Mets Game 158: Win Over Reds

Mets 1 Reds 0

Mets take a series from the Reds in Cincinnati — thanks to seven and two-third innings of shutout baseball by none other than Daisuke Matsuzaka. Who would’ve believed it? Is it opposite week?

Mets Game Notes

So yes, I missed this game as well so can’t comment on it. However I hope you will, and I appreciate your carrying the load here the last few days — it’s been hectic. No worries, though, as I should be able to watch three of the final four games of the year, if not all four.

How is Dice-K pitching so well? Something new in his approach or arsenal? Here’s my cynical thought: a combination of his survival skills, adrenaline, National League lineups, and facing opponents who have not seen him before or faced him rarely in the past. Does that mean these last five starts are a mirage? Maybe not. It should be noted that he had Tommy John surgery in 2011, so it could be argued that he’s finally healthy again. Perhaps health and NL lineups will allow him to be a somewhat effective, innings-eating starter at the back of a rotation. The Mets would be silly not to try to bring him back, considering the lack of experienced arms they have going into 2014.

As for these final four games, they are absolutely meaningful in terms of next year’s June draft and this winter’s excuses. As of this writing, the Mets are llth-worst in MLB, so if the season ended today, they’d be in the same situation as last winter — if they sign a free-agent who received a qualifying offer from their previous team, the Mets would have to surrender their first-round pick in next June’s draft. The Blue Jays and Phillies are both below (ahead?) of the Mets in the race for a protected pick, and the Giants have the same 73-85 record as the Mets. Also, the Padres are only slightly better than the Mets at 74-84 — and they play the Giants in their final three games of the year. If the Mets and any of the Padres, Phillies, or Giants finish with identical records, and they’re all the tenth-worst, the Mets would get the protected pick by virtue of their 2012 record being worse than all three. However if the final spot is between Toronto and the Mets, the Blue Jays get the protected pick.

As much as some fans insist they’re not “real fans” if they root for their team to lose, you really have to think about it — is it really “losing”? Or is rooting for the Mets to win actually a form of rooting for them to lose, because in essence, you’re rooting for them to lose the protected pick? What might Kierkegaard say? (Or Syndergaard, for that matter?)

From my perspective, if the Mets finish with a record that puts them 11th worst or better, it will make for much more heated discussion over the winter — so you know what I’m rooting for this weekend. And I know we asked this a few weeks ago, but I’ll ask again: what say you? You want the Mets to win or lose against the Brewers?

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Brewers start the final series of the year on Thursday evening in Flushing at 7:10 PM. Dillon Gee takes the mound against Johnny Hellweg.

Mets Item of the Day

So far this month it’s been tough to figure whether or not it will rain. Plenty of cloudiness — both in regard to the weather and the Mets’ future. Well, here’s a fine item to help you decide whether to bring your umbrella with you: a New York Mets Rain Gauge

Buy it by clicking the previous link or the image below — it’s only about sixteen bucks.

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. Jujo September 26, 2013 at 11:54 am
    It would be better if they finished in bottom 10 teams…
    That definitely affects any ability for FA signings. I would like to see them sign Choo and also make an offer to Peralta and Beltran (if he is interested).
  2. crozier September 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm
    Would it be beneficial for the Mets to have a protected pick? Obviously.

    But rooting for Mets to lose requires the disabling of a complex wiring system. Were I capable of that, I’d have long since broken the evil spell they’ve had on me for several decades and be a Red Sox fan or something. Rooting against the Mets is like rooting for the Phillies – something I couldn’t do even when they squared off against the Yankees in ’09.

    Anyway, as I’ll be traveling from the Philadelphia area – perhaps against my better judgement – to see the final game of the season, you can be sure I’m looking for a win. Barring that, a cheeseburger from the Shake Shack will suffice.

  3. Dan B September 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm
    Do you think the Mets would be looking to trade Harvey now they have a new ace in the form of Dice K? The logical side of my brain is rooting for losses. The illogical side agrees with crozer. If my logical side was stronger then my illogical side, I wouldn’t be reading blog rehashes of game 158?
  4. Izzy September 26, 2013 at 1:32 pm
    If a guy like Votto or McCutcheon were FAs (which they aren’t), and they wanted to be Mets, does anyone really beleive the only reason Alderson would say no is because of the first pick going bye bye? If so, then close up shop because the reign of mediocrity is going to last decades. After what happended to Bourn, guys like him will take the one year deal and try again the next year, and if a true superstar wants to come and you say no because you lose the 11th pick, find another team to root for.
  5. Izzy September 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm
    Last year there were only 9 qualifying offers. Of thiose, only 2 signed with a team with a protected pick, Swisher and Bourd, both went to Cleveland. Kuroda, LaRoche and Karoda stayed with their teams and Hamilton, Lohse, Raphael Soriano and BJ Upton signed with “better” teams. So basically, those who root for their team to lose are saying they want Nick Swisher? Just asking.
    • DaveSchneck September 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm
      I agree with you that it is odd and “unfan-like” to root against your team in any given contest. However, as is the case in life, most every rule has an exception. I am not enthralled with any FAs this year, there is not one of them that will change the Mets singlehandedly, and I won’t shed any tears over the Mets missing out on any one of them. However, I want the GM to be in the best position possible to field a playoff caliber team in 2014, and beyond. In that light, having aprotected #1 pick serves the team, and its fans, much better than a win or two the last week of Sept. when they are out of the race.

      This is the same concept as wanting them to deal a guy like Byrd for a prospect. Dealing Byrd most likely led to more losses in 2014, but I rooted strongly for Alderson to do so. Is there anyone that would rather have another win or two than Black and Hererra in the fold going in to 2014?

  6. argonbunnies September 27, 2013 at 3:13 am
    I’ve been rooting for the Mets to lose every game since they arrived in Philly.

    I’ve also been rooting for each individual Met to do well.

    Basically I’m hoping for bad luck.

    Right now I’m really upset that Gee got pulled one inning short of his primary goal for the year (200 innings), so Lutz could pinch hit with a man on 1st and 2 out in a meaningless game. It’s not a bad strategic move, but it’s not a “must” move either, so Terry should err on the side of rewarding the guy who’s given the team a nice season. But I guess that’s only for stars like Reyes, who can sabotage the team’s chance to win by skipping 4 ABs (and waste every attending fan’s money) by pulling himself for the sake of a batting title.

    If I was David Wright, I’d be in Collins’ office right now lobbying to give Gee the opportunity to pitch an inning on Sunday. It’d be nice for the fans, and it’d be nice for the players to know that while they’re being asked to play hard on an awful team, they won’t have extra carrots taken away from them.