Baseball is a funny game. Noah Syndergaard has been in the big leagues for 20 starts, but he showed the guile of a 20 year veteran. Michael Cuddyer is a 15 year veteran, who played like it was his fifteenth game.
For starters, Thor needed to get some innings to help a stressed bullpen. He did that. Terry Collins let him go 111 pitches over 6.2 innings. Collins could’ve pinch hit for him in the sixth, but he didn’t. In fact, Collins pulled the oldest trick in the book by having a PH in the on deck circle to force the Red Sox to pitch to Anthony Recker. Most Mets fans questioned if that was a good move. Regardless, Recker hit an RBI single to extend the lead to 4-2.
Taking a 4-2 lead into the seventh, Thor had one on and two out with a chance to come out of the inning unscathed and hand the ball off to the bullpen. Jackie Bradley, Jr. Hit a pinch hit double (which looked like it might go out) to narrow the gap to 4-3. Thor was done. Collins brought in Hansel Robles.
Much like today’s lineup, this wouldn’t have been my choice, especially with Robles pitching a lot lately. Then again, who in the bullpen hasn’t? Now, the box score will say Mookie Betts hit a game tying triple. Your eyes tell you Cuddyer botched the play. Your eyes tell you the play should’ve been made easily had Cuddyer made a break of any kind on the ball within 2-3 seconds.
It was a rookie mistake from a player who should know better. With the game on the line, Collins made the move he had to make, but clearly didn’t want to yet, and brought in Tyler Clippard. He would get the last out of the seventh and pitch a clean eighth.
Cuddyer would get his redemption in the bottom of the inning. With two outs in the inning, Daniel Murphy stole second (remember when that used to be a thing) he was brought home on Cuddyer’s RBI single. It was redemption for him. its funny because other than the OF gaffe, he had a good game. He went 3-3 with a walk, two runs scored, and a huge RBI. He also broke up a double play:
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) August 30, 2015
In the ninth, there was a Red Sox rally started by some typical poor play from Ruben Tejada. He loafed it with a fast runner thereby sparking a rally. Seriously, I’m sick of him . . . again. It would be first and second with two outs. Jeurys Familia found a way with two big strikeouts. He’s showing himself to be an elite closer. It wasn’t easy for him, but he got the save securing the 5-4 win. Clippard got the win.
Now, there are two moves Collins subjected himself to criticism, but I won’t do so myself. The first is the Robles move. I understood it. You’ve been pitching Clippard constantly. You don’t want to burn him out. While I question Robles there, I can’t kill him for it.
The other move was the defensive substitution of Yoenis Cespedes in the eighth moving Cuddyer to 1B and Murphy to 2B. Second guessers may say Cespedes makes the play that Cuddyer didn’t. That’s not on Collins. First, you have to expect Cuddyer to make that play. Second, it’s not like we haven’t seen some Cespedes loafing. Finally, I respect wanting to give a veteran a full day off.
If you want to question Collins, question him leading off Juan Lagares with Curtis Granderson batting second against a LHP. This poor OBP duo went 1-9 with five strikeouts. Also, question him starting Juan Uribe at 2B because he just had to get his .195/.278/.425 in the lineup. At least Uribe got the big two run double in the sixth to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.
In other notes, David Ortiz juiced another HR. Also, Joe West had a strike zone that would make the late Eric Gregg shake his head. As a result, both teams were irritated. Kevin Long was really irritated. He got tossed defending an upset Granderson, who got rung up on a ball.
The Mets avoided the sweep. It was a good win especially since the Nationals won. The Mets continue this 13 game stretch of last place teams in facing the Phillies next. Let’s hope this six game lead grows.
We all know the Mets have bullpen issues. They’re bad. Really, really bad. So bad, that Bartolo Colon had to make a relief appearance yesterday. I’ll give Collins credit for thinking outside the box to help fix a problem he created.
While the Addison Reed trade helps, he’s just one arm in an exhausted bullpen. The Mets need more help. The best help for a tired bullpen is for your starter to go deep in the game. Again, this is where the Mets inability to do math prevents them from permitting them to allow their starters from going deep into games.
On Friday, Matt Harvey could’ve and should’ve pitched another inning, especially with the extra rest. Yesterday, it was clear that Jacob deGrom was done after six. I had no problem with Collins pulling him. In fact, I wouldn’t have had a problem if Collins pulled him during the sixth inning.
Anyway, we don’t know when Addison Reed is arriving at Citi Field. We also don’t know if he’s ready to pitch. Furthermore, the Mets do not have an off day until Thursday. The only solution we’re left with is for Noah Syndergaard is to pitch a good game. I mean a real good game where he goes deep into the game.
Here’s where the Mets may be getting some luck on their side as Thor is great at home. He is 7-1 at home with a 1.82 ERA and an absurdly low 0.808 WHIP. More important for today’s game, he averages a little over seven innings per home start. If he keeps his pitch count under control today, he should be able to do that today. However, keep in mind Better pitchers like Harvey and deGrom topped 100 pitches through six innings against this same Red Sox team.
The Mets need a big start today from Thor. It’s a test for him in advance of a month that’s going to be a series of tests. He’s passed every test so far. I have confidence that if Collins allows him, he can pass this test today.
Yesterday, the Mets acquired Addison Reed. Erik Goeddel is on the 60 day DL, and he’s in the middle of his rehab assignment. Finally, the Mets need to make room for Eric Young, Jr. At a minimum, this means the Mets need to make three moves on the 40 man roster, and two of these changes must be made before September 1st.
Previously, I wrote a fairly lengthy piece on the issue. I won’t regurgitate the analysis here. You can click the link and read it. Instead, I’ll list the players who may see themselves removed from the 40 man roster in the order of what I think is most likely:
If I’m correct, three of these players will be gone. Now, there is the possibility, the Mets can designate Eric O’Flaherty for assignment, thereby clearing room for Reed on the 25 and 40 man rosters. O’Flaherty has been bad with the Mets, but he’s been put in tough spots by Terry Collins.
Keep in mind that O’Flaherty is the only true LOOGY the Mets have right now. He’s only supposed to pitch to lefties. He hasn’t been treated that way by Collins. For his career, lefties hit .208/.271/.270. This season those numbers are .258/.333/.290. He’s been worse this year, but there is still evidence in the numbers that the Mets should stick with him.
There are 33 games left in the season. With the expanded rosters, O’Flaherty should never see a righty except when there’s one beside him warming up in the bullpen. If you can’t get O’Flaherty right in the final 33 games, you can leave him off the postseason roster. Once you DFA him, he’s forever gone. He’s no longer an asset. You can’t work with him to improve. It’s better to keep him now rather than move him two days before you could’ve kept him with expanded rosters.
The better choice is Logan Verrett. The Mets seemingly wanted to see if he could be a seventh inning option, but that plan went away with a spot start. Sure Verrett made two appearances since; one good, one terrible. With Steven Matz being a good bet to join the rotation soon, and the trade for Addison Reed, there appears to be no room for Verrett on the 25 man roster for the time being.
The other realistic option with options left is Hansel Robles. He has trouble with the strike zone at times. However, he’s got good peripheral stats, and he’s shown he can give some length. Accordingly, I’d send down Verrett. He would then be available 10 days later or September 9th. This is enough time for another start or a few relief appearances.
As for Goeddel and EY, I wouldn’t take any actions on the 25 man roster to accommodate them. Rather, I would wait the two days and call them up when rosters expand on September 1st.
Therefore, while there are three 40 man decisions to be made, the Mets really only need to make one move with the 25 man roster. Here’s hoping they keep O’Flaherty Nd get him right for the playoffs.
After today’s game, the Mets completed a trade for Addison Reed, while not being able to acquire Marc Rzepczynski. While I’m disappointed in my getting Rzepczynski, I’m glad I’m not going to have a repeat of Doug Mientkiewicz, i.e. mastering how to spell his name right before he’s gone.
I like the addition of Reed. For his career, he has an FIP of 3.45, which suggests he’s a good pitcher. His K/9 is 9.3, which is pretty good. He’s got experience closing games with the White Sox and Diamondbacks the past three seasons. Therefore, he’s used to high leverage situations.
This year, his ERA is 4.20, which is in line with his career numbers. However, his FIP is 3.12, which suggests he’s been a very good reliever this year. However, his results don’t match the advanced statistics. One possible reason is he’s had a career worst K/9 of 7.5. This means there are more balls in play, and when there are more balls in play, there are more chances for bad things to happen.
Sure enough, his BABIP is .344. This is well above the league average. It’s also above his career average of .306. Translation: he’s been unlucky. This means behind a better team, his numbers may improve. The Mets are a better team . . . especially with him on the roster. He’s a great choice for the seventh inning. I expect his numbers will start to come more in line with what his FIP suggests.
In exchange, the Mets gave up Matt Koch and Miller Diaz. I know nothing about them, which usually indicates they aren’t really prospect. However, the Reed surname caused me to take a step back and realize that’s not a good way of looking at things. You see the Mets once traded Jason Bay and the other Bobby Jones as part of a package for Jason Middlebrook and Steve REED. Note to Mets fans, this was trading Bay before he became a Rookie of the Year and three time All Star. This wasn’t trading the Bay that Mets fans came to know.
Chances are this Reed trade is much better. First of all, Addison is under team control for two more seasons. Second, the prospect package seems much weaker. For this, I will rely upon Jeffrey Paternostro, who tweeted his analysis of them:
Seen both Diaz and Koch a few times. This seems reasonable for both sides, but I am one of the higher guys on Koch out there.
— Jeffrey Paternostro (@jeffpaternostro) August 30, 2015
Since I have my notes out anyway. Miller Diaz: 90-93 s91-92, below-avg command and high effort, below-avg SL 82-86, some feel for change.
— Jeffrey Paternostro (@jeffpaternostro) August 30, 2015
All pretty much the same as my Savannah and Brooklyn looks. Potential middle reliever, but fair amount of work to do.
— Jeffrey Paternostro (@jeffpaternostro) August 30, 2015
Koch is in a different notebook. But I think he is the better prospect. Heavy mid-90s fastball out of the pen and slider has improved.
— Jeffrey Paternostro (@jeffpaternostro) August 30, 2015
What I can glean from this is that if everything breaks right, either one of these guys can become a reliever the caliber of Reed. If it doesn’t break right, they won’t become major leaguers. This is more the Uribe/Johnson trade than the Cespedes trade.
That means this is a very good trade with little downside, even if Reed doesn’t perform. This is a great move by Sandy Alderson. Let’s hope Reed takes over the seventh and sites up the seventh. If he doesn’t, the Mets bullpen is still is in as much trouble as it was in the Reed/Middlebrooks days.
i was looking over my blog the other day. I think it’s a good idea for anyone who writes to do that. You learn what you like, what you don’t like, and any crutches or patterns you have. If you’re being honest, whenever you read something you wrote, you want to edit and/or rewrite everything.
On thing I’ve noticed is this blog has been a little more Mets-centric than I anticipated. I suppose it’s only natural. Baseball is pretty much a daily sport, and it takes a lot of time and energy – blog or no blog. With that said, when re-reading my blog, I really wish there were some more pieces on my son.
I want this blog to be a snapshot in time. I want to go back and be able to see my thoughts at a particular time. I want my son to see it as well. What I lament most thus far is I haven’t really spoken about how proud and amazed I am. Each and every day, he does something that amazes me.
I guess it’s easy to be complacent with my amazement of him. He’s advanced. In daycare, he was promoted to the toddler room ahead of older children. He’s the only one in his class that knows all of his colors, all of the animal sounds, can speak in sentences, and can count to three. The teachers and other kids love him.
Also, he’s adorable. That’s mostly because he looks like his mother, but with my eye color . . . hey there was a reason a mook(ie) like me could actually marry a beautiful woman. Not a day goes by that I’m not stopped by someone telling me how cute he is. That’s not hyperbole. I really get stopped at least once a day. At today’s Mets game, it happened several times.
I assume most people, other than my wife and other family members have stopped reading by now. That’s fine. This piece is reall for my son when he’s much older. If you’re reading this buddy, I am so proud of you and love you very much. I may not say it enough, but that’s because if I said it as often as it needed to be said, I wouldn’t be able tosay anything else.
Anyway, back to talking about the Mets and how much fun it is raising a Mets fan. Before I get back, I’m proud of you, and I love you buddy.
The fact that it’s only available to 15,000 fans? It may me think – same old cheap Wilpons. Teams like the Brewers order enough Bobbleheads for everyone with some left over for donations and the like. The average cost of a Bobblehead to a team is $3. Therefore, the cost to the Mets is $45,000. Citi Field has a capacity of 41,800. It would cost the Mets $125,40 to order enough Bobbleheads for everyone.
Bobbleheads can increase tickets sales by 6,000 tickets. The tickets for today’s game ranges from $41.00 for standing room only to $410.00. Let’s assume all 6,000 people purchase a standing room only ticket. That means the Mets generated an additional $246,000 in revenue. That doesn’t include the price of parking and food. I know teams have their budgets, but as you can see, Verizon sponsorship aside, the Bobbleheads pay for themselves.
I’ve never missed out on a promotion. I’ve always been there for batting practice. I like going early because I can settle in. I hate going early on Bobblehead days because people get there early too and they become unnecessarily aggressive. That’s not fun when you have small children. Speaking of small children, is it good business to limit a promotion creating a chance a small child doesn’t get one?
I’m not taking that risk. I’m getting there early because I get to games early. I’m getting there earlier due to the Bobblehead. I’m getting there even earlier because of Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day. My son loves his Lucas Duda Growth Chart, and I hope he’ll love his new Bobblehead.
Mostly, I hope we’ll have fun today. As I’m going to be at the game, my game recap today will be quite late. It’s worth it because I’m going to a Mets game with my son. It doesn’t get better than that . . . Bobblehead or no Bobblehead.
If you keep playing with fire, you’re eventually going to get burned. Terry Collins’ poor managing has been masked by a seven game winning streak that came off the two worst teams in baseball. The fifth worst team in baseball would capitalize on Collins’ mistakes.
Tonight, the Mets got a dominant start from Matt Harvey. He only allowed two hits over six innings with eight strikeouts. Lucky for the Mets, the extra rest didn’t have a negative impact on Harvey. I don’t know if it was the rest or the last place Red Sox lineup. Either way, Harvey was Harvey.
Unfortunately for the Mets Terry Collins was Terry Collins. He put Juan Lagares and his .290 OBP in the leadoff spot. He was followed by Curtis Granderson and his .220 OBP against LHP. They combine to go 0-8 with two walks. The Mets would only score two runs against Henry Owens and his 4.50 ERA.
Then he brought in Logan Verrett to pitch in a second straight game. He’s never done that before, so Collins decided it was best to do it with a two game lead. However, yesterday with Verrett fully stretched out, he wouldn’t let Verrett go multiple innings. I don’t get it.
Verrett would give the lead away. His stuff looked flat, and the Red Sox teed off of him to the tune of three runs. The first run was a homer juiced by David Ortiz. The next two runs came off a homer by Jackie Bradley, Jr.
The Mets would rally off the Red Sox bullpen. It’s what they have been doing. They’ve been feasting off bad pitching to beat bad teams. The Mets loaded the bases and tied the score at three a piece on a two out bases loaded walk to Travis d’Arnaud. Rather than pinch hit Daniel Murphy, Collins let human rally killer Ruben Tejada bat. Unsurprisingly, the man who is hitting .227 in August popped out to end the rally.
The Mets two big guns out of the bullpen, Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia shut the door in the eighth and ninth. They kept the game tied. It didn’t matter. Because of the mismanaged tired bullpen, Carlos Torres had to come in.
He gave up a home run to the first batter he saw, Blake Swihart hit an inside the park homerun. Or did he? On a ball Lagares makes a play on last year, he went to play it off the wall. After it came off the wall, he never went to play it. Tejada and Granderson would go after it. Yoenis Cespedes never flinched in LF. By the time Tejada reached the ball, it was obvious Swihart was going to score.
Initially, I was irate with Lagares. How could he not go after it? Replays showed the ball went over the orange line in CF. It was going to be a HR anyway. The exhausted Torres, who pitched 2.1 innings last night, was letting up line drives left and right. I can’t blame him he was set up to fail. He was finally lifted with two outs in the tenth with the score 6-3. At least Eric O’Flaherty got a lefty out to end the inning.
The Mets rallied in the tenth. Tejada singled. Michael Conforto had a good AB and a well earned walk. Juan Uribe pinch hit for Lagares, and he walked to load the bases. Granderson walked giving the Mets their second run vis bases loaded walk on the night. Cespedes fm gave one a ride, but his flyball fell short. With that, the Mets luck finally ran out.
In other news, of course the fans gave David Wright a nice standing ovation. He went 2-4 with a run scored. I also noticed he has begun throwing the ball more side armed. I wonder if that has anything to do with the back injury.
Also, the Mets first two runs were with questionable calls by Tim Teufel’s at third base. The first time was Wilmer Flores [standing ovation] going through s stop sign. The second time was off of a fifth inning Michael Cuddyer single and a misplay by Rusney Castillo allowing Wright to score from first. Teufel sent Wright when most thought the stop sign should’ve been applied. To be honest, I haven’t noticed Teufel much at third this year, which usually means he’s been doing a good job.
The Mets missed an opportunity to go 7.5 games up on the Nationals. Overall, they missed a lot of opportunities tonight. It’s not the end of the world, but the Mets need to fix the bullpen and Collins in-game management. It’s going to burn them worse than it did tonight, whether it’s in September or October.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be the start of another long winning streak.
Lucky, I don’t need to use this blog to tell the fans they need to give Wright a standing ovation. It’s coming anyway. They’ll give him the standing ovation. Wright will be forced to give a wave or hat tip to acknowledge the fans. We see it all the time, but that doesn’t change the genuineness of the exchange of emotion.
Anyway, it feels “Wright” having him back and having him be a major contributor to the team. Keep in mind, the Mets need him to contribute. When Wright was gone, the Mets defensive option was Juan Uribe, who has hit .181/.261/.410 since joining the Mets. The other option is Daniel Murphy, which forces either Kelly Johnson (.260/.308/.437) or Wilmer Flores (.264/.294/.414) to play second base.
Needless to say, the Mets need Wright. They need him to contribute. Based upon the other options, the bar is not high. Regardless, it’s great having Wright in a pennant race again. In 2006, it seemed like his birthright. Now, with the losing and spinal stenosis, it seems like redemption.