FLUSHING, NY – Jose Reyes made a base running mistake that may have cost the Mets a chance to win their game at Citi Field. But it was Carlos Beltran who made the difference as he crossed home plate with the winning run. Yeah, maybe that was the way it was supposed to be the last weekend of the season
“Good hitting and stupid base running,” said Reyes at one time when he was a regular and free of injury, But the Mets do not have Reyes. They are taking the field and hoping for a respectable conclusion these last three games at home with Houston. But at times Friday evening, even if the game meant nothing, these Mets we have been accustomed to knowing, won a game in early October by playing crisp and clean baseball.
Omir Santos who may very well be a permanent fixture behind the plate for the Mets, drove a b all to right-center in the eight inning Friday evening that scored Jeff Francouer that opened a 4-1 lead over the just as bad Astros. Wow, if only this was an important baseball game in October.
He would also hit a home run, his 15th over the wall in left giving the Mets a 3-1 lead. Perhaps this is what we will see more next April at Citi Field, now that Francouer seems to be a leading candidate to lead this team. “He’s playing extremely well,” said Mets manager Jerry Manuel. “He comes with a lot of energy every day.”
Oh if this had only been going on all season. Fernando Tatis scores on a sacrifice fly also in the eighth and Anderson Hernandez scores. Except who would have conceived that Anderson would be the everyday shortstop and batting eighth in the lineup because Reyes never recovered form a torn hamstring.
And what about Daniel Murphy in a meaningless game hitting the second pinch hit home run of his career in that eighth inning? He has a club leading 12 home runs only because Francouer hit his other home runs with the Braves before coming to New York, We would hope that was going to happen in late May. The Mets took an early lead, gave it up and then took control in the late innings.
That was all supposed to be the plan in April, and then continue the rest of the summer in what eventually was a season of misery. Murphy took the inside pitch and took it out of the ballpark, and that is something that the manager will hope to see next year, We say the manager Manuel, because all indications are he will return and try and restore some pride, and make us all forget about the mess of the 2009 New York Mets.
Then there is the pitcher John Maine who threw a season high seven innings. Maine (7-6) and the Mets got the win 7-1 in early October, on a Friday night when most of the announced 37,576 crowd failed to show. Maine was supposed to be a part of baseball continuing in October for the 2009 Mets but shoulder problems put him on the disabled list.
“”It was the first time I went out there and gave the team a chance to win,” commented Maine who had his longest outing since last July 23rd at Shea Stadium against the Philadelphia Phillies. “I’m not going to win 20 games,” he said.
We know if Maine and the rest of the Mets pitching staff did their job, with the exception of Johan Santana, who did his job before down with elbow problems, that this could have been a different October at Citi Field.
“An important win for him and he has to feel excited about spring training,” said Manuel about the quality start that Maine gave the Mets. One run, five hits, no walks and what we all hoped for from April until October from Maine.
Perhaps a different perspective we can all talk about next October at Citi Field. But first there are games 161 and 162 remaining on the Mets calendar.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: [email protected]