Youth Movement Lead Mets To Win Over D-backs • Latino Sports


Youth Movement Lead Mets To Win Over D-backs


Flushing, NY – This is that time at Citi Field for manager Terry Collins and the Mets to evaluate the future. Wednesday night in a game that meant more for the Arizona Diamondbacks, it was the youth movement that led the way to a 4-2 win that ended a three game losing streak. It was a lineup without Yoenis Cespedes who had the night off.

But it was a night when two of the Mets youngsters, and first round picks, were instrumental in the win. Dominic Smith and Ahmed Rosario drove in runs, and 23-year old Chris Flexen tossed six innings for the first time in his career and came away with a win in his sixth major league start.

It was also the first win for the Mets over the D-backs this season and the second win in their last 12 games against a team that is positioning for a NL wildcard postseason spot.

And a look at the Mets bullpen for next year was also highlighted as AJ Ramos got his 23rd save of the year. Ramos is slated to close and also setup games when the injured Jeurys Familia returns from the disabled list.

Wednesday night in Brooklyn, Familia, in his second rehab stint with the Cyclones, pitched 1.0 innings of scoreless ball and in four rehab appearances has pitched 4.0 scoreless innings on two hits, walking two and striking out five.

Smith had his third home run and Rosario had two hits. Each of their bats looked better as they continue their adjustment to the big leagues after getting called up the past two weeks from Triple-A Las Vegas as the Mets started their youth movement to next season.

“They handle themselves well.” Collins said about the rookies who are now a part of the everyday lineup. “It’s how they handle the situations.” That includes reviewing the at bats, consulting the coaching staff and manager. And before the game, Smith. Rosario and Brandon Nimmo, another first round pick picke the ear of veterans Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera.

Said Smith, “It’s a lot of fun to be up here and win ballgames and to be here from Triple-A and show how we can do it.”  It also is an incentive to see Smith, Rosario, Nimmo, Flexen, and Gavin Cecchini, another first round pick, all together on the same team in New York.

Collins said that Flexin has a desire to be at this level. That showed multiple times when the D-Backs had opportunities to score and failed. Three times in the first five innings they had a runner on third base with less than one out and Flexen was able to use a good slider.

He struck out Paul Goldschmidt two times and got him to swing in the first inning. That strikeout, the first of five on the night, also stopped the D-Backs home run leader from leading his team to a big inning. This was one of the points Collins made about why Flexin has the desire and ability to pitch at the big league level.

Said Flexin about his best outing, “You realize you have to make the pitches. More experience I get more comfortable. After every start I feel I am getting better.” The two-seam fastball is his best pitch and it showed.

And to Michael Conforto, who is a young veteran, guys like Smith and Rosario, and Flexin have come to admire his leadership. With the Mets roster now the second youngest in baseball, Conforto drove in two runs and has four RBI in his last four games.

“Right now they are getting their feet wet,” he said. “It’s a period of adjustment” The finale of this four-game series with the Diamondbacks is Thursday afternoon and the adjustments will continue for these young New York Mets.

But a win also is important, even though this is all about building for next year.

About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]

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