Tag Archive for Brett Baty

A Pennant Pandemic

Down by one ace pitcher and the most reliable of their outfielders, the Mets have tested positive for Pennant Fever.

Tyler Naquin appears to vomit into his helmet then look wobblingly unsteady up there at the plate, which may as well be symptoms, as were two walks, a hit, a run, and just one whiff last night. Mark Cahna, Eduardo Escobar and even Mychal Givens appear to have been exposed. And the slumping Daniel Vogelbach seems to have caught something last night too and looked again he that could be our good year blimp.

It’s still rough for Darin Ruf but perhaps the arrival of rookie Mark Vientos will make Ruf touch his own face and forget to wash his hands. Vientos is a right handed masher who has shown fearsome power at AAA Syracuse but the Mets have been wary of his defense. He’s been assigned No. 27 and may appear in today’s starting lineup at DH so you may as well forget the Jets this afternoon.

I caught something too in the form of a gentle rebuke for the cranky tone of the last post. I hadn’t fully realized that the building drama interfered with my Ya Gotta Believeism, either. I conked out before last night’s Seattle-Atlanta game but seeing the result this morning confirmed my case.

Here’s another thing I realized only today. Both of this year’s most exciting call-ups, Brett Baty and now Vientos weren’t even born when this site first went up. That was in 1999, another year where a Mets-Braves September pennant race was pretty sick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bush v. Gore and Mazeika v. Mazeika

Terrance Gore, I guy I only knew because he once wore No. 0 for the Kansas City Royals, is your newest Met, taking the roster spot of Brett Baty who injured a thumb and can’t be counted on to return to the bigs this year even if they say mid-September.

Gore is 31 and spent most of his career in the bushes. He last appeared in MLB in twon games with the Dodgers in 2020. He most recently belonged to the Atlanta organization and was signed by the Mets as a minor league free agent in June. He looks more destined to be used as a pinch runner than a pinch hitter and is outfitted in No. 4, which freed up when Patrick Mazeika was signed away by San Francisco where he currently toils in their minor league organization.

I’ll remember the Zeeker for his accidental walk-off dribblers leaving him shirtless and Gatorade soaked, his goggles and beard. And for being the Mets’ all-time leader in every category among those who wore No. 76, as he was the first and only. But this year’s change to 4 made remarkably little difference:

No.  AB  R  H  HR  RBI  BA  OBP  SLG 
Ma76ieka (2021)  79  6  15  1  6  .190  .253  .266 
Mazie4a (2022)  68  4  16  1  6  .191  .214  .294 

In other comings and goings: Yolmer Sanchez was DFA’ed then sent to AAA Syracuse, Connor Grey was optioned back there without making an appearance, Tommy Hunter, David Peterson and Eduardo Escobar are all back.

I was at Tuesday’s game which was a disappointment to say the least. If Buck had listened to me he’d have had Lindor try and squeeze home Marte on the first pitch in that first inning. But nothing worked until Cahna’s home run, which drew a gasp from the crowd. I don’t know if it was where I was sitting but the fan energy wasn’t high that night either. Nice to follow up with a solid win yesterday, setting up this afternoon’s showdown.

 

 

 

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First Impressions

Just a quick update here to tell you something all of us already know: The Brett Baty thing was a thing, and it couldn’t have gone better. He wore No. 22 which I also had associated with him because as noted in the comments below by Gene (and confirmed by Matt), he wore 22 in Binghamton and knew also that finding him assigned 2 in Syracuse seemed unusual to me, but only because I didn’t know how recently he’d been assigned there but it was much less that I thought. I also knew he was considered something like Wright but seemed to have been surprised then to find he batted lefthanded. I can adjust for that a little and say he also resembles a young Robin Ventura.

The other thing I’ll mention here is that I’m old and decrepit enough to have a specific memory that Benny Ayala became the first Met ever to hit a home run in his first at-bat and that means I actually have been alive and paying attention to all five.

No. Player Date Details Fun Facts
18 Benny Ayala Aug. 27, 1974 Solo HR 2nd inning off LHP Tom Wilson at Shea. Mets 4, Astros 2 Ayala was traded to St. Louis on March 30, 1977 for a minor league infielder Dog Clarey, a day after it was revealed that GM Joe McDonald had been driving while intoxicated when his car collided with a bus a few days earlier. McDonald said he hadn’t been drinking prior to the accident but had drinks the night before. He said he was out to pick blueberries to put on breakfast cereal when the accident occurred the following morning.
 20 Mike Fitzgerald September 13, 1983 Solo HR, 2nd inning off RHP Tony Ghelfi at Veterans Stadium. Mets 5, Phillies 1 The pitcher who surrendered Fitzgerald’s mighty blast, Tony Ghelfi, never pitched in another MLB game. It was only his third appearance in one.
 25 Kazuo Matsui April 6, 2004 Solo HR, top of the 1st off RHP Russ Ortiz at Turner Field. Mets 7, Braves 2 Matsui knew how to enter a room. Not only was his first hit a home run, his first pitch he saw he put over the fence. He’d twice more hit a home run on opening day, including in 2005 (2-run HR off ex-Met Paul Wilson of the Reds) and the following year, an inside-the-park home run off Jake Peavy in Petco Park.
27  Mike Jacobs Aug. 21, 2005 Pinch-hit for Juan Padilla, 3-run HR, bottom of the 5th, off Esteban Loiaza at Shea. Nationals 7, Mets 4 Jacobs’ home run saved his place on the roster and he would hit .310/.375/.710//1.085 through the end of the year. He’d later be a key piece in the Carlos Delgado trade.
22 Brett Baty Aug. 17, 2022 2-run HR, top of the 2nd  off Jake Odorizzi at Truist Park. Mets 9, Braves 7 Baty was a 12th-overall pick. His parents and sister had driven from Texas to be in the park and were on camera as he hit it. Be on the lookout for a MLB “Enjoy The Show” commercial like they made from this one.

 

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Those Meddling Kids

It was a dark and stormy night…. First it was Luis Guillorme, then Tomas Nido, then Carlos Carrasco to the injured list, and now Taijuan Walker and Eduardo Escobar are at the least compromised.

In two days, the momentum that seemed unstoppable ground to an abrupt halt, and we’ve been overpowered twice by the Braves who have the opportunity to make back all of what they lost during their humiliating 4-of-5 defeat in New York.

So I finally learned last night who R.J. Alvarez actually is and our first meeting didn’t go well. Same with Deven Marrero. Same also with Michael Perez, the catcher I once thought was on his way to replace an injured Nido, only for a different injury. Nido by the way is dealing with a “Non-Injury Related Illness,” or NORI which is one letter less than COVID as a signifier. Perez wears 35, and knew he wasn’t the first catcher to wear it as I recall John Gibbons wearing 35 in 1986–another eerie parallel to that championship season. I checked the records just to be sure and his debut last night came just one day before Gibbons’ run in 35 began on Aug. 17, 1986–or 36 years ago today. Mike Jacobs and Joe Nolan were also 35 as Met catchers.

We also learned that Darin Ruf is our best emergency reliver but pushing our luck won’t be advisable.

Pretty spooky stuff right? And that reminds me of a remark a few few posts back from the alert reader Jim A who said:

Lost in all of this is the fact that 2022 may be the year of no fewer than FOUR “Phantom Mets”. That is, players who spent time on the active roster, but never got in a game.

#25 – Gosuke Katoh
#71 – RJ Alvarez
#46 – Sam Clay
#15 – Kramer Robertson

Alvarez last night removed himself from that list, still wearing 71, and in my mind enters a category something akin to an “Apparition Met,” being a Phantom Met whose disguise was yanked off him in the top of the third inning last night as though Walker’s back spasms were the gang from Scooby-Doo revealing Alvarez was not a ghost, but a shaggy-haired, bearded relief pitcher about to turn a 0-0 game into 3-0 game via tape-measure home runs and hard-hit balls everywhere, and he’d have gotten away with it were it not for those meddling kids. Marrero was unmasked as a flamed-out first-round draftee of the Red Sox with experience there and as a Marlin whom the Mets added from the roster of the Long Island Ducks in June.

I’ve covered Katoh before and somehow missed both Sam Clay and Kramer Robertson. Clay is lefty reliever who’s done a tour of the NL East’s farm clubs this season being DFAed first by the Nationals then by the Phillies before he arrived as a Met depth guy and remains on the 40-man roster where he’s assigned 46.

Kramer Robertson sounds like a made-up name to me but he’s a journeyman minor league infielder who was assigned 15 and called up to the Mets and DFAed a few days later, and re-signed by St. Louis, making him an Actual Ghost Met and not just a potential one. His number now belongs to Marrero, who is a flamed out one-time First Round Draftee of the Red Sox with experience as a reserve there, Arizona and Miami and whom we scooped up as AAA depth in late June when he was cut loose by the Marlins.

It’s not all terrifying though. Anthony DiComo has already published an encouraging article that suggests the Mets have more pitching depth than it seems, including soon-to-return guys like Joey Lucchesi (47) and Tylor Megill and a fast-moving prospect whose still something of a longshot at least presently, Jose Butto. And Marrero, reports say, is on his way out as the one of the team’s most promising prospects, third baseman Brett Baty, is reportedly en route to Atlanta. Baty was a No. 1 Mets’ draft pick in 2019 and has been compared to David Wright. He’s killing it wearing No. 2 for Syracuse; on the Mets’ 40-man roster, that number belongs to Baty’s current AAA teammate, Dom Smith, which should be frightening if only for Dom and what remains of his cheering section.

Otherwise it’s sunny-side up despite a scary start to a difficult road trip in which the compromised SHaMs face back-to-back tests from their closest two pursuers.

LGM YGB etc.

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