My “Brian Cashman is trying to get himself fired” comment from yesterday was meant as a joke. Not a good one — a bit too dry; I think I told it better on Twitter before repurposing it for the post — but I don’t honestly think that the man is trying to get canned.
My real issue was that because of the other stuff that has happened lately — and because of how easy it is to turn a couple of data points of oddness into some big b.s. trend — eventually someone was going to make that sort of connection. Someone would list the random things like Cashman scaling down a building, losing out on Cliff Lee, hating the Rafael Soriano deal and all of that, and draw some distraction-inducing conclusion from it.
And someone did. Lupica, natch:
And there are people in baseball who wonder if Cashman has begun moving toward the door, if he really does want to go somewhere else and show the whole world that he is more a general manager than a money manager, that he doesn’t need to spend $200 million a year to build winning baseball teams.
Look at the wild, weird baseball winter Cashman has had already …
Then, as I suspected someone would, Lupica cites the highlights of Cashman’s winter, throws in extended recitation of that “Seinfeld” episode in which George tried to get fired by the Yankees and voila, Questions Have Been Raised.
And maybe it doesn’t matter because it’s just Lupica and that’s what he does. But a few days ago Brian Cashman said that dealing with the media garbage is the hardest part of his job. I presume this is the stuff he’s talking about. How nothing can be taken at face value. It all has to mean something. I don’t blame him for chafing at it. I know it’s silly to base your moves off of what the media might do, but I did kind of wish that Cashman wasn’t fueling the haters’ fire.
I know this is going to sound silly coming from someone who posts 20 times a day about all manner of unimportant topics, but sometimes things don’t demand a grand unification theory. Things just happen. Maybe they’re worth a few sentences on a blog here and there, but a full-blown 750-word column lends itself to grander explanations. Oftentimes ones that are purely illusionary.
Jacob deGrom put together one of the best post-season starts in Mets history, outdueling three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to pitch his team into a 1-0 NLDS lead. The right-hander fanned 13 over seven shutout innings, holding the Dodgers to five hits and a walk as the Mets won 3-1.
deGrom’s game score of 79 is the fifth-best by a Mets starter in the playoffs, behind Jon Matlack, Mike Hampton, Bobby Jones, and Tom Seaver, according to Baseball Reference. As Katie Sharp notes on Twitter, deGrom is one of three pitchers to hold the opposition scoreless on 13 or more strikeouts and one or fewer walks. The other two are Tim Lincecum and Mike Scott.
In the eighth inning, reliever Tyler Clippard allowed a one-out double to Howie Kendrick followed by an RBI single to Adrian Gonzalez as the Dodgers finally got on the board. Closer Jeurys Familia entered and recorded the final out of the eighth inning by inducing a weak line out from Justin Turner. In the ninth, Familia worked a 1-2-3 frame to wrap up the game.
Kershaw remains winless in the post-season since Game 1 of the 2013 NLDS, a span of seven starts. He gave up a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning, then walked the bases loaded in the seventh inning before departing with two outs. Reliever Pedro Baez entered and allowed two of his inherited runners to score when David Wright lined a single to center field. On the evening, Kershaw was on the hook for three runs on four hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts. Though he lost his command a bit towards the end of his start, the lefty pitched quite well and will be on the receiving end of some unnecessary criticism as a result of taking another post-season loss.
deGrom and Kershaw both struck out 11 batters, the first time that has happened in a major league post-season game.
Michael Cuddyer didn’t look too good out in left field for the Mets.
Game 2 of the NLDS will continue on Saturday at 9:00 PM EDT. Noah Syndergaard will start for the Mets opposite Zack Greinke of the Dodgers.
For the first time in major league history, both pitchers in a playoff game have struck out at least 11 batters, per MLB.com’s Paul Casella. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched just a hair better than Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw overall. deGrom has blanked the Dodgers over six frames on five hits and a walk. Kershaw made one mistake, resulting in a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. He’s allowed four hits and four walks total in 6 2/3 innings.
The last time opposing starters each struck out 10 in a post-season game was back in 1944 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals struck out 12 and Denny Galehouse of the St. Louis Browns struck out 10.
Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.
Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.
With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.
Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.