Michael Conforto returned from the disabled list and homered in his first start. Yoenis Cespedes hit his third home run of the season. Jay Bruce made his first home run of the year a grand slam. If Jacob deGrom didn’t quite have everything working, he battled and he got the outs when they really mattered.
I know the Mets are not going to keep up this pace to have a 135-27 season, but I’m gonna enjoy this run while it lasts.
Continuing to look at my recently-purchased autographs, today we have New York Mets’ prospect Robert Gsellman. This baseball card, from one of Bowman’s 2014 sets, cost me $2.74 and was my most expensive purchase of the group.
Gsellman, 22, was a 13th round selection out of Westchester High School (Los Angeles, Calif.) in 2011. He split the 2015 season between the Single-A St. Lucie Mets and the Double-A Binghamton Mets. Gsellman was honored as the Mets’ Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year and was also a Florida State League midseason All-Star last season.
Unfortunately, Gsellman struggled a bit once he moved up to the Eastern League, where he posted a 7-7 record with at 3.51 ERA in 16 starts. Those are not bad numbers by any means, but he saw his strikeouts per nine innings dip to 4.8 and his strikeout/walk rate fall to 1.88.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Gsellman opened the 2016 season in Binghamton again, but following last season’s deadline trades and the ascension of Steven Matz to the major league level, Gsellman is the best starting pitcher prospect the Mets have in the upper levels of their farm system.
Yesterday’s mail brought a signed baseball card of former New York Mets shortstop Omar Quintanilla.
Quintanilla will never be remembered for the stats on the back of his baseball card – he has a .220 lifetime average with 8 home runs and 74 RBI in 402 major league games over nine seasons.
Now he did have his moments, with the odd game-winning hit here or there… but on-field accomplishments are only one reason to appreciate a baseball player.
When I remember Quintanilla, I will think of the times he signed autographs for fans at Citi Field on days when the “better” players wouldn’t even stop long enough to wave. And I’m not the only one who remembers Quintanilla for his fan-friendly attitude.
When I posted a photo of my signed card on Twitter yesterday, I got this response:
@Paul_Hadsall I met him when I was pregnant with my first and he was so polite. He even signed a hat for her lol
Best of luck to Omar Quintanilla on the Albuquerque Isotopes this year.
I got to watch my first full Mets game of the season last night, aided by a timely rain delay that allowed me to get home from a meeting before the first out was recorded. And the Mets cooperated by getting that first loss of 2015 out of the way.
There’s been a lot of griping about the batting order Terry Collins has used over the first two games of the season, and I admit it’s not the one I’d write down if I were filling out the lineup cards. I’ll chalk up the lack of offense in the first two games to facing great pitching, but if the struggles continue in Atlanta I’m going to be concerned.
I also wasn’t thrilled with the botched rundown play in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sure, it didn’t cost the Mets a run… but it was bad fundamental baseball – what exactly were the Mets working on in Port St. Lucie for the last six weeks?
Charlie Williams, a Flushing native who was traded for Willie Mays after pitching in 31 games for the 1971 Mets, died on Jan. 27. Bill Monbouquette, the Mets pitching coach in 1982 and 1983, died on Jan. 25.