Mets: What went wrong over the season?
Over and out. Poof! Just like that, the Mets and Yankees are just barely in our rear view mirrors, getting smaller and smaller as the hockey, football and basketball seasons loom larger and larger in our minds.
At this moment of baseball postscripts, 20-20 hindsights and alibis, I find it hard to determine precisely which rooting bloc is suffering more; Yankees or Mets fans.
In the homestretch, the Bombers won seven in a row.
They had momentum, sprinting toward the inevitable wild card berth that, ultimately, never berthed.
As for the CitiField Symphony, it went flatter than an October ink spill.
The Mets season can be summed up with five words — build-up to a letdown.
And just one word would apply to that hideous ninth inning collapse — UGH!
But that’s baseball. Right?
Right. So, without further ado, here’s The Fischler Capsule Sum-Up Of The Mets And Yankees DDays. (That’s D, as in Debacle.)
1. ALIBI ONE: INJURIES. So what team doesn’t have injuries every season? Good-bye, please, with that excuse. It’s as old as Wrigley Field.
2. REASON ONE: LOSING TO FLUB TEAMS: The pseudo-mighty Mets lost to under .500 clubs. such as Arizona, Colorado and Atlanta. So, whose fault is that? The manager’s; that’s who. (Terry Collins; where were you, Terry, when a good brainstorm was brewing?)
3. THREE MAJOR CULPRITS: A. Catcher Travis D’Arnaud: He’s just not an every-day catcher. He wielded an ice cold bat when hot wood was needed. B. Outfielder Jay Bruce: He delivered zilch impact in the stretch; C Pitcher Matt Harvey: Toss out the word “elite” when discussing Mr. Disappointment. MSG Network Hockey Analyst
went wrong last Wedneaday night?
1. THREE WILD CARD GAME BLUNDERS: A. Not working the count against Madison Bumgarner was unforgivable; B. Yanking starter Noah Syndergaard was an absurd move. He allowed no runs and two hits over seven innings. He struck out ten and was hot. C. Collins was too absorbed about 108 pitches and without realizing his guy could have gone all the way.
2. THE MISTAKE OF MISTAKES: Collins imported Jeurys Familia from the bullpen launching the Looney Tunes ninth inning. Familia starts his satire on relieving by allowing two men on base -- double and walk. With one out and two on Familia couldn’t “out” a .262 hitter. Conor Gillaspie ain’t Babe Ruth. But he looked like the Sultan of Swat with his Metskilling home run.
3. PRIME CULPRIT OF CULPRITS: I unequivocally repeat: Collins. Even Abner Doubleday would agree that you don;’t go against a winning combo. Syndergaard and catcher Rene Rivera were the perfect combo. No runs over seven innings. Collins forgot the bromide: IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!
Yankees: What went wrong over the season?
1. LATE SEASON BULLPEN BLUNDERS: The post-trades seven-game winning streak in the stretch should have guaranteed a wild card. But Joe Girardi now was left destitute in his bullpen. Critical games were lost when the skipper had too little in the way of relievers.
2. WHERE WAS THE OFFENSE? One consistent belter showed up for the season and that was Carlos Beltran. Meanwhile, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann were auditioning for the lead in “The Return Of The Invisible Man.” The arrival of Gary Sanchez wasn’t invisible but, really, a case of too little, too late.
3. STARTER SOPHOMORE SLUMP -- AND OTHERS: Luis Severino had a superior rookie year in 2015. But 2016 was an abomination. Severino was severed from stardom and eventually wound up in the bullpen. Ergo: Luis was a loser. Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda were a pair of 2015 whizbangs who had neither whiz nor bang this semester.
Other events that put the bombers on a treadmill to oblivion:
1. HOT CORNER DISASTER: Chase Headley has been in pinstripes now for two plus years but this was by far his worst. Headley’s horrible performance at the plate and his terrible defense at third base hurt the club all year long. Headley’s play looked less like Brooks Robinson and more like Rodger Dorn of the Major League fame.
2. THE ALIBI THAT STILL DOESN’T WORK: Of course every team has injury woes but Yankee Stadium started to resemble a hospital throughout the season. Injuries to Teixeira, Rodriguez, Ellsbury and many more along the way didn’t help the Yankees play. Bench players like Aaron Hicks and Ronald Torreyes were pressed into action constantly throughout the year and they showed why they fit the bill of “platoon players.”
No matter how you distill the alibis with the what-ifs and he-shouldhave-done this, we are left with the traditional four words of hope invented in Brooklyn for the beloved Bums, alias the Dodgers.
WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR!
Author-columnistcommentator Stan “The Maven” Fischler resides in Boiceville and New York City. His column appears each week in the Sunday Freeman.
Mets closer Jeurys Familia walks back up during ninth inning of Mets wild-card game loss against Giants.