Monday, August 26, 2013

Game #129: Phillies 2, Mets 1

Not even a win could have relieved the stab to the elbow Mets fans felt collectively today. Fortunately(?) that's not something we had to worry about.

Zack Wheeler pitched great in his first game holding the torch for Matt Harvey, and the Mets offense noticed much too well, completely folding up against Cliff Lee and losing to the Phillies 2-1.

The Harvpocalypse:
  • If you're reading this, by now you know, but if by some inexplicable circumstance of fate you're first hearing the news from me, here it is: Matt Harvey has a partial tear of the UCL in his throwing elbow, shutting him down for the rest of the year and possibly requiring Tommy John surgery, which will shut him down for 2014 as well.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Next to that story, the Bad Stuff can hardly look that bad, right?
  • New York ran into the Cliff Lee of old tonight, as Philadelphia's still ace allowed a run on five hits and a walk in eight stellar innings, striking out seven on a whopping 121 pitches.
  • Even Lee can't pitch much past 120, so Jonathon Papelbon was called on to close out the night. The Mets didn't have Jordany Valdespin to save them on this occasion (ever thought you'd read that in a million years?), and Papelbon sat down Daniel Murphy, Josh Satin, and Marlon Byrd 1-2-3 to let out the scant air that remained at Citi Field.
The Good Stuff:
  • Zack Wheeler pitched well enough for the win, as usual, tossing 6.2 innings of two-run, five-hit ball and matching Lee's line with a walk and seven strikeouts.
  • The Mets took an early lead in the bottom of the 2nd on Marlon Byrd's leadoff double and Andrew Brown's RBI single.
Final Analysis:
We had just begun to walk tall again as Mets fans, and then comes this swift kick in the gut. So what now?

Lest we forget, even if we don't want to be reminded at a time like this, Matt Harvey is just one pitcher. Harvey's UCL may be torn, but Zack Wheeler's isn't. Nor is Dillon Gee's, nor Jenrry Mejia's (yet), nor Jonathon Niese's, nor Rafael Montero's, nor Noah Syndergaard's. So, assuming Harvey will undergo Tommy John surgery, 2014 won't be the shining culmination of years of rebuilding, but we won't be the Marlins either. It'll be closer to resembling the mid-'90s Chicago Bulls during Michael Jordan's crack at baseball than the Bulls after MJ went to Washington. What it also means is if the New York Mets can win in 2014, without the man who seemed destined to become the next incarnation of The Franchise, imagine how good they'll be when he does come back.


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