Debut of 20 year-old Dilson Herrera
BY JOE RINI
If spring is the season of hope, fall has a way of forcing people to face reality. Summer fun is ending. For students with a summer reading list, it might be the realization that they have to spend the day after Labor Day reading 320 pages of “Wuthering Heights” before the first day of school. For the New York Mets and their fans, it’s another September without a pennant race.
After a promising 15-10 July brought the Mets to the cusp of the wildcard hunt, the Amazins dropped 17 of 29 games in August to fall within 1/2 game of fifth place in the National League East. While ownership has spoken in the past about playing, “meaningful September baseball,” for at least one more September, the Mets will be playing with an eye towards next year as youngsters like Wilmer Flores and Dilson Herrera audition for full-time roles in 2015.
Much was made during spring training when GM Sandy Alderson’s comments alluded to the Mets winning 90 games in 2014. With the Mets falling far short of this mark, Alderson addressed the 90 wins comment last week when he said, “It wasn’t a goal. It wasn’t an expectation… It was a reminder to all of us, including myself, that we need to think about that level of performance, that level of success, that level of excellence. So the statement is no less relevant today than it was then.”
The 20-year-old Herrera became the youngest person in the major leagues when he debuted in Friday’s 4-1 victory over the Phillies. A native of Cartagena, Colombia, Herrera became the 14th Colombian born person to play in the majors and the first to play for the Mets. Speaking of his call-up, Herrera said, “It’s a real sense of pride to be here representing my country. My family’s very proud as well. There’s not very many of us, but I’m proud to come here and represent.” Herrera picked up his first hit and RBI versus the Phillies over the weekend and homered in Monday’s 9-6 defeat against the Marlins.
Herrera replaced Daniel Murphy on the roster after Murphy was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a severe strain of the right calf. Murphy, who was leading the National League in hits with 159 and batting .301 at the time of his injury, could miss the remainder of the season due to the severity of the injury.
After Tuesday’s 8-6 victory over the Marlins, the Mets enter play on Wednesday in fourth place with a record of 65-74. The current road trip continues to Cincinnati this weekend before the Mets return to Citi Field on September 8 to play the Colorado Rockies managed by Suffern native Walt Weiss.