The Mets (72-85) beat the Reds (90-68) by a score of 4-2 on Tuesday night at Great American Ballpark.
Jon Niese took the ball for the Mets and was terrific in what may have been his final outing of the year. Niese gave up 8 hits in 7 innings, but only allowed 2 runs and struck out 6 (issuing one free pass to Brandon Phillips).
Niese would give up 2 runs (both of them coming on RBI groundouts), but the Reds never managed to put together a serious rally and tie the game. Vic Black shut the door in the 9th to earn his first career save, evening the series at 1 apiece.
Tonight was frustrating. Why? Because the Mets won. At this point, wins do nothing to help us… we have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Each win hurts us at this point… the Mets need a protected draft pick, badly. It is important to get rid of any possible excuse for not signing a big free agent this winter.
Yes, ownership & management have told the fans that moves will be made this winter, but those words mean nothing. My biggest knock on the Wilpons (aside from their tight budgets) has always been their atrocious level of communication with the fanbase. The owners seldom speak to the fans and when they do, their words are usually empty promises that are never fulfilled. I do not think that I am alone in saying that finishing with the 11th worst record is much worse than finishing with the 9th worst record if it means that the Mets will once again sit on their hands while the teams
around above them improve. Hopefully, the Mets will have a protected draft pick. And if they do not, hopefully they will sign a big free agent or two anyway… Draft picks are not as valuable as proven stars… especially if we waste our draft picks by drafting guys like Brandon Nimmo over José Fernandez…
But hey, the Mets won, so let’s look on the bright side. First of all, Niese was once again fantastic. He has been pitching at such a high level since coming back from the DL; he is yet another reason for Mets fans to feel very good about the rotation going forward… if everybody (or almost everybody) can stay healthy. The best part? Niese is locked in for the foreseeable future thanks to a team-friendly contract extension.
Daniel Murphy has been raking lately. Unless we sign Robinson Cano (spoiler alert: we won’t. He costs money. Our team won’t spend money. Connect the dots), Murphy has to be back next season (and going forward). If things break right for Murph, he could potentially hit .290-.310, with 15-20 homers and 15-20 steals while playing decent defense… not too shabby for somebody playing one of the shallowest positions in the league.
Travis d’Arnaud went hitless today, but he did drive one ball that would have easily gone for extra bases had Shin-Soo Choo not made a nice play to flag it down.
Wilfredo Tovar is racking up the RBIs in a Wilmer Flores-esque manner. Speaking of Wilmer… what the heck happened to him? Is he still a prospect? Is he still on the team? Is he still alive? He has seemingly disappeared off of the face of the earth, which is odd because— even if his ankle is a bit shaky— the Mets should at least be getting him some pinch-hit at-bats in an effort to develop him (and to raise his trade value). But back to Tovar… I am impressed. The bat is seemingly good, and the fielding is definitely very solid. Begone, Quintanilla…
I love seeing Vic Black close out games. LaTroy Hawkins is 40 years old, and Vic Black is a prospect. Why not let the younger player pitch in the bigger role, and find out what he’s got?
David Wright had 2 more hits tonight. Having him in the lineup changes everything… and having another star behind him would change even more…
One more observation: Gary Cohen really brought his A-game tonight. The guys in the booth have been pretty energetic lately… did somebody talk to them and tell them to avoid falling into the end-of-season monotone that befalls most of the play-by-play guys for miserable teams? In a game that it actually would have benefited us to lose, you could almost here Gary jumping up and down in the booth all night long. I like it.
The Mets will attempt to take the rubber game of their series with the Reds tomorrow. Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-3, 5.52 ERA) will take on Greg Reynolds (1-2, 5.55 ERA). Gametime is at 12:35 PM, for some reason…