Game Recap

Jacob cyGrom

Even after the trades and last night’s increased run production, pitching is the main focus of the team. Front and center has been Jacob deGrom. Last year the question was if he had been up long enough to win Rookie of the Year (he was). This year it is whether the voters will vote for him for Cy Young over the other pitchers who have previously won the Cy Young award. 

On Sunday, he arguably made his strongest statement to date that he should be the Cy Young Award winner in the National League. He went 7.2 scoreless with eight strikeouts to lower his ERA to 2.05. He beat Zack Greinke, whose had a ridiculous 45.2 scoreless inning streak was ended by the Mets of all teams. 

deGrom left to a standing ovation in the eighth and handed the ball to Jeurys Familia for the four out save. It was exactly how you would draw it up . . . only Familia (who should not have pitched last night) blew the save. Luckily, he would be bailed out by Jenrry Mejia, who navigated the 10th inning, Curtis Granderson, who hit a leadoff double in the 10th, and Juan Uribe, who rocketed a game winning RBI double scoring Granderson. For how good Familia has been this year, it was good the team bailed him out. 

On offense, you can’t complain when you end a lengthy scoring streak to a pitcher the caliber of Greinke. Both runs off Greinke may have been a gift with a Joc Pederson error setting up the first run and Greinke hitting Conforto with the bases loaded for the second run, but the Mets took advantage of the opportunities. 

Plus, when it really counted, Granderson and Uribe came through in the 10th. It was nice to see the Mets come through despite Ruben Tejada’s awful bunt failing to move up Granderson. You have to give it to Sandy, his two acquisitions came through in their first two games. 

As I suspected, Collins used a platoon with his left-handed bats to start the game: Johnson, Murphy, and Nieuwenhuis. Uribe came in late for defense and made a nice play in the ninth that Murphy would not have made. Collins may still yet eschew this platoon system, but he kept his promise that players who produce will play. Those three produced yesterday, and they played today. 

The Mets now move on to a softer part of the schedule. Even if the Mets don’t make another move, they now seem ready to compete in this pennant race. Lets Go Mets. 

Collins with the Right Mix

In his heart of hearts, Terry Collins is an old school manager. You reward players with playing time. If you don’t do your job, take a seat on the bench. This team, while imperfect, is perfect for Collins. 

Now, players will have to earn playing time. Before, Collins was throwing just praying that whatever buttons he hit would produce a run. This is not to disparage Collins. While I sometimes question his in game moves (like using Familia in the ninth tonight instead of Logan Verrette or Alex Torres) nothing that has happened with the offense thus far is his fault. 

However, the pressure is all on him now.  This team has interchangeable parts with limitations. He really only has three good defensive players: Juan LagaresJuan Uribe, and Lucas Duda. There are only four players with an OPS over .700: Duda, Granderson, Johnson, and Uribe (even if there are problems with OPS calculation). For most of the season, the problem was how to get blood from a stone. Now, it is don’t screw it up. Saturday night was a great start to say the least. The Mets only scored the most amount of runs they scored in Citi Field. 

I’d argue the most important development was Duda’s two HR game. For most people, present company included, Duda’s problems were lack of lineup protection and the weight of carrying this team.  If Saturday night is any measure, the pressure is off, and he’s back to being the middle of the order threat the Mets need. 

A very close second was Comforto’s night. Remember the old adage: sometimes the best trades you make are the ones you don’t make?  Well, if the Mets got Parra, Conforto is still in AA. Conforto looks ready  this is confirmed by his 4-4 game with 4 runs scored and an RBI. On a night like tonight, I’ll give the Mets the benefit of the doubt that Conforto needed those minor league ABs. 

The third important development was Kelly Johnson and Daniel Murphy getting the start and taking advantage of the opportunity. Both players homered and gave Collins no reason to take them out of the lineup. It was also a smart move for Collins to get Uribe in the game. It was also good to see Uribe get a hit. 

The rest was gravy. Matt Harvey was Matt Harvey. Apparently now, he’s a real threat at the plate with three consecutive multiple RBI games. Nieuwenhuis seems to be hitting again. The Mets finally beat up on weak pitching. There seemed to be a different energy to this club and to the ballpark. There was a lot to like. 

However, we need to reserve judgment until tomorrow when Zack Greinke takes the mound. If the Mets get some runs off of him tomorrow, they really do have something. The Mets have a chance tomorrow not only because they’re throwing deGrom, but also because they have eight legitimate bats (sorry nine tomorrow) in the lineup. Lets Go Mets!

Oh Baby!

Let’s face facts – Jon Niese should not have started this game. His wife was in labor, and he must’ve been distracted. We all know he gets easily distracted and frustrated when things don’t go his way. When there’s a missed call or error, you know a big inning is coming. 

I don’t blame Niese for being distracted this time. Every Dad becomes apprehensive when their wife goes into labor. I couldn’t imagine being a 10 hour drive away when my wife went into labor. I’m genuinely happy he was able to watch the birth via Facetime. I even forgive his three inning, six run performance. 

However, I don’t let the Mets off the hook because they eliminated whatever advantage they had as Zach missing the start to attend the birth of his baby boy. The Mets should’ve planned ahead and had Logan Verrette with the club. Once Niese’s wife went into labor, Niese could’ve been put on the paternity list and Verrette could’ve started the game. If they did not want to go that route, Carlos Torres should’ve started the game and went as far as he could go. 

Overall, i applaud the MLB and the MLBPA for the paternity leave policy. I think Dads should be able to attend their child’s birth. It is one of the few events you don’t get back. Even in the best case scenarios, the mothers need help; especially from the Dad. 

I think fans forget that players aren’t around as often to see their kids grow up. Yes, they make ungodly amounts of money, but they’re also human. We shouldn’t take these first few days away from them. 

Personally, I remember soon after my son was born, I had to go out of state on business It was hard for me to leave, and it was even harder in my wife (even though my mom was over to help).  I know I should’ve left the day before, but I didn’t. I know I should’ve stayed overnight, but I didn’t. I had a 23 hour day where I drove in the snow both ways. Why?  I couldn’t stand to be away from the two of them. Now how am I going to get on a ball player who feels the same and just wants or needs a day or two?

Oh by the way, Michael Conforto became the Mets’ 1,000 player and went 0-3 with an RBI. He looks like he belongs. 

Anyway, congratulations are in order to the Niese and Greinke family. I hope the Mets new additions of Conforto, Uribe, and Johnson bring Mets fans 1/10 of the happiness those families feel today. 

Kershaw Must Be Embarassed

Look, Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher on the planet right now, and he could shut out the ’27 Yankees. Last night, the Mets trotted out a lineup that isn’t even as good as the  ’62 Mets. The Mets had three position players in the lineup below the Mendoza line. In all seriousness, Kershaw has to be kicking himself for not getting the perfect game. 

Sadly, after Thursday’s press conference, I don’t think anyone in the Mets front office is kicking themselves for letting the season slip away. Earlier this year, New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro stated the Mets were committing malpractice. He was being kind. This is either incompetence or indifference. Considering the skills of the front office people, I believe it’s the later.

I understand putting Michael Cuddyer out there when he wasn’t producing. You have to assume he will eventually revert back to form. Furthermore, the Mets roster is shallower than the Caddy Shack pool. Only this tIme, that’s not a Baby Ruth. Rather, it’s a bench complete with players under the Mendoza Line. 

Cuddyer has been hurt since June 30th. At the time, Cuddyer knew it was bad. It’s almost a full month later, and he’s still not in the DL. In St. Louis, he couldn’t play a full game. The Mets tell us they have money and are looking to make moves, but it simply just isn’t true. Also, we keep hearing Michael Conforto isn’t ready and Kyle Schwarber is an outlier. He might be. He might not be. Regardless, they have to try something. They’ve effectively been playing with a 24 man roster for a month!

This loss is strictly on Sandy Alderson. We criticize players who make a gaff and don’t make themselves available to reporters. Sandy hides behind Terry every game. That, like his roster, is embarrassing . . . almost as embarrassing as Kershaw letting up three hits tonight. 

Bobby Goes Boom

The Mets put everything into this series. They set the rotation to face the Nationals. They were holding three aces and put their chips to the middle of the table. They lost. 

You could kill the offense, but they did score three runs off of Jordan Zimmermann, who’s a really good pitcher in his own right. You could go after Thor for struggling all day and only going five innings. However, he only let up one run.  Overall, the story of the game is the bottom of the eighth . . . that’s where the Mets blew it. 

When you are up two runs in the eighth, you have to win the game. To his credit, Josh Lewin said Familia needed to come in the game after the hard hit liner by Tyler Moore. Instead Parnell stayed in the game, threw a wild pitch putting runners in scoring position. Michael Taylor followed up with a two RBI single Ina fastball down the middle. After not holding on Taylor, Taylor stole second and scored on a Danny Espinosa single. Game over. 

As Josh Lewin pointed out, Parnell’s Nationals Park ERA is over 8.00 (before today). Who’s to blame here?  First, it’s Parnell. He’s got to close the door. Second, it’s Collins. Look, when you set up the rotation to go directly after the Nationals out of the All Star Break, you have to go all the way. It was time for a four out Familia save attempt there.  To his credit, Collins took complete blame for the loss. 

However, all is not lost. The Mets are only three out ( four in the loss column) with nine left against the Nationals and relatively easy August and September schedules. 

However, you can’t feel good either with the offense questions not resolved, an 8-21 record against the Nationals the past two years, and a 17-32 road record. Next up?  The Dodgers, who are leading off with Kershaw and Greinke

You have to admit the atmosphere at Citi Field would’ve felt a whole lot different than it would’ve had they won this game.  

Collins Doesn’t Get Burned by Soup

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say Terry Collins made his biggest managerial decision of the year . . . and the entire planet disagreed with him. Collins pinch hit Eric Campbell for Jacob deGrom in the top of the seventh. We all know that deGrom has better hitting statistics than Campbell, and deGrom was pitching well. No one would have second guessed Collins if he left in deGrom. 

Instead, he went with Campbell seeking to capitalize on a missed call leading to a gift double to Nieuwenhuis. The gutsy move paid off as Campbell hit a two run single turning a 2-1 deficit to a 3-2 lead. What was even more surprising was Collins used Campbell over Cuddyer, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the ninth. Good for Collins, who has been a gentleman all year. He’s never publicly complained about this offense and/or roster. Also, good for Campbell. He’s been a punching bag this year. However, he has earned Mets fans respect as he always hustles and really is doing everything he can do to be on the big league roster. 

Also, good for deGrom and the Mets pitchers. deGrom pitched well enough to win, and he got that win. This post very well could’ve been about how deGrom handed a lead back and how the Mets pitchers can’t do that with this offense. Hopefully, the explosion in the ninth inning is a sign of things to come. Maybe Campbell’s single allowed everyone to take a deep breath and relax. Maybe it was just one game. I’m choosing to be optimistic. 

A hat tip is also due to Matt Harvey. He had a rough start yesterday, but he settled down and powered through 7 innings. It allowed a tired bullpen to rest after an 18 inning game, and it allowed Collins to gamble knowing he had a rested Mejia, Parnell, and Familia.   

Harvey Just Not Good Enough

The Mets offense has averaged 2.87 runs in the month of July. Murphy was horrid in the field. Lagares has either lost a step or is playing out of position. The Nationals came to play and the Mets didn’t. Doesn’t matter. If you’re Matt Harvey and you want to be the ace, games like Monday don’t happen.

I can point to all the things that went wrong leading to the 5 runs scored while he was pitching, but the fact his he set up two of the scoring rallies by allowing Espinosa to get on and walking Harper. Should Murphy had made the play or at least knocked it down?  Probably. Should Mayberry have been charging the ball better than Cuddyer can right now?  Definitely. Should Tejada have had a clue and thought about Harper at third?  Yes. Does Lagares catch that Robinson double last year?  I think so.

However, I also think it’s fair to say too much has been thrust on Harvey. Most pitchers falter the year coming back from Tommy John surgery only to round into form the next year. (for e.g. Adam Wainwright). Unfortunately, with the way this roster is constructed, Harvey cannot learn his way back. He has to be THE MATT HARVEY now.

I have faith he’ll dominate next week against the Nationals.  My faith is based upon his will to compete and his ability.  I only hope by then the Mets have something to play for, and the Mets are at least competent at the plate and in the field.

ZZZZZZZ . . . Huh? What? Mets Finally Scored?

It took 18 innings to score 3 runs. Mets finally win. They’re offense is pathetic. Bullpen is better than expected. All starting pitchers not named Colon pitch well for the Mets. This game summary is longer than this game warranted. 

GEE I Wonder Why COLON Remains in the Rotation

The Mets lost to the Cardinals again. Going into the second half of the season, the conversation has been about the Mets’ great rotation. Truth be told, this rotation has three pitchers pitching like aces right now, an improving Niese, and a failing Colon.

I don’t know how many people realize just how bad Colon has been this year. He has a 4.86 ERA. That’s terrible. Seriously, why is he in the rotation?  Is it because he eats up innings?  Well not exactly. His last five games here are his innings pitched total: 4.1, 6.0, 7.0, 6.0, and 4.1. Is it for his entertainment value?


I doubt it. Is it because with the Matz injury, there are no better options?  The only other realistic option right now is Dillon Gee, who is 0-3 with a 5.90 ERA. I think we need a take a deeper look into Gee.

Most of the damage came from his last two starts; starts he made after being jerked around by the Mets. He came off the DL and had a bad start. Then he gets sent to the bullpen and only gets one appearance for 1.2 innings giving up one run. Then out of nowhere the Mets decide he needs to make a spot start, and it was horrendous.

After spending time in limbo after being outrighted, he had a rough start in Las Vegas. When you look at Gee’s numbers, you have to keep in mind the PCL is about a hitter friendly league as it gets. Despite the struggles, he seems to have found himself and turned things around. Here are the numbers from his last few starts: 7.0 innings 2 ER; 6.0 innings 4 ER; 6.1 innings 1 ER.  The numbers aren’t amazing. Rather these are the numbers of a capable major league pitcher. For those watching the game Saturday, did Colon look like that?

Despite the Mets mismanagement of Gee, he’s improving. Colon is getting worse. It seems like the Mets want more for the $11 million going to Colon than the $5.3 million going to Gee. These penny wise pound foolish decisions are hurting a team with no margin of error. The sooner the Mets admit Colon is done, the sooner they can help themselves.

It’s Deja Vu . . . All Over Again

Thor had a terrific start, but he couldn’t let Granderson’s keynote address hold up. I think we can all agree when a pitcher gives up 2 runs over 7 innings, you’re team should win the game. After Peralta’s HR, most Mets fans believed the game was over, and they were right. 

Even with the noise made in the ninth inning, the Mets really did nothing in this game offensively. This is the reason the Mets can’t make a move. There are just too many holes. If you patch one all that means is you’re going to sink slower. However, keep in mind you’re still going to sink. 

If the Mets are inevitably going to miss the postseason, trade or no trade, why not keep your assets for the offseason or for a mid-season trade next year? I’m not giving the front office a pass because this roster was too weak to start the season. Instead what I’m saying is don’t make a bigger mistake to cover-up the mistake made coming into the season.