Gabrielle Lucivero, SNY.TV
The Mets will have a new fan in the stands on Saturday night. Diamond Marquez traded in her Nationals cap for a Mets jersey and will take in her first game as a Mets fan as they face her former favorites at Citi Field.
It all started when Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local, was sent the above picture of Diamond in her Nationals hat. Kerpen’s best friend is a principal at a charter school in Harlem, and Diamond is one of his students.
Kerpen gave Diamond an offer she couldn’t refuse: Mets tickets and a jersey, but the 11-year-old would have to promise to be a Mets fan for life.
“When I saw the opportunity to convert a young fan from the rival – and obviously evil – Nationals, I had to take it,” Kerpen said in an email. “Diamond is around the age I was when I became a Mets fan, and 2015 is beginning to look a lot like 1986: magical. The stars are aligning perfectly for Diamond to join Mets nation.”
Diamond and her stepfather, Peter, who is a life-long Mets fan, will attend a game on Saturday. It’s something Peter says is a bright spot in what has been a tough year for the family. Peter’s wife has a rare sickness called NMDA Encephalitis Receptor, which has hospitalized her for many months.
“I’m very excited about attending the game with Diamond because this is the first time she’s been so happy and excited since my wife was hospitalized,” said Peter in an email. “It means the world to me to see her so happy.”
Raise the banner
RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.34) and the New York Mets (89-70) will face LHP Gio Gonzalez (11-8, 3.93) and the Washington Nationals (81-78) in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. at Citi Field.
|1. Anthony Rendon 2B
||1. Juan Lagares CF
|2. Yunel Escobar 3B
|| 2. David Wright 3B
|3. Bryce Harper CF
||3. Daniel Murphy 2B
|4. Jayson Werth LF
||4. Yoenis Cesepedes LF
|5. Clint Robinson 1B
||5. Michael Cuddyer RF
| 6. Ian Desmond SS
||6. Lucas Duda 1B
|7. Matt den Dekker RF
||7. Travis d’Arnaud C
| 8. Jose Lobaton C
||8. Ruben Tejada SS
|9. Gio Gonzalez LHP
||9. Noah Syndergaard RHP
Syndergaard Notes: Is 7-3 with a 3.07 ERA (37 earned runs/108.1 innings) over his last 17 starts dating to June 15 … He has walked 24 and struck out 122 … In his last three starts, Syndergaard has issued one walk and struck out 27.
Mets Notes: The Mets have lost three straight following their four-game winning streak … The Mets are 5-5 in their last 10 games … New York is 36-20 since August 1 … The .643 winning percentage is the third-best mark in the majors since August 1 … Toronto (40-16, .714) is first and the Cubs (40-18, .690) are second.
Staub suffered heart attack, recovering
From the Mets: “Rusty Staub experienced a medical emergency on a flight from Ireland to JFK. The flight was diverted back to Ireland where Rusty is now resting comfortably in a hospital. The prognosis is good and Rusty and his family ask that we respect his privacy during this period. He is in the thoughts and prayers of the Mets organization.”
LHP Steven Matz could pitch in Game 4 of the NLDS, Terry Collins told reporters on Saturday.
Matz received an injection in his back to relax the muscle tightness that had him miss two starts during the week.
Collins said Matz still needs to prove he’d be able to throw 90-100 pitches before he gets added to the NLDS roster and penciled in for a theoretical Game 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Collins said he’d have to show that ability by mid-week.
Matz will likely pitch in an instructional league game in Florida to see whether he’s ready to go.
With the guarantee of baseball in October, the Mets still have something to fight for in the regular season: home-field advantage. And while it might boost morale, statistically, home-field hasn’t always led to success (WSJ, Oct. 2).
With the Dodgers winning on Friday night, and the Mets off, LA took the lead in home field advantage for their upcoming NLDS matchup. Coming into Saturday, the Dodgers have a .563 winning percentage, while the Mets have a .560 winning percentage.
“Strategically, it would help us,” Mets captain David Wright said. “You want to get home-field for the fans, too. They’re as involved as any fan base giving us that home-field advantage.”
But statistically, since the start of the wildcard era in 1995, teams with the home-field advantage have gone just 39-41 (.488) in the division series and 19-21 (.475) in the championship series.
Whatever the statistics may be, that hasn’t stopped the Dodgers from fighting for it too.
“We just want to win,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters, when asked about the race with the Mets for home field in the NLDS. “We can only control that part of it. We just need to win every day and put the pressure on them and see what happens.”
The Mets acquired OF Yoenis Cespedes at the trade deadline to boost their offense, and he has been the spark they needed at the plate and in the field.
Cespedes has a .287/.336/.610 batting line with 17 home runs and 44 RBIs since joining the Mets, who are 35-19 with him in the lineup. He has hit clutch home runs and made big throws from the outfield. Here is Cespedes’ highlight reel from his two-month stint in New York.
In this week’s MetsBlog Q&ACast, presented by Citi, Matthew Cerrone talks with former Mets manager Bobby Valentine about what Mets players can expect fans, family, media and life during postseason baseball, and things Terry Collins can do to help get his team prepared.
Valentine is also executive producer on the 60-minute documentary Doped: The Dirty Side of Sports, which airs on EPIX through October.
Listen in separate window | Subscribe with iTunes | RSS
Mets rookie LHP Steven Matz will have his back examined by team doctors and is no longer going to pitch this weekend, Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson told reporters Friday at Citi Field.
According to Alderson, the Mets’ decision to put Matz on the postseason roster does not have to do with whether or not he pitches this weekend.
Earlier this week, Alderson told reporters Matz’s back spasms and body stiffness were not of a concern to him or the team. However, Friday, he admitted to downplaying in hopes that it would have subsided by the weekend.
“The concern level has definitely gone up,” Alderson explained.
Matz, Collins and Alderson have all said this week that the pain is likely associated with Matz getting a poor night’s sleep.
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Drip. Drip. Drip. I hate news like this. It’s also a lesson that no injury, no matter how it is presented, should be taken lightly. Anyway, now what? Well, this is a big deal, because whether or not Matz is on the roster will impact a) who starts Game 4, and b) who is in the bullpen. It’s possible Matz could fly to St. Lucie, do some rehab, be monitored and pitch in an instructional league game to see if he’s able to go in Game 4, which would be Tuesday, Oct. 13. The Mets have time, but they need to set their NLDS roster by Oct. 8, so it’s not as much time as it seems…
October 2, 2015, 4:45 pm
The Mets (89-73) were scheduled to open a three-game series against the Nationals (81-78) on Friday at Citi Field, but the game was postponed due to rain. The two teams will play a day-night doubleheader Saturday, Oct. 3…
Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.34 ERA), who was scheduled to start Friday, will start game 1 on Saturday at 1:10 pm, while Matt Harvey will pitch Game 2 at 7:10 pm.
Sandy Alderson said if all three games are unable to be played this weekend, it’s unclear whether the Mets would have to play Monday to decide home field advantage with the Dodgers for the NLDS.
Friday Night’s Lineup, presented by Jeep
October 2, 2015, 4:20 pm
|1. Curtis Granderson (L) RF
|2. David Wright (R) 3B
|3. Yoenis Cespedes (R) CF
|4. Daniel Murphy (L) 2B
|5. Michael Cuddyer (R) LF
|6. Lucas Duda (L) 1B
|7. Travis d’Arnaud (R) C
|8. Ruben Tejada (R) SS
|9. Noah Syndergaard (L) P