Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mets have Thor on mound but no hammers in lineup

After Noah Syndergaard pitched five scoreless innings in his major-league debut before allowing three runs in the sixth and losing to the Cubs, the media wondered if he had been rattled by Daniel Murphy failing to throw out Kris Bryant in the third. Actually, Syndergaard got out of that inning, even though he had to throw an additional 18 pitches. If anything rattled Thor, it might have been the realization that he might have to throw a shutout to have a chance at winning.

The Mets are last in the National League in runs scored and batting average since April 24. I hope it's a coincidence that I attended my first game this season on April 24 when Squawker Lisa and I went to the Subway Series opener. The Mets were 13-3 going into that game and have lost ten of 17 games since.

Tonight was similar to the April 24 game, as well as the other game I've been to, the May 2 1-0 loss to Washington, in that the Mets were not only punchless, but barely had any chances to score. Tonight they had five hits, but none for extra bases. Worst of all, they blew a chance to start a rally when Curtis Granderson tried to go from first to third on a single when he had no chance and made the dreaded first out at third.

It's great to have Thor joining the Dark Knight in the rotation (and shouldn't Bartolo Colon be the Incredible Hulk?), but all the pitching in the world won't make up for a team that can't hit. I can't help but revisit the offseason, when Sanday Alderson bolstered the hitting by signing Michael Cuddyer, now hitting .241 with a .684 OPS, and John Mayberry, whose .103 batting average is worse that that of Jon Niese, Jacob deGrom and Dillon Gee. When it comes to players like Mayberry and  Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.111), no wonder the pitchers are batting eighth.

At least Syndergaard had a better time of it than another Met phenom who made his major-league debut at Wrigley Field. Tim Leary lasted only two innings in that April 1981 start before hurting his elbow. He would not pitch again in the majors until September 1983.

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