The Mets scored single runs in the ninth and 10th innings to beat the Yankees 3-2 and avoid a home sweep Sunday.
Already down Jose Reyes because of a hamstring strain, the Mets’ chances appeared to take another hit today when R.A. Dickey was forced from a 1-1 game after five innings due to tightness in his glute. The Mets got two scoreless innings from rookie Pedro Beato, but they fell behind in the eighth after Jason Isringhausen gave up a run on a Curtis Granderson sac fly.
To come back from there, the Mets relied on what’s been their biggest offensive weapon this season: the base on balls. The NL leaders in walks and OBP couldn’t push across a run after two David Robertson walks in the eighth, but they did capitalize on Mariano Rivera’s two-out walk of Jason Bay in the ninth. Lucas Duda and Ronny Paulino both singled from there to tie up the game.
With the winning run on second, Ruben Tejada then hit a ball that went through shortstop Ramiro Pena for an error. Fortunately, left fielder Brett Gardner was charging the entire time, and though his throw home was a bit wide of home plate, Russell Martin was able to haul it in and dive back across the plate in time to tag Duda and send the game into extras.
The Mets went on to win it in 10. Scott Hairston walked to lead off the inning against Luis Ayala and was sacrificed to second. After a HBP and a strikeout, Daniel Murphy hit a pretty routine grounder to short that Pena bobbled for his second error in two innings. With the bases loaded, Bay drove a pitch into the gap in right-center to end the game.
Bay has now hit in six straight games. He’s also driven in seven runs and walked six times during that span.
Francisco Rodriguez, pitching two innings for the first time this season, earned the win today. The blown save was Rivera’s fourth of the year and first against the Mets since 1999.
The Yankees lost their seven-game winning streak, but they did end up 4-2 against the Mets this season.
Yoenis Cespedes is in the first year of a three-year, $75 million deal with the Mets that includes an opt-out clause leading into 2017. It’s a great situation for him. If he was hurt or ineffective this year, hey, he still gets $75 million. If he rakes he can go back out on the free agent market this November and see if he can’t do better than the two years and $50 million he’ll have left.
Cespedes said today, however, that he does not plan to exercise his opt-out this winter:
Speaking through an interpreter, Cespedes stayed on message, saying his focus is on “helping the team win so we can hopefully make it to the playoffs.”
When asked by The Record’s Matt Ehalt if he intended to honor all three years of his current $75 million contract, without opting out, Cespedes flatly said, “Yes.”
The beautiful thing about baseball contracts is that the Bergen Record is not a party to them and thus statements made to them about the contract are not legally binding. Cespedes can most certainly change his mind on the matter — or just lie to the press even if he fully intends to opt-out — and nothing can be done to him. At least nothing apart from having someone write bad things about him, but that’s gonna happen anyway. The guy can’t play golf without someone who has no idea how to Cespedes’ job say that he “just doesn’t get it.”
So, will Cespedes opt-out? He’s certainly making a case that it’d be a wise thing to do purely on financial terms. He’s hitting .295/.365/.570 with 25 homers in 98 games. And those numbers are dragged down a bit by the fact that the Mets kept playing him through an injury for the second half of July.
Maybe Cespedes just likes New York and maybe he’s happy with his two-year, $50 million guarantee and won’t opt out. Maybe he doesn’t want to deal with the drama and uncertainty of free agency again, even if he would have no trouble finding a job. Maybe he thinks that he’ll fall short of the $25 million average annual value he’s looking at for 2017 and 2018 if he opts out, even if he does get a longer deal as a result.
We have no idea and we have no say. But it’s not hard to imagine that, if he keeps hitting and especially if he helps the Mets get into the playoffs, he’d be leaving a ton of money on the table if he doesn’t test the market once again.
The Oakland Athletics’ ballpark saga has gone on for years now, with false starts in Fremont and San Jose, lawsuits and seemingly interminable talks with the City of Oakland over a new place on the current Coliseum site. That’s all complicated, of course, by the presence of the Raiders, on whose address — be it Oakland, Las Vegas or someplace else — the A’s future is still largely contingent.
The city has tried to get the A’s interested in a waterfront site for several years now. There are a lot of problems with that due mostly to zoning and regulatory matters, as well as proximity to transit and other practical concerns. The artist’s renderings are often pretty, but it takes more than artist’s renderings to make a good ballpark plan.
But no one is giving up on that and, it seems, even the A’s are willing to at least listen to such proposals now:
Oakland A’s co-owner John Fisher is expected to join officials Thursday for a hush-hush tour of the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal, a cargo-loading area near Jack London Square that Mayor Libby Schaaf tirelessly promotes as “a fantastic site for a ballpark.”
Guess it ain’t so “hush-hush” anymore. As with all Oakland ballpark stories, however, feel free to continue snoozing until someone gives us a real reason to wake up.
Note: The above photo is from the Port of Oakland. I have no idea what the proximity of the working part of the city’s port is to where they’d build a ballpark, but I used this picture because I love the story about how George Lucas spotted those things from an airplane as he was leaving Oakland or San Francisco or whatever and used them as inspiration for the AT-AT Imperial Walkers in “Empire Strikes Back.” Which may be a totally aprocyphal story, but one I love so much that I told it to my kids when we flew in to Oakland back in June and will choose to believe despite whatever evidence you provide.