Andres Gimenez

Mets Second Straight Big Comeback

For a second straight game, a Mets starter didn’t see the third inning, and for the second straight game, the Mets made an improbable comeback.

After being staked to a 3-0 first inning lead thanks to Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo had a terrible first inning. Flat out terrible.

After Lugo allowed three straight homers to Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, and Didi Gregorius, he allowed another run in the inning turning a 3-0 lead into a 4-3 deficit.

At least for tonight, Harper owned Lugo homering off of him again in the second inning. Gregorius then knocked out Lugo with an RBI single.

It was 6-3 Phillies, and it was in the hands of the Mets bullpen. Starting with Erasmo Ramirez, they were brilliant. He and Chasen Shreve would each pitch 2.1 scoreless before handing the ball to Jeurys Familia who pitched 1.1 scoreless.

Their pitching kept the Mets in the game, and it gave them a chance to comeback against what has been a terrible Phillies bullpen.

While the Mets weren’t able to put up more runs off Aaron Nola from the second through fifth, they made him work. He ran out of gas in the sixth, and that Mets took advantage starting with a Pete Alonso one out homer:

Jeff McNeil walked leading to the Phillies going to their bullpen. Andres Gimenez walked, and after Luis Guillorme lined out, it was up to Brandon Nimmo. He tied the score on what is arguably the biggest hit of his career . . . up until that point.

Things would get really dicey in the eighth. With two outs, Familia walked Andrew McCutcheon. Luis Rojas brought in Justin Wilson to face the left-handed Harper to get the Mets out of the inning.

Instead, Wilson walked the bases loaded. Due to the three batter rule, the Mets couldn’t even contemplate lifting him. Fortunately for the Mets, Wilson retired Gregorius to end the inning.

After escalating the jam, it was time for Nimmo to come up huge again. This time, it was a go-ahead homer with a rare pimping of the homer from Nimmo:

That ninth inning leadoff homer off Brandon Workman sparked the Mets offense like Alonso’s did in the sixth. It was a four run ninth with Smith tripling in Michael Conforto, and Cano hitting a two run homer.

While not a save situation, the Mets went to Edwin Diaz. Diaz would make it interesting by loading the bases and bringing the tying run to the plate. Diaz, who was pitching three days in a row, got McCutheon to ground out to end the game.

With that, the Mets have won a series against a team other than the Marlins this year. They’re alive and ready to fight another day as the schedule gets insanely difficult now.

Game Notes: Wilson earned the win.

Jacob deGrom Hurt Completely Overshadows Win

Yes, the Mets won this game 5-4 with a big comeback and go-ahead hit from Andres Gimenez off Hector Neris in the top of the ninth. With the Mets postseason hopes on life support, they could use this win and many others.

However, truth be told, the only thing that mattered anymore was Jacob deGrom winning his third straight Cy Young.

It’s a tight race between deGrom, Trevor Bauer, and Yu Darvish with deGrom being in the lead entering this start. That’s not the case anymore.

In the second, a clearly affected deGrom allowed three runs, and he’d go talk to Jeremy Hefner and the trainer in the dugout. After that conversation, he was pulled from the game with what was described as a hamstring spasm.

At the moment, deGrom’s ERA ballooned to 2.09. Due to the nature of hamstring injuries, no one can be quite sure when he can realistically pitch again and/or return to form.

So yes, it’s obviously great the Mets won. We all hope they go on the insane hot streak they need to make the postseason. However, this is all a pipe dream.

For a while, we’ve known this season was about deGrom winning the Cy Young, and that’s not happening anymore. That also hurts his future Hall of Fame chances.

In the end, today was a terrible day and not much else of what happened today really matters. Much like most of 2020, something good is accompanied by something far worse which completely overshadowed it.

Mets Lose But Are A Day Closer To Steve Cohen

Look, Rick Porcello wasn’t as bad as his final line indicated. For example, it wasn’t entirely his fault J.D. Davis threw the ball and his glove in the air on an Alec Bohm grounder.

Then again, it was Porcello who allowed the ensuing batter Didi Gregorius to hit a massive two run homer with two outs in the fifth.

In total, Porcello allowed four runs over six, and he pitched well enough to win, especially in that ballpark. The problem was the Mets offense continued to get in its own way. The only run was a Brandon Nimmo homer off Jake Arrieta.

The Mets were 0-for-6 with RISP leaving 12 runners on base. Both Davis and Wilson Ramos hit crippling double plays.

In the sixth, Ramos came up as the go-ahead run. He was facing JoJo Romero who had to enter the game after Arrieta hurt his groin when he plunked Andres Gimenez. Ramos would hit into an inning ending double play.

In the ensuing inning, Nimmo led off the inning with a single, but it didn’t matter as he was erased on a Davis double play.

Obviously, it was more than just that. For example, in the eighth Dominic Smith might’ve scored on a Gimenez grounder, but Jeff McNeil was tagged out by Jean Segura for the final out of the inning.

It was a bad job of base running by McNeil. It wasn’t a force play, and the play was right in front of him. Even with Smith busting it home, he couldn’t score.

In the end, the Mets lost 4-1. They’re now six games under .500, and they’re further out of the postseason picture.

But don’t worry, Steve Cohen is buying the Mets, and the GM should be gone soon. Things should be much better next year.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Season Going Down The Drain

If you ever wanted the perfect encapsulation of what it means to be a Mets fan and the Wilpon Era has been, this was the series for you:

1. Amed Rosario takes first with two outs in the ninth after a wild pitch on strike three. He got picked off first.

2. That’s being a Mets fan. There’s a near miracle which gives you hope, and it’s followed with a massive blunder which leaves you completely befuddled.

3. Speaking of befuddled, how does Wilson Ramos swing at ball three against a reliever who can’t find the strike zone? That double play helped cost the game more than Rosario getting picked off.

4. It also didn’t help Luis Rojas stuck with Seth Lugo a little too long. To be fair there, with the current state of the Mets bullpen, what was he supposed to do?

5. It seems Rojas hasn’t found that balance of when to push a starter or go to the bullpen. It at least seems his decision comes back to bite the Mets no matter what.

6. Of course, that’s a larger sign of how bad the Mets rotation has been and just how bad the Mets bullpen is without Lugo.

7. Speaking of the state of the Mets pitching, Jeff McNeil apparently left the game to go to the bathroom.

8. At that point in the game, he had scored the Mets only run, and well, it seems the runs went with them.

9. Dominic Smith continues to be great this year. Not bad for a guy the team didn’t realize was one of the best players on the team.

10. Speaking of players the Mets thought were better than Smith, J.D. Davis has a .780 OPS and dropping, and he still can’t play third.

11. On the topic of ill conceived Brodie Van Wagenen trades, one poor appearance for Anthony Kay doesn’t suddenly make Kay bad (he isn’t), the Marcus Stroman trade good (it wasn’t), or Simeon Woods Richardson not a key part of the deal (he was).

12. Brandon Nimmo is a good hitter who can play a good corner outfield. He should not be the 2021 center fielder. In fact, he shouldn’t be that in 2020.

13. But Nimmo is stuck in center because Juan Lagares was DFA’d, Billy Hamilton was selected off waivers, and Jake Marisnick is injured again.

14. Again, Jacob deGrom showed he’s the best pitcher in baseball, and he’s nearing towards locking down his third straight Cy Young.

15. Even with deGrom having another historical great year, the Mets rotation is historically bad and are challenging the 1962 Mets for the worst starting rotation ERA in team history.

16. The Mets have legitimate candidates for Cy Young (deGrom), MVP (Michael Conforto), and Rookie of the Year (Andres Gimenez). Despite that, odds are they won’t finish above .500 or compete for a postseason spot.

17. When does Brodie Van Wagenen collect his Executive of the Year award?

18. Mets will be promoting the team being just three games back despite all that’s gone wrong on the final game of the season.

19. Steve Cohen is almost complete in his purchase of the Mets. This means the Wilpons will not win a World Series as majority owners of the team.

20. MLB finally did the right thing allowing the players to wear the first responder caps again. Everyone involved in making that happen, including Jeff Wilpon, should be commended.

Recaps

Mets Wear Caps, We All Win

Microcosm Of Mets 2020 Season

Jeff McNeil Exits To Observe Mets 2020 Season

Mets Wear Caps, We All Win

Ever since Al Leiter wore all of the caps in a complete game victory of the anniversary of 9/11, Mets players haven’t been permitted to wear the First Responders caps again. That was until last night.

Before the game, Pete Alonso, who had first responders cleats made for his teammates last year, announced on WFAN, the team would once again be permitted to wear the caps. Alonso said Jeff Wilpon was instrumental in getting MLB to permit the Mets to wear them, and to that, it seems the Wilpons did something truly great on their way out.

With that, we all had a significant and important victory. These caps are important to Mets fans and New York. It’s a part of the healing process and remembrance of 9/11.

With Jacob deGrom on the mound, it seemed like the Mets were well poised to get a win on the field. Even with Michael Conforto misplaying a Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. flyball into an RBI double in the first, deGrom was great again.

The issue with a deGrom start is run support. With the way things go when he starts, that one run is liable to be enough to lose. It’s certainly seemed that way in the second when Lourdes Gurriel robbed Andres Gimenez of an RBI.

The Mets wouldn’t be denied in the fourth when Conforto would make up for his earlier misplay with a go-ahead three run homer.

Things would go from bad to worse to abysmal for the Blue Jays. Later that inning, Anthony Kay relieved Chase Anderson, and he should’ve gotten out of the inning. Instead, the Blue Jays lost a Jeff McNeil ball in the lights, and the Mets would have a 4-1 lead.

Things turned from bad to ugly for Kay and Blue Jays in the fourth. Kay would load the bases, but he’d get exactly what he needed – a double play ball off the bat of J.D. Davis.

Blue Jays shortstop Santiago Espinal short hopped the sinking liner. Instead of trying for a double play, he went to cut the run off at home. Apparently, Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen was completely unprepared for the perfect throw as he whiffed on it allowing a run to score. That set the stage for a Dominic Smith grand slam, and it didn’t stop there.

The Mets scored 10 in that inning, and they’d go on to score 18 in the game. In addition to the Conforto and Smith homers, in the game, they’d also get a homer from Wilson Ramos. Ramos would also have an RBI double as would Gimenez. This really was an unprecedented level of support for deGrom.

Due to an interesting quirk with the save rule, Erasmo Ramirez would pick up the save by pitching three scoreless innings and preserving the Mets 17 run lead.

The Mets appear to be playing good baseball again. They certainly will need to keep this up if they’re going to have any shot at the postseason.

Game Notes: The Yankees were also permitted to wear the First Responder caps. Alonso cycled through the caps first wearing a Sanitation cap.

Have Sympathy For Rick Porcello

Like you and me, Rick Porcello grew up loving the Mets. Unlike you and me, he was not only talented enough to make it to the majors, but he was also able to win a World Series and a Cy Young.

Due to that pedigree, there were teams still interested in him when he became a free agent despite his having the worst ERA in baseball last year. Having his first real chance at free agency in his career, he decided to turn down better offers to fulfill his childhood dream of pitching for the New York Mets.

Porcello was getting his chance to realize his dream. Unfortunately, it’s been a nightmare for him.

Through nine starts, he’s 1-4 with a 6.07 ERA. He’s given up the most hits and earned runs in the league. Opposing batters are hitting .318/.356/.436 off of him. He’s only averaging 4.2 innings per start.

Now, the Mets haven’t done him many favors. For example, given how Porcello is your classic pitch to contact sinkerball pitcher, you need to optimize your defense with him on the mound.

When he had Luis Guillorme and Andres Gimenez up the middle in his August 5 start, he was terrific allowing one run over seven. It was the same alignment up the middle for his August 16 start when he allowed four over six against the Phillies.

We’ve also seen him struggle without that strong up the middle combination. For example, last night, Robinson Cano was at second for his poor start where he allowed five earned over four. In his first Mets start, he allowed seven runs (six earned) with Cano and Amed Rosario up the middle against the Braves.

It must be so frustrating to have success and return to the form where you were considered a bona fide middle to front end starter to getting your brains beaten in with a lackluster defense behind you.

It has to be worse when this is happening to you when this was your dream. Perhaps more than any pitcher in this Mets rotation, he wanted to win a World Series and celebrate with the fans. After all, he’s one of us.

Sadly, he’s not well respected by his fellow Mets fans. They see his putting up similarly poor numbers than he did last year. In some ways, he’s become a poster boy for Brodie Van Wagenen’s dismantling of this once great Mets rotation.

After all, Porcello got a chunk of the money that didn’t go to Zack Wheeler. Wheeler has been great in Philadelphia whereas Porcello hasn’t been so much in New York.

As a fan, if we were allowed in the park, we’d boo him mercilessly. His performance has warranted it even though he’s not always been put in a position to succeed.

Overall, you’re allowed to be frustrated with him. If we were at the park, you’d be well within your right to boo him. Still, we should all realize this has to be painful for Porcello.

Porcello wanted to be a New York Met more than anything. His dreams are becoming nightmares. Certainly, we can identify with that, and because of that, we should have some sympathy for him.

And obviously, we hope his last few starts for the Mets are great, and he still gets that opportunity to win a World Series with the New York Mets.

Mets Complete Comeback

This wasn’t your typical Mets script. This is a team who finds a way to get close enough to just rip your heart out. Tonight, they were doing that to the Orioles instead of their fans.

For a while, it seemed there was no shot for the Mets to win this one as the Orioles were teeing off on Rick Porcello. At one point, they were 9-for-15 off Porcello, and seemingly the only way for the Mets to record an out was to throw out a runner looking to stretch a single into a double as Michael Conforto did to Chance Sisco to lead off the second.

Through three, the Orioles were up 5-1. That one run came in the second when Jeff McNeil singled home Dominic Smith, who led off the inning with his MLB leading 17th double.

The score would be 6-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth after McNeil and DJ Stewart traded a pair of homers. In the bottom of the fifth, Conforto would ignite the Mets with a solo homer.

The rally didn’t end with the homer. Later in the inning, Cano snapped out of his slump to hit an RBI single to pull the Mets to within 6-5. That’s when the Mets defense would shine and keep the Mets in the game.

The first came from McNeil who robbed Jose Iglesias of an extra base hit:

Even though that was the second out and there was no one on, Jared Hughes had trouble getting out of that inning. He’d load the bases, and Luis Rojas would bring in the struggling Justin Wilson to face Rio Ruiz. For a moment, it looked like Ruiz hit a bases clearing double:

After those pair of great defensive plays, the Mets would get the big hits they needed. First, it was Andres Gimenez tying the game in the bottom of the sixth with his second career homer:

Then, it was Pete Alonso hitting his 11th homer of the year in the bottom of the eighth to give the Mets a 7-6 lead.

Being the Mets, they weren’t quite out of the woods yet. Edwin Diaz allowed a lead-off single, and for a moment, it looked like the first two would reach. That was until Luis Guillorme, who was brought in for defense, made another great defensive play.

Diaz retired the last two to earn his third save of the year. It was a dramatic and needed win to help keep the Mets postseason hopes alive.

Game Notes: McNeil has homered in four straight. Diaz, Seth Lugo, and bullpen coach Ricky Bones wore 21 today in honor of Roberto Clemente.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Earn Disappointing Split With Phillies

The New York Mets had an opportunity to make some headway in the postseason race with a four game series against the Phillies. They had their chance, but instead, they could only muster a split.

1. Jacob deGrom AGAIN established he’s the best pitcher in baseball by striking out 12 Phillies over seven.

2. deGrom and Zack Wheeler would’ve been the best 1-2 punch in baseball, but unfortunately, Brodie Van Wagenen is a terrible GM.

3. If the Mets had the starting pitching, they’d easily be the top team in the division. It’s weird saying that knowing where the Mets have been, and downright hilarious considering Van Wagenen’s preseason declarations.

4. As we continue to see, Seth Lugo can start. That wasn’t really the issue. The issue always was who takes over his role. The answer so far is nobody.

5. Miguel Castro looks like a modern day Mel Rojas or Guillermo Mota.

6. It was past time for Andres Gimenez to take the starting job from Amed Rosario. Now, it’s time to make Rosario the 2021 center fielder.

7. Obtaining Todd Frazier made sense because he gave the Mets the third baseman they didn’t have, and apparently, he was a great presence for this Mets team.

8. The Mets didn’t obtain Frazier for his bat, but maybe they should’ve because Pete Alonso started hitting again using Frazier’s bats.

9. Speaking of hitting again, it’s nice to see Jeff McNeil raking again.

10. Game-in, game-out, Michael Conforto proves the Mets need to extend him.

11. Somehow, someway, Dominic Smith has emerged as the Mets best hitter so far this year, and he’s leading the league in doubles. He wasn’t given an opportunity. He forced it.

12. Luis Guillorme is batting .395, and he plays good to great defense at three different positions. His not being able to crack this starting lineup is another example of why Van Wagenen has to go.

13. J.D. Davis has proven he can’t play in the field. Without the juiced ball, his GB rate is climbing back up to career norms, and his BABIP is dropping. In total, he’s regressing to the mean. Insisting on playing him everyday is holding this team back.

14. The rally yesterday was great, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot when you see the Mets lose in extras.

15. Right now, the only Mets reliever you might be able to trust is Brad Brach, who has been having a very good year. You’d like to see him more, but that may not be possible when his dealing with the after effects of COVID19.

16. To be fair, Edwin Diaz appears to be returning to form. The Mets just need to find a way to prevent those Armando Benitez like blown saves and to have him have fewer of those incidents.

17. The Tom Seaver patch is nice, but it’s perfunctory. It seems Mets fans want more with renaming Citi Field in his honor as a popular one. Personally, I’d like to see the dirt patch be permanent, and/or a 41 permanently on the pitching rubber at Citi Field.

18. It’s funny to think the Toronto Blue Jays are currently the best team in New York. One of the reasons why is Anthony Kay who has a 176 ERA+. The Mets sure could’ve used him this year.

19. We’re counting down the days until the Wilpons are gone. Hopefully, Van Wagenen, who turned a great core and minor league depth into a team four games under .500 f outside looking in on an expanded postseason, follows them out the door.

20. Despite everything, the Mets are just two games out of a postseason spot (five in the loss column). They’re better than the Marlins, Giants, Rockies, and Brewers (or should be). There’s still a chance.

Turns Out Neither Jurado Or Kilome Should’ve Pitched

Because of the state Brodie Van Wagenen left the Mets starting pitching depth, the debate was whether the Mets should start Ariel Jurado or Franklyn Kilome. For those who wanted to settle the debate, both would pitch in the game.

It turns out everyone was wrong.

Jurado allowed five runs over four, and Kilome allowed four runs over three. Kilome would take the loss.

The pitching marred Jeff McNeil continuing to return to form, Luis Guillorme still being hot at the plate, and Andres Gimenez‘s first career homer. On the last note, Gary Cohen actually called it:

Really, the less said about this game the better. This was an Orioles team a postseason bound team should beat. Then again, it’s hard to say the Mets are a postseason caliber team.

Rubbing salt in the would is the Orioles were sellers at the trade deadline, and they sold Miguel Castro to the Mets. The Orioles have a better record than the Mets, and they’re just as many games out of the postseason as the Mets are.

A Doubleheader Of Depressing Losses

The Mets were up 7-2 after a good Rick Porcello start and some late clutch hitting blowing the game open. It was the bottom of the seventh of the top end of the doubleheader, which meant this game should have been over.

But this is the Mets.

Andres Gimenez, ironically in for defense, threw a ball away to allow the lead-off hitter to reach. Later on in the inning, he had a chance to tag out Thairo Estrada to end the game on an insanely bad base running mistake, but Estrada would kick it out of Gimenez’s glove.

Still, that doesn’t explain why Justin Wilson pitched so poorly. Even with those two gaffes, Wilson still allowed two runs leaving runners at the corners with two outs.

For some reason, Luis Rojas thought it would be a good idea to bring Edwin Diaz into this spot despite Diaz being horrendous with inherited runners.

Well, Diaz threw a wild pitch scoring a run before allowing Aaron Hicks to hit a game tying homer. From 7-2 to tied 7-7.

Since this is a doubleheader in 2020 and Manfred hates baseball, this meant the eight inning was considered extra innings, and there was a runner at second to start the innning.

As usual, the Mets can’t get a hit with RISP. In the bottom of the inning, Michael Conforto had Michael Tauchman nailed at the plate, but Wilson Ramos missed the tag.

That meant Diaz got a blown save and a loss in one of the most frustrating losses you will see.

Being this is the Mets, more misery was in order.

Yankees prospect Deivi Garcia made his Major League debut and was great allowing just an unearned run over six.

In that sixth, Jeff McNeil reached and went to second on a Luke Voit error. He’d score on a Dominic Smith RBI single. The rally ended there was J.D. Davis, who has been absolutely terrible of late, hit into an inning ending double play.

That play got Seth Lugo off the hook after he had allowed one run over 3.2 innings. It also meant another maddening loss was on the horizon.

Drew Smith, who was not trusted to protect a five run lead in the first game, came on to pitch the eighth. He’d take the loss because Gary Sanchez would hit a grand slam off of him, and in the bottom of the inning, Ramos would strike out in his bases loaded situation.

Overall, the Mets should’ve won four of these games. Instead, they lost three, and they did so in excruciating fashion.

Game Notes: Luis Guillorme made a pinch hitting appearance and drew a walk. Despite hitting .419, it was just his sixth plate appearance over the past week.