THE UNDERSCORE, 2022 MLB RECAP WITH GRANT MULITZ
A pop-fly into the grandstand, two runners on base and a tie game. A Jose Reyes homer to win it all. You see the ball fly up into the blackened sun, and crash to the infertile Earth right into the glove of a raving cannibal, leaving a stadium of haggard fans doomed to wander listlessly over a barren wasteland and oh god, the heat, the boiling heat, why was it us that survived? That was the feeling at Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins, where the Mets lost 5-3.
2022 was supposed to be the summer when the Mets finally get it together. Many sports statisticians and Mayan prophecies had predicted Cespedes would have a franchise-record-breaking season, that the rivers would dry up and the valleys be cast in shadow, and a World Series playoff bid would not be unheard of. With La Potencia batting .213 and a worldwide drought, turns out it’s a mixed bag.
The game wasn’t without its highlights. Cabrera’s walk-off double to the ever-expanding sinkhole in left field put the team in a good position from the first inning. Jason Vargas pitched nine strikeouts due to several Marlins players blinded by the nuclear blast. And the third base umpire called a close slide for Conforto shortly before being eaten by Mr. Met.
But none of that saved the game, or the series. The team has been on a downward trend for weeks, dropping to the bottom of the NL East, and though it’s not impossible for them to pick things up, it doesn’t look good. Maybe I’m being pessimistic, maybe it’s the vultures circling over the pitcher’s mound, but something tells me we won’t make the postseason alive.
What appears to be a major challenge for Mets manager Mickey Callaway is a horned beast from Hades that has taken up residence in the pitching bullpen, combined with a recent lack of enthusiasm among fans. The atmosphere at Citi Field has become figuratively and literally toxic. The Mets will have to pick up a lot of steam to win back a long-dejected, mostly undead fanbase.