Amed Rosario

Amed Rosario Third Base Move Is A Bad Plan

During his press conference yesterday, Mets manager Luis Rojas indicated Amed Rosario will work at third base, but he will not be working in the outfield. This plan is not something which helps Rosario or the Mets.

One of the reasons is Rosario’s bat. It doesn’t play at the position.

Mostly buttressed by a 100 wRC+ in 2019, Rosario has a career 89 wRC+. From 2016 – 2019, MLB third baseman had between a 102 – 105 wRC+. That puts a typical Rosario season well below the threshold.

To even justify Rosario at third, he’s have to play elite defense. His ability to do that is certainly up for debate.

Rosario’s defense has been gradually improving, but it appears like he’ll never reach the Gold Glove aspirations many had for him, nor will be surpass Andres Gimenez.

By OAA, he made huge strides in this shortened season going from a -8 OAA to a 2. DRS paints the same picture with his going from a -10 to a -3.

This past season, what stood out was he’s better able to go to his right. However, in a normal season, he was far better going to his left. Certainly, if he has the range for short, he should for third.

Looking at these numbers, Rosario can certainly play third. However, that’s not the issue. As noted, he needs to play at an elite level due to his bat.

Now, you could argue he’s a better option than J.D. Davis, which he certainly is. Davis is incapable of playing the position, and without the juiced ball, his offense came hurtling back to earth.

However, this shouldn’t be the test. Just being better than Davis isn’t sufficient. Again, the Mets need a real third baseman. Rosario has not shown yet he can be that with his offense being the biggest issue.

His offense won’t be as much of an issue in center. In three of the past four seasons, center fielders we’re below league average offensively. As noted, Rosario does have the tools to succeed in center.

If nothing else, Rosario should be working towards being a good center fielder. If he’s lost the shortstop job, he needs to become as versatile as possible. Learning center does that.

Overall, Rosario’s chances of success at third are not as good as his chances of success in center. Regardless, he needs to work on both as he’s now a bench player. That’s why focusing just on third is a very bad plan.

Remember Mookie Betts Signed An Extension

In an ideal world, the New York Mets would be looking to sign Mookie Betts this offseason. It would’ve been an absolutely perfect signing for the team.

The second best player in the sport helping the Steve Cohen era get off on the right foot. The right-handed bat to compliment a heavy left-handed hitting lineup. A player gifted enough to play center for the next decade.

However, it’s not happening because the Los Angeles Dodgers went all out to not only obtain him from the Boston Red Sox, but they also gave him the extension he wanted. As such, he’ll spend 13 years with the Dodgers and none with the Mets.

This is not the first time we’ve seen a future Hall of Famer eschew free agency by signing an extension with his new team. In fact, the Mets once benefitted from this by trading for and signing Mike Piazza.

That’s one of the benefits a team receives by obtaining that player. They get the exclusive window to negotiate with and sign the player. They also have that opportunity if they make the player signing an extension a condition precedent to making a trade.

That’s something to be mindful of with Francisco Lindor and Nolan Arenado on the trade bloc. These are quite possibly two future Hall of Famers the Mets can go out and obtain right now.

There is a need for both players. With Arenado, he’s arguably the best third baseman in baseball, and the Mets are in desperate need of one.

Lindor may not be as obvious when the Mets have Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario. With Lindor, it boils down to this team is not good enough as it, and they need premium talent to push them over the top. The best shortstop in the game goes a long way in accomplishing that.

If the Mets can get either player (preferably both), they need to do it. You don’t run the risk of another organization stepping up ad obtaining that player because if that happens they can be the ones who give Lindor or Arenado an extension ensuring they don’t hit the free agent market.

No, that doesn’t mean you make the trade for its own sake, and by no means should the Mets overpay. That said, when you have Gimenez and Rosario as well as Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso, you have valuable cost controlled depth which can be a big piece in getting a Lindor or Arenado.

Really, the Mets don’t need two shortstops and two first basemen. They need a Lindor and/or an Arenado. They need to get them now to prevent another team from locking them up.

Instead, the Mets need to do what the Dodgers did with Betts. Get the superstar. Use their financial muscle to get that superstar to sign an extension. Then, they can go win the World Series.

Mets Need To Move Amed Rosario To CF Now

With the rise of Andres Gimenez, the Mets are already moving on in some ways from Amed Rosario. To wit, the are reports Rosario will be moved to a utility role in 2021.

This should come as no surprise as Rosario has been given time to establish himself as the Mets everyday shortstop. Unfortunately, for a myriad of reasons, that hasn’t happened. With a better SS option on the Major League roster, Rosario needs to play somewhere.

Looking at the Mets current roster, there are holes at third and center. Presumably, Rosario could fill either spot.

In terms of third, his continued marked improvement at short with his strong arm suggests he could play very well there. That said, there should be some reservation over his ability to go to his left.

Of course, the bigger issue is his bat. At a career 89 wRC+, including a regression in 2020, his bat won’t play at third.

It would, however, play in center. The bigger issue is whether he can play the position. There are strong indications he can.

In his career, Rosario has exhibited elite sprint speed. Even with his 28.7 ft/second being a career low, he’d still rank in the top 20 among center fielders (if he played the position).

Really, he has the speed to not only play center, but to play the position at a high level. With Luis Rojas, he also has a manager in place who can get him quickly up to speed in center.

Now, the obvious rebuttal is there are better options than Rosario in center. That’s absolutely true. Either George Springer or Jackie Bradley Jr. would be a significant upgrade.

The Mets should absolutely pursue them as well as other options. That said, just because the Mets have significant interest and money to spend doesn’t de facto mean they’ll land either player. For example, the Red Sox also have very deep pockets and are rumored to be interested in Springer.

The Mets may also need or want to allocate their offseason budget towards the pitching staff and catcher. Neither of those areas are going to be cheap to address in free agency.

As such, the Mets need a viable CF alternative plan. Given his skill set and the need to find a position for him, the Mets should be preparing the Rosario in CF contingency plan.

If for no other reason, the Mets should pursue this path for Rosario to make him more versatile and to make him a backup at the position.

Mets Should Not Trade Jeff McNeil For Francisco Lindor

The Mets have been linked to Francisco Lindor leading to various outlets comprising trade proposals. One such proposal from MLB Network has Jeff McNeil headlining a trade for Lindor.

Simply put, it makes zero sense for the Mets to trade Jeff McNeil even in a deal for a Lindor.

The need for Lindor is obvious, and the Mets would match-up very well with the Cleveland Indians. One reason why is the Mets have logjams at different positions with cost controlled players. Those players could fulfill a reciprocal need for the Indians.

At first base, the Mets have Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith. Both would be a replacement and upgrade over the free agent Carlos Santana.

At shortstop, the Mets have Andres Gimenez, Luis Guillorme, and Amed Rosario. Any one of these three could be a short to long term replacement for Lindor.

At catcher, the Mets have defensive specialists in Tomas Nido and Ali Sanchez. That would at least seem to be of interest to an Indians team who puts a priority on catcher defense and framing. Notably, Roberto Perez will be a free agent after this year, and Austin Hedges will be one the ensuing season.

With the caveat of not knowing how the Indians value these players, or whether they’d take J.D. Davis off the Mets hands, it would seem mixing and matching from these groups could largely get a deal done.

Honestly, this is trading at its best. The Mets have a surplus of quality Major Leaguers at different positions. Those players would fulfill very specific needs the Indians have. This is why the Mets and Indians match up so well.

Of course, this assumes this isn’t an Indians fire-sale. Considering the Indians aren’t looking to trade Jose Ramirez, even with his being a free agent after the 2021 season, this appears to be a very safe assumption. That assumption would be bolstered by a presumed pursuit of McNeil.

The reasons why the Indians would want McNeil are obvious. He’s as versatile a player as there is in the game. He plays well defensively at second and both corner outfield spots. With work on his throws, he could be a very good third baseman.

In addition to his defense and versatility, he’s a good hitter. Since his MLB debut, McNeil has a 139 OPS+. Over the past three years, that ranks him as the 13th best hitter in all of baseball.

If the Mets are going to be bold and add players like Lindor, they need McNeil. They need his versatility, defense, and bat. Moreover, any deals the Mets make need to clear surplus and not detract from other areas.

In the end, the Mets have more than enough pieces to make a very good trade for both teams without including McNeil. With that being the case, there is absolutely no reason for the Mets to include McNeil in a trade for Lindor.

Look Past Francisco Lindor, Mets Need Mega-Deal With Indians

The Cleveland Indians are known to be floating Francisco Lindor, and with this being the Indians, they are looking to probably try to contend while also making any deals. That would make sense given their pitching and their keeping another perennial MVP caliber player in Jose Ramirez.

Still, the Indians want us to believe they are cash strapped and need to move a player like Lindor. Presumably, anyone not named Ramirez or Shane Bieber is available to be traded. If that is the case, the Mets need to push and push hard to get a mega-deal done.

In addition to Lindor, the Indians also have Roberto Perez. He’s a 31 year old catcher who is elite defensively with a still very questionable bat. Perez is a relatively expensive $5.5 million, and he will be a free agent after the season. For a Mets team who needs a starting catcher, Perez would be enticing. He also shouldn’t interfere with the presumed chase for James McCann.

On the pitching front, the Indians have Zach Plesac who was an issue for them in terms of the COVID19 infection. The Indians may be reluctant to move him pre-arbitration, and they should. Still, if there are issues between him and the team, the Mets are in a prime position to grab him.

Looking deeper than Plesac, there are useful bullpen arms like Nick Wittgren and a good fourth outfielder in Delino DeShields. Both players are arbitration eligible and could cost more than the Indians are willing to play them. Depending on a potential deal, the Mets could and should be interested in grabbing them in a potential deal.

In return, well, the Mets have plenty to offer the Indians. Given the glut at first base, the Mets could offer one of Pete AlonsoJ.D. Davis, or Dominic Smith. With Davis, the Mets could or should offer both. There is also Brandon Nimmo in the outfield as well as Andres GimenezJeff McNeil, and/or Amed Rosario in the middle infield. Certainly, if you can obtain Perez, the Mets should be willing to move Tomas Nido and/or Ali Sanchez.

If you are going to move from a pool of that Major League talent, thereby freeing up logjams, you can then be in a position to hold onto Francisco AlvarezRonny Mauricio, and/or the other Mets top prospects. That said, if the Mets are given a window to extend Lindor, all bets should be off. Looking at Mookie Betts last year, getting a top five player in his prime is a franchise changer, and it could be what the Mets need to get to the World Series.

All told, the Indians have some pieces the Mets desperately need. Between the Mets need to free up their logjams coupled with the Indians purported need to clear payroll and the Mets newfound financial strength, there is real potential here for a mega-deal. Hopefully, the two sides can get together and get it done.

 

Mets Need Francisco Lindor

The Mets need to learn their lesson from last offseason. The attitude was let Mookie Betts play out his contract, and then have the Mets sign him as a free agent once Steve Cohen takes over.

The problem with that line of thinking is you risk a player signing an extension, which is exactly what Betts did. We went to a team in the Dodgers who were happy to hand him a blank check.

If you’re a team who does not go out and get Francisco Lindor, you’re assuming the very same risk. The Mets should not be assuming that risk.

The counter-argument is the Mets don’t need Lindor. After all, Andres Gimenez had an impressive rookie season. Amed Rosario, while being lost at the plate this year, was significantly improved defensively. This is all true while also missing the point.

In 2020, the Mets finished in last place with a 26-34 record. During the course of the year, one thing which should have been made abundantly clear was this Mets team isn’t good enough to win right now. In fact, if the last two years are any gauge, they’re not all that close.

What they Mets need is better players across the diamond. It’s not just a catcher, center field, and pitching issue. Really, aside from the first base glut with Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith and the two corner outfield spots, the Mets seem desperate for upgrades and shifting of players to new positions.

Yes, the Mets could use an upgrade at shortstop when Lindor is the player available.

Since his MLB debut in 2015, Lindor has been a top three player in the sport. He’s been the best infielder, and he’s the best middle infielder by a healthy margin. He is literally everything you want in a baseball player.

By DRS, he’s been the fourth best defensive SS in the game since 2015. By wRC+, he’s the seventh best hitter. Overall, there’s no one better at short than him.

That includes Gimenez and Rosario, and it’s a wide margin between him and those two. By obtaining Lindor, you’re making a significant push towards closing the talent gap in the NL East.

Let’s look at it another way. Since his breakout season in 2017, Lindor has been a .276/.341/.503 hitter. In the three previous seasons, he’s averaged 42 doubles, three triples, and 34 homers.

No shortstop in the history of the New York Mets have ever put up these kinds of numbers. They’ve never done it on a one year career year, and they’ve certainly never come close putting up these numbers on an annual basis. When you think about it, over the 58 year history of the Mets, it’s takes their shortstops 2-3 years to put up the extra base hits Lindor can do in one year.

Here’s another way to examine it. Lindor has a 118 wRC+ since 2017. Over that time frame, only Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo (Alonso didn’t qualify) have a better offensive production.

Over that time frame, Mets shortstops Gabe a 90 wRC+. Getting Lindor would make the Mets lineup deeper and more dangerous. They’ll also be doing that while having a Gold Glove caliber player at the position.

There is no doubt Lindor makes the Mets a significantly improved team. There also should be no doubt he’ll come at a high price. If he’s willing to sign an extension, nearly any price would be worth it. He’s that good.

Anytime you can get a future Hall of Famer in his prime, you have to do it. It is a game changer for the organization, and it can bring your team to another level.

The Mets are certainly familiar with that concept. Gary Carter helped them win a World Series. Mike Piazza took them to back-to-back postseasons. Carlos Beltran helped lead the Mets to one at-bat from a World Series. Hall of Fame talent significantly improves your team and your postseason chances.

The Piazza and Beltran examples are especially illustrative. With Piazza, the Mets already had Todd Hundley. With Beltran, the Mets already had Mike Cameron. Rather than be happy with the status quo for a team not good enough to win, the Mets improved on a strength, and it led to a better future.

That’s Lindor right now. Yes, the Mets may very well be served to go forward with either Gimenez or Rosario. However, with all due respect to both, neither of them are Lindor, nor are they close.

If the Mets want to truly win now, they should be making every reasonable effort to get Lindor in a New York Mets uniform.

Mets Should Lean Into Sinkerballers By Re-Signing Marcus Stroman And Rick Porcello

Right now, the Mets two starters are Jacob deGrom and David Peterson. With Peterson, the Mets have a promising pitcher who is a sinkerball pitcher. In terms of Peterson, the question is what do you do to help him take the next step forward in his career.

The first part of the plan should be to improve the infield defense. With the Meta apparently moving from Amed Rosario to Andres Gimenez at short, they already took a big step forward on that front.

Rosario continued to make strong steps forward defensively, and he was a good defender, but he was not on Gimenez’s level. Rosario was a -3 DRS and 2 OAA to Gimenez’s 1 DRS and 5 OAA. At a 5 OAA, Gimenez was actually tied for the second best defensive SS in the game.

At second, Robinson Cano rebounded defensively with a 3 OAA. On that note, Cano was better moving to his left. That’s an important consideration for an aging player who probably needs to move off of second.

It’s not about ability per se, but rather durability. He’s going to be 38 next year, and he’s broken down a bit in each of the last few years while playing second. A switch to a less demanding position like third should help him extend his career.

It also solves a real issue for the Mets as third base is a huge problem. Jeff McNeil was supposed to play third, but he had throwing issues not too dissimilar from what we once saw with Wilmer Flores. That led the Mets to move McNeil off the position and replace him with J.D. Davis.

Davis was a disaster at third. He had a -8 DRS, which is he had enough innings to qualify, would’ve had him as the worst in the position in the majors. His -3 OAA was also the worst in the majors at the position.

By moving Cano to third, you finally take away Davis’ glove (which needs to happen anyway), and second is re-opened for McNeil. At second, McNeil has been a good defender with a career 4 OAA and 1 DRS.

By going with an infield of McNeil, Cano, and Gimenez, they have made it a significantly improved defensive infield. In fact, you can argue it’s a very good one at that.

As an aside, Nolan Arenado is purportedly on the trade bloc, and the Mets have a logjam at first with Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith. Putting Arenado alongside Gimenez would possibly even surpass Robin Ventura and Rey Ordonez.

While Arenado may be considered a pipe dream, that’s the direction the Mets should be angling. That’s not just because of Steve Cohen’s deep pockets. Rather, it’s because the Mets should be maximizing their defense.

Part of that will include moving on from Wilson Ramos. Ramos is a catcher of a different era. That’s not his fault, but rather one of Brodie Van Wagenen’s front office. Moving on from Ramos to another catcher better at framing, whether that be J.T. Realmuto, James McCann, or someone else entirely, the Mets will be much better poised defensively.

They will also be better poised to handle a pitch to contact sinkerball staff. That will help Peterson succeed in his second season.

This will also help Stroman, who for reasons previously detailed, should be the Mets priority right now. The question is who should then round out the Mets rotation with Noah Syndergaard rehabbing from Tommy John.

There is an argument to be made for Rick Porcello to return on another one year deal. Certainly, Porcello will be driven to have a better 2021 after his 2020 was terrible. It’s quite possible he wants that chance to return to the Mets, a team he grew up loving, and prove to them he’s a pitcher who can help them win.

Now, Porcello’s stats were a very mixed bag last year. His ERA+ was a career worst 75. He let up an inordinate amount of barrels last year too.

Behind that was a 3.33 FIP, which is quite good. Porcello was also above average in terms of hard hit percentage, and he posted very good exit velocity rates.

You could argue with a vastly superior infield defense Porcello could very well be a good stopgap for Syndergaard and/or insurance for a Peterson sophomore slump. In the end, if the Mets are moving in the direction of a pitch to contact staff, they should really lean into it and make their team the best suited they can to head into that direction.

As we’ve seen in years like 1999 and 2006 building a superior infield defense can help your team overcome pitching deficiencies. It can help ground ball pitchers be reliable, post strong numbers, and pitch deep into games.

For the Mets, there are many directions they can head towards with a new owner and front office. Given the presence of Peterson and what’s available on the free agent market, this is a direction the Mets should seriously consider pursuing.

2020 Mets Did Not Underachieve

As the season wound to a close, there was much talk about how the Mets were too talented for this season to have unfolded the way it did. Certainly, some players struggled, but in the end, the Mets missing even an expanded postseason should not have shocked anyone.

Things changed dramatically for the Mets the day Noah Syndergaard had to shut it down due to Tommy John surgery. It was at that point the Mets went from possible postseason contender to a team who was likely going to miss the postseason.

Syndergaard presented, along with Jacob deGrom, two top of the rotation, swing and miss pitchers. The Mets desperately needed this as this was a team with far too many pitchers who pitched to contact in front of a terrible defensive team.

In 2019, the Mets were last in the National League with an 86 DRS. Despite planning on going into 2020 with Marcus Stroman and Rick Porcello, two pitchers who pitch to a high rate of contact, the Mets affirmatively opted not to improve their defense. In actuality, they probably made t worse.

Remember, the plan was to always have two first basemen in the field with Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis. Based on what we saw of Robinson Cano in 2019, you could’ve argued, the Mets were really putting three first basemen in the field. That’s beyond ill advised.

An important thing to remember here was not only were the Mets playing three first basemen, they were playing three poor ones at that, at least in terms of their respective positions.

By OAA, Alonso was the worst defensive first baseman in the NL last year. Davis was the 26th ranked LF with the second worst success rate. Cano was also ranked 26th.

The good news is Cano rebounded by OAA but not DRS. Past him, well, it was a complete disaster.

Davis didn’t last long in LF because he was even worse, which you could not imagine to be possible. He then moved to third where he was again an unmitigated disaster. That was a precipitous drop from the good, albeit declining defense, provided from Todd Frazier last year.

Alonso too regressed leading him to lose his everyday job at first. Instead, he split time with Dominic Smith at the position. When Dom wasn’t at first, he was in left. That meant the Mets had FOUR first basemen in the field.

You can’t win games that way.

What makes this even worse is the Mets didn’t really surround these players with plus defenders to offset the terrible defense.

Brandon Nimmo isn’t a center fielder. That was again proven by his -4 OAA and -5 DRS. Wilson Ramos was just about the worst catcher there was in baseball behind the plate. His framing numbers were poor, his ability to block the ball worse, and his ability to tag out runners nonexistent.

Essentially, that made the pitchers mound look more like a tiny island with a bunch of people around him just letting him drown.

Really, when you look at the Mets, the only position they had good defense was short with Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario providing very good defense there. Other than that this was a terrible defensive ballclub with the fourth worst DRS in all of baseball.

The sad thing is it didn’t have to be this way. There were very good defenders on this roster who earned playing time. Case in point was Luis Guillorme. He had a very good defensive season with a 1 OAA and DRS, and he posted a 144 wRC+ at the plate. Playing him up the middle with Gimenez or Rosario could’ve had a profound impact on this suspect pitching staff.

On that note, Porcello struggled with terrible defense behind him. Stroman opting out certainly hurt, but he also might’ve struggled in front of a flat out terrible defensive team.

Throw in Michael Wacha being predictably bad and injured and Steven Matz regressing, and this wasn’t even close to being a team being built to compete over a 162 or 60 game season.

Truth be told, the only way this team could’ve competed was by having a starting staff of swing and miss pitchers who induced soft contact. Unfortunately, Syndergaard was injured, and the Mets didn’t want Zack Wheeler. Once the latter two were gone so were the Mets chances.

In the end, Brodie Van Wagenen and Jeff Wilpon treated the Mets like they were a fantasy team. With the Mets having an MLB best team 122 wRC+, they probably won their fantasy league.

However, on the field, where things like defense and base running matter, they built a flawed and arguably bad baseball team. Certainly, this was not a team truly built to compete, and in the end the Mets didn’t.

That’s why Van Wagenen will be gone and why Steve Cohen has zero interest in keeping Jeff Wilpon around in any decision making capacity when the sale is officially ratified by MLB.

Overall, the 2020 New York Mets didn’t underachieve. No, this team did EXACTLY what they were built to do. That was have deGrom be great, the offense hit, and get horrendous defense and suspect starting pitching.

Sandy Alderson Back To Fix What Brodie Van Wagenen Did To His Team

According to reports, Steve Cohen is bringing Sandy Anderson back to the Mets as an advisor, and he is planning on finding a replacement for Brodie Van Wagenen. Both are excellent and needed decisions.

When it comes to Van Wagenen, it’s difficult to quantify exactly how much damage he has done to the well built and talented Mets organization gift wrapped to him from Alderson. Essentially, all that Alderson built needs to be rebuilt.

Van Wagenen was given a starting staff comprised of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz. Behind them were well regarded prospects in Justin Dunn, Anthony Kay, and Simeon Woods Richardson.

The Mets rotation over the final week of the 2020 season will be deGrom, Rick Porcello, maybe Matz, and who knows what else?

The position player core was remarkably cheap and talented. There was Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, and Amed Rosario. Behind them was Andres Gimenez and Jarred Kelenic.

Sure, there were some bad contracts, but they were short term in nature, and they were not going to serve as an impediment to either building on or retaining this core.

For example, the Jay Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes contacts were set to expire after this season. That coincided perfectly with having to have the money to re-sign deGrom and to have extension talks with Conforto, Matz, and Syndergaard.

Instead, the Mets no longer have Kelenic giving them a buffet against losing one of Conforto or Nimmo. They also have Robinson Cano‘s onerous contract on the books which already served as an impediment to re-signing Wheeler.

That’s nothing to say of the quality prospect purge in the same of finding a late inning defensive replacement in center for a team who already had Juan Lagares and adding J.D. Davis to a team already overstocked in 1B/DH players.

Couple this with the Mets getting rid of Wilmer Flores for nothing only for him to be more productive than anyone Van Wagenen brought into the organization and signing Jed Lowrie for $20 million to get eight pinch hitting attempts, and the Van Wagenen stint as GM has been an unmitigated disaster.

If you want to point to Van Wagenen’s drafts as a positive, you should. However, in doing that, remember, that was a scouting group built by Alderson and Omar Minaya. The Mets will be keeping both advisors.

When you take everything into account, Alderson built the Mets to be a competitive team in 2019 and 2020. With any luck, he had a deep farm system to make the types of trades he made in 2015 to help get the team over the top.

The real window for this Mets team was supposed to open in 2021. Given the talent on the Major League roster and in the farm system, it promised to be a 1980s like run.

Instead, Alderson is back to figure out how yo fix this mess. Fortunately for him, he won’t have Van Wagenen or Jeff Wilpon standing in his way. Instead, he will have an owner with deep pockets who intends to let smart baseball people like Alderson do their jobs.

No Rays Of Hope Left After This Mets Loss

Well, if the miracles were going to happen, it needed to start tonight. Fortunately, Jacob deGrom was on the mound. Unfortunately, the Mets are still the Mets.

It started with Michael Conforto going from routine day off in a must win game to having hamstring tightness. Then, it was the Mets calling up Guillermo Heredia to replace the yet again injured Jake Marisnick while leaving Luis Guillorme in Brooklyn. Finally, it was the game.

The run in the second inning never should have scored against deGrom.

After deGrom issued a rare leadoff walk to Nate Lowe, Joey Wendle doubled. On the play, Lowe overran third and was dead to rights. However, that mattered little as Amed Rosario flat out dropped the relay throw. That allowed Lowe to not only retreat back safely but also to score on the ensuing Manuel Margot sacrifice fly.

That meant it was 2-0 Rays and not 1-0 Rays when Lowe homered off deGrom in the fourth.

The real shame is deGrom was otherwise phenomenal striking out 14 Rays. He rose to the occasion to keep the Mets in the game and the season. That included his working around a Wilson Ramos passed ball putting Lowe on third with one out in the sixth.

It didn’t matter as the Mets offense was stymied by the bullpenning Rays. The Mets were limited to just four hits and could only muster a two out rally in the fifth.

In that fifth inning, Heredia drew a two out walk. The bases were loaded after a Ramos single, and Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch.

Jeff McNeil came through with what should’ve been a game tying single. However, Willy Adames made a great sliding play up the middle to smother the ball. It was still an RBI single, but it was 2-1 instead of 2-2.

That was magnified when J.D. Davis lined out to end the inning. Overall, Davis was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk dropping his plummeting OPS to .777.

After Davis failed to deliver there, the Mets didn’t get another hit. In the end, the Mets went down weakly in this 2-1 loss and have now lost three out of four to all but destroy their postseason chances.

Game Notes: deGrom became the first Mets pitcher since Dwight Gooden in 1985 to strike out 14 twice in a season.