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20/20 Chances: Mets Leave Postseason Hopes in San Francisco

The Mets went to San Francisco with a chance to take a series against the Giants, pull to at least five games under .500, and surpass the Giants in the Wild Card standings. Instead, they managed to blow three games and probably leave their chances of making the postseason in San Francisco.

1. The Mets outscored the Giants by a healthy margin in this series, but that was only because of Saturday’s blowout. Putting that game aside, both teams were as feckless as can be at the plate. In some ways, both teams being alive in the Wild Card chase is a black mark for baseball.

2. The play which blew the Friday night game perfectly encapsulates the season. Dominic Smith doesn’t make a play partially because he is playing out of position. Unlike Robinson Cano, Alex Dickerson hustled around the base paths. Then, after Todd Frazier astutely cut it off, Wilson Ramos was nowhere near the play, nor did he even attempt to get into position.

3. In short, on one play we saw the effects of the Mets playing guys out of position, playing poor defense, and having their high priced veterans not perform up to the level they need to perform. Throw in the Mets blowing a completely winnable game, and you have the 2019 Mets in a nutshell.

4. The more you look at it, the more you realize Ramos is the biggest issue with this team. His catching has forced the pitching staff to bring pitches up in the hitting zone because of his framing and inability to effectively block pitches. As we saw on Friday night’s play, there are times you question how fully engaged he is. Finally, he’s a shell of himself offensively. Moving him at the trade deadline needs to be a priority.

5. By they way, for the cost of Ramos ($7.25) and Jed Lowrie ($10), the Mets could have had Yasmani Grandal this year and been a vastly superior team.

6. As pointed out by @MeekPhil_ on Twitter, last year’s gaffe between Smith and Amed Rosario happened last year against the Giants. With this being the Mets, no one should be surprised by this.

7. The way Smith responded to the play was incredible. On the first pitch he saw, he would hit a homer. In that game, he was 3-f0r-5 with that homer and four RBI. The way Smith put everything behind him speaks well to his future.

8. Of course, we should not be surprised about Smith’s response. After all, this is the same guy who responded to struggling in parts of his first two Major League seasons, getting surpassed on the depth chart, and his battles with sleep apnea. Smith is a fighter and a hard worker. Dealing with him this offseason is going to be a conundrum.

9. As we saw with his snapping the bat over his leg, Pete Alonso is both fatigued and frustrated. That sums up how every Mets fan feels after staying up or trying to stay up for the Thursday and Friday night debacles.

10. Alonso sitting on Saturday is a testament to the veteran presence of Frazier, who told Alonso and Mickey Callaway about the fatigue which sets in after the Home Run Derby. Considering how the Mets clubhouse fell apart when the Mets moved Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce in 2017, the Mets should consider keeping someone like him around to help this team continue to develop and prepare to be contenders in 2020.

11. It should also be noted with all the deals Van Wagenen has made in his Mets tenure, no one should trust his ability to trade anything for any value at the trade deadline. In all likelihood, when he is done, we will long for the days of the return of “prospects” like Nogosek, Gerson Bautista, Jamie Callahan, Ryder Ryan, Will Toffey, Drew Smith, etc.

12. Maybe it is time Jeff McNeil gets a day off. So far in the second half, he is hitting .268/.318/.488. Mets need much more from him than this.

13. It gets frustrating seeing how Mets fans choose to overlook some guys while constantly making others a perennial target. For example, Michael Conforto was chastised for not coming through in one pinch hitting attempt on Friday night, but McNeil, who three times failed to knock in the go-ahead run, had nary a bad word said about him.

14. Really, Mets fans don’t deserve Conforto much in the same way they don’t deserve Noah Syndergaard. With both players, all we hear is nitpicking over them instead of just enjoying them for the really good players they are.

15. The Mets offensive cold snaps were beyond frustrating in this series. After scoring a run in the first inning of the first game, they did not score another run until the 16th inning. After that, they didn’t score another run until Saturday’s game. After hitting two homers in the second inning Sunday, they didn’t score another run. If you’re not scoring runs, you can’t win.

16. The pitching staff was as good as you could ask during this series. The only blips were Chris Mazza and Stephen Nogosek. For Mazza, he was pressed into action in a spot where it was going to be difficult to succeed, and Nogosek struggled in mop up work.

17. Going back to Mazza, it shows how seemingly meaningless decisions come to matter. When the Mets needed someone to wrap things up in what became a laugher in Minnesota, the Mets turned to Mazza for the final two innings. The team did this despite knowing Jacob Rhame had a suspension looming. The end result was being an arm short in a 16 inning game the subsequent day pressing Mazza, a pitcher who just threw two innings, to work multiple innings again.

18. In what is becoming a lost season (if it wasn’t one already), the Mets need to stop pushing Seth Lugo. He’s too valuable a bullpen arm going forward. Don’t mess that up to chase games in July and August when you did nothing to really build the bullpen when you had the opportunity.

19. The hopes for a Cano turnaround are quickly fading with him now three for his last 21. If Brodie Van Wagenen had a clue, he’d spend the offseason finding a way for a team to take on Cano’s contract because Cano is one of the reasons why the Mets are going to struggle to compete in the ensuring seasons.

20. It was sad to see Matt Harvey get designated for assignment. For years, he was the source of hope for Mets fans, and he really did all he could do to get the Mets a World Series in 2015. Hopefully, he finds a way back to the Mets to work with Phil Regan and build himself back to being a good pitcher. More than that, here’s hoping he finds a fit like he did in Cincinnati last year where he can get the most out of the stuff he still has.

3 thoughts on “20/20 Chances: Mets Leave Postseason Hopes in San Francisco”

  1. Saul’s Colorist says:

    1. The entire league hits in their hot zones when they get the 87 FBs, 82 mph sliders, sub 80 curveballs, and the lopsided score against AAAA pitchers gets dropped.

    Saturday’s score is meaningless

    Next time ESPN shows Atlanta Washington highlights, their hitters hit 95 mph heat, the Mets, rarely ….. Cano is never have hit a HR here over 91 mph, Conforto past 93. Most Conforto HRs are hit off sub 90, even many on sub 80 pitches.

    2. He did not make the play is due to Rosario not learning from before, period.

    3. This outcome was expected — you are a dreamer….

    4. Interesting points. True?

    5. Grandal did not want them even for a year.

    The MVP from Col to NYY signed for $12

    6. Rosario is about Rosario. Spoiled before he got to 15.

    What did he say to the media about the error?

    7. Even though Rosario plays in his own world Smith took responsibility

    8. Yep, have to make room for the stud OFer in Syracuse.

    9. I ain’t frustrated they are playing on par. The relief corps will be demoralized by the later inning dismal production.

    10. Who wants him? He will be missed!! Anyone can see that Alonso needed two days off, or four like others had during the break.

    11. The second player in the Plawecki deal?

    12. Great point!

    13. I do even not watch Conforto ABATS anymore. Nor Cano or Lagares

    14. Conforto has not had any nibbles …. Mets want him out!!

    15. The Mets are generally cold, many are pursuing HRs and if there were not sixty teams ahead of them in WC races, maybe if the catcher, CF, third baseman and one of their top starters were not so available they would execute differently?

    16. You should always have your 16th inning reliever in your back pocket? I badly want Nogosek to stay.

    17. Rhame decision was made a day earlier? Maybe they needed Regan to evaluate both before the deadline needs were finalized?

    18. You are right about pitch counts. Lugo did ask for the second inning?

    19. Cano is very relaxed around his teammates

    21. What about Fred believing Yankee fans would flock to see Cano?

    20. Regan the guru of off speed pitch! Rock bottom will help. He still hates the Mets ? I see him working year around where he is, SoCal.

    1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      8. … … “Dealing with him this offseason is going to be a conundrum.”

      —–He has been fine in his current role, though. He solves the Mets 5th OFer problem, something they’ve been fumbling with for years and have none of in AAA, and he’s useful as a backup 1Bman for late innings so the mgr can swap him in as the lefty PH but w more flexibility. Given Nimmo’s and Conforto’s health problems and the team’s need for 2 CFers next season, Smith should get 300 PAs or 100 games in 2020 in the above role. It’s also not clear he wouldn’t be overtaxed in a full-time role, and there’s an added cost to making Smith the full time LFer as it pushes one of Nimmo or Conforto to CF. If the Mets get a good offer for him they should take it, of course, but he’s already an extremely useful spare part on a team with terrible problems behind the front line talent. My stance on guys like Dom is that just because he’s good in a 1/2 time role doesn’t mean he should be a starter. His current role is probably where he’s most valuable. If the Mets can package him for a young, cheap CFer of comparable talent and projection, they should do that. Otherwise, keeping him in his current role as valuable spare part is probably wise.

      10. Alonso sitting on Saturday is a testament to the veteran presence of Frazier, who told Alonso and Mickey Callaway about the fatigue which sets in after the Home Run Derby…”

      —–That the manager and FO need to be told this is a testament, frankly, to their idiocy. That idiocy extends to having Ramos on pace to play 141 games, a ludicrous number for a damaged 31 year old catcher. It’s why he can barely move on the field and why, once again, his hitting and defense are collapsing. Now it’s probably too late. Now even the ASB wasn’t enough to let an often injured 31 yo catcher recuperate. One of the iron men behind the plate, Johnny Bench, never even played more than 130 games after the age of 29. Even one of the most durable catchers in MLB history, Ivan Rodriguez, only played as many as 141 games ONCE after age 27. When the all-time greats can’t handle this load….

      Ramos is not the problem, in short. A FO playing a pretty good catcher into the ground is the problem. A manager without the intelligence to see what’s going on and the cojones to stand up to an FO abusing his players and their careers is the problem.

      This is all part and parcel of the Wilpons’ idiocy, where they’re willing to punt the season in order to get off to a fast start by playing their old and injured players into the ground. They’ve done it before. They did it this season. They’ll do it next year. You can’t teach someone anything they don’t want to learn.

      “Considering how the Mets clubhouse fell apart when the Mets moved Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce in 2017, the Mets should consider keeping someone like him around to help this team continue to develop and prepare to be contenders in 2020.”

      —–Have to say, if the manager and his coaches can’t keep the clubhouse together after dealing Wheeler and Frazier they should be summarily fired. We’re talking guiding adult men who are, for the most part, millionaires with great jobs as professionals, jobs that aren’t more taxing than warehouse or dock work. If a manager can’t keep a couple dozen well-paid guys going out there and doing their best in the last third of a lost season, he’s in the wrong line of work.

      “11. It should also be noted with all the deals Van Wagenen has made in his Mets tenure, no one should trust his ability to trade anything for any value at the trade deadline.”

      —–Yeah, Wags’ ability to learn on the job seems minimal. I remember fans on one site during the offseason claiming that he was obviously a smart guy who would have a fast learning curve, but based on his in-season performance anyone hoping that after fumbling away 2019 Wags would figure it out in time to build a contender on the cheap in 2020 should disabuse themselves of that notion. He doesn’t know much of anything relevant to building a team, and he hasn’t learned anything. Even peak John Scheurholz would have a bear of a time finding a way for the 2020 Mets to contend, and Wags isn’t in the same zip code as JS.

    2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      @Saul Hey, Saul. Fwiw, don’t know why my long comment posted in reply to yours. I was replying to MD’s main post up above. Cheers.

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