Sunday, September 21, 2014

Knockout Punch

So, the Mets may have been eliminated from playoff contention for the 8th straight season on Friday night, but over the weekend, they made sure that the Barves would be joining them on the golf course beginning on September 29th. With a pair of weekend victories over the weekend, the Mets swept a series in Atlanta for the first time since 2007, won the season series from Atlanta for the first time since 2006 (or at least it feels that way) and capped off a September in which the Barves, who spent much of the season being fawned over by a lot of talking heads, basically spent 3 weeks sleeping through games and earned themselves a restful October. In fact, if they keep playing at this pace, the Mets could conceivably catch and pass them for 2nd place in the NL East, which isn't exactly where you want to be at the end of the season, but for a team like the Mets that have been chasing 4th place for years now, 2nd place certainly seems like a step in the right direction.

The Mets stifled the Braves with pitching, mostly, although they did score 10 runs on Sunday. Saturday, Jon Niese did the job, pitching shutout ball into the 8th inning before tiring, and Josh Edgin allowed a couple of runs to score on his ledger. But by that point, the Mets had taken a 4-0 lead, thanks mainly to Home Runs from Dilson Herrera and Curtis Granderson. Herrera then later departed the game with a calf injury, which is likely going to finish him for the season, but after a month in the Majors in which the 20 year old certainly proved he can play. But I digress. The Braves trimmed the Mets lead to 4-2, but got no closer; Carlos Torres came in and rescued Edgin, and Jenrry Mejia finished out the Braves in the 9th inning to pick up his 27th Save of the season. That number jumped out at me. Mejia has 27 Saves!? When did that happen? That's a pretty solid number from a guy who wasn't even closing at the beginning of the season, on a team that's likely going to finish out with a losing record. Sure, he's had his hiccups, like any closer will, but let's give him credit. He didn't want to close and he probably could have loafed and pouted, but he's embraced the role and along with Jeurys Familia has become a solid tandem to finish out games.

Sunday, let's just cut to the chase and say Jacob deGrom, Jacob deGrom, Jacob deGrom. deGrom deGrom deGrom, and although he didn't deGrom the first 8 batters like he did last deGrom, he did deGrom 8 of the first 11 deGrom en route to another deGrom. It remains to be seen whether deGrom will be sent to the deGrom for the remainder of the season or if he will make his final deGrom of the deGrom next weekend against Houston. I would think, for sentimentality's sake, that Collins would allow him to make his deGrom, but then again, deGrom has had a fine deGrom and let's let him take that, stick it in his deGrom and have a good deGrom. If this is it for deGrom, 6 innings, 2 runs and 10 strikeouts is a fine way to finish out his deGrom. On the opposite side, where deGrom wasn't involved, the Mets jumped on Ervin Santana early and often, running out to a 5-0 lead and tacking on more runs in the 6th, 8th and 9th en route to a 10-2 wipeout. Ruben Tejada hit a Home Run, Anthony Recker in his trademark Sunday Start had 3 hits and drove in 3 runs, and other guys like Kirk Nieuwenhuis contributed to putting the final nail in the Barves coffin and support deGrom on the way to his 9th victory of the season.

The season has now dwindled down to a final 6 games, 3 of which happen to be against Washington. We know how well the Mets have done against them. At 76-80, the Mets have surpassed their mediocre 74-win total of the last two seasons, although a finish of over .500 is probably too tall a task at this point. But perhaps they can get close.

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