On a night dominated by power hitting and power pitching, two “strange” plays will undoubtedly get most of the attention.

Matt Harvey looked sharp early for the Mets, striking out the side in the first inning and surrendering 2 hits through three. By that time, the Mets had a 3-0 lead. David Wright led off the bottom of the second with a base hit to center. After flyouts by Michael Conforto and Travis d’Arnaud, Kelly Johnson hit a rope off the left field wall to score Wright. Ruben Tejada followed with strange play number one. Tejada hit a looping fly ball along the first base line. Phillies’ right fielder Domonic Brown hustled in and couldn’t reach down to grab it as it hugged the line, just barely fair. Brown’s momentum, though, carried him toward the low wall in shallow right. He flipped over the wall as the ball continued to roll all the way to the warning track before it could be retrieved. Tejada sprinted around the bases with an inside-the-park home run, the Mets’ first since Angel Pagan hit one five years ago.

In the third, the Mets tacked on some insurance — as would become necessary later. Curtis Granderson led off with a single. Yoenis Cespedes then hit a quick-dropping line drive to center that Odubel Herrera made a terrific diving grab on. Daniel Murphy then scooted a double past Ryan Howard at first as Brown had trouble picking it up near his favorite wall. After Wright grounded to short, Conforto hit an absolute bomb the opposite way, over the left field fence and the Mets’ cushion had grown to 6-0. All those extra runs would come in handy.

In the top of the fourth, Murphy left the game with what’s being called “discomfort” in his left quadriceps. The next inning, Harvey’s command deserted him. With one out, he gave up solid hits to the next two hitters, then Eric Kratz cracked a two-run, pinch double into the left field gap. After another out, Cesar Hernandez hit a squib grounder to Michael Cuddyer — replacing Murphy at first — who knocked it down and smothered it, but couldn’t get anyone out as Kratz scored, making it 6-3. The Mets got one back in the bottom of the fifth, with Tejada once again the hero. With the bases loaded and one out, he hit a broken bat slow roller which Howard dove for. Howard completed a terrific backhanded flip to first as a run scored.

By the time the game reached the seventh, Harvey was clearly fatigued. He gave up a home run to rookie Darnell Sweeney leading off the inning and after a walk to Hernandez, Terry Collins had seen enough, wagging Sean Gilmartin in from the bullpen. Gilmartin surrendered a base hit to Herrera, bringing up the always-dangerous Howard representing the tying run. Here came strange play number two. Gilmartin got the ground ball he wanted, a three-hopper to Tejada playing the shift on the second base side of the bag. Tejada lunged and missed in an attempt to tag Herrera and got Howard at first. The umpires, though, ruled that Herrera ran out of the baseline — as replays showed he clearly had — and it would go into the books as a double play. The Mets would add a couple more runs, including a Cespedes solo homer in the eighth, to salt this one away.

Another win against the Phillies, another day off the schedule, at the very least. Nothing strange about that.

12 comments on “Gut Reaction: Mets 9 Phillies 4 (9/2/15)

  • TexasGusCC

    I didn’t get a chance to see the game, but some thoughts on what I did see:
    1. Terry Collins says that Ruben Tejada is a very good player. Collins was told this upon coming to the Mets organization and he still feels the same way. I think we should not allow Collins to do any scouting.
    2. Eric Young overslid the second base bag and got tagged out. Where have we seen this before? If running is his forte, how do we explain that? Can he correct this, please?
    3. Last week when seeing the Robles quick pitch on the Phillies network, I commented on how impressed I was by their announcers. Tonight, when Sweeney threw out Cespedes at third with two outs, as soon as the tag was applied: “No way I give seven years to a guy that gets thrown out at third with two outs. Sorry, not on my dime”, and they go to commercial. They were more appalled at the base running mistake than impressed with the great throw.

    Seeing the indifference that Cespades has to the nuisances of the game indeed makes giving him a big deal problematic, but he is an immense talent. The offer made by the organization is going to be a very controversial one way or another, but there are issues that may keep the fundamentally sound organizations away, i. e.: the Cardinals, the Pirates, or the Giants. I wonder how Bochy will feel the first time Cespades strikes out on a pitch in the dirt and doesn’t bother running to first. He seems to act like Deion Sanders did in football. If you can live with the headaches, he can really help you.

    • Brian Joura

      Perhaps I’m giving Cespedes too much leeway/credit but I’m thinking he doesn’t attempt that play if his team doesn’t have a four-run lead with a Harvey on the mound. Let’s watch for some baserunning play like this from now on to see if it’s part of a larger trend.

      He challenged a rookie who switched positions mid-game and the rookie made the play. I see that as a good time to be aggressive rather than a bonehead play that violated the Cardinal Rule that thou shall not make the third out at third base.

      • James Preller

        Not making the 3rd out at third base is an excellent rule. But that doesn’t mean never, ever taking third base. It was the right time, with a 4-run lead. On that play, I saw hustle. And when he geat out the grounder to SS, I saw hustle.

        Nobody is perfect, and this guy will come with his own unique flaws, but he makes the Mets better.

        • TexasGusCC

          Brain and James, I can see your point but I used this play to bring up a few points. Remember last week with the inside the park homerun the Boston catcher hit? Lagares had the ball bounce past him and Tejada had to run out to short center to get it; Cespedes never moved to go help. Ron Darling made a point of saying he doesn’t like to see that. There’s also the never running to first if he swings and misses on strike three, just small things that all players are expected to do.

          Petty? Probably. But like I said, it seems that if you can live with the diva stuff, he can help you. I say diva because can you imagine a team of this type? It’s cool right now because the Mets fan is starving for winning, but if he will be a “leader” by contract – as we all know real life is – I’m worried.

          I’m happy for the winning, but if I’m going to re-sign this guy by the time my season ends, I need to be weighing these things right now.

          • James Preller

            Gus, I think you express valid concerns, particularly when you are considering locking in long-term with a player. I’ve always believed that you’ve got to get those big contracts right or else you potentially cripple your team for years. So character is an issue.

            The Cuban background makes this especially difficult to read. I’m sure there is some cultural dissonance here. I don’t have a good feel for the man. Has he been interviewed? And if not, will he carry any of the weight in the clubhouse, game after game, or will he leave all the responsibility to David Wright? Who is this guy? I can’t really tell from my chair here; the hope is that those up close and personal can make the right assessment.

            He’s moved from Oakland, to Boston, to Detroit, to New York. That’s concerning, though I think Detroit made the right move, getting back a promising young pitcher. I don’t doubt that there’s some coachability issues.

            One thing I absolutely believe, having played on and managed some semi-competitive men’s hardball teams over the years: It takes all kinds. You are going to have some colorful characters on a 25-man squad. I think there’s room for a super-talented guy who is occasionally going to flake on you, but it’s a tough call. The Cardinals seems to avoid it, but this is New York. A Spanish-speaking star makes sense, especially if that spigot on the Cuban pipeline is about to open wide.

            If I’m basing it on what I’ve seen with Mets, Cespedes plays hard and appears to have a good presence in the dugout in the Latin wing. But yes, he’s a guy who is going to pick his spots.

            If the Mets don’t sign him, I think they’ve got to go after Justin Upton — and I’d rather have Cespedes. I don’t think the Mets can lose Murphy and lose Cespedes and not make a meaningful addition to the lineup.

            • Chris F

              I agree with Brian and James. Even live time Keith said its a great decision with a 4 run lead and a chance to push the limits. Its not thrid out at third in the 8th with a tie game.

              Gus, look at this teams offense since Cespedes’ arrival. He’s easily the best trade deadline pick up anywhere in the league.I hope we can sign him, but I doubt it will happen.

              • TexasGusCC

                I think that way also Chris, and further I see him as a flawed but talented player; undisciplined at times but a real difference maker. I really think James nailed it and I don’t want to add anything to that. But, his bottom line is that when you change four organizations in two years, there’s a reason that if ignored can be crippling…

                • Chris F

                  not sure I follow. He was traded from the A’s by Billy Beane, who traded Josh Donaldson, and a host of great players for poor reasons. He was traded by the Tigers as they were falling off the cliff. The only place he seemed not liked was Boston, a team filled with unknowns and disappointments. No concern to me.

  • Metsense

    The good news: 6 1/2 games up on September 3rd. Just 1 1/2 games back from the Dodgers and another home playoff game.
    Tyler Clippard had another solid outing and he is the glue that keeps the bullpen together.
    Sean Gilmartin finally was put into a hold situation and accomplished the job.
    Addison Reed now has two 1-2-3 innings and they were back to back. He looks like our 7th inning man.
    The bullpen is well rested starting a 10 consecutive game road trip. Let’s see TC use it properly and alleviate the remaining worry of this pennant drive.
    A 5-5 road trip is “acceptable”, a 6-4 is expected, but a 7+ could be the ticket being punched for the playoffs.
    Michael Conforto is going to be a star for many years for the Mets.
    Cespedes aquisition was the glue that put the offense together.
    Clippard and Cespedes are the difference in the pennant surge.

    • James Preller

      I am going to add Conforto to the Clippard, Cespedes credit line. Three C’s.

      On a team struggling for offense, Conforto delivered — and sent Lagares to the bench.

      • Charlie Hangley

        And more than likely cushion the impact when Cespedes leaves.

  • brainburst

    Enough with Cespedes. yes he is the right man now. But @ 30 @ the peak of his capabilities no I do not want to sign him long term. If you watched this team all year the problem has not been lack of power, It’s been lack of timely hitting.
    this team needs speed, it need players that can hit doubles with .275+ average.
    It needs lagares to lose weight and come back fit and healthy next year. It need a new batting coach. dump Kevin Long.

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy

Leave a Reply to TexasGusCC Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: