This week in Mets baseball was the last week of Mets baseball, and if you were on the “lose for the protected pick” train, you got your wish. The Mets made the last week of the 2013 season a pretty fun one, taking 2/3 from the Reds and spoiling all of their hopes for a division title. Then, to secure that draft pick!, they lost 3/4 to the Brewers, with their only win coming on none other than Mike Piazza Day. As the 2013 season came to a close, it began to hit us hard that this team as we know it is about to drastically change… for the better. But that will not stop us from honoring the lucky three that deserve to be honored: MMO’s last but not least Players of the Week for 2013.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: ERIC YOUNG JR
It was almost a dead tie between Daniel Murphy and Eric Young, until the last game of the season rolled around. As I sat in my seat, looking around, taking in as much as I possibly could, something flashed before my eyes. No, it wasn’t a memory; it was Eric Young Jr, stealing second AND third. I watched in awe as Wright looped a ball to shallow right and EYJ tagged. I stood up as he somehow, miraculously, slid under the tag of Lucroy to score the game’s first run. Who knew that 8 innings later, he would hit a dribbler by the mound to score the eventual winning run. This week, Eric collected eight hits and drove in three in a final attempt to prove to this club why he belongs. We know that EY is not the most intimidating person at the plate, but what earns him this OPOTW title is his baserunning. He swiped six bags to not only help the Mets win a couple games, but to win himself the NL stolen base crown. The Mets have expressed great interest in bringing back EY next year as a fourth outfielder/bench player, which is totally the right move. This guy plays with heart, humility and passion; in other words, he plays the game how everybody else should. He can be a spark plug off the bench, which, if you’re looking to use somebody off the bench, is exactly what you need. He is willing to play, so let’s give him his chance.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JUAN LAGARES
There isn’t much more to say than, “Jeez, is he paying her to choose him?” As said many times before, Juan Lagares has done more than enough to prove himself worthy of a roster spot in 2014. This week, he added three more outfield assists to bring his total to 14; a Mets rookie record. To make this even more spectacular, all three of the assists came from throwing runners out at home. He even had a little bit of fun by tweeting out this picture:
— juan lagares (@juanlagares2) September 25, 2013
We already know what to expect from Lagares defensively: spectacular plays, incredible range, and a cannon arm. It is hard to find any places where he needs improvement, but of course there is some with a rookie. His arm is still a little wild, and he has made the occasional error by trying to throw guys out at third when it was too risky to try. These are all things that are easy to fix; and with Lagares’ work ethic and tendency to have defense come to him naturally, it should not take long for him to learn. And that is a huge positive.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK: DAISUKE MATSUZAKA
I cannot believe that it has come down to this… In an unexpected rubber match, Daisuke Matsuzaka out dueled Mat Latos of the Reds to distinguish all hopes of a Reds division title. He tossed 7 2/3 scoreless, yielding only four hits and striking out six en route to his third (and final) victory as a Met. His breaking pitches were placed well and his offspeed stuff fooled the Reds hitters badly. When he was in a jam, he was able to pitch to induce the double play or the out he needed. It was the unanticipated gem of the week; not only was it funny to watch Dice-K dominate a postseason contender, but it was one of the many hilarious ways the Mets trolled us before the season ended. I mean, come on, who DIDN’T see it coming?
HONORABLE MENTION: FRANK FRANCISCO
Just for fun: Frank Francisco ended the 2013 Mets season in a fashion that only Frank Francisco could do… by retiring the Reds down in order. Wait, what? Yeah, you read that right: he sent the Reds down 1-2-3 and even made it fun by striking out the last two batters. It was probably one of the the trolliest things that happened all of 2013, considering that nobody even expected Frank Franc to come back in a Mets uniform for the rest of the year. I know for a fact that I went ballistic when Frank Franc finished off the final batter of 2013 on a called strike three. It will definitely be one of the things I look back on in five years with my buddies and go “Man, can you believe that?” Well, ya gotta believe!