Over the past few days, we’ve had a theme here at BP Mets of running game recaps with acronyms in the headlines. Because memes are never fun until they’re solidly beaten a mile into the ground, and also because I was made in a factory and am desperate to fit in with the cool kids, I’ve decided to continue the trend another day. And the acronym I chose that I feel accuratley describes this game is WTF.
While there are myriad Mets games this year that would make anyone say “WTF?” out loud many times, this game was a WTF game in a different way. It’s the type of WTF game where you realize that Kevin Plawecki and Rafael Montero are genuinely two of the Mets’ best players right now. Yes, that’s actually a sentence that was written.
But the WTF-ness of this game really all started with the lineup:
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 30, 2017
Look at that thing. Kevin Plawecki batting fifth. Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera in the same lineup, and conisting of two-thirds of the top of the order. Matt Reynolds starting in left field because he’s actually the best option. Kevin Plawecki batting fifth. Wilmer Flores hitting cleanup against a right-handed pitcher. Kevin Plawecki batting fifth. Reyes batting over Brandon Nimmo. KEVIN PLAWECKI BATTING FIFTH.
Now, to be fair, Plawecki has been very good since his recall and looks the best he has in his MLB career, but it’s only 25 PAs over the course of two weeks. That’s not your usual grounds for a promotion. The promotion really just comes from the rest of the team being just that bad.
And last night, Plawecki teamed with Wilmer Flores to provide the only offense for the Mets on the night, when they both doubled home a run in the first inning. Flores doubled home Reyes, and then Plawecki doubled home Flores to put the Mets up 2-0, and that was all they needed behind the phenomenal exploits of Rafael Montero.
Yes, the phenomenal exploits of Rafael Montero is another sentence that has actually been written unironically.
It was the morning of April 21, 2017. A young, uninspired college student needed a reason to procrastinate studying for finals. And then Rafael Montero was demoted in favor of Jeurys Familia, who was returning from suspension. This spunky, handsome writer saw this, and saw it as not just a baseball transaction, but an inspiration for an article. Surely this was an article worth writing, and one that would withstand the test of time. And so this now-inspired college student feverishly went to work, and lightning shot out of his fingers as he typed the #content he knew readers would so crave and so need:
Montero was recalled 14 days later. He would be sent back down again after that, but was recalled again in June, and has not seen the minor leagues since.
And last night, Montero put on a pitching exploit the likes of which we have never seen before from him: 8.1 innings, 0 runs, three hits, eight strikeouts. This was a Rafael Montero that we had never seen before. He was efficient, he was effective, and he looked legitimately like a staff ace. Sure, his control still wavered at time—he walked four on the night—but seriously, WTF. The Montero we saw last night looked like he was possessed by the ghost of 2013 Matt Harvey.
It’s not even like you can asterik the performance based on the competition, because the Reds are a fairly good-hitting team. They’ve scored the 11th-most runs in all of baseball, and they just put up a 14-spot on the Mets the day prior. This team can hit, and Montero shut them down for nine innings. W.T.F.
Of course, it wasn’t easy towards the end. With his pitch count creeping over 110 pitches, Montero ran into trouble in the ninth, allowing a single and a double, and then intentionally walking Joey Votto to load the bases. But A.J. Ramos came on in relief with one out, and struck out the next two batters to escape the jam without allowing a run, sealing the win for the Mets. Montero has pitched to a 2.08 ERA and has earned two of his three career wins in his last four starts. WTF.
By the way, in the conclusion of that April 21 article, I mentioned that Montero being a bust was fine, because not all pitching prospects work out, and at least we have Noah Syndergaard. Nine days later, Syndergaard exited his start against the Nationals with a torn lat muscle.
what the f
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY:
The Mets’ series against the Astros this weekend will in fact be played in Houston. It was thought the series would be moved to Tropicana Field in
Tampa Bay St. Petersburg due to the conditions in Houston following Hurricane Harvey, but the Astros will instead postpone Friday’s game to Saturday, and host a doubleheader there, with Sunday’s game happening as scheduled.
Matt Harvey will start the first game of that double header on Saturday. It will be his first start since June 14. He will be limited to around 80 pitches.
Noah Syndergaard will also begin a rehab assignment on Saturday for the GCL Mets. He will throw one inning.
The Mets face the Reds in the intense rubber game of their crucial three-game series. Jacob deGrom takes the hill against Robert Stephenson at 12:35 p.m.
Photo credit: David Kohl – USA Today Sports