Wednesday, September 7, 2016

That Man Again

In the 9th inning, after he'd once again put the team on his back and essentially carried them home to another victory, I mused to a friend of mine as to why Yoenis Cespedes wasn't being given serious consideration for National League MVP. I was reminded that Kris Bryant is having an otherworldly season on The Hot Team To End All Hot Teams, that Corey Seager is lighting the world on fire as a Rookie, and other guys on other teams were also having really good seasons, but let's think about this for a second. Yes, I know that MVP has kind of become devalued over time as voting has trended towards chic players on winning teams. But Bryant has help. Seager has help. The other guy has another guy.

Who, exactly, has Yoenis Cespedes had around him as Bona Fide protection in the lineup? Has any one player, realistically, been more valuable to his team than Cespedes has been for the Mets? I know he's been injured and streaky but most power hitters are. Last night was essentially just another feather in the cap of his 2016 season, which already includes Home Runs that a) Spurred a 4-game sweep against Bryant's Cubs, b) Kicked ESPN in the nuts, c) tied a key April game against the Reds as a pinch hitter and, of course, d) Dropped the mic on the Marlins and sent them into a tailspin.

And to that we can add e) on Tuesday night. After the Mets took an early lead on Brandon Finnegan thanks to solo Home Runs from Curtis Granderson and Jose Reyes, the Reds came back to tie the game on an Adam Duvall Home Run off of Rafael Montero. In the 5th, the Reds knocked Montero from the box altogether and took the lead. Not much can be said of Montero other than I suppose he was kind of lucky against the Marlins last week and less so against the Reds. So, the Mets had the game in the hand of what was sure to be a spicy string of relievers, starting with Josh Edgin, who partially cleaned up Montero's mess, and Gabriel Ynoa, who finished cleaning up the mess.

Then, of course, came the 7th, and with 1 out, Asdrubal Cabrera legged out, and I mean literally legged out an infield hit off of Michael Lorenzen, which set the stage for one of those Cespedes At Bats where he works a count and then starts fouling off pitches incessantly, and I already mentioned what happens when he starts fouling off pitches incessantly. Eventually Lorenzen missed on a slider and Cespedes deposited it over the Center Field fence, and the Mets had a 4-3 lead.

In the 8th inning, with 2 outs, Addison Reed allowed a long hit to Brandon Phillips that bounced off the Left Field wall. It appeared to be an easy double, except that Cespedes, and Phillips was out by a not-especially-close margin.

And no, the Mets didn't gain any ground on their competition, but if nothing else because they keep winning games, they've essentially buried the Mickey Mouse Marlins and the Pirates.

And you look at a game like this and tell me that Cespedes shouldn't be an MVP candidate? I'm not saying he should win, but shouldn't he be in the discussion?

No comments: