Chili Davis

Do Mets Fans Want Good Players?

Noah Syndergaard shocked New York Mets fans when he accepted a one year deal from the Los Angeles Angels for one year for $21 million. That was worth more than the $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Mets.

Up until this point, Syndergaard had made it clear he wanted to stay with the Mets. That was until free agency began. After that, the Mets cut off all communication, and while the Mets were quick to point out they didn’t get an opportunity to match, they also weren’t going to match.

The response from Mets fans hasn’t been bewilderment over how the team let a rehabbing ace leave. It wasn’t irritation over Sandy Alderson cutting off communication with Syndergaard like he once did with Daniel Murphy, Another Mets star who desperately wanted to stay.

The response was questioning Syndergaard’s loyalty and integrity. The belief now is he never wanted to stay. It’s on Twitter, sports radio, and of course, SNY.

Like many players, free agent Marcus Stroman especially, Syndergaard is very online. He was part of the conversation, and at times, he drove it. We also know he can be sensitive. This is the same Syndergaard who will be a free agent after the 2022 season.

We all should be expecting Syndergaard to have the Zack Wheeler type turnaround at the end of 2022 and heading into 2023. Certainly, money will dictate, like it did here, but seeing the treatment on his way out the door, why would Syndergaard want to return to this fanbase?

This is the same fanbase who had an issue mercilessly booing players this season. Incredibly, that initially happened when the Mets were in first place.

Homegrown player Michael Conforto was booed as he tried to return from COVID. Francisco Lindor was booed as he struggled to adapt to New York and all the things Chili Davis did wrong as a hitting coach.

When Javier Baez was acquired, things went from bad to worse. Baez crossed the line booing back with the thumbs down, and he dragged Lindor into it. That caused the fans to get worse until Báez was great again.

At that point, Báez was cheered and was loved. Keep in mind, Báez is a free agent. He initially talked about wanting to stay to play with his best friend, and we know Alderson has always loved him as a player.

Will Báez return? Who knows? Not everyone is Mike Piazza and wants to deal with the booing and fight to overcome it. No, some players don’t want to have to deal with the negativity which comes with the boos, Twitter nonsense, and sports radio and SNY trying to come up with the biggest nonsense.

Believe it or not, players want to get paid and play. They want to win. They want to be loved and respected by the fans.

They don’t want to deal with fans who turn their back on players because they leave, get hurt/sick, or struggle. They don’t want to deal with fans dumb enough to buy the outright lies Alderson continues to feed them (remember payroll will increase when attendance does?)

As fans, you are permitted to do whatever you want, and you can continue to parrot whatever ownership tells you. However, at some point, you have to question when is your collective behavior going to be counterproductive and keep some players away.

After all, if Syndergaard does break out, why would we want to return in 2022 after the way he was treated? What would he say to other players who are thinking of playing for the Mets? Therein lies the problem.

Luis Rojas A Convenient Fall Guy For Mets

It was never set up for Luis Rojas to succeed as the manager of the New York Mets. With his firing, which is what happened when the Mets didn’t pick up his option, it was deemed Rojas did not succeed.

In 2020, he took over a team after Carlos Beltran was forced out without managing a game. He had to take over a team in Spring Training with a coaching staff he didn’t assemble, and by the way, a once in a century pandemic hit.

That season didn’t go as hoped. Noah Syndergaard needing Tommy John and Marcus Stroman opting out probably ended that season before it began.

Entering this season, there were massive expectations, and understandably so given the ownership change and Francisco Lindor trade. That said, the cards would be stacked against Rojas a bit.

Unless you count his two late September appearances as an opener, Syndergaard didn’t start a game. Carlos Carrasco didn’t pitch until July 30, and he was rushed.

The injuries really were the story and the problem. Of course, the biggest injury was Jacob deGrom. In the midst of what was his best year, he went down.

Michael Conforto had COVID, got hurt, and faltered. Lindor struggled to adjust, and when he did, he got hurt. At one point, there were so many injures, James McCann had to play first base for a stretch.

Keep in mind, the Mets entered the season without a third baseman or left fielder. Dominic Smith can hit (when he wasn’t playing through injuries like he did all year) and he can play a terrific first, but he’s just not a left fielder.

This was the year where ReplaceMets were a thing. Patrick Mazeika and Brandon Drury were getting plate appearances in big spots (because there was no other options), and they were delivering.

Eventually, the replacements to the replacements got hurt. Eventually, the dam had to break.

Despite everything, Rojas had the Mets in first place at the trade deadline by 3.5 games. At various times, even if it was just in passing, he was mentioned as a potential Manager of the Year.

The pitching was on fumes, and the best the Mets could do at the trade deadline was Trevor Williams. The Mets thought so highly of him, he was immediately assigned to Syracuse.

Eventually, the magic touch wore off, but then again, when Albert Almora is on your bench, you don’t need magic; you need a miracle. There were no miracles forthcoming.

We saw the cracks in the team. The offense who shifted from Chili Davis to Hugh Quattlebaum never clicked. The barren upper levels of the minors leagues left behind by Brodie Van Wagenen haunted the team. Ultimately, there were just too many injuries which probably should’ve been expected a year after the 2020 COVID impacted season.

There were embarrassments like the first Mets GM Jared Porter being fired for harassment. The next, Zack Scott, took a leave of absence after his DUI arrest during the season. While not of the same vein, there was the Javier Báez-Lindor thumbs down drama.

At some point, the team we all thought would win the World Series became a flat out bad team. They’d set a record by being in first place for as long as they did only to finish under .500.

Yes, during this time, Rojas made some bizarre moves. While the focus was on that, his successes were overlooked, downplayed, or not acknowledged. That’s unfortunate.

What’s also unfortunate was after what was only one full season, Rojas was fired. He never got the opportunity to learn and grow as a manager. He didn’t get to build on the things he did well.

Instead, he’s out as manager.

With the collapse, this was obviously coming. After all, Sandy Alderson wasn’t going to fire himself for punting the trade deadline and having his big time hires blow up in his face.

Between the need for a fall guy and the Mets pursuing a new president of baseball operations, Rojas was as good as gone. After all, the new POBO would want his own guy as manager.

The end result was Rojas losing his job as manager. It’s unfortunate because he never really had a chance. It’s very likely he will get that chance somewhere else, and he will very likely do well.

Until then, it’s incumbent on the Mets to prove they did the right thing. If Rojas’ all too brief tenure is any lesson, that stats and ends with building your roster because no manager, no matter how good, is going to be able to win without two regular players, shallow pitching depth, and all those injuries.

Luis Rojas Not To Blame For 2021 Season

One day, you’re in first place, and you’re a potential NL Manager of the Year. The next, your team is eliminated from postseason contention with no hope of having a .500 record.

That’s the type of year it has been for Luis Rojas and the New York Mets. As is standard, when a team falls short, the manager faces scrutiny.

It comes with the territory. Obviously, Rojas hasn’t been perfect. Assuredly, he’s made bad decisions, and there are times you wonder what in the world he’s doing.

Go pinpoint your most maddening moment. Make it out to be more than it is. Throw a few more moments on there. Magnify that.

Guess what? That’s not the reason the 2021 Mets didn’t make the postseason. It’s far from it.

In fact, for a while, Rojas was one of the things ruse was right about the Mets. At least, that was the narrative. In the end, blaming or crediting Rojas was just that – narrative.

The truth of the matter is it all fell apart. It wasn’t all at once, but rather in pieces. Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker were the only two starters to last the year with Stroman the only one to have sustained success into the second half.

Offensively, the Mets went with Chili Davis only to utilize advanced data which runs counter-intuitive to what Davis does. We saw the offense have a big letdown.

Francisco Lindor had a slow start. Michael Conforto dealt with COVID and a career worst year. That’s the tip of the iceberg with everyone not named Brandon Nimmo and maybe Pete Alonso having poor to flat out bad years.

Speaking of Nimmo, there were just so many injuries. So, so, so many injuries. When players like Jose Peraza and Jordan Yamamoto were injured, you saw the backups to the backups get hurt.

For his part, Rojas listened to the workload management rules. The front office specifically said it was the player’s fault they got hurt.

That brings us in a roundabout way to a big part of the issue. With last year being a COVID impacted year, depth was more important than ever. For some reason, the front office was cavalier with it.

Steven Matz was traded for two relievers who had little impact and another flipped for the poor performing Khalil Lee. They also made odds unforced errors like designating Johneshwy Fargas for assignment. For our mental health, we probably should’ve dwell too much on Jerad Eickhoff pitching in five games.

Fact of that matter is if Jacob deGrom was healthy, much of this season goes much differently. If the Mets hitters were just a reasonable facsimile of their career stats, the season is far different.

For that matter, if the front office looked at the roster problems and attacked them at the trade deadline, things go differently. At the end of the day, this was a first place team at the trade deadline, and the organization opted to fight another day.

In what way is all of this Rojas’ fault? The simple truth is it isn’t.

We can and should have the debate over whether Rojas is the right man for the job. Realistically speaking, he’s only had one year at the helm, and in that time, he’s shown good and bad.

The issue for any pure novice manager is whether he can grow. No one knows that yet. No one.

What we do know is the Mets shown they can win and fall apart with Rojas at the helm. Both instances were entirely tied to the strength of the roster. That brings us to the front office.

In the end, feel however you want about Rojas. It doesn’t matter because he’s not the reason the Mets disappointed this year. He may eventually be the fall guy but things aren’t magically improving because there’s another manager. The only way that happens is if the roster improves.

Mets Front Office Has No One To Blame But Themselves

As things started to slip, acting general manager Zack Scott had a press conference blaming the players for their injuries. He also called the team he assembled mediocre.

Now, that the season is falling apart with the Mets in third and 3.5 games back, owner Steve Cohen is now attacking the players:

Cohen, Scott, and whoever is with the front office can put the blame on the players all they want. Fact is, they assembled the roster, and they opted not to fortify a roster 3.5 games up in the standings at the trade deadline.

Their lone Major League acquisition was Javier Báez, a player who was dealing with heel issues at the time of the trade. He would play 10 games before hitting the IL.

The team failed to really add another starter. You could say Trevor Williams, but considering the Mets keep stashing him in Syracuse, they didn’t add one.

The Mets didn’t add to a bullpen who has been HEAVILY used. There are signs of overwork and fatigue with everyone but Aaron Loup. The front office opted to instead ride with pitchers like Anthony Banda, Yennsy Diaz, Geoff Hartlieb, and others of the same ilk in big spots.

Another important matter here is Chili Davis. His track record shows how players under his tutelage fall down this path. Despite that, they opted to keep him to start the season.

As an example of the Davis effect look at Kris Bryant. He went from an MVP to the absolute worst offensive season of his career. With Davis gone, he’s again improved to being Bryant again.

There’s another important point on Bryant. The Mets have punted on third base all year. They hoped for J.D. Davis to magically learn the position (he didn’t) or for Jonathan Villar to be a regular player (he’s been somewhat).

The Mets had the option to address the rotation, bullpen, third base, and the depth that includes non-playable players like Kevin Pillar. As we saw with the Braves, that didn’t need to be blockbuster deals.

Really, the Mets needed something like the 2015 trade for Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe. They also could’ve gone the Los Angeles Dodgers route of taking on a bad deal to get players who help.

Remember, the Dodgers current run was jump started by trading for Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez. That option was on the table with the Twins looking to move Josh Donaldson and Kenta Maeda to the Mets.

Adding Donaldson and Maeda would’ve transformed the Mets and made them significantly better. However, the deal fell apart over money.

Therein lies another problem. Entering the season and at the trade deadline, the Mets treated the luxury tax threshold as a hard cap. They were unwilling to surpass it despite the very soft penalties for first time offenders. They were unwilling to surpass it despite a new CBA being negotiated this offseason which will likely change the threshold and penalties.

All told, the Mets front office just wasn’t willing to do what they needed to do to win the division. They failed to give a first place team what they needed to stay there.

In the end, they can point all the fingers they want, but at the end of the day, this team is a direct reflection of their actions, and when this team misses the postseason, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Michael Conforto Can’t Hit For Power

Top seven. One on. Two out. A.J. Minter leaves an 88.9 MPH cutter in the heart of the plate. Michael Conforto takes a big swing, connects, and . . . .

Ronald Acuña catches it short of the right field warning track for the last out of the inning. Instead of a 6-3 lead, the Mets lead was 4-3.

It’s an all too familiar story with Conforto this season. For some reason, he just isn’t hitting for any power. We shouldn’t dwell too much on his just having seven doubles and two homers as he did have an IL stint.

That said, those numbers over a 162 game average would be a paltry 28 doubles and eight homers. Those are Luis Guillorme numbers, not Conforto numbers.

Overall, Conforto has a .318 SLG. His ISO is .098. That just doesn’t seem possible. After all, this is a 30 home run hitter who was one of the best hitters in baseball last year.

His hard hit rate is a career worst 35.7%. His ground ball rate is a career worst 45.9%. His 7.1% HR/FB is easily the worst in his career. His Baseball Savant page is a lot of blue with Conforto having poor exit velocities and hard hit percentages.

Everywhere you look, Conforto is just having a career worst offensive season. That’s saying something too considering the year he played through a wrist injury. He’s just had more of a power outage than the State of New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.

Now, there are some mitigating factors. The ball is deadened, and MLB is working to eliminate pitchers using sticky substances. His impending free agency is hanging over him. As noted, he’s dealt with injuries.

There’s also the Chili Davis factor. Much of what we’re seeing with Conforto is something we’re seeing with other Mets, but not as extreme. Same goes for the Cubs players whose power evaporated under Davis.

To wit, there may be hope this is just a blip for Conforto. He may just need to get into rhythm and get the opportunity to work with the new hitting coaches.

The Mets and Conforto better hope that’s the case because this team has World Series aspirations, and it’s going to be difficult to get there without Conforto hitting. Taking a step further, Conforto’s value on the free agent market is going to take a massive hit if, well, he can’t anymore.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Overcome Diamondbacks And Bob Brenly Ignorance

The New York Mets went to the desert, and it was the Arizona Diamondbacks who came up dry. While the Diamondbacks did push the Mets, the Mets took this series:

1. The fact Bob Brenly is still employed after what he said about Marcus Stroman is an embarrassment to the Diamondbacks and Major League Baseball. Seriously, why hasn’t Rob Manfred stepped in here?

2. Brenly should forever keep Tom Seaver‘s name out of his mouth. He should not be sullying the name of a great man and best right handed pitcher in the post World War II era.

3. Luis Rojas going to the well with Trevor May was really bizarre. May has been struggling, and he was very fatigued.

4. Holding back Seth Lugo from a save opportunity when you’ve already used Edwin Diaz and Miguel Castro because you want to ease him back from his injury is all well and good. However, you just can’t follow that up by trying to throw him two innings in his first appearance back. That’s a contradictory and dumb position.

5. Diaz is just a different pitcher than he has ever been. He’s able to go back-to-back days now with no issue. He’s shaking off blown saves. He’s having consecutive good years. There is not enough superlatives you can throw his way right now. He really deserves credit for how much he’s improved.

6. On that note, Jeurys Familia resurrecting his career has been perhaps the biggest key to this bullpen being this good.

7. It looks like that stint at first base was great for James McCann. He’s continued hitting well, and as we’re seeing, he seems to thrive on the platoon role. Fortunately for the Mets, Tomas Nido has taken his game to a new level to make this a tenable plan.

8. Between McCann hitting again and Francisco Lindor having figured things out, perhaps we can stop passing judgments on two months. Clearly, these two needed to settle into a new city with a new coaching staff. And yes, it helps them and everyone that the team replaced Chili Davis.

9. For those who haven’t noticed, Lindor is a truly great player. Look at what he’s doing. He’s top five in the majors in OAA, and over the past month, he has a .758 OPS. Remember, that includes a period when he was in a deep slump. By September, we’re all going to laugh at the panic some people showed over his start.

10. This team is clicking with the return of Pete Alonso. His presence in the lineup seems to have taken pressure off of everyone, and frankly, it helps that he returned to the lineup in peak Alonso form.

11. There is no one tougher than Kevin Pillar. Not only did he return from that fastball to the face and surgery to replace multiple facial fractures, but he’s picked right up where he left off.

12. The Mets have had a number of injuries, but if the hamstring lingers, none might be more impactful than Jonathan Villar. Villar has been able to hold down third base with all the injuries, and while his numbers and propensity to get picked off leave something to be desired, he does find a way to have an impact on games. The Mets are going to miss him.

13. The J.D. Davis injury is getting increasingly worrisome. It seems like he just has set back after set back. You really just have to wonder if the Mets are really missing a significant injury here.

14. The fact the Mets have a 4.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves, the largest in baseball, is impressive. The fact the Mets have that lead allows them to hold their cards and wait for Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo to return at their own pace. Of course, the pitching being so dominant allows that as well.

15. At some point, Jacob deGrom gets a no-hitter, right? Sure, Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux didn’t, but you have to believe deGrom eventually gets one.

16. Because baseball is stupid, you have to guess Joey Lucchesi or David Peterson gets one before deGrom even though neither pitcher really belongs in the starting rotation right now. Injuries have really helped keep them here.

17. The Mets really need to decide if they want Peterson to be Mike Pelfrey, or if they want to try to give someone else a shot while he goes to Syracuse to develop like he needs.

18. For those saying the Mets need Pelfrey, the team can certainly figure it out. After all, they have Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and Sean Reid-Foley who can give you multiple innings consistently out of the bullpen. They also have Jerad Eickhoff, Corey Oswalt, and Thomas Szapucki to plug into the rotation. Really, there are options, and they need to do something.

19. Speaking of Gsellman, those 3.2 innings were phenomenal, and it speaks to his being back to being the pitcher the Mets thought he was when he was first called up in 2016.

20. May was right. That game winning hit by Josh Reddick was foul. Really, this just highlights the absurdity of the replay system where there aren’t cameras down the lines to ensure we get calls like that absolutely correct. Then again, this is baseball under Manfred, so why should we expect any different?

 

GAME RECAPS

Jacob deGrom Nearly Perfect

Mets Blow It Against Diamondbacks

David Peterson Should Be Demoted to Syracuse

20/20 Hindsight: Rats and Raccoons More Powerful Than Snakes

The New York Mets seemingly have a million different issues thus far, but as we saw in their sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks, it is not stopping them from winning games:

1. The biggest issue the Mets have right now is the health of Jacob deGrom. Fortunately, his MRI was clean, and even better, the team is taking a cautious approach by putting him on the IL.

2. The Mets are getting next to nothing from their starting rotation right now, and it is not stopping them from winning games because the bullpen has been phenomenal. There is a lot of credit due to Jeremy Hefner, Jeremy Accardo, and Luis Rojas for not only getting the most out of them, but also for putting them all in positions to succeed.

3. If Edwin Diaz is bailing the Mets out of innings, and he is getting five out saves, this Mets team is going to be completely unstoppable.

4. The Mets are in first place right now without Noah Syndergaard, Carlos Carrasco, Seth Lugo, and Brandon Nimmo. It is high time the narrative on Rojas shifts from over his head to being a good manager. At this pace, he may emerge as a real Manager of the Year candidate.

5. We don’t know what happened between Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor in that tunnel, but we do know it has not stopped them from turning absolutely incredible double plays.

6. The coverage of the “ratcoon” story was all the more puzzling when you consider everything the press looked the other way on when the Wilpons were in control. Apparently harassment of women and interfering with medical decisions didn’t need the serious reporting a fight between teammates warranted.

7. The press feeling insulted by Lindor “lying” to them is tough to take. After all, J.D. Davis lied to their faces about his involvement in the Astros sign stealing scandal, and they didn’t seem to remotely care.

8. At the moment, it seems like Tomas Nido is outplaying James McCann. The problem for any organization is determining whether Nido is superior to McCann or if McCann just needs some additional time to return to his expected form. Many times, it is decisions like these which define a season.

9. The Mets are getting a lot of production out of their bench. As noted, Nido is actually outplaying McCann. We also see Kevin Pillar playing very well in all aspects over the last few weeks. If he can keep this up, he is going to make decisions very difficult for the Mets.

10. If Dominic Smith is going to continue to struggle at the plate and in the field, and Pete Alonso is going to continue to play defense this well, it is going to be very difficult to find Smith playing time. The hope is the firing of Chili Davis could help turn around his season.

11. Once again, Michael Conforto appears to be a very good baseball players, and we are starting to see him pick it up defensively. It just goes to show you not to over rely or overreact to players have slow starts.

12. Jonathan Villar had a golden opportunity to claim himself an everyday job with Davis and Luis Guillorme injured. With his struggles at the plate and seeing him let a pop up fall, he’s cementing himself as a pure bench option.

13. With Villar’s struggles and Albert Almora flat out not hitting, if you look forward, perhaps the Mets could look to bring back old friend Asdrubal Cabrera for bench help for the postseason. Yes, this classifies as getting ahead of ourselves, but we should be embracing the excitement of the moment.

14. David Peterson is certainly making things easy on what the Mets should do when Carrasco and Syndergaard are ready to return from the IL.

15. One of the most bizarre things happening right now is Patrick Mazeika‘s penchant for pinch hit RBI where he doesn’t actually deliver a hit. So far, he has had an extra innings fielder’s choice and a bases loaded walk.

16. One of the biggest shames of the ratcoon fallout is seeing Mazeika not get celebrated for his first career walk off hit.

17. It’s not only funny to see Trevor Bauer up in arms over the Los Angeles Dodgers struggling, but it is downright hilarious he is being outpitched by Taijuan Walker so far this season. And yes, that is happening with Walker having a better ERA+ and FIP than Bauer.

18. For all the problems with the Mets offense, with their pitching, they only need to get to four runs. When that has happened this year, the Mets are 15-2.

19. The Mets do have a negative run differential, but that is partially fueled by their 12 run loss against the Cubs. If you take that game out of the equation, they would have a positive nine run differential, which would be good for sixth in the NL. Put another way, aside from one game, they’ve been in the upper echelon of the NL.

20. The Mets being able to play games has clearly been good for them. They’re getting into a rhythm offensively and defensively. As we see them play more and more games, we can see them get better and better. They’re in first place now, and who knows just how far they will go from here.

Game Recaps

Francisco Lindor and Mets Show Some Fight

The Rat and Raccoon Lead Mets to Victory

Mets Had a Lot of Good Despite Jacob deGrom

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Not Offensive In Cardinals Split

The New York Mets traveled to St. Louis for a four game set with the Cardinals. How they got there was strange even for Mets standards:

1. Fly Chili Davis out to St. Louis. Fire him after scoring five runs (and losing). The same offensive ineptitude continues.

2. Being fair, it’s going to take more than a series to fix Davis impact. Regardless, the Mets handling of his firing was garbage.

3. At least Francisco Lindor snapped his 0-for-26 streak. His only longer streak was 2018 when he had his best ever offensive season.

4. Even with his struggles, Lindor has walked more than he’s struck out.

5. Speaking of walks, Michael Conforto walked six times in this series. It’s another indication just how much he’s locked in at the plate.

6. Taijuan Walker was completely locked in with the best non Jacob deGrom start of the year.

7. Walker again appears to be the steal of the offseason.

8. It’s way too soon to panic about deGrom. He knows his body, and he opted to be precautious. If he says he’s ready to go again soon, we can trust him.

9. Carlos Carrasco is a bigger issue. The team may not want to call it a setback, but it was.

10. Carrasco is emblematic of a larger issue. The Mets didn’t build sufficient starting pitching depth, and right now, they don’t have a fifth starter. It’s another reason why when with Sean Reid-Foley‘s early season success, the Steven Matz trade made little sense.

11. For some bizarre reason, the Mets have a lot more trust and faith in Joey Lucchesi than Jordan Yamamoto. That’s even with Yamamoto performing better against the Cardinals than Lucchesi.

12. Marcus Stroman is a warrior. He was willing to take the ball on short rest with a hamstring injury, and he performed well in a snakebitten start.

13. It seemed all Kevin Pillar needed to get going was to get some playing time. He’s really stepped up in Brandon Nimmo‘s absence.

14. With Trevor May and Aaron Loup putting their poor first appearances behind them, the Mets bullpen has been unstoppable, and that’s before Seth Lugo returns from injury.

15. Tomas Nido is having a great season. In limited duty, he has hit and framed well. If he keeps this up, he may soon put pressure on James McCann to get some more playing time.

16. In addition to his hitting again, Jeff McNeil has certainly looked very good at second. It’s early but that 3 DRS is a great mark.

17. It’s incredible to think Albert Pujols was released. On that note, and to a lesser extent, the Mets face a similar dilemma with Robinson Cano next year.

18. It’s way too soon to seriously suggest Luis Rojas is on the hot seat. The Mets are fine, and they’ll soon start putting distances between themselves and the rest of the NL East.

19. The state of umpiring is at its worst. We saw it when they had no idea as to the rules about use of an interpreter. By the way, just allow a player to use an interpreter.

20. Not sure how they’re going to handle the vaccinated/non-vaccinated and other issues, but it will be great to see large crowds at games again.

Game Recaps

Mets Front Office Hurts Mets Chances Of Winning

Mets Split Bizarre Doubleheader

Taijuan Walker’s Brilliance Offsets Mets Inept Offense

Mets Split Bizarre Doubleheader

The first game of the doubleheader between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets was just an ugly game. Really, almost everything about it was bad.

The Mets were 0-for-5 with RISP leaving five men in baseball. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

The Mets loaded the bases in the fourth wig no outs. They only scored one run on a James McCann fielder’s choice. On the play, Nolan Arenado fielded the ball while stepping on the bag simultaneously.

After that, Jonathan Villar and Albert Almora struck out to end what was the Mets only rally of the game.

Of course, no discussion of that fourth inning is complete without discussing the Kwang Hyun Kim interpreter controversy and ensuing roughly 10 minutes of deliberations and replay.

Cardinals catcher Andrew Knizer went to the mound to talk with Kim, and Kim’s interpreter came from the dugout to the mound. Later in the inning, the interpreter joined Mike Maddux, Luis Rojas correctly pointed out that was technically a second mound visit necessitating Kim be removed from the game.

The umpires blew the call because they didn’t know the rules, and the replay officials got it wrong even when they informed them of the rule, they let Kim stay in the game.

Sadly, Marcus Stroman, who was making a start on a sore hamstring, made the mistake of allowing two earned runs.

The first was a Paul Goldschmidt first inning homer. In the third, Arenado had an RBI single. That’s all the runs the Cardinals would need.

The final score was 4-1 as Francisco Lindor threw a ball away with two outs, and Paul DeJong continued being a Mets killer by hitting a two run homer.

While we wouldn’t see the Mets offense respond to the Chili Davis firing in the first game, we would in the second.

After a scoreless first where we saw the Mets use Miguel Castro as an opener, the Mets bats would put runs on the board for Castro and Jordan Yamamoto, who was making his first Mets appearance.

Dominic Smith started a rally against Cardinals starter Johan Oviedo with a lead-off single. He’d move to third on a Kevin Pillar double.

With respect to Pillar, he’s really stepped up when the Mets needed it most. Their best hitter, Nimmo, was injured and finally hit the IL. Since Nimmo has gone down, Pillar is 8-for-16 with four runs, a double, two homers, and four RBI.

After two quick outs, you were left wondering if the Mets would ever score. That made Oviedo’s wild pitch allowing Smith to score a relief. What was even better was Tomas Nido‘s ensuing two run homer:

The Cardinals had a chance to respond in the second. Former Met Ali Sanchez doubled, and Oviedo tried to help his own cause, but Pillar would gun down Sanchez.

Villar increased the Mets lead to 4-0 with a solo homer in the fourth.

The Cardinals put a rally together in the fourth. Yamamoto hit Tyler O’Neill to start the inning, and he’d be on second with two outs when the Mets went to the bullpen.

Aaron Loup relieved Yamamoto, and he’d allow an inherited runner to score on a Dylan Carlson pinch hit RBI single. Things were getting dangerous after a Tommy Edman single, but Loup would retire Matt Carpenter to get out of the inning.

After the Cardinals scored one in the bottom of fourth, the Mets would get one back and then some in the fifth.

What was impressive was the Mets delivered with two outs again. With runners on first and second and two outs, Pillar and Villar hit consecutive RBI singles to increase the Mets lead to 6-1.

Villar, the surprise starter at short had a very good game. In addition to the two RBI, he’d later make a very good play in the hole.

From there, Trevor May pitched a scoreless fifth, and Robert Gsellman allowed one run in the sixth.

With Bernardo Flores Jr. wild, the Mets took advantage loading the bases and scoring a run on a Pillar RBI groundout.

The Mets sent Jeurys Familia to the mound to close out the five run lead. Even though such an act was impossible earlier in the week for Edwin Diaz, Familia took care of business securing the 7-2 win.

In a bizarre series of games, the Mets secured a split of the doubleheader, and they are in position to split the series with a win tomorrow. That closes out a wild 72 hours.

Game Notes: Sean Reid-Foley was the Mets 27th man for the doubleheader. Lindor is hitless over his last 24 at-bats, the second worst stretch in his career. Brandon Nimmo was put on the IL between games with Patrick Mazeika getting called up off the taxi squad. Keith Hernandez was inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame.

Pete Alonso Did Not Get Chili Davis Fired

In some ways, the Chili Davis firing was a surprise. After all, you don’t fly a hitting coach out to a city and fire him after one game. You also don’t see it happen just as the team starts scoring runs again.

On the other hand, this was not a surprising move in the least. Even with the recent surge, the New York Mets overall offensive performance was dismal, and Francisco Lindor still has not hit yet.

There’s another factor here as well – Zack Scott. The Mets interim GM was part of the Boston Red Sox analytics department. For years, we’ve heard how Davis’ approach and the more analytical approach doesn’t jive, and to that end, we see a disconnect which usually results in the coach getting fired.

Unfortunately, none of that was a sufficient explanation. There were reporters who went to Peter Alonso and his Donnie Stevenson joke as either a root cause or contributing factor.

For those who forgot, Alonso jokingly indicated Donnie was the reason for the breakout. Everyone knew it was a joke, and even Steve Cohen joined in the fun:

Here’s the problem. People can’t let fun things be just that.

Mike Puma of the New York Post asked Davis about it and the role in his firing. He “chuckled” at it, and he said:

It was a fun time for them, but it probably didn’t help. People were just trying to loosen up as a group and it worked that night. They went out and put some runs on the board. I am all for them enjoying the game

According to Davis, he thought it was a fun thing, and in the interview, he noted he believes he’d still have the job if Lindor was hitting. To a certain extent, the fact that Davis did speak to it not helping matters did make it a bit of a fair game to ask Alonso and the other players about it.

There’s just one problem with that. Before speaking with Davis or Alonso, that question had already been posed to Scott when he made himself available to the media after the firing. When pressed on the Donnie Stevenson angle, Scott had replied:

I think that should highlight that this isn’t about recent results. This is about the process behind the scenes. Whether we’re not hitting with runners in scoring position or knocking 17 hits or whatever we had last night, it’s not about that. It’s too early to be overreacting to small samples of results. It’s really about what the daily process is and the assessment — my assessment from doing a lot of research and observations of my own was that we can be better and this is a step towards that.

Put another way, this was about “process.” It didn’t have to do with Alonso’ creation of Donnie Stevenson and the players having some fun with that. It also really didn’t have to do with Lindor not hitting. This was a GM who had been involved in the firing of Davis in Boston, and as the GM, he once again had an issue with Davis’ process, and he once again took part in his firing.

Despite Scott speaking to that, there were articles written about the Donnie Stevenson effect, and then Alonso was asked about it. Aside from the effect the link had already been dismissed, Alonso was surprisingly candid in his responses, and he was obviously emotional about it. Despite that, Alonso was asked about the impact he had on the firing even after the obviously tenuous link had been dismissed.

To even suggest Alonso had a part in the firing of Davis is extraordinarily unfair, and frankly, it’s a cheap shot levied at a person who was honest and emotional about the firing. Alonso deserved much better than that, and anyone suggesting the player who started off the year with a 142 wRC+ to start the season had any impact on Davis being fired owes Alonso an apology.