- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Wet and Wild, Meek and Mild

Absent a perfect, um, storm of unfortunate factors, Wednesday’s matinee would never have been played.

It was a miserable day in New York, a gloomy, continuous soak. But the Mets and Blue Jays had only two scheduled meetings here, and while the Mets had an off-day Thursday, the Jays did not. That left both clubs out in the elements, with the umpires gloomily hunkered down in the rain, occasionally joined by doggedly laboring groundskeepers and managers and players checking in to wonder WTF and being told essentially, This TF.

You understood the why behind This TF, but it was a forest-for-the-trees why, an argument that began with demanding you accept an absurd premise. This game should have been moved to Toronto, or held in abeyance to see if its outcome mattered to either of the mediocre outfits involved. But absurdity was the order handed down from on high, and so the Mets and Blue Jays played in front of a few hundred fans who I can only assume were there because they were visiting from Toronto or had lost bets. I love baseball — I really really really love it — but I can’t imagine anything that would have convinced me to spend the afternoon sitting out at Citi Field watching that.

At least J.A. Happ [1] had fun. The Jays pitcher was on base three times while allowing only two Met baserunners, which is quietly kind of amazing in an I-wish-it-hadn’t-happened way. The Mets might have made a better offensive showing of it if not for the presence of Kevin Pillar [2], who was out there in center doing Juan Lagares [3]-like things. Lagares did a Kevin Pillar-like thing of his own in the ninth, running down a drive to center from Gio Urshela [4] and banging his big toe into the fence. X-rays were negative but he may not play Friday. He’s day-to-day, which in these parts is known as foreshadowing with a side of foreboding. Cue the uneasy minor-key music, buckle up, and if you’re a believer, say a prayer for Lagares. (The Mets did at least finally come to their senses and put Yoenis Cespedes [5] on the DL — how depressing is it that that can be considered progress?)

As for Zack Wheeler [6], he was good until he wasn’t, with the “wasn’t” following an 18-minute stoppage in the third inning during which an army of groundskeepers essentially blanketed the infield in Diamond Dry. Wheeler’s crumbling afterwards was blamed on the long spell of inactivity, but I can’t get too worked up about it. Wheeler losing it isn’t a new phenomenon, he was apparently offered the chance to throw more than the usual between-innings warm-up pitches but passed on it, and the absurdity was his being out there in the first place.

Anyway, he got pounded and so did the reliably hapless A.J. Ramos (there’s a joke in there somewhere about Happ, A.J. and J.A. but this stupid game doesn’t deserve the effort of landing it), and the only item of interest left as the Jays collected their first-ever win [7] in Flushing was the arrival of Buddy Baumann [8], who escaped weirdo ghost status [9] and spared me years of explanations and arguments by pitching the eighth. Baumann looked good in his first inning of work but terrible in his second, establishing beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s suited to be a member of this ridiculous, ramshackle franchise.