I just scrolled (and scrolled and scrolled and scrolled) through pages of solid gold work from KS and Raven Mack to see the last time that I've contributed to Baseball Feelings, and I'm not proud to have to say that it was back in July of 2013 when I last wrote some Baseball Feelings about the All Star Game being held at Citi Field. A shameful absence to be sure, but not nearly as shameful as the timing of the return, even I can admit.
I hope you'll forgive my 'bandwagoning' of this post. Rest assured, since July 2013, I have had floods of Baseball Feelings, but not enough to warrant an entire post...usually a Tweet or a text to a friend would sate my craving but this, well, this is something else.
At that time of my last post, the Mets had put up their customary "better than expected" first half, and all fans were expecting a traditional second-half decline, but there was reason for optimism back then in 2013, in the person of Matt Harvey, who did this to the best hitter in baseball during the aforementioned All-Star Game.
The future looked bright...for about a month. In August, word got out that Matt Harvey would need Tommy John surgery and miss all of 2014, and all of the optimism was gone. 2014 had always been targeted as a realistic contention date, with the emergence of all the young pitching in the Mets' pipeline, but after Harvey's injury, it seemed that meaningful games would take a backseat to lining up the young staff again.
2014 was seen as a placeholder year, walking in place waiting for all the pieces to come together, but then storming out of nowhere came this man:
Jacob DeGrom's debut didn't even register as a blip on the radar for Mets fans, who had just seen Harvey's two years ago, Zack Wheeler's in 2013, and were anxiously awaiting Noah Syndergaard's, and as debuts go, it was pretty good, but oh so very Mets. 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER and the loss in a 1-0 decision to the Yankees. Start by start, people got more excited for DeGrom, until he was winning Rookie of the Year, Syndergaard was being portrayed as immature and not ready for the bigs, and Mets fans were dreaming big of a rotation of Harvey, DeGrom and Wheeler until, well....
I had joked, when Harvey was shut down for his Tommy John surgery in 2013 that it might not be a bad idea for Wheeler to get his. If 2014 was going to be a lost season anyway, may as well get it out of the way. Early in spring training this year, word came out that Wheeler would need the procedure and the dreams of a rotation where Wheeler, once seen as the jewel prospect of the San Francisco Giants - who know a thing or two about pitching prospects - was the third or forth best pitcher had to be put on hold just before the grand plan was set to be put in motion.