Author: Bill Baer

Joey Votto
AP Photo

Joey Votto extends on-base streak to 43 games


With a single in the fifth inning on Saturday against the Mets, Reds first baseman Joey Votto extended his on-base streak to 43 games. He’s a little over halfway to reaching the record, held by Ted Williams. He reached base 83 times between July 1 and September 27, 1949.

Votto went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Padres on August 10. In the 42 games after that, he hit .362/.543/.677 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI spanning 184 plate appearances. Overall this season, Votto came into Saturday’s action batting .315/.463/.556 with 29 home runs and 77 RBI.

Bryce Harper hopes the Mets win the World Series

Bryce Harper
AP Photo

Bryce Harper walked the Nationals off in the 12th inning against the Phillies on Saturday, but it was a bittersweet win. Less than an hour earlier, the Mets clinched the NL East — eliminating the Nats from post-season contention — with a win against the Reds.

Harper doesn’t have sour grapes, though. Per Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

It’s a nice sign of sportsmanship from Harper, who gets an undeserved rap for his attitude. The outfielder can take solace in that he’ll be adding some hardware to his mantle this off-season anyway, as he’s pretty much locked up the NL MVP Award. After Saturday’s 3-for-5 performance, he’s hitting .339/.470/.663 with 41 home runs, 96 RBI, and 117 runs scored.

Video: Mets clinch NL East on Jeurys Familia’s strikeout

Jeurys Familia
AP Photo

Jeurys Familia set down the Reds in the ninth inning on Saturday at Great American Ball Park, striking out Jay Bruce as the Mets clinched the NL East. In doing so, the Mets’ ticket to the post-season is punched for the first time since 2006.

Familia’s ninth inning was stress-free, as he entered with a 10-2 lead. He got two quick outs, but allowed a single to left field to Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips followed up with an infield single. A throwing error on the play by David Wright allowed Votto to move to third base. But Familia bounced back to whiff Bruce.

Watch the final out and the Mets’ ensuing celebration:

Lucas Duda smacks grand slam as Mets clinch the NL East

Lucas Duda
AP Photo

Mets first baseman Lucas Duda belted a grand slam in the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Reds, providing all of the offense starter Matt Harvey would need. But the Mets didn’t stop there. Curtis Granderson added a solo home run in the second inning and Michael Cuddyer plated a pair of runs in the third with a double. David Wright put the game out of reach with a three-run home run in the ninth.

Harvey threw 97 pitches over 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on nine hits while walking none and striking out six. He is officially past his innings limit, now at 183 1/3. Harvey left with two outs in the seventh, relieved by Addison Reed. Tyler Clippard worked a scoreless inning and Jeurys Familia nailed down the win with a scoreless ninth. He struck out Jay Bruce swinging to end the game.

With the 10-2 victory at Great American Ball Park, the Mets have officially clinched the NL East and earned their first trip to the playoffs since 2006.

Duda’s grand slam: