When the trade was made in 2006, Baerga switched to number 8 for the 1997 and 1998 seasons. We all know by now it was an awful trade. Baerga provided the Mets with a triple slash line of .267/.302/.373 with 18 homers and 116 RBIs.
The man he replaced, Jeff Kent, turned out to be a career .290/.356/.500 hitter with 377 homeruns and 1,518 RBIs. He was the 2000 NL MVP. He is the all time leader for second baseman in homeruns (351), RBIs (1,389), slugging percentage (.509), and doubles (560). I remember my Dad was angry when the trade first took place, and he would become more irritated each and every passing year.
Now, record wise, 1997 and 1998 were pretty good. However, 1998 was heartbreaking. For all the fans looking for a repeat of 2007 and 2008 after a couple of losses to the Marlins, they forgot about the original collapse.
The Mets had a one game lead over the Cubs and four games over the Giants with five games remaining (seven for the Giants). The Mets lost all five of their remaining games. They were home as the Cubs and Giants had a play-in game for the Wild Card featuring future Met Steve Trachsel, and former Met, Jeff Kent.
In those final five games for the Mets, Baerga went 2-13 (.154) with no walks, one RBI, no extra base hits, and one game on the bench. He wasn’t the only one responsible for that collapse, *cough* Mel Rojas *cough*. However, the Mets were stuck with Baerga while Kent was in the play-in game. It just shows you how changing one player for another can have a profound impact on your season. With this year’s flurry of trades, it’s something Mets fans know well.
So let’s tip our cap to Magic Number 8, Carlos Baerga, who shows us, in part, our fears of collapse are behind us.
It didn’t start great for Matz. He was amped up in the first inning, and he wasn’t locating. He worked around a leadoff walk and single to Carlos Beltran (seriously why was he booed), and only allowed one run on a sac fly. He got through six innings with the scored tied at 1-1. His final line was six innings, seven hits, one walk, four strikeouts, and one earned.
The score was tied at 1-1 when he left because Duda hit a homerun in the second. He looked back on track tonight going 2-4 with a run, an RBI, a double, and a homerun. Matz would get the win because Daniel Murphy would hit a go-ahead homerun in the bottom of the sixth. Murphy had a great night going 2-4 with a homerun and a triple (slight misplay by Jacoby Elssbury).
Overall, four of the Mets five runs came via homerun. The last homerun was a two run pinch hit homerun by Juan Uribe in the seventh. You could say his ball went,”Bye, Bye, Bye.”
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 19, 2015
The fifth run would save scored in the eighth on a wild pitch. The run was scored by Eric Young, Jr., who pinch ran for Murphy after his triple in the eighth. EY now has no hits and seven runs scored for the Mets.
The bullpen kept the lead even with Tyler Clippard out with back problems. Hansel Robles pitched a scoreless seventh, which included getting a lefty out. Addison Reed was terrific in the eighth showing he’s ready for the playoffs. Even without the save opportunity in a 5-1 game, Jeurys Familia came on in the ninth.
It was an adventure. He loaded the bases with one out. That included an infield basehit off of his knee. He got Brett Gardner to fly out to left, and the runner did not try to run on Yoenis Cespedes‘ arm. He was in left because Juan Lagares came in for defense. Familia then struck out Chase Headley to preserve the 5-1 win.
They’re getting ready for the playoffs.
Tonight, Carlos Beltran returns to Citi Field. This time he’s wearing a Yankees uniform. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s an All Time great Met.
If you look at WAR, Beltran is the sixth best Mets to ever put on the uniform. He was better than Edgardo Alfonzo, Jose Reyes, Keith Hernandez, and Mike Piazza. In his seven years with the Mets, he went to five All Star Games and won three Gold Gloves. He should have won the 2006 NL MVP Award. He was the best CF the Mets ever had in their history.
More than that he was a gamer. After that violent August 11, 2005 collision with Mike Cameron, he suffered facial fractures and was hospitalized. He only missed four games. In the last game at Shea, with the season on the line, he hit a game tying homerun to keep their hopes alive. He was also terrific in the 2006 postseason with a .422 OBP and 3 homeruns.
That’s where it all gets mixed up. The strikeout. I can’t defend it. He didn’t even try to foul if off. What I can defend is the work that came before and after it. I was happy when he got a loud ovation at the 2013 All Star Game. It was all the more impressive because he was wearing a Cardinals uniform. He comes back again tonight wearing a Yankee uniform.
It’s not cause to boo. He didn’t leave the Mets for them. He was traded away, and the Mets never showed interest in bringing him back. So when he comes up to bat the first time, give him some applause to thank him for his time with the Mets.
For the Mets? Nothing quite yet. The NL East is pretty much a lock. They’re giving Steven Matz a chance to show he’s ready for the playoffs. Mostly though, the Mets are just trying to stay healthy and get homefield advantage in the NLDS.
Currently, the Mets are two games behind the Dodgers for homefield advantage in the NLDS. Both teams have a tough home series this weekend. The Mets have the Yankees, and the Dodgers have the Pirates. The goal of this weekend is to not lose ground. After this the Mets can beef up on the Braves, Reds, and Phillies to make up this two games. Remember, the Mets need only tie because they won the season series against the Dodgers.
You know what’s not at stake this weekend? New York. The Mets could sweep the Yankees by a combined score of 30-3, and it wouldn’t give them New York. Although, it would excite the fan base. What gives the Mets New York is sustained dominance. Some wins now are good, but a World Series is better.
However, the goal for now is homefield advantage in the NLDS. Once that’s accomplished, the other goals will come into focus.
This is a huge start for Steven Matz. As a local kid from Long Island, it’s his opportunity to stand up and proclaim, this is the Mets town. It’s time for a man named Steven to stand up and declare:
In all seriousness, Matz has something more important to stake his claim – a postseason roster spot. Right now the postseason rotation is still in flux. It seems the only one assured of a spot is Jacob deGrom.
Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard both have innings limit issues. Jon Niese has been utterly ineffective. Bartolo Colon has beaten up on the NL East and sub-.500 teams. Logan Verrett is nothing more than a spot starter. There’s an opening for Matz, and frankly a left handed starter, with the Dodgers coming up in the NLDS.
The Dodgers feature a number of big left handed bats with Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Andre Ethier, and Chase Utley, who you know is chomping at the bit to beat the Mets again. It would be great if the Mets could throw a lefty starter out there to neutralize those bats. It’s all the more important without a lefty in the bullpen. Niese has shown it shouldn’t be him.
This will be the last Mets opponent over .500 until the last series of the season. The Yankees are in a dog fight in the AL East and Wild Card. They need the series a lot more than the Mets do. Most likely, he will face Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, and Greg Bird. It’s a good primer.
Matz needs to step up. He needs to go out there tonight and pitch like the ace the Mets fans think he is. I want to see his grandfather celebrating all game long. If we see it, it means Matz is pitching well. It means he’s securing a postseason start. It means the Mets will have a better chance of winning the NLDS.
It may lead further towards the Mets taking back New York. It may see mad, but it may become Steven’s Island.
After the Marlins beat the Nationals last night, the Mets magic number is finally in single digits. At a minimum, I thought it was nice to be off of 10. However, I saw the choices for 9, and I quickly realized it was going to be difficult to find a player that fits within my parameters.
Many of the players either played well or were on good teams. Many of the players played before I was born. However, I knew there was a player out there. I trusted that I could find someone who wasn’t that good and played on a bad Mets team. I then found my man Craig Brazell:
If you don’t remember him, it’s probably because he only played 24 games with the 2004 Mets, who went 71-91. In these 24 games, he would hit .265/.286/.412. He wouldn’t play in the majors for another three years when he would play five games for the Royals.
It’s a shame because he was an actual major league prospect. He was a Top 10 organizational player seen to have good power and a good glove at firstbase. Unfortunately for him, he was blocked by the Mike Piazza firstbase experiment. The next season, he was blocked by Doug Mientkiewicz (because Carlos Delgado wouldn’t sign with the Mets). After 2005, he was granted free agency, and he left Mets organization.
In some ways, Brazell reminds me of Ike Davis in that they were both good fielding first base prospects with power (Davis was a much better prospect). Unfortunately, neither panned out even if Davis had some early success. However, unlike with Brazell, the Mets had a viable option in their system with Lucas Duda.
That’s what this season has taught us. You need organizational depth. You need it not just to get the players you need at the trade deadline, but also to fill-in spots for your team when there is injury or ineffectiveness. It’s unfortunate when the prospects work out. It’s devastating when there’s no viable alternatives at the ready.
So with that, let’s offer a hat tip to our magic man number nine, Craig Brazell.
Tonight is being touted as a Subway Seeies that finally has meaning behind it. There was a time before the novelty wore off that these games alone were important.
In any event, the Yankees got the host the first ever Subway Series at Yankee Stadium. Under the old rules, the teams would alternate who was home. That meant the first game was played at Shea in 1998. Today’s quiz asks you to name the players who appeared for the Mets in that first home game. Good luck!
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When divisional realignment took place in 1994, the NL East was haphazardly set up. Sure, it made sense geographically, but the division was set up with no natural rivalries.
Despite being around since 1962, a Mets rivalry never developed with the Phillies or Expos. The Mets and Braves were always in separate divisions, and it’s not like there was any bad blood lingering from the 1969 NLCS. The Marlins were too new and too terrible to really create a rivalry with anyone.
The Braves ruled the division early, and there was a brewing rivalry with the Mets. I’m still smarting from 1999. The rivalry is there, but it’s really fizzled after the Braves run. From 2006-2008, the rivalry was with the Phillies. With the Mets downward spiral since moving to Citi Field, that rivalry has dissipated a bit.
Sure, the bad blood is there, but I’m not quite sure either is a true rivalry. However, what I am sure of is the fact that there is a lot of bad blood in the NL East and it’s directed at the Mets.
In 2007 and 2008, the Marlins gave their all against the Mets. They beat the Mets two out of three in the Mets final home series with a Mets playoff berth on the line. I’ve heard blame Jose Reyes and his boisterous play (someday showboating). However, how do you explain this year?
I don’t think I’m imagining things when I say the Phillies, Braves, and Marlins have played hard against the Mets recently. This isn’t a complaint. They should play hard everyday, and especially so against their divisional rivals. However, I don’t think they bring the same energy against the Nationals.
Since August, here’s how those teams have played against the Mets and Nationals:
- Mets go 4-0 with a composite score of 28-14
- Nationals go 4-0 with a composite score of 36-9
- Mets go 5-3 with a composite score of 50-40
- Nationals go 3-3 with a composite score of 21-13
- Mets go 5-1 with a composite score of 56-49
- Nationals go 3-0 with a composite score of 24-9
The scores between the Mets and their NL East opponents are closer than the scores between the Nationals and the same opponents. Also, it looks like the Marlins like being a thorn in everyone’s side. Imagine if they put that same energy in a 162 game schedule?
Hopefully, the Marlins keep it up. They just beat the Mets two out of three spreading panic throughout Mets fans. They now have a four game set with the Nationals. Here’s hoping the Marlins put forth the same effort.
If they don’t, it just shows the NL East truly hates the Mets.
I’m not a member of The 7 Line Army. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that as it got off the ground, I wasn’t in position to join the fun. I have a son, and I needed to have seats in certain areas that are covered as Irish skin does not do well in the sun.
In any event, I have been to games the 7 Line Army also attended. They looked like a fun bunch. I assumed that if you sat with them, you were a diehard fan. Keep in mind, the games aren’t just at Citi Field. They travel to different ballparks. If you travel with them, I would naturally assume you’re a diehard.
Today, I was proven wrong. Darren Meenan, owner of The 7 Line, gave us Mets fans a chance to go to an NLDS game with a group of diehard fans. As someone who’s purchased stuff in the past, I had an opportunity to purchase tickets. I decided not for a two reasons: 1) I’m putting all my money in the World Series basket; 2) there’s no telling the time of the game and if I can get out of the day job in time.
I’ll be upfront and honest. I did have a passing thought to purchase the tickets and sell them on Stub Hub, but I decided against it. The main reason I didn’t was the 2000 World Series. I couldn’t get tickets. When I watched the games on TV, I noticed there were more Yankee fans at all five games. That was the result of MLB restricting access to the seats and the prices on the secondary market.
I was annoyed that a diehard fan like myself couldn’t be there. I figured this was going to be different. With how it was set up, I assumed this was a limited chance for diehard fans. I was wrong. It appears people spoiled the fun:
Just saw two of the 7line tickets on Stubhub for $350 a piece, A PIECE.
— Michael Mayer (@themainemets) September 17, 2015
I’m assuming a diehard fan (or bandwagon fan) will scoop up the tickets. I’m sure they’ll cheer just as hard. I just wish the diehard fan got an opportunity to purchase that ticket at face value rather than at a huge markup.
Overall, I’m just shocked a supposed Mets fan doesn’t want to go to a playoff game.
NOTE: This site is not affiliated in any way with the7line.com. In fact, I’m not even sure if the7line.com even knows this website exists. I wrote this due to my displeasure and not at the direction of anyone or in the attempt to curry favor with anyone.