The Nationals resurgence was lead by the first overall picks Steven Strasburg and Bryce Harper. They were brilliant tonight. Strasburg went 7.1 innings with three earned and 13 Ks. The Mets barely touched him in the first seven innings. Harper went 3-4 with all three Nationals run scored on a double and two homers. It wasn’t enough.
For the third straight night, the Mets rallied late to abuse the Nationals bullpen. For a while, it seemed that Travis d’Arnaud‘s second inning solo homer was all the Mets were going to get. Then in the eighth, Kelly Johnson pinch hit for Wilmer Flores [standing ovation], and hit a pinch hit homer to tie the game at 2-2. After a Curtis Granderson single, Strasburg was lifted.
Matt Williams then brought on Drew Storen, who was completely ineffective in this series. Sure enough, he gave up the go-ahead homerun to Yoenis Cespedes. I know Cespedes isn’t a true MVP candidate, but his play has been nothing short of a miracle for the Mets.
Harper hit his second homer in the eighth, and the Mets tacked on a run in the ninth to make the final score 5-3. It was great to see deGrom get back on track and get the win. He had a good game with 7.0 innings, nine Ks, and only two earned.
It was Mets second straight sweep of the Nationals. With the Mets now up seven in the NL East, it’s over. The Mets will win the division. These past three games were nothing short of amazing. They could’ve/should’ve lost all three, but they showed a resolve that championship teams show. Now they can begin rating their pitchers to gear up for October.
It’s been seven years since we could say that. Only this time, our pitching is healthy.
After last night’s big homerun, I wanted to write a post about Kirk Nieuwenhuis‘ chances of making the postseason roster. I then realized such conversation is premature without first discussing who is definitely going to be on the roster, and what the roster needs will be.
- Travis d’Arnaud
- Kevin Plawecki
- Lucas Duda
- Wilmer Flores
- Daniel Murphy
- Ruben Tejada
- Juan Uribe
- David Wright
- Kelly Johnson
- Yoenis Cespedes
- Michael Cuddyer
- Curtis Granderson
- Juan Lagares
- Michael Conforto
- Matt Harvey
- Jacob deGrom
- Bartolo Colon
- Noah Syndergaard
- Jeurys Familia
- Tyler Clippard
- Addison Reed
- Hansel Robles
While typically an MLB team carries 12 pitchers, that number is usually reduced to 11 relievers. That means there’s three spots open for pitchers like Sean Gilmartin, Dario Alvarez, Carlos Torres (if healthy), Erik Goeddel, Logan Verrett, Jon Niese, and of course Steven Matz. Notice, I did not put Bobby Parnell and Eric O’Flaherty on the list. If all the position players make the list, there’s only room for 11 pitchers anyway.
The Mets have tough decisions to make. They have about a month of tryouts. So far, Gilmartin, Alvarez, and Nieuwenhuis have made their cases. Other players have their opportunities as well. It’s nice having this conversation instead of talking about next year.
Today, the Mets presumably made their last round of call-ups. The players getting called up are Johnny Monell, Logan Verrett, and Dilson Herrera. Monell is just a warm body. Verrett seems to be joining the rotation. What’s Herrera’s role?
Honestly, I have no idea. The second base options right now are Daniel Murphy, Kelly Johnson, Wilmer Flores [standing ovation], and to a lesser extent, Juan Uribe. There’s no room there. Eric Young, Jr. is the speed guy, and frankly he’s got more versatility. In fact, he’s also a 2B option. So again, why is Herrera here?
There are a few plausible options. The first is rewarding his season in the minors where he hit .331/.384/.515. Maybe the Mets are concerned about Murphy’s quad, and they want Herrera to stay active in case he’s needed. Maybe he’s just a pinch hitter in case the Mets have the need in an extra inning game.
My thought is that he’s here because he’s the second baseman of the future. The Mets want to expose him to a pennant race. The aforementioned 2B options? None of them have a contract beyond this year, except Flores, who’s also a SS. If he gets ABs, great. If not, that’s fine as well. The idea is to let him soak it all in from the atmosphere to the advice from the veterans.
After a brief tenure with the Mets last year and earlier this year, it appears the future may finally be now for Herrera.
The Mets lost 2/3 to the Marlins. The Nationals were coming in hot. The Mets were starting their worst pitcher in Jon Niese, and the Nationals were starting their best in Max Scherzer. There was no reason why you would think the Mets would win this game.
Except this – the Mets are resilient, and they’re a better team. Niese was handed a three run lead from Michael Conforto, Kelly Johnson, and Yoenis Cespedes solo homeruns. He then didn’t get a call leading to a walk loading the bases. Sure enough, he gives up the lead on a grand slam to Met killer Wilson Ramos.
He’s pulled and Carlos Torres enters. Sure enough, he pulls up lame and has to leave the game early. The resilient Mets got terrific bullpen work today made all the more remarkable by the fact that Tyler Clippard was unavailable. Erik Goeddel, Dario Alvarez, Hansel Robles, and Jeurys Familia combined to pitch four shutout innings allowing one hit and striking out eight. The highlights were Alvarez becoming the LOOGY we imagined he is by striking out Bryce Harper in the seventh, and Robles quick pitching his way into the Nationals’ heads.
The Mets offense made sure the bullpens work was rewarded. After tying it with runs in the fifth and sixth, the Mets took over in the seventh. After Ruben Tejada negated a Wilmer Flores [standing ovation] lead off double with an awful sac bunt attempt, the Mets were resilient and picked him up. After a Curtis Granderson walk, David Wright hit an RBI single to put the Mets ahead for good. He would later score on a Cespedes RBI double. The image so far for the season is Wright pumping his fist as he beat out Harper’s throw to score the eighth run of the game.
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 7, 2015
By the way, Cespedes had himself a day at the plate. He went 3-5 with two runs scored, two RBIs, two doubles and a homer. Terry Collins also had himself a day. Before the game, he declared this is a playoff series, and he was going to manage accordingly. If this is what we can expect in October, I take back every negative thing I’ve said about his managing abilities.
This was just a terrific win. It’s the type of game that can sink the Nationals and propel the Mets even further. This’s Mets team is resilient, and they’re taking control of the division again. They’re putting the Nationals in the rear-view mirror, and they’re not looking back.