20/20 Hindsight: It’s Always The Cardinals

The Mets had an opportunity to not just get back to .500 this weekend. They had the chance to make a statement against the Cardinals while going over .500 and making a real push towards the Wild Card and division ahead of a big road trip. As we know, it didn’t happen:

1. Perhaps everything is different if Edwin Diaz could pitch through the rain. He couldn’t. Instead, he blew the save, and the Mets would have to wait another day to lose that game, and then because this is the Mets, blow another game.

2. The criticism directed towards Mickey Callaway in sticking with Diaz for the 10th inning of that suspended game was plain dumb. It’s not like he was running him right back out there. No, he used him after a night of rest, and remember, Diaz was their best available reliever. Sticking with him was the right call.

3. The criticism of Callaway has gone way over the top. Take for example Wally Matthews hit on him when Callaway said Dominic Smith was one of their better hitters against Cardinals starter Daniel Hudson. Matthews mocked Callaway saying they never faced one another instead of pointing out how left-handed batters are hitting .311/.411/.508 off Hudson. Of course, that fact stands in the way of the narrative that Callaway is an idiot.

4. If you want to get on Callaway, get on his ever allowing Mets pitching to pitch to Paul DeJong. For some reason, he turns into a hybrid monster of Chipper Jones and Barry Bonds whenever he plays the Mets. It’s infuriating, especially when it was DeJong who mostly cost the Mets a chance to at least split the series or possibly more.

5. With respect to DeJong, one of his homers came off of Chris Flexen. That’s a tough spot for Flexen, who was JUST converted to a reliever with one relief outing in Syracuse before getting called up. He pitched well otherwise, and the Mets need to give him more of a look. That said, it’s an indictment on Brodie Van Wagenen that Flexen needed to be rushed like this.

6. Speaking of Van Wagenen indictments, who is the fifth starter now that Noah Syndergaard is injured? Corey Oswalt is hurt. Flexen is a reliever. Ervin Santana hasn’t been good in years, and Walker Lockett has never been good. Maybe he’ll just trade another asset for a pitcher another organization clearly no longer wants.

7. Like when he traded cash considerations for Brooks Pounders and his career 8.69 ERA. If history is any guide, this will go the way of Tobi Stoner in terms of relievers with fun names who have a big arm and poor results.

8. The Mets entered this season with zero depth in their rotation and their outfield. It’s already caused a huge problem in the outfield, and it is potentially doing so again with the rotation.

9. The outfield really highlights the Mets stupidity. Right now, the Mets are considering playing Jeff McNeil, who is just a second baseman, or Michael Conforto, who will only play right field this year, to play center so they can get Smith, who is only going to play first base, into the lineup as the team’s left fielder.

10. McNeil made a game and season ending play when he nailed Jack Flaherty at the plate. If the Mets lost that game, there may not have been any coming back from it. It’s bizarre to think this was one of just two season altering types of a plays in the same four game series, the other being Amed Rosario‘s inability to get the relay throw in Diaz’s blown save.

11. Say what you want about this team, but they are resilient. They came back from Diaz’s blown save and loss, and they were in position to win the next game until Jeurys Familia blew it. They then came back the next night and won it. They then battled all day Sunday trying to pull out the series split.

12. This team can hit at home. Their 117 wRC+ at home is the fourth best in the majors and second best in the National League. The trick for the team is to find a way to bring that offense on the road.

13. Speaking of offense at home, the team should just leave J.D. Davis at Citi Field because it’s apparently the only ballpark in the majors he can hit. In his career, he hits .209/.274/.341 on the road, .150/.200/.300 at Minute Maid, and yet, somehow, .347/.424/.587 at Citi Field. Maybe there’s just something to the Mets infield dirt that makes those ground balls find a way through.

14. If you are looking for the reasons for the Mets struggles, it’s not Callaway. It’s the bullpen, which is terrible, and it is the defense, which may actually be worse than the bullpen. That’s a combination which is not going to play well on the road, and as we saw in this series, it is not going to play well against good teams.

15. As bizarre and tiresome as this sounds, the Mets still could be in this race. They’re just five games out of a Wild Card and 7.5 back of the Braves, and the Mets have the games against the opponents to make it a race. They just have to go out and to their job.

16. For what it’s worth, Flexen being in the pen along with a returning Justin Wilson may address the bullpen enough that they could be good there. Move McNeil to center with Smith in left, and maybe, this is a team ready to go. After all, we see the fight this team has in it. It’s really just a matter of putting it all together at once.

17. That said, if it was that easy, the Mets wouldn’t be in this position.

18. If you want to know if there is a real chance for the division, look no further than this series against the Braves. If they take two, it’s a whole new ball game. If they get swept, they’ve already lost the division, and they’ll be lucky if there’s still a Wild Card to put their focus.

19. Pete Alonso almost pulling a Tommie Agee is what makes him such a fun player to watch. You just never know when he is going to hit the next towering homer.

20. You could buy the criticism directed at Syndergaard for not speaking reporters after his injury if the media held the General Manager and ownership to the same standards. Instead, they fight over themselves to throw jabs at the team’s designated punching bag Callaway, especially when you see how the Mets have handled Brandon Nimmo‘s STILL injured neck.

0 thoughts on “20/20 Hindsight: It’s Always The Cardinals”

  1. David Klein says:

    Mickey throwing Gsellman out there a day after he had to leave a game due to a back injury was genius as is using Font only once a week despite Font pitching very well out of the pen. Brodie’s comments on Saturday was gobbledegook and made me hate him more. Oh yeah play McNeil in cf to get Smith and Davis at bats. Also why do I have to sign in every time I come here? Where the remember me thing so I can remain signed in?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’d be leery of saying Font is pitching well out of the pen. Like Gagnon, it may be fool’s gold.

      As for the sign in issue, I’m sorry, but I don’t know the answer.

      1. David Klein says:

        Font has far better stuff than Gagnon he throw his fastball in the mid 90’s and has a good curve.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Font’s stuff is definitely better, but he’s been a bad pitcher for a long time.

  2. David Klein says:

    Your hate of JD Davis is over the top

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s not hatred. I’m stating objective facts.

  3. Oldbackstop says:

    JD has a higher OPS in Philly and a higher batting average and OBP in Atlanta but, you know, don’t tangle your feet in facts in your narrative.

    MD is a xenophobe. He hates anyone that wasn’t a short pants Met farmhand. JD, Vargas, Diaz, Cano are his daily whipping boys…..Thor, Jake, Alonso, Conforto are his homey mancrushes.

    1. Oldbackstop says:

      Furthermore and also….in the first week of the season JD Davis was batting .150. MD wrote a full length article saying that was the level of hitter he was. The same night, JD had three hits and two home runs, and since the article he has slashed 293 .354 .507 .860 .

      He is 3rd or 4th on the team in OPS, SLG and other rate measures. Even with that bad week to start he is hitting .276 for the year — 22 points higher than “MVP verge” Conforto. His 8 home runs, pro-rated to Conforto’s ABs, would show them equal power.

      While WAR and especially dWAR are worse than useless in small samples, (as I posted the intro from BBR) MD is enamored of citing them to complain about JD. He had first few weeks in the field, and has had one error since April 16.

      JD is making the minimum, has years of control, is now playing left in addition to third and can play first and pitch, but…. ya know….we trade some kids who will never be in the majors, probably, so MD has to label the whole deal a catastrophe.

      1. David Klein says:

        Conforto is awesome stop it

        1. Oldbackstop says:

          My dog is named Conforto (Connie). I’m just pointing out the insane discrepancies in MD’s biases.

          Conforto is my favorite Met, but .254 with 13 HRs is not MVP verge, as MD recently wrote, any more than JD is a disaster.

          1. metsdaddy says:

            He’s not your favorite Met, and Connie is not short for Conforto.

            I’d also add Conforto is on the cusp of being MVP caliber. He’s a top 20-25 player already. He’s young and improving.

            I’d also add much to your consternation I use objective analysis to prove my points with stats relevant to the modern game. I’m truly sorry that does not comfort with your conspiracy theories like Callaway was keeping Vargas’ innings down so incentives in his contract don’t accrue.

      2. metsdaddy says:

        Again, JD can’t hit a fastball or offspeed pitch and more than half the balls he hits are on the ground.

        That’s not a recipe for success. If it was, Eric Campbell would’ve been an everyday player.

        1. Oldbackstop says:

          Rofl….where would anyone with half a brain see a resemblance between Campbell and JD? campbell had 7 career home runs and was always battong like .170, Davis has 8 eight in the last 150 ABs and is batting .293 since mid April.

          Your synapses are misfiring. Everyone isn’t Eric Campbell. He NEVER hit major league pitching. JD is killing it.

          1. metsdaddy says:

            You really need to work on your reading comprehension

      3. metsdaddy says:

        I’d also note you absolutely hate Conforto and refuse to give him credit.

        I get it. You like bad players like Vargas and Davis and take it out on good players like Conforto and Syndergaard for being good and getting more chances.

    2. metsdaddy says:

      Weren’t you just the guy whining about ad hominem attacks?

      Just curious because you misused the term xenophobe when trying to mischaracterize my positions.

  4. The Fair Pole says:

    The comments here are just hilarious:

    Give the Mets credit without shut down pitchers, stoppers in the rotation that can go eight, the fact they toy with .500 is wonderful.

    Speaking as if the new Wilmer, Mr. Font as a commodity?

    The Mets can potentially be second to last in the wild card race by July fourth. The bullpen, team speed, up the middle defense, poor late inning production are here to stay in 2019. Add this : Nimmo may need considerable rehab or even surgery.

    Cano must be given a few starts at first this year and soon if not just once or twice to establish this has to be some kind of hitting w RISP meritocracy until August. His GIDPs in so few starts is an added disaster with RISP.

    Give Cano 7-8 days off until July end.

    Those starts include the usual Alonso day offs and when Smith is obviously in left.

    They have an inability to score fast in extras and Diaz does not succeed in tie games but what was the alternative move? Their defense allows McNeil to try out CF? Or in 2020? Only he, Gomez and Lagares can throw a ball on line but CF, now?

    Flexen has considerable MLB starts and considerable relief outings.

    I would rather try out McNeil at third or short than center. McNeil’s arm and OPB would be a great plus on Rosario days off (GIDP and putrid OBP where he should hit seventh or eighth) and McNeil playing SS w occasion chasing short flies, strengthening his arm might help him develop confidence to even try CF.

    Conforto’s arm accuracy has not improved and may have peaked by 2016. Playing Conforto in CF may mean decent if not unspectacular jumps and range only. I worry that he is now prone to collisions.

    The way that Frazier is just getting on w these soft singles – I would also play him at first on a Alonso day off for against a lefty to get McNeil a start at third and also putting Frazier (OBP) batting ahead of a RBI guy might work out. Put Cano at 6th in the order until he gets “back in shape”.

    Bad backs and hamstrings are also related and than goes into proper hydration, weight management, sleep and stretching. If Gsellman never has another “back situation” the criticism was just way to premature if not a habit.

    High starter pitch counts are a must.

    1. Oldbackstop says:

      Everybody wants to start somebody at first sometimes — Smith, Cano, Frazier, JD, McNeil, Conforto, Ramos — and it is the one guy the should get 160 starts at his age and tlent level.

      The excess in this squad, especially if Lowery comes back, is corner IF and OF, and the glaring hole is a well rounded CF, preferably one with leadoff OBP and speed. It isnt Lagares, Nimmo, McNeil, Conforto, Rajai or Gomez and it wasn’t Broxton. If we are buyers, that would be a good goal.

  5. Oldbackstop says:

    I apologize. I should have said your posts are xenophobic.

    It is facile to carry on about how wonderful Conforto and Noah are. My 6 year old niece can do that. It is more challenging to look at those out of favor and use your analysis to see opportunity for upside.

    I had a short list of guys I defended early on who were getting hated on….Vargas, JD, Broxton, Cano, Dowdy, Mesoraco.

    Vargas and JD are way in the black, Mesoraco is a total loss, Cano is mildly a loss but still optimistic, Broxton and Dowdy are gone and are disappointments.

    I had a short list of guys I hated on a bit that were getting raves: Nimmo, deGrom, Alonso, Matz, Rosario.You grade that out….only Alonso is a clear whiff. Matz and Alonso exceeded my expectations, Rosario glove is a continuing problem, Nimmo…I think Nimmo is a 4th OFer who had a lot of HBPs and walks last year. Should have traded him when he was a winter superstar.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I use stats to make points. You use feelings.

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        You often misuse stats to backfill preconceived points. Find anyone with a shred of sabermetric knowledge that would cite a few fraction points in a few months of WAR as a sole source for an opinion.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          It’s as if you’ve read nothing I’ve ever written or argued.

  6. Gothamist says:

    Give Daddy credit.
    All of these posts are read by the entire Met organization.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I don’t particularly care if they are or aren’t.

  7. MrMetFan says:

    MD, my comment is on the ineptitude of one jeury famila! You may remember we debated on the obvious meatball quick pitch homer to Gordon that cost the Mets the 2015 WS!! And you said it was a good pitch in spite of the results??? I found this to be one of the most ridiculous comments you ever made.

    I want to know you thoughts now after this another season which is only year 1 of 3 of ineffectiveness by familia.
    I was to know your thoughts on the dumber that rocks mgr and the epic fail that is BVW who has set the Mets back for decades with his poor talent evaluating and roster construction (like a last place fantasy baseball team), in which he built a 25 man roster with 12 infielders and garbage relievers.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      First of all, it wasn’t a meatball. It was a decent pitch, and Familia got beat. Not every ball hit for a homer is a bad pitch. Familia got beat by a decent pitch. It happens.

      As for this year with Familia, he’s been horrendous. While you could pinpoint the new ball a bit, it’s much more than that. Everything is completely out of whack. It’s tough to watch.

      As for Callaway, he’s nowhere near the problem, and he only comes off dumb because he’s being forced to say completely dumbfounding things by the GM and ownership who duck the media so as to not have to answer for their own ineptness.

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        It is beyond me where you got the notion that the GM and owners are supposed to give media access every day. That is UNDERCUTTING the manager, not supporting him.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I never said access everyday. Not once.

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            It basically should be never in season as long as a team is competing. Brodie comes out marketing himself way too much. He should show up when a major new free agent is signed or a trade is made. He should be around when a manager is fired and a search is on. He can make himself available during the winter to give insight into plans, to keep fans interested.

            An owner should have zero PR role, unless a GM position is empty. Steinbrenner jumps to mind as an example. Once he speaks, anyone down the line…the GM and manager, are gutted as sources.

            Orher than that, like any organization, there should be one voice, the manager. This avoids conflicting statements, and inciting these is a media goal, like a defense attorney.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            Sandy met with the press before each homestand. That did not undermine his manager once. In fact, that made things easier for the manager because he does not need to answer for things above his pay grade.

            That gives the press an outlet and doesn’t have them calling the manager an idiot who needs to be fired.

            Honestly, I don’t get your defense of Van Wagenen or the Wilpons here. It’s absurd.

          3. Oldbackstop says:

            When rhe manager is under fire, the GM can say something. Sandy talked too much, in the Billy Beane model where Art was an emasculated puppet (see Moneyball)

            Give me an example of where you think a GM should be talking rather than the manager in a pennant race?

          4. metsdaddy says:

            Sandy emasculated Terry? Seriously?

            Also, I’d note I never said instead of the manager. I said in addition to the manager.

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