OK, the Mets lost last night and Game 2 is now the most important start of Jacob deGrom’s blossoming career. How he persevered over the Dodgers on the road in Game 5 of the NLDS showed us he has the grit and guile needed to win.
That much we know. What we don’t know is how much gas is left in his tank. Manager Terry Collins and deGrom differ as to the pitcher’s fatigue level, but whatever the cause, his command isn’t right.
There are other things not right, either. I know, as Mets fans, you want to hear nothing but positive, but that can’t always be the case. On the plus side, middle relievers Addison Reed and Tyler Clippard – considered a question going in – pitched well.
The flip side is if Matt Harvey is the stud the Mets – and he proclaims to be – he has to give them more than 80 pitches over six innings. Aces who demand the ball need to give more than what Harvey showed.
Secondly, and perhaps this is as a slap in the face to the Mets, is Jeurys Familia being taken deep to tie the game in the ninth. His perception of invincibility is gone.
Defense hasn’t always been a Mets’ mainstay this season, and Yoenis Cespedes’ misplay in left center last night in left center lead to him starting in left tonight with Juan Lagares playing center. That puts Michael Conforto as the DH, which is the way it should have been from the start.
I don’t know what it is, but Cespedes has been in a funk lately. He’s not the same player who captivated us in August.
There was also David Wright’s wild throw to start the 14th inning. It happens, but when runs are at a premium, they can’t afford to give away outs.
The offense was terrible last night, and starting pitching isn’t the Royals’ forte.
The Mets can lose tonight and still win the World Series, but the odds are long. A lot of things had to break right for the Mets to win, and now even more.
It begins with deGrom.
ON DECK: Tonight’s lineup.