McDonald: Nationals Buried By Cespedes’s Bat

You can argue Donn Clendenon’s impact and Keith Hernandez transformed the franchise.

Heck, even Kenny Rogers went 10-1 down the stretch for the Mets in 1999.

But as deadline deals go, where or where would be 2015 Mets be without Yoenis Cespedes?

Here is a guy you could call mercurial. He played for four teams in the past two years and there was an undeserved reputation that he was a bad guy in the clubhouse.


Since he came to the Mets at the deadline, Cespedes has hit nothing but frozen ropes around the ballpark. And for those of you counting, he now has 14 homers and 36 RBI since coming over from Motown.

“When the guys talk about the old timers back in the day, I feel that I am watching one,” said Kelly Johnson, who tied the game before Cespedes’s big moment.

Reggie Jackson may have been the straw that stirred the drink and Darryl Strawberry was the straw that stirred the Mets, but this guy has been unbelievable. Not since Mike Piazza has an acquisition transformed the Mets. And much like Piazza, when Cespedes is at the plate – drop everything, because he is required viewing.

“I want to get him up to the plate as much as I can,” said manager Terry Collins. “He’s getting some really big hits. Every night he comes up with a big hit.”

This game was bonus. Winning the last two games, the Nationals needed this game if they were going to have any chance in this race. Stephen Strasberg was very effective and pitched like the No. 1 overall pick that he was back in 2009.

It hasn’t been easy on Strasberg this season. Injuries slowed him and 4.35 ERA was rather pedestrian. Tonight, though, he came up huge.

“I’ve seen Steve a lot but tonight was the best stuff I’ve seen he had,” Collins said.

As did Bryce Harper, who hit two homers tonight and scored the Nationals’ other run. The same way the 2007 collapse wasn’t David Wright’s fault, Harper is a giant among midgets in Washington.

Even with that, the Nationals couldn’t break through. Jacob deGrom threw seven innings of 2-run ball, enough to give the Mets a chance.

And Cespedes came through. After Strasberg came out of the game, Drew Storen comes in and No. 52 sends the 1-0 pitch into the Mets bullpen.

“These were the biggest three game that I had in my career,” Collins said.

No one knows if Cespedes will be a Met next season. A change in his contract gives the Mets a better chance to sign him, but even if he’s a Ranger, D-Back, Mariner, or Brewer next season, enjoy the next month and a half, because he’s a Met now and boy is he coming through.

Yesterday Kirk Nieuenhuis put a dagger through the Nationals’ heart. Today Cespedes buried the body.

What a trade.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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