Mets Game 162: Win Over Reds
Mets 3 Reds 0
Miguel Batista closes out 50 years of Mets baseball in Nelson Figueroa -like fashion, spinning a two-hit, complete game shutout.
Mets Game Notes
If Batista chooses to retire, he couldn’t have chosen a better time to do it — finishing out on top, so to speak. OK, he didn’t exactly win the Cy Young, but finishing his career with a 2-hit shutout is a nice way to go.
Jose Reyes reached first base on a bunt single to lead off the bottom of the first, then was immediately removed from the game — a situation predetermined by Reyes, which he requested of Terry Collins. Personally, I don’t like Reyes ending the season — and possibly his Mets career — that way, particularly since he’s in a dead heat with Ryan Braun for the batting title. We can argue this six ways to Sunday (i.e., Reyes had more than enough plate appearances, etc.), but my feeling is that if you’re healthy, you should be on the field and continuing to get at-bats, and earn the title “fair and square”. To win a batting championship by purposely sitting … well that just doesn’t sit right with me (pardon the pun). Further, it wasn’t fair to the spectators, many of whom paid money to see the game and see Reyes in particular. I understand why Reyes chose to leave, and I’m glad he’s man enough to admit he’s comfortable with losing the title if Braun gets three hits tonight.
Collins became emotional during the postgame conference in talking about how he gained the respect of his players and how the team “overcame a lot of stuff”. Hmm … I’m assuming he’s talking about “overcoming” some of the injuries to key players and the losses of Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran. It was moving when he said it, but when you step back and look from a different perspective, it’s hard to describe what the Mets did this year as “overcoming” anything. I mean, look at their final record — it’s 77-85. Generally when one “overcomes” something, it also means there is success. To me, finishing 8 games under .500 — and two games worse than 2010 — is not success by any stretch of the imagination. But hey, a lot of people think mediocrity IS success, because there is this unmeasurable concept of “moving forward” or “going in the right direction” (which, ironically, is the mantra often repeated by those who also are fans of sabermetrics). Then there is the argument that sometimes you have to take two steps back to take one step forward. Whatever, we have six months to debate it … but bottom line is that, to me, the Mets didn’t “overcome” anything — they just “were” and continued to play ballgames.
Next Mets Game
Pitchers and catchers report at some point in mid-February. The Mets begin the 2012 season on Thursday, April 5th, hosting the Braves at what may be a shrunken Citi Field. But we’ll discuss that over the offseason, as well as many other topics, every day here at MetsToday.
Let’s say the team got rid of the owners and various other things. They figured out how to bunt and play certain fundamentals. They found a way not to have ridiculous injuries. Maybe found a player or two for the future and somehow re-signed Reyes. And, won 74 games.
I would say this was a “success” and “overcoming.” It didn’t happen, so again, it’s just a thought experiment.
[As to Reyes, yeah, though I don’t think it would have been a big deal if he didn’t play the whole game. If he came out in the 6th or something, it would have looked a bit better. His reduced at bats alone will be in my mind — a full season, more of a chance he would have had a bad September. I can see people upset, and they have a point, but it’s a venial sin.]
In 2010, the Mets finished 79-83. But 2011 was a completely superior year to 2010. We saw with our own eyes that the Mets did not give up on games, that they took good ABs. We saw a clubhouse of guys like Luis Castillo replaced by a clubhouse of guys like Justin Turner. And we saw guys at or near the beginning of their careers (Duda, Tejada, Gee, Beato) playing important roles instead of guys near the end of their careers.
It really is OK to take a longer-term view when assessing a team’s performance. This is not acceptance of mediocrity, it is calling it like you see it. People are not saying, “Hooray for us, we did so well.” They’re saying, “This is what an organization and team look like when the arrow starts to point upward rather than downward.”
Do I think we are screwed going forward based on the quality of our division and the lack of resources we seem to have? Absolutely. But to call this season a disappointment would be unfair to the players. You simply aren’t making the playoffs with our roster as currently constituted.
Maybe I’m nitpicking, but it’s hard for me to accept the use of the term “overcome” when there wasn’t true success of some sort.
I agree in that this team should not have been expected to make the playoffs by anyone other than unrealistic fans. My personal expectations for this team — knowing K-Rod would be gone, thinking that Beltran wouldn’t play in more than 50 games, knowing Santana would be out all year, knowing that other injuries would pop up here and there — was about a 79-80 win season. I figured if everything broke absolutely perfectly, they might get to 84-85 wins. But instead they finished with 77 — pretty close to my expectations. But what did they overcome to win two less games and finish in fourth? They overcame the Marlins — was that a surprise? They didn’t finish in last — was that success? Was the whole team diagnosed with cancer and we didn’t know about it?
Just a poor choice of words, in my opinion. But still, if Collins thinks the team overcame something, he must have a really warped sense of reality — or an awful command of the English language.
They didn’t “overcome” various things including preventable injuries, the Murphy one alone perhaps resulting in one or two more losses. Anyway, it was a bit of rosy colored spin. Collins didn’t say “we were mediocre” … oh ok.
Reyes could have at least waited to go out to the field for one last time the next inning. It makes me wonder if he was scared the Mets were somehow going to bat around – and he’d have to take another AB.
3 outs in the inning. Go to the top step, have someone flip you your glove……then go out to your position. Nobody has a clue how this winter will play out — and even if it’s not your last game as a Met…….have yourself a little lovefest with the fans that are out in their seats – or who are still making their way TO them. It’s the first freakin’ AB for the home squad!
As an aside, I gave a thought (albeit, it was a 2 minute or so process) – to picking up a ticket to my 1st (and only) game of the season today. Keep in mind, I’m usually good for 20+ Met games a year, but this summer was a particularly busy one for me….plus I’m just fed up with them at this point.
My thinking? Maybe it’ll be the last time you see Reyes in a home uni – while gunning for the batting title.
Glad I’m not the guy who decided to do this at work, maybe busted his butt to leave early/get there via P.T. – to get there mid-1st inning, post hit……seeing him pulled from the game – watching a borderline Double-A squad play from there on out.
Isht happens, sure — but I’m glad that wasn’t how things played out for me.
And, as I always do — I’ll throw it in, that I’m one of Reyes’ biggest fans.
The funny thing about it all of this that the Mets set themselves up for a lot of things on their own….such as inviting Francesa on WFAN to do play-by-play – and having this move come up on the exact day.
He essentially called Reyes a coward.
Hernandez, Darling, and Cohen were all mystified by what was going on.
It’s just amusing to me – they always seem to find themselves in the middle of a (crap)show. Wondering how they’ll manage to muck up the no-hitter, provided it ever comes down to it.
Still trying to figure out what was up with Collins crying. Interesting.
I’ll pay ya back next week.
I wouldn’t have a problem with “integrity” discussions either, if I took a boatload of money from a TV network and used my affiliation with them for access and self-promotion, all while assuring my readers that the TV network had ZERO influence on my writing… and then I quietly turned my blog over to the network in the middle of the summer without any warning or explanation.
Now lets talk about “success” and overcoming” in Collins eyes….
Not coming in last place.
Getting his contract picked up until 2013.
Getting respect from his players
All the injuries this year
So, Collins used the correct words in terms of his view BUT bad choice of words for the fans.
I never expected the 2011 Mets to contend this year. However, I don’t consider this year a success. We definitely have young players that did better than our overpaid mistakes like Luis C and Ollie P. They also made it easier to watch the Mets this year. However, it also shows the fans that the Mets will be mediocre for a few years unless they make big trades or make big off-season picked, which there really is only 1 or 2 players that are difference makers.
We will just have to see what the Wilponzes will let Sandy do with this team in the offseason.
if the mets were in a pennant race does he choke in regards to batitng title?
ted williams played a double header when he was chasing .400 and said u would have to lock him in the clubhouse to keep him out of the lineup…that is the mentality the mets are missing…
pelfrey loses his “mind coach” and he folds…
reyes afraid to stay in game….
bullpen cant hold leads….
we need more guys like dickey…grab the bull and get after it…WE NEED GAMERS