Plan To Keep Jacob deGrom Healthy

Earlier in the season, Jacob deGrom landed on the IL with tightness in his right side. Since coming off the IL, deGrom has left games for various reasons.

There was fatigue. There was a flexor tendon issue. The latest was his leaving a game with a shoulder issue. Overall, since that IL stint, it needs to be reiterated deGrom has left starts for reasons other than he hit his pitch count, and it was time to bring in a reliever.

With that being the case, everyone has a theory on what the issue is and how to handle it. He has too much velocity. He didn’t heal and is pushing it. As usual, there was Dr. Sal Licata with his input saying deGrom never should’ve made the start:

Actually, no, Licata doesn’t have an MD. The same goes for people like Chris Carlin, who proffered similar advice. Really, anyone rendering an opinion has the same level of medical expertise as Jeff Wilpon, which is to say they have none. As we saw with Wilpon, when people with zero medical expertise renders an opinion on what should be done, bad things happen.

On that note, there is something to be said for what Pedro Martinez said. Remember, Pedro was once what deGrom is now, and we did see Pedro’s prime and career shortened due to injuries. When he speaks, it should carry weight.

Pedro’s advice was rest, and while his words should be heard, it’s not dispositive. Really, nothing is right now.

At this moment in time, no one knows what’s wrong. We don’t know if these injuries are all linked by one core problem, if one injury begat the other, or if these are just three isolated injuries which happened.

No one knows, and those offering advice are just trying to get heard and sound smart. Well, everyone except Pedro, who is someone speaking from experience.

To the question of how to keep deGrom healthy, the answer is no one knows. If they did, he wouldn’t be dealing with different issues right now. That said, someone will figure it out, and everyone will go on from there.

Overall, just be patient and wait with baited breath until we find out what’s wrong and how to best address it. Hopefully, sometime soon, we’ll see deGrom back out there pushing for a third Cy Young and leading the Mets to the World Series.

deGrom’s Shoulder Overshadows Mets Win

Jacob deGrom was perfect through three striking out eight of the nine batters he faced. In a two run second, deGrom drove in his sixth run of the year.

Yet again, this had the aura of a special night. Could this be the Mets first perfect game? Could deGrom pass Tom Seaver‘s 10 in a row. Would he surpass Max Scherzer, Kerry Wood, and Roger Clemens for the most strikeouts in a game.

As deGrom left the mound after the third, the answer was none of the above. Instead of history, a very clearly frustrated and upset deGrom left the game.

While in previous starts, it was a flexor tendon or other hopefully innocuous issues, this time it was a shoulder. While it may be nothing, the shoulder strikes fear into the heart into every fan.

This is why the Mets victory was as anticlimactic as they come. It’s a shame because a lot of good happened.

Kevin Pillar was 2-for-4 with an RBI double to open the scoring and a homer. Dominic Smith.

Francisco Lindor was the latest Met to draw a bases loaded walk. Overall, the Mets scored in four consecutive innings.

Sean Reid-Foley surrendered a homer to Anthony Rizzo, but, until the ninth, that was it for a Mets staff who struck out 15 in this game. Three of those strikeouts came from Trevor May, who bounced back nicely by striking out the side in the eighth.

Things got dicey in the ninth. Drew Smith allowed a two run homer to Rafael Ortega. After he threw 20 pitches, and there was a runner on first, the Mets brought in Edwin Diaz to get the save.

Willson Contreras pinch hit, and he hit a sinking liner to center. Mason Williams, who was in for defense, came in and made the sliding catch to end the game.

With that, the Mets won 6-3. That’s great and all, but the real issue on everyone’s mind is deGrom and his shoulder.

Game Notes: Mets pitching staff has struck out 15+ in consecutive games and has more 15 strikeout games than any other team. Miguel Castro had a scoreless inning in his first appearance since he injured his neck.

Luis Guillorme Is A Magician

While the focus was on Willie Harris‘ bad send, truth be told, it only looked bad because of that relay. In previous seasons, Jake Marisnick would’ve been safe and scored the tying run.

There’s one word for what Luis Guillorme did there – Magic.

It’s an old magicians maxim. The hand is quicker than the eye. You could say that about Guillorme. His hands in receiving the relay, transferring it, and going home, were quicker than Harris’ eyes.

Guillorme’s lightning quick transfer could be the best in the game. It’s the difference between a run and an out. It’s the difference between a fielder’s choice and a double play.

Guillorme is just that good. He’s a wizard in the middle infield. Certainly, we can’t go talking about Guillorme’s tricks without bringing up Adeiny Hechavarria‘s bat again.

Guillorme can do things on the field seemingly no one else can. His hands are quick. His instincts, reflexes, and reaction time are quicker. When you get all of that, you get pure magic on the field.

When you get pure magic on the field, you build a winner. Notably, the Mets are in first and appear poised to stay there all season long. The Mets making the other team’s chances of winning the division may just be the best magic trick of them all.

Taijuan Walker Great, Defense Better

While we’re seeing pitchers struggling after MLB declaring they’re cracking down on sticky substances, Taijuan Walker just went out there and had a big start against the Chicago Cubs. It was the best start from the best free agent signing.

Over 7.0 innings, Walker allowed two earned on five hits and zero walks while he had a career high 12 strikeouts. The only blemish was a third inning two run homer by Javier Baez.

Walker partially had a good start because there was excellent defense behind him. Dominic Smith made a leaping catch into the wall robbing Willson Contreras in the third. Jonathan Villar went in the hole and made the play on a ball Joc Pederson hit against the shift.

After the Cubs scored their two in the top of the third, the Mets returned serve. Villar drew a one out walk against Alec Mills. After Smith hit a two out double, Pete Alonso tied the score with a two out single.

The next time Alonso stepped to the plate in the fifth he had the opportunity to break the game open. Mills was knocked out of the game, and Cubs reliever, Rex Brothers loaded the bases.

Notably, Smith had a very tough at-bat. After falling down 0-2, he stayed alive, and he drew a walk.

For some reason, even with Brothers losing the zone and falling behind 2-0 to Alonso, Alonso got aggressive. Luckily, Alonso hit a sacrifice fly scoring Villar and putting the Mets ahead 3-2.

Seth Lugo breezed through the Cubs in the eighth, and with Edwin Diaz unavailable, Lugo was being called upon to convert a six out save.

With the Mets rallying in the eighth, that meant Lugo would bat for himself. He went to sacrifice runners to second and third, but he popped up the bunt. Anthony Rizzo let it drop to try to turn the double play.

The plan almost worked. The problem is Lugo busted it out of the box, and Sergio Alcantara dropped the ball. It’s hard to know how much it tired Lugo, and maybe it didn’t at all, but Lugo lost some velocity in the ninth.

Certainly, Lugo struggled in the ninth. It started with a Contreras single, and Jake Marisnick came on as a pinch runner. Eric Sogard then hit a single into the gap.

Kevin Pillar did well to prevent the ball from going into the gap. He made a strong throw back to the infield which normally would have frozen the runners, but Cubs third base coach and perpetual Mets killer Willie Harris got aggressive sending Marisnick.

Luis Guillorme came across, fielded the relay throw, and made a lighting fast transfer as he threw a strike to James McCann. That was a huge play to keep the tying run from scoring.

Lugo might’ve been on fumes, but he had enough left in the tank to strike out Alcantara to end the game. With that, the Mets won another tight game, and they once again did it with pitching and defense.

Game Notes: The Mets were the only team to offer Walker a contract this offseason.

Buster Olney Owes Jacob deGrom An Apology

Jeff Passan of ESPN first reported Major League Baseball will soon begin cracking down on pitchers using illegal substances to help develop spin. As is usually the case, a bevy of articles on the topic will ensue. One of those people was Buster Olney.

Re-read that last line promoting the article. It says, “As it turns out, the first pitcher to be checked may be MLB’s best pitcher, Jacob deGrom.

Because ZERO context is provided for the reason wby, you let people’s imaginations run amok. Is MLB suspicious of deGrom? Is this based on velocity or spin rates? Are they doing it by team?

There are many plausible explanations, including what may be the real reason – deGrom is projected to start on the day MLB begins checking. However, you can’t get that from the tweet.

In all honesty, it’s difficult to discern from the article because it’s behind a paywall. Unless you pay for ESPN+, and it’s hard to discern why you would, you don’t know why Olney purposefully used deGrom to highlight MLB cracking down on cheating pitchers.

Keep in mind, if you go to probable starters that day, Gerrit Cole is also starting that day. This is the same Cole was was implicated for cheating many times over, and the same Cole who couldn’t answer a direct question on the topic.

Still, Olney opted to use deGrom who no one had suspected is cheating. He did it in a dishonest and sensationalist fashion to try to drum up interest in his article. Put another way Olney is using deGrom for his own benefit.

For implicating deGrom for his own gain, especially over those who have proof of their cheating, Olney owes deGrom an apology. As we’ve seen with Olney through the years, it won’t happen.

David Peterson Re-Emerges

Every so often you’re reminded why the New York Mets have been so haphazard with their treatment of David Peterson. The talent is so tantalizing, and he can give you the occasional gem. Tonight was one of those nights.

He completely and utterly dominated the Chicago Cubs. For the first time in his career, he pitched six shut out innings. He only allowed one hit, but with it coming in the third, he went flirting with a no-hitter.

The singer and slider were working. Overall, Peterson walked two, allowed the one hit, and he had three strikeouts. Giving the night he had, and the season he’s had, Luis Rojas didn’t push him to go through the lineup a third time, and he got him out feeling good about the start.

He’d also leave with the lead putting him in position for his second win of the season.

For the first 3.2 innings, Jake Arrieta was relatively in control. Then, it quickly and suddenly unraveled for him.

With two out and one on, Billy McKinney drew a walk. James McCann then opened the scoring with an RBI single. On the play, Jake Marisnick‘s throw to the plate for past Willson Contreras allowing McKinney and McCann to advance. Both would score easily on Kevin Pillar‘s two RBI double giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

That lead grew to 4-0 when Dominic Smith hit a homer to dead center off Arrieta in the fifth.

Entering the sixth, Tommy Nance relieved Arrieta, and he lost control. In walking back-to-back hitters, he threw five straight balls. Brandon Drury then pinch hit for Peterson, and he hit a pinch hit RBI single giving the Mets a 5-0 lead.

Things would get interesting from there. Trevor May entered his first game in a week, and he wasn’t sharp. In fact, he’d allow back-to-back homers to Anthony Rizzo and Patrick Wisdom cutting the Mets lead to 5-2.

Aaron Loup then entered the game with two outs, and he gave the Mets four outs to set up the save opportunity. Edwin Diaz would get that save opportunity, and he’d lock it down for his 13th save of the season.

This was another win where the Mets beat another .500 team. More than that, they have a winning record in June.

Game Notes: Mets have tied their franchise best home start with an 18-6 record. They last did that in 2015. Jacob Barnes was designated for assignment, and Sean Reid-Foley was recalled.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Better Than Padres

For all the talk about the San Diego Padres this year, a depleted New York Mets team just took the season series:

1. People keep telling us to appreciate Jacob deGrom and not take him for granted. Not sure why because every Mets fan absolutely venerates him.

2. One of these days, deGrom is going to have a perfect game. It’s just going to happen.

3. Next time deGrom departs a game early, the reaction should be calm. He’s listening to his body, the Mets are listening to him, and they’re all just getting him ready to dominate in October . . . which he will.

4. While we’re told not to under appreciate deGrom, his sheer greatness is actually overshadowing Marcus Stroman who has been great this year.

5. Give credit where it is due, Joey Lucchesi has absolutely turned around his season. He wants a chance to go through a lineup a third time, and sooner or later, he probably should get that chance.

6. Not enough credit is being given to Luis Rojas and Jeremy Hefner for the job they’re doing.

7. Of course, it was a poor decision to leave in Jeurys Familia that long and to bring in Jacob Barnes in that spot. However, when you’re short bad and indefensible decisions like that are going to happen.

8. The question does need to be asked – if the Mets are so reticent to use Barnes, why is he still on the team?

9. Seeing Seth Lugo back to Lugoat form, you’re further convinced this team is going to win the World Series.

10. People can dismiss what Chris Paddack said all they want, but he does seem to have Pete Alonso‘s number.

11. Dominic Smith really needs to pick it up. Sooner or later, this team will get healthy, and he’s going to be in peril of losing playing time.

12. It’s great to see Luis Guillorme back healthy and performing wizardry in the field.

13. Months later, he may no longer be on the roster, but people should remember how Jose Peraza held down the fort and each and every single one of his homers gave the Mets a lead.

14. He’s probably not the best option, but Jonathan Villar has done everything the Mets could’ve asked. He’s been better than anyone could’ve reasonably expected, and at this point, the third base job should be his.

15. Of course, Billy McKinney is dealing with a sore knee and needed to miss a game. This would’ve be the 2021 Mets if that didn’t happen.

16. Tomas Nido has started struggling at the plate once he stopped being the everyday catcher, but James McCann is thriving.

17. More than what they’re doing at the plate, the Mets pitchers are thriving while throwing to both of these catchers. So long as the catchers are maximizing pitcher performances, they’re doing a great job.

18. On the topic of catchers, if Francisco Alvarez hits a huge homer, let him do a bat flip. Criticize him when he celebrates and the ball doesn’t go out, which is something that hasn’t happened yet.

19. People may want to get rid of the DH, but deGrom has more RBI than earned runs allowed.

20. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s June 14, and the Mets are over .500 so far this month.

Game Recaps

Jacob deGrom Provides Thrills and Chills

Mets Prove Power Rankings Pure Trash

Jacob Barnes Wrong But –

Jacob Barnes Wrong Decision But –

Look, there’s absolutely no defending Luis Rojas bringing in Jacob Barnes to face Fernando Tatis Jr. with the bases loaded in a tie game. The ensuing grand slam was a shock to no one.

Rojas proffered his explanation. The bullpen was stressed, and their best reliever, Seth Lugo, was unavailable. Miguel Castro and Aaron Loup were also unavailable. With Billy McKinney ailing and Jonathan Villar dealing with a family matter, the bench was short limiting the pinch hitting options.

Fact is, you’re not seeing a manager bring his closer into the game in the seventh, so that rules out Edwin Diaz. With David Peterson set to go tomorrow, Robert Gsellman needed to be held back just in case. This all left very few options remaining.

Rojas said he didn’t tab Trevor May because he didn’t want to use him for just one out. So, he ran the roulette wheel and landed on Barnes. The fact that option was on the table was the exact problem here.

Sure, you could argue to pitch May, but that might’ve been for one pitch of one out. Considering for situation, that’s probably the wrong move as that’s the game right there.

However, if you look past the moment, and you assume May escapes the jam, now what? Yes, Drew Smith did go two innings in this game. That took them to the ninth. If the game hit extras, well, that’s the run.

To make the long story short, Barnes was realistically going to have to pitch in this game. This is the same Barnes who entered the game with a 6.27 ERA. Since 2017, Barnes had a 6.62 ERA.

Rojas was obviously aware of this. That’s probably why Barnes only pitched once over that past nine days. That one appearance came in a blowout loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

Clearly, Rojas doesn’t really trust him and tries to limit his use of Barnes. That works for only so long. Eventually, you have to use everyone in your bullpen, and sooner or later, you get caught having to use them in a high leverage situation.

To a certain extent, that’s what happened Sunday. The Mets finally had to use Barnes (although not in that spot), and it completely burned them. It’ll burn them again the next time. Of course, that’s if there is a next time.

With pitchers in the minors like Sean Reid-Foley, it’s hard to imagine why the Mets are carrying Barnes in the bullpen. It helped cost the Mets this game. If this continues, it’s likely going to cost the Mets another game or two.

Neon Moment Of The Week: Jacob deGrom Most Dominant Pitcher Ever

Yet again, Jacob deGrom flirted with a perfect game. Yet again, he drove in more runs than he allowed. Yet again, records were set.

After facing the minimum through six, deGrom has a 0.56 ERA through 10 starts, which is the best in MLB history. Coincidentally, he has allowed just four earned runs on the season while driving in five himself. He’s the first pitcher to ever accomplish that feat.

During the game, deGrom struck out 10. He now has 103 on the season. With his doing it in 64.0 innings, he’s the fastest in MLB history to record 100 strikeouts.

His career numbers are already heading into another stratosphere. His 2.50 career ERA is already ahead of Tom Seaver for best in Mets history. It’s also just a hair behind Clayton Kershaw for the best since World War I.

deGrom’s 156 ERA+ has not only surpassed Seaver for best in Mets history, he’s also moved past Pedro Martinez and tied Kershaw for best all-time.

Tim Keefe had the best single season ERA+ with a 293 mark in 1880. The modern day record is Martinez with a 291 in 2000. Right now, deGrom has a 689.

Read that again. Jacob deGrom has a 689 ERA+. He’s more dominant than anyone ever has been. He’s going to completely re-write record books. That is why his virtuoso performance is the Neon Moment of the Week!

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Mets Prove Power Rankings Pure Trash

Entering this week, did their weekly Power Rankings. In those rankings, the San Diego Padres were ranked third, and the New York Mets were ranked 12th.

That was despite the Mets going to San Diego and splitting a four game series. That was despite the Mets pitchers leading the league in fWAR, second in ERA, and leading the majors in FIP.

This is a decimated team, and they’re getting big time pitching, good defense, and good managing from Luis Rojas. They’re in first place with the largest division lead in the NL.

Well, the Mets team that is somehow worse beat the Padres last night behind the best pitcher in baseball. Actually, at this point, we should probably just call Jacob deGrom the best baseball player, especially given how he has more RBI than earned runs allowed.

Today, Marcus Stroman allowed one earned over 6.1 innings while striking out eight. Francisco Lindor and Jonathan Villar homered.

Seth Lugo looks healthy, and once again, he looks like the best reliever in baseball. Behind him, Edwin Diaz once again slammed the door shut to earn the save.

With that the Mets took the first two of this three game set with the Padres. They’ve also won four of the six games between these teams, and they’ve already taken the season series. Not too bad for a team not close to being in the same league as the Padres.

MLB and whoever else can keep under estimating this Mets team all they want. The Mets are still going to win games and the division. They’re still going to have deGrom lead them into the postseason. As we know these Power Rankings are jokes, and the joke is on the rest of baseball.