Meet the Mets/Meet the Mets/Step right up and greet the Mets/Bring your kiddies, bring your wife/Guaranteed to have the time of your life/Because the Mets are really sockin' the ball; knocking those home runs over the wall!
1. The Mets win and it will be like super-duper awesomely dramatic. Well, that's one way to end a three-game losing streak. How do you describe the past 24 hours for the New York Mets? Heartbreak to heart attacks. First they blew a lead in the eighth inning Thursday. Then Jose Reyes did this:
Then the Philadelphia Phillies scored twice in the 11th. Then Asdrubal Cabrera did this (and don't miss the bat flip!):
From Elias Sports Bureau research: This is the first time the Mets tied a game in the bottom of the ninth on a home run and then subsequently won on a walk-off home run since June 11, 2005, against the Angels. Marlon Anderson hit a game-tying solo inside-the-park home run and Cliff Floyd hit a walk-off in the 10th. The Mets became the eighth team this season to tie the game with a home run in the ninth and then win on a walk-off (although not all of those came while trailing).
Mets fans had spent the day depressingly thinking of 1998 (when they blew a wild-card spot by losing their final five games) or 2007 (had a seven-game lead on the Phillies with 17 to play) or 2008 (had a 3½-game lead on the Phillies with 17 to play). The day began with the news that Steven Matz would be unable to make his Friday start due to lingering soreness in his shoulder. Talk radio second-guessed Terry Collins' decision to pull Addison Reed on Wednesday (it was then Reed who served up the go-ahead home run in the eighth). But these no-names found a way. Collins used a club-record 27 players, including 10 pitchers. In the end, Cabrera has been carrying this team the past month -- he's third in the majors in OPS since Aug. 15, behind Gary Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez -- and he delivered the biggest hit of the Mets' season.
Yes, all this is just about a wild card. But ask the 2014 Giants what that can lead to.
2. Tigers take two, climb into playoff position. The Detroit Tigers took over the second wild-card spot from the Baltimore Orioles after they swept a doubleheader from the Twins and the Orioles lost their fourth in a row to the Red Sox. They finished 15-4 against the Twins, including 9-0 in Minnesota. Justin Verlander fanned 11 in six innings in the nightcap.
4. Sergio Romo closes the door for the Giants. Believe me when I say that it's a big deal in San Francisco that Romo has now recorded back-to-back saves, finishing off a 2-1 victory over the Padres -- although a nervous Bruce Bochy did have a lefty warming up in the bullpen. The Giants remained in a tie with the Mets, a half-game ahead of the Cardinals.
It's OK, San Francisco Giants fans. You can breathe now. pic.twitter.com/gj5IJz3PJK— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) September 23, 2016
5. Mariners backup catcher perhaps ruins career. Steve Clevenger is a 30-year-old backup catcher from Baltimore who has played for the Cubs, Orioles and Mariners over parts of six seasons. When he was with the Orioles the past two seasons, he was one of those inspiring "local kid makes good" stories. The Mariners acquired him for Mark Trumbo and he has been out since late June with a broken hand. He hit one home run before getting injured, which means the Orioles lead the trade 43 home runs to 1. (To be a little fair to Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, it was purely a salary-dump trade, so any team could have Trumbo for nothing. Also, even with 43 home runs, Trumbo has been worth just 1.1 WAR, according to Baseball-Reference.com.)
Anyway, Clevenger thought it was apparently a good idea to tweet out that Black Lives Matter protesters "should be locked behind bars like animals."
Dipoto issued a statement that while Clevenger "is certainly free to express himself" -- something Clevenger himself apparently believes only some people have the right to do -- the club is "currently examining all internal options that are available to us as we determine appropriate next steps."
Well, considering Clevenger, who later issued an apology, isn't any good and holds some pretty inflammatory opinions, the internal option is pretty easy: Get rid of him. They'll probably have to wait until after the season is over so the Major League Baseball Players Association doesn't go after them, but there's no point keeping a 30-year-old backup catcher who can't hit on the 40-man roster.