Carlos Torres

2019 Mets Postseason Doppelgangers

There have been a few times in the Mets history where they have surprised or even shocked the World in making their run to the postseason. The biggest example is 1969, which occurred 50 years ago. The Mets would make their Miracle run in 1973, and they would emerge in 1999, 2006, and 2015.

When you look at those rosters, there are players who are comparable to the players on this year’s Mets roster. Here’s a look at how it breaks down:

Catcher

Travis d’Arnaud (Todd Pratt) – d’Arnaud may very well be pressed into action more than anticipated, and as we saw in the 2015 postseason, he can deliver some big hits when needed.

Tomas Nido (Jerry Grote) – A defensive oriented catcher who helps takes his pitchers over the top and more than makes up for whatever offensive issues he may have.

Wilson Ramos (Paul Lo Duca) – Ramos may not have been the catcher the Mets may have originally expected to bring in during the offseason, but like Lo Duca, he could be the perfect fit for this team and surprisingly be a very important piece to this club.

Infield

Pete Alonso (Michael Conforto) – Alonso is the young prospect who is getting thrown into the fire and expected to be a key bat in a lineup who are trying to overcome the Nationals.

Robinson Cano (Rickey Henderson) – Cano was brought in to be the Hall of Fame caliber player who could take this team over the top.

J.D. Davis (Matt Franco) – Players who will predominantly be pinch hitters who are going to be counted upon to provide those key unexpected game winning hits.

Todd Frazier (Ed Charles) – Both were better before joining the Mets, but they proved to be glue guys in the clubhouse making the team better for their presence alone.

Luis Guillorme (Anderson Hernandez) – Tremendously gifted middle infielders whose gloves helped earn them a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Jed Lowrie (Jose Valentin) – Switch hitters who were brought to serve as a bench piece for the Mets who could be pressed into duty more than anticipated, which could be of great value to the team.

Jeff McNeil (Cleon Jones) – Homegrown Mets ready who show their previous year breakouts were not flukes, but rather an indication they are key members of a winning team.

Amed Rosario (Jose Reyes) – Reyes figured it out in 2006, and he became a dynamic and exciting player. This can be that year for Rosario.

Dominic Smith (Ed Kranepool) – Both probably rushed and mishandled as prospects, but they both still had a lot of hits in their bats making them valuable pieces for their club.

Outfield

Keon Broxton (Xavier Nady) – The imported outfielder who has not yet lived up to expectations has an opportunity to prove himself on a talented roster.

Yoenis Cespedes (Donn Clendenon) – The Mets are relying on a big bat to come after the All-Star Break and get this team a World Series, who better than the guy who delivered that in 1969?

Michael Conforto (David Wright) – The time is now for the homegrown player to put it all together and have an MVP caliber season to put this team over the top.

Juan Lagares (Endy Chavez) – Chavez was the defensive oriented player who was pressed into more action than anticipated, and his play on the field was a big reason the 2006 Mets came withing a game of the World Series.

Brandon Nimmo (Edgardo Alfonzo) – Homegrown Met oft overlooked who may actually prove to put up the best season of all the players on the roster.

Starters

Jacob deGrom (Tom Seaver) – deGrom is the staff ace coming off a historically great season, who needs to stay at a high level for the team to make the postseason.

Noah Syndergaard (Noah Syndergaard) – The Mets need Thor to be Thor.

Zack Wheeler (Jacob deGrom) – It was deGrom’s building off of a surprising 2014 season which helped take the Mets over the top in 2015. It’s exactly what everyone is expecting from Wheeler in 2019.

Steven Matz (Al Leiter) – Hometown left-handed pitchers who have a chance to help be a big part of the reason why the Mets make a run to the postseason.

Jason Vargas (Bartolo Colon) – Vargas is the veteran below-league average starter who needs to stick in the rotation while just eating up innings.

Corey Oswalt (Logan Verrett) – The Mets need a low round drafted prospect to put together a string of great starts to help put this team over the top. With his increased velocity, this could be Oswalt.

Chris Flexen (Octavio Dotel) – Spot starters who have the repertoire to potentially do much more damage in the bullpen.

Hector Santiago (Darren Oliver) – Pitchers who once had success starting who could be valuable long men in the bullpen.

Bullpen

Edwin Diaz (Billy Wagner) – Wagner was the sure-fire reliever at the end of the bullpen who helped make games an eight inning affair.

Jeurys Familia (John Franco) – One time great Mets closer is now serving as the set-up man for a young brash fireballer brought in during the offseason.

Seth Lugo (Nolan Ryan) – Just pure dominating stuff out of the bullpen from a guy who would probably be a starting pitcher for any other Major League team.

Robert Gsellman (Pat Mahomes) – The key piece of the 1999 bullpen who permitted the Mets bullpen to be as great as it could possibly be.

Justin Wilson (Dennis Cook) – Pitchers who are more than LOOGYs who raise their game in the biggest stages.

Luis Avilan (Pedro Feliciano) – Feliciano was the LOOGY out of the bullpen who was a weapon the Mets could utilize to neutralize the opponent’s top left-handed batters.

Tim Peterson (Greg McMichael) – Strike throwers who don’t have dominating stuff.

Jacob Rhame (Heath Bell) – The guys whose stuff have not quite yet translated to performance leading them to bounce between Triple-A and the Majors.

Paul Sewald (Carlos Torres) – Jack of all trades reliever who does yeoman’s work eating up innings.

Daniel Zamora (Royce Ring) – Promising young LOOGYS who should dominate in their limited opportunities.

And finally, there is Mickey Callaway, who we are hoping will be able to accomplish what Willie Randolph accomplished by proving himself a good manager in his second year and by leading the Mets to being the best team in the National League.

 

Harvey Wallbanged

Was it too much rest?  Was it Julian Edelman?  Maybe it’s just that Matt Harvey still isn’t quite right. Whatever the case, this was another disappointing start for Harvey. 

Through the first five innings, he was fighting it. He needed 97 pitches to get through those innings. His mechanics weren’t sharp.  He was laboring. He was walking batters. He was getting hit hard. He didn’t have a 1-2-3 inning until the fifth. 

In the second, he allowed a leadoff walk to Domingo Santana who then scored on a Jett Bandy double. On the play, Curtis Granderson had trouble both tracking it down and picking the ball up. Ultimately, it didn’t matter, but it was an ugly play. 

Hernan Perez homered to start the third giving the Brewers a 2-0 lead. To be honest, the score probably should have been worse than that. They were really lucky to still be in the game. 
They initially took advantage. Neil Walker brought the Mets within one with a fourth inning home run. The Mets then put together a two out rally in the sixth after Michael Conforto just missed hitting one out to deep center.  

Asdrubal Cabrera doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. Jay Bruce walked. Cabrera would score on an ensuing Walker RBI single. The rally ended when the Brewers put on a pickoff play, and Bandy caught Bruce sleeping. The play prevented the Mets from potentially taking the lead. They wouldn’t get close again. 

Coming off a strong fifth, Terry Collins decided to stick with Harvey to start the sixth. What was a decent start Harvey could possibly build off of turned into a nightmare. 

Eric Sogard and Orlando Arcia would hit back-to-back homers giving the Brewers a 5-2 lead. With that, a Harvey who was probably done after five innings was officially removed from the game. 
It’s hard to tell why Harvey was still out there. It’s possible Collins thought Harvey found something and thought Harvey had another inning in him. Perhaps, he was trying to save his pen with Jeurys Familia going on the DL after his surgery today to repair the aneurysm in his throwing shoulder. 

Whatever the case, Harvey struggled, and he got tagged with the loss. Brewers starter, Matt Garza, who was able to pitch the sixth, got the win. 

The Mets bullpen behind Harvey would struggle. Josh Edgin allowed a double to Jonathan Villar. After a walk to Perez, there were runners at the corners with one out. Edgin would strike out Travis Shaw on a 3-2 pitch. Perez ran on the pitch, and he forced a run down allowing Villar to score. 

Rafael Montero came on to pitch the seventh. While he looked pretty good, he still allowed a home run to Bandy to make it 7-2. 
It wasn’t until Paul Sewald came on in the eighth that the Mets bullpen didn’t allow a run. The Mets could’ve used a little better effort from their bullpen as their offense came alive in the ninth. 

Walker continued his terrific night leading off the ninth with a single. Overall, he was 3-3 with two runs, a walk, a homer, and two RBI. He’d  move to third on a Granderson double, and he’d score on a T.J. Rivera RBI single. Granderson would score on a wild pitch to make it 7-4. 

That would be the final score. You can’t win when the opposing team had as many home runs as you have runs scored. It was a night that had some promise, but it all fell apart in the bottom of the sixth. 

Game Notes: Lucas Duda returned from the DL, and he was 1-4 with a double.  With Duda being activated and Cabrera ready to play, Jose Reyes sat, and Rivera played. Rivera was 1-3 with an RBI and a walk. 

Matz Back on Track

After all the Mets fans hysteria after Matt Harvey struggled against the Nationals, it was easy to forget there was a game to be played tonight. 

Like most of May, the Mets offense seemed to forget as well. For the first five innings, the Mets offense could only muster one run with three hits and a walk against Wily Peralta. This is the same Peralta who came into tonight’s game with a 2-4 record, 7.30 ERA, and a 1.992 WHIP. It didn’t matter as the Mets offense lately has been worse than Peralta . . . at least until the sixth inning. 

Asdrubal Cabrera lead off the inning with a single, and he scored when Michael Conforto hit one into what used to be the Party City Deck. 

Mets led 3-2. 

There was a chance for more, but well, no one is quite sure what happened. Yoenis Cespedes singled, and he took off on a 3-2 pitch to Neil Walker. Walker took the pitch right down the middle for strike three, and Cespedes didn’t even bother sliding into second. Former Met Carlos Torres came on, and he got the Brewers out of the inning. 

The three runs were enough for Steven Matz, who was terrific. He pitched seven innings allowing three hits, two earned, and no walks with eight strikeouts. He only made one mistake, which was hit for a two run homer in the first by Chris Carter, who is tied with Cespedes for the league lead in homers. Matz’s start was all the more incredible when you consider he had been shut down with elbow inflammation. 

However, it looks like he’s back on track, and the Mets are back on track as well. 

Game Notes: Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Torres got their NL Championship rings before the game. Eric Campbell started at third as David Wright had a scheduled day off. Rene Rivera had a nice game with an RBI ground out in the second, and he threw out another basestealer:

Matthew Bowman Could’ve Helped

After last season, you would want to believe that the Mets wouldn’t want to underestimate their own pitching prospects and expose them to the Rule 5 draft. 

The Mets got very, very lucky with Logan Verrett. Everyone underestimated him. Perhaps it was a result of a low 90’s fastball. Perhaps it was because he relies on control, changing your eye level, and working both sides of the plate rather than blowing a 100 MPH fastball by you like Noah Syndergaard

In any event, the Orioles decided he was worthy of a Rule 5 pick but not worthy of making their Opening Day roster. The Rangers scooped him up and decided after six games he couldn’t help them. He was returned to the Mets. He pitched well out of the bullpen and in spot starts. This year he’s made two spot starts and hasn’t allowed a run in 12 innings.  The Mets needed him more than they ever knew.  Fortunately for the Mets, the Orioles and Rangers never realized what they had in Verrett. The Mets got very lucky.

This year the Mets may not be so lucky with Matt Bowman

Bowman was taken by the Cardinals in the Rule 5 draft. Partially due to Jordan Walden opening the year on the DL, Bowman made the Opening Day roster. So far this year, Bowman has appeared on five games pitching 6.2 innings. He has a 1.35 ERA and a 0.900 WHIP. He’s predominantly throwing a 93 MPH sinker. He mixes in the occasional slider (88 MPH) and splitter (82 MPH). It’s a short sample size, but Bowman looks good out of the bullpen. There’s no reason to believe the Cardinals will let him go. 

The head scratching part was there was no excuse for why the Mets let Bowman become a Cardinal. The Mets had roster space. They could’ve protected Bowman.  To make matters worse, they lost what appears to be a good bullpen piece. How did this happen?

In answering, this question it is important to note teams typically keep a roster spot open so they can make a pick in the Rule 5 draft in the event there’s a player out there who can help them. It’s how the Mets acquired Sean Gilmartin last year, and he became a valuable part of the bullpen. So in reality, the question was who should the Mets have left off the roster in place of Bowman.

The Mets did subsequently lose Kirk Nieuwenhuis on waivers. The Mets traded Darrell Ceciliani for cash. Carlos Torres and Ruben Tejada were initially offered contracts only to subsequently be released. The Mets also could’ve realized what they had and did the unconventional and just put Bowman on the roster barring them from making a Rule 5 draft pick. The Mets didn’t. Instead, they exposed Bowman in the draft in the oft chance they could’ve found someone of his caliber in the Rule 5 draft. How did this happen?  

Simply put, like Verrett, Bowman didn’t have lights-out stuff. He is a four pitch pitcher that was projected to be, at best, a back of the rotation starter or bullpen arm. He really regressed his first full year in AAA. In 2014, he was 3-2 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.294 WHIP in six starts and one relief appearance. In 2015, he made 26 starts and two relief appearances. Bowman would finish the year 7-16 with a 5.53 ERA and a 1.679 WHIP.  Entering the 2015 season, he was seen as a back of the rotation starter or a bullpen arm. His 2015 season reasonably cast doubt on those projections. At age 25, it appeared like the former 13th round draft pick’s development had stalled. 

It didn’t, and it shouldn’t be surprising as Bowman has looked for ways to improve. He has tried to emulate Tim Lincecum‘s delivery. While in college, he studied Sabermetrics, and he has sought to use it to find ways to improve. Basically, there’s no rock this former 13th round pick will leave unturned to he better. He’s built himself into a major league pitcher. 

However, Bowman is pitching for the Cardinals, and the Mets have nothing to show for it. Worse yet, the Mets could’ve used him. With Jacob deGrom‘s lat injury (and problems with his son), Verrett was thrust into the starting rotation.  Rafael Montero was recalled to help in the bullpen, but Collins has been loathe to use him. 

Perhaps Collins would’ve trusted Bowman and allowed him to pitch. Unfortunately, we will never know. The Mets will not get lucky with a Rule 5 pick returning to the organization.  Bowman is a Cardinal likely never to return. 

Editor’s Note: this article was first published on metsminors.net

Thank You Carlos Torres

We are all guilty at times of becoming too focused on statistics when it comes to determining a player’s worth. Sometimes we overlook the value of being able to take the ball whatever the situation. Ultimately, that was Carlos Torres‘ greatest attribute. 

Over the past three years, Terry Collins stretched that rubber arm of his to a breaking point. Torres served as a spot starter, long man, and set-up guy in his three years with the Mets. In his time with the Mets, he averaged over 1.1 innings per appearance. Torres’ rubber arm allowed Collins to rest the other arms in the Mets bullpen. There is immense value in a pitcher that can constantly take the ball in a variety of spots. 

However, saying Torres’ value was taking the ball whenever needed is underselling him. Torres was an effective pitcher with the Mets. Torres had a 3.59 ERA, a 1.253 WHIP, and an 8.2 K/9 in his three years in Flushing. He was a good pitcher. Unfortunately, after all the time and hard work he put in with the Mets, Torres was hampered by a hamstring injury which prevented him from pitching in the postseason. 

However, that’s not to say he didn’t have an impact on the 2015 season. He started and finished the most amazing defensive play of the season:

We also discovered he might’ve been the fastest Met on the team. Finally, he gave up his number 52 for Yoenis Cespedes. I expected nothing less from someone who was a team first guy. 

With the Mets signing Antonio Bastardo, there wasn’t any room for him left on this Mets team. It’s a cruel twist of fate we see all too often in sports. A guy gives everything he has to help a losing team, and when things begin to turn around, he is sent packing. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way things work. Sure, Torres deserved better, but that still doesn’t mean there was room for him on the 25 man roster. 

With that said, it shouldn’t come as no surprise that Torres didn’t return to the Mets. Not even on a minor league deal. Instead, Torres signed a minor league deal with the Braves. He should have no problem making their Opening Day roster as Torres can fill any role he teams needs. 

Teams always need a player like Torres, and I’m sure at varying points of the season, so will the Mets. He was a player who brought real value to the team. It certainly leaves a hole in the organization not having him and his rubber arm around anymore. He was a good Met, and he will be missed. 

Thank you Carlos Torres. 

Mets Intersting in Bringing Back the Wrong Free Agent

Put Eric O’Flaherty aside. The last free agent the Mets should be interested in bringing back is Bartolo Colon, and yet here we are:

Yoenis Cespedes may not be a true CF, but he’s got power, and he’s shown he can thrive in New YorkDaniel Murphy may not be the best defender, but he’s versatile. He also comes up big in the big moments. There are roles for these players even if they are not perfect players. What’s Colon’s role?
He’s not the fifth starter. That spot is being presumably held by Jon Niese until Zack Wheeler‘s rehab is complete. Why would the Mets make him the long man?  Carlos Torres and Sean Gilmartin are much cheaper alternatives who have succeeded in that role. What’s his role?

Do we really want to see him back with the Mets?  Do we trust Terry Collins having him in the bullpen?  Collins has already showed an over reliance on him over younger and better relievers. Put that all aside, do we even know if Colon at the age of 43 can manage being a reliever?  Is this really the best use of the Mets resources?

It’s time to move away from Colon and sign a player that can fulfill an actual need. 

Mets Bullpen is Fine

The Mets lost the World Series in large part due to the bullpen blowing three leads in the eighth inning or later. Normally, this would be a point of emphasis in the offseason, but I think there were more pressing issues there:

  1. There were errors that lead to those blown leads; and 
  2. How the bullpen was deployed

If these issues are not addressed, I’m not sure it matters if anyone is added to the bullpen. If they are resolved, the Mets have the makings of a terrific bullpen in 2016. 

First and foremost, the Mets have a terrific closer in Jeurys Familia. He’s the rare closer that can come in and get a team out of a jam. He’s the rare closer that can go for more than three outs. He’s coming off a year in which he recorded 43 saves, 1.000 WHIP, and a 9.9 K/9. Just when we thought he couldn’t get any better, he developed the devastating splitter. 

The issue becomes who will be the other six people in the bullpen. For the other six people you want a 7th inning guy, an 8th inning guy, a long man, and at least one lefty. That leaves you with two guys to either be an extra lefty, an extra long man, or preferably, just a good reliever. 

8th Inning

Now, at the end of the year, everyone was clamoring for Addison Reed to replace Tyler Clippard in the 8th inning. It appears everyone will get their wish as the Mets look like they’ll keep Reed and let Clippard walk. As a Met, Reed had a 1.17 ERA with a 1.043 WHIP, and a 10.0 K/9. That’s elite, but it may also be unsustainable. 

Reed has a career 4.01 ERA, 1.261 WHIP, and a 9.3 K/9. There could be many reasons for the improvement with the Mets. For starters, Reed improves as the year progresses. In April and May, his career ERA is over 4.00, but from August on it’s under 1.35. Ultimately, it’s great to have a reliever who gets better as the year goes on. 

Furthermore, it’s nice having someone with closing experience so the Mets don’t have to overextend Familia during the regular season. 

7th Inning

For me, this is obvious. The Mets need to go with Hansel Robles here. He’s a guy who has the ability to get lefties and righties out, and he can go for more than three outs. 

In 2015, he had a 3.67 ERA with a 1.019 WHIP and a 10.2 K/9. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story. Once a rookie has pitched for a while, there is tape on him. Typically, this results in some struggles for the rookie until he adjusts. However, Robles got better as the year progressed. Here are his first and second half splits:

  • First Half: 4.37 ERA with a 1.191 WHIP and a 7.9 K/9
  • Second Half: 3.16 ERA with a 0.891 WHIP and a 12.1 K/9

Like Reed, he got stronger as the year progressed. His was criminally under utilized in a World Series that saw the Mets blow three late inning leads only to lose in extra innings. The Mets shouldn’t make the same mistake in 2016. It’s time to use Robles. 

Long Man

Next to Familia closing, Sean Gilmartin being the long man is the biggest lock in the bullpen. He had a 2.67 ERA with a 1.186 WHIP and a 8.5 K/9.  He took a strangle hold on this job, and there’s no reason to take it away from him. 

LOOGYs

Going into the playoffs, this was the Mets biggest question mark. Fortunately, Jon Niese took over the role quite successfully. However, he will not be an option to re-join the bullpen until Zack Wheeler comes back from Tommy John surgery, which will not be until around the All Star break

Speaking of injuries, that was the reason the Mets didn’t have a LOOGY. At different times, they had Jerry BlevinsJosh EdginDario Alvarez, and Jack Leathersich go down with injuries. Blevins is free agent, but he’s a candidate to return. Alvarez should be healthy for Opening Day.  The Mets also have intriguing prospect Josh Smoker

There are plenty of viable options here. The Mets should be able to carry one or two LOOGYs from this group. 

Remaining Options

After taking the above into account, there will be one or two remaining spots remaining. There are a number of viable candidates:

Erik Goeddel. He is injury prone, but he has good numbers. He had a 2.43 ERA with a 1.000 WHIP and a 9.2 K/9. Those are good mumbers. Numbers that were good enough to land him on the NLDS roster. He should be part of the 2016 bullpen. 
Carlos Torres. There are many things you can say about Torres, but the most important one is he’s always available to take the ball. He has a career 4.26 ERA with a 1.357 WHIP and a 7.9 K/9. However, there is value in having someone that can take the ball. 
Logan Verrett. He was all over the place last year. He was a starter and a reliever. He kept bouncing back and forth. It didn’t hurt his performance. He had a 3.03 ERA with a 0.879 WHIP and an 8.4 K/9. He should be in the mix. 
Jenrry Mejia.  He’s one more positive test away from his career being over. He won’t be available until around the All Star Break. He’s likely to be released, which is odd since the Mets haven’t had problems with steroids guys under the Sandy Alderson regime. If he isn’t released, he could help this team in the bullpen. Personally, I’d rather him gone. 

Rafael Montero. There was a time the organization believed he was better than Jacob deGrom. When that proved to be false, he was placed in the bullpen to start 2015. The Mets did stretch him out to make go to a six man rotation. He got hurt, and he disappeared. Given the Mets rotation, if he’s going to help the Mets, it’s going to have to be in the bullpen. 
Looking over all these options, there is no reason to go outside the organization for bullpen help. Except for Reed, these relievers are cheap, young, and talented. We don’t know the Mets financial situation, but we do know that even if there is no money to spend, the bullpen will be in great shape. 

The best part is even if it isn’t, there’s many quality choices in reserve, and that’s just from the players we know. 

Have the Cubs Really Beat the Mets Pitching?

As I pointed out earlier, the regular season numbers should be discounted coming into the playoffs. The Mets lineup is completely different. The pitching staff appears to be as well. Here is who pitched against the Cubs, and how they fared (* not on the postseason roster):

May 11, 2015 – Wrigley Field
Jacob deGrom L, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
Hansel Robles 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Sean Gilmartin* 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Buddy Carlyle* 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Erik Goeddel 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
May 12, 2015 – Wrigley Field
Noah Syndergaard (first career start) L, 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
Alex Torres* 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Sean Gilmartin* 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Hansel Robles 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

May 13, 2015 – Wrigley Field
Matt Harvey 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K
Carlos Torres* BS, L, 1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Jeurys Familia 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

May 14, 2015 – Wrigley Field
Jon Niese L, 6.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Hansel Robles 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Jack Leathersich* 0.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Erik Goeddel 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

June 30, 2015 – Citi Field
Jon Niese L, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K

Bobby Parnell* 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Sean Gilmartin* 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

July 1, 2015 – Citi Field
Bartolo Colon 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Bobby Parnell* 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Jeurys Familia 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Hansel Robles 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Carlos Torres* L, 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Sean Gilmartin* 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

July 2, 2015 – Citi Field
Jacob deGrom L, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Logan Verrett* 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Alex Torres* 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

The Cubs beat the Mets seven times. Of those losses, two were by Jacob deGrom, two were by Niese, two were by Carlos Torres, and one was by Thor. Only deGrom and Thor remain in the rotation. 

So to sum up, the Dodgers did do well against deGrom. Conversely, deGrom has reached another gear in the playoffs. The Cubs couldn’t hit Harvey. They never faced Steven Matz. They faced Thor in his first career start. Thor has gotten much better since that game:

Also, the Mets bullpen is significantly different. It’s important to note considering that Torres blew two games. They now have Addison Reed and Tyler Clippard

While we know the Mets are a different team than, the Cubs are very similar. The only real change is Kyle Schwarber, who is just mashing the ball. However, I doubt he is enough to overcome the Mets pitching upgrades.  

The Mets are vastly improved. I think it’s enough. 

Mets Pitchers Against Dodgers Hitters

Earlier posts addressed the Mets postseason pitching experience as well as the Dodgers postseason offense. While it is interesting to see how theses players fared in October’s past, I’m more interested in seeing how the Mets pitchers have performed against the Dodgers (* – not on team, ** – not on projected roster):

July 3, 2015 Dodger Stadium

Noah Syndergaard ND, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Hansel Robles W, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Jeurys Familia S, 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K

July 4, 2015 Dodger Stadium

Matt Harvey L, 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 4

Alex Torres* 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Carlos Torres** 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Sean Gilmartin 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

June 5, 2015 Dodger Stadium
Steven Matz W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Logan Verrett** S, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
July 23, 2015 Citi Field
Bartolo Colon L, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Sean Gilmartin, 0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Carlos Torres** 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

July 24, 2015 Citi Field
Jon Niese L, 3.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Carlos Torres** 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Hansel Robles 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Alex Torres* 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

July 25, 2015 Citi Field
Matt Harvey W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Jenrry Mejia* 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Jeurys Familia 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

July 26, 2015 Citi Field 
Jacob deGrom ND, 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Jeurys Familia, BS, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Jenrry Mejia, W, 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Cumulative

Here are the cumulative stats for the pitchers who are projected to make the playoff roster:

Noah Syndergaard, 0-0, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Matt Harvey 1-1, 12.0 IP, 13 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 8 K

Steven Matz 1-0, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

Bartolo Colon 0-1, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Jon Niese 0-1, 3.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Jacob deGrom 0-0, 7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

Hansel Robles 1-0, 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

Jeurys Familia S, BS, 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Sean Gilmartin 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Overall, with the exception of Niese, who will not start in the NLDS, have pitched well against the Dodgers. The Mets pitchers faced most of the Dodgers batters they will face in the playoffs. These stats give me confidence the Mets can win this series. 

Players Not on the Taxi Squad

Yesterday, the Mets announced the players they are putting on the taxi squadEric Young, Jr.Anthony ReckerLogan VerrettEric Campbell, and Bobby Parnell. I think we can separate the remaining players into three categories: (1) players definitely on the roster; (2) players who are in consideration for the roster; and (3) players who are just being sent home. The players definitely on the roster has already been addressed. Here’s the other two categories:

Players under Consideration 

Juan Uribe – the Mets want him on the roster, but it does not appear he’s healthy enough to play. I hope that August 23rd pinch hitting appearance was worth it.

Steven Matz – had he not slept on a couch, he would’ve been on the roster. Now the Mets have their fingers crossed he can pitch. 

Kirk Nieuwenhuis – he seems to be the front runner for Uribe’s spot. He plays all three OF positions, has speed, and has some pop in his bat. He’s had a rough year, but he’s had some big hits since returning to the Mets. 

Dilson Herrera – he’s the Mets best defensive infielder even if he only plays 2B. He’s got potential offensively and defensively.  He has not realized his potential yet, but he’s still a right handed bat with pop going into a series with good left handed pitching. 

Erik Goeddel – he seems to be a favorite to get a spot in the bullpen if Matz can’t pitch. In limited time, he’s shown a great splitter which has helped him with a 9.2 K/9. He could help with a strikeout in a big spot. 

Sean Gilmartin – he’s been the long man, but he has reverse splits with a series with a series with huge left-handed bats. His spot is tenuous mostly with the presence of Colon, Niese, and possibly Matz on the roster. 

Players Done for the Year

Johnny Monell – the Mets made their choice with Recker as the third catcher. 

Carlos Torres – he took the ball whenever he was asked until he got hurt. He had a skill that helps in the regular season, but he has no room on the playoff roster. 

Dario Alvarez – when he finally got a chance to pitch, he was effective. He got a huge strikeout of Bryce Harper back when the division was still in doubt. He go hurt, fought his way back, and he was ineffective. 

Eric O’Flaherty – there’s not enough words to describe how bad he’s been, so I’ll keep it short. He’s horrendous. 

There are still important decisions to be made. I know a lot of it hinges on Matz. I anticipate this will be a tight series, and these final choices may have a real impact. I hope they pick the right players.