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20/20 Hindsight: Mets Season A Little Less Rocky

The Mets went from a very bad loss on Friday to winning a series against the Rockies, a team ahead of them in the Wild Card standings. All in all, it was a good weekend with a lot of great things happening:

1. Noah Syndergaard is not getting enough credit for reinventing himself on the fly. He’s lost his slider due to the new ball, and he’s adapted by throwing more four seamers and his curveball, two pitches he needed to develop further. He’s really turned a corner and maybe he’s on the brink of a stretch like he had in 2016.

2. It does seem every Mets pitcher likes pitching to Tomas Nido. It should come as no surprise as he is a first rate defensive catcher and pitch framer.

3. That said, we cannot have Nido being the personal catcher to Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. That is especially the case when Wilson Ramos has been the Mets best hitter for over the past three weeks, and he has improved his rapport with the pitching staff. Fact is, Ramos has to play.

4. That said, Nido should play a little more. In the first month plus of the season Ramos played in 28 of 29 possible games, and he started in 22 of 29 games. The Mets played 28 games in May, he played 24 games and started 19. Apparently, easing off the throttle off the 31 year old catcher with an injury history has benefits.

5. Speaking of easing off the throttle, Robert Gsellman was dominant in his one inning on Friday, and then he didn’t pitch in the subsequent two days. Getting him more rest could make him more effective like he was earlier in the year. That’s the hope at least.

6. For those who were clamoring for Drew Gagnon in pressure situations, you got to see why Mickey Callaway was hesitant to put him in those spots as he allowed homers to David Dahl and Daniel Murphy. In three of his last five appearances, hes’ allowed runs with two of them being three run blowups.

7. That’s the thing with pitchers like Gagnon. They’re effective in a role like long reliever, but pressure situations are a different animal. From what we’ve seen, Gagnon definitely has a spot in a Major League bullpen just not in the seventh or eighth inning. That’s alright. There’s nothing wrong with having pitchers who can pitch effectively in certain roles.

8. Jeurys Familia has been great in his last two appearances retiring the side both times. If he’s turning the corner, the Mets bullpen is now more than just Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo.

9. Todd Frazier is not this good, but he was also not as bad as he was to start the season. That’s the inherent problem with judging players over hot and cold streaks and especially over week-to-week production. Overall, what we have seen from Frazier is he’s a very good defensive third baseman who can draw walks and has pop in his bat. At least, that is what he is when he’s healthy. He’s healthy now, and he’s finally helping the Mets much in the same fashion Sandy Alderson thought he would.

10. The Mets need Frazier all the more because Jed Lowrie is apparently as real as the Tooth Fairy.

11. Speaking of moves which blew up unexpectedly, Robinson Cano has been less productive than Jay Bruce or Anthony Swarzak, both of whom have been traded in the division and are now working to beat the Mets.

12. With Juan Lagares having a -3 DRS in center and seeing Carlos Gomez play in center, the Mets should give a real consideration to seeing Jeff McNeil in center. As we see he has above average speed, good instincts, and an ability to quickly learn new positions. This would allow Brandon Nimmo to go to left field, which is a more natural fit whenever he comes off the IL.

13. Of course, if Dominic Smith continues to hit and play a passable left field, you could move McNeil to second. Of course, when Cano is healthy that raises a whole other list of issues. However, that falls under the category of good problems to have, which is a really nice change of pace around here.

14. Amed Rosario is an extremely talented player. We keep seeing glimpses of it, but we also see frustrating stretches. Part of this is the coaching staff with the Mets being one of the worst shifting teams there are, which has a negative impact on Rosario’s defensive numbers. There’s also the fact he’s still working to figure things out. Hopefully, sooner or later, something finally clicks.

15. Speaking of something clicking, Mets need to hope Pete Alonso is finally clicking again. While he’s hitting just .223/.298/.559 since May 1, Alonso is hitting .281/.349/.649 0ver his past 15 games. One thing to track here is Alonso is much better against left-handed pitching.

16. Bob Klapisch’s article in Bleacher Report on the Wilpons on their handling of their attempts to void Yoenis Cespedes‘ contract as well as all the other areas where the Wilpons are petty, over-matched, cheap, and whatever other adjective you want to use, is exactly the type or articles which need to be written instead of the paint-by-number fire Mickey Callaway articles which are being written.

17. Prior to this series against the Rockies, the Mets had exactly one series win against a team with a winning record. That series was the April 22 – 24 series at home against the Phillies where they blitzed them over the first two games before the Phillies destroyed Jason Vargas in the final game of that series. Things went sour for the Mets after that.

18. Mets haven’t been good for a while now, and it does seem like things are turning a corner. Fortunately, the Wild Card and division are still well within reach.

19. The Subway Series always seem to be a seminal moment in the Mets season. They appear headed in the right direction and the Yankees not so this next series could prove to be a springboard for the Mets.

20. What happened to David Ortiz was horrific, and instead of rushing to judgment like Dallas Braden, we should be just offering our prayers for Ortiz for a speedy recovery.

9 thoughts on “20/20 Hindsight: Mets Season A Little Less Rocky”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    You are becoming a psychiatric study case over Vargas.

    MD: “….where they blitzed them over the first two games before the Phillies destroyed Jason Vargas in the final game of that series. Things went sour for the Mets after that.”

    Vargas went five innings in his only start against the Phillies on April 24. He gave up three hits and one earned run. The Mets bullpen, Gsellman and Rhame, then gave up five runs. The Mets offense did not score a run and lost 0-6.

    That is Vargas being destroyed and responsible for the season going “sour”?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s hilarious how you overdraw conclusions not made and come rushing to Vargas defense like his entire survival is dependent upon you.

  2. Oldbackstop says:

    …..and the next game, April 26, soured by Vargas’s destruction in the 1 run, 5 inning outing, a still shaken deGrom gave up 5 runs and left after 4 as the Mets lost 10-2 to the Brewers.

    The next day Thor, visibly upset and, shaken, soured, and sulking by Vargas giving up one run in five innings, gave up five runs in five innings.

    A few days later, the destructor of the Mets season, the sour and despicable Vargas, was destroyed again, again giving up one run in 5 innings, as the Mets won 4-3.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Now we get to where you trump up meh or bad performances to be Jack Morris in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series and maligning actual good pitchers.

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        I’d change the sibject too if I were you.

        How exactly did the Phillies “destroy” Vargas on April 24?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Not changing the subject at all, and I’d invite you to revisit that epic under five inning performance which required 89 pitches yourself.

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            Giving up one run when your team is being shut out ONE RUN is being destroyed?!?!

            Why did you not choose Noah and DeGrom when they gave up FIVE runs in the following two games in identical outings??

            Mancrushes?

            You are destroying your credibilty with this idiotic banter.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            You’re right. Highlighting how Vargas couldn’t go five innings routinely and how that and his poor pitching hurt the team.

            Vargas has made nine starts and only gone at least five innings five times with four of those coming against putrid offenses, but I guess my credibility takes a hit for pointing that out.

            As for tonight, I guess you’ll make out whatever he does to be good, and if he’s not good, it’s on Callaway, and my not seeing why Vargas is forever blameless will damage my credibility

  3. Gothamist says:

    St. John’s star Matt Carasiti is available!
    His HR rate looks ok….?

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