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Bump in the Road

Let it be chronicled that on their way back to the postseason, renewed relevance, New York supremacy or wherever it was we thought they were going, the 2015 New York Mets hit an obstacle.


Sunday night’s rubber game against that other New York team started well enough, with Curtis Granderson [1] blasting a home run off Nathan Eovaldi [2]. And everything the Mets hit in the first two innings was struck ferociously hard, making you think Eovaldi wasn’t long for occupancy of the mound.

But Eovaldi stuck it out, finding sanctuary in a pretty good slider, and my favorite Met Jon Niese [3] showed he was more than capable of competing with Eovaldi to get the least out of his stuff. Niese surrendered a home run to Alex Rodriguez [4] in the first (No. 659, but don’t tell the Yankees) and then started handing out doubles like party favors in the second, turning a 2-0 Met lead into a 5-2 deficit in no time.

Niese was lousy, but he had company. Daniel Murphy [5] made a physical error instead of a mental one, which for the 2015 edition of Murph counts as progress; Wilmer Flores [6] had an error of his own and a number of erratic throws; Michael Cuddyer [7] gave the Yanks an extra run when he made an error in left, where he didn’t need to be given the existence of a DH; and Eric Campbell [8] made an error at third and forgot how many outs there were, bringing an inning to a premature end.

In other words, everything was fine until, to quote Casey Stengel [9], the Mets commenced to play stupid.

Bumps in the road [10] happen, and if you want to look for silver linings you can observe that a) Lucas Duda [11] continues to mash everything in sight and b) Erik Goeddel [12] and Alex Torres [13] turned in very capable bullpen work. If you prefer your linings un-silver, the Mets are probably landing in Miami as I type this and tomorrow night tangle with a Marlins team that seems to have righted itself, with Giancarlo Stanton [14] back to his usual hobby of murderizing baseballs. (Look at this clip [15] from Philadelphia — Stanton’s home-run ball could have killed a fan in left field.)

Turn in the kind of flat, we-flew-all-night performance that’s happened all too often in recent Met years and our 11-game streak of bliss will have turned into dumping three of four. Which wouldn’t be fun at all.

Sleep well, boys. There’s work to do.