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.

22 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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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