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Robinson Cano Channels His Inner Kirk Nieuwenhuis

When the Mets season was on the line, and they still had a legitimate chance to make a run to get back into contention, Robinson Cano was 3-for-15 in the series against the Giants with no RBI, and he was 3 for his last 21. In the Mets 100th game of the season, when the team is nine games under .500 and basically forced to sell at the deadline, Cano finally showed up:

Cano joined Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Lucas Duda as the only Mets to hit three homers in a home game. That may the best way to summarize this season. It took Cano 100 games to equal Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Cano hitting these homers overshadowed what was supposed to be Round 2 between Pete Alonso and Chris Paddack. In the first matchup, Paddack threw his three fastest pitches of the year to Alonso striking him out two times. This matchup was a relative dud with Alonso going 0-1 with a walk off Paddack.

With Jason Vargas pitching well with six shut out one hit innings, the Mets were up 5-0 after seven and should’ve ended the game without drama.

Robert Gsellman has to rescue Tyler Bashlor from a seventh inning jam, and he’d allow a run in the eighth. In the ninth, Justin Wilson would walk the only two batters he faced pressing Edwin Diaz into the game for a save opportunity.

Diaz would make things interesting allowing an RBI double to Fernando Tatis, Jr. making it 5-2. Diaz wouldn’t let it get past that point shutting the door and earning his 22nd save of the year.

On the day, Cano provided the margin, and Diaz shut the door. One hundred games later we finally see how Brodie Van Wagenen drew things up.

Game Notes: Cano surpassed Damion Easley to become the oldest second baseman with a three home run game. It’s Cano’s first three home run game in his career.

7 thoughts on “Robinson Cano Channels His Inner Kirk Nieuwenhuis”

  1. David Klein says:

    Anyway it was veteran player who was once left for dead night by many people including myself. Vargas ate up a young very aggressive team who wants to hunt fastballs and he threw them changeup after changeup after change up and if pitchfx is correct he threw fifty pitches classified as changeup sand that’s bonkers and that’s good game planning. Vargas really had one jam and did a nice job getting out of it and really good plannd by pitching around Machado and going after Reyes, Tatis and Renfroe with changeup. Vargas has seen a career revival by throwing his change up than he has the previous few years and it’s worked out wonderfully for him the last few months.

    What can you say about Cano’s night? He clobbered all three pitches and really none were wallscrappers helped by the Manfredball. Cano had a monster series in Miami but went back to being meh in the next two series but tonight he looked like the player we saw before he put on a Mets uniform. He hit three different pitches and the last time most impressively turned on a fastball vs a lefty and we know how bad he’s been vs lefties this year. Cano obviously won’t hit three homers nightly but if he can turn on balls like that there’s some hope there and maybe he has a big second half to show he’s still got something in the tank and hopefully can be productive going into 2020 and beyond.

    Real nice three walk day by Alonso who didn’t chase anything and seems comfortable at the plate I think he’s really to go off soon. Jeff McNeil has a nice bounce back day at the plate from a Sunday the only thing he doesn’t do well is run the bases well as he runs into a lot of outs though I didn’t have an issue trying for the hustle double today. That said, he’s been rated as the teams second worst base runner and you’d like to see him reigned in there a little. Glad he was not hurt on the hbp.

    All in a fun game and great to see Paddack get got a little bit tonight.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Happy to see the win, but these performances are too little too late.

  2. David Klein says:

    The Mets season has been over for a long time bro the Giants series changed little.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Mets win that series they’d be in the thick of things with an incredibly favorable schedule.

    2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      @David Klein Agreed. This is not a team that was going anywhere. I ran the numbers a while back (a week to 10 days ago), before the SF debacle, and just to get to 85 wins they would have had to play .630 ball–and even if they did, 9 of the 10 teams ahead of them were NOT going to lay down and win fewer than 85 and let them squeak by. And to get to 88 wins the Mets would have had to play at a pace no team in the majors had played to that point, and there’s nothing in this team to suggest they can play better than the Dodgers or Yankees or Houston for 2/5ths to 1/2 a season.

      —It’s a bad joke that Cano got his SLG back over .400 and his OBP back over .300 for the first time since mid-May.

      One more data point showing the Mets ineptitude: He’s among the oldest regulars in MLB yet the Mets played Cano in 26 of 27 games to start the year despite having a stellar substitute at 2B in McNeil. He took a couple of days off thanks to injury, then they played Cano in 18 straight and onto the IL. They squeezed him into a game on June 5 for some reason, then put him back onto the IL until June 16, whereupon despite his performance collapsing, they played him in 29 of 30 games. Dumbest team in baseball. Even with today’s lucky game he’s still replacement level on the year.

      If you try to get old players into 155 to 160 games in a season, the chance you’ll ever get good performances from them is pretty much zero–but that’s the Mets modus operandi. They like older players more than nearly every other team, then handle them in such a way that optimizes their chance of failure. It’s bizarre. It’s like watching a pathology play out.

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