Good morning, Mets Fans!
Nice win yesterday, although it took a bit too long, dragging on for 14 innings before Curtis Granderson won it by doing what he does best: making an out. The absurd length of yesterday’s game is actually what brings me to the topic of this edition of the Morning Grind.
The Mets went into extra innings 20 times last year. They were 8-12 in those games, several of which went far beyond the 10th inning. This year, the Mets have already played 4 extra-inning games (winning 2 and losing 2), each one of which has been longer than the previous one. New York is on pace to go into extras 36 times this season.
These contests can either be fun and exciting, or miserable and stressful. It depends on the game. But going past the 9th inning with such alarming frequency could hurt the Mets in the long run.
The Mets went 6-14 in the games after extra-inning games last season. This year, the Mets are 1-2 in the games after extra-inning games, and that record will have another win or loss tacked onto it after tonight’s game against the Cardinals.
Extra inning games, especially the marathon ones, take their toll on teams. The managers are forced to burn through their bullpens, forcing relievers to work for longer than they are accustomed to, even on days where they had been expected to take a rest. Sometimes, even starters are forced to get into the action. Hitters are also prone to the scrambling that occurs in the wee hours of the morning on some occasions. You might see third basemen at shortstop, first basemen in the outfield, or backup catchers serving up bombs on the mound. When teams constantly go into extras, it can lead to ineffectiveness and even injury.
An extra-inning win is still better than a 9-inning loss, so we should be happy that the Mets won yesterday, even if it was a pretty messy win. But if the Mets want to keep their players running fresh and smooth, they have to find a way to stop letting every game turn into a wacky, prolonged adventure.
Have a good day, Mets fans. Let’s hope for a win tonight… a normal one.