For DeGrom, a Gem of a Game Ruined by the Bull Pen

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Hi all.  Here’s how I see baseball on this Tuesday, April 17.

For the Mets and the unfortunate Jacob DeGrom, it’s a case of “same –, different day.”  Repeatedly since 2016 DeGrom  more than any Met starter has pulled his weight only to have the bull pen implode.  This time DeGrom struck out a dozen and worked into the 8th, at which point the Nationals put up 6 runs to erase a 6–1 Mets’ lead.   No matter who came out of the bull pen, they poured gasoline on what should have been a minor fire.  In the end the Nats won 8-6, raising their record to 8-9 while the Mets fall to 12–3.

The game at Citi Field started with Bryce Harper hitting a “broken bat” home run.  Those 4 words should never appear in the same sentence, and should warrant an instant drug test. The Mets overcame that event in the last of the first inning on a double by Michael Conforto and a single by Todd Frazier. The Mets scored in the third, sixth and seventh, building a 6–1 lead which should have been all the support he needed. The DeGrominator gave up two meek singles in the 8th and, knocking on wood turned it over to Seth Lugo. He walked the only man he saw, loading the bags. The usually reliable Jerry Blevins saw one lefty hitter, which he usually does. The lefty in question was Bryce Harper who singled home two runs. It seemed like A.J. Ramos might be able to keep the game on the rails when he struck out his first man, Ryan Zimmerman.  But he gave up a single to load the bases again and walked former Met Matt Reynolds to make it 6-4.  Enter Jeurys Familia. He gave up a two-run hit which tied the game, then gave up the game on a bases-loaded walk.

Normally, Rogers Center in Toronto is impervious to weather because of its retractable roof.  Last night they had to postpone the game there, as a winter storm damaged the roof. The Royals and Blue Jays plan to play a split double-header today assuming the roof is repaired.  Falling ice created a leak that couldn’t be fixed in time for last night’s game to be played. This is a first in baseball. In 2001 the women’s Big East basketball tournament came under a long delay when the roof sprung a leak at Gampel Pavillion on the campus of the University of Connecticut.  In that case, an hour and a half’s work got the leak fixed and the game carried on.  This time, following an unprecedented crisis, the Jays and Royals are scheduled to first meet at 3 PM, then at 7. Also at 7 PM, the Twins and Indians meet in Puerto Rico.  No, this wasn’t a move made because of the hideous weather Minnesota is experiencing, it’s just a coincidence a novelist wouldn’t use.  The two-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan was scheduled long ago.  I can guarantee more people, and more enthusiastic people will fill the 18,000-seat stadium rather than Target Field or what should still be Jacobs Field. The park opened in 1962, the same year Dodger Stadium opened its gates and holds what a AAA park does here. it is named for Hiram Bithorn, the first Puerto Rican to play major league ball. He joined the Cubs in 1942, 5 years before Jackie Robinson opened the gate to black Americans. Games played there are played before uproarious crowds who are likely to bring bongo drums, cowbells and other varied noise makers to keep the noise level up when their voices are fatigued. The fans get a treat as the Indians run out Corey Kluber, the defending Cy Young Award winner.  He faces the Twins’ Jake Odorizzi, a free agent the Twins hope will bring them closer to a pennant.  The Yankees face the Marlins in a 6:35 start in New York.  During April this makes sense, but I hope they revert to 7 PM going forward.  Fans have enough trouble getting to Yankee games that start at 7:00. When Texas faces Tampa Bay, the Rays will see Matt Moore, who toiled there for six seasons.  He faces the Rays’ Yonny Chirinos. The Mets picked the wrong night to mess up, considering they’re up against Gio Gonzalez tonight. At Citi Field, Gio has a 10–1 record and a tiny 1.69 ERA. If the Cards and Cubs can get it on, Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals will face the Cubs’ Tyler Chatwood. Johnny Cueto comes off a short hitch on the DL to face Patrick Corbin and the D-Backs. If both pitchers in Anaheim pitch at their best, they will put on the game of the night.  Getting David Price to hold up his end is the question.  He lasted an inning and gave up 4 runs in the “brawl game” Wednesday at Fenway.  Ready or not he faces Shohei Ohtani of the Angels. I’m a little late for the Ohtani band wagon but I hope to catch tonight’s game. Last time out, Ohtani went into the 7th with a perfect game and a dozen K’s. That was against Oakland, not the powerful Red Sox batting order.

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