Chipper Jones’ night ruined by the Mets

How’s that for irony?

Take that Larry!

On the night when the Atlanta Braves honored their iconic hitter who defined their success from the 90’s through the turn of the century, it was the Mets who ultimately played spoiler on Chipper Jones’ big farewell night.

It was only fitting that the Mets ruined the feel-good atmosphere in Atlanta on this night considering all the times Jones broke  Mets’ fans hearts with countless clutch hits. At this point in the season where the Braves are preparing for the playoffs while the Mets will finish under .500 for the fourth straight season, this can only be considered a small consolation of solace. But when you can stick it to Jones one more time (in his final weekend in a Braves uniform), you do begin to believe in karma all the more. After all, Jones did go 0-4 in the game.

It wasn’t just that the Mets spoiled Jones’ night, it was how they did.

There were plenty of encouraging signs in the Mets’ 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. Let me count the ways:

  • With the win, the Mets have now won seven out of their last eight games, while finishing up strong after a horrendous August and early September. Yes, too little too late perhaps, but refreshing nonetheless.
  • As pointed out on the SNY telecast by Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, Lucas Duda had perhaps his finest at-bat of the season-and the most clutch-where he calmly worked the count against Tim Hudson (who was cruising in the game) before belting a three-run home run that put the Mets ahead 3-1. It was a huge home run in so many ways, as this dinger can perhaps give Duda some much needed confidence as he prepares to work himself into a more featured role next year.
  • Jon Niese had another fine outing (7 IP 4 hits, 3 walks, 1 run and 3 K’s) and is putting the finishing touches on an encouraging second-half finish. For far too long the problem with Niese was that he would break down and or get injured in the second half. That has not been the case this year, as Niese is ending the season with a bang by throwing nine quality outings in his last 10 starts. His value is at an all-time high and he should make for a great middle-of-the-rotation pitcher for the Mets for years to come. Or Niese could be traded while his value is at its peak. Niese has set all-time highs in wins (13), innings (190), strikeouts (155), ERA (3.40), WHIP (1.17) and BAA (.241).
  • The bullpen, specifically Bobby Parnell, stepped up and closed a game in convincing fashion. Parnell, once again (yeah I know, stop me if you have heard this before) has looked like he has turned the corner and has now locked down two saves in consecutive days (with Thursday’s save of huge significance considering it was R.A. Dickey’s 20th win). In his last nine appearances (spanning 8.1 innings), Parnell has allowed no runs on only four hits and two walks while striking out five batters.
    If the Mets want to have a solid, dependable bullpen next year, they are going to need Parnell at the top of his game. So, it’s nice to see Parnell come up big in these last few games.

While trying to search for silver linings in a season that has been marred by some otherwise ugly stretches, it’s nice to see the Mets knock Jones off his perch for a day while also showing some positive signs in the process. On a night where it was supposed to be all about Jones, it was the play of Niese, Duda and Parnell that was the story on this night.

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9 comments for “Chipper Jones’ night ruined by the Mets

  1. Metsense
    September 29, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Take that Larry for all the times you broke our hearts!!! A tip of the hat to a great player.
    Duda can’t play the OF so either him or Davis should be traded. In Davis case, Josh Reddick of Oakland is a similar player. In Duda’s case Tyler Colvin of Colorado. (or could the Mets get Carlos Gonzalez for Davis?). Colorado has four OF and the Mets have three first baseman.
    Parnell has had a consistant year, and it is even nice that he has saved some games.He is still an IF as a closer but has earned his spot as a middle reliever.
    Trading Jon Niese because he has a good contract is counter productive. If that is the criteria then why not trade the 37 year old Dickey with his bargain 2013 5M contract? (and if he out prices himself for an extension this winter then that might just occur for the cash strapped Mets) There will be plenty of time to trade starting pitchers in the future but let’s make sure they develope first and the depth is actually there.

  2. September 29, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Are there any options for the Mets to get out of Santana’s contract in the offseason?

    • Mack Ade
      September 29, 2012 at 10:47 am


      The Mets could trade Santana in exchange for a different “bad contract” that exists for the team you are trading with. Either way, you are still paying far too much for someone you don’t want as part of your future.

      I’m one that believes you should reap what you sow… the Mets need to live with the Santana and Bay contract for one more year and get the most out of the players. Me? I would reduce his role to SP4 until Wheeler comes up, then make a decision on him or Gee for SP5

      • Chris F
        September 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm

        Welcome back Mack. Hope you are well.

        I agree on Santana. I don’t think he will have a whole season in him either.

      • Name
        September 30, 2012 at 11:25 am

        His “role” will never be “reduced”. He will always be a starting pitcher. It’s just that we have to temper our expectations of him, that’s all. Other than maybe an ace, there’s really no difference between what people call starters #2-5.

        • Chris F
          September 30, 2012 at 11:35 am

          He’s a starter for sure. But he won’t get more than 20 starts again is my guess. We need to accept he won’t be pitching in Sept next year, and make sure we acre otherwise covered.

          • Name
            September 30, 2012 at 11:45 am

            Why do you keep saying that Santana won’t go past September next year? I’m sure if it weren’t for that ankle injury he could have pitched a full season this year. I’ve also heard that he started throwing early this year, so he fatigued earlier. Next year if he has a more normal throwing schedule, I don’t see why not we can’t count on him.

        • September 30, 2012 at 11:45 am

          People can call pitchers whatever they want. I’m sure coming into the season most everyone considered Tim Lincecum an “ace” but he hasn’t pitched anything close to ace level here in 2012. I’m sure when the Giants formulate their plans for next year, they won’t call Lincecum an SP5, either. But that’s what he’s been here in 2012. Lincecum’s 2012 ERA tags him as an SP5, although maybe you would bump him up to SP4 because of his innings. But there’s no way anyone could objectively look at Lincecum’s output here in 2012 and say he was an SP2, especially given that he pitched half his games in the top pitcher’s park in the league.

          • Name
            September 30, 2012 at 11:52 am

            Right on Brian. In my mind, giving players tags like “Ace”, “SP2-5” can be only done after the season is over because results speak volumes. Take another example, Roy Halladay. Has he been the Phillies “Ace” this year? No way. From doing an anaylsis of this season, we see that he at best can be called a #3 this year. It’s useless to try to give these tags before hand. It’s better just to say, “Player A, B, C, D, E” are my starting pitchers next year rather than, “Well, A used to be my ace last year, but next year he is probably #4, and E is #5, and B is probably #2, but i think C is also a #4 and no way D is a #1. OH NO, we have no ace and too many back end pitchers!”

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