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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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The Pursuit of Happiness

Super-exciting spine-tingling headline-grabbing narrative-changing straight-to-the-SportsCenter-open wins are great, of course. But the key to playing in October is racking up the more mundane sort of victories. Which is exactly what the Mets did Tuesday night.

Of course, only by recent pinch-me standards could the Mets’ 5-1 dispatching of the Marlins be considered dull. Jon Niese pitched a terrific game, as has been the rule since Memorial Day, except for one night when his mind was understandably elsewhere. It looked like Niese might get nothing to show for it, however, as the Mets were hitting in buzzards’ luck, smacking balls right at Marlins when it most mattered.

But this is the 2.0 release of the 2015 Mets. In the days of lineups with Danny Muno and Darrell Ceciliani and Eric Campbell, I might have written off Florida’s 1-0 lead as too high a mountain to climb. Last night, though, I simply shrugged and waited. The Mets were getting good pitches and whacking them. The game, one imagined, would come to them.

Which is what happened. In the top of the eighth, with the game tied, Lucas Duda hammered a ball over the head of right-fielder Cole Gillespie, one of many Marlins who looks like he’d have trouble getting a legal drink. It was hit too hard to be a double, but Travis d’Arnaud promptly followed with a parachute over Adeiny Hechavarria‘s head to put runners on first and second with nobody out.

Enter Wilmer Flores, and a Terry Collins call that seemed far too conservative: He had Flores bunt. First and second with nobody out is the one situation where a successful sacrifice does increase the chances of scoring at least one run, but Flores has been cracking balls off and over walls. Curious. Wilmer popped up the bunt to the catcher, followed by a swinging strikeout from Ruben Tejada.

Terry then made another interesting decision, sending Campbell to the plate as the pinch-hitter.

Campbell didn’t hit the ball hard, but he hit it in exactly the right place to drop in, and the Mets had taken the lead. Then, merrily, the game’s luck sought its median, with Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson rifling extra-base hits for a 5-1 lead that stood up.

If I sounded dismissive of Campbell earlier, it wasn’t in reference to his being on the Mets roster; rather, it referred to the role he was put in, something that wasn’t really his fault. Campbell isn’t an everyday player, at least not in this stage of his career. But there’s no shame in that; he has good baseball instincts and a sense of how to approach an at-bat, which makes him pretty valuable in his current, proper role as a reserve.

Before the Mets finally reloaded their offense, nearly every Met had been pushed into a role that was too much for him, with Quad-A guys asked to hold down starting jobs and poor Lucas Duda told to anchor an offensive attack that consisted of nothing but Lucas Duda. Now it’s different — guys can look up and down the lineup and see capable bats. Lone missed opportunities were frequently enough to kill the Mets earlier this year; now, they’re bumps in the road.

Which brings us to the title of this post. If you were thinking it referred to the pennant chase, well, absolutely. But I was also thinking of the original meaning, the one which puzzles kids and civic-minded adults reading the Declaration of Independence today. Jefferson and his fellow drafters didn’t mean “happiness” in the sense of gamboling about on a picnic, but something that reached back to Locke and Aristotle. Their meaning was more akin to using one’s talents fully in pursuit of excellence. Figuring out where you fit, essentially.

Which is what the Mets are finally doing.

And are still doing. After the game, the Mets sent away Alex Torres, he of the anti-concussion turban (laudable) and excessive walks (less so), for newly imported Eric O’Flaherty. David Wright (remember him?) plans to work out with the team this week and then start a rehab stint next week if all goes well; Terry is already talking about where he might fit in the batting order. And on the off-day, Terry will be in Port St. Lucie, explaining to Rafael Montero why the Frank Francisco Plan for Injury Management (remember this?) is unacceptable. If Montero emerges from that Come to Jesus moment the way the Mets hope, he could be another power arm to the pen and help keep his fellow young guns away from their dreaded innings limits.

Will all of that work out? Probably not — it’s baseball, after all. But if enough of it does, the Mets could wind up happy indeed — in every sense of the word.

63 comments to The Pursuit of Happiness

  • mikeski

    Knocking on my head as I say this, but when Wright comes back, he bats third. End of analysis.

  • Matt in Woodside

    Um, the game was tied in the sixth when Flores doubled and Tejada singled him home. Remember the pretty exciting slide by Flores? Everything else happened in the eighth.

  • Eric

    Cespedes batting 2nd – unusual, but not a bad experiment with Cespedes’s speed and Lagares as the ‘2nd lead-off hitter’ batting 9th. Apparently, there’s a counter-conventional sabermetric theory that a team’s best hitter ought to bat 2nd rather than 3rd. I would like Cespedes batting 3rd or clean-up and experiment with d’Arnaud or Conforto batting 2nd.

    Campbell pinch hitting – R/L matchup. It is Campbell’s role and it worked, but I didn’t favor it. Collins opted for Campbell’s right-handed bat over superior left-handed hitters on the bench.

    Flores sac bunt – I didn’t favor it, but man, Flores needs to knock that ball down. At least foul it off twice, then take his 1-strike at-bat. Popping it up was pathetic.

    Clippard and Familia pitching the 8th and 9th with a 4-run lead – I didn’t favor it. I thought it was a good spot to give Parnell and Gilmartin some work. However, it appears Collins and Warthen have some kind of minimum-usage matrix for their best relievers.

    • Steve D

      Batting the pitcher 8th is actually very smart. It benefits your leadoff batter, who theoretically is one of your better hitters, by putting a better hitter in front of him. It penalizes your 7 hitter a bit, but I would rather help the leadoff guy. For those who say, that it causes the pitcher to get more at bats, I think that is negligible. Over 162 games, it is likely that the 8th slot only gets about 18 more AB over a full season (162/9) than the 9th slot…and those happen ONLY if the 8th batter makes the last out of the game. If your pitcher is in the 8th slot, unless he is about to throw a complete game, you will almost always pinch hit in that situation anyway, meaning there are virtually no extra AB for pitchers by batting them 8th.

      • Dennis

        Interesting way to look at that Steve.

      • LA Jake

        How does it benefit your leadoff hitter by putting a better hitter in front of him? Let’s assume the 9th hitter hits 8th and singles, then the pitcher bunts him over and now the leadoff man had a risp when he bats. That isn’t preferable to the pitcher batting 8th and theoretically making an out and the 9th hitter then singling? I’m confused.

    • mikeski

      What was pathetic was Collins having Flores bunt in the first place. A one-run strategy against a Marlins team that is on the ropes and has no viable relief pitching is way too conservative, especially when Flores has been swinging a pretty good bat.

      • LA Jake

        Especially since no Mets position player has shown any ability to bunt. If Totally Clueless was smart (which his nickname refutes), he would eliminate the bunt play from his repertoire except for pitchers and even then, only in special circumstances as these guys can swing the bat and make very good contact and I’d favor a hit and run that could possibly result in 1st and 3rd and no outs instead of man on 2nd and one out.

        I’ll now wait for Dennis to tell me I’m wrong and TC is never to blame and I couldn’t do better because I never played and since Keith said he agrees with TC most of the time then I have to be wrong because all great ballplayers are also great strategists.

        • Dennis

          Nothing from me Jake…..that ship has sailed.

        • Matt in Richmond

          Since Dennis has thrown in the towel on this topic I will simply say this. When objectively looking at the talent and the relatively paltry budget the Mets have had these past few years, it is clear they have over performed. You can choose to either deny this, or give TC no credit for it, but I would ask, what other measuring stick is there for a field manager? He is certainly not in charge of front office decisions.

  • wooferson

    thanks for the reboot on the meaning of “pursuit of happiness”…it’s amazing how the idea has been bastardized by a general public with serious deficiencies in critical thinking skills.

  • BornAMet

    1. Granderson
    2. Murphy
    3. Wright
    4. Duda
    5. Cespedes
    6. D’Arnaud
    7. Johnson (or Conforto)
    8. (Hitting Pitcher)
    9. Flores (or Tejada)

    Now that’s a major league line-up

  • open the gates

    I’m starting to come around a little on Terry Collins. For a long time, I was an on-again, off-again member of the “We Want Wally” brigade. And some of Terry’s in-game strategies (bunting Flores, hitting Cespedes second, etc) still leave me scratching my head. Still, being a good manager is more than the x’s and o’s (pardon the football analogy). One thinks of poor Jeff Torborg, who came in with a scientific, corporate model for managing the Mets, and proceeded to lose the room with a vengeance. Being a good manager involves getting your players motivated to do their best, and putting them in the best position to do so. The fact that the Mets stayed in the hunt throughout their worst rash of injuries since 1987, and are now in first place this late in the season, is at least partially due to the fact that Terry hasn’t given upon the players, and the players haven’t given up on him. Credit where credit is due. (Though I still wouldn’t have bunted Flores…)

    • LA Jake

      TC needs somebody like Joe Torre had with his bench coaches. Torre was a great players’ manager, but not so brilliant with strategy. I’ll give Collins credit for keeping the team together when it could’ve imploded, but I still don’t want him making strategic decisions.

      • dmg

        it doesn’t seem as though he’s made as many bad in-game decisions as in seasons past. if that’s faint praise, it’s still praise. and i agree that it looks like the players want to play for him, no small thing particularly this year.

  • oldbat

    I was thinking Collins was ready to go but watching his management of this odd linup has made me think that these old guys who have seen everything have the guts to juggle these guys around. I also like the way he manages the younger players. The veterans have pretty much figured out that this can be a unforgiving game. Here today and gone tomorrow. But I always like to see the young and eager. God they made the Big Show and flopping there really hurts. Flores at least let it all out.

  • Rob E

    The bigger problem with that bunt is that it was so poorly executed (not to mention Flores didn’t react to the “wheel” defense). I have no problem with him playing for one run in the eighth inning of a tie game.

    Even before the job he’s done this year, Collins has done a good job of helping to restore some kind of order to the position. He’s avoided drama, he’s been great with the media, he was handed the keys to a lot of young players, he seems to have the respect of the players, and he always had teams that weren’t very good playing hard….you never had the feeling that they gave up.

    I don’t agree with everything he does and I was definitely rooting for Wally to get the job when they first made the hire, but Terry Collins has done right by this team, he’s helped move the train along (imagine if they had to deal with manager issues on top of everything else these past four years), and I’m glad he’s getting a chance to manage with some real bullets in the gun.

    • LA Jake

      As I stated above, I will give him credit for the non-strategic stuff, and keeping this team together when it could’ve easily fallen apart due to lack of hitting. But when the close games come late in the season and hopefully playoffs, I hope somebody else is giving him strategic advice, especially on why it’s bad to call for a bunt with players who can’t bunt. The fact they can’t bunt may or may not be his fault. But knowing that fact and still insisting they bunt just doesn’t make sense and it happens time and time again.

      • Rob E

        You can make a case for NOT bunting…I see your point. But the flip side of that is that even though Flores is mildly hot, he’s still a guy with a .280 OBP and shaky bat skills. It’s not like Ichiro (or even Tejada) was batting. He shouldn’t have bunted because the wheel was on (which he also didn’t recognize, as they mentioned on TV), but TC didn’t know that.

        Also, we all love big innings, but if you look at the first 100 games of the season, it wasn’t the lack of big innings that held us back, it was the inability to score ONE RUN. It’s not flawed thinking to play for that one run in the eighth inning of a tie game when you’ve got Clippard and Familia.

        You can’t NOT do fundamental things because you suck at them…you have to FIX them and GET BETTER at them. It’s a part of the game, and it’s a part of the game that good teams are GOOD at.

        • LA Jake

          I have no problem playing for one run in that situation, but trying to do so with a strategy that is unlikely to work makes no sense to me. Let’s take a look at the situation from the manager’s perspective:

          Flores has been hitting lately and in his last AB drilled one off the wall and is facing a lefty and the next scheduled hitter is Tejada. Tejada isn’t exactly an expected SAC FLY guy and has been slumping terribly. Also, like almost every position player on the Mets, Flores is a lousy bunter.

          If the bunt is successful, which is unlikely but possible, it still isn’t highly likely to result in a run scoring without a hit as per the description of Tejada listed above. That means it’s likely going to turn into either Niese or a pinch hitter batting with two outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd.

          If it’s Niese, then the Marlins pitch to him, which isn’t an option that favors the Mets.
          If it’s a pinch hitter, the Marlins could walk him and pitch to Lagares, which isn’t an option that favors the Mets.

          Putting that aside, I must speak to your last statement…of all the things we disagree on (TC, the pace at which management moved to bring in guys like Uribe and Johnson when the team desperately needed legit ML players in May, the way the team goes for the cheapest additions possible for the bench every offseason, the fact the team is run like a small market team despite playing in NYC with a new stadium and its own TV network, etc.), this one is my favorite and I think you should retire because you can’t top it.

          You said, “You can’t NOT do fundamental things because you suck at them…you have to FIX them and GET BETTER at them. It’s a part of the game, and it’s a part of the game that good teams are GOOD at.”

          You absolutely can NOT do fundamental things because you suck at them. If attempting the fundamental thing is highly likely to result in failure, WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU CONTINUE TO ATTEMPT IT AT THE MAJOR LEAGUE LEVEL?
          -Should teams bring in pitchers they know can’t throw strikes when the bases are loaded because they SHOULD be able to throw strikes? Would you agree with bringing in somebody like Alex Torres with the sacks packed because he should be able to get the ball over the plate?
          -Should the Mets play Wilmer Flores at SS when he’s making fielding and throwing errors and can’t complete double plays and it’s likely driving the young pitchers crazy (and I’m guessing it affected his offense as well) because he SHOULD be able to field the ball and throw to first and complete double plays? (Oops, the Mets did this for nearly four months, somehow I don’t think many people outside of Mets management thought this was the right thing to do)

          YES, you have to FIX fundamentals and GET BETTER at them and good teams are GOOD at fundamentals. But until you HAVE FIXED THEM and BECOME BETTER and ARE GOOD at them, you don’t try them in a key situation in a key game in a pennant race. August and September games are not practice time for teams in contention.

          • Rob E

            If you are saying “we suck at bunting so let’s just NEVER bunt” is an acceptable philosophy for a team that hopes to make the post-season, then you shouldn’t be calling Terry Collins ANYTHING. I hope to God you’re not an educator or a coach…

            If I might point out a minor flaw in logic here…HOW CAN THEY EVER BUNT IN GAMES IF YOUR REQUIREMENT FOR ALLOWING THEM TO BUNT IN GAMES IS PREVIOUS SUCCESS IN BUNTING IN GAMES?!?!?!

            How do you know that they haven’t been working on it ENDLESSLY, and Flores just F’ed up?!?!? Do you think the subject of bunting has just never come up on the Mets before?!?!? Not everything works ALL the time, it doesn’t mean you just stop trying or that the attempt was wrong!

            Secondly, when did Flores become Babe Ruth? Because he hit a double earlier in the game?!?! Ooooh. He also GROUNDED OUT TO SHORTSTOP twice, if you didn’t notice…which…I don’t know…might be BAD in a 1st and 2nd and nobody out situation?!?!? Ya think?!?! I LIKE Flores, but he’s not the guy to bet the rent on just yet.

          • LA Jake

            If I was an educator and you were a student of mine I’d fail you because your reading comprehension is so severely lacking. To note:

            -I didn’t say let’s just NEVER bunt. I won’t bore people and retype what I did say, you can go back and re-read. But suffice it to say one of the manager’s jobs is to put players in the best chance to succeed. So if they are woeful bunters, is requiring them to bunt in a key spot doing that?

            -I didn’t say the requirement is previous success bunting in games. I won’t bore people and retype what I did say, you can go back and re-read. But just like any other fundamental, you practice it outside of games until you are reasonably sure you can do it in a game, especially this late in the season with the team in a dogfight for a playoff spot.

            -I didn’t say they haven’t been working on bunting endlessly. I’m not even sure where this comes from but if you watch most of the Mets attempt to bunt, it is quite clear they aren’t fundamentally attempting to bunt properly. So it’s unlikely they have been working on bunting endlessly and he just F’ed up. And he’s not the only one.

            -I didn’t say Wilmer Flores became Babe Ruth. I took the scenario and weighed the facts available and said bunting there is a bad decision even if it works. I won’t bore people and retype what I did say, you can go back and re-read. But considering Flores has only GIDP six times all season but has driven in 43 runs, second most on the team and more than double Tejada’s 20, I’d rather take my chances with him than Tejada and whomever follows.

    • Dennis

      Nice post Rob E…….always appreciate your insight.

  • eric1973

    Regarding the pitcher batting 8th:
    LaRussa explained it as well, by saying it gives more RBI opportunities for the 3rd place hitter, while also guaranteeing him getting him up in the first inning, where he can do immediate damage.

    Also, by hitting him 3rd instead of 4th, it gives him more at-bats throughout the course of the season.

    • LA Jake

      Batting a stud 3rd makes sense…Wanting him to hit in the 1st inning and get RBI chances make sense. But if we assume hitters 3, 4 and 5 are the best hitters and RBI guys, then doesn’t it reason that the 6, 7 and 8 spots will also get RBI chances with the three aforementioned hitters on base? If so, how does having the pitcher hit 8th help that, unless he’s a better hitter than the 9th hitter in the order?

    • LA Jake

      Just read Baseball Prospectus and an article that used BP research that said by running simulations, it could provide a team 2-3 more runs in 162 games with the right lineup. It goes on to say for the effectiveness the position player normally batting 8th would need to be a high OBP guy without power. Since most teams don’t have one of those, let alone two of them in their lineup, it doesn’t appear to make sense.

      • Rob E

        I don’t see how batting the pitcher 8th makes any difference except possibly in the first inning. To be clear, we’re talking about the average hitting pitcher here, not Rick Rhoden. You want your on-base guys ahead of your RBI guys, but that holds true no matter where the pitcher bats, and once you are through the first inning, all bets are off anyway.

        You can argue that batting the pitcher in the traditional 9th spot can hurt you because when he does get on base, he blocks your leadoff hitter (who is traditionally a steals guy). That’s a fair point. But again, you can’t control that after the first inning.

        I don’t have a problem batting the pitcher 8th (and I applaud “out of the box” thinking), but I haven’t been able to see much positive OR negative in this strategy since LaRussa started doing it. And there are variables to consider…it could make sense SOMETIMES but not ALWAYS.

        • mikeski

          Heh. Rick Rhoden.

        • Eric

          “To be clear, we’re talking about the average hitting pitcher here, not Rick Rhoden.”

          Maybe Collins bats some – but not all – of his pitchers 8th simply because he buys into the meme about them as “#pitcherswhorake”.

          Not that he thinks they’re better hitters than Lagares, but they’re good enough hitters to justify lengthening the line-up where it turns over.

  • Dave

    The thing that strikes me the most right now is that just a few weeks ago, seemed that the roster was half full of guys who had no business being in the major leagues, or at least not on a major league team that had any expectations for 2015. Now that we’ve read the encouraging words “designated LHP Alex Torres for assignment,” I feel as though all 25 players on this roster can genuinely help the Mets win ballgames. Role players make a huge difference.

    When Cuddyer, Kirk, Blevins, David and (?) Montero get healthy, there’s no more “just send Muno back down” roster move to make to make room for them. Nice problem to have.

    • LA Jake

      It’s highly likely that the bench on days Wright starts at 3B will include Cuddyer, Flores/Murphy, Lagares, Uribe and Plawecki. That’s a legit bench for both pinch hitting and defensive substitutions on the IF and in the OF.

    • Eric

      “(?) Montero”

      Don’t forget Matz.

      The Mets need only one of them to stretch out the starting rotation, but I wonder how close Colon is to being pulled.

      • Dave

        Oh yeah, him :) I suspect that even if some of them could play in a couple of weeks, they’ll just wait until the rosters expand to activate them.

        • Eric

          Do Alderson and Collins want to wait that long? The unknown is what’s needed and when from a spot/6th starter to soak up enough innings to satisfy the aces’ innings limits. Does that need to start in the early part of August or can it wait until September?

  • Steve D

    LA Jake…here are 2 lineups:

    LINEUP 1
    7th Pos Plyr AVG .240
    8th Pitcher AVG .160
    9th Pos Plyr AVG .230
    1st Pos Plyr AVG .290

    LINEUP 2
    7th Pos Plyr AVG .240
    8th Pos Plyr AVG .230
    9th Pitcher AVG .160
    1st Pos Plyr AVG .290

    You have to hide the pitcher somewhere…I would rather him be in front of the .230 hitter than the .290 hitter. He can bunt wherever he is in the lineup and as I said earlier, batting the pitcher 8th gets them virtually no more AB over a season than batting 9th.

    • LA Jake

      Steve D,

      I can see how it could be beneficial to have the better hitter (we’ll assume that to be a position player in most cases) batting 8th because he might come up with men on base with a chance to drive them in.

      I can also see where having the better hitter batting 9th could be beneficial if he comes up with nobody out.

      But if he bats 9th and comes up with one out, that means the pitcher already made an out. And if the hitter gets a single, the pitcher could’ve bunted him over so they would then be in scoring position with one out, which would be better than on 1st with one out.

      And if he bats 9th and comes up with two out, then it’s going to be tough to get to the RBI guys anyway because the leadoff man and second hitter will both need to get on base.

      The bottom line is if you could be sure what scenarios would occur, then I can see gaining an advantage. But since you can’t, I’d rather have the better hitter coming up even just slightly more often.

      • Steve D

        But I debunked the theory that the 8th place pitcher would come up more often. I want the better hitter batting before my leadoff hitter anytime, in effect leveraging the fact that my leadoff hitter should be one of my better hitters.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    A year ago an August substitution of O’Flaherty for Torres would be seen as a Who Cares rearrangement of the deck chairs. Heck, two weeks ago it would have looked that way. Now it’s a totally useful addition of a needed piece.

    I’m not sure what Wright is going to bring to the table. A .260 average with no power? I think at this point I’d rather see Uribe. Hard reality but probably true.

    • LA Jake

      Only one way to find out is to play him and see if he contributes. My guess is if he can’t go full speed and is a shell of himself and is hurting the team, he’ll pull himself out of the lineup before TC considers it (which is praise for Wright being a team guy and not a knock on TC who will be in an unfair situation for a manager)

  • eric1973

    Do we have our 8 game winning streak yet? Odds overwhelmingly in favor.

    Flores looks like he REALLY can’t bunt, so hire Buddy H. to teach him. Until then, don’t even try it.

    No, not Rick Rhoden, just the average poor hitting pitcher hitting 8th. The strategy is purely for the benefit of the 3rd-4th place hitters, who are the best on the team. The 5-6-7 hitters will just have to fend for themselves. But it only makes any sense if you have an on-base guy hitting 9th, not a .230 hitter.

    The pitcher hitting 8th would tend to make the last out of a given inning, and then your Backman1-Dykstra-Backman2 hitters would all get on base for Keith and Gary (Carter), and it sounds foolproof.

  • eric1973

    Speaking of LaRussa, remember when he would bring in Eckersley with 2 out in the 9th to get the 1-out save. How annoying was that. Talk about creeping LaRussa-ism.

    Harrelson would hit 9th sometimes, for Philly, behind Steve Carlton or Larry Christiansen, but that was only because they were better hitters than he was at the end of his career.

  • eric1973

    How would Bud Harrelson be as a bunter in today’s game? Better than any of these current Mets —- and he’s 70 years old!

  • open the gates

    Starting to think that maybe the player to be named later in the O’Flaherty trade should be O’Flaherty.

  • eric1973

    The new guy should have only pitched to the 1 batter, do what he’s here for, and leave with a good taste in everyone’s mouth.

    I figured Gilmartin for the 9th, do what HE’S here for, and was very surprised. Then despair turned to hopelessness when it looked as if Familia would have one of those Billy Wagner-like games, where he could throw 100 pitches and not get 3 out.

    • Eric

      I disagree.

      O’Flaherty was acquired to specialize in getting out left-handed hitters. The Marlins hitters lined up just right for him to show off exactly that skill in a blow-out. He faced 4 straight LHs and 5/6 LHs and only managed to retire 2 of them.

      Hopefully, it was just a blip because the Mets bullpen almost lost another big lead. Familia struggled again with his command.

      Reliable relievers are needed. I think Matz goes to the bullpen if the Mets make the play-offs.

      Interesting: Clippard was warming up to come in for Familia.

  • Eric

    Mets now 2 up in the standings. More importantly, they pulled 1 ahead in the all-important loss column.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Interesting that with alll of the theorizing on potential late season lineups, none of you guys are even mentioning Cuddyer.

    • DanielHall15

      How does the bat boy figure in setting the lineup?

      • Matt in Richmond

        He’s had a substandard year no doubt, but he has a track record as a professional hitter. If he’s healthy, he will be a part of this team. Better get used to it.

  • Matt in Richmond

    And could everyone stop trying to anoint Conforto as the second coming of Ted Williams please? I think there’s a good chance for him to have a nice career, but he’s barely had a cup of coffee.