Game Recap

Jeff McNeil Keeps Mets Alive For Now

After a Dominic Smith pinch hit two run double in the fifth, the game was tied 2-2. Understandably, even the most optimistic of New York Mets fans were wondering how this would turn into another one run loss.

But then, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Jeff McNeil would hit his first homer since August 1. It would give the Mets a 3-2 lead.

Aaron Loup, who picked up the win, and Edwin Diaz, who earned his 30th save, locked down that 3-2 win. That means, at least for now, the Mets postseason hopes are still alive.

At the moment, the Mets are 73-77. They’re 5.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the division (seven in the loss column). They behind the St Louis Cardinals by seven games (eight in the loss column) for the second Wild Card.

All told, the Mets elimination number is nine with 12 games remaining. By no means do the Mets have control of their destiny, and at this point, you have to assume the postseason is a figment of our collective imagination.

Cardinals Show Mets Just Aren’t Good Enough

In theory, this 11-4 loss was much closer than it seemed. For many parts of the game, the New York Mets were this close to getting back in the game and catching the St. Louis Cardinals.

Case-in-point, in the seventh inning, it’s 8-4 with runners on first and second with no outs and the heart of the order due up. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt makes a double switch.

T.J. McFarland replaced Andrew Miller, and Lars Nootbar enters as a defensive replacement in right field. McFarland retired Francisco Lindor and Javier BΓ‘ez before Nootbar took care of Pete Alonso.

Instead of 8-7, it was still 8-4. After that home run robbing catch, the Cardinals then roughed up Heath Hembree to the tune of three runs in the eighth.

At that point, it was 11-4 meaning the game was effectively over. In turn, that meant the season was effectively over. Now, the question is whether the Mets will finish over .500 and what they’re going to do in the offseason.

Honestly, they need to do a lot. This Cardinals sweep showed that. The same is true with the Mets going a combined 2-11 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.

Many of those games were close, but so what? In the end, the Mets because they’re not as good as those teams. They’re simply not. Hembree pitching in that spot further proved that.

For now, the Mets can play what if all they want. Certainly, there were positives. That said, the NL teams making the postseason showed the Mets just how far away from contention they really are.

It’s frustrating and sad. That goes double with how the first four months of the season went. It’s now time to build on the right core and figure out the next step.

Mets Brutal Loss To Cardinals On Front Office

There’s a lot of blame directed at Luis Rojas for another brutal New York Mets loss in September. Absolutely, there were some questionable moves.

Marcus Stroman was lifted after six great innings despite being at 89 pitches. On a day when Seth Lugo was unavailable, Aaron Loup, Trevor May, and Edwin Diaz didn’t go multiple innings. There were also pinch hitting decisions.

Putting aside the fact the pitching increasingly looks scripted like with Kevin Cash and Blake Snell in the 2020 World Series, the real issue is this roster. It was a roster largely unaddressed at the trade deadline.

This was a team which had zero hits from innings 2-8 until Javier BΓ‘ez‘s clutch game tying homer. Yes, he was a trade deadline acquisition, and he’s been great.

However, that’s one, and with all apologies to Trevor Williams, really, the only player the Mets added at the deadline. A team in first place didn’t feel terribly compelled to go for it.

As a result, the Mets had Heath Hembree and Jake Reed pitching in extra innings. They had Albert Almora batting with two outs in the 11th with the game on the line. That’s how you lose 7-6.

The days of the 40 man September rosters are no more. With all due respect, these are three players who should not be rostered at this point in the season. It’s inexcusable for a front office to let this happen.

Rojas did all he could to stop the game from getting to this point. However, you can only avoid the bottom of your roster for so long. Eventually, they’re going to get to play and impact a game and a season.

Ultimately, that’s what happened last night. Instead of asking why Rojas used those players when he did, we should be asking why are these players even here.

Mets Lose To Cardinals In Horrifying Fashion

Adam Wainwright pitched six scoreless innings. To make matters worse, he’d strike out Pete Alonso looking on a curveball.

Yadier Molina was 3-for-5 with two runs, a double, and an RBI. We would actually hear “Yadi!” chants at Citi Field.

The Mets were 0-for-7 with RISP leaving seven runners on base. That includes the eighth inning when Alonso, Javier Baez, and Jeff McNeil each came up as the tying run.

Each struck out failing to even get the runner home from third. After that, the 3-0 deficit exploded to 7-0 as Yennsy Diaz threw gasoline all over the dumpster fire in the top of the ninth.

About the only thing interesting from the game was Cardinals SS Edmundo Sosa hitting first base umpire Junior Valentine in the face on a Kevin Pillar infield single. Of course, with it hitting the umpire, who was way out of the way, Pillar couldn’t advance, which was a nice allegory for the night.

The Mets won’t be seven out with 17 games, but they’re pretty close. Regardless, the reasons for hope certainly weren’t visible tonight.

Luis Rojas Far From Reason Mets Blew Game

After Taijuan Walker struggled allowing five runs in the second, he’d actually settle in and give the Mets six innings giving them a chance to win the game. You won’t hear Luis Rojas get credit for sticking by Walker because he’s just become a punching bag.

Keeping in Walker, who’d actually have an RBI single, helped the Mets get into a position to win the game. After a surprise James McCann two run homer, the Mets would take a lead heading into the seventh.

Seth Lugo shut the New York Yankees down in the seventh with just seven pitches. The Mets added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning carrying a 7-5 lead into the eighth.

The Mets would blow it, and for some reason, fans want to say it’s all Rojas’ fault.

It didn’t matter to them Lugo has not been good in a second inning of work this year. The hard hit balls off of him also didn’t matter. He needed to stay in the game.

Or was it that Aaron Loup should’ve come in to face Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton who ate better against left-handed pitching?

It didn’t matter Trevor May has been great lately allowing just one run in his last 10 appearances. Apparently, Judge, one of the best players in all of baseball, only could’ve hit a homer off May in that spot to tie the game. (Never mind the second inning homer).

May left the inning with the game tied with two on and two out. Loup did come in to face Luke Voit. Voit hit a fielder’s choice, but that wasn’t good enough for Javier BΓ‘ez.

It’s odd Rojas would order BΓ‘ez to throw the ball away allowing the go-ahead run to score. That’s doubly irresponsible after Rojas apparently told May to surrender a homer to Judge.

The Mets would have their chances to reclaim the lead. In the bottom half of the inning, there were two on and two out. Pete Alonso gave one a ride which fell near the warning track for the final out of the inning.

The final backbreaker was in the ninth. With a runner on second and one out, Kevin Pillar struck out. That’s where Rojas struck again.

The pitch went to the backstop. Instead of breaking immediately Pillar hesitated. That hesitation, clearly ordered by Rojas, cost Pillar the chance to reach first safety.

You can’t help but wonder if McCann’s fly ball to end the game could’ve scored by tying run. We’ll ever know.

What we do know is one of the Mets better relievers, who has pitched extraordinarily well lately, chose a bad time to have a bad outing. Baez threw a ball away. Pillar didn’t immediately break for first.

Like it or not, this one was simply on the players for not executing. It happens. Unfortunately, it just means the Mets are a day closer to the end of the season and possibly a day closer to Rojas being the fall guy.

Game Notes: The Mets wore special alternates with no pinstripes and New York in the Tiffany font. They once again wore the First Responder caps.

Tylor Megill And Offense Completely Derail Yankees

Things did not start well for Tylor Megill. He allowed a run in each of the first two innings including a Joey Gallo homer.

Believe it or not, this wasn’t more of the same of what we’ve seen from the New York Mets. Rather, it was the start of the Mets completely derailing of the New York Yankees in the start of the Citi Field portion of the Subway Series.

Megill had his best start as a Major Leaguer pitching a career high seven innings while recording a career high 10 strikeouts. He’d pick up his third career win as the Mets dominated.

The first indication of what we were about to see happened in the first inning. Gary Disarcina had an all-time bad send (his speciality), and yet Jonathan Villar was safe due to what can only be classified as the worst tag attempt in Major League history.

Right there, Gary Sanchez set the tone. The rest of the Yankees team would take it home.

The Mets blew it open in the third when Jordan Montgomery loaded the bases with no outs. The first run plated when Pete Alonso drew a walk.

Javier BΓ‘ez hit a ball to Gio Urshela. Urshela made a poor throw home thereby keeping the bases loaded and allowing the run to score. Jeff McNeil followed with a perfect drag bunt to increase the score to 4-2.

A Kevin Pillar sacrifice fly and James McCann RBI double later, and the Mets had a five run inning. They were far from done. The lead was expanded to 7-2 when Francisco Lindor hit an opposite field one out homer.

Later in the inning, BΓ‘ez doubled home Michael Conforto from first. The rally ended there with BΓ‘ez being nailed at third. It was just about the only thing the Yankees did right all night.

As Keith Hernandez put it, the Yankees were “Pepe Le Peu.” They had two errors and a number of misplays. They looked every bit the team who has now lost seven straight.

As for the Mets, this 10-3 win was a glimpse at what could’ve been. With the exception of Alonso, their top six hitters reached safely at least twice.

Overall, this looked like a real postseason team. The shame of it is they likely won’t get there. Instead, we see them in the black jerseys and dream.

Game Notes: McCann hit what should’ve been an inning ending double play in the seventh. Instead, Gleyber Torres threw it away allowing two runs to score. Yennsy Diaz surrendered a solo homer to Anthony Rizzo in the ninth.

Bad Mets Team Loses To Marlins

The New York Mets were up 2-0 due to the genius of Javier BΓ‘ez and Marcus Stroman. It was really just the two of them.

BΓ‘ez created a run with his hustle and base running in the first, and then he homered in the third. He really accounted for all of the Mets runs.

Through the first five, Stroman allowed just one hit. In the sixth, he got himself into trouble putting the first two on base, but he limited the damage to one run.

Through six-and-a-half innings, the Mets led 2-1. Luis Rojas stuck with his big game pitcher in the seventh. Sadly, the team failed the pitcher and manager (again).

After a Sandy Leon one out infield single, Rojas went to Brad Hand. You could argue it should’ve been someone else, but this bullpen is getting increasingly spent.

Hand looked like the pitcher the Toronto Blue Jays released as he struggled to find the zone. Still, he limited the Marlins to just infield singles.

The bigger problem was Hand threw a ball he had no business throwing. He tried to get the speedy Lewis Brinson. Instead of eating it and leaving the bases loaded, his throwing error allowed Isan Diaz to score.

Of course, the Mets would find a way to compound that frustrating inning. After Pete Alonso tripled to lead-off the eighth, he would be left stranded there.

BΓ‘ez and J.D. Davis grounded out to the drawn-in infield. After Michael Conforto was intentionally walked, Jeff McNeil grounded out to end the inning.

Parenthetically, there was criticisms of Rojas not allowing Davis to face Anthony Bender in last night’s loss. Rojas’ assessment that Bender”s velocity and slider was a bad match-up for Davis proved correct.

In the bottom of the inning, Jazz Chisholm went upper deck against Jeurys Familia to give the Marlins a 3-2 lead. After the Mets went down 1-2-3 in the ninth, that was the final score.

Long story short, this was just the latest in inexcusable losses, and if not for the other competition faltering, it would’ve proved to be a death knell for the Mets. Whatever the case, this is a highly flawed team who is going nowhere.

Luis Rojas Facing Increased Scrutiny Because Edwin Diaz Choked Again

There are many reasons the New York Mets blew this game to the Miami Marlins and lost a game they couldn’t afford to lose. Sandy Alcantara was brilliant, and the offense came up short again.

The Mets blew it in the 10th inning. There was probably a botched call from the umpires and replay. That meant instead of Jesus Sanchez‘s error leading to runners at the corners, it was just prolonging the at-bat.

Javier BΓ‘ez would strike out. Jeff McNeil had some bad luck hitting one off the pitcher for what turned out to be a ground out. Luis Rojas then went running to his bench.

First, it was Luis Guillorme for Kevin Pillar. Guillorme walked. Then, in a somewhat incredulous decision, he pinch hit Patrick Mazeika for James McCann. Mazeika meekly grounded out to end the inning.

With the Mets other high end relievers having been used, Rojas was essentially forced to bring in Edwin Diaz. What was over concern should now be alarm.

After blowing consecutive saves to the Washington Nationals, Diaz was entrusted with getting this tied game to the 11th inning. He’d fail miserably.

The first batter, Magneuris Sierra, laid down a good bunt. Diaz got there and nearly threw it away. Really, it took a great play from BΓ‘ez to not only get the out, but to also stop Diaz from throwing it away to end the game.

Diaz did rebound to strike out an overmatched Sanchez. Then, Bryan De La Cruz came to the plate. Make no mistake, there’s just no way Diaz should’ve been pitching to De La Cruz.

After the game, Rojas cited a number of reasons why. Those included the R/R matchup as well as Diaz’s control issues. No matter what, the real issue was Diaz.

Despite ordering the intentional walk being the right call, Diaz would pitch to De La Cruz. Instead of being careful, Diaz would throw a 1-1 fastball over the heart of the plate which De La Cruz launched to dead center to end the game leading to Diaz with the Hansel Robles signature finger point:

Again, blame the offense all you want for the 2-1 loss. Blame Rojas for some weird pinch hitting decisions and for pitching to De La Cruz. Those are all valid critiques.

However, at the end of the day, the Mets have a closer who can’t seem to pitch in September in a pennant race. He had a 7.36 ERA in September 2019. He’s allowed five runs in 3.0 innings taking a loss and going 1/3 in save chances.

Closers like Diaz, or at least what many pretend Diaz to be, are supposed to hide some of the deficiencies by ensuring the close games go in your favor. That just doesn’t happen with Diaz in the huge spots.

For the third straight outing, that was the case. You just wonder how many more outings like this he has before the Mets are completely out of contention.

Mets Need To Give Something Extra In Big Win

Well, it was bound to happen. After all the times the New York Mets were going to ignore his track record, they were bound to get Rich Hill through six. Tonight was that night.

This was Hill’s best start as a Met, and he was helped along by his defense and some Nationals snafus.

In the first, Lane Thomas failed to retouch second on a flyout leading to him getting doubled off. In the third, after Luis Garcia doubled, Hill would pick Garcia off second.

Garcia hit his second double in the fifth. If not for a terrific play off the wall by Michael Conforto and a strong relay throw, Riley Adams scores. Instead, Hill got Keibert Ruiz popped out to end the inning

As evidenced by the above and Francisco Lindor, really the play behind Hill was phenomenal. Hill dropping down some and getting Juan Soto out in big spots, like the sixth, is exactly how you pitch six shutout innings.

Hill got the win because the Mets offense did just enough. It also helped they were able to absolutely abuse Soto’s poor defense in right.

In the second. Javier BΓ‘ez had a hustle double on a ball hit to Soto. He’d score on a frightening moment where Conforto lined one off of Washington Nationals starter Sean Nolin.

Fortunately, Nolin was able to move enough it didn’t hit him in the head. More than that, he was able to stay in the game.

Kevin Pillar followed with a double putting runners on second and third. The runs would not score with Chance Sisco and Hill being unable to deliver a hit.

In the third, Brandon Nimmo drew a one out walk, and Pete Alonso hit a ball the other 29 right fielders in baseball catch. Soto was the one who couldn’t turning it into an RBI triple giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.

At this point, the hope was the Mets offense would take off and put the game away. Instead, the Mets offense went away leaving very little margin for error.

The Mets had chances. In the fifth, there were runners on second and third with one out. In the seventh, they had first and third with one out. They failed to score in either situation.

These are the situations which come to haunt you. We saw Aaron Loup and Seth Lugo handle it. Unfortunately, Edwin Diaz couldn’t.

First, Soto got a measure of revenge with a lead-off homer. After a strikeout, Diaz walked Ryan Zimmerman, who was replaced by the pinch runner Andrew Stevenson.

This is where Nimmo almost cost the Mets the game.

On an 0-2 pitch, Stevenson took off, and Adams lined it to center. Nimmo had no chance to catch it, but he dove anyway. If not for Conforto backing up the play, the Mets lose on an inside the park homer.

Instead, they lost their catcher. Conforto made a strong relay, and BΓ‘ez made a strong but albeit offline throw. Sisco just got blown up on the play, Stevenson scored. and the game was tied with the tying run at third.

Patrick Mazeika came in, and Diaz settled down to get the next two outs to send it to extras. The Mets would score more in the tenth than the previous nine.

With Lindor as the ghost runner, Alonso golfed one to center giving the Mets a 3-2 lead. When Baez fouled out to deep left, Alonso had heads up base running to tag up and go to second.

This led the Nationals to intentionally walk Conforto to set up the double play. Instead, Kevin Pillar ripped a two RBI double to left extending the lead to 5-2.

That lead would be extended to 6-2 later in the inning when Jonathan Villar hit an RBI single. Remarkably, Villar started the game 0-for-2, and he would still have a four hit game.

Jeurys Familia entered the game in the 10th, and there would be no blowing it. He shut the door on a game the Mets had to have.

Well, the Mets need them all. In any event, the Mets turned what could’ve been a bad loss to a terrific 6-2 win.

Game Notes: Brad Hand was activated. Dominic Smith was placed on the bereavement list. Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling went on the road to broadcast a game for the first time in nearly two years.

Mets Still Alive After Sloppy Win

This is the way it works with Carlos Carrasco. He struggles in the first, and he shuts the opponent down after that. That’s what happened again in his start against the Miami Marlins.

It was 2-0 before Carrasco recorded an out, but he kept the Marlins there. What was unusual was the Mets responded immediately with a Jonathan Villar lead-off homer off Sandy Alcantara.

In the fourth, we’d see Francisco Lindor put his stamp on the game.

Brandon Nimmo led off the fourth with an infield single. He went to second when Isan Diaz threw it away. Lindor drove home Nimmo with an RBI double and moved to third on a fielder’s choice. That put him in position to score when he induced Alcantara to balk.

This speaks to how bizarre the game was from a defensive standpoint. There were just a number a terrific defensive plays. However, there were also a number of errors and miscues. By some miracle, there were no unearned runs in the game.

Case-in-point, in the fifth, Jorge Alfaro reached on a Villar error. He took off on a pitch which Bryan De La Cruz lined to right. Javier BΓ‘ez brilliant deked Alfaro allowing Michael Conforto to easily throw him out at first.

We saw that in the sixth. Mets killer Miguel Rojas, who opened the game with a homer, hit a lead-off single, and he moved to second on an error from Carrasco. After a one walk, Luis Rojas brought in Aaron Loup.

While he’s been the Mets best reliever, Loup just didn’t have it. He’d walk back-to-back batters to force home the tying run. He’s dig down to get out of the inning, but the damage was done.

After Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless seventh, he was in line for the win. They’d get it for him giving him a team high nine wins.

Jeff McNeil and Patrick Mazeika hit consecutive one out singles. McNeil was able to go to third on a Jesus Sanchez error.

Rojas went to his bench to have Dominic Smith pinch hit. Smith sat because he’s been struggling and due to his best 0-for-9 off Alcantara. After he ripped a double off Jesus Aguilar‘s glove, he’s now 1-for-10.

If Aguilar didn’t touch it, the ball probably goes foul. However, he did, and in a fitting fashion, the go-ahead run scored on an almost play.

The Mets made good on that 4-3 lead. First, it was Trevor May in the eighth. May did all he could do that inning including trying to dive to catch a foul ball.

In the ninth, Edwin Diaz continued his recent stretch of dominance. He struck out two in a perfect inning saving the sloppy 4-3 win featuring seven errors and a number of misplays.

Game Notes: Brad Hand was claimed off waivers. As it happened after August 31, he will not be postseason eligible. Khalil Lee was sent down for Yennsy Diaz. Like Lee briefly was, Albert Almora is a September call-up.