Like a wounded prizefighter hoping to get one last chance at the title, the Mets fought their way through a difficult 2009 season. They kept getting pushed aside, beaten down and left for dead. The season might have ended much earlier than Mets fans expected (like July), but at least the Mets gave the hearty fans in attendance for this final series at Citi Field something to smile about.
Nelson Figueroa’s best pitching performance in a Mets uniform and Angel Pagan’s perfect day at the plate helped the Mets finish the season on an up note. Today’s 4-0 victory completed a sweep of the equally disappointing Houston Astros and helped the Mets avoid their first under 70-win season since 2003, although it might have been somewhat appropriate had the Mets finished the season with 69 wins as one final (unwanted) tribute to the ’69 Mets.
On a beautiful day at Citi Field, Nelson Figueroa took the hill and was masterful from start to finish. In pitching his first career complete-game shutout, Figgy allowed only four hits and did not walk a batter. He also struck out seven Astros while throwing 113 pitches.
Angel Pagan was equally impressive, going 4-for-4 with a single, two doubles and a triple. The four-hit game boosted his average to .306. He also showed his tender side when he politely brought the ball to Astros’ catcher Humberto Quintero as he slid across home plate with one of the two runs he scored on the day. (see photo below for Pagan’s peace offering to Quintero)
Not to be forgotten was the three hit day by catcher Josh Thole. His two singles and one double raised his average to .321 after his September call-up. He showed that he could hit the ball to all fields and made good contact, as shown by his low strikeout total (only five strikeouts in 53 at-bats).
With the victory, the Mets finished the season with a 70-92 record. Truth be told, even without all the injuries, this team was probably not going to compete with the Phillies for the division title. However, if they could just bottle up the good pitching and hitting from this weekend series against the Astros, perhaps 2010 can serve up a few more happy recaps.
Tomorrow’s game will start 182 days from now when the 2010 season opens up at Citi Field on April 5. Thanks to all the readers for making this season tolerable with all your comments and support. I leave you with a short poem. Happy recaps to all and to all a good night!
Two years ago in the season finale
The Mets fell short with nary a rally
When we Shea’d goodbye in 2008
The Marlins returned to seal the Mets’ fate
It’s been a year since Shea was razed to the ground
But with playoff hopes gone, no choke could be found
At least this year’s finale produced not a weep
As Angel and Nelson came through for the sweep!