Way back when the Mets used to be good, an old friend and I would always lament these days games. It wasn’t just because we had to intermittently listen to the game on the radio, but it was also because odd things tend to happen to the Mets in weekday day games.
I was reminded of that a few weeks ago with that bizarre game against the Padres. With the way Noah Syndergaard started the game, I was afraid of another one of those games. In the first he let up two solo homeruns. The Mets got him the lead in the bottom of the first, and he gave it away in the third.
It looked like this was going to be a high scoring game, and Thor would be lucky to get through five. The Mets upheld their end of the bargain by scoring 12 runs. The Rockies wouldn’t score past the third for a 12-3 final. Amazingly, Thir finished with five strikeouts, 2 walks, four hits, and three earned runs in seven innings. Good for Terry Collins for sticking with him.
This may not have been the game in which he had his most impressive stuff or control, but it might’ve been his most impressive game to date. It’s one thing to win when it’s all working. It’s another to have a rough start with less than your best stuff and still find a way. This is the type of game where you say he could join Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey in being considered an ace.
Offensively, the lefties were hitting on National Lefthanders’ Day. Curtis Granderson went 1-3 with a walk, two runs scored, and a three run homer. Daniel Murphy went 1-5 with a run scored and an RBI double. Kelly Johnson went 3-4 with a double, a home run, a run scored, and three RBIs. Michael Conforto went 2-3 with a walk and three runs scored. The only left not in on the action? Lucas Duda, who missed his third straight game with his back injury.
It was also great to see Juan Lagares hit a pinch hit three run homer. He’s been going well pretty lately. It’ll be great to see him continue because the Mets could use his glove in the field everyday.
On another note, you have to admit you feel great about this team right now. I’m sure there are fans still scared from 2007 and 2008, but this team isn’t that team. Plus, the Nationals aren’t the Phillies. The Mets swept the Rockies and made them look like a last place team. The Rockies beat the Nationals two out of three.
I’m not guarantee in a division title, but I think it’s fine to feel confident and enjoy these games. Don’t let bad memories stop you from enjoying these new ones.
Personally, I love how quietly Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey are in this competition amongst themselves to be the ace of this staff. We shouldn’t be surprised the Mets have had two straight shut outs. Last night, Harvey allowed 4 hits and no walks with four strikeouts in eight innings.
Tonight, deGrom was brilliant behind that brilliant fastball of his. He ended his last inning brilliantly with his 10th strikeout in the seventh. Overall, he allowed two hits with an uncharacteristic four walks. All the more remarkable, he didn’t allow a run with first and third with no out in the fifth (much of that due to poor Rockie base running).
Offensively, Travis d’Arnaud is red hot going four for last nine. Michael Cuddyer played his second game in a row. He plated Juan Uribe, who had an RBI double of his own. We saw Yoenis Cespedes show a “Feat of Strength.” Other than that, there was much not going on offensively. This included a Michael Conforto pop-out in the seventh, when he pinch hit for deGrom. However, on a night with deGrom, three runs (3-0 final score) was all the Mets needed, especially with Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia locking down the win.
I guess I should also mention Cespedes had quite the armband . . .
Befote tonight, even though Mets starters have thrown more innings than any other team, and yet, have no complete games to show for it. So much for innings limits, huh?
Tonight, Matt Harvey was yet again the real Matt Harvey. He could’ve gone for the complete game after having thrown only 97 pitches over eight innings. All night, there was only one hard hit ball against him. He had a 1-0 lead. He was lifted for Curtis Granderson.
Granderson made Terry Collins looke good by drawing a bases loaded walk off of Boone Logan. Juan Lagares, who was seemingly stranded on base in every inning, followed Granderson with a two RBI double expanding the lead to 4-0.
There were other highlights tonight other than Harvey. Lagares had a great game going 3-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Michael Cuddyer‘s knee looked healthy scoring a run from second on Ruben Tejada‘s sixth inning RBI single. He also had an eighth inning stolen base. He also looked alright in the OF.
On another note: over the years, Mets fans have been hard on Collins. Much of it was justified. However, he was never as bad as Walt Weiss has been these past two games.
Earlier in the game, he ordered Tejada be intentionally walked to bring up Harvey. In the sixth, with the game getting tighter, he had Chris Rusin try to pitch around him. Tejada was wise to him and knocked the go-ahead run to the right side. Also, in two straight games, he got stuck with Logan against a RHB. It didn’t burn him last night, but it did burn him tonight.
Anyway, tonight was about Harvey, who is still getting better. That’s scary. On a personal note, I’d like to thank him for capping off a wonderful birthday with a tremendous pitching performance and a win.
Lucky for the Mets, the Colorado Rockies are more serious about Innings limits than they are. In his second career start, Jon Gray stymied the Mets offense for six innings. The only damage against him was a Travis d’Anaud second inning homerun.
Now there’s no shame in getting shut down by Gray. He was the third overall pick in 2013. He was rated the 13th best prospect by Baseball Prospectus. He is a prized prospect that left the game after 75 pitches in six innings.
After Gray was pulled, the Mets offense finally went to work against Justin Miller. d’Anaud got it started with a single. Michael Conforto and Ruben Tejada walked around a Juan Uribe pop out. Curtis Granderson worked the count full and was hit by ex-teammate Boone Logan’s pitch to tie the game. Daniel Murphy then hit a two RBI single just past old friend Jose Reyes to give the Mets a 4-2 lead.
The Mets seventh not only gave the Mets the lead, but it also gave Jon Niese the win. Niese was good tonight. He only allowed a fourth inning two run opposite field homerun to Carlos Gonzalez, who could hit anything out of the ballpark right now. Niese deserved the win, and the Mets got it for him with that rally.
Tyler Clippard worked a 1-2-3 eighth. Jeurys Familia followed with a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 31st save. As long as the starters go seven and hand it to these two, there will be a lot less agora this year.
Now no matter what happens tonight in Los Angeles, the Mets will keep their one game lead in the loss column, and I can wake up in my birthday with a first place Mets team.
Take a breath and repeat after me: “It’s just one game.”
Yeah, but the Rays ended the Mets seven game winning streak.
“It’s just one game.”
The Mets blew a three run first inning lead after a hard fought win last night killing all momentum.
“It’s just one game.”
The Mets road record this year has worsened to 21-33.
“It’s just one game.”
Noah Syndergaard continued his bad pitching on the road.
“It’s just one game.”
The Nationals won tonight with a strong start from Stephen Strasburg, who just came off the DL.
“It’s just one game.”
The Mets have Bartolo Colon going tomorrow against Chris Archer.
Okay, you’re getting to me a little, but “it’s just one game.”
The Nationals have Max Scherzer going tomorrow, and the Mets only have a one God lead in the loss column.
Ummmm . . . “it’s just one game?”
Ruben Tejada wasn’t good in the field AGAIN.
You’re right. I agree the Mets need a SS, but really all tonight was about was one loss. We can’t make it more than it was . . . even if some evidence points otherwise.
Let’s look at some positives. The bullpen was good tonight, after having some missteps recently, especially Sean Gilmartin. Curtis Granderson continues to hit well. Also, it’s great that so many Mets fans attended the game that the Rays had to remove the tarps to open up additional seating.
So yes, a 5-4 loss is tough especially when your young and budding ace seemingly takes a step back in only going four innings. It’s tough giving a game back in the division to a team like the Nationals, who just got a huge piece back.
However, it’s a legitimate pennant race. It’s supposed to be fun. I know I get too caught up in the game to game nonsense. One day it looks like the division is a lock; the next it looks like all this trades were all for naught.
Even if Colon and Tejada are playing tomorrow, I’m still excited. I hope you are too. Even if they lose tomorrow and the Nationaks win, just remember “it’s just one game,” and the Mets can bounce back tomorrow.
Now that was special. Even with Jacob deGrom and Tyler Clippard unable to keep the game tied, the Mets found a way.
First, Juan Uribe ties the game with a homer after this game started to look like the Grady Sizemore Show (homerun and stole a homerun from Wilmer Flores). After deGrom gave up a James Loney homer, Daniel Murphy hits a game tying homerun. Tyler Clippard gave up the lead on an Evan Longoria homerun that just skipped off the top of the right center field wall.
In the ninth, after Lucas Duda reached in an error and moved over on a wild pitch, Michael Conforto had the biggest hit of his young career (in a terrific AB) with a hustle RBI double to tie the game. He was moved over to third in a Travis d’Arnaud infield single and scored the go-ahead run when Flores served the ball into right [standing ovation].
Jeurys Familia closed out the game to secure the 4-3 win. In an odd sequence it took the Mets a few times to record the first out. Uribe was aggressive in fielding balls in front of third, but the umpire correctly called the ball foul each time.
With Clippard getting the win, when in actuality all he did was put the Mets on the brink of losing, I thought of how my thinking has evolved on wins. As I’ve stated before, I’m generally more open and accepting of Sabermetrics. I do think the pitcher wins are an overrated stat. For example, the horrendous Bartolo Colon is tied for the team lead in wins with Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom. Luckily, no one on the Mets side had a loss to put in their ledger tonight.
Some other fun notes:
- The sound of the crowd made it sound like a home game;
- It was great seeing Dwighg Gooden at the game; and
- Terry Collins shows he’s delirious with some of these lineups
With the DH, he had his lefty platoon lineup out there which meant Conforto and Kelly Johnson (2B). He had Uribe and his defense at third. However, I don’t understand Flores at SS instead of Ruben Tejada. Collins brought in Juan Lagares for defense in the ninth. He should’ve done the same with Tejada. At least the mistake didn’t cost the Mets the game.
In other great news, the Rockies beat the Nationals to extend the Mets lead to 2.5 games (two in the loss). Tonight was a great night for baseball and an even better night to be a Mets fan.
The way the Mets have been playing, and with the way the Narkins have been playing, this game was effectively over after the Mets four run third. Once Juan Uribe hit a three run homerun in the fifth, the game was over. By the way, this park is so cavernous thst Uribe’s homerun was that much more impressive. Lucas Duda, himself tried to hit two out to CF and only came up with a SF in the ninth.
Rather than lifting Matt Harvey after five, when he was essentially assured the win, he came out for the sixth and the seventh. You don’t throw him those additional unnecessary innings. Why even have Carlos Torres or Sean Gilmartin on the team if they can’t eat up some innings in a laugher?
I hate to be negative after two sweeps and the Mets in first place, but I just don’t understand what the Mets are doing. If Harvey has a no-hitter going, I understand. Absent that, he should’ve been pulled. It makes me question how many innings the Mets have wasted with him, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard.
Further on the negative, Bobby Parnell was not good again. At least, Eric O’Flaherty came in and got out the lefty to snuff out the Markins only threat. He then let up two hits to lefties in the ninth to allow a run and give up the shutout. He let up a second run on an Ichiro RBI single. Collins’ then had to use Hansel Robles, who threw gasoline in the fire.
Collins saw enough and was forced to bring in Jeurys Familia in a save situation in an inning that started 8-0. Talk about wasting a pitcher. Familia let up an RBI single to Dee Gordon to make it 8-6. By the time I was having Padres flashbacks, Familia induced Yelich to groundout to Duda to save the game. Again, if Torres and Gilmartin can’t pick up these innings, I have no idea why they’re on the team. By not using them, the Nets burned through a lot of arms.
In other Mets news, we may have seen the first cracks in the platoon system with Uribe playing and Kelly Johnson sitting against a righty.
I do want to focus on the Dee Gordon groundout to Daniel Murphy. He always comes to play. The Mets were up 7-0, and yet he’s hustling on a routine ball to second. When he was initially ruled safe, he made Murphy look bad (correction: Murphy made himself look bad). Credit is due to Murphy there for immediately accepting responsibility for being lackadaisical. It reminded me of the famous George Brett quote:
I want to hit a routine grounder to second and run all out to first base, then get thrown out by a half step. I want to leave an example to the young guys that that’s how you play the game: ALL OUT.
As a “Mets Daddy,” I appreciate Gordon and Murphy there. It’s great to be able to show him someone who not only plays the right way, but also someone who never gives up. I appreciate Murphy there because rather than make a scene because Gordon should’ve been called out (which he was after replay), he accepted responsibility. I know there was a lot better parts of the game to focus upon, but as a Dad and baseball fan that was my favorite play if the game.
Now, we’ve seen these Mets for the past 50 plus seasons. They face a spot starter, emergency starter, or rookie pitcher, and they struggle at the plate. Tonight, it was Brad Hand.
Personally, I knew the Mets were in for a tough night when I saw Angel Hernandez on the mound. For the uninitiated, the Mets have a history with him. This is mostly because he’s a bad umpire.
Luckily, Jon Niese pitched very well. He kept this team in the game while they struggled against the 1-2, 5.12 ERA Hand. In fact, the Mets didn’t score until Adam Conley came in the game. It took a Wilmer Flores [standing ovation] double and nice slide (good job by Niese directing him where to slide) to tie the game on the Ruben Tejada single.
For the second time this year, Eric Campbell bailed out Terry Collins for some questionable moves. Collins had Flores bunt with two on and no out in the eighth. Flores popped out [polite applause], and Tejada couldn’t deliver. Campbell then got the go-ahead bloop hit, right over the outstretched hands of Hechavarria, scoring Lucas Duda. Juan Lagares gave some breathing room with a two run RBI triple. The rally ended with a Curtis Granderson RBI double, which stretched the lead to 5-1.
Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia had a bumpy eighth and ninth respectively. However, they didn’t give up a run.
Despite winning this game, Collins’ decision making was very questionable. Look, I know I’ve been the one pounding the drum that Terry Collins has been using the platoon system; however, you cannot use it to sit Michael Conforto. When he was called up, the Mets took on the responsibility of playing him everyday. If he’s not going to play everyday, they should bring up Darrell Ceciliani.
No matter what the Nationals do tonight (they’re currently tied at three in the eighth), the Mets will remain in sole possession of first place. Just don’t tell Bryce Harper.
This is season is becoming magical. In another year, this would’ve been a major let down loss . . . especially against the Marlins. I still have the scars from 2007 and 2008.
This is a different team. The Mets came in rolling from the sweep of the Nationals and treated the Marlins’ arms like they were batting practice pitchers. Even Bartolo Colon got a hit.
Michael Comforto hit his first major league homerun. Yoenis Cespedes hit three doubles that would’ve been homeruns in any ballpark other than the originally designed Citi Field. Everything was so great, the Mets didn’t even need a Lucas Duda homerun. The Marlins offense was so bad, they barely scored a run off Bartolo Colon. Overall, their offense was so bad the Mets got away with starting Wilmer Flores [insert obligatory standing ovation] without incident.
Side note: can you imagine how unwatchable this game would’ve been had Sandy Alderson not made those trades?
With the Nationals losing to the Diamondbacks, the Mets are in first place by themselves. I have a feeling that they’re pulling away from the Nationals. It’s incredible! It’s great!
On Friday at 3:00 P.M., things were about as bleak as it could be this season. The Carlos Gomez trade fell apart, and there seemed to be bickering as to whether it was due to Gomez’s hip or the Mets’ finances. On Thursday, the Mets’ bullpen inexplicably blew a six run lead.
Then it seemed the Mets would add Jay Bruce until they didn’t. It sure looked like the Mets were never going to add a bat. Worst yet, the Nationals were coming into NY after previously taking 2/3 from the stud muffins. This was a Nationals team that went 15-4 against the Mets last year.
On the eve of the trade deadline, the Mets acquired Yoenis Cespedes. The attention around the Mets changed from despair to hope. This hope continued to grow throughout the weekend.
On Friday, it was a dominant Matt Harvey and an emotionally satisfying Wilmer Flores’ walk off homerun. On Saturday, it was the Lucas Duda Fireworks Show. Tonight, Thor was once again the story. Thor went eight innings with two two earned and nine strikeouts.
Thor made the homerun barrage in the third to stand up. On back-to-back pitches, Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy homered. After Cespedes’ first hit as a Met, Duda capped off the five run inning with a homerun of his own. Tyler Clippard, in for Jeurys Familia (who pitched two days in a row), recorded his first save as a Mets.
The Mets have flipped the script. They swept the Nationals and are now tied for first place in the NL East. I’m so excited that I’ll ignore they’re one behind in the loss column. The Mets are now 38-18 at home. Surprisingly, they’re 7-6 against the Nationals this season.
The Mets are in a dead heat with the Nationaks and have six head-to-head match ups with them. They have an easy second half schedule. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Mets are in the driver’s seat in the NL East. We’ve waited seven years for this, and so far, it’s been worth the wait. Lets Go Mets!