Mets Meaningless Games 141, 142, 143 vs. Reds

Mets 4 Reds 3

Reds 2 Mets 1

Mets 14 Reds 5

Mets win a weekend series in Cincinnati to remain two games over .500 for the month of September.

Mets Games Notes

Mixing it up for a change today; instead of intensive, thoughtful, precise notes in response to individual ballgames, I decided to do relay mundane thoughts in a series wrap. Why? Perhaps I’m taking a cue from what I’ve been seeing so far in September from “Major League” teams — playing out the string. That’s not specific to the Mets games, either — it appears rampant from the small sample of games seen in the past week.

Maybe this happens every year and I don’t notice it as much for one reason or another. Or maybe it doesn’t really happen, and I’m hyper-sensitive to what looks to me like “mailing it in.” But there must be something to it, otherwise the baseball idiom “don’t trust what you see in March or September” wouldn’t exist.

And that’s what makes this past weekend so difficult to evaluate, isn’t it? The Mets looked like world-beaters, crushing the ” Big Little Red Machine” on Friday night, very nearly beating one of the best pitchers in baseball on Saturday, and then coming away with a one-run victory on Sunday. Suddenly, everyone on the team is hitting — even Curtis Granderson, who had been seen only on the side of milk cartons since late June. With the way Grandy has been swinging the bat of late, there’s a really decent chance of him reaching the 20-homerun milestone before season’s end — something Jason Bay never did (hmm … why would I bring up Bay?).

Fellow veteran-counted-on-to-be-slugger-but-failed-miserably David Wright also has been swinging the bat well of late — among his singles he’s sprinkling in a dash of a double here and there. Heck, he looks right now like he could hit his first homerun since July 11th any at-bat now. And don’t look now, but Travis d’Arnaud is finally fulfilling the offensive promise that convinced the Mets to part with a Cy Young Award winner and cult hero. Do you know d’Arnaud leads all NL rookies in homers, is 19 for his last 51 (.373), and is hitting .286 with 10 homeruns and 29 RBI in the 57 games he’s played since returning from Wally Backman‘s care (a complete coincidence, I’m sure)? Oh, young Travis is also LEADING THE METS with a .500 slugging percentage since the All-Star Exhibition. (Bet you would’ve banked on that being Lucas Duda.) There’s been buzz about Jacob deGrom winning the Rookie of the Year, but if d’Arnaud keeps hitting this way through the end of the month, he just may sneak himself into the conversation.

Speaking of rookies, is it truly possible that Mets fans would rather see Dilson Herrera than Daniel Murphy play the rest of the season at second base? My, how quickly things change, even for the Golden Boy. Murphy is having a career year, yet I’d bet 7 Mets fans out of 10 were secretly hoping he’d played his last game of 2014.

In addition to Juan Lagares campaigning for a Gold (or Platinum?) Glove, he’s become Rickey Henderson at the top of the lineup — taking pitches, getting big base hits, and, most surprisingly, stealing bases with such deftness and efficiency that he’s gained the attention of Danny Ocean.

Wilmer Flores is 9 for his last 27 with a homerun and two doubles, and hasn’t botched a game with his glove in two weeks. Anthony Recker seems to hit a home run every time he starts behind the plate. No one can touch Jeurys Familia — or deGrom, for that matter. The pitching looks so good right now, in fact, that no one’s clamoring for Noah Syndergaard. Lagares, Matt den Dekker, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis just might be one of the best outfields in baseball.

Yes, the Mets look like world-beaters right now — so much so, it seems implausible that they’re in a three-team race for bottom, rather than the top, of the NL East. And hot off their two wins in Cincy, the Mets next face the lowly Colorado Rockies — one of only three clubs in MLB with less than 60 wins. And they’re playing the Rox in Flushing. The Rockies have a .290 “winning” percentage away from Coors Field. That’s not a syntax error — they’ve won only TWENTY-NINE PERCENT of their road games. August was the first month since May that they reached double-digits in wins (they were 10-18). So it seems that the Mets momentum could keep on rolling.

But, wait … the Rockies are 5-1 so far in September. Hmm …

It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Something strange about September. Can you trust what you see this month, from anyone? Answer in the comments.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Rox fight it out as the US Open Men’s Finals concludes. Jon Niese faces Jordan Lyles on one side of the 7 Train tracks, while Roger Federer does not face Novak Djokovic on the other at 5 PM. That’s right: two relative unknowns smashed their way into the finals — Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic. Perhaps the strangeness of September extends beyond MLB?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.