Let the Mike Baxter Era Begin

23How great is this lousy team? A day after losing Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy, the banged-up Mets go out and turn a 4-1 lead into an 8-4 deficit, then score 2 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th to walk off a win over Heath Bell and Padres? One star in the comeback was some guy named Mike Baxter, who was recalled from Buffalo today when Reyes was disabled and doubled home a run in his first turn at bat. Baxter it turns out is a Queens native who grew up a Met fan and was acquired from San Diego on a minor-league waiver deal earlier this year. He’s wearing No. 23, the same digits worn a lifetime ago most recently by washout reliever Blaine Boyer and previously by useful reserve types such as Ted Martinez, Tim Bogar and Julio Franco.

Ruben Tejada was back up in Murphy’s slot, still wearing 11 and having a nice game. Other recent moves we failed to mention: Mike Nickeas was back briefly after Carlos Beltran was traded, but he was returned to AAA when Nick Evans (who naturally, cleared waivers again and accepted another assignment with the Bison), was recalled on Saturday.

It’s a shame it’s got to end for Murphy, a real piece of work who probably cost this team three or four games with boneheaded plays alone, but hit and hit and hit and hit, and for that, I forgive. Along with Beltran (and to a lesser degree, Reyes) he made a complete mockery of my pessimism this year. Though even with the team scoring runs beyond my wildest expecatations, the trouble they’d encountered keeping teams like Washington and Florida off the scoreboard early and/or late tells me the Mets probably didn’t have the pitching depth to make a run anyhow. But it’s been a fun season anyway, and even when you think its over, it’s not. Let’s Go Mets!

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