So, with the score tied in the ninth and second and third with two outs, the Mets had Brandon Nimmo up with first base open and Jose Bautista on-deck.
What does Rays manager Kevin Cash do? Walk Nimmo to face Joey Bats.
As Tony Stark said in The Avengers, “Not a good plan.”
Bautista proceeded to deposit Chaz Roe’s first pitch into the second deck of Citi Field to give the Mets a 5-1 win and the former Blue Jays great his first walk-off homer of his career.
“It didn’t last too long, so there’s not much to say,” Bautista said. “I got a good pitch and I’m glad I didn’t miss it.”
Bautista isn’t missing much these days. Over the last 17 games he’s hitting .300 with four homers and 15 RBI and is pretty much the Mets best hitter.
Remember, this was a guy who was on the scrap heap. He had to wait for the season to start to get a contract and was released from the Braves after 35 at-bats.
But with the Mets, he’s fitting in nicely. Without Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce, the Mets need a veteran outfield bat and Bautista is it right now. For what it’s worth, he is carrying the offense the last few weeks, while the rest of the lineup is looking for some redemption.
But at 37, you must wonder how much the old warrior has left. Manager Mickey Callaway said Joey Bats has the “body of a 25 year-old,’ but still that can wear down as the dog days of August come into play.
With Jacob deGrom on the mound tonight, there were enough scouts in attendance to have Reggie Dunlop want to goon it up again and maybe Bautista will start getting on the radar for some of these teams. Remember, the Mets are paying him the league minimum with the Braves picking up the bulk of his contract. So, here’s a cheap bat that gets on base a lot (.388 OBP) and historically can hit the long ball.
There may be a market for that.
Everyone knows Bautista isn’t long for the Mets. If he isn’t traded, he’s probably gone at the end of the season. There aren’t many No. 11 jerseys popping up in the stand here, no matter what heroics he performs or how good of a mentor he is for the younger players.
The Mets are still going nowhere with or without Bautista and maybe in a month Cespedes and/or Bruce will be back, so there will be a need for his spot. Heck, if those guys aren’t bacl or even gone, the Mets may even bring Tim Tebow up to the show, and Bautista will have no where to play.
So, if he stays hot, then get what you can for Jose Bautista. The Mets three-headed monster of a general manager owes it to the fans to see if they can get a good prospect for an aging outfielder that has no ties to this organization.
Over the next month Asdrubal Cabrera, Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz and even Devin Mesoraco will all be shopped. Most will be moved and maybe even deGrom and Noah Syndergaard will be traded at the right price. So, there’s no reason why the Mets shouldn’t see what they can get for Bautista.
He is playing very well right now, so they should sell if they can get a decent prospect back.
Now that’s a good plan.