So the Mets continued to clean house Friday night and Curtis Granderson made his exit to Los Angeles as that announcement was made after a 3-1 loss to the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. That provided this continued plan to make the Mets younger and more athletic. When looking at the Marlins that plan is in place.
And the Mets need that youth and Granderson going elsewhere does not end a piece to this puzzle. A well know baseball commodity, Derek Jeter will assume ownership of the franchise and will bring that Yankees winning mentality to South Florida. Of course the Marlins have that incentive with the Jeter mentality being shown in their clubhouse.
Who would have assumed with the Marlins in town at Citi Field, a three-game series with no hype, that the boys from Miami would be the better team as both teams look at next year. The only interest is how the Mets finish in the standings and at this rate it could be next to last or in the cellar.
This was not the way it was planned: Mets 53-67, fourth place in the NL East. Marlins 59-61, second place and 13.5 games behind the first place Nationals. And the Marlins with a six game lead that separates them from the Mets, so this series still means something.
But to the Marlins it means more as the Mets continue to rebuild for next year. Meaning pride and the Mets chasing the Marlins, instead of the Nationals? Let’s put this in another perspective as a series that should have been significant when the season started did not get there. The Marlins are young and were viable contenders with an outfield contingent that hits home runs.
Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna. With the exception of Stanton, the Major League leader in home runs, 44, Yelich and Ozuna are not household names and fans are accustomed to seeing Stanton hit long bombs out of the ballpark. Those three have the potential to be the best outfield in the game.
“As a whole this will only get better,” said Stanton. He failed to land one out of the ballpark Friday night and he will be Jeter’s biggest asset. It’s a matter of time for these Marlins to make an impact as it is expected that Don Mattingly will continue to guide them from the dugout.
If Stanton and Ozuna continue to maintain the top two spots in RBI production, they would be the first two teammates to finish one and two among NL outfielders since Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe, with 137 and 116 for Colorado in 2007.
Contrast that to the Mets and there is a comparison with their production from the outfield. Prior to Jay Bruce and his departure of 29 home runs to Cleveland, the Mets outfield sat second in the National League with the home run ball. After that, comparison to pitching staffs tells the story with the Marlins team ERA 9th in the league and the Mets 14th.
The expectations of course for the Mets did not span out, a promising starting rotation that has been hindered by injuries and adversity. Next year, if the Mets are to be viable again they need Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz to rebound. Jacob deGrom has become the ace and barring any misfortunes, the righthander is expected to continue his success.
And the Marlins will add to their needs. They know the task ahead and it will be an interesting winter to see how one or two in the mix will make a run at the Nationals, with the Mets expected to be viable contenders again.
Yes, there are some comparisons with these teams this weekend. And that includes this Mets movement of getting younger with Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith in the infield. The Marlins got 5.0 innings from Justin Realmuto Friday night. He allowed one run, earned on six hits.
The Mets did nothing and the big news was Granderson going to Dodgers. But for three games at Citi Field, these two teams are playing out the schedule and moving along to next year. All that is remaining of the suspense is where the Mets and Marlins end up in the standings.
A disappointing turn of events for the Mets, this after a World Series appearance of two years ago. And for the Marlins, perhaps sooner, a return to the postseason.