keep your eyes closed. Four through seven in the order were four rookies: Satin, Flores, Lagares, d’Arnaud. Satin is hard to think of as a rookie since we had glimpses of him the past two seasons, but the other three are all still in their first tours and two carry that distinct fresh-from-the-farm aroma. Lagares the glove man now has enough experience to have a hot streak and a cold snap inked on his ledger. He’s the veteran among in-season freshman callups. Flores goes back a good couple of weeks, or long enough to make you forget he’s never been on a road trip before this one. D’Arnaud is at the very beginning of his sentence, the part that’s upper-case. The novelty of d’Arnaud simply being here hasn’t come close to wearing off.
You take in a lineup half-stocked with the rookiest of rookies and no, it’s not going to overwhelm. There’s not enough of a portfolio to tell you what you’re watching, so you kind of assume you’re not watching anything yet. But with those eyes closed, maybe these are the vague outlines of tomorrow sharpening today. Or maybe when d’Arnaud lets a passed ball bounce under his squat, Flores chooses to throw to the wrong base and California law expressly forbids Lagares from buying a hit, you close your eyes because you can’t bear to look.
Open ’em up and take a gander for the next forty games not at what these kids can’t do but at what they can do and might do. Will it be enough to help the Mets gain a steady stream of wins? To get Harvey into double-digits already?
Friday night would be a good time to watch in Flushing on Social Media Night. Buy a ticket, get a Jay Horwitz bobblehead, look at some rookies finding their sea legs, determine how good the Tigers are, listen to Third Eye Blind and, mostly, give a hand to one of the best causes imaginable: Hope Shines for Shannon, which is raising funds to help Mets communications person extraordinaire Shannon Forde in her fight against breast cancer. It all adds up to a victory before you have a hint as the final score. Please check it out here.