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.
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.
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.
The second place Philadelphia Phillies are red hot. With their win tonight against the New York Mets, they’ve now won 10 out of their last 11.
Tonight, the former Cy Young winners, Rick Porcello and Jake Arrieta, who aren’t that anymore, pitched well and to a 2-2 stalemate through six. The Mets two runs coming off an opposite field two run homer by Michael Conforto.
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 5, 2020
But the Mets couldn’t pull out the win because the Phillies are a better. You see they go to the top of the free agent market, and they use their top prospects to get players who merit it. They built real rotation depth, and they also kept prospects in reserve to address their bullpen issues.
The Mets go searching for discounts. They throw away prospects needlessly. They never address the bullpen by trade.
This left Jared Hughes in a bad spot. He’s just not a two inning reliever. He shouldn’t be going 40+ pitches. In his career, batters have a .900 OPS against him.
After allowing a run in the seventh, he stayed in for the eighth. He ran out of gas allowing two more runs putting the Mets down 5-2.
The Mets had their chance in the eighth. Dominic Smith hit an RBI single to pull the Mets to within 5-3. There were runners on first and second with one out.
Meanwhile, new Phillies closer, Brandon Workman, recently obtained from the Red Sox, earned the save for the Phillies. Instead of being dismayed by this, just remember Steve Cohen is buying the team, and he can hire a good GM to turn things around.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Mets were 0-for-10 at the plate with runners in scoring position. Things weren’t as bad in the second half as the Mets offense went just 0-for-5.
The no hits with runners in scoring position, the Mets offense was shut out over 14 innings. Even if the Mets played the other four innings, you’d be hard pressed to find an argument why they’d score a run.
In this game, the Mets offense had just two hits, and those hits were originally Red errors. That at least spared the Mets the indignity of joining the Pittsburgh Pirates in being no-hit today.
At least the Pirates faced Lucas Giolito. This Mets team really has no excuses.
The Mets inability to hit ruined a good return to the rotation by Seth Lugo. Lugo lasted three innings, and he didn’t allow a base runner while striking out five.
While Luis Rojas said Lugo was good for 60 pitches, he lifted Lugo after 39 pitches. Seeing how the fourth inning unfolded, he may want to revisit this decision (or text message).
Chasen Shreve would relieve Hughes and get out of the inning, but it was too little too late as the Mets couldn’t drive in a run.
It’s gotten to the point where the Mets are snake-bit. Case-in-point is the sixth. The Mets had runners on first and second with one out, and Luis Guillorme tattooed a line drive.
That ball was hit right at Marlins first baseman Lewin Diaz. Diaz caught the liner before easily beating the runner to the base to end the inning.
That sixth was a very curious inning for Rojas.
After Cano beat the shift by slapping the ball the other way, Rojas tabbed Juan Lagares to pinch run for Cano. He did that even with Billy Hamilton being on the bench. Hamilton is a better runner and weaker hitter. The move made little sense.
As embarrassing as that was, there was Berti flat out embarrassing the Mets in the bottom of the sixth.
That wasn’t the worst of it.
With two outs, Ali Sanchez had looked Berti back to third. Berti moved towards third as Sanchez lollypopped a throw back to Familia.
On the throw, Berti spun and broke for home. Even with Berti slipping, he was able to steal home as Sanchez couldn’t field the throw Familia had spiked in front of him.
What — and I cannot stress this enough — just happened. pic.twitter.com/L2zKweOkFv
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) August 26, 2020
It’s one thing to lose. It’s a whole other thing to be flat out embarrassed like this. The Mets lost 3-0. It might as well have been 100-0.
Game Notes: With this being a makeup game, the Marlins batted second. Even with the Marlins batting second, the Mets were still the home team. Jacob deGrom is slated to start tomorrow because the Mets wanted to keep him on his regular schedule. Sanchez had his first career MLB start.
There’s many reasons to pinpoint why the Mets lost this game in excruciating fashion to the Phillies. That’s the way excruciatingly losses go.
There was the Mets going 2-for-16 with RISP leaving 10 runners on base.
There was Billy Hamilton‘s TOOBLAN off all TOOBLANs when he cleanly stole second, took off for third, and was easily thrown out.
Despite all that, it was tied 5-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Seth Lugo, who hadn’t pitched in five days, wasn’t sharp allowing the first two to reach.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) August 15, 2020
What ensued was the absolute worst attempt at a tag. Seriously, Wilson Ramos should be embarrassed, and frankly, he owes his teammates an apology for costing the game. It was that bad.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 15, 2020
You don’t want to accuse someone of not trying. However, you really should question what Ramos was doing there. You should also ask why the apparent lack of a sense of urgency.
While we’re asking questions about the catcher who went 1-for-5 with a GIDP, we also need to ask what should the Mets do with him? Clearly, it seems it’s time for a switch to Tomas Nido. We know the Mets won’t do that, so we’re stuck with the awful play of Ramos.
It’s at that point where it’s overshadowing some truly terrific performances from his teammates.
Dominic Smith was 2-for-4 with a run, walk, homer, and two RBI. He also made a nice play in the field.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 15, 2020
Robson Cano returned from the IL to go 2-for-5 with a run, homer, and two RBI. That includes a two RBI.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 15, 2020
The biggest story right now remains Luis Guillorme. In addition to playing Gold Glove caliber second base, he’s hitting .474. With this being a shortened season, we may be having a Ted Williams discussion at some point.
However, none of this matters as Ramos continues to be terrible. It’s now at the point it’s costing the Mets games. Sooner or later, the Mets are going to be forced into making a decision on him.
That’s how the Mets day game against the Nationals began. That’s how the game began. Seeing that, you probably didn’t expect the Mets to not just win, but win big.
The reason? Tomas Nido.
Peterson got ahead of Soto 0-2 before getting a REALLY low pitch for a called strike three. Part of that was another day of poor umpiring. To put how bad it was, Stephen Strasburg was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. He was seated in the stands.
The other reason is Nido is a terrific pitch framer adept at getting the low strike called. That call changed the complexity of that inning and the game. After that strikeout, the only run the Nationals would score that inning was off a Howie Kendrick RBI groundout.
One of the reasons the scoring ended there was Jeff McNeil absolutely robbed Asdrubal Cabrera of an extra base hit. McNeil would hurt himself on the play and would have to be taken off the field via stretcher.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 13, 2020
That Nationals lead was very short lived because Dominic Smith hit his fourth homer of the season:
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 13, 2020
After that it was the Nido show. In successive innings, Nido would homer. In the fourth, it was a two run shot off Voth. In the fifth, it was his first career grand slam off Seth Romero:
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 13, 2020
That second homer put him in some very exclusive Mets territory with the two homers and six RBI:
#Mets catchers with 2 HR, 6 RBI in a game:
Tomás Nido (today)
Paul Lo Duca (9/4/07)
Mike Piazza (7/3/02)
Mike Piazza (4/30/02)
Todd Hundley (5/18/96)
Gary Carter (7/11/86)
Gary Carter (9/3/85)
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) August 13, 2020
Lost in this insane day was the fact Peterson carried a no hitter into the fifth. His final line was 5.0 IP, H, R, ER, 2 BB, 3 K. He’d leave after 74 pitches due to some shoulder soreness. According to Peterson, it’s not serious.
From there, the teams would score one more run apiece in the Mets 8-2 victory. It was a complete team victory.
Overall, the Mets split the series with the Nationals. In doing so, they learned how this defense first lineup is their path to victory.
Game Notes: Billy Hamilton replaced McNeil and batted third. He finally got his first hit after going hitless in his first 15 Mets at-bats. Davis is hitless in his last 10 at-bats with six strikeouts. Andres Gimenez is tied for the MLB lead with five stolen bases.
Look, when Max Scherzer is pitching, you can expect to get shut down offensively. It doesn’t matter if you start you Top offensive lineup, or your best defensive lineup like the Mets did tonight.
The positive takeaway from the defensive lineup was they were dazzling in the field. In their own ways, Dominic Smith, Luis Guillorme, and Andres Gimenez were absolutely brilliant in the field giving the Mets every chance to win this game. They were magicians with their gloves.
What can’t this guy do? pic.twitter.com/vZbZuel6Y8
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) August 12, 2020
The Mets had fallen behind 2-0 early with this game, and it seemed like the Nationals had Rick Porcello on the ropes.
Trea Turner led off the game with a homer. In the second, Victor Robles hit an RBI single scoring Howie Kendrick. Robles had taken off for what appeared to be the vacated second, but he was beaten there by Smith who took the throw from Brandon Nimmo, and he got the tag down to end the inning.
A run scored on this, but heads-up play by Brandon Nimmo to instead fire it to second base to … first baseman Dominic Smith?
It could have been worse for the Mets, who trail 2-0. pic.twitter.com/ptoRdq6maG
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) August 11, 2020
Luis Guillorme can pitch and make great plays in the field. Versatility >>> pic.twitter.com/uzEQkSyYb2
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 11, 2020
Rick Porcello gets a BIG double play to end the 4th 🙌 pic.twitter.com/Yie43Yclep
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 12, 2020
Luis Guillorme and Andrés Giménez are making it look it easy out here. pic.twitter.com/NFRyvPzin6
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 12, 2020
Their defensive prowess helped Porcello out together another strong outing for the Mets. This time, he allowed two earned on eight hits while walking none and striking out five over six innings.
If he wasn’t facing Scherzer, and the Mets bats who were supposed to deliver did, he would’ve gotten the W instead of the loss.
The Mets only run came in the fourth, and it should come as no surprise it came courtesy of their middle infield. After Gimenez tripled off Scherzer, Gimenez brought him home with a sacrifice fly.
The Mets would have other chances, but as noted, their bats didn’t deliver.
After Nimmo walked, McNeil again failed to deliver. This time, Nationals reliever Tanner Rainey got him to hit into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play.
Overall, Guillorme was the Mets best player. In addition to his dazzling defense, he was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Gimenez was great as well with the triple and run scored.
Unfortunately, the rest of the Mets team did not play anywhere near the level those two did. If they had, the Mets would’ve won this easy instead of facing that brutal loss.
Game Notes: Amed Rosario was scratched from the lineup with a stomach ailment. Nimmo leads the NL in walks drawn.
One of the most puzzling and overblown aspects of this early season was Pete Alonso struggling. The Mets made the right move for defensive purposes and to allow him to focus on hitting by moving him to DH. The move has proven to be a boon.
We saw that again tonight when he hit a two run homer off of Marlins starter Daniel Castano, who was the second straight Marlins starter to make his MLB debut. Alonso’s homer certainly got out in a hurry:
💥 1️⃣1️⃣6️⃣.9️⃣ 💥 pic.twitter.com/JoVEVyZfZT
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 9, 2020
It was the Mets second two run homer of the game. The first came from Michael Conforto who supposedly can’t hit lefties. Someone just forgot to tell Conforto and MLB pitchers this year:
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 8, 2020
Notably, Conforto has reached safely in all 15 games this season. Conforto and Brandon Nimmo remain the only Mets to reach safely in every game they’ve played.
That pair of two run homers gave David Peterson a 4-1 lead. It was another strong performance for the young lefty. He allowed two earned over five on four hits and three walks. He may have only struck out three, but he did flash some filthy stuff.
Oh my goodness David Peterson pic.twitter.com/69yR2v7QHm
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) August 9, 2020
Jeurys Familia continued his Jekyll/Hyde routine of the season struggling tonight. After allowing the first two to reach, he got Francisco Cervelli to hit into the double play he needed. Unfortunately, instead of getting out of the inning, Familia walked the next two to load the bases.
Drew Smith relieved Familia, and he made a good pitch getting Monte Harrison to hit what is normally a routine ground ball. Unfortunately with the shift, it was a two RBI single. This was a situation where the process was right, the pitch was good, but the result was bad. More often than not, if the Mets continue this approach, they’ll win more than they lose.
Smith fell down 3-0 to Jonathan Villar. Fortunately for Smith, it was a horrendous at-bat by Villar from that point forward, and Smith would get the strike out to end the jam.
Nearly a year to the date of his last performance, Robert Gsellman pitched a scoreless seventh striking out two. After Gsellman, Seth Lugo pitched a scoreless eighth. With the Mets up by four runs and it not being a save opportunity, Rojas made the right call limiting Lugo to an inning.
While eventful, Justin Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth. With that, the Mets became the first team to beat the Marlins in two weeks. That’s partially the result of the Marlins COVID19 outbreak. Whatever the case, the last place Mets beat the first place Marlins.
To hear Brodie Van Wagenen tell it, the Mets were completely blindsided by Yoenis Cespedes opting out of the 2020 season. They had no idea he was contemplating this, and they had no idea he would do this.
Given the quirky nature of Cespedes, the Mets account was believable. Cespedes really was the guy you never knew what he was going to do next.
The Mets actions told another story. At that postgame press conference to address Cespedes’ opt out, Van Wagenen notably ended the conference somewhat abruptly with many questions still pending. After Van Wagenen was done, the Mets only made rookie pitcher David Peterson available.
They told everyone they knew he was alright despite admitting they weren’t in contact with him.
Yesterday, the Mets made their players available for the first time since Cespedes’ opt out. Pete Alonso was first. He sidestepped the question about whether he knew, but he did talk about what a great teammate Cespedes was and how the whole team supports his decision.
Then, there was Brandon Nimmo who would cast doubt on the Mets whole version of events. His version was his representatives told the Mets prior to the game. Specifically, as reported by Mike Puma of the New York Post:
There’s two sides of the story,” Nimmo said. “We have the side where [the Mets] were let known before the game and we’ve also heard the side where they weren’t let known until the eighth inning, so I honestly don’t know which one to believe and I’m not going to try to figure that one out, but as far as us, we knew that people could walk whenever they wanted.”
You’ll note Nimmo said the players understood Cespedes informed the team before the game. That would include Michael Conforto confirming to his teammates Cespedes opted out.
The other version, the wholly unsubstantiated version, is the one the Mets have been pushing. Their version is despite confirming Cespedes was safe without speaking to him and the Mets obtaining an outfielder before the game, they had no idea Cespedes would opt out.
The only thing which is clear is no one told Luis Rojas. That’s really unfortunate.
The players apparently knew and didn’t tell him. According to the players, Cespedes informed the Mets, and the front office didn’t tell the manager. The manager deserves to be treated better by everyone.
Honestly, Cespedes needed better treatment here too. For example, the Mets didn’t need to put their SNY smear machine into effect with their Wilpon paid talking heads saying he was never the same player after he signed his deal, and he quit over money.
Wow this is really truly disgusting and it is below my lowest expectations for the state-owned network:
“He quits because he has a .161 average … and conveniently uses COVID as an excuse .” – Sal Licata
— Good Fundies Brian (@OmarMinayaFan) August 4, 2020
This is typical for the Mets who never had a kind word for someone who departed the team. There is no graciousness with them.
Given the Mets history of smearing people, telling half-truths, and outright lying, there’s simply no reason to believe them here. This whole Cespedes situation is right out of their playbook.
With respect to Cespedes, yes, he’s quirky and maddening. He’s also honest and forthright to a fault. He told the Mets about his injury immediately including how he sidestepped a boar. He also spoke about how he’d like to return to Oakland before his career was over.
Looking at the respective histories, one is honest, and the other is notoriously not. One has their version of events substantiated by the players, the others don’t.
In the end, you can choose to believe what you want, but when doing so, keep in mind Cespedes has been historically honest, and the Mets really haven’t.
In case you missed it with the Mets making a circus of the Yoenis Cespedes situation, the team once again traded a prospect for a defensive replacement in center. This is the third such trade the Mets have made since Brodie Van Wagenen was hired as the Mets General Manager.
The first trade was trading Adam Hill, Felix Valerio, and Bobby Wahl for Keon Broxton. Broxton played just 34 games with the Mets in 2019. He had a 3 OPS+ and a -0.5 WAR being released. He has signed a minor league deal with the Mariners. Currently, he is part of their 60 player pool, but he has yet to be recalled.
With Juan Lagares departing via free agency, instead of pursuing any one of the cheap defensive center fielders on the fee agent market, Van Wagenen traded Blake Taylor and Kenedy Corona for Jake Marisnick.
Marisnick lasted just four games before landing on the IL. Meanwhile, Taylor has been sensational for the Astros. He’s pitched 7.1 scoreless innings over five appearances. Ironically, his 0.8 WAR would lead the Mets this year.
What is maddening about that is the Mets couldn’t just gone out this past offseason and signed Lagares. Last year, Lagares had a very good 5 OAA. This past offseason, he settled for a minor league deal with the Padres, which based upon incentives, could’ve reached $2.4 million.
The Mets not only gave up prospects for Marisnick, but the perpetually cash strapped franchise, agreed to pay him $3.3 million in arbitration.
Instead of Lagares, the Mets could’ve signed Billy Hamilton. This past offseason, Hamilton signed a minor league deal with the Giants.
Considering the Mets only use their defensive players sparingly, begrudgingly letting them bat on occasion, Hamilton was perfect for this team. He’s an elite defensive CF with speed which could be best utilized as a pinch runner.
But, Hamilton only required a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Since that wasn’t coupled with the unnecessary parting of prospects, Van Wagenen wasn’t interested.
However, now, that the Mets were able to give the Giants Jordan Humphreys, who is a very real prospect with a live arm, the Mets were suddenly interested.
They were interested despite Hamilton missing part of summer camp for undisclosed medical reasons. He would not make the Giants Opening Day roster. Instead, he would be part of their player pool.
The Mets made this trade despite having Lagares back. They also had other no-hit defensive replacements like Johneshwy Fargas.
Obtaining Hamilton when you already had reasonable facsimiles is an odd move. Trading an actual prospect for him when you had those pieces is a plain bad move. When you give up pieces for a player you could’ve had for a minor league deal and wasn’t even on a MLB roster at the trade of the trade is pure and simple incompetence.
Parting with five prospects and a MLB reliever for three defensive replacements, two of whom did nothing of value for your team, and the third not even being on a MLB roster, is a fireable offense. That goes double when Lagares has been with the organization.
This is an embarrassing misallocation of resources. Even if you want to make the dumb and highly flawed argument these prospects may not develop into productive major leaguers, the Mets lost the ability to move these players for actual useful pieces.
In the end, we focus on the loss of Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn. We can and should look at that to use it to criticize Brodie Van Wagenen. However, if you want a real sign of how Van Wagenen doesn’t know what he’s doing, look no further than his parting with real prospects for the privilege of overpaying players who just could’ve been signed for the league minimum.
In the end, not even comprehending the market and how to properly manage and allocate his resources shows just how much Van Wagenen doesn’t comprehend how to do this job. Whenever the Mets are finally sold we can only hope the new owner has Van Wagenen follow the Wilpons out the door before he inflicts any more damage to the franchise.
Before the game, the New York Mets announced Yoenis Cespedes went missing. The Mets didn’t know where he was, and as time progressed, it turns out, we didn’t even know if the Mets did the bare minimum to locate him . . . if they even did that.
During the game, they informed us they still haven’t heard from or located Cespedes, but they knew he was safe. That’s an odd statement to make about someone you haven’t spoken to nor know his whereabouts.
In the end, it turned out Cespedes opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID19 concerns. As reported by The Athletic, Cespedes has a family member who was high risk for COVID19 which drove his decision.
Before the season, there were reasons to play. There was a lot of money on the line not just for 2020, but if he could prove he could play, his 2021 contract was at stake.
However, as time passed circumstances changed dramatically. The Marlins had an outbreak. The Cardinals may be on the verge of one. He wasn’t getting the playing time, and he wasn’t hitting to the extent he needed to hit those incentives.
All in all, it’s possible Cespedes said it wasn’t worth the risk anymore.
However, at this point, we still don’t know. Cespedes hasn’t commented, and the Mets made sure no one but Brodie Van Wagenen commented on the matter.
In the same Zoom session Brodie Van Wagenen talked about transparency, #mets PR cut off the session with 6 hands still raised and then made just one player — a rookie pitcher — available.
— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) August 2, 2020
While the Mets told us about how they were blindsided by Cespedes, they certainly seemed to know he was alright, and the team also seemed to have addressed his absence by obtaining Billy Hamilton from the San Francisco Giants.
So, to sum up, the Mets traded for another outfielder, knew Cespedes was alright, stopped answering questions about it, and they refused to let the players speak to the press about it. Believe what you want, but the Mets are hiding something here.
So today’s fiasco seems to be either:
1. The Mets sent a statement designed to shame Yoenis Cespedes.
2. The Mets sent out a statement to say Yoenis Cespedes didn’t come to work — but without first determining his wellbeing.
A well-run organization would do neither.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) August 2, 2020
On the field, the Mets continue to disappoint.
David Peterson had a quality start allowing three runs over six innings, but he’d take the loss because the Mets were shutout. The team was 1-for-15 with RISP and left 13 runners on base.
There were many culprits for this 4-0 loss, but the biggest was the Mets front office spearheaded by Brodie Van Wagenen with not just how he handled this situation, but each and every situation with this team.