Addison Reed

Who Gets the Lefties Out Now?

With the additions of Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed, Sandy Alderson has really surged up the bullpen. The seventh, eighth, and ninth innings are locked down. 

What is great about these pitchers is they can get both lefties and righties out. It eliminates the need to go to matchups late in the game. That’s important because you risk exposing a LOOGY to a right handed pinch hitter in a key spot in a game. Of course, I’m being optimistic here because I have no choice.  However, this doesn’t address the need to get a lefty out in the fifth or sixth inning. 

With the Dario Alvarez injury and the ineffectiveness of Eric O’Flaherty, the Mets are not going to have a LOOGY in the mold of Pedro Feliciano for the playoffs. In fact, that leaves the Mets with one effective lefty in the bullpen, Sean Gilmartin, who has reverse splits and is better suited as the long man.  So where do the Mets go from here?
Let’s start with who’s not an option. We know Jerry Blevins is out for the season. I’ve also seen and heard rumblings from people for the Mets to look at Josh Smoker. There’s some problem with Smoker. First, he’s never pitched above AA. Second, his stats are deceiving. At 26, he’s old for that level thereby skewing his stats a bit. Lastly, he hasn’t pitched in over 10 days. His season is over, and I presume he shut it down. If so, he’s not ready. 

So that leaves Hansel Robles to get the lefties out. Looking at his splits, he gets lefties out better than a LOOGY ever could. He is limiting them to .188/.250/.438. Sure, it seems odd using a RHP to get out a lefty, but I’m more interested in effectiveness than appearance. I wonder if Terry Collins will see it that way, or will he bring in Gilmartin to get a lefty out in a big spot?

With Adrian Gonzalez, and to a lesser extent Andre Ethier, on the horizon, it’s an issue that needs to be figured out sooner rather than later. 

No Error, the Mets Won

If Terry Collins was the late, great Herb Brooks, he would be at Turner Field until midnight running infield drills:

However, this is the majors, and I’m sure the Wilpons aren’t paying for two different flights. 

As much as I would like to get on Jon Niese for today, it’s not his fault. I’d don’t care if Collins sat a number of starters including Yoenis Cespedes and David Wright, you’re expected to play fundamental baseball. On a side note, the Mets were only charged with two errors. The official scorer had an equally bad day. 

Lucas Duda had two miscues that helped give away the 2-0 lead the Mets earned on Michael Conforto‘s two run homer. Subsequent leads disappeared behind Daniel Murphy and Juan Uribe misplays. By the way, Duda and Murphy are everyday players, and Uribe is a good defensive player. 

By some miracle, Niese was on the long side when Tim Stauffer would make his Mets debut. It was quickly first and third with no outs, and Stauffer got a tapper right back to him. Instead of getting the lead runner, he went for the double play. The score was then tied 4-4. 

Stauffer would come out again in the eighth. He leave the game after allowing an “infield single.”  Dario Alvarez would not continue his recent good play allowing the inherited runner to score. He allowed a runner to score, and he left some ducks on the pond. Bobby Parnell came into the game. To be fair, Parnell (who earned the win) was not bad today as the inherited runners would score off a Curtis Granderson misplay in right. After eight innings, it would be 7-4 Braves. 

However, these Mets are hard to kill. Even with two outs in the ninth, they would come back to tie the game. Juan Lagares hit a double just out of the reach of the diving Nick Markakis. Granderson would walk, and Murphy would hit an improbable three run homer. 

In the tenth, the Braves imploded.  With a chance to get out of the inning with runners on first and third unscathed. Sure enough, with two outs, they threw the ball away allowing Kirk Nieuwenhuis to score the go-ahead run. The Braves would then walk the ballpark to load the bases AND walk home two runs. 

Addison Reed would get the save. He had to work around an error by Ruben Tejada because, why not?  It was a fitting end to an absolutely ugly game. They had no business winning the game, but they did because the Braves are terrible and the Mets are resilient.
Good job by Collins allowing his guys in the field and pen to fully rest. The Mets won’t need to win another game until October, and he managed accordingly. As I noted, his managing is really getting better lately. 

In any event, the Mets won a game they shouldn’t have. They won’t get away with this in October, but they showed the will to win that’s important in October. In any event, it’s always a good day when the Mets win. Today is a good day. 

Mets 1-2 Punch Their Way to a Win

This was the Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes Show. With the offense scuffling tonight, they accounted for four of the Mets five runs. It showed why Cespedes receives the MVP talk while Granderson is truly the Mets’ MVP. 

In the third, Granderson walked and scored on a Cespedes double. In the fifth, Granderson scored on a balk after being moved to second on a Cespedes single and Daniel Murphy ground out (he was absolutely robbed of an RBI double by Freddie Freeman. He scored for the last time on a laser homerun by Cespedes in the ninth. 

Even though Steven Matz looked to be fitting himself and an inconsistent umpire, he only allowed one earned run in five innings. While Matz may not have been great, it was impressive he was able to get though five innings. 

Erik Goeddel pitched a 1-2-3 sixth despite letting up two deep fly balls. Addison Reed pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, further showing he’s the seventh inning guy. Tyler Clippard did his usual good work in the eighth. Jeurys Familia recorded his 40th save securing the 5-1 win. 

The only concern from the game was Murphy’s leg. He probably would’ve been safe on Freeman’s play if he was able to run full speed. As Keith Hernandez pointed out, Murphy seemed to be slow and since after his seventh inning single. Terry Collins may need to find him a couple of more days. 

Overall, it was an ugly win, but a win nevertheless. It was good enough to increase the lead to 8.5 games. 

Before the game, the Braves had a nice ceremony commemorating 9/11. They even showed the Mike Piazza homerun, which happened against them. They also wore the First Responder caps in batting practice, which they will auction off for charity. While I’ll criticize the Mets players and MLB, I’ll compliment the Braves here. 

The Braves also had a wonderful rendition of “God Bless America.”  They represented baseball and the country well. 

Win Was Rest Assured

Like his past few starts, this game was all about Bartolo Colon clobbering the NL East. He’s now 13-1 against the NL East with a 2.52. He had a 31 inning scoreless streak that surpassed Warren Spahn‘s record for most consecutive shut out innings for a 42 year old. It was also fell 1.2 innings short of R. A. Dickey‘s club record. 

Colon even asserted his dominance at the plate. After Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe scored on a Kevin Plawecki 4th inning RBI double, Colon would single him home. Colin’s dominance and scoreless streak would end in the seventh when he allowed two runs. With two outs, he was lifted for Dario Alvarez, who did his job as a LOOGY, and got the lefty Nick Markakis out. 

Hansel Robles was out attending to family matters. Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia were given the day off due to their usage in the Washington series. As such, Alvarez came back out for the eighth, and he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, which included getting Freddie Freeman out. It was a great job by him. 

It looked like Addison Reed was going to get the save opportunity until Uribe hit a two run double in the ninth. Reed still came on and secuted the 7-2 win. 

Colon’s battery mate, Plawecki, also had a good game. He went 1-3 with a double, a walk, and three RBIs, including an insurance run in the eighth. Overall, playing backups like Uribe, Johnson, and Plawecki allowed the Mets to rest Travis d’ArnaudDaniel Murphy and his quad, and David Wright and his back. 

That’s the benefit of building a big lead. You get to rest some guys who need rest. When you’re really good, you win those games, even when Yoenis Cespedes finally has an 0-fer. You win these games even with a two and a half hour rain delay and a flooded dugout:

https://twitter.com/kplawecki26/status/642113011398873088

Before moving along to the next game, our best wishes to Dan Warthen, who was not at the game because he had to go to the hospital with heart problems. I hope he gets better, and he comes back to enjoy this ride. 

Who’s In, Who’s Out?

After last night’s big homerun, I wanted to write a post about Kirk Nieuwenhuis‘ chances of making the postseason roster. I then realized such conversation is premature without first discussing who is definitely going to be on the roster, and what the roster needs will be. 

Please note this list assumes all injured players will be healed and ready for the playoffs. And yes, I’m taking Matt Harvey at his word. So without further ado, here’s my best approximation:

Position Players

  1. Travis d’Arnaud
  2. Kevin Plawecki
  3. Lucas Duda
  4. Wilmer Flores
  5. Daniel Murphy
  6. Ruben Tejada
  7. Juan Uribe
  8. David Wright
  9. Kelly Johnson
  10. Yoenis Cespedes
  11. Michael Cuddyer
  12. Curtis Granderson
  13. Juan Lagares
  14. Michael Conforto

Pitchers

  1. Matt Harvey
  2. Jacob deGrom
  3. Bartolo Colon
  4. Noah Syndergaard
  5. Jeurys Familia
  6. Tyler Clippard
  7. Addison Reed
  8. Hansel Robles

While typically an MLB team carries 12 pitchers, that number is usually reduced to 11 relievers. That means there’s three spots open for pitchers like Sean GilmartinDario AlvarezCarlos Torres (if healthy), Erik GoeddelLogan VerrettJon Niese, and of course Steven Matz. Notice, I did not put Bobby Parnell and Eric O’Flaherty on the list. If all the position players make the list, there’s only room for 11 pitchers anyway. 

With an injury, like Cuddyer’s, the decision will come down between Nieuwenhuis, Eric Young, Jr., and yes, Eric Campbell

The Mets have tough decisions to make. They have about a month of tryouts. So far, Gilmartin, Alvarez, and Nieuwenhuis have made their cases. Other players have their opportunities as well. It’s nice having this conversation instead of talking about next year. 

The Only Thing This Team Can’t Overcome is Collins

Where to begin on a day like today?  There’s Michael Cuddyer and his new wrist injury of unknown origins. There’s Lucas Duda‘s rehab assignment in Binghamton. There’s Daniel Murphy‘s platelet rich therapy treatment for his injured quad. And, oh yeah, there was something about Matt Harvey

There was a lot of noise, but this team is resilient. Jacob deGrom didn’t have his best stuff, and he was squeezed by the umpire. However, he made it through six with only three earned and was in line for the win due to a Yoenis Cespedes go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh. 

Sean Gilmartin and Addison Reed gave up the lead in the seventh. The go-ahead run was scored after Reed got squeezed on a 2-2 pitch and his 3-2 pitch wasn’t even close resulting in a bases loaded walk. They were picked up by Travis d’Arnaud, who sparked a two out rally in the ninth. Juan Lagares pinch ran for him and scored after consecutive singles from Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. We all talk about the Cespedes trade, but we all neglect the trade that brought Uribe and Johnson aboard that really started to turn things around. 

The one thing the Mets couldn’t overcome?  Terry Collins. After having a decent game managing, he had to put Eric O’Flaherty in a position to fail again. O’Flaherty came in with an inherited runner and one out from Erik Goeddel‘s second inning of work. O’Flaherty got the lefty, and then for some reason Collins let him face Martin Prado

Of course, Prado hits a double down the right field line. Of course, it’s Lagares and not Cespedes on right. If Cespedes can’t play right, he’s not the player we all think he is. Sure enough, the run scores and the Mets lose in 11. With the Nationals win, the Mets lead drops to five. 

Again, the Mets get burned by Collins managing. If he can’t handle August and September, why do we think he can handle October? Of all the nonsense today, this was the most aggravating. 

Collins Can’t Find Relief

When your team loses big, it’s easy to overreact to the loss.  Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez did. They switched places in the ninth in an attempt to keep things interesting. Keith did a good job, but he was no Kidcaster

On Twitter, most people were upset with Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell. It’s understandable as neither one of them were good tonight. You know who was worse?  Terry Collins

We saw the bad Niese again tonight. We haven’t seen him this bad in quite a while. The last bad start he had was when he became a dad. Since then, he has been as prone to the complete meltdown. Maybe fatherhood has been agreeing with him. Anyway, he was bad to the tune of five innings with six earned. 

In the bottom of the fifth, the Mets got back into the game capped off by a Yoenis Cespedes three run homerun. Honestly, after the inning was over I assumed the Mets would beat up the Phillies bullpen and overcome the 6-4 deficit. However, the top of the sixth happened. 

Let’s start off with this. I know many people first guessed and said why Parnell in that spot. Many wanted to see Addison Reed there. I was okay with Parnell there so long as he was alright. Furthermore, Reed is supposed to be a part of the 7-8-9 tandem, and there was no need for him to go multiple innings tonight. 

If Parnell is going to contribute down the stretch and into the playoffs, he’s going to pitch the sixth inning. The problem is he wasn’t ready to return. He walked the first two batters he faced, and he threw the ball away on a bunt attempt. By the time he was done, his line was 0 innings pitched, three runs allowed, two earned, and two walks. Collins would then continue the poor managing. 

He would bring in Eric O’Flaherty to face the righty Darin Ruf. Do the Mets not supply Collins with his splits?  Does Collins have it out for O’Flaherty that he keeps setting him up to fail?  Did Collins think Ryan Howard was in the game?  I really don’t understand. After Ruf’s two RBI single, Collins would bring on Carlos Torres

Collins would then let Torres out to dry. After neither Parnell nor O’Flaherty recorded an out, Collins left Torres out there to finish the inning. The Phillies would hit him hard. Torres let up a walk and three hits. He would allowed three runs with two of them earned.

One of them was unearned because Ruben Tejada threw away a ball he had no business throwing. He could’ve been bailed out, but it was tough a hop for any first baseman, especially so for a part time one like Michael Cuddyer. At the end of the top of the sixth inning, the Phillies would lead 14-4. 

The Mets would tack on four runs to make the score look like a more palatable 14-8. Reed’s debut for the Mets was s highlight. He pitched a clean eighth that included a strikeout of Jeff Francoeur. Another highlight was the return of Erik Goeddel from the DL. He pitched a clean ninth. 

Look, the Mets are still 13-2 against the Phillies. You can’t go nuts over one loss unless it’s a season ending loss. The Mets are going to lose some games. The Nationals may even win tonight. That’s fine. The Mets still have a nice lead in the division with a weak schedule. If you want something to get upset about, look at Terry Collins. 

If the Mets do blow this, and I don’t think they will, Collins will be the culprit. The next time someone mentions him as a Manager of the Year candidate keep this game in mind. I know I will. 

Otherwise, you turn the page after a loss like this. Tomorrow becomes a rubber game that the Mets need to win. Luckyily, tomorrow is a Harvey Day

Thor Needs to Go Deep

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. 

Looking Through the Reeds for a Reliever

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:

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.