I sat down to watch the Mets game last night with the same mentality that I had watching them pre-2015. Which is that “you watch them just to watch them.” Because as one Mets fan from the Amazin Avenue forum said “Bad Mets baseball is still better than no Mets baseball.” Spoken like a true die hard.
Tommy Milone was on the mound, which was a phrase I never thought I’d write this season considering the pitching staff we have. He was a pick up earlier this year when Harvey went down. Or was it when Thor went down? You see, these events in a Mets fan’s mind are all blurred together as one summer catastrophe. Mets mainstays like Duda and Grandy have been traded away in a fire sale, which is understandable, but still painful. But then you remember that top prospects like Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith are on the field until the end of September, and you can’t help but get excited all over again.
The Diamondbacks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning because of course they would. They are an elite team that would possibly be in first place in the NL West right now if the Dodgers hadn’t run away with that division. But also because Tommy Milone is not even close to a good pitcher. I sat and watched the Mets get destroyed for 5 innings and wondered why I was sitting here watching a 7-0 blowout. Then in the bottom of the 5th, Rosario steps to the plate and hits an opposite field home run. 7-1 Diamondbacks. I decided to continue watching the rest because deep down all Mets fans are masochists, but more so because it gave me a little bit of hope.
When the bottom of the 9th rolled around and the inning started off with a Cabrera walk, and Cespedes single, my hope only grew. No outs just yet. Could we actually pull off a comeback right now? And then the rookie show started. Dominic Smith belts a ground rule double. 7-2 Diamondbacks. The next batter Nimmo, strikes out. Reynolds after him grounds out, but still manages to bring home a run. 7-3 Diamondbacks. Even with 2 outs the Mets foolishly led me to believe they could still make a comeback. The rookie show part two was about to get underway as Amed Rosario steps to the plate and crushes a ball into the left field corner. His speed gets him safely to third with a triple. 7-4 Mets. I couldn’t help but think that if Tommy Milone and Hansel Robles weren’t so terrible, and held the D-backs to 3 runs that would have been a walk off triple for Rosario. “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda..” It really wasn’t helpful to think that way at this point. Gavin Checchini was the next batter and failed to keep the rookie show going as he grounded out to Paul Goldschmit for the last out of the game.
Seeing the rookies come through does take a bit of the sting out of this loss. You can be pessimistic about everything else the Mets have going on right now, but the future still looks pretty bright. I know it gets tiresome saying things like “Just wait till next season! They’ll be back in the World Series!” I’ve been saying it since 2000. And in 2015 it turned out to be true. So for now, here’s to the rookies, and the hopes that 2018 will be a better year.