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.

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. Joe September 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm
    I don’t, honestly, know what “succeed” means, but if I broke my leg, my expectations on what succeeding walking means would be lower. Also, again not saying the Mets did it, but “overcoming” means a lot of things.

    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.]

  2. acoustic567 September 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm
    Let’s say it was the Astros that finished 77-85. In light of the fact that the team they put on the field will end up losing 105 games or so, wouldn’t 77-85 be considered a positive development?

    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.”

    • Izzy September 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm
      Please don’t take this personally but isn’t it very likely that we as Met fans were tired of Minaya and Manuel and even tho the team was in the race, for real, not imagined as this . year’s team was we didn’t give them a chance. Every year we hear the same o;d baloney about a better clubhouse and about how the losers don’t quit. We just heard it from a new mouth this year, one who hasn’t worn out his welcome yet. But if you look what the Mets did this year, they only wasted one more year. Alderson didn’t make one move to improve the team. Most of the cheapies he brought in were horrible and the best ones like Capuano were mediocre. We applaud him for dumping a couple of rich gutys but he didn’t save the poor Wilpons any money and all he got was one prospect in return, one thathasn’t touched anything above A ball yet. So what is there to be excited about???? Will the same lines make you happy after another horrible year? Looking at all the ghosts sitting in Citi Field it seems very few share your happiness over a crappy crappy year.
  3. gary s. September 28, 2011 at 9:08 pm
    I initially thought it was a little weird that Reyes came out if the game after the bunt single.But in retrospect, he led the league in hitting most of the year and he did go 7 for 11 in his last 3 games of the year with 2 home runs the nite before.Ironically, if he wins the title, won’t that cost the Mets more money to sign him?Only the Mets could go 49 years without a player win a batting title and than not be able to bring him back the next year due to free agency.I watched the post game presser with Collins crying over a 77 win teams “achievement” and i have one comment.”THERE IS NO CRYING IN BASEBALL”!!!! Figures the Mets gave this guy an extension the day before.He fits right in with the rest of the losers
  4. wohjr September 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm
    Really left a sour taste in my mouth. I do like first-time commenter acoustic appearing to say how great this season has been. I agree with others, another lost season for the metsies and I would question all the stories appearing in the last week talking about terry “winning over players, fans and management alike” this season. Um, what? How is it that Terry is so great and this team still cannot put down a sac bunt. I am more negative on next year than I was on 2010 at this time of year. How far away is this team… 8-10 years? Never? Pile on the news today that fred and saul’s lawyers have managed to remove them from serious peril– 80 mil or so max liability– and the future looks bleaker than I’ve seen in a while… We are stuck with the Wilpons.
    • Joe Janish September 29, 2011 at 1:21 am
      Glad I’m not the only one displeased with mediocrity. I thought maybe I was nuts for thinking many of those same things, wohjr. If nothing else, at least we’re both crazy … there’s comfort in numbers.
      • Bill September 29, 2011 at 2:55 am
        Joe, I agree with you in not supporting mediocrity, but there is such a thing as reasonable expectations. Our best starting pitcher this year was R.A. Dickey. We played most of the year without our best young hitter (Ike). Beltran and Reyes were both huge, but Reyes missed time with injuries and Beltran only played 60ish percent of the season with the Mets.
        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.
        • Joe Janish September 29, 2011 at 8:57 am
          Bill, maybe I am being unfair by describing the season as a disappointment. If I give you that, can you help me understand what they “overcame”?

          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.

        • Joe September 29, 2011 at 10:11 am
          acoustic567 suggested some things they “overcame” and complaining about the management yet again or about them not laying down bunts (two replies) doesn’t really do it to me in the “you are wrong” department.

          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.

        • Mike B September 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm
          I am so so so so sick of this team blaming injuries. Here is a newsflash, Players in MLB get hurt. Look no firther then across town. They lost their 7th and 8th inning guys, thier #2 picher and their all star 3rd basemen. I think they did pretty well considering. Thats the difference between nova granderson and cano vs pelf wright and bay though!
        • Joe September 29, 2011 at 12:25 pm
          Feliciano (shades of Putz for the Mets? bad risk in both cases) and Soriano (who came back) didn’t get hurt because of a collision in the infield or because they were put in some stupid position they can’t play or once injured was treated badly like certain outfielders. So, not quite the same thing. It was more akin to Santana or Reyes hurting a hammy. Fair game. I can take that sort of thing.
        • Mike B September 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm
          I was actually referring to Joba but you bring up a good point with feliciano. The Yanks moved on so well i forgot about him. I mean yeah it stinks that Ike got hurt, i just dont know what difference it would have been, Ike got hurt let murphy play first which let turner and tejada play second so to me its all the same mediocore BS.
  5. wohjr September 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm
    I will also say that dating a braves fan is rough, but seeing the heartbreak on her face tonight makes it all worth it. 8.5 games baby!
    • Joe Janish September 29, 2011 at 1:22 am
      Oh man you are sinister … and not “getting any” tonight … LOL!
  6. Walnutz15 September 29, 2011 at 7:43 am
    What Reyes did yesterday still doesn’t sit well with me. (Nice to finally have a Batting Crown here, though.)

    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.

    • Joe Janish September 29, 2011 at 9:01 am
      Also in regard to the Reyes exit — I was disappointed with Bobby Ojeda being upset with it at first, then backpedaling after he saw Collins crying. Bobby O usually sticks to his guns; have to wonder if someone from “up above” sent a message down to the studio during the sobfest.
      • Walnutz15 September 29, 2011 at 9:08 am
        Th’hell was he crying about? – “They like me!! They reeeally like me!!!”
  7. gary s. September 29, 2011 at 8:26 am
    Nobody has brought this up, but maybe Reyes should have batted 8th yesterday.Could have followed same scenario and if he got a hit , could have stayed in game for another inning or 2 and than came out for a pinch hitter and fans could have seen him in game for 3-4 innings.What do you guys think?
    • Joe Janish September 29, 2011 at 9:03 am
      Interesting idea … but I guess that was too “out of the box” to consider.
  8. mike B September 29, 2011 at 8:36 am
    IM GM for the day. sign reyes , sign fielder trade ike and two pichers for king felix.. the mets are back!
    • Joe Janish September 29, 2011 at 9:04 am
      Sounds like a good start! Hey the Wilpons will have about $700M they had to keep aside to pay Picard, so they have the money to do it.
      • Mike B September 29, 2011 at 11:27 am
        I just cant take this its ok to be in the middle, either get rid of everyone and truly start over or take the pieces you have and expand. Win 60 or 90 not 77, spend 60 mil or 160 mil not 90-105. This team is not run smart, I dont agree with dumping everyone and rebuilding because i think it is over rated. I would much rather take a 77 win team and add the pieces to make it a 90 win team, Santana plus trading for another top of rotation picher. Keeping reyes and signing another big bopper and spending a lil on the bullpen does that.
  9. Walnutz15 September 29, 2011 at 8:53 am
    Mike – since you’re GM for the day: can you spare $10 for lunch?

    I’ll pay ya back next week.

  10. David Howard's Nutsack September 29, 2011 at 9:43 am
    Cerrone claims he doesn’t like “integrity of the game” arguments. HA!

    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.

  11. Timo September 29, 2011 at 10:58 am
    I’m unhappy with Reyes’ move. That wasn’t a team player move which Collins said all year. We are a team? That was a selfish, greedy move to make more money next year. He kept saying he wanted the Batting title for himself, give the Mets their first BT, and do it for the fans. If Reyes doesn’t sign with the Mets next year. I will remember he won the batting title for the Mets HOWEVER, I will also remember he was selfish and took himself out in his last game as a Mets. That is a “nice” way to thank your fan base who supported you.
    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.

  12. derek September 29, 2011 at 2:51 pm
    my question is… jose reyes mentally tough enough??

    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

  13. derek September 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    and dont forget the wilpons….mentally tough…hahahaha