Justin Turner decided to do his best to channel Robin Ventura on Friday night and allowed Met fans to party like it's 1999* with a walk-off, ground rule single that knocked off the Cubs 5-4. With Ventura and a number of other late 90's/early 00's Mets in the building because of this weekend's ceremonies, Turner's 9th inning heroics were necessitated by Manny Acosta going all Acostalypse on the save in the top of the inning (in his defense, Manny didn't receive much help from the BABIP Goddess or the Human Element™ in that inning). Despite blowing the lead, Acosta picked up the win in the most painstakingly obvious example of why wins are not a good measure of anything resembling skill or ability (but if you're reading this, you likely knew that already. Forgive me, please).
*NOTE: Okay, so you probably didn't party like it was 1999, considering we're at the "mostly meaningless games in September" phase of the season. Hey...at least they won, right?
Game two against the Cubs is a 1:10 PM start and can be seen on WPIX Channel 11 in New York. The pitching matchup features Chris "The Specimen" Capuano on the hill for the Mets and he'll face off against Randy "Not The Specimen" Wells for the Cubs.
In remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the Mets have announced that they will be selling promenade level tickets to Sunday's game for $10, with half of the proceeds going towards the Tuesday's Children charity. Further, they are offering complimentary tickets to first responders and their families. A number of former Mets players were in town for the weekend and took part in showing support to those affected by the tragedy. Mike Piazza, John Franco, David Wright and COO Jeff Wilpon visited Ladder 3 in Manhattan, while John Olerud, Edgardo Alfonzo, Robin Ventura, Steve Trachsel, Matt Franco, Bobby Parnell and Tim Byrdak spent time with Maspeth's Squad 288, Haz Mat 1 unit.
Down in Savannah, 3,143 people gathered to watch some 32 year old minor leaguer named Johan Santana Bach or something pitch in the Sand Gnat's own game two of their playoff series and wouldn't you know it...they also were victorious, defeating Augusta 3-2. Santana threw three innings, allowing just an unearned run on a pair of hits. He walked and struck out one apiece. The next move for Santana will depend on how he recovers from this start in the coming days.
So you want to know more about a few of the Mets September call-ups? Well, SNY's Ted Berg spoke with folk hero Val Pascucci and with screwballing lefty Daniel Herrera. The Mets also announced that righty Dale Thayer, of awesome mustache fame, has been promoted from Buffalo.
There was some more good news on the farm on Friday. The Cyclones took on the Staten Island Yankees Friday afternoon in Game two of their three game New York Penn League playoff series and staved off elimination with a 12-5 victory. The decisive game three takes place tonight at 7:10 in Staten Island. Unfortunately, the St. Lucie Mets fell to Daytona in game one of the Florida State League Championship series by a 3-1 score. St. Lucie lefty Darin Gorski was placed in the SNY Player Spotlight.
Jason Bay watched videotape with Dave Hudgens, Bay is starting to hit better and now Terry Collins says he sees improvements in Bay's swing. Not to say I don't believe Terry, but how about you wake me up when he actually sustains the success for more than a week. Nick Evans continues to impress people and may be in line for a utility job next year. You know...like a real job that doesn't involve him flying back and forth between Buffalo every few weeks.
Finally, R.A. Dickey tweeted on Friday that he had finished filming a promo for Tuesday's Star Wars Night at Citi Field, while sending along a few pictures.
Around the NL East
Ho-hum. Roy Halladay pitched like Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard had some combination of all three of his outcomes and the Phillies beat the Brewers 5-3.
Albert Pujols knocked a game tying two run single in the ninth off of Craig Kimbrel, snapping his ridiculous 37 and 2/3 scoreless innings streak and Nick Punto hit a gritty walk off sacrifice fly, as the Cardinals defeated the Braves 4-3 in 10 innings. I guess it takes a robot to beat a robot.
The Marlins rocked the Pirates 13-4 behind a pair of home runs from Omar The Infant. Really? That guy kills other teams besides the Mets?
Finally, the Nationals won a walk off affair of their own, defeating the hapless (but not Happ-less) Astros 4-3 in 10 innings.
Around the Majors
Suddenly, the Tampa Bay Rays are getting a bit too close for comfort. Wade Davis tossed a complete game as the Rays knocked off the Red Sox 5-2, cutting the Sox wild card lead down to 5 1/2 games. Hey...you never know, right? In other news, the Greek God of Walks Kevin Youkilis is going to have an MRI on his ailing hip.
Apparently, Bud Selig has the cure for boring Septembers but it's being held up by details and negotiations. Hopefully it doesn't involve Bud making a speech. Charisma behind the microphone is not his strength.
Bobby Valentine visited the MLB Fan Cave on Friday to watch baseball, eat pizza and talk with some members of the FDNY and NYPD.
In a bit of a headscratcher, Mike Piazza was asked to attend and will be a part of the ceremonies at the final Marlins game played at Sun Life Stadium. I guess he really made quite an impression on the organization in those five games he played for them in 1998.
Finally, sticking with the Mike Piazza theme, here's the video of his home run on September 21, 2001 from the first game in New York after the tragedy. You've probably seen it before but it's a requirement to watch it again.