Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mets finish second!

Yes, only in a division as bad as this year's NL East could a team ending the season five games under .500 earn a second place finish, and yes, they have to share this honor with their frequent nemeses, the Braves. Still, just a few weeks ago I would have been happy to see them equal their third place finish of last year. Indeed, it seemed more likely than not that they'd sink to the dismal fourth of their preceding three seasons.

But unlike so many previous seasons, the Mets sparkled in September, going 15-10. On the 15th of the month, rookie pitcher Jacob deGrom (photo) started against the Marlins and struck out the first eight batters, which tied a Major League record. As a precaution, management took him out of the rotation for the remainder of the season. After that, the Mets were 7-4, including a three game sweep of the Braves and a 2-1 series with the Astros to finish things off.

The Mets also ended the season with a six run advantage in overall scoring, despite their difficulties in bringing in runners in scoring position and their still sketchy bullpen.

Looking ahead, the Mets have a promising set of young arms, including deGrom and Matt Harvey. Some fans are complaining about Harvey's having attended Derek Jeter's final game at Yankee Stadium instead of being with the Mets in their game against the Nats that evening, despite Harvey's being on the DL. I say it was a classy move, although I do wish he'd have worn his Mets cap instead of a Knicks one.

Image: By slgckgc (Jacob deGrom) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons