Game 52 Recap: What Do You Get When You Add David Wright…
…and a degenerative spinal disease?
Answer: six more weeks of Ruben Tejada!
Like a stain on a favorite shirt that just won’t come out, Ruben Tejada is back in the Met lineup again. Batting second and playing third base for the fourth straight day, Tejada went 3 for 5, with a double. Since being inserted in Wright’s spot on the field and in the order, the suddenly-slugging Panamanian is 8 of 17 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI. This performance has earned him praise from his lame-duck manager and has no doubt eased the pressure on GM Sandy Alderson to make any kind of trade in the likely event ( we will know more later today, apparently) that Wright is out for a considerable stretch. For the record, I didn’t expect any trades and while names like Ben Zobrist and Martin Prado are intriguing, our ballyhooed GM’s track record doesn’t leave much hope that such a move would have ever been made anyway.
That means if/when Tejada suddenly reverts to Eric Campbell status, (c’mon we’ve seen this movie before) we are still likely to be forced to watch him for a long stretch of the summer. I hope I am wrong and I will never root for any Met to fail, but I just don’t think it is realistic to expect a sudden turning of the page on Tejada’s game.
As for the game itself, the big story was Jacob deGrom: 8IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 8K. The Mets pummeled the offseason transaction champion Padres 7-0. You may remember the Mets holding that crown after the 1991 and 2001 seasons, only to lay an egg when they started throwing pitches in anger. It looks like the Padres are heading down a similar path. Speaking of high expectations, the Washington Nationals’ anticipated runaway with the NL East divisional crown may have a wait a little while longer to get started, as this win by the Mets pulled them into a virtual tie for the Nats for the divisional lead. At this point, the Mets starting pitching does appear as good as advertised and should keep them at least in contention for a good finish.I am not a fan of Terry Collins, but if he manages to somehow get this lineup into an October playoff game, he deserves serious consideration for Manager of the Year.
I still think they will need another bat. I just don’t think that bat is Tejada.