The Mets beat the Padres by a score of 6-4 yesterday afternoon, capping off their first series win since May, which fittingly came against the only team in the National League with a worse record than them. By taking the series, the Mets kept themselves out of the bottom of the league standings, and actually opened up a three-game cushion over last-place San Diego. Whoopee!
Corey Oswalt got the ball for the Mets in this one and did all right for himself, giving up two earned runs on three hits over five innings, while striking out four and walking two. Even though he had only thrown 62 pitches in the fifth inning, he was pulled from the game in a questionable decision by Mickey Callaway to pinch hit Phillip Evans for him in an RBI spot, though Oswalt did apparently jam his hand while swinging the bat earlier in the game. That said, it was still a fine start for the young Oswalt, who only got the nod yesterday because of Noah Syndergaard’s virus. In fact, this was actually Oswalt’s fourth straight serviceable start. Now, keeping him in the rotation is not a total necessity, but the best argument for him to stick around is that he’s decidedly not Jason Vargas.
Anyway, the Mets were trailing 2-0 by the time the fifth inning rolled around, but that was when the offense broke out. A Kevin Plawecki RBI single got the Mets on the board, and a little later Evans drove in the tying run when he pinch-hit for Oswalt. Then — get this — the Mets executed a double steal, which feels like something we haven’t seen since Jose Reyes’s first tenure with the Mets. That set it up for Amed Rosario to drive in the two runners on a base hit to give the Mets a 4-2 lead. Jose Bautista (who I still can’t believe is actually a Met) added two more in the bottom of the sixth with a towering dinger off the second deck, the kind of prodigious home run he became famous for.
The bullpen, shockingly, handed back a couple of runs in the seventh when Tim Peterson (who I also still can’t believe is actually a Met, although for different reasons) served up a two-run homer to Freddy Galvis. Robert Gsellman came on after him and took care of business, and Anthony Swarzak handled the ninth for his second save of the season as the Mets continue to piece together the shattered remains of their Jeurys Familia-less bullpen.
As an aside, Reyes notched another single for sixth hit in last 19 at bats. If you’re scoring at home, that is a .315 batting average. Perhaps Reyes is finally rounding back into the barely-useful, tenuously rosterable bench player that he was last year instead of just the not-useful, completely unrosterable player he’s been this year. Maybe the Mets were actually right about him the whole time, and it was we, the children, who were wrong?
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
The big news finally came. After six days of the Mets stalling and waiting for multiple doctors’ opinions, they finally came to the decision yesterday for Yoenis Cespedes to undergo season-ending surgery in order to correct the bone spurs and calcification in both heels which have caused many of his leg problems over the years. The recovery is expected to be 8-10 months, which would put his return at around April or May of next year in a best-case scenario.
It sounds like the actual wait for the last six days was just so that the Mets could find out whether or not the contract was actually insured, which it is. So the Mets will indeed recoup a good amount of money that is owed to Cespedes over the rest of the season and the beginning of next year, similar to their current situation with David Wright. However, John Ricco would not say whether or not the money would be reinvested into the team.
The surgery is unfortunate for Cespedes, but necessary, and something that should have been done at least two months ago. This whole situation has been a total embarrassment for this entire organization, and it is their own fault. No reasonable person could have followed this saga for the last week — even being ignorant to the rest of the team’s mishandling of injuries and transparent dysfunction — and walk away with the belief that there is a modicum of organization within the Mets’ front office, or any accountability among their decision-makers. Under direction of the Wilpons, and without Sandy Alderson around to lead these misfits, the team appears to be about as organized as a kindergarten class. And much like kindergarteners, they like to point their fingers at other people (read: the players) when they do something bad.
Meanwhile, if the Wilpons are serious about contending next year, it is their absolute duty to reinvest the money saved back into the payroll for next season. Unfortunately, John Ricco’s non-answer to that question already probably tells you what they intend to do with it.
Photo credit: Andy Marlin – USA Today Sports