Bartolo Colon

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Reawakening In Split Against Braves

The New York Mets treaded water by splitting the series with the Atlanta Braves, but there are signs of a big run coming:’

1. It probably should’ve been more obvious, but having Michael Conforto back really jump started this offense.

2. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, but Conforto’s presence on this team with all the things he can do is going to put all the more pressure on the Mets to re-sign him.

3. One interesting thing Conforto said was how much of a leader Francisco Lindor is. Not only does that mean something coming from Conforto, but it’s also an indication on just how much value Lindor provides beyond his play on the field.

4. Mets are lucky Marcus Stroman may not be IL bound because they can really ill afford to lose pitching.

5. There’s a lot of things we can say about Jacob deGrom‘s start, but the biggest thing to come out of it is he came off the field on his own accord with no injuries.

6. deGrom is on pace for the greatest season ever with a 744 ERA+, which is well over double the best season ever.

7. It’s interesting Tylor Megill made his MLB debut when he was 25 years 330 Days old just like deGrom in 2014 (hat tip Christopher Soto). There were certainly some flashes for Megill in his 4.1 innings.

8. No, no one really wants to see a pitcher frisked in Enrico Pallozo fashion when they step off the mound, but as Preston Wilson astutely points out, there really isn’t a better way to do this.

9. So far, the Mets pitchers have been gentlemanly in the checks, which they should be as the umpires didn’t want this. The best reaction so far was the bemused Aaron Loup.

10. Sometimes you get it wrong, and I got it really wrong on Loup. Loup’s three innings was the latest example of how great an addition Loup has been.

11. On the topic of pitcher reactions to umpire checks, Sergio Romo‘s was funny, but it was probably uncalled for given how umpires didn’t want this either. Max Scherzer was just childish with the temper tantrums, especially when he’s one of the reasons why this is happening.

12. In terms of asking Scherzer to get checked out, Joe Girardi was right to have Scherzer checked after his two checks. If anything, not asking someone explicitly named as using foreign substances is bad managing. The only spot Girardi was wrong was the childish challenging to a fight.

13. Once again, Corey Oswalt showed he can pitch at this level. His innings came up huge because this Mets bullpen is on fumes and is starting to deal with some significant injuries.

14. Drew Smith is going to get his chance to be a significant part of this bullpen.

15. Luis Guillorme showed why he should be starting over Jonathan Villar and J.D. Davis when all three are healthy. Not only does Guillorme do things defensively the other two couldn’t dream of doing, but he can get on base.

16. We could make a bigger deal of the shut outs and offensive struggles, including that embarrassing base running performance, but really, it was a group stepping up and doing it for as long as they could. You can’t expect the back-ups and the back-ups to the back-ups to not finally relent.

17. Unless something changes, and it very well might, we may just have to admit Pete Alonso‘s career year was 2019, and he’s really the player he was last year.

18. It doesn’t matter how many injuries the Mets suffer, they’ll never need and should never want Bartolo Colon.

19. The Mets are finally getting an off day after playing 15 games in 13 days. While you might’ve wanted more, their dividing lead stays in tact.

20. The Mets aren’t atop All-Star voting, and they probably shouldn’t be, but who cares? They’re winning the division, and that’s what matters.

Recaps

Jacob deGrom Was Great and Healthy

Mets Ran Away from Win

Marcus Stro-No, Not Another Injury

Mets Offense Returns with Conforto

Stop The Bartolo Colon Nonsense

With Marcus Stroman leaving the game with a hip injury, the Mets already thin pitching depth might’ve suffered another blow. These injuries have led to selecting the contracts of MLB retread Jerad Eickhoff and a promising prospect Tylor Megill, who really isn’t ready.

As is always the case, this has led to the bring back Bartolo Colon nonsense. Yes, it’s nonsense, and this time it was Howie Rose asking Mets GM Zack Scott about it. Hopefully, it was tongue-in-cheek:

Just so we’re clear. Colon last pitched in the majors as a 45 year old in 2018. In 24 starts and four relief appearances for the Texas Rangers, he was dreadful going 7-12 with a 5.78 ERA, 82 ERA+, and a 5.47 FIP.

There is zero chance three years later he’s any good. It doesn’t matter how many nonsense workout videos you see or his fooling semipro players. He’s terrible, and he’s going to be terrible.

For all intents and purposes, the nostalgia aspect doesn’t make all that much sense. He was an okay pitcher with the Mets who was horrid in big spots in the World Series. There was also the matter of his refusing to pay child support. Really, he wasn’t the lovable guy some make him out to be.

Colon pitched better than expected when he was with the Mets. He hit a homer. He made some great defensive plays. He made an All-Star team, and he helped drag the 2016 Mets to the postseason.

Enjoy those memories. However, that’s all they are memories because there’s no clinic in Germany, and MLB testing has gotten much better meaning there’s no Fountain of Youth this time.

Instead, let’s enjoy Megill’s debut, hope Corey Oswalt gets stretched out, see if Thomas Szapucki can put it together, and wait to see if Carlos Carrasco can return soon. If not, let’s see what trades this front office can swing in the event any starters need to miss any more time. Really, just anything other than Colon.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Show They’re Better Than Padres

Just like looking at the records, the San Diego Padres were a much better team than the New York Mets. It certainly didn’t play out this way in the weekend series:

1. Over the first two games of this series, the Padres had Yu Darvish and Blake Snell against Taijuan Walker and Joey Lucchesi. It took everything the Padres had to beat a Mets team with 17 players on the IL.

2. Give Lucchesi credit. He’s fixing his release points, optimizing the churve, and he’s turned his season around.

3. Did it look like Darvish was cheating? Who knows, and really we should stop these witch hunts because: (1) you don’t know; and (2) you don’t know who is and who is not cheating.

4. The exception of course is Jacob deGrom. When one idiot looking for attention, clearly still sore over the 2015 NLDS, the Mets came out en mass to shut him up.

5. deGrom is taking another run at Bob Gibson. In 2017, it was the quality start streak. Now, deGrom has had a better nine start beginning to his season than Gibson had in the Year of the Pitcher.

6. For that matter, deGrom has had a better start to his season than Pedro Martinez had in either of his best seasons.

7. Honestly, it was a treat to watch Fernando Tatis, Jr. for four games.

8. The Tatis for James Shields trade was not worse than the Jarred Kelenic trade. Those saying that don’t understand either trade or how value works.

9. We have another example why GKR are the best with Gary Cohen asking where the Bartolo Colon home run plaque is calling it the most significant event in Petco Park history.

10. Not to be sour grapes, but while the Steve Gelbs segment was funny, we should be reminded he’s the guy who gets to ask the first question at every press conference. If he’s just the sideline guy or in the studio, this is all well and good, but he’s not trying to be just that.

11. Marcus Stroman reminded us again he’s a terrific pitcher who can beat you in so many ways. Also, he showed how mentally tough he was to shut down the Padres after than Bob Brenly fiasco.

12. When Stroman talks about how good the clubhouse is we should listen. It should also be noted this is one of the more likable Mets teams we’ve seen in years.

13. Jose Peraza doesn’t hit many homers, but when he does, it gives the Mets the lead.

14. Brandon Drury is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of this team right now. He probably hasn’t been a viable Major Leaguer since 2017, so, of course, he makes a game changing double play.

15. For those questioning why the Mets are still winning games right now, the answer is pitching and defense. Pitching and defense always wins more games than optimizing your offensive lineups.

16. It took a while, but we’re seeing the real Francisco Lindor, and it’s glorious. Phenomenal defense. Great offense. Unparalleled leadership.

17. Someone awoke the power in Dominic Smith‘s bat.

18. Sometimes you get lucky finding the right guy at the right time. That might’ve just happened for the Mets with Billy McKinney who is playing a good right field and has a 148 OPS+ with the Mets so far.

19. Between the Pete Alonso 9/11 jokes and mocking Kevin Pillar‘s face mask, who knew Padres fans were such trash?

20. The Mets are on pace for 90 wins right now, and that’s while they’re incredibly injured. Who knows just how good this team can and will be.

GAME RECAPS

Mets Just Had Bad Luck

Mets Had Just Three Hits

Jacob deGrom Made Padres Look Like Children

Chris Paddack Not Winning NL Pitcher of the Week

Mets Fans Should Boo Themselves

Earlier in the season, Michael Conforto was struggling mightily. There were a number of reasons why from his having COVID19 entering Spring Training and how the New York Mets weren’t playing games due to COVID19 and weather shutdowns. This happens to everyone now and then.

Conforto is a homegrown Mets player who has expressed his interest in staying with the team for his career. He is a leader in the clubhouse who could one day be captain. He was arguably their best player last year, and he was a former All-Star who seems to be getting back to that level.

Naturally, during his struggles Mets fans booed him.

The fans who could not attend games last year decided to boo their team’s leader. He didn’t get any rope from his previous seasons with the Mets. His homering twice in a World Series game didn’t matter. All that mattered is he struggled over a handful of games.

Now, Conforto is hitting, so as a result, the Mets fans ire must be directed towards another player. Naturally, that player is Francisco Lindor, a player who signed on to be a member of the New York Mets for 11 years and could one day wear a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. Mind you, Lindor was booed on a day when he did this:

But Lindor didn’t get a big hit while the Mets have been struggling at the plate; so, therefore, he must be booed. It doesn’t matter Lindor is historically a slow starter, or that he has been otherworldly with the glove. Lindor has saved the Mets a number of times already with his defense. That doesn’t matter the least bit. All that matters is he didn’t come through in that spot.

This isn’t to say players shouldn’t be booed. There are certainly times where fans are within their rights. After all, there are players who are clearly dogging it out there. There are players like Jose Reyes who beat his wife, and Bartolo Colon who didn’t pay child support. Beloved Met J.D. Davis was part of the biggest cheating scandal post-steroids. However, none of those players have been booed for those actions.

No, you get booed because you have some struggles at the plate. You didn’t get a hit in one spot. What you have meant to the team, your wanting to be a big part of the franchise’s future, and all of your goodwill means absolutely nothing. Mets fans need to be much better than this. They are embarrassing themselves booing players like Conforto and Lindor.

Instead of trying to stake claim to different sections of the ballpark and coming up with cute names for themselves, they should actually be paying attention to the players on the field. They should know what those players have and will mean to the franchise. If they can’t grasp that, they should just go out and boo themselves because in the end, they’re the ones making everyone look bad.

Mets Fans Embarrassed Themselves Booing Michael Conforto

All offseason, New York Mets fans were pushing to extend Michael Conforto. Honestly, how could you blame them?

Conforto is a homegrown player who is true captain material. He has an opportunity to rewrite the Mets record books. From his World Series homers to his walk-offs, he’s become adored by many Mets fans.

In some ways, Conforto seems like the logical person to take up the mantle from David Wright. Of course for that to happen, he will have to stay with the Mets.

For some players, the extension talks in-season is time consuming. The walk year is too much pressure and/or a distraction. Some thrive; others don’t.

There’s also the COVID factor. Conforto had it right before Spring Training. It prevented him from working out right before reporting.

As an aside, we saw it with Mika Zibanejad with the New York Rangers. He had COVID before training camp. It took him months before returning to form.

Whether it’s the contract situation or the COVID, Conforto is struggling to start the season. Through five games, he’s only hitting .143/.250/.190. It seems like the only way he can get hit is by throwing his elbow into the strike zone.

After struggling for five games, Mets fans in Citi Field began booing Conforto.

Think about that. People who were unable to ever a ballpark for well over a year due to the pandemic were so grateful to be back they booed a homegrown star who had the audacity to struggle for four games.

If we wanted to, we could look at Mets fans cheering Jose Reyes after he returned to the Mets after his domestic violence arrest. Bartolo Colon not paying child support and joking about it was just part of his “charm.”

J.D. Davis and Jake Marisnick were caught up in one of the biggest MLB cheating scandals, and it was met with a collective yawn.

And yet, Conforto has a poor stretch, and he’s vilified. He’s booed by fans who really should be happy just to be there. Moreover, he’s booed by a fan base who is supposed urging him to be a Met for life.

Conforto doesn’t deserve that garbage. He’s been too good of a Met for that. In the end, he’ll make those fans who booed him look all the more ridiculous.

Mets fans, at least those who booed, embarrassed themselves. They’ll look worse when Conforto is Conforto again.

Simply Amazin – Don’t Freak Out

I had the privilege of appearing on the Simply Amazin’ podcast with the great Tim Ryder. During the podcast, names discussed include but are not limited to Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, Rick Porcello, Francisco Lindor, J.D. Davis, Carlos Beltran, Bobby Valentine, David Wright, Bobby Thompson, Ralph Branca, Alex Cora, Luis Guillorme, Dominic Smith, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Jonathan Villar, James McCann, J.T. Realmuto, James Paxton, Trevor Rosenthal, Aaron Loup, Mike Piazza, Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Jose Martinez, Alex Gonzalez, James Loney, Moises Alou, John Olerud, Davey Johnson, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto, Corey Oswalt, Luis Rojas, Jeremy Hefner, Jim Eisenreich, Alex Fernandez, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Darryl Strawberry, Albert Almora, and more

Please take a listen.

Bartolo Colon More Accomplished Mets Hitter Than Jed Lowrie

Justin Toscano of The Record wrote the latest in what appears to be a series of articles giving the pros and cons of keeping Brodie Van Wagenen on as the New York Mets General Manager.

There has been much written on Van Wagenen’s tenure, especially here, but when we look at it the seminal moment might’ve been the Jed Lowrie signing. After all, that was the “Come get us” moment.

As explained by Michael Mayer of MMO, things didn’t quite work out that way.

Really, the best way to sum up how poorly the Lowrie signing went is Bartolo Colon had more homers with the Mets than Lowrie had hits. More to the point, Colon, who set a Major League record for PA before his first walk, drew as many walks as Lowrie did with the Mets.

Colon has nine more runs, 15 more hits, four more doubles, one more homer, and six more RBI than Lowrie has with the Mets. They’ve also played the same amount of innings at second, third, and short.

Now, this isn’t to poke fun at Lowrie. He’s been a very good player throughout his career, and by all accounts, he’s been a good guy.

Rather, this just yet again highlights how horrific Van Wagenen’s tenure as GM has been. As a result, the articles looking for reasons for him to stay are really reaching.

Looking at everything, once Steve Cohen is approved, it’s time to come get a real GM.

Citi Bracket Final: (1) David Wright vs. (2) Jacob deGrom

(1) David Wright – The franchise leader in nearly every offensive category and is widely considered to be the best position player in franchise history. Only homegrown Met to be named team captain. Dubbed Captain America for his exploits in the World Baseball Classic. Once named by Bill James as the perfect baseball player. Seven time All-Star, two time Gold Glove winner, and two time Silver Slugger. Hit the first Mets homer in Citi Field, and he hit the first ever World Series homer in Citi Field. Had perhaps the most emotional good-bye game we have ever seen a player in sports history ever have. A lifetime Met who had a hand in helping ensure Jacob deGrom does the same.

(2) Jacob deGrom – 2014 Rookie of the Year winner. Two time All-Star who would’ve been three had he not stepped aside for Bartolo Colon in 2016. Struck out three batters on 10 pitches in 2015 All-Star Game. Had phenomenal postseason start in Game 1 of 2015 NLDS. Followed that up with gutsy win in Game 5. Was 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in the 2015 postseason helping the Mets win the pennant. First ever Mets pitcher to win back-to-back Cy Young awards. Only pitcher in MLB history to win the Rookie of the Year and back-to-back Cy Youngs. Joins Tom Seaver and Justin Verlander as the only pitchers in MLB history to have a Rookie of the Year and two Cy Youngs. Arguably the second best starter in Mets history.

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Citi Bracket: (2) Jacob deGrom vs. (11) Pete Alonso

(2) Jacob deGrom – 2014 Rookie of the Year winner. Two time All-Star who would’ve been three had he not stepped aside for Bartolo Colon in 2016. Struck out three batters on 10 pitches in 2015 All-Star Game. Had phenomenal postseason start in Game 1 of 2015 NLDS. Followed that up with gutsy win in Game 5. Was 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in the 2015 postseason helping the Mets win the pennant. First ever Mets pitcher to win back-to-back Cy Young awards. Only pitcher in MLB history to win the Rookie of the Year and back-to-back Cy Youngs. Joins Tom Seaver and Justin Verlander as the only pitchers in MLB history to have a Rookie of the Year and two Cy Youngs. Arguably the second best starter in Mets history.

(11) Pete Alonso – Had rookie season so great people are already envisioning him as the next captain of the Mets. Near unanimous NL Rookie of the Year. Set Mets and MLB rookie record for homers. Also set Mets single-season record for total bases and extra base hits. Won the 2019 Home Run Derby and provided portion of winnings to charity. When MLB once again denied the Mets request to wear the first resopnders’ caps, he took it upon himself to get cleats honoring the first responders.

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Best Mets Of All Time: No. 66 Josh Edgin

The 2010 draft was one of the best in Mets history. It was not only because it brought the team future superstars like Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, but also because it developed useful Major League players. One of those players was 30th round draft pick Josh Edgin.

Edgin would first get called up to the majors in 2012, and he would be given the chance to develop as a LOOGY on a rebuilding Mets team. Something seemed to click for him in August when he began to put together a streak of 16 appearances without allowing an earned run. During that season, he seemed to establish himself as a part of the future of the Mets bullpen.

Unfortunately, Edgin would have to wait another year to do that as he would deal with the typical ups-and-downs of a young reliever in the bullpen, and he would deal with a stress fracture in his rib in 2013. Finally, in 2014, he got his chance, and he was one of the best relievers on that Mets team, and quite possibly, one of the best LOOGYs in all of baseball.

Over 47 appearances, Edgin was 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA, 0.915 WHIP, a 9.2 K/9, and a 4.67 K/BB. He limited left-handed batters to a paltry .189/.217/.323 batting line. In the rare occasions he had to face a right-handed batter, he more than held his own limiting them to a .219 batting average.

Edgin would last the full season even with inflammation in his elbow, which was originally diagnosed as bone spurs. In the ensuing Spring Training, Edgin had to shut it down as he needed Tommy John surgery. As a result, he would miss out on the Mets pennant run. As is typically the case, Edgin had a long rehabilitation road, and he would not appear again in the Majors until August 2016.

Fourteen of Edgin’s 16 appearances were scoreless. Between that and his being out of options, Edgin was set to be a part of the 2017 Opening Day roster. In the time he was up with the team, Edgin put together good numbers including a 114 ERA+. On April 28, 2017, he probably had his Mets career highlight.

With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Edgin was summoned to pitch to Bryce Harper. Edgin induced Harper to hit into a game ending 1-2-3 double play to preserve the Mets 7-5 lead and earn his second Major League save.

Unfortunately, he would hit the disabled list again in July, and at that point, his Mets career was effectively over. He finished his Mets career with the 22nd most appearances among relievers, and his 2014 season was one of the best seasons a Mets LOOGY ever had. He was a success story for a 30th round draft pick, and he is the best Mets player to ever wear the number 66.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy

29. Frank Viola
30. Michael Conforto
31. Mike Piazza

32. Jon Matlack
33. Matt Harvey

34. Noah Syndergaard
35. Rick Reed
36. Jerry Koosman
37. Casey Stengel
38. Skip Lockwood
39. Gary Gentry
40. Bartolo Colon
41. Tom Seaver

42. Ron Taylor
43. R.A. Dickey
44. David Cone
45. Tug McGraw

46. Oliver Perez
47. Jesse Orosco
48. Jacob deGrom
49. Armando Benitez
50. Sid Fernandez
51. Rick White
52. Yoenis Cespedes
53. Chad Bradford
54. T.J. Rivera
55. Orel Hershiser
56. Andres Torres
57. Johan Santana
58. Jenrry Mejia
59. Fernando Salas
60. Scott Schoeneweis
61. Dana Eveland
62. Drew Smith
63. Tim Peterson

64. Elmer Dessens
65. Robert Gsellman