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This Recap Is Sans Comic Relief

As Wilmer Font [1] unraveled around 8 p.m. and Mets Twitter started shooting off typography puns, I promised that by 11 p.m. I’d have figured out a Comic Sans joke. But here it is past 1 a.m. and the title of this post is the closest you’re going to get. Have at it in the comments if this is an itch you’re determined to scratch.

It wasn’t that I was tired; it was more that by 11, Font’s poor performance no longer struck me as particularly amusing.

During spring training, Brodie Van Wagenen’s sunny optimism was trailed by a little black cloud of Met fans and baseball people who couldn’t help pointing out that the Mets were going to war with the oft-injured Steven Matz [2], the oft-bad Jason Vargas [3], and nothing behind them. Dallas Keuchel [4] was available for the taking; so, for a while, was Gio Gonzalez [5]. Gonzalez is now pitching ably for Milwaukee (though my I Told You So’s will be limited, seeing how I detest him); and Keuchel is still out there waiting for a phone call. Matz is on the injured list, with a forearm issue no one thinks is serious┬ábut who the hell knows, seeing how it’s Matz; and Vargas is on the injured list and it’s unlikely the team doctors will find a cure for bad.

Oh, and free agent Patrick Corbin [6]? He signed with the Nats.

This is how you get a Wilmer Font in your rotation: by being cheap, unprepared, and blithe about what usually happens to starting staffs.

This isn’t to say Font is, say, Tommy Milone [7] — to invoke a previous administration’s non-answer to the same problem. He looked decent enough against San Diego in his first go-round. But on Wednesday night in D.C. he had nothing — his location was poor and when he did get the ball over the plate Juan Lagares [8] wound up sprinting after it. Font’s on his fourth organization in 13 months, which I suppose you could spin into saying teams keep seeing potential in him, if you want to sound like a kindly old aunt talking up a blind date with a hopeless nephew. I kept thinking his mechanics reminded me of a hipster throwing axes at a Gowanus bar, which might be where the Mets are looking for their next fifth starter.

Anyway, the Mets lost, 5-1 [9], but it felt more like 50-1, what with Corbin throttling the Mets and keeping every Nats reliever not named Sean Doolittle [10] the hell away from the mound.

Which isn’t to say the game didn’t have its momentary pleasures, as nearly all baseball games do. There was Pete Alonso [11] making two nifty catches of tough foul pops, a reminder that Alonso has been a lot better than I think any of us expected in the field. Amed Rosario [12] made some flashy plays as well — and, more critically, he made the routine ones. And Drew Gagnon [13] got his first big-league hit. That’s a baseball moment I’ll always love — and Gagnon’s made me smile because he didn’t even try to be cool about it, asking the umpire to take the ball out of play about a nanosecond after he reached first base.

But still. The Mets lost by four because a problem pretty much everyone predicted arrived and they didn’t have an answer for it. And I can’t summon up a smile or a joke about that.