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

Side Effects May Include Losing

Maybe Mickey Callaway took some cold medicine early in Tuesday night’s game. I took some cold medicine early in Tuesday night’s game and saw printed clearly on the back of the box, WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE PITCHING CHANGES.

Really, that warning should follow Mickey around, no matter how congested or clear his head is feeling. Me, I’m coughing up god knows what, but not a lead. Mickey’s bullpen needs to take a lot of pills. Or Mickey should have simply taken one pill marked CHILL in the seventh when he decided, against the recommendation of the American Medical Association, four out of five dentists and me repeatedly blowing my nose, to remove Noah Syndergaard [1] with two men out, a runner on first and the Mets ahead, 3-2.

Seth Lugo [2] could have gotten that third out, of course, but then we wouldn’t have Mickey to kick around. Nah, we would. There’s always a reason.

This time, it was Seth not getting the one out and instead giving up two hits and letting in the one run that allowed the Giants to tie the Mets at three, setting the stage for one inning too many, the tenth, when another Met reliever of Callaway’s choosing, Robert Gsellman [3], entered…and the Mets did not emerge alive. What was a 3-3 tie became a 9-3 deficit and, ultimately, loss. The Mets’ pen does better on the road, if only because last at-bat defeats in the other team’s park are limited to a margin of four runs.

Later, Mickey said he regretted taking Noah out. Noah regretted it while he was still on the mound. He regretted it so much they had to pixelate the slo-mo replays of his spoken reaction lest all you kids out there be scandalized. Most of us had the same reaction as Noah. Nobody asked us about it afterward. Mickey was asked. Coming out and admitting it was a bonehead move (not his phrase, but it fits) was certainly honest. It was also a little bizarre. Managers ought to be able to explain their thinking so we can at least say, uh-huh, I disagree, but I see what you tried to do. He’s tried doing that on occasion, and his explanations have been clear as my sinuses these past couple of days. So perhaps forthrightly admitting he just didn’t make what seemed both in real time and retrospect the proper call was the way to go.

Doesn’t really matter. The game was lost [4]. Callaway invoked the cliché that hindsight is 20/20. The Mets, meanwhile, are 28-32 and not looking sharp.

On the bright side, the Mets did reach Madison Bumgarner with Noah Syndergaard on the mound. It would have been a far brighter side had this been October 5, 2016, when Thor brought half the marbles, MadBum the other half and all of the marbles were on the proverbial table [5]. This here was a table-free game in June between lousy teams. Conor Gillaspie was nowhere in sight and Jeurys Familia [6] was presumably assigned backpack-banning duty at the McFadden’s entrance. Hard to believe how long ago less than three years has quickly become.

One of the Met runs driven in for a change at Citi Field against Bumgarner was by Pete Alonso  [7]via his 20th home run. Alonso needed a souped-up DeLorean to make it count in that Wild Card Game of yore, but let’s not put everything on Pete. Or Mickey. Or Seth and Robert, who were the surprise aces in the hole who got us as far we were gonna go in 2016, which, if I haven’t mentioned it already, was three years ago.

Happiest sound coming out of the TV Tuesday night was the voice of Ron Darling, back in the booth after thyroid cancer surgery. Todd Zeile did an admirable job filling in, I thought, but GKR is GKR. That’s one team based in Flushing that can never be beat.

Happiest sound coming out of the TV the night before was the excitement emanating from Brett Baty, Mets’ first-round draft choice [8] and, if he’s not traded for, I don’t know, Jason Bay, future third baseman of the New York Mets. Maybe he’ll be, horse before the cart and all that. I’m in the mood to express a lot of confidence in a name that was unknown to us 48 hours ago. The young man sure seemed happy to be selected as a Met. His childhood tee-ball team was called the Mets and his teammates knew him as Brett the Met (a nickname immediately trademarked by “that kumquat Tom Brady,” as Howie Rose accurately referred to the decidedly non-Terrific quarterback Sunday).

I was plenty enthusiastic about Baty on Monday night, but when Tuesday’s game was over, I was left to wonder why the Mets don’t just keep drafting relief pitchers until they get a few who function as we wish they would. Or maybe a manager who does that.