The Reds saved their greatest humiliation of the year for the last day of the season.
40-year-old Miguel Batista, who hadn’t pitched a complete game in five years, hurled a three-hit shutout in the Mets’ 3-0 win over the Reds on Wednesday. It was his fifth career shutout and first since July 19, 2006 against the Dodgers.
The outing matched Batista’s low hit total for a complete game in his career. He had thrown three three-hitters previously, again the last coming in 2006. His only previous three-hit shutout came with the Expos on June 5, 1999.
Batista, who was released by the Cardinals earlier this season, hadn’t thrown more than six innings in any of his previous four starts this year.
The Reds have made it clear that they intend to bring Dusty Baker back next year. Really, though, the team simply folded today against a journeyman reliever to finish 79-83. I don’t suppose it’s fair to base any decisions on the way an als0-ran plays on the final day of the season, but if Baker can’t keep his team motivated — which is really supposed to be his biggest strength — what good is he doing the Reds?
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.