Game Recap

Matz Picks Up A Grandy Win

Another Steven Matz start and another seven innings. Since coming off the Disabled List, Matz has pitched seven innings in three of his four starts. Tonight might’ve been the best start of the lot. 

Matz pitched seven shut out innings befuddling the Marlins. No Marlins player would even make it to third base.  He pitched mainly to contact, weak contact, which permitted him to once again go deep in the game. Over the seven innings, he needed just 110 pitches. 

His final line was seven innings, six hits, no runs, one walk, and four strikeouts. 

And Matz would get the win in this game with some help of some veterans looking to boost their trade value. 

Curtis Granderson was great just like he’s been all June. In fact, he’s been among the top three hitters in the majors during the Month of June. 

To start the game, Granderson battled back from a 1-2 count to draw a nine pitch walk against Marlins starter Jeff LockeAsdrubal Cabrera followed with a home run:

He’s been much better since moving to second base. 

The rally continued with a Jay Bruce single and a Travis d’Arnaud two out walk. In what might’ve been his best game of the season Jose Reyes delivered with an RBI single making it 3-1. 

Overall, Reyes was 3-4 with a double and an RBI. With his seventh inning single, he passed Ed Kranepool for second on the Mets all-time hit list. 

The Mets offense would go silent from there until the Marlins brought Dustin McGowan into the game. d’Arnaud got it started with an RBI single, and he’d go to third on the aforementioned Reyes single. If that ball does not hit McGowan, Reyes has an RBI. 

That RBI would go to T.J. Rivera with his RBI groundout. It appeared to be a sure fire double play ball, but at the last second, it took a strange hop on Marlins shortstop JT Riddle

After a Matz sacrifice bunt, the Marlins brought in the left-handed Justin Nicolino to face Granderson. Granderson responded by hitting a bomb:

This was the third straight game Granderson hit a home run. 

The Mets would build on this 6-0 lead in the eighth. Brandon Nimmo continued his terrific work as a pinch hitter delivering a two out RBI single giving the Mets an 8-0 lead. That’s a lead not even this Mets bullpen could blow. 

Mets are back on track for at least one day, and they look to take the series tomorrow. 

Game Notes: Robert Gsellman was put on the DL, and Matt Reynolds was called-up to take his place on the roster. Reynolds came on for defense for Cabrera in the eighth. 

Seen This Loss Too Many Times This Year

The Mets fought hard to get back into this game.  In the end, it was the usual culprits that would let the Mets down – injuries, defense, and the bullpen. 

After Curtis Granderson led off the game with a home run off Dan StrailyRobert Gsellman would just give the lead back. 

In the bottom of the first, the Marlins had runners on first and second with two outs, but Gsellman couldn’t come up with that big pitch to get out of the inning. Justin Bour singled to tie the game, and Martin Prado doubled to give the Marlins a 3-1 lead. 

It was one of those nights where you knew Gsellman probably wasn’t long for the game. You’d be right, but not for the reason you’d expect. 

In the fourth, Lucas Duda got a rally started with a one out double, and it appeared as if the Mets would strand him there. Travis d’Arnaud came up with the big two out RBI single pulling the Mets within one. 

Then came the Gsellman injury. Gsellman would ground out to the pitcher. On the play, he’d vacillate between jogging and busting it. It led to a leg injury. Rather go on a rant here about another injury, it’s best to leave it to Ron Darling:

This led to Paul Sewald getting thrown into the game. He did a great job pitching three scoreless innings keeping the Mets in the game. It allowed d’Arnaud to tie the game with a solo shot off Kyle Barraclough

The hit got the Mets going, and it seemed as if the Mets might take the lead. Brandon Nimmo worked out a pinch hit walk, and Granderson smoked a grounder up the middle. 

That’s when JT Riddle made a phenomenal play on the Granderson grounder to get a 6-6-3 inning ending double play. 

With the game tied at 3-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Terry Collins went to Neil Ramirez and his 6.66 ERA. You knew nothing good would come of this. 

Ramirez would issue a leadoff walk to J.T. Realmuto, and Riddle would smoke a grounder towards Duda. It was difficult, but Duda needs to make that play. The ball hit off his glove setting up first and third with no outs. 
Like all Mets fans, Collins had enough of Ramirez and went to Jerry Blevins, who has pitched poor of late, to pitch to Ichiro Suzuki

Being the wily veteran with 3,049 career hits entering the game, Ichiro knew just where to hit it – right by Wilmer Flores, who went in the completely wrong direction:

From there, Blevins walked Giancarlo Stanton to get to the left-handed Christian Yelich.  The move didn’t work as Yelich hit a two run single giving the Marlins a 6-3 lead. 

This loss was the same loss that we’ve been seeing all season long. This is the same loss that has derailed the Mets season. 

Game Notes: Michael Conforto was not available to pinch hit after getting hit on the wrist in Sunday’s game. Erik Goeddel pitched 1.2 scoreless. He has three scoreless innings in three appearances this year. 

Montero Figured Out At Least One Thing . . . The Giants

The Mets have given Rafael Montero enough chances that he was bound to finally figure it out.  Still, it seemed like he never was.  Each and every year, Montero was getting worse . . . not better.  He stuck around while useful and promising pitchers like Gabriel Ynoa were sent away for a mere pittance.  Finally, in his ninth major league call-up, Montero seems to have figured it out.

Montero only got this last chance due to injuries.  Unlike the other eight times Montero got a chance, Montero finally took advantage.

With the Mets needing some innings out of the bullpen, Terry Collins twice turned to Montero.  In those two appearances, Montero pitched 6.2 innings allowing just one earned on three hits.  He only walked two while striking out eight.  If nothing else, he helped save the bullpen in those games.  More than that, he finally earned a start, which he got on Sunday.

On Sunday, Montero looked like the guy the Mets have been waiting for all these years.  He was throwing strikes and attacking the zone.  He was mixing up his pitches and using his change-up as a weapon and not as a panic pitch because he didn’t trust his other stuff to get outs.

Things were going smooth for Montero until the third inning.  After allowing a pair of one out singles, he walked Hunter Pence to load the bases with Buster Posey heading to the plate.  In the past, this is the exact point where Montero would fall apart.  He didn’t.  Montero bore down, and he got Posey to hit a sacrifice fly.  He then battled Brandon Belt when the Giants bailed him out.  Pence tried to steal a base, and Rene Rivera gunned him down to get out of the inning.

That wasn’t the only way Rivera helped his pitcher.  Rivera went 2-5 with two homers and three RBI.  Overall, he helped his pitcher behind the plate and at the plate.

But it was Montero who was great.  In 5.2 innings pitched, Montero allowed just one run on five hits while walking just two and striking out seven.  You could argue this was just the Giants terrible offense, but it should be remembered his last two appearances were against the Nationals and Dodgers, who are two of the best offenses in baseball.

Montero would get the win because of his terrific pitching and because the Mets offense continued to roll.

Again, it was Curtis Granderson who got things started drawing a lead-off walk against Matt Moore.  He’d eventually come around to score on a Jay Bruce RBI groundout.  Bruce’s next RBI came in the eighth when he hit a two run homer to put the game away.  The homer was Bruce’s 20th home run of the season.  At his current pace, Bruce will have his first 40 HR season and just his second 100 RBI season.

Throw in a Lucas Duda fifth inning RBI double and a Granderson ninth inning solo shot, and you have a Mets 8-2 victory.  More than that, the Mets have swept just their second sweep of an opponent this season.  If only the Mets had played like this earlier in the season.  We could have been talking about the Mets being about to go on a push to make the postseason.  Instead, it is probably too little too late.

Game Notes: After moving to second for the first two games in the series, Asdrubal Cabrera was back at shortstop with Jose Reyes getting the day off.

In A Cabrera Second, Mets Bats Come Alive

After having the tar beaten out of them by the Nationals and Dodgers, the Mets finally found a team worse than them. 

The team jumped all over Giants starter Ty Blach.

Curtis Granderson led off his third straight game with a hit.  This time it wasn’t a homer. He’d move to third on an Asdrubal Cabrera single. Cabrera’s hit was only a single because Brandon Belt tracked down the bloop hit and threw out Cabrera trying to stretch the single into a double. For a player that did not want to be at second today, Belt granted him his wish. 

Granderson would score on a Wilmer Flores two out RBI single. Unlike the past two games, the Mets would win a game they had a 1-0 lead after the top of the first. The main reason for that was the Mets bats exploded in the top of the second. 

The rally started with a Lucas Duda lead-off double, and he’d score on a Seth Lugo RBI double. After a wild pitch, Granderson hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1. 

After Cabrera singled, Yoenis Cespedes would hit his third home run since coming off the disabled list:

The rally didn’t end there. Flores, Michael Conforto, and Travis d’Arnaud hit consecutive doubles to give the Mets a 7-1 lead. 

With that lead in hand, Lugo was cruising. Through the first five innings, he had just allowed one run, and he was making quick and efficient work of the Giants. 

His lead would grow to 10-1 in the sixth. Cespedes hit an RBI double scoring Granderson. Flores hit a sacrifice fly scoring Cabrera, and Conforto hit a two out RBI single scoring Cespedes. 

After another long inning, Lugo struggled. After having thrown just 59 pitches through the fifth, his pitch count would escalate to 95, and he still didn’t get out of the inning. 

It was a combination of the Giants batters being more patient and Lugo issuing two of his three walks on the night. 

He loaded the bases with one out, and Brandon Crawford tattooed one that became a sacrifice fly. 

Lugo issued another walk to re-load the bases, and Gorkys Hernandez followed with a two RBI single. At that point, Terry Collins had little choice but to go to his bullpen. Paul Sewald came on and got the out to keep the score at 10-4. 

From there, Duda continued his monster night at the plate. He hit a seventh inning homer, and he nearly missed another in the ninth. Overall, he was 3-5 with with two runs, two doubles, a homer, and an RBI. 

In addition to Duda, Cespedes also went 3-5. Cespedes was also amazing falling a triple short of the cycle. With the sac fly, Flores was 3-4. Overall, the only Mets batter without a hit was Jose Reyes who walked twice. 

Cabrera should also be signaled out for having a good game. Despite all the pregame hysteria over his move to second base, he came to play. He was 3-6 with two runs. He was flawless in the field even turning a double play. Perhaps if he had played this well all year, the Mets never would’ve had the inking to move him to second. 

This was more than enough for Jerry BlevinsErik Goeddel, and Addison Reed to close it on out. Each pitched a scoreless inning to secure the Mets first win in over a week. 

Game Notes: Before the game, Cabrera demanded the Mets trade him for the team’s decision to play him at second base. Sandy Alderson said Cabrera’s option would not be picked up.  Gavin Cecchini was sent down to Triple-A to make room for Cabrera on the roster. 

Mets More Concerned With Puig Than Playing Good Baseball

It was too good to be true. With the left-hander Rich Hill starting for the Dodgers, and with Michael Conforto‘s cold streak, Curtis Granderson got the start in center. On the second pitch of the game, he would give the Mets the lead:

It was Granderson’s 19th lead-off homer with the Mets putting him back in a tie with Jose Reyes for the Mets all-time record. 

After a scoreless first, the Mets would have their first lead in the series. As we all know at this point, it was too good to last. 

Tyler Pill would surrender the lead in the third with some help from his defense. After a lead-off walk to Joc Pederson, T.J. Rivera threw one away to set up runners at second and third with no outs. To his credit, Pill limited the damage to one run on a Hill sacrifice fly. 
Surprisingly, despite the Dodgers having scored a run, Pill still had a no-hitter going.  That came crashing down in the fourth. 

Starting with Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers just teed off on Pill. Bellinger ripped a ball to right field, and he tested Jay Bruce‘s arm. Bruce threw the ball away, and no one from the Mets over shifted infield bothered to cover third thereby just giving the base to him. 

Bellinger scored on a Logan Forsythe double. After Pederson was intentionally walked, Yasiel Puig hit a three run homer he quite admired:

Wilmer Flores had something to say about it. Travis d’Arnaud said something to him. Between innings, Cespedes and Reyes talked with him. 
The Mets are out there playing as poorly as you can making mental mistakes all over, not hitting with runners in scoring position, and getting their doors blown off on a nightly basis, but they’re going to talk to Puig about playing the right way?  Ok. 

In some ways, it should have never come to this point. In the top of the fourth, the Mets had bases loaded with no outs with a chance to take a big lead. Instead, Hill would strike out Reyes, Gavin Cecchini, and Pill to get out of the inning. 

Pill didn’t seem to have the same issue as his teammates did decking to plunk Puig in the sixth. Maybe it was because Pill was too worried about how poor he was pitching.  His final line was six innings (career high), five hits, six runs, five earned, three walks, and six strikeouts. 

Conspicuously absent in that line was a hit by pitch. For some, it was much ado about nothing. For others, it was a sign this team had no fight left. 

In any event, a Yasmani Grandal sixth inning and eighth inning home run to make it 7-1. Neil Ramirez in his second inning of work would throw gasoline on the fire allowing two runs before handing the ball to Erik Goeddel. Goeddel would get out of the jam leaving the score at 8-1. 

Grandy would hit an RBI double in the ninth to make it 8-2. That’s how it would end. 

With that, the Mets are nine games under .500 for the first time this season.  As bad as that is, things are really about to get worse than it already is. 

Game Recap: Mets 5.01 ERA entering the game is the highest ERA the Mets have had this late in the season since 1962. After offseason elbow surgery, this was Goeddel’s first major league appearance this season. 

What The Gsell, Man!

Tonight’s game effectively started like yesterday’s gameCorey Seager and Cody Bellinger each hit a two run homer to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead over the Mets. 

From there, Robert Gsellman allowed solo shots to Seager in the fourth and Yasmani Grandal in the fifth giving the Dodgers consecutive four home run games. 

Another run scored off a Joc Pederson RBI double. That capped off three straight Dodger extra base hits. It also was the end for Gsellman. 
Gsellman’s final line was 4.2 innings, nine hits, eight runs, seven earned, three walks, and two strikeouts. At this point, it’s safe to assume he’s taking the loss. 

For his part, Jose Reyes should take a lot of blame with his killing two rallies off Dodger starter Brandon McCarthy. He ended a third inning rally grounding into a double play. In the fifth, he struck out with runners on first and second. 

His counter-part wasn’t missing. Seager homered off Josh Edgin in the fifth giving him three homers in the game. At that point, it was 10-0, and the game was effectively over. 

[If more happens worthy of mentioning, this will be updated]. 

This season has completely unraveled. It’s time to sell for whatever they can get . . . no matter how little the return

Game Notes: Gavin Cecchini was rewarded for yesterday’s homer by being put in the lineup and batting eighth behind Rene Rivera. So far, he’s 1-2. The unearned run was the result of a T.J. Rivera throwing error allowing Justin Turner to get on in front of the Bellinger home run. 

You Can’t Spot Kershaw A Seven Run Lead

From the minute Chase Utley hit a lead-off double against Zack Wheeler, you knew the game was over.  

The first five Dodgers would reach against Wheeler. Justin Turner, the guy Sandy Alderson non-tendered, got the first RBI of the game. They all scored on a Cody Bellinger home run.

Dating back to his last start, Wheeler allowed 12 straight batters to reach base. With the first four scoring, the Dodgers handed Clayton Kershaw a 4-0 lead, which basically ensured the Dodgers would win the game:

Even the most eternal optimist had their dreams shattered in the second when Turner homered and Bellinger hit his second homer of the game. The Dodgers then had an insurmountable 7-0 lead. 

When Jose Reyes hit a solo homer too lead off get third, there was little reason to continue watching. Kershaw wasn’t getting his no hitter. At that point, there was little reason to continue watching. 

To their credit, the Mets made it competitive. Jay Bruce hit a solo shot in the fourth, and Gavin Cecchini hit a a two run shot in the fifth. 

While this was happening Rafael Montero kept the Dodgers off the board with three scoreless innings. It’s amazing. Montero now had a 6.2 inning scoreless streak. He has looked like a completely different pitcher. 

Still, this is the same underachieving Mets team. On top of that, when you spot Ketshaw a 7-0 lead, you’re simply not going to win the game. 

After Kershaw struck out the side in the sixth, he had his fourth straight 10 strikeout performance against the Mets. It was honestly as far as I could go. Seeing Utley score again will certainly give me nightmares about breaking my legs. 

[I’ll update as necessary tomorrow provided I had scheduled enough time on the DVR] 

Game Notes: With Montero pitching today, Tyler Pill will likely get the start on Wednesday. 

Can’t Say I Miss This

Oddly enough, I missed the game because I forgot it was a 4:11 start time. I missed the game in part because I thought there was no way the Mets would play in the rain that was pouring down where I was. I missed it even though I really wanted to see Seth Lugo pitch. 

Mostly, I missed the game because no one seems to be as interested in the Mets right now. They were outclassed by the Nationals in consecutive games. Sandy Alderson says the Mets have a talented roster, will not call-up Amed Rosario, or take any other action to improve the team or hold others accountable. 
Well judging from the post-game as I caught on the radio, and the comments on Twitter:

Nationals playing home run derby again. More Daniel Murphy heroics. Mets not taking advantage of the Nationals awful bullpen. The Mets falling to 11.5 games back. 

I’m shocked I didn’t watch, but based on everything, I wouldn’t say I missed it. 

Mets Squandering Chances In Game . . . East

There’s one fatal flaw if the strategy against the Nationals is to get into their bullpen – you have to actually get into their bullpen. With how dominant Max Scherzer has been against the Mets, and how dominant he’s been this year, that wasn’t happening tonight. 

That’s not to say the Mets didn’t have their chances. The Mets grounding into three double plays only confirms the Mets had their chances. Like all double plays, these were back breakers. 

In the second, Mets had first and second with no outs and a chance to take the lead. Travis d’Arnaud grounded into the double play. The Mets wouldn’t score when Jose Reyes flew out to end the threat. 

The following inning, Steven Matz tried to help his own cause with a lead-off single, but he was erased when Michael Conforto grounded into the double play. The shock here was that entering tonight’s game, Conforto actually hit Scherzer well going 6-15 with three homers off him. Tonight, Conforto was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. 

Finally in the sixth, the Mets had runners on first and second with one out. That rally ended with Wilmer Flores grounding into the inning ending double play. It was the latest sign Flores is cold. After scorching through May and earning a starting job, Flores is 2-19. 

The squandered opportunities cost the Mets. It put Matz, who was making his second start off the Disabled List, in the unenviable position of having to be perfect. Unfortunately, Matz was just good. 

While he generally kept the Nationals off the basepaths, he was victimized by the long ball. Matt Wieters and Michael Taylor went back-to-back to start the third. In the sixth, Anthony Rendon hit an opposite field two run homer that just cleared the wall. 

With that, the Nationals were up 4-0 and in position to win despite the Matz pitching fairly well. His final line was seven innings, eight hits, four runs, four earned, no walks, and four strikeouts. 

With Dusty Baker understandably not wanting to go to his bullpen, a tiring Scherzer pitched the eighth. Things got a little interesting with Reyes leading off the inning with a homer, and Curtis Granderson sending one to the wall in his pinch hitting appearance. 

This is where Scherzer showed how great he is. He was clearly on fumes, but he bore down. He made quick work of Conforto before entering a battle with Yoenis Cespedes. Despite Scherzer quickly getting up 1-2 in the count, Cespedes fouled off a number of pitches, and the count would go full. On the 11th pitch, Scherzer finally got his strikeout. 

Still, it was within striking distance at 4-1. That’s when the Mets defense blew their chances. 

Taylor led off the inning with a well placed bunt single. Flores made a nice play, but with his arm, he had no shot at Taylor. Same went for d’Arnaud when Taylor stole second.  Taylor was certainly helped by Fernando Salas not even bothering to hold him on. 

Despite all of that, the Mets had a chance to get out of the ninth inning unscathed. There were runners at the corners with one out, and Brian Goodwin hit a tailor made double play ball.  For some reason, T.J. Rivera lollipopped it over to Reyes, who had no shot to get the speedy Goodwin. 

After a Bryce Harper single, Ryan Zimmerman hit a single to left. Goodwin seemed like he would score with ease, and for some reason, Harper headed to third. Cespedes made a one hop throw to third Flores could not field. It at least appeared if Flores fielded it cleanly, Harper would’ve been out before Goodwin scored thereby negating the run. 

It didn’t happen that way and because official scorers do that the do, Cespedes was charged with the error despite his heads-up play and good throw. 

Then Terry Collins does what he does best. He made a questionable move. 

After walking Daniel Murphy intentionally to load the bases, Collins brought in Neil Ramirez and his 7.3 BB/9 into the game. To a surprise to no one, Ramirez walked in a run to make it 7-1. 

Despite the Nationals bullpen being bad, they’re not six runs in the ninth inning bad. The real shame is the Nationals bullpen pitched as expected with Jay Bruce greeting Shawn Kelley with a lead-off home run in the ninth to make it 7-2. The Mets would get no closer. 

The Mets have had two cracks at the Nationals to help them make some headway in the National League East. They responded by playing some of their worst baseball this month. They were not fundamentally sound, nor were they smart. They didn’t effectively work counts to get into that bullpen, and they played poor defense. 

The most the Mets can hope for now is a split. If they continue playing like this, it won’t happen. 

Game Notes: Mets pitchers have allowed 13 home runs over the last four games. Brandon Nimmo and Matt Reynolds were called up, but they did not play. 

Five Mets Not Alive

Through the first four innings, this was a game. The Nationals got to Robert Gsellman, but the damage wasn’t as bad as it could have been. 

He made two mistakes. The first Bryce Harper hit for a long first inning home run. The second was a Matt Wieters fourth inning double. He came home to score on a Gio Gonzalez single. That’s problematic because Gonzalez is terrific at Citi Field. 

He was again tonight. The Mets had just one hit through the first three innings, and he looked like he was going to make that 2-0 lead stick. 

Still it was only 2-0 because in the third inning, Juan Lagares nailed Harper at the plate:

In the fourth, Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce hit back-to-back one out doubles to bring the Mets within 2-1. Considering how terrible the Nationals bullpen has been, that isn’t a bad position for the Mets.  If they kept it close, you had to like their chances. 

The Mets didn’t keep it close as the Nationals went to work in the fifth inning. 

Daniel Murphy continued to torture the Mets hitting a two run triple with a ball Lucas Duda couldn’t knock down and Jay Bruce couldn’t pick up. Murphy then scored on an Anthony Rendon single that tipped Lagares glove as he dove for it. The Nationals capped off the inning with a Michael Taylor homer. 

At that point, it was 7-1 Nationals. The only thing left was to add some injury to insult. 

Because this is the Mets that happened. On Lagares’ dive, he broke his left thumb, the same one he injured last year. 

It really just kept getting better and better. With Gary, Keith, and Ron discussing Amed RosarioWilmer Flores made an error. With all the injuries the Mets have had, there was a Hospital for Special Surgery advertisement behind home plate. I

After that, there was insult to injury. Rafael Montero came on in the sixth, and he dominated the Nationals. He had three straight 1-2-3 innings, and he struck out three batters. 

All the Mets had to do was keep it close, and they couldn’t do that. The Wilmer Flores homer off Joe Blanton was a stark reminder of that. 

But no, the Mets lost to the Nationals, and they lost badly. With Lagares getting hurt and Neil Walker and Matt Harvey landing on the DL, it’s once again hard to see how things are going to get better.

Game Notes: Rene Rivera hit an opposite field homer in the fifth. Gavin Cecchini struck out in his pinch hitting attempt. Matt Reynolds was scratched from the Vegas lineup meaning he’s likely ticketed for the Mets.