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20/20 Hindsight: Mets Blow Chance Against Nationals

After coming in red-hot after going 5-1 on the road to open the season, the Mets had their first series at home, and while they returned to Citi Field, their momentum did not. While it is waaaaaaay to soon to look at these things, the Mets are now 0.5 games back of the Phillies. Here are some observations from the Mets home opening series:

  1. Noah Syndergaard seems to be a spokesman of sorts for this team airing their grievances publicly. Look it anyone is going to be the bad guy, Syndergaard is well suited for it because: (1) the fans are going to love him regardless; and (2) he seems to have the do not care what you think personality to make it work.
  2. Not only did MLB mishandle this by having the Mets play a night game, but they also had a drug test after the game. Considering there were only 7,486 at that game, I cannot imagine attendance was the reason for the later start time.
  3. If the rumors were true, the Mets are absolutely idiots for starting that game at 1:00 P.M. instead of 4:00 P.M. Those three extra hours matter, especially when a player like Robinson Cano has completely forgotten how to transverse New York after signing with the Mariners after the 2013 season.
  4. The Nationals came into this series under .500 with an already beleaguered Dave Martinez, a more beleaguered bullpen, and arguably their best player, Trea Turner, on the disabled list. This was a very wounded team who was primed to be knocked down a peg or two and possibly sent into turmoil. It may still be just April, but the Mets missed a big opportunity here.
  5. The two home run game from J.D. Davis was great to see as was his reaching base safely five consecutive times. However, we are going to need to see a lot more of that before we believe he has finally figured things out.
  6. As we saw from Davis’ two home run game, April is the time for overreaction, and we are seeing that with Zack Wheeler‘s tough start. One thing to keep in mind here is Wheeler has always gotten better as the season progresses.  For example, his career April ERA is 4.95, and his career August ERA is 2.30. Lets give this a month or two before we decided last year’s second half was a blip.
  7. It seems like Steven Matz figured something out in the bottom of the second against the Nationals. If so, watch out, he’s going to have a breakout season.
  8. The Mets have gone from Jason Vargas not needing any competition during Spring Training to only trusting him for five innings in a hitter’s park against the worst team in the National League to skipping his start. It’s not even the middle of April, and the Mets have completely bungled their fifth starter situation.
  9. Perhaps this is an overreaction, but Robert Gsellman has not proven to be that late inning relief ace the Mets imagined him to be. With the Vargas situation, perhaps the Mets should consider sending him down to Syracuse to lengthen him out to rejoin the rotation while making Vargas the long man in the bullpen.
  10. Even with Jeurys Familia‘s blow-up where he allowed his first homer at Citi Field since Conor Gillaspie, and he allowed two homers in an appearance for the first time in his career, he’s been fine.
  11. While there has been justifiable hand-wringing over just how poorly this bullpen has been performing, we are seeing Justin Wilson-Familia-Edwin Diaz turn into a formidable 7-8-9 combination.
  12. Thankfully, Seth Lugo was back to himself Sunday throwing 96 MPH and striking out the side. Overall, he’s very tempting to use, but Mickey Callaway has to be much more judicious in his usage of him.
  13. With the Mets being a starter short and one to two arms short in the bullpen, just a subtle reminder Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel are still free agents. And for a GM who traded away Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Gerson Bautista, Ross Adolph, Luis Santana, Scott Manea, Bobby Wahl, Adam Hill, and Felix Valerio, we do not need to hear about giving up a draft pick.
  14. Michael Conforto looks like a real MVP candidate.
  15. Brandon Nimmo is going to be fine. Whether it was an injury or something else, he will get back to being Nimmo. We saw that with his double yesterday.
  16. For all of his prodigious power, and how he already looks like a veteran out there, the one thing which really stands out with Pete Alonso is how great a teammate he is. It is utterly stunning to believe a player with less than 10 games under his belt may already be the glue guy in the clubhouse. Speaking of Alonso, while everyone was celebrating the opposite field hitting, it was nice to see the Mets start hitting for power again.
  17. The Mets signed Wilson Ramos for his bat. We are seeing that with his lackluster pitch framing and how he couldn’t locate a ball which was right behind him allowing a runner to score from second.
  18. It was great to see Travis d’Arnaud return. He’s been an under-appreciated player because he has not been exactly what he was supposed to be, but he is good behind the plate. Sooner or later, his pitch framing is going to really help this team.
  19. On the one hand, all of Callaway’s double switching is maddening because it is partially the reason why this bullpen is so taxed. On the other hand, it is proving to be an adept way to get everyone into the game and having them getting enough reps to contribute when called upon. Ultimately, Callaway just needs to find a way to better handle this bullpen.
  20. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The Mets sell out when they have these bobble head days. For the life of me, I do not understand how it makes sense to send kids home upset and to ruin their experience at the park by not having enough bobble heads for everyone. This a sponsored giveaway, and they are cheap to make. The mid market Brewers have figured this out, and they order enough so they can donate the extras after the game. Seems like it’s better to have everyone walking out with a Jacob deGrom and Todd Frazier bobble head this weekend than having sad little kids, which is never good for business.

6 thoughts on “20/20 Hindsight: Mets Blow Chance Against Nationals”

  1. oldbackstop says:

    Noah Syndergaard seems to be a spokesman of sorts for ,,,,,,
    “PAY THE NEXT MAN” IS WHAT IS ON NOAH’S MIND.

    Considering there were only 7,486 at that game, I cannot imagine attendance was the reason for the later start time.

    IN MIAMI YOU ARE COMPETING WITH THE BEACH.

    The two home run game from J.D. Davis was great to see as was his reaching base safely five consecutive times. However, we are going to need to see a lot more of that before we believe he has finally figured things out.

    MY DARK HORSE

    The Mets have gone from Jason Vargas not needing any competition during Spring Training to only trusting him for five innings in a hitter’s park against the worst team in the National League to skipping his start. It’s not even the middle of April, and the Mets have completely bungled their fifth starter situation.

    NAH THEY ARE JUST GETTING THE BALL TO THE ACES. SCHWERZER STARTED 3 OF THE NATS FIRST 8 GAMES. VARGAS ISN’T A KID THEY DON’T HAVE TO PAT HIS EGO ABOUT IT.

    Brandon Nimmo is going to be fine. Whether it was an injury or something else, he will get back to being Nimmo. We saw that with his double yesterday.

    MICKEY SAID PITCHERS WERE BEATING HIM UP AND IN. I HAVE STAYED OFF THE NIMMO FAN CARAVAN. YOU GOTTA LOVE HIS SPIRIT, BUT HE ONLY HAS ONE PLUS TOOL, OBP. IF PITCHERS FIGURE OUT SOMETHING THAT MAKES HIM LEAGUE AVERAGE, HE’S THE 4TH OF, OR FIFTH.

    IF BROXTON AND NIMMO SORT OUT TO HAVE SIMILAR OBPs…..BROXTON LOOKS TO HAVE THE BETTER GLOVE, SPEED AND POWER.

    (JUAN SHOULD BE LEARNING JAPANESE)

    On the one hand, all of Callaway’s double switching is maddening because it is partially the reason why this bullpen is so taxed.

    THE OTHER PROBLEM WITH THESE DOUBLE SWITCHES IS, ASSUMING YOU DO START THE BEST 8, LATE CRISES MAY NOT HAVE THE BEST BATS AVAILABLE ANYMORE.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The Mets sell out when they have these bobble head days. For the life of me, I do not understand how it makes sense to send kids home upset and to ruin their experience at the park by not having enough bobble heads for everyone. This a sponsored giveaway, and they are cheap to make. The mid market Brewers have figured this out, and they order enough so they can donate the extras after the game.

    THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF *NOT* HAVING MANAGED THE BUSINESS PROBLEM, ACTUALLY. I’M SURE MAJOR LEAGUE WAREHOUSES HAVE ARMIES OF BOBBLE HEAD OVER RUNS. YOU WANT TO HAVE PEOPLE SECURING ADVANCED TIX AND GETTING THEIR EARLY.

    Seems like it’s better to have everyone walking out with a Jacob deGrom and Todd Frazier bobble head this weekend than having sad little kids, which is never good for business.

    IS THERE A DOMESTIC STORY HERE? 🙁

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I don’t know anyone who continuously supports the Wilpons and their business decisions as much as you do

      1. OldBackstop says:

        I just feel that it is facile and lazy to constantly push everything on them….. like blaming god.

        The popular edict is that they are cheap…..but when they bought Cano in everybody howled that they had spent money foolishly. Ramos, Lowrie, JD Davis, Wilson, Diaz, Familia….they were quiet active, and not cheap.

        We went to the WS in ’15, the playoffs in ’16, then had two back-to-back years of injuries that rival any two for a franchise in MLB history. I don’t know how old you are, but just based on legitimate HOPE each spring, this is a good period for a Mets fan.

        This is not you, but what I consider the opposite from my viewpoint is the “fan” who is not a Mets fan, they are really hero-struck on ple players. No amount of money is too much for Jake, even if he implies he might strike. No statement is too lazy, self serving and divisive by Noah, because his pants look so good on him. No new player can push out the homegrown talent. Everybody in a uniform deserves a ten year contract extension.

        Right?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          If everything was run as well as you portray it to be, why have the Mets only had two winning seasons since the team moved to Citi Field?

          1. OldBackstop says:

            2018 was our tenth year there, correct? So you would hope for 4.5 winning seasons. If your “goal” is a winning season, then we only had two plus two 79 win games where we were right at that door.

            But that is sort of a false measure, because the current structure dictates you go all in or fold in July. So despite playing as well as anyone in the division in the second half last year, they didn’t get to 83 wins, only 77 wins.

            Certainly injuries to their biggest investments in Wright and Cespedes were devastating the past few years. Then there was the Generation Tommy John guys….certainly if the Core Four or Five were ever healthy and peaking at the same time we would have had some more playoff seasons.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            Even when the bar is lowered to a winning season, the Mets can’t jump over the hurdle.

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