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Beyond Blah Blah Blah

Re Tuesday’s game: Blah blah blah Michael Wacha [1] blah blah blah Orioles blah blah Robert Gsellman [2] blah blah blah blah blah blah five games under .500 blah blah blah blah blah sinking fast.

I could have expanded that to 800 words, but why? Here’s the only analysis that matters: The Mets have 30 percent of a starting pitching staff. Jacob deGrom [3] is Jacob deGrom, whose only flaw is he can’t start the other 80 percent of his team’s games. Seth Lugo [4] is a solid starting pitcher who’s still ramping up to the pitch count demanded, and with a bad elbow. David Peterson [5] is learning to navigate his first big-league season. Steven Matz [6] has disintegrated and vanished. Wacha and Rick Porcello [7] have struggled to pitch around the giant forks sticking out of their backs. Meanwhile, Noah Syndergaard [8]‘s UCL exploded, Marcus Stroman [9] opted out and Zack Wheeler [10] was allowed to go to Philadelphia with no resistance from the Mets, unless catty quotes to beat reporters count.

In a given five-day stretch the Mets can count on a reliable start the first day, hope for one the second day, hold their breath the third day, and on the fourth and fifth days they brace for impact the moment the starter makes contact with the rubber. That’s a fatal flaw for any baseball team with contending hopes in a normal season and it sure looks like an equally fatal one in this weirdo season. Which makes sense: two hoary pieces of baseball wisdom hold that you never have enough starting pitching and momentum is the next day’s starter. Both of those have been proved correct repeatedly this year, beginning with the Mets surveying their wrecked rotation and carrying through with the Mets’ inability to get on any kind of a roll, largely because they’re down by three or four runs before the fifth inning more often than not.

Baseball teams can tinker around the margins and fix stuff, but there aren’t enough shovels to fill a crater in the middle of a starting rotation. You can’t patchwork enough relief to fix it, you can’t reliably outhit it, and no number of socially distanced team meetings, overturned Zoom cameras or lineup tweaks will make it go away. Which means that every other problem, ultimately, is just so much blah blah blah [11].