WE ARE ALL GAZELLE MEN NOW by Tom Brennan
Baseball is a whacky sport. Even a few months ago, who would have ever guessed we'd be seeing Rob Gsellman starting in a huge game for the Mets in early September to draw them within one game of the Cards in the Wild Card race? And winning it?
Rob should have won his last (first) start, too, except Mets bats were silent that day. Here is a guy who gave up 19 runs over his first 3 Vegas starts in 10 innings just a few months ago. Amazing.
Three other key pitching call ups doing heroic stuff for the Big Squad, all of who, like Gsellman, looked miserable in Vegas a few months ago.
Seth Lugo? In 14 Vegas starts, he had a 6.93 ERA this year. They switched him to the pen, where he improved to 4.03, but still allowed hitters to hit over .300 against him. Yet despite allowing AAA hitters to hit .329 off him this year, he gets called up and is 2-2. 2.60 in the majors with a BAA of .207 in 35 IP. Amazing.
Rafael Montero? He pitched very well in AA just before his recent call up, in which he tossed 5 badly, desperately needed shutout innings, but in Vegas before that? In his last 8 Vegas starts, he allowed FIFTY runs in 39 innings. Amazing.
Josh Smoker? Bad game against the Marlins Thursday, but yesterday, he punched out Bryce Harper on an exceedingly lethal slider to help the Mets towards a much need win. In Vegas, he was great in July and August, allowing 4 ER in 23 IP, but before then, he looked like another not-good-enough minors reliever: 34 IP, 44 H, 15 BB, 25 R from April thru June. He did fan 50 in those 34 IP, so there was hope there, but the rest of his stats offered little hope of future Queens help. And yet he struck out last year's MVP in a tight spot. Amazing.
In a season where Harvey crumbled, deGrom has 7 wins entering Labor Day to go with a sore forearm, Matz has a sore elbow and shoulder and will throw on flat ground Monday, and Wheeler never came back, and old timer Bartolo Colon is the indestructible Man of Steel, there is the feel of a playoff miracle just around the corner. Mets Magic.
We are all Gazelle Men.