The Mets took a 3-2 lead into the top of the ninth inning yesterday, but ended up blowing it by coughing up four runs to the Giants. The runs scored as a result of some bad command on the part of closer Jeruys Familia who walked a couple of guys and gave up a couple of hits and some bad defense by Wilmer Flores who threw away what could’ve been a double play ball. Stuff happens.
Except, at least according to one columnist, this was not a matter of stuff happening. According to Dave Lennon, it was Matt Harvey’s fault:
Because this is a Matt Harvey World, and the Mets just happen to be living in it since the heartbroken pitcher went AWOL, we can partly blame Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to the Giants on the residue from his club-hopping fiasco over the weekend.
And here’s why.
Read his column for the why, but here’s the short version: since Terry Collins decided to push Harvey to Friday, newcomer Tommy Milone had to start yesterday and that led to the loss. “But wait!” you say. “Milone was pretty good, allowing two runs over five innings!” Yes, but his mere presence, Lennon argues, caused Terry Collins to overmanage on Tuesday, using his best relievers despite having a 6-1 lead, assuming he was going to punt Wednesday’s game, so he damn well better win on Tuesday. That meant that Familia ended up pitching three days in a row and, thus, yesterday happened. All thanks to Matt Harvey’s club-hopping.
- Except, as Lennon admits, Familia had only thrown five pitches on Monday and ten Tuesday and said he wasn’t gassed.
- Except, as Lennon also admits, Familia has pitched on three days in a row often, having done so once already this season and seven times last year.
- Except the Mets could maybe have gotten out of the ninth with a win despite all of this if Wilmer Flores hadn’t thrown the ball away.
- Except Terry Collins’ choice to use a bunch of relievers with a five-run lead the day before is is own mistake, and the notion that he was doing so for fear of what might happen yesterday is both (a) a stretch; and (b) was directly contradicted by what Collins himself said. Indeed, if anything, wouldn’t Collins be more likely to NOT use his relievers on Tuesday if he was truly concerned about Milone on Wednesday? He’d expect a bullpen game, right?
I get that Matt Harvey did a bad thing and that he should feel bad and all of that, but suggesting that it’s his fault the Mets lost yesterday is, in my view, more of an exercise in search engine optimization and hopping on a hot story than it is an exercise in reasonable baseball analysis.
Matt Harvey is guilty of a lot of stuff, but he didn’t lost the game yesterday.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”