There have been a few times in the Mets history where they have surprised or even shocked the World in making their run to the postseason. The biggest example is 1969, which occurred 50 years ago. The Mets would make their Miracle run in 1973, and they would emerge in 1999, 2006, and 2015.
When you look at those rosters, there are players who are comparable to the players on this year’s Mets roster. Here’s a look at how it breaks down:
Wilson Ramos (Paul Lo Duca) – Ramos may not have been the catcher the Mets may have originally expected to bring in during the offseason, but like Lo Duca, he could be the perfect fit for this team and surprisingly be a very important piece to this club.
Juan Lagares (Endy Chavez) – Chavez was the defensive oriented player who was pressed into more action than anticipated, and his play on the field was a big reason the 2006 Mets came withing a game of the World Series.
Corey Oswalt (Logan Verrett) – The Mets need a low round drafted prospect to put together a string of great starts to help put this team over the top. With his increased velocity, this could be Oswalt.
And finally, there is Mickey Callaway, who we are hoping will be able to accomplish what Willie Randolph accomplished by proving himself a good manager in his second year and by leading the Mets to being the best team in the National League.
Terry Collins and the Mets continue to push the envelope. With each and every game, they continue to make decisions which continue to de-emphasize player development.
In tonight’s example, Jose Reyes hit leadoff over Brandon Nimmo. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Collins double switched Amed Rosario out of the game in the sixth. As part of that move, Collins put Reyes at shortstop.
When you manage like this, you deserve to have Reyes thrown out trying to steal a base down four in the seventh inning.
Seriously, if Collins is going to make sure he plays Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera, he better make sure they play good fundamental baseball. If you’re having your young players learn by watching, have them learn by watching what to do.
Speaking of what to do and not to do, knowing Collins the way we do, he’ll take issue with Chris Flexen.
Sure, there were many issues with Flexen’s start. How could there not when you don’t make it out of the fifth. His final line was 4.2 innings, seven hits, seven runs, four walks, and four strikeouts.
Those four walks hurt him too. He issued two of them in the first inning to help load the bases. After a Eugenio Suarez single and a Scott Schebler grand slam, the Mets fell behind the Reds 5-1 in the first.
Flexen again walked two batters in the fifth. Not even Adam Duvall hitting into a double play would bail him out. Scooter Gennett would hit an RBI infield single off Flexen’s leg. After Flexen walked Suarez, Collins brought in Josh Smoker.
Smoker allowed a Schebler RBI single. Nimmo had a shot at Gennett at the plate, but Travis d’Arnaud could not corral the short hop. Once Smoker got out of the inning, it was 7-1 Reds with all runs charged to Flexen.
However, that won’t be what irritates Collins. It will be that Flexen showed up Reyes.
Reyes was out there playing his first career game in left field. With the injuries and the possibility Reyes could return next year in a utility role, Reyes playing left isn’t a ridiculous idea. It’s just ridiculous he would lead-off.
Reyes took a ridiculous route to a second inning Billy Hamilton fly ball. He broke in and the ball went well over his head. A clearly frustrated and dejected Flexen threw up his hand in disappointment.
Yes, Flexen shouldn’t show up his fielders. That goes double when you’re walking the ballpark and giving up a grand slam. Still, this is the same Reyes who never had an issue doing this himself. Again, if you’re holding out players as an example, this is the stuff that happens.
But this is Terry we’re talking about, and we know his veterans are Teflon. That goes double for Reyes.
The Mets would attempt to make a game of it with the help of the surprisingly not double switched out of the game Dominic Smith.
After a Cabrera walk and a d’Arnaud double, Smith hit a two out RBI single in the sixth to pull the Mets to within 7-3.
Smith came up again in the eighth, and he collected his first career hit off a left-handed pitcher. It set up runners on the corners with two outs. Unfortunately, Travis Taijeron would strike out to end the inning. So far in Taijeron’s career, he’s 0-9.
The Mets would get no closer than 7-3. In fact, things would get much worse.
While Chasen Bradford has been really good this year with a 2.38 ERA in 17 appearances, he had nothing tonight. He recorded no outs while allowing seven runs (five earned) on six hits and one walk.
The unearned runs were due to two Wilmer Flores errors in the inning.
With Collins having done all he could do to burn out a larger than usual bullpen during Sunday’s double header, Collins finally did the right thing by going to a position player to pitch.
Plawecki came in with the bases loaded and no outs. Phil Ervin hit into a double play. After a Hamilton double, and a Flores error allowing Cozart to reach, two of the three inherited runners had scored. Credit should be given to Hamilton who could’ve scored on the error but chose not to run up the score.
In a shock to everyone, Plawecki got Joey Votto to ground out giving Plawecki a story to tell his grand kids. It’s certainly a better story than the contents of his locker.
In the end, the Mets lost 14- 4 with that all too brief ninth inning rally ending on a Flores GIDP. Right now, it’s not about wins and losses. It’s really about developing players by playing them and having them learn from their mistakes.
Collins favorite young player Jose Reyes certainly has a lot to think about tonight. Hopefully, he learns from this, and he gets better. Certainly, the team needs him over the next decade.
Game Notes: Plawecki became the second Mets position player to pitch twice in a season. The first was Matt Franco in 2000. Hat tip Greg Prince:
Matt Franco preceded him in this honor.
— Greg Prince (@greg_prince) August 30, 2017
The win snapped a Mets 14 game winning steak against the Reds.