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Sometimes a Split Feels Fine

There ain’t much left to play for: A .500 season vanished from the realm of possibility with the afternoon’s listless defeat [1], and draft picks are too much of a crapshoot for me to take seriously.

But as is often the case, I think I’m moved on to acceptance. It was … kinda fun watching the Mets in the nightcap, whether the entertainment was Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda going deep back to back, or Daisuke Matsuzaka earning the win [2] in his second straight pretty good start, or Keith Hernandez not knowing what a mullet is. (Seriously, how has Keith Hernandez never heard this term?)

By the way, Keith described Duda’s home run as “off the snacks,” referring to the Wise sign out there in right-center. If it were April or May “off the snacks” would become a thing, with its own hashtag, t-shirts and the rest. Which suddenly makes me wish it were April or May.

Anyway, Murph’s an interesting case on a team full of them — he’s never going to be a stellar defensive second baseman, but he’s worked unbelievably hard to make himself an adequate one. He’s never going to be a great hitter and baserunner, but he’s an undeniably useful one. On a team full of problems and questions, he’s answer enough that the Mets ought to just move on from worrying about him and his position.

Matsuzaka, on the other hand … well, we’ve already been through enough that maybe we need a third hand. If the Mets had exiled Matsuzaka back to minor-league perdition after his first three awful starts, I don’t think there would have been a fan in blue and orange who would have had a cross word to say about the decision. But he stared down Cleveland and beat Miami, two teams that are good and good against us, respectively, and this last time out his fielders weren’t at risk at fossilization either. So who the heck knows? As currently constructed the Mets are going to need at least one more starter next spring, most likely two after Dr. Andrews sits down with Matt Harvey. Maybe one of them will be Matsuzaka. If you’d told me that two weeks ago I would have wailed and rent my garments, and maybe I’ll do the same if you tell me that two weeks from now, but right now it seems … like maybe not entirely such a completely and utterly awful idea?

That’s one of the things about baseball — sabermetrics, years of watching or both can give you a pretty good set of guesses, but you don’t actually know. Sometimes guys figure stuff out, or a new voice actually unlocks something in them, and you get different results. It’s madness to bank on such things, but it’s fun to hope.

Speaking of voices, the last couple of days has sure brought a lot of odd chatter to Metsland.

First off, there was today’s kerfuffle over whether David Wright should play again this year. This one has been baffled: Why the heck shouldn’t he? He’s got a hamstring strain, not a hangman’s fracture. If he should re-injure the hamstring, what? He walks around a little gingerly for the first couple of weeks of watching other teams in the playoffs? Wright, being Wright, gamely answered ridiculous questions about this, which I thought Gary Cohen did a good job dismissing: “It’s his job.”

One person Wright obviously didn’t discuss his injury with is Frank Francisco, which is best: After the Jenrry Mejia story [3] my preference would be that no one ever talk to Frank Francisco again. Except maybe the trainer — in Game 1 Francisco took a Logan Morrison line drive off the thumb, and while I never, ever, ever cheer an injury, let’s just say I’ve seen mishaps that made me feel a lot sorrier. The thumb is reportedly bruised, so Frank Frank should only need to go on the 90-day DL until he’s feeling ready to contribute again.

Also, in case you missed it: Shut the fuck up [4], Shaun Marcum.