Is tonight the biggest game in Citi Field history?

34 Comments

source: Getty Images

David Lennon of Newsday tweeted this a little while ago:

I sort of chuckled at first but then I thought about it some and . . . I think he’s right?

It’s the Sunday night game. A prime time matchup between the Mets and the first place Nationals. If the Mets win they’re tied for the division lead. And, it’s worth noting, they cap a big three days what with the Cespedes acquisition on Friday, Wilmer Flores’ big walkoff homer that night and last night’s Lucas Duda-powered win. A sweep of the visiting Nats and a claim on first place is pretty huge, yes?

Especially when you consider that since moving into Citi Field for the 2009 season, the Mets have finished in fourth place four seasons, third place one season and second place last year, albeit 17 games back. They’ve basically never challenged since moving into that ballpark. They never once led the division in 2011, 2013 or 2014. They last led in 2012 on April 9. In 2010 they led on April 30. They led as late as May 15 in 2009. Meaningful games in the standings have been nearly non-existent.

Which isn’t to say that there haven’t been big moments in Citi Field. But they were mostly a function of happenstance, not a big game buildup that led people to arrive at the ballpark with feeling that it was a big deal. Johan Santana’s no hitter comes to mind. Probably the single greatest highlight in that park, but not one that anyone knew would happen beforehand.

So, at least in terms of anticipation, this has to be the biggest, I reckon. Meaningful baseball in August in Queens. The Mets, who are so often the butt of jokes, challenging for first place against a team everyone basically handed the division title back in March. Not bad, eh?

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

Bryan Woolston/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.