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The Oldest Rule of Sports

You cannot, in fact, win them all.

To be clear, 15-7 with April in the books is pretty good — that’s a 110-win pace according to the dictates of not particularly advanced math. And it’s hard to get too sore about losing a day after watching a no-hitter, even if you’re a fan of a club for which no-nos don’t feel like total solar eclipses.

Saturday night’s loss to the Phillies felt a little like a strange inversion of that combined no-hitter, in fact — Phillies pitchers walked eight Mets and seemed to be perpetually on the wrong side of deep counts, but the enemy hits proved inexplicably absent, this time for the most part instead of totally. The Mets had their chances — second and third with two out in the first, first and third with two out in the fourth, bases loaded with a run in and just one out in the fifth, and bases loaded with two out in the eighth — and one of the reasons we’re fond of the 2022 incarnation of this club is they’ve been excellent at converting such opportunities where the 2021 Mets were maddeningly terrible at it. But on Saturday night, not a single one of those 10 Met runners came home. Meanwhile, the Phillies overcame some dunderheaded early baserunning and belatedly rose from Friday night’s strange slumber as Kyle Schwarber [1] launched an absolute missile off Adam Ottavino [2] in the seventh, with Odubel Herrera [3] and Rhys Hoskins [4] offering insurance the visitors turned out not to need [5].

There were reasons for optimism beyond the philosophical, most notably that Taijuan Walker [6] returned from the IL and looked sharper than Buck Showalter [7] could have hoped. (He’s also sporting a new hairstyle that makes him look a little like Bartolo Colon [8] — Big Sexy may be gone but there’s certainly nothing wrong with some Medium Sexy [9].) But that was it on an off-night that also saw Sean Reid-Foley [10] — he of the sumo meets gunslinger mound stance — signal immediately to the dugout after failing to be able to finish a slider, a painful moment that sent me back to Victor Zambrano [11] leaving the Shea Stadium mound knowing something was terribly wrong with his arm. That injury effectively ended Zambrano’s career; I hope Reid-Foley is OK but am pretty sure that he isn’t.

If you want to be callous about that (which you shouldn’t be), the Mets have had one of their decisions taken out of their hands ahead of the Monday deadline to reduce the active roster from 28 to 26. Who gets that second black spot will be a very interesting read on Steve Cohen and his philosophy. It should be Robinson Cano [12], whose bat speed has decayed precipitously and is taking at-bats away from two guys who look like they could use them in Dom Smith [13] and J.D. Davis [14]. But it might not be — Cano is making a fortune, for one, and commands the respect of Showalter and his teammates as a mentor and clubhouse presence. Still, if any baseball owner understands the concept of a sunk cost, it ought to be Cohen.

That will be interesting, to say the least. But the whole season’s been pretty interesting so far, hasn’t it?