This morning I agreed with Jeff Francoeur’s take on that “Team of Destiny” rebop, and now I’m finding him to be 100% on-point when it comes to the idea of expanding the playoffs:
“Obviously it’s going to get more people in the postseason. But baseball’s so unique because only eight teams go. In football you get 12, in basketball and hockey you get 16. I mean, you’ve got more than half the teams going to the playoffs. I think that’s what’s so cool and so special about baseball is that you only have eight teams that go, four teams from each league, and that means a great deal. You start adding wild cards – How do you do it? Who gets the bye? I love the way baseball’s set up right now. Sometimes you can do too much to make the sport worse, and I like where our sport’s at.”
What are the odds that Francoeur is really some sage who has set off on this baseball career as George Plimpton-style cover for an epic writing project? On some level I’d find that far preferable to the simple solution that he and I see the world fairly similarly in most respects.
Double plays come in an assortment of combinations, from the standard 6-4-3 combo to some more unusual patterns. During the Mets’ 5-3 win over the Nationals on Saturday, however, what made this double play strange was less the product of an unorthodox route and almost entirely due to an unexpected collision on the basepaths instead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, with the Mets trailing 1-0, Zack Wheeler caught Jose Lobaton swinging for strike three. Mets’ backstop Travis d'Arnaud fired the ball to second base, where the ball slipped out of Asdrubal Cabrera‘s glove as Jayson Werth slid into the bag for a stolen base. Second baseman Neil Walker fielded the ball in shallow center field, then tossed it to third base, and Jose Reyes tagged Werth easily for the second out of the play.
The Mets complimented their defensive efforts with a strong showing at the plate, reclaiming the lead with three home runs from Michael Conforto and Jose Reyes to clinch their tenth win of the year.
It’s been a miserable weekend for Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton, who stumbled over first base and injured his leg while running out an infield single in Friday’s 7-5 loss to the Mets. While the team officially placed the outfielder on the 10-day disabled list with a left knee strain on Saturday, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Eaton has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017 season. The team has yet to confirm the diagnosis or announce a definite timetable for the 28-year-old’s return, perhaps due to extended evaluations by Eaton’s orthopedic doctor:
The Nationals appear to have several outfield options with Eaton on the disabled list, though they have not pinned down a long-term solution. Center fielder Michael Taylor replaced Eaton on the field during the tail end of Friday’s game, and returned on Saturday to man center and bat second in the lineup. The club also promoted top outfield prospect Rafael Bautista, who slashed .291/.325/.354 with five doubles and a .680 OPS through 19 games in Triple-A Syracuse this season. He’ll assume Eaton’s roster spot and looks to be available for a backup role in the outfield going forward.