Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ya Gotta Believe?

How the Heck Did This M*A*S*H Unit Make the Playoffs?

Here's the lineup the Mets fielded on Opening Night, way back in April, with a comment on their season:

The Lineup
Curtis Granderson, RF
Stayed healthy all year!  We're off to a good start!

David Wright, 3B
Played 37 games; missed rest of season to injury.

Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Missed 30 games due to DL stint and injury rest.

Lucas Duda, 1B
Missed over 100 games due to injury. 

Neil Walker, 2B
Missed last 5 weeks of season to injury.

Michael Conforto, DH
Sucked; sent to minors.

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Played poorly on bad knee in July; hit 15-day DL in August.

Travis d'Arnaud, C
Missed half of season to injury; came back and sucked.

Juan Lagares, CF
Missed 80 games to thumb injury.

Holy crap, right?  Luckily the Mets' strength is their rotation.  Oh wait...

The Rotation
Matt Harvey, RHP
Missed last 3 months of season due to injury.  

Jacob DeGrom, RHP
Missed last month of season.

Noah Syndergaard, RHP
Healthy all season!  (Though when he missed a start in September to strep throat, I nearly snapped.)

Steven Matz
Missed multiple starts through July; finally out for season on August 14th.

Bartolo Colon/Zach Wheeler
Tricky one.  Colon was supposed to hold the 5th spot down until Zach Wheeler joined the mid-team season.  Wheeler never joined the team.   

The Mets got 94 starts out of their 4 young studs out of a potential 132.

So how the hell did they make the post-season?  Did they do another Cespedes-type deal, bringing in a slugger to save the season?

The Mid-Season Replacement

Jay Bruce had a terrific final week, but the first 45 games was a whole lot of the above. (He really mastered that whiff-toss-the-bat-walk-to-the-bench move.)  Okay, I'm really confused now.  Did the bench really step up?

The Bench
Besides Lagares, who started Opening Night in an American League park, here were the other 4 hitters on the Mets bench that night:

Kevin Plawecki, C
.197 batting average.

Wilmer Flores, IF
Wilmer had a nice season with a .788 OPS.  But he's a Met so he got hurt and missed the last 3 weeks of the season with an injury.

Eric Campbell, IF/OF
.173 batting average.

Alejandro De Aza, OF
.205 batting average.

Jeez, the Mets must have had some kind of genius managing this rag-tag bunch to October...

The Manager

Okay, that was a little unfair.  But Terry Collins had a bad case of over-managing in September, driving Mets fan crazy.

Was the bullpen good at least?  Yeah, the bullpen was pretty darned good.  Still, that doesn't explain how this team is playing baseball on October 5th.  I can think of only one plausible explanation:

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen:  when Big Sexy is on  your team, the impossible is possible.

Let's Go Mets.

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