Reese Kaplan -- A September Swoon Song?


Images of Septembers in years past have burned themselves indelibly in Mets fans' consciousness, and those less hardy souls among us are wondering if it’s going to be, as the late Yogi Berra would say, a case of déjà vu all over again.  There’s no way to sugarcoat how badly the team has performed of late after being virtually flawless through the month of August.  The September record is a winning 12-9 but the team has chosen to slump at precisely the wrong time.  Both the offense and the pitching have gone south.  Fortunately the Washington Nationals have been just as bad, so it's not as dire as it might have been.  The team did manage to reel off what, eight wins in a row, yet them stumbled against decidedly inferior rosters.  Still, have a look at some of the September numbers.  Any team that’s counting on Ruben Tejada to deliver its offense may be in serious trouble:

Ruben Tejada 1/6/.405
Yoenis Cespedes 3/9/.306, however, last 10 days – 1/1/.182
David Wright 2/8/.304
Wilmer Flores 2/5/.283
Michael Cuddyer 0/1/.273
Daniel Murphy – 3/12/.262
Michael Conforto 4/9/.258
Curtis Granderson 0/6/.200
Lucas Duda – 1/2/.171

The starting pitching has been equally abysmal.  After youngster Steven Matz and big Bart, the numbers are not pretty:

Steve Matz, 2-0, 2.20
Bartolo Colon 2-1, 2.60
Noah Syndergaard, 0-1, 4.15
Jacob deGrom 1-1, 5.50
Jon Niese, 1-1, 5.75
Matt Harvey – 1-0, 5.94

Newcomer Addison Reed has what appear to be stellar numbers but everyone watched him serve up the balls that resulted in 3 runs being charged to Bartolo Colon on Wednesday night:

Addison Reed, 11.2 IP, 0.00
Jeurys Familia, 9 IP, 3.00
Tyler Clippard, 11.2 IP, 6.94

There are two philosophical approaches you can take when a team is not going well.  There’s the “dance with who brung ya” approach which says the players are merely slumping now, but without their contributions you wouldn’t be in first place.  Stick with what’s worked in the past and eventually it will all even out.

Then there’s the one which supports the oft-cited definition of insanity in which doing the same thing but expecting different results.  These people would advocate trying something new since what’s being done right now isn’t working.

Personally, I’m of the belief that innings limits and rest for weary bats and legs go by the wayside until the pennant is locked up.  How many times have we seen pitchers lifted prematurely or more productive batters given a day off in order to keep them fresh?  Had you locked up the pennant already like the Pirates did, you’d have a ten day period in which you could play every bench player for the remainder of the regular season.  Instead, the Mets find themselves sweating the two deadlines – to try to lock up the pennant before the final three games atainst the Nationals, or, failing in that, winning it during that October set when the Eric Campbells and Eric Youngs of this world should be getting the starts instead of burning out all of your regulars just before the post-season who were inexplicably babied during September. 


Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Reese, sometimes we get a break. We didn't in those 2 collapse years, as the Phils were relentless. We didn't with that great 1985 team because the Cards were having a super year.

We did, though, in 1969 when the Cubs folded, and we're getting one again as the Nats complete their fold up. I was worried after Sunday's loss to the Yanks, but the Nats did not play super villain. They folded like slacks in a dry cleaners shop. Very hopefully, we clinch tonight, and get a week to sail into the playoffs. I'd like home field vs. Dodgers, but whether we get that or not, I am going to enjoy the ride thru the end of the season.

Hopefully the first pennant of several straight.

Mack Ade said...

I guess we can take a deep breath now with one to go.

My hope is the Nats game ends first and they lose first. Wouldn't that be a great Mets dugout?

Unknown said...

What are you talking about here? Do you realize the team has a magic number of one, and you're talking about shaking things up and how poorly they've played lately. Is this a joke?

Mack Ade said...

Unknown -

Reese wrote and scheduled this a couple of days ago when many of us were walking the tightrope...

Mack's Mets © 2012