So the New York Mets were officially eliminated from post season play down in Philadelphia Sunday evening after a 1-0 loss and masterful pitching performance from Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez. Not surprised as the race for first in the NL East and for the NL wildcard was over for them in June.
And it was fitting that Martinez would put an unofficial end to this dismal season for the Mets and their fans. Martinez has said, before he put his name on a Phillies contract that he wanted to return to New York and help the Mets. Health was an issue as to why Mets GM Omar Minaya bypassed Martinez, but look who is getting the last laugh.
Martinez has fooled all of the skeptics that he was finished after rotator cuff surgery. His performance Sunday evening, throwing any pitch with good command and throwing 130 pitches resembled the Martinez days when he wore a uniform with the Boston Red Sox.
Maybe it was all business as to why Minaya would not take the chance. Perhaps it was better for Pedro, now 5-0 in his comeback and heading to the postseason, while his former team goes home in two weeks and begins the rebuilding process. In the end, Pedro is the winner.
Now it no longer matters who was on the disabled list. That Jose Reyes missed all but two months of the season. That Carlos Delgado could return and play the final two weeks of the schedule, no doubt to audition for a job with another team next April. It does matter that Carlos Beltran sit down and continue to get strong for next April as a bruised knee has not completely heeled.
Citi Field next Friday evening will in all probability see many no-shows when the Mets return for their next to final home stand of the season next Friday hosting the lowly Washington Nationals. That alone should tell the story.
The humiliation is over. A team and organization with the highest payroll in the National League will not have a third consecutive September collapse. But we began to get that feeling in June, even though there was still a pennant race with the Phillies, when Beltran went down with his knee issue.
Only the die hard fans will come to desolate Citi Field next week. Hopefully owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon, and Minaya take notice. You can point to the numerous injuries to position players, injuries to a pitching staff that were unfortunate contributors to a lost season. You can point to Manager Jerry Manuel perhaps not being the man to start the rebuilding process in 2010.
Agree or disagree with the moves Minaya made last off-season that the bullpen was his only emphasis to putting a winning ball club on the field. Plenty of decisions to be made this off season and still two weeks left to ponder some of the many decisions Minaya has to make, that is if the GM still has a job.
What matters now is two more weeks of misery. The Mets can play out the schedule and have some fun for a change It hasn’t been fun watching this fiasco unfold and Mets fans won’t have to cross their fingers and bite their nails the rest of this September, like they had to do with the last two collapses in September.
The Mets won’t collapse this September because that unfolded months ago and at least that is a relief!
e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring [email protected]