Mets Game 162: Win Over Astros

Mets 4 Astros 0

Finally, it’s over.

The worst Mets season since Art Howe “lit up a room” has come to a close — and the team finished with a bang.

The Mets swept the ‘stros behind the spectacular pitching of Nelson Figueroa, who pitched the best game of his MLB career — a four-hit, no-walk, seven-strikeout, complete-game shutout.

Angel Pagan was the offensive star of the game, scoring two runs and nearly hitting for the cycle from the leadoff spot.


Figgy was ultra sharp, throwing 76 strikes out of his 113 pitches. His curveball had excellent 12-6 bite and he had great command of both his sinking fastball and change-up low in the strike zone. This performance capped what was a fairly impressive, if mostly winless, September, and he may have pitched himself into an MLB contract for 2010. With better offensive support and a little luck he might have had four or five more wins, and been 8-3 instead of 3-8. Heck, if he had the Phillies hitting behind him he might’ve been 10-1.

Funny that it took 156 games for a Met to throw a complete-game shutout, and a second one was thrown in game 162 — and neither were tossed by Johan Santana, and both were accomplished by men no one would have ever guessed back in April.

Sad that although the Mets finished the season with a three-game sweep at home, it wasn’t enough to bring happiness. It was kind of melancholy — not unlike the music of the 1970s. We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun …

Luis Castillo gave himself up all day. He had a sac bunt, a sac fly, and he bounced a grounder to the right side to move Angel Pagan to third with none out prior to David Wright driving Pagan home with a long fly.

Pagan finished with a flourish, going 4-for-4 with a triple and two doubles to end the year at .306. He was unconscious all day — to him the ball must have looked like a basketball coming out of the pitcher’s hand.

Jeremy Reed made his first start since Halley’s Comet was last seen, and walked three times.

Josh Thole looked good at the plate, punching the ball all over the field and collecting three hits (he was five for his last six on the season). Gotta love a guy who fights through long at-bats and gets the bat on the ball — in that respect he reminds me of David Eckstein.

Next Mets Game

The Mets host the Marlins on April 5th, 2010 — because of course the weather will be much nicer in Flushing than Miami that day. Johan Santana is penciled in to start against Josh Johnson (keep your eraser handy). First pitch is 1:10 PM.

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.
  1. murph October 5, 2009 at 1:08 am
    Thank you for re-capping every game this season.
    It must not have been easy or pleasant, especially towards the end.

    I will be rooting for the Yanks in the playoffs, because they are representing NY, but look forward to reading all the Mets hot stove topics during the off-season.

  2. joejanish October 5, 2009 at 1:22 am
    Thanks Murph, and thanks for your loyal support and comments all season!

    I may root for the Phillies, as they are representing the NL East and they are the most exciting and tenacious TEAM I’ve had the chance to see this year.

    Imagine if the WS is Yankees – Phillies: the Mets fans’ worst nightmare.

  3. wohjr October 5, 2009 at 2:10 am
    Thanks Joe… been with you all year, though its been a tough one. Wait till 2012?
  4. joejanish October 5, 2009 at 2:17 am
    LOL! Thank YOU Wohjr … I think 2010 is doomed, and 2011 may be tough as well, but we can still have fun complaining about both seasons!

    Thanks again. Looking forward to your comments during the Hot Stove season!

  5. Walnutz15 October 5, 2009 at 8:17 am
    Tip o’the cap, Janish.

    …..and good riddance to the 2009 baseball season.

  6. Wendy October 5, 2009 at 9:06 am
    Thanks for everything this season Joe, its been very interesting, and i’ve had a lot of fun interacting with other fans.
  7. Mike October 5, 2009 at 9:36 am
    My turn, thanks Joe. I found you through Metsblog and doggonit if I don’t prefer Mets Today over Metsblog now. I may have stopped watching games weeks ago but Joe you kept me updated on things.

    I will be rooting for the Twins because they have no business playing a game 163 let alone winning a WS. If not them then probably the Yankees in the AL and the Dodgers in the NL (for the NY and Joe Torre reasons).

  8. gary s. October 5, 2009 at 11:10 am
    joe, best thing that happened to this season is that it ended..great job on the blog all season.this is a great place for met fans to vent and u always provide good info and breaking met news..i look forward to checking u out during the offseason..keep up the great work..
  9. isuzudude October 5, 2009 at 11:38 am
    One of the worst seasons in Mets history finally comes to an end, yet I still find myself a bit grief stricken knowing that they won’t be taking the field anymore in 2009. Even though they routinely caused me to pull my own hair out and flip to reruns of Borat and Family Guy throughout the year, I’m still gonna miss this sorry bunch.

    I’m astonished to see so many Met fans willing to root for the Yankees or Phillies this postseason. I can understand respecting those teams for their hard work and proper fundamentals, but to actually cheer for them to win? Like the Yankees really need another world championship? Like the game of baseball needs further reinforcement that buying the best talent is the best way to win? And like the Phillies need to win again? The same team who’s fans are the biggest pile of loathsome degenerates who cheered when Jose Reyes got hurt; who defended Shane Victorino for intentionally and malaciously giving a forearm to the head of Reyes on the basepaths; who defended JC Romero’s pitiful excuse for getting caught using illegal PEDs. They don’t deserve a damn thing, let alone a 2nd consecutive world series banner. I’m sorry, but cheering for the Yankees or Phillies in the playoffs as a Met fan is like cheering for Iran or North Korea to win in a war as an American. I’ll be cheering for whoever is playing the Yanks or Phils, and beyond that I’ll just be wishing for some good ol’ fashioned, entertaining baseball.

  10. Wendy October 5, 2009 at 1:36 pm
    dude, i’m with you 200%, i have the Rox and Sox mentality in 2009, nothing would make me happier than to see both the Phils and Yanks knocked out in the Division Series.

    The Rockies deserve to win the NL and i think either the Red Sox or Angels will win the AL.

  11. TheDZA October 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm
    Joe – Thanks for keeping it interesting all year long, at times it was more than trying I’m sure.
    Sad also that the offseason has been the focus for quite a while now, but looking forward to your coverage and seeing if this front office can right the ship.
    Like Mike above I found you thru’ mets blog and this is now my favourite stop for my Mets shizzle.

    Remember you promised to go through the team player by player and how they did/where they fit in or 2010? – Actually I made that up, but it would be good to get the ol’ perspective – thanks in advance!!
    Finally thanks to all commenters for I would say, a highly intelligent discourse throughout the year. Light years ahead of the usual petty BS on many other blogs.

    One important Q. for everyone (and somewhat emblematic of the lack of postseason play)Was there a dog day at Citi this year? The pics from shea always cracked me up – hope they still do that. Maybe dogs wouldn’t want to see what was on the field this yr I dunno…
    (I think the Sox too – one of the most complete teams the last few yrs, I am jealous of them)

  12. joejanish October 5, 2009 at 1:56 pm
    Thanks all — but I must thank all of you for making this site so enjoyable. It would be pretty boring to just write something and not engage in coversation with all of you.

    DZA – I’ve been working on your idea for the last two weeks, and figured it would be most fitting to start posting the evaluations after the season “officially” ended. So you will see them beginning tomorrow — looking forward to yours and everyone else’s comments!

    Sadly, though, the only dogs allowed in Citi Field were the ones wearing MLB uniforms.