Thursday, August 23, 2012

Despite No-Decision, Still A McHUGE Debut For Collin

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Earlier today, I composed a short piece on how the Mets' dominance of the Rockies in New York was a fading memory, with the Mets having lost seven straight and nine of 11 to the Rockies in New York after winning 30 of 37 against them in the Big Apple since 1999.  It might be time to update that piece, as the Mets have now lost eight straight and ten of their last 12 games to Colorado after their 1-0 defeat in today's matinee.

But I'm not upset with today's loss or this week's Rockies sweep.  I'm actually feeling pretty good.  And I have two words to explain why I'm not ready to jump off the Shea Bridge.  The first word is Collin and the second word is McHugh.

For seven scintillating innings, Collin McHugh thrilled the kids and empty seats in attendance (as well as Scott and Teresa McHugh, who made the trip to Citi Field to see their son mow down the Rockies).  But with the Mets continuing to be sponsored by the number zero (especially when on offense), McHugh received nothing for his efforts.  No lovely parting gifts, no win, nada.

In McHugh's seven innings, he allowed no runs on two hits, striking out nine batters.  (After never having a Met strike out more than eight batters in his major league debut prior to this year, McHugh joined Matt Harvey in this exclusive club today.)  According to the Elias Sports Bureau, McHugh became just the third pitcher since 1920 to post those numbers in his major league debut (seven innings, no runs, two hits or less, nine strikeouts or more), joining Hall of Famer Juan Marichal and non-Hall of Famer Steve Woodard.

But for the sixth consecutive game, the Mets scored two runs or less (mostly less), marking the first time since 1982 they had accomplished this.  However, the 1982 streak (which reached seven games) was not just due to an inept offense.  Six of the seven games were played in three days, as the Mets played three doubleheaders from September 17-21, 1982.  Blame that lack-of-scoring streak on tired players and too many rusty bench players getting starts.  What excuse do the 2012 Mets have?

But this post is not about the Mets' bats constantly hitting the snooze button instead of baseballs.  It's about Collin McHugh, a fellow blogger and now the latest Mets pitcher to have a memorable debut.  Scott and Teresa McHugh have been proud of their son since he was born.  Mets fans can begin to feel proud starting today as Collin McHugh gave us something to look forward to in 2013 and beyond.

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