Mets: What went wrong over the sea­son?

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS -

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.


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.

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