"Against the serpent | goes Othin's son.
In anger smites | the warder of earth,--Forth from their homes | must all men flee;-Nine paces fares | the son of Fjorgyn,
And, slain by the serpent, | fearless he sinks."- The Poetic Edda, Volume I, Lays of the gods, Völuspá
This stanza is from the Norse poem Völuspá which tells the story, from the point of view of a völva - a female seer - telling the tale to Odin, of the beginning and end of the world. The seer reveals the details of Ragnarök, the end of the world, where the gods fight their last battles and many of the gods, including Odin and Thor, are slain. The stanza above recounts the death of Thor in particular, who is slain by the serpent Jörmungandr. The thunder god and the serpent battle fiercely, and Thor is able to defeat it, but the venom of the snake is too powerful, and after taking only nine steps, Thor succumbs to the toxin and dies.
Tonight, this comparison to Thor is not quite appropriate, as really none of it fits any narratives for this game, but it is such an interesting poem, it was worth sharing anyway.
The 2015 New York Mets are known this year for boasting an excellent pitching staff, with the third lowest ERA (after the Cardinals and Pirates) and the sixth lowest FIP in the league. This is, in part, due to the continued resurgence of Bartolo Colon, the return of Matt Harvey, the reliability of Jonathan Neise, and the revelation that is Jacob deGrom. When Zack Wheeler went down with an injury earlier in the year, the Mets had a viable option to replace him in Noah Sydergaard. Syndergaard, nicknamed Thor due to his Scandinavian-sounding name and what can only be assumed is an excellent allusion to a hammer-curveball, has not only filled the gap, but has flourished, striking out over 26% of batters while only walking 5%, with an ERA 3.11 and a FIP of 2.61. The Cardinals, a club built around run prevention, would have to be at their run preventi-est.
Unfortunately, things got off to a rocky start, as Lance Lynn gave up a leadoff homerun to Granderson. Sometimes leadoff homeruns are an ominous portent to a long night doomed from the start. And sometimes leadoff homeruns are just a pitcher making an early mistake before he fully settled in. This homerun appears to be of the latter variety as Lance Lynn went on to shut the Mets down. He would allow no more runs in his seven innings of work and strikeout nine, painting the outside of corner of the plate with the mastery of Bob Ross.
From there, the Cardinals evened things up in the bottom of the sixth after a Matt Carpenter groundout and took the lead soon after when Jhonny Peralta hit his fourteenth homer of the season, giving him the highest WPA for hitters with .154. Peter Bourjos came off the bench in the bottom of the eighth as a defensive substitute for Matt Holliday. The defensive sub promptly smacked a double into centerfield over the head of the slick-fielding Legares to score Kolten Wong and give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead. The run proved to be the difference maker (go-figure), after Trevor Rosenthal allowed a run to score after a ground-ball single, a weird, deflected pop-up, a wild pitch, and a groundball deflected off Trevor to Peralta. Rosie struck out John Mayberry swinging to preserve the win, having had enough with the poor battled ball luck.
- I rather like the nickname "Thor" as is it much easier for me to spell than "Syndergaard".
- Concern level for Carp is reaching yellow. Hopefully the break was able to rejuvenate him.
- Jason Heyward hit a triple tonight and it was sexy.
- I am not sure if Matheny was just being cautious with Holliday, but the defensive replacement seems to be a wee-bit of over-managing. Luckily, Bourjos was able to come through with that hit, otherwise the Birdos would have been in a real jam.
- That being said, I have no clue why Grichuk continues to start over Bourjos nearly every game.
- I was unable to see Trevor pitch, so I am not sure what all these deflections mean. I, being an optimist, can only assume that this was a weird fluke inning and that whatever arm tightness he was afflicted with over the break has subsided.
The Isringhausen Curve
LIL SCOOTER'S LIL PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Gotta give this one to Lance Lynn, who bounced back after surrendering that leadoff bomb to pitch a seven-inning gem with nine strikeouts, one walk, three hits and .235 WPA.
John Lackey toes the rubber Saturday against Bartolo Colon at 6:15pm. Should be sweaty. Should be fun!