Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekly Recap, July 16-22

Back home again in Indiana! I arrived safely back from Dublin, Ireland on Saturday night and spent yesterday recovering from jet lag and the different time zone. I was hoping a nice Met victory would be a nice welcome home present...if you're reading this you know how that arrangement worked out. Without further ado, let's get through my last Weekly Recap of the goings on in Flushing.

Team Record: 1-5 (47-48 overall)
July 17-19, Nationals Series: L, 1-2
July 20-22, Dodgers Series: L, 0-3

The Bad Stuff:
  • (See past week...not enough just to put this and call it a day? Fine.)
  • Save for R.A. Dickey stopping the bleeding on Thursday afternoon (which we'll get to in Good Stuff), nothing went right for the New York Mets this week. Starting pitching was off most of the time, and the few times it was on the offense couldn't do the job. Not to mention that much-maligned bullpen. But when the dust finally settled after LA's 5-run 12th (all runs coming with 2 outs, by the way), the Mets were under .500 for the first time all season.
  • The biggest setback of the week, however, came in the form of yet another hole in the starting rotation. Johan Santana, after a third straight awful start on Friday night, was placed on the 15-day DL for some ankle troubles. This left open the prospect of a Dickey-Niese-Young-Batista-Hefner rotation, until...
The Good Stuff:
  • The Arrival. Matt Harvey was announced to be the starter for New York's Thursday night game in Arizona. Now last week I was recorded as being opposed to Harvey pitching in the majors this year, but I changed my mind after thinking about the alternative of seeing Miguel Batista in the rotation again. It's possible this season Harvey isn't much better than Batista on the mound, but Batista being 41 years old and on his way out of baseball (quicker than expected after the Mets DFA-ed him yesterday), it's more logical to prepare Harvey for what he'll see next season in the bigs now. I especially like how his first three starts will be out of the New York spotlight on the West Coast: gives him a chance to get his feet wet before pitching in the Big Apple.
  • New York's lone salvation this week came from its two All-Stars on Thursday when R.A. Dickey picked up a quality start and his 13th win, thanks in part to David Wright's 2-homer, 5-RBI afternoon in Washington. Even then, the Mets needed every single one of those runs as the bullpen almost gave it away.
Final Analysis:
July 22. I'm calling it. Earlier than last season, but so much more unexpected. The wheels have completely come off this team since the All-Star Break. They have no bullpen, half a rotation, they can't hit lefties. And now they aren't a winning ballclub in the standings anymore. This sounds a lot like giving up, I know. Maybe it is. But this team was a long shot to make the playoffs in the first place; now they're playing a lot closer to what those so-called "experts" predicted. Plus, the way they've been playing gives Sandy Alderson no reason to pull any sort of trigger at the trade deadline. As frustrating as it is to just stay the course, isn't that what the plan was in the first place? Do our best with what we have in 2012, begin an ascent in 2013? At this point maybe the best thing to do is to make the future now and prepare the talent for a run next year by getting them big-league experience. Perhaps that's the mentality behind bringing Matt Harvey up at this point. With things going the way they are now, I can't say I object. I just hope the team still plays hard every night.


And now, my last edition of:

Irish Pics of the Week

My neighborhood of Rathmines, just south of Dublin city center. It used to be its own town before it got swallowed up by Dublin's urban sprawl.

The Garden of Remembrance, commemorating all those who fought and died for Irish independence from 1798 to 1921.
IRISH COOPERSTOWN: The GAA Museum at Croke Park

Complete with tour of that fabled ground

This is where they give out all the trophies

Recognize this place? The 1947 Gaelic Football was played at the Polo Grounds. It was the only time a GAA final has ever been played outside of Ireland.

With a sizable Irish population, New York has its own GAA club that competes in the Irish tournaments. London is the only other non-Irish city that is afforded such a privilege.

The last stop in the city and one of the best.
The Mets are back in action tonight as they host the Washington Nationals, and Midwestern Met will be back in action with nightly game summaries once again. It's good to be home.


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