Game Recap

Mets Do Just Enough To Lose

Heading into this year’s Yankee Stadium portion of the Subway Series, the Mets had a decided advantage in starting pitching. Yesterday, that led to a win with Noah Syndergaard on the mound.

Through the first three and a half innings, it seemed like it would be the case again with Steven Matz out-pitching Sonny Gray.

Up until that point, the Mets had a 1-0 lead due to a Michael Conforto second inning homer. That lead completely evaporated in the bottom of the fourth.

It started innocuously enough with a Giancarlo Stanton leadoff single. Then with one out in the inning, Matt den Dekker would make a number of defensive miscues starting with the Didi Gregorious RBI “triple.”

Throughout that fourth, Matz would make his pitches, but his team, specifically den Dekker, wasn’t making a play behind him. All told, it was a four run inning for the Yankees.

In the sixth, Conforto would get things started with a one out walk, and Jose Bautista followed with a walk of his own. This led to Aaron Boone lifting Gray and bringing in David Robertson.

With two outs in the inning, Amed Rosario hit an RBI single that not only brought Conforto home, but it allowed Bautista to go to third. It mattered because Robertson threw away a pickoff attempt allowing Bautista to score. The rally would end there as den Dekker struck out.

The Mets would quickly see the 4-3 deficit grow and grow.

In the bottom of the inning, Miguel Andujar doubled, and Greg Bird singled him home.

It’s hard to say Matz pitched well considering he surrendered five runs, all earned, but he did. The defense was that poor.

In consecutive innings, Tim Peterson and Anthony Swarzak would surrender a run to give the Yankees a 7-3 lead.

In the ninth, it seemed like Aroldis Chapman was in to pitch his inning and let everyone get home before the rain came later tonight. The issue with Chapman was he couldn’t get an out.

After loading the bases, he walked Jose Reyes and then plunked Brandon Nimmo. Suddenly, the Mets were down 7-5 with bases loaded and no outs.

Now, it should be noted Asdrubal Cabrera should have been due up. The problem was he was ejected in the fifth after getting tossed arguing balls and strikes. When that happened, he joined hitting coach Pat Roessler who was tossed in the third for the same issue.

Cabrera was replaced in the lineup by Devin Mesoraco (as a DH). He’d face Chasen Shreve who came on for Chapman, get the most important at-bat of the game, and he’d hit into a rally killing 4-6-3 double play.

Ty Kelly would score on the play to make it 7-6. Wilmer Flores then tapped out to Shreve to end the game.

With that, the Mets did just enough to lose. Just enough.

Game Notes: Jeurys Familia was finally traded to the Athletics. Yoenis Cespedes was unavailable as he was too sore to play. As it turns out, he also needs surgery to remove calcifications in both heels. The recovery time is approximately 10 months.

Mets Are Good With Cespedes, Thor, and No Reyes

With all the injuries, Mets fans were left to wonder how this team would have been if they had Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes. Right off the bat, we’d find out the answer is very good.

Brandon Nimmo led off the game with a walk against Yankee starter Domingo German. After that leadoff walk, Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Conforto, and third baseman Jose Bautista hit RBI doubles giving the Mets a quick 3-0 lead.

That lead would grow to 4-0 when Cespedes had a Yankee Stadium special ding off the foul pole:

That 4-0 lead was good for Syndergaard who had another five inning effort where he could not get that 1-2-3 inning.

Fortunately, Syndergaard, who was popping off at the mouth before the game, was able to navigate through the jams effectively. The only damage against him was a Giancarlo Stanton third inning sacrifice fly.

In the fifth, Cespedes led off the inning with a walk, advance to second on a Wilmer Flores one out walk, and he’d score on a Conforto RBI single.

Bautista walked to load the bases, and they’d come away with just one more run. With the Mets having a 6-1 lead, you knew it was a tight margin for the Mets pen.

Amed Rosario didn’t help matters playing poor defense and going 0-4 at the plate.

Seth Lugo dealt with poor defense, but he gutted through two innings. Still, the margin tightened with Neil Walker hitting a two run RBI double.

After Lugo, Robert Gsellman would have a rough eighth. As alluded to earlier, Rosario’s poor defense was a factor allowing the quick Brett Gardner on base.

Didi Gregorious doubled home one run, and Giancarlo Stanton knocker another one home with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-5.

The game was teetering. Fortunately, Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar were terrible in big spots on the night. Each had a chance to get the big hit, and they fizzled.

With that, the Mets carried a 6-5 lead into the ninth. With the team producing a run with Cabrera getting on, Flores going the opposite way to get him over, and a Conforto sacrifice fly would get him in.

This seemed like the perfect shot for Jeurys Familia to shut the door, but with the trade speculation, Mickey Callaway opted for Gsellman for the six out save instead.

Game Notes: Conforto had a terrific night going 2-4 with a run, double, and three RBI. Bautista has a nice barehanded play. Bautista started at third over Jose Reyes.

Mets End First Half Only Way They Can

In some ways, the Mets final game before the All Star Break was a microcosm of the entire first half of the season.  It started with a lot of promise, and things would quickly unravel from there.

Really, the biggest thing you want to take away from this game is just how good Corey Oswalt pitched. He only needed 59 pitches to get through five innings.  In those five innings, he allowed just one earned on two hits while walking none.

In four of his five innings, he got the Nationals to go down 1-2-3.  The only issue was the second when Anthony Rendon and Matt Adams led off the inning with back-to-back singles setting the stage for a Michael Taylor RBI ground out.  Even with that rally, Oswalt still impressed inducing Matt Wieters to hit into a rally killing and inning ending double play.

Of course, with how well he was pitching, you knew Mickey Callaway was going to be double guessed for lifting him for a pinch hitter in the fifth.

At the time, the score was tied 1-1, and to be fair, the Mets weren’t really setting the world on fire against Jeremy Hellickson.

After Jose Reyes hit a one out double and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Amed Rosario had a chance to deliver the go-ahead RBI and not just get the lead but keep Oswalt in the game.  He struck out.  Dominic Smith, who was given a talking to by Callaway, pinch hit for Oswalt, and he was hit by a pitch.

Unfortunately, Brandon Nimmo, who hasn’t been hitting near as well since he was hit on the hand in Atlanta, couldn’t deliver.

Seth Lugo came out of the pen for a shutdown inning, but after that it was the typical Mets comedy of errors coming out of the bullpen.

The Mets would use Anthony Swarzak, Tim Peterson, and Jerry Blevins in the seventh.  None of them were effective.  Swarzak was the worst with him walking the two batters he faced before getting pulled.  Ultimately, to add insult to injury, it was Daniel Murphy who delivered the go-ahead hit in what would become a five run inning.

In the end, the Mets lost 6-1, and they have not won a series since May. They have the fewest wins in the National League, and they continue to play Reyes everyday while not giving younger players like Jeff McNeil or Smith an opportunity.

Really, this is a bad team whose front office is managing it to the ground.

Game Notes: Blevins escaped the seventh inning jam by picking off a runner.  That was his third pick off of the season tying him with Steven Matz for the team lead.

A Mets Problem

I had a previously scheduled event at the precise time as first pitch yesterday. With the Mets 16 games under .500, that should not have been an issue. And yet, I couldn’t help but follow the game on my phone.

I was pumped when I saw the 7-0 led propelled by a Michael Conforto three run homer:

I got annoyed when I noticed Jose Reyes delivered a key hit fully knowing it would mean six more weeks without Jeff McNeil.

I was once again excited about how far Zack Wheeler has come, even with him allowing a homer to Matt Adams.

I then lamented how Wheeler may soon join Matt Harvey as an ex-Met as this dream rotation is dismantled before it really ever got off the ground.

The Mets bullpen, especially Anthony Swarzak for one-third of an inning, and Jeurys Familia held on. As for Familia, he’s great again in time to leave.

In the end, really, I write about the Mets because I love this team no matter how bad they are and no matter how awful ownership is.

Thor Returns And So Does Mets Winning Ways

Do you want to get a sense of how this season would have gone if the Mets didn’t suffer all of these injuries? Well, tonight was the night.

After being on the disabled list for seven weeks, Noah Syndergaard return to the mound.

If not for a goofy Tanner Roark triple that rolled up the side wall, it’s likely Syndergaard escapes his five innings without allowing a run.

Still, he would allow just the one run, which is impressive considering both the layoff and the Nationals having the leadoff hitter on against him all five innings, it was quite a performance.

In total, he allowed one run on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Oh, and he also had an RBI single.

While Syndergaard was trying to get his footing, it was Roark who looked rusty from the get-go.

The Mets jumped all over Roark with the first three Mets hitting singles. The third of which came from Jose Bautista who brought home Brandon Nimmo.

A Wilmer Flores sacrifice fly would score Asdrubal Cabrera, and Bautista would score on a Devin Mesoraco single.

In the second, Amed Rosario tripled to center past Bryce Harper, who was in center for some reason. Rosario then scored on the aforementioned Syndergaard RBI single.

This was another good game from Rosario who was 2-4 with a run, double, triple, and a stolen base.

Despite the hot start and continued base runners, the Mets would not add a run meaning the Mets bullpen would have to come up with 4.0 innings to protect a three run lead.

Mickey Callaway entrusted that duty to Seth Lugo (2.0) and Robert Gsellman (2.0) to bring it home.

The only run that duo would allow was a bomb Matt Adams would hit off of Gsellman in the eighth. Gsellman would shake that off to record the six out save.

For a brief moment, we had a glimpse of how good this Mets team once was and how happy things were like when Nimmo made a diving catch to end the game.

Game Notes: Jose Reyes was double switched into the game, and he went 0-2 making him 1-19 since Todd Frazier landed on the DL.

Mets Lose With Veterans Again

Even when the Mets were at their best, Max Scherzer dominates them. In fact, as the Mets were preparing for what would be a pennant run, Scherzer threw a no-hitter against them.

With the Mets lineup featuring Jose Reyes and Matt den Dekker, it was fair to assume the worst.

Shockingly, the Mets were actually game against Scherzer tonight.

A pair of misplays from Michael Taylor in the first led to an Asdrubal Cabrera double and then his scoring easily on a Jose Bautista RBI single.

That rally sputtered with Bautista getting nailed by Taylor inches:

In the fourth, Bautista hit a solo homer, and Kevin Plawecki homered in the seventh.

It wasn’t enough as the Mets were chasing all night.

One of the reasons why is Anthony Rendon owned Steven Matz. Rendon hit a pair of homers off Matz giving the Nationals a 3-2 lead.

Aside from the Rendon at-bats, Matz had a pretty good game. He limited the rest of that lineup to six hits in 6.1 innings.

Still, he would be tagged with the loss.

The big hit for the Nationals came after Matz left the game. With the Mets down 3-2 in the seventh, Mickey Callaway brought in Jerry Blevins to face Bryce Harper. Harper would launch a homer to give the Nationals a 5-2 lead:

Asdrubal Cabrera homered off Kelvin Herrera in the eighth to pull the Mets to within 5-4, but that was it.

After that homer, Bautista and Michael Conforto drew back-to-back walks putting the tying run in scoring position with one out.

Since it was the eighth and not the ninth, Wilmer Flores fouled out, and den Dekker followed with a strikeout.

In the ninth, Plawecki led off against Ryan Madson with a single. That went nowhere.

First, after Reyes failed to get down the bunt, he hit a fielder’s choice. Amed Rosario, who didn’t start because he was hitting too well (seriously) pinch hit and hit into a game ending double play.

The Nationals are back over .500 now and are in the thick of the postseason race. The Mets are 17 games under .500 and starting Reyes.

Game Notes: Jeff McNeil, a prospect the Mets previously said is only a second baseman, started tonight at third base. This is on the same night Bautista started at third for the Mets.

Nimmo Hits First Walk Off Homer

Every fifth day, Mets fans are treated to a pitching duel. It’s Jacob deGrom against whoever the starting pitcher will be for the other team.

Tonight, that pitcher was Vince Velasquez.

Now, Velasquez occasionally shows some flashes. That said, this is a guy with a 4.69 ERA.

Didn’t matter for a Mets team historically inept at home (.207 home batting average).

Velasquez limited to no runs in two hits in six innings. The Phillies bullpen contributed two more scoreless including Adam Morgan coming on in the bottom of the eighth to get Michael Conforto to ground out to end a mini rally.

On the other side, deGrom was once again completely dominant.

In eight brilliant shut out innings, he allowed just five hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Because the Mets gave him absolutely no run support, he walked away with yet another no decision. It’s criminal.

However, for the second straight deGrom start, the Mets would win on a walk-off homer.

Mark Leiter, Al Leiter‘s nephew, got two quick outs in the 10th before Amed Rosario hit a two out double.

Then the third baseman drew a walk on a 3-2 count putting the game in Brandon Nimmo‘s hands. He would deliver his first career walk-off homer to give the Mets a 3-0 win.

Because baseball is sometimes comical, Robert Gsellman got the win. He now has six wins which is one more than deGrom.

Game Notes: In the third, deGrom popped up a bunt Maikel Franco let drop so he could turn an inning ending double play.

Mets Game As Pointless As Keith Reading The Media Guide

The Mets had Jose Reyes at third base, Ty Kelly in left field, and Drew Gagnon on the mound. Put another way, this was going to be a completely pointless game for a Mets team 16 games under .500.

Here’s how pointless this 7-3 game was – Keith Hernandez was reading passages from the Mets media guide about the Mets Hall of Famers.

The best thing from this game was Amed Rosario going 3-4 with two runs, two triples, and an RBI. What’s shocking is both triples were to left.

Tyler Bashlor allowed just one run on three hits in 2.1 innings.

P.J. Conlon pitched two scoreless while striking out three.

Dominic Smith singled in his only at-bat.

Perhaps most important, Wilmer Flores made an impressive play in the field.

With the score already 5-0, Scott Kingery popped up to shallow right. Flores made an over the shoulder catch and threw home to nail Carlos Santana to double him up.

It was a terrific play in a lost game in a lost season. Flores still cares. Be very careful before you trade him.

Game Notes: Mets are 0-13-2 in their last 15 series.

Flores Walks Off Before Walks Kill Oswalt

Well, it was a topsy-turvy doubleheader with the Mete earning a split. With a lot to digest, instead of paragraph form, it might be easier to make some quick points:

  1. This was a Zack Wheeler start from earlier this season with him not making it through the fifth.
  2. Seth Lugo continues to both confound and be a weapon by pitching 2.2 scoreless in relief.
  3. Asdrubal Cabrera must really want to go to a contender because he was 2-4 with a double, homer, and two RBI.
  4. With Todd Frazier landing on the DL, Jose Reyes started both games, and according to Mickey Callaway, Reyes will get the bulk of the playing time.
  5. The Mets will continue to keep Dominic Smith languishing on the bench and refuse to call up Jeff McNeil, who the team only views as a 2B now.
  6. Pinch hitting for Tim Peterson in the 10th, Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off home run. He’s now the Mets all-time leader in walk off RBI (10).
  7. Mets won the first game 4-3 in 10 innings.
  8. Corey Oswalt looked much improved in the second game of the doubleheader starting things off with four perfect innings.
  9. In the fifth, Oswalt walked three batters. The first two led off the inning. The third was intentional so Oswalt could face Aaron Nola, who entered the game as a .067 hitter. He would hit a bases clearing double.
  10. Nola was dominant allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out 10 over 7.0 innings.
  11. Entering the ninth inning, there were two hits total in the game, and yet, the Phillies lead 3-1.
  12. Callaway opted to bring in Jerry Blevins and force Gabe Kapler‘s hand. Kapler opted to go with that .190 hitter. over Odubel Herrera. Kapler went with Jesmuel Valdez who struck out.
  13. Flores ninth inning double to pull the Mets to within 3-1. Mets would lose by this score.
  14. There was a pop up with Amed Rosario calling for it. Instead, Reyes took it from him, and he walked away right as Rosario looked miffed.
  15. Mets lost the second game 3-1.

Mets Prove Again They’re Awful

Want a perfect encapsulation of what the 2018 Mets are?  Look no further than what happened in yesterday’s game.

Nathan Eovaldi was working on a perfect game entering the seventh inning.  Brandon Nimmo stepped up to the plate, and he broke it up with a single.  This was followed by Wilmer Flores striking out on three pitches, and Asdrubal Cabrera grounding into an inning ending double play.

At that point, the Mets were already down 7-0 because Chris Flexen pitched poorly, and his pitching was exacerbated by the defense behind him, which was just as poor if not worse.  After three innings, he was relieved by Chris Beck, who was once again terrible.

The final score was 9-0 with Paul Sewald, who replaced Jerry Blevins, who had been placed on the bereavement list, didn’t quite have it again.

Overall, this is just a bad baseball team, and they’re not even losing with a purpose as the team is starting Jose Reyes over Amed Rosario, and Dominic Smith plays once in a blue moon.  To make matters worse, he is playing well out of position in left field.

Simply put, this is bad and unwatchable baseball.

Game Notes: Nimmo was not named an All Star despite leading all NL outfielders with a 148 wRC+.  This leaves Jacob deGrom as the lone Mets representative.