Jeff McNeil and the New York Mets fell in heartbreaking fashion to Blake Snell and the Tampa Bay Rays, but it was FS1 and their viewers who were the real losers.
Saturday night’s semifinal series between Jeff McNeil‘s New York Mets and Blake Snell’s Tampa Bay Rays should have felt big. It was the culmination of weeks worth of games and a shot at the World Series was on the line. For fans who had dedicated time to watching the “MLB The Show” players league, this was a huge event. It should have been treated as such by the channels who broadcast it, but it wasn’t.
Fox Sports did a fantastic job on Friday night. They skipped one inning, but it was during a commercial break and it didn’t happen again. It felt like a gaffe and didn’t really matter. That’s all it should have been. Instead, they made it a regular part of their programming.
They cut and chopped up huge chunks of multiple games from Saturday night. Game 2 missed nearly a full inning, and Game 3 was even worse. That’s absolutely ridiculous and unfair to everyone who was involved with the league, including the fans.
Fox Sports treated the semifinals of this league with no respect. How could they cut massive chunks of a decisive Game 3 between McNeil and Snell? All that decision tells me is that they didn’t care about the league or the games played.
Honestly, if that’s how they were going to handle the games, they should have just left it on Twitch. The fans watching at home deserve better.
Jeff McNeil and the Mets jumped out to a fantastic start Saturday night. After a quick out, the Mets offense got going. Michael Conforto hit a double to deep center field that was followed up that a two-run Pete Alonso home run.
Jacob deGrom took the hill for the Mets and he was strong. He allowed one run in the bottom of the first on an infield hit by Ji-Man Choi.
The game came back in the top of the second where McNeil was able to tack on an insurance run. A deGrom RBI base knock made the score 3-1.
McNeil sent deGrom back to the mound in the second inning and he cruised through without much issue. A scoreless inning gave McNeil a strong advantage headed to the third.
A two-out RBI single from Amed Rosario extended the lead even further as the game moved to the bottom of the third.
A complete game was on the table for deGrom and that’s exactly what he did. An easy 1-2-3 bottom of the third gave McNeil his third straight playoff win and a 1-0 lead in the series. He was just one win away from a World Series appearance.
McNeil entrusted Game 2 to Noah Syndergaard. A sharp line drive beaned Thor in the head and took him out of the game in the top of the first. McNeil was forced to go to his bullpen early and it would cost him.
Justin Wilson was able to get out of the first inning unscathed, but McNeil couldn’t get him any run support. Then everything went haywire.
Mike Zunino hit a leadoff home run off of Justin Wilson to open the scoring. Two batters later Yandy Diaz took Edwin Diaz deep to extend the lead to 2-0. Then FS1 started skipping innings.
Down just 2-0, Fox Sports decided to skip the entire bottom of the second. When the game returned in the top of third, it was still 2-0 and Paul Sewald was coming in to pitch with a runner on first.
The first pitch Sewald threw was knocked out of the park by Choi. the 4-0 lead already seemed insurmountable, but Snell would keep pouring it on. A hit parade came against both Sewald and later Robert Gsellman. By the time the inning was over Snell had an 8-0 lead.
Yonny Chirinos finished his complete-game shutout in the bottom of the third. The series was tied 1-1 with a decisive Game 3 to decide it all.
This should have been a huge game. It was a game with the World Series on the line, and FS1 treated it like it was nothing. It was extremely disappointing to come into the game and see that they had skipped the top of the first inning.
McNeil had two hits in the inning and Snell escaped a jam. At least, that’s what MLB Network’s Robert Flores told viewers happened.
Then the home runs started coming. Blake Snell dominated Jacob deGrom from the jump. McNeil fell down 4-0 in the bottom of the first, and with two on and one out FS1 cut forward again. This time skipping the rest of the bottom of the first and the top of the second.
The broadcast picked up with one out in the bottom of the second. Dellin Betances was on the mound with a man on. Things didn’t improve for Jeff. Betances allowed a two-run home run to make the game 6-0. That was quickly followed by an RBI double that extended the lead to 7-0.
FS1 let the rest of the game play out from there. McNeil was able to limit the damage to just seven runs allowed. He came up in the top of the third hoping to pull off a miracle.
It didn’t happen. Snell set the Mets down 1-2-3 with Jose Alvarado and clinched a spot in the World Series.
Snell will play Lucas Gilito and the Chicago White Sox on ESPN Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET.