Midway through the bottom of the ninth inning in Wednesday’s game between the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, my friend and colleague Eric Stephen — noted Los Angeles Dodgers writer, bless his soul — dropped a comment in our MLB Slack channel.
they are trying to out met the mets
Indeed, the Giants were trying to out-Met the Mets, a task that requires tripping on your shoelace, smashing your head into the ground and losing a tooth, then tying your shoelace while accidentally standing on your other shoe’s shoelace, thus tripping on that shoelace when you stand up, and digging your lost tooth into your forehead as you fall to the ground a second time.
It’s not an easy task, and the Giants, despite being one of baseball’s best teams, were unable to accomplish it even though they tried very, very hard.
Wow did they try hard.
In the fourth inning, with the score tied 0-0, the Giants got their first hit of the game: a jaw-dropper courtesy of Kris Bryant. In an 0-2 count, no less.
Then in the fifth inning, with the Giants clinging to a 1-0 lead, Johnny Cueto loaded the bases with two walks and an infield single. The good news was there were two outs. The bad news was Pete Alonso was at bat.
Cueto got him to hit a routine grounder to the hero, Bryant, who fielded the ball cleanly, smiled the smile of a man months away from signing a $200 million contract, and threw the ball to first with all the accuracy of a 49ers third-string quarterback from the mid-2000s.
That tied the game, and while José Álvarez would get out of the inning on just one pitch, Tony Watson would allow a go-ahead run in the sixth, his first run allowed since returning to the Giants.
But the Mets did some Metsing of their own, as they are seemingly always good for. Taijuan Walker entered the seventh inning with his pitch count only in the 60s, with Bryant’s hit the only knock against him all day, and with only one walk issued. Admittedly he wasn’t missing bats, but whatever. This is the Mets we’re talking about, they should be happy to take success in any form or fashion. Not everyone is privileged enough to value process over results.
Bryant reached safely on an error (Metsing!), and Alex Dickerson had a single. And with that, Walker was removed from the game, much to his dismay. Much to his visual dismay, I should add.
Taijuan Walker was not thrilled: pic.twitter.com/6S6Cxei0ym— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 26, 2021
Unhappy Walker was left helpless, forced to watch the game from the bench instead of the mound.
One pitch later, the Giants took the lead.
Now, in Luis Rojas’ defense, he didn’t just take Walker out of the game. He handed the ball to Aaron Loup, who had a 1.09 ERA, 1.79 FIP, and 0.895 WHIP. Loup, who entered the game holding left-handed hitters to a .159/.203/.159 slash line against him. Loup, who had faced 69 lefties on the year (nice) and had yet to allow an extra-base hit.
The Mets were going to find a way to blow the lead whether it was with Walker or Loup on the mound, and Rojas was going to look silly either way.
But the Giants weren’t done trying to one-up their counterparts. Jake McGee entered for the ninth inning with a 3-2 lead and allowed a one-out single, then gave up a routine fly ball. Alex Dickerson and Austin Slater, in an attempt to recreate the drills going through all 32 NFL camps at this time every year, decided to run face first into each other in a battle of skull strength, and neglected to catch the ball.
But McGee came through, though not before allowing a walk to load the bases to make sure that he had to go through Alonso, the two-time defending Home Run Derby champion.
Alonso, looking to walk things off, ended the game with the type of home run I used to hit in my backyard, which is to say a lazy line drive that traveled about 100 feet.
All in all, it was an unsuccessful day of Metsing, and those are the most successful days.