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

It’s Good to Laugh

I didn’t want to look up the last time the Mets won a laugher, because I knew the answer would be startling at first and then depressing. (It was May 15, when they beat the Blue Jays by 10.) Kind of like this season has been.

Anyway, Monday night’s tilt in Colorado was only a laugher in retrospect: the Rockies crept within 4-2 in the 7th thanks to some dopey Met defense, which had the normally stoic Jacob deGrom [1] glowering out at his teammates, a show of emotion that was both rare and thoroughly understandable. Giving up six runs in five starts and seeing your team go 0-5 gives you the right to side-eye anyone even vaguely related to what’s befallen you.

DeGrom didn’t look terrific, but that was probably the lack of Colorado air nipping some of the wrinkle off his pitches — Charlie Blackmon [2] offered an interesting perspective on hitting a mile above sea level that I hadn’t heard before, opining that fastballs kept more of their velocity but lost some of their movement. But he was certainly good enough. I had to chuckle at how he finished off the seventh by throwing a 97 MPH fastball past Tom Murphy [3] at the top of the zone, as if to say (or at least to mentally mutter) “let’s see one of those other idiots drop this one.” Devin Mesoraco [4] was the only other Met involved with the pitch, and he didn’t drop anything. DeGrom and the Mets were out of trouble, and two in the 8th and six in the 9th made trouble a dot in the rearview mirror [5].

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, there was actual hitting. Brandon Nimmo [6], still wreathed in Arizona laurels, hit the fourth pitch of the game off the right-field fence, discombobulating Carlos Gonzalez [7] and leaving Nimmo to outrun everything except his smile for an inside-the-park homer. Nimmo would add a conventional round-tripper later and two hits besides, delighting his family and what seemed like a good chunk of the population of Cheyenne. Other Mets chipped in, too: Mesoraco and Wilmer Flores [8] homered, while Michael Conforto [9] and Amed Rosario [10] had three hits apiece. Heck, not even the Joses were completely useless.

It was a relatively normal game, a welcome thing given the near-Biblical rain of horrors that’s pelted this team for two months. Yes, there was that late-inning quaver in the knees that sometimes portends a Coors Field collapse and leaves you remembering how everything seemed in hand until the other guys put up that beastly crooked number. But, well, you should see the other guy. The Mets hit often, ran the bases tolerably, pitched terrific and fielded just well enough to finally give their most talented pitcher the support he deserves. Twelve runs a night is good; that number being more runs than they’d scored in deGrom’s eight previous starts is a travesty.

But hey, our ragamuffin team has somehow won three in a row. Here’s to Nimmo’s smile being the Mets’ summertime equivalent of Rudolph’s red nose, a beacon to guide them anywhere other than where they’ve been.