Chris Bassitt

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Finally Lose Two In A Row

The New York Mets went to San Francisco looking to take yet another series, but this time, they failed, and for the first time this season, we saw some cracks in the foundation.

1.  If Edwin Diaz wants to be considered an elite closer, he cannot blow that save. Even when he is at his best, he has a propensity to blow saves in an inordinate fashion, and that is starting to creep back this season.

2.  A bigger issue in the bullpen is Drew Smith. The Mets can ill afford him regressing. No, you shouldn’t anticipate he would be the 12 scoreless appearance guy he was to start the season, but lately, he’s allowed runs in four of his last six appearances. There needs to be a happy medium here.

3.  Luis Guillorme is one of the Mets best players. He sits. J.D. Davis has a four hit game. He sits. Dominic Smith has a multi-hit game. He sits. It’s like Buck Showalter is punishing players for playing well.

4.  Starting Thomas Szapucki was just plain wrong on every level, and it cost the Mets a game.

5.  Yet again, Trevor Williams and Stephen Nogosek stepped up for the Mets. Williams needs a job in the starting rotation, and Nogosek is earning a deeper look going forward.

6.  Colin Holderman was been fantastic.

7.  Chris Bassitt chose a bad time for his first bad start, but it is what it is. He’s been great all year, and he will be fine.

8.  With his versatility and hitting, the Mets can ill afford to lose Jeff McNeil. That is even with Guillorme being more than capable of locking down second.

9.  McNeil’s sliding catch is why this Mets team is great. It was 9-1 in the third, and he’s risking injury to make an out. This team keeps fighting and does not quit no matter what the obstacle.

10. Francisco Lindor was a force in this series, and he fueled that seven run comeback. It was a reminder he’s an All-Star caliber player and future Hall of Famer.

11. For the first time in a long time, Eduardo Escobar had a good series. It was more than the doubles. It was the hustle on that infield single.

12. Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte certainly set the tone atop the lineup. It’s not just the at-bats or getting on base. It’s the way they hustle. It has rubbed off on everyone on this roster.

13. You can say until you’re blue in the face the Mets need to get a starting pitcher. They’re not available now. The Mets just have to weather this storm.

14. The ceiling is not caving in on this team. That is partially because the Phillies and Nationals are next. That said, they absolutely need to take care of business with an absolutely brutal West Coast trip to open June.

15. Just as Patrick Mazeika looked like he was going to push for more playing time, he stopped hitting. He also doesn’t seem to be syncing with up with the starting pitchers.

16. For all the talk about J.D. Martinez, the Boston Red Sox have gotten hot, and it looks like they can play themselves back into the expanded postseason picture. Also, we again need to note teams don’t make big trades like this in May.

17. While many are focusing on trades and needs and starting to panic, this Mets team keeps reminding us how good they are and just how much fight they have. That ninth inning rally against the Phillies was no fluke. This is deeply ingrained in the team’s DNA.

18. Mark Canha has really stepped it up of late. He had a big series against the Giants, and he’s reached safely in seven straight games. This comes at a time when the Mets need all of their bats to step it up.

19. It is certainly interesting that Showalter thinks Canha needs to sit as much as he does. What it says is difficult to ascertain, but we will see if this changes with McNeil banged up.

20. The Mets have a chance to absolutely bury the Phillies. They need to take advantage.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Leaving Colorado Mile High In Standings

The New York Mets went to Colorado, and while they didn’t explode offensively, they took yet another series.

1.  The Mets are as good as they are because they don’t let losses spiral out of control. They’ve lost two in a row just once, and they have won 14 consecutive games following a loss.

2.  Starling Marte following bereavement leave with a homer was as feel good of a moment as the Mets have had all season.

3.  The Mets may be down Jacob deGrom, Tylor Megill, and Max Scherzer, but they still have starting pitching on this team.

4.  Carlos Carrasco was very good allowing one earned over 5.1 innings.

5.  Taijuan Walker was even better with seven shutout innings. Between him and Carrasco, that’s 12.1 terrific innings from their starters . . . in Coors.

6.  One of the smartest things Buck Showalter has done all season is pairing his groundball pitchers with the optimal infield defensive alignment. It has been something which has helped both Walker and David Peterson.

7.  Of course, that means more playing time for Luis Guillorme, which is a great thing because he was a wizard in the field again, and he just keeps hitting.

8.  Again, Guillorme needs to play everyday. Saying otherwise is just wrong at this point.

9.  Mark Canha is certainly feast-or-famine. He will have two good games followed by a prolonged stretch of bad games.

10. It’s a good thing Eduardo Escobar historically struggles in May and follows that with a great June because it would otherwise be very worrisome that he has been this bad this month.

11. Regardless of how he hits, Escobar is not a third baseman as evidenced by this play in the field in this series and the season (-5 OAA) overall. This leaves the Mets top target at the trade deadline third base.

12. Patrick Mazeika has stepped up in his limited duty, but with Tomas Nido not hitting, the Mets are going to have to find a catcher at some point.

13. Growing up in Wyoming, Brandon Nimmo was a Rockies fan, and he always seems to play very well while out there. Then again, Nimmo plays well everywhere.

14. Chasen Shreve is really fighting it now, but mostly, he is just a victim of baseball’s three batter rule. The rule just never made sense, and it makes it all the more difficult for relievers to thrive.

15. Trevor Williams gave the Mets what you expect from a fifth starter in Coors. To some degree, it was surprising the team did not look to stretch him past four innings especially with him only at 52 pitches.

16. The Mets offense did not give you what you expected. A large part of that is the Mets offense regressed in May going from a 115 wRC+ in April to 105 this month.

17. Give the Mets credit, they did all you can expect up to this point of the season, and they have a seven game lead to show for it. They’re going to need it too with their top starters down as they head to a brutal June schedule.

18. Chris Bassitt avoided arbitration with a mutual $19 million option for next year. He’s not going to take it, but it going to be a launching board for an extension, which would be a great thing.

19. When the Mets are out of town playing a late night West Coast series, it is always great to head to Brooklyn to take in a Cyclones game. It is a great park.

20. This Mets team is more resilient and more special than what we have seen since 2016. They’re going to be in the postseason and make noise.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Back On Winning Ways Despite Biggest Losses Of All

The New York Mets responded to losing their first series of the season by taking three out of four from the St. Louis Cardinals. However, that does not mean the Mets did not sustain major losses.

1.  The worst thing to happen with the Mets this week was the death of Starling Marte‘s grandmother, a woman who began raising him when he was nine after his mother died. This is on the same week as the anniversary of his wife’s death. Nothing related to the Mets can be worse than this, and fans should greet him with a standing ovation when he returns to Citi Field.

2.  In terms of on-field, the Max Scherzer news is devastating. The Mets need him atop the rotation, and really they are at the point where they cannot afford to lose another starter.

3.  It would appear Scherzer and Jacob deGrom are on a race to see who will be the first to return. Never did we think this would happen this season, and yet, here we are.

4.  This makes the Chris Bassitt acquisition all the more important. He’s a legitimate top of the rotation pitcher (not an ace) for this team when they need one. We saw him be that in the series finale.

5.  Mets pitching from unlikely sources have stepped up all season, so maybe we will see it again. For example, Colin Holderman just picked up his first career win.

6.  In fact, pitchers not on the Opening Day roster to begin the season – Holderman, Adonis Medina, Stephen Nogosek, Jake Reed, and Yoan Lopez – have combined to allow just three earned over 17.1 innings.

7.  Speaking of stepping up, Trevor Williams stepped up big time pitching four scoreless innings. Really, he has been very good for the Mets eating innings over his last three appearances allowing just three earned over 11 1/3 innings. That’s great because he now needs to fill-in for Scherzer.

8.  In the series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals, Pete Alonso hit a two run walk-off homer with an accompanying jump shot to give the Mets yet another series win. It was the capper for a big series for Alonso which saw him hit two homers with seven RBI.

9.  Alonso is having a big month. Over 18 games so far, he is hitting .309/.397/.618 with three doubles, six homers, and 19 RBI. It’s about to get a lot better with him and the Mets headed to Coors Field.

10. Again, Luis Guillorme needs to be an everyday player on this team. He was 5-for-12 in this series with a double and RBI. He’s hitting .323/.382/.484 in May. Really, there is zero reason not to play him everyday.

11. Buck Showalter makes some baffling moves sometimes like lifting Guillorme late in the game for Travis Jankowski only to bunt him over. Really, the Mets brought in a pinch runner to be sacrificed over and worsened their defense in what was then a tight game where the Mets had a lead.

12. For all the nonsense hysteria over Francisco Lindor. he was 4-for-12 in this series with six walks and has reached base safely in eight straight games. He’s fine and still a great player.

13. Time and again, Brandon Nimmo comes up huge. Whether it was the RBI triple or another big hit or great play, Nimmo is one of the best players in all of baseball and needs to be extended.

14. Speaking of great plays, Jeff McNeil scaling the wall and throwing out a player tagging up was just a phenomenal play. Really, between the versatility, improved defense, and his hitting, this is the best he has ever been.

15. Good for Dominic Smith for backing up his talk of wanting to play every day by going 3-for-7 with a run, double, two walks, and two RBI. This is the type of player who needs to play everyday.

16. Of course, the Mets followed his hot hitting by forcing J.D. Davis into the lineup who promptly went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The Mets really just need to stop forcing him into the lineup whenever Smith gets going. It’s just counterproductive.

17. With the Mets dealing with starting pitching injuries, they just need to play their best players. That isn’t Davis.

18. Eduardo Escobar is hurting this team with his defense, and he’s still not back to hitting. The Mets may be forced to find a third baseman at the trade deadline.

19. When you hit a game winning homer, you can do whatever crazy celebration you want including the one Alonso did.

20. For all the troubles right now, the Mets are 12 games over .500 with a seven game lead in the division. They did what they needed to do through this part of the season, and now, they just need to keep playing well to win this division regardless of who is healthy or not.ba

Mets Catchers Have Been Great

Entering this season, there was serious concern over James McCann and Tomás Nido. Between the two of them, neither one could really hit, and in terms of McCann, his defense regressed significantly. Between the two of them, Mets catchers were fifth worst in the majors by fWAR.

To some degree, a little over one month into the season, it would appear our concerns were justified. After all, McCann and Nido have combined for a 57 wRC+. While it’s shocking that’s only seventh worst in the majors, it is still horrific.

Now, a large part of that is Nido. His 38 wRC+ is eighth worst among catchers who have at least 40 plate appearances. With respect to McCann, for all the consternation, his 70 wRC+ is at least playable for the position as it is the 26th best among catchers. No, it’s not great, but with 30 teams, that’s a starting bat.

Here’s the thing, despite the struggles at the plate, the Mets catchers have been excelling this season, and as a result, the Mets are in first place as a result with the second best run differential in the National League.

In terms of framing, Mets catchers rank best in the National League. They’re also tops in terms of defensive fWAR.

As noted by Baseball Savant, McCann is the 12th best framer in all of baseball, and Nido is 33rd. Make no mistake here, this is a driving force behind the Mets success this season.

From a pitching perspective, the Mets have the fourth best FIP and fifth best ERA. From a starting pitching perspective, they have the third best FIP and foruth best ERA. All told, Mets starters have the second best fWAR in the majors.

It does help having pitchers like Max Scherzer. However, the Mets have gotten top performances across their starting staff, and that is without Jacob deGrom. That includes Tylor Megill surprising, and Chris Bassitt being even better than he was with Oakland.

Really, it was no accident the Mets had a combined no-hitter. McCann was brilliant behind the plate with his framing and pitching calling with Megill, Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz combining for the no-hitter. Seeing these pitchers with Mets catchers, we are bound to see more memorable performances this season.

Overall, this Mets team has been led by their pitching, and that is in large part because of what is happening behind the plate. No, McCann isn’t hitting, and Nido really isn’t hitting. Despite that, they’ve been driving forces for this Mets team because their work behind the plate has been stellar, and as a a result, so have been the Mets so far this season.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Love Beating Philly

Once again, the New York Mets played a series, and once again, they won the series. More than that, the Mets faced off against the Philadelphia Phillies and made some history.

1.  If you want to know why this is a special season, look no further than that comeback. After losing 330 in a row when trailing by six, the Mets scored seven runs in the ninth to shock the Phillies.

2.  That rally started with Starling Marte busting it out of the box to get an infield single. That goes back to Arizona when Marte commented how he needs to hustle more like Brandon Nimmo. Notably, in that game, Marte had a game winning infield hit.

3.  In a game like that, there are heroes abound, and that includes Adonis Medina who pitched 2.2 scoreless to prevent the Phillies from tacking on more runs. Maybe, the Mets have something with him.

4.  Between that rally and the co-no, the Mets really have done a number on the Phillies so far this season.

5.  Not now, but at some point, Taijuan Walker‘s rotation spot will be in jeopardy. Tylor Megill is pitching too well to come out of the rotation, and David Peterson has taken advantage of every opportunity. Also, at some point, Jacob deGrom is going to come back.

6.  After the last series, there is some surprise there was no real issues regarding batters getting hit by pitches.

7.  Max Scherzer‘s unbeaten streak of 24 straigh starts ended on a game where he allowed three earned in six innings. That’s more on the team than him, but overall, this speaks to just how great he is.

8.  Eduardo Escobar has been really bad lately. He’s not hitting, and his defense keeps slipping. Fortunately for him,. the Mets really don’t have another third base option leaving him to be able to fight through it.

9.  Mark Canha hasn’t been hitting much either, but his defense has improved significantly, and he did have a key hit off the pitcher during that ninth inning rally.

10. Chris Bassitt wants to stay with the Mets, and each time he takes the mound, he gives the team another reason to sign him to an extension.

11. Obviously, there is a long line of extensions which needs to get done with Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Diaz needing extensions of their own. That’s nothing to say of the others coming down the pike like Seth Lugo.

12. After dealing with the dead ball by going the other way, we saw Pete Alonso hit two big homers at Citizen’s Bank Park. Perhaps, he is ready to have a break out.

13. You know everything will be alright by the end of the season, but Francisco Lindor‘s defense has been bad. It’s not just the errors. He has a -2 OAA too.

14. The Mets haven’t really given Dominic Smith a chance to get in rhythm, but he’s not forcing the issue with his latest cold snap which includes striking out in the ninth as the tying run at the plate twice in this series.

15. On that point with Dom, who do you sit him after a 4-for-4 game?

16. While Smith is struggling, keep in mind J.D. Davis is hitting .231 with a .734 OPS meaning he’s not exactly pushing for playing time. Moreover, he’s a horrid defender, and with extended playing time he gets exposed with his struggles handling velocity and pitches up in the zone.

17. Remember when the Mets can’t beat good teams was a thing? Well, the Diamondbacks are over .500 now. More to the point, they are 2-4 against the Mets and 13-10 against everyone else.

18. The Mets are 9-4 (.692) against teams with a winning record, and they are 11-5 (.688) against teams with a losing record. While a fractionally small difference, the Mets are better against good teams than bad teams.

19. Chasen Shreve has been awesome to start the season.

20. Right now, the Mets have a 6.0 game lead over the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins in the division. For all the days the Mets were in first place last season, the Mets were never more than 5.5 games up, and they were up 5.5 games for all of three games during the season.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Blow Opportunity

The New York Mets had won seven straight series before a key divisional match-up against the Atlanta Braves. They would not make it an eighth straight series.

1.  Last season, the Mets failed on multiple occasions to deliver a knockout blow to the Braves leading to the Braves buying at the deadline, winning the division, and eventually, winning the World Series. This was the Mets first chance to deliver a huge blow to the under .500 Braves, and instead, they let the Braves walk away with a split.

2.  You can’t use Adam Ottavino for three straight games. That’s just an unforced error that helped lead to the Mets getting blown out.

3.  Buck Showalter came into this season with a number of questions. Seeing how he burns Drew Smith for two innings instead of saving him for another day and used an injured Trevor May in a key spot, it would seem like he hasn’t improved in the slightest in this area.

4.  Chris Bassitt and Tylor Megill deserved better.

5.  If Bassitt wants to sign an extension, the Mets should sign him to one. This is a good pitcher who seems to like pitching here. You keep those guys.

6.  The walks are starting to pile up with Megill. If he isn’t pounding the strike zone, he becomes vulnerable to the big inning. That is essentially what happened to him. Right now, this isn’t any cause for alarm.

7.  All the metrics say Francisco Lindor is hitting the ball very well, but the results aren’t there. Put another way, it’s too soon to overreact, but it is something we need to monitor.

8.  The Mets poor hard hit rates is not an issue for players like Jeff McNeil and Luis Guillorme. However, it is a much larger issue for the rest of the team who are more line drive power hitters.

9.  Eduardo Escobar went from pleasant surprise and leader to looking like the player the Mets shouldn’t have jumped the market to sign. His hard hit rates are cratering as is his defense.

10. Starting J.D. Davis over Dominic Smith, especially with a right-handed pitcher starting is just plain wrong. With extended playing time, Davis’ struggles with any sort of velocity and with pitches up in the zone are magnified.

11. For all the focus on the struggles of the bullpen, Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, and Smith have the final 2-3 innings locked down. Looking at that, building the rest of the bullpen is a much easier task until May returns from the IL.

12. It’s very interesting how May and Jacob deGrom were dealing with very similar injuries. What that says about the Mets is anyone’s guess.

13. The umpiring in this series was embarrassing. It helped cost one game with Dansby Swanson being ruled to have a double on a clear foul ball. Dom was called out on a pitch well out of the zone. Between this series and the Madison Bumgarner ejection in Arizona, the umpiring has been unacceptably poor this season. Really, you know it’s bad when Max Scherzer gets thrown out of a game when he’s not pitching.

14. The notion anything other than balls and strikes is not reviewable is ludicrous.

15. Travis d’Arnaud is certainly going the way of Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner in how he is making the Mets pay for their flat out wrong decision to cut him loose and look in another direction.

16. Players like Travis Jankowski and Guillorme deserve more respect. They fill their roles in perfectly and make this ball club infinitely better. Jankowski knows people won’t buy his jersey, but we will all cheer him on like he’s a superstar.

17. Carlos Carrasco has been amazing this season, and his eight innings not only helped the Mets pick up a win, but it also saved the bullpen.

18. Trevor Williams wasn’t great, but he took one for the team pitching 3.2 innings. Outings like this often get overlooked and under appreciated, but it is something which will really help the Mets in the long run. With May out, you do wonder if the Mets can give him more of a look out of the pen. After all, it’s not like they have other options.

19. The Showalter suspension was ridiculous, especially when you consider Stubby Clapp wasn’t suspended. You do wonder how much that impacted the Mets in the opener of the series, especially with Showalter being informed right before game time.

20. Alonso is heating up just when the Mets need his bat to carry this team. Hopefully, he can help carry the offense as they try to give the Philadelphia Phillies the knock out blow they failed to give the Braves.

Recaps

Same Old Mets Against Braves

Mets Send Message to Braves

Credit to Trevor Williams

Same Old Mets Against Braves

We’ve seen this story time and again. It’s just something about those wretched Atlanta Braves uniforms. The New York Mets are going great, and then, it stops abruptly.

Seriously, the Mets had more bad luck and miscues than they had the previous 33 games combined.

You knew something was off in the first. Brandon Nimmo was on second with no outs. Francisco Lindor hit a ball center fielder Adam Duvall caught while pedaling backwards. Nimmo has a mind cramp not tagging and going for third, and he knew it almost immediately.

It wasn’t the only time this happened to the Mets in this game. In the seventh, Tyler Matzek threw what should’ve been a wild pitch, but Jeff McNeil hesitated and stayed at first.

It’s notable neither player scored. You could argue they weren’t scoring anyway. That said, it just spoke to how the Mets were just slightly off.

It’s one of the reasons the Mets blew a lead and lost this game. The other was just bad luck.

Heading into the sixth, the Mets had a 2-1 lead. The first run came pure courtesy of Starling Marte‘s speed.

Marte hit a one out double against Braves starter Max Fried, and he advanced to third on a McNeil flyout. That put him in position to score on a wild pitch.

It’s noteworthy Travis d’Arnaud was under assault all night. Braves pitchers were very wild spiking a number of pitches in the dirt. All night, it seemed like Marte was the only one who took advantage.

That lead grew to 2-0 in the third when Mark Canha hit his first homer with the Mets:

The 2-0 looked good enough because Chris Bassitt was dealing. Through five he had allowed just an Austin Riley solo homer, and he had overcome a blown call from home plate umpire Chad Fairchild.

What’s difficult to know is how much that blown strike call impacted the rest of the game. Bassitt had to expend energy facing two more batters he didn’t need to face.

Then again, Bassitt was not hit hard. Really, in the sixth, he was dinked and dunked to death.

There were runners on first and second with one out when d’Arnaud hit one a foot off the plate which dropped perfectly on the line for an RBI double tying the score.

Duvall hit a ball to medium right center. Nimmo had no momentum on the throw whereas Marte could’ve thereby allowing a better throw to home. That said, Pete Alonso made a good cut getting the last out at third.

It was 3-2 Braves, but this isn’t where they won the game. That would be the seventh. They had that chance partially because Nimmo absolutely robbed Ronald Acuna in the top of the inning.

After two quick outs, the Mets loaded the bases leading to the Braves going to Collin McHugh. Canha, the Mets best hitter with RISP, watched two go over the middle of the plate before striking out.

The Mets went to Trevor May, who had struggled all year. This was another example even if it was purely bad luck.

He issued a lead-off walk to Matt Olson, but he’d get two quick outs. Then, Ozzie Albies hit an infield single. May would then throw a pitch up and in on d’Arnaud. Somehow, d’Arnaud muscled it for a two RBI double.

This was another example of d’Arnaud being a Mets killer. Since that flat out dumb DFA, d’Arnaud has absolutely worn out the Mets.

d’Arnaud accounted for three of the five RBI against the Mets in the Braves 5-2 win. He did it hitting doubles on pitches he shouldn’t have even made contact.

The Mets chances to get a rally started in the ninth were ended before they got started. After Marte hit a one out single, Brian O’Nora made an atrocious check swing call on Jeff McNeil ringing him up.

That’s just the way it goes with the Mets and Braves. The Mets just find ways to lose their edge, and they suffer bad luck leading to them letting games slip through their fingers. Hopefully, these Mets don’t let history repeat itself.

Game Notes: Right before the game, Buck Showalter was advised he and Yoan Lopez were suspended for one game due to the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies. After a four hit night, Dominic Smith did not start. With the left-handed pitcher, J.D. Davis started. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets/Cardinals Rivalry Still Alive

The New York Mets traveled to St. Louis for another litmus test, and once again, they proved they’re this good. More than that, they proved they’re mentally tougher.

1.  Pete Alonso has now been hit twice in the head and dragged to the ground from behind by Stubby Clapp. He’s either going to break or just absolutely going to go on an absolute tear.

2.  On that note, Alonso needs to start hitting for power again. These opposite field singles aren’t going to cut it.

3.  Chris Bassitt basically said he dominated the Cardinals without being able to get a grip on the ball. He’s that good.

4. Miles Mikolas is an idiot. Bassitt threw his pitchers a life-line saying it was MLB’s fault the Cardinals hit his teammates, and Mikolas, who hit Mark Canha with a pitch, basically said, no, it’s not the ball. We’re going it on purpose, or we’re that incompetent.

5.  Sooner or later, Canha has to get an extra base hit, and it has to be more than an attempt at a hustle double. With him coming out of games last for Travis Jankowski, he’s not good enough to be a glorified slap hitter.

6.  Jankowski has proven himself to be a valuable contributor. He cannot be DFA’s May 1. That goes double when you consider how bad Robinson Cano has been.

7. That may not be an issue with J.D. Davis getting hit on the foot and having to get taken out of the game. The x-rays were negative, but if it’s a lingering issue, there will be an MRI and perhaps an IL stint.

8.  Jacob deGrom‘s MRI was a mixed bag. On the one hand, he is healing, but it does not appear he is on schedule to return when we all hoped. Still, it’s progress, so we should take it.

9.  Max Scherzer has been just as advertised. He’s out there pitching like an ace, and he’s as fierce a competitor as there is. He was in the dugout telling the Cardinals to shut up, and then he was the first one out of the dugout when the benches cleared.

10.  Oliver Marmol is a fraud. His pitchers hit Mets batters in the head. Steven Matz threw one up at Brandon Nimmo‘s head. His team knocked Davis out of a game with an injury. He is then going to get up there and complain like the Mets have been throwing at his batters all series, and then he goes and defends Clapp.

11. Nimmo has been great to start the year as has Jeff McNeil. Those are two homegrown Mets who have been the Mets best players, and they are leading them to first place.

12. The Mets are withstanding slumps from Eduardo Escobar, Francisco Lindor, and Starling Marte to win games, and they are doing it against good teams like the Cardinals. That’s a very good sign for the season.

13. With respect to Marte and Scherzer, there is a real edge to this team. We see it in how the players stick up for one another, and we see it in moments like that comeback against Giovanny Gallegos. This is just a special team.

14. Yoan Lopez made a case for himself when he buzzed Nolan Arenado. That alone is not enough to keep him on the roster (ask Jacob Rhame), but he has the respect of everyone in that clubhouse.

15. There is a lot Buck Showalter is getting wrong here. For example, batting Cano during that ninth inning was indefensibly bad. That said, the way he has handled the time share with James McCann and Tomas Nido has been a masterpiece. He’s starting to get the best out of both of them, and as a result, the Mets pitching staff.

16. Trevor May is fighting it. Fortunately, with the return of the real Seth Lugo in addition to the emerge of Drew Smith, the Mets can wait for him to get fully healthy and back on track.

17. There are some serious 1986 vibes with this Mets team. They are not just beating teams on the field, but they are also taking a mental edge. That is a very large reason why we see miscues like we did from Arenado and why Marmol was so bent out of shape.

18. it may be a golden rule not to make the last out of the inning at third, but you can give Luis Guillorme a pass trying to stretch a double to a triple because that throw from Dylan Carlson was the best you’ll ever see.

19. If you want an idea of how good the Mets are right now, the San Francisco Giants are the second best team in the majors with a 13-6 record. Half of their losses have come against the Mets.

20. The New York Yankees have been surprisingly good to start the year. Aaron Judge has been great, and he has a contract situation. Anthony Rizzo has been phenomenal. Gerrit Cole is struggling mightily. They’re in first place. Despite all of that, right now, they seem to be taking a back seat to the Mets. That is really the most shocking development of the year.

Game Recaps

Mets Shock Cardinals

Mets McCann Beat Good Teams on Road

Mets Lose While Cardinals Lose Their Cool

Mets Lose While Cardinals Lose Their Cool

Over the course of a 162 game season, there are going to be games like this. Frankly, Carlos Carrasco just didn’t have it, and as a result the New York Mets just weren’t going to win.

With the Mets winning six straight series to open the season, we shouldn’t be dwelling too much on a game like this. That goes double with the Mets resting players in advance of a travel day.

Where the focus needs to be is how the Mets comport themselves and are rattling their opponents.

Again, Mets batters were thrown at by the opposing pitcher. Steven Matz went up-and-in on Brandon Nimmo. J.D. Davis left the game with a foot injury after being plunked by Genesis Cabrera.

Finally, for the first time all season, the Mets responded in a way that wasn’t Starling Marte or Max Scherzer threatening the other team. Yoan Lopez took the ball and buzzed Nolan Arenado.

It was a pitch reminiscent of Noah Syndergaard and Alcidies Escobar. It was up-and-in, but the batter was not in danger of getting hit. Like with the 2015 World Series, an overreaction ensued.

Arenado chirped, attacked Tomas Nido, and then, he headed for Lopez. He wouldn’t get there as the benches cleared, and Arenado backed off. During the melee, the Cardinals went after Pete Alonso.

That was done by the Cardinals first base coach Stubby Clapp, a coach whose name is reminiscent of what Jimmy Duggan advises young boys to avoid. Things might’ve gotten worse, but Albert Pujols stepped in and de-escalated the situation.

At this point, the Cardinals had hit five batters. That included hitting Alonso in the helmet. Then, they went after him in a scrum.

Chris Bassitt tried to throw the Cardinals pitchers a lifeline by blaming MLB. Instead, Miles Mikolas effectively called Bassitt a liar and said Bassitt needed to take responsibility for his own control issues. Again, this was in response to Bassitt trying to absolve Cardinals pitchers of throwing at his teammates.

After the game, Cardinals manager Oli Marmol not only whined after the non-HBP, but he went on to defend attacking someone from behind:

When Buck Showalter was asked about the same course of events, his reaction was markedly different. He noted how when Alonso was ACTUALLY HIT IN THE HEAD, he went to first base.

This is where the Mets and Cardinals could not be more different. The Mets are angry they keep getting hit by pitches, but they’re channeling that anger towards beating you. So far, it’s not only worked, but it’s also galvanized the team.

With respect to the Cardinals, they couldn’t handle it. They threw with reckless abandon and kept hitting Mets batters.

When the Mets said, we get what’s happening here. It’s not your fault. The Cardinals response was to tell the Mets to take responsibility.

When the Mets three inside, the Cardinals freaked out and attacked Alonso from behind. Then, they went and pretended like all of their actions were justified.

In the end, the Mets are better than the Cardinals because they’re a better and more mature team. Every time you hit them, they get you back by winning. As for the Cardinals, well, they’re there to whine, complain, and point fingers.

The Mets took two of three, and they’ll have the mental edge when the Cardinals come visit Citi Field.

Mets McCann Beat Good Teams On Road

When you have a staff like the New York Mets have, all the offense needs to do is score a couple of runs. When they didn’t for Max Scherzer last night, they needed late inning heroics.

Tonight, the Mets got runs for Chris Bassitt, and it seemed like everything was in cruise control. Again, Bassitt was terrific.

Bassitt did have to navigate through the first inning, but it was relatively smooth sailing from there. He was working well up in the zone much to the consternation of the St. Louis Cardinals.

He pitched so well Paul DeJong didn’t even have a hit. When things are going good, they’re going good.

On the other side, the Cardinals started Jordan Hicks getting the start. He was the only Cardinals pitcher to give up runs.

The Mets opened the scoring in the third on back-to-back doubles from Jeff McNeil and James McCann. McCann had a three hit game and is apparently heating up.

After Brandon Nimmo walked, Hicks left the game with an injury. Starling Marte greeted Andre Pallante with an RBI single.

The Mets were up 2-0 with two on and no outs, and they appeared poised to blow it open. After Francisco Lindor grounded into a double play, that was it for the scoring in the inning.

One thing that was noticeable was how the ball wasn’t carrying. It was a cool night in St. Louis, but this has been a much talked about issue in baseball this season. That said, this was seemingly the first time it was truly noticeable in a Mets game.

While there wasn’t much in terms of threats after that third inning, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t drama. In the eighth, Cardinals reliever Kodi Whitley hit Pete Alonso in the helmet.

Alonso and the Mets were furious, and the benches cleared. Intentional or not, Alonso was hit in the head for the second time this season.

The Mets wouldn’t make the Cardinals pay in the eighth, but they would in the ninth.

Mark Canha hit a one out single, and Travis Jankowski pinch ran for him. Jankowski went first to third on a McNeil single.

After McCann struck out, Nimmo had a typical tough at-bat where he drew a walk. That brought up Marte who was hit by a pitch forcing home a run.

Marte wasn’t happy, but a run scored showing it was unintentional.

An interesting aside here is after Alonso was hit by the pitch, warnings were issued. Despite that Adam Ottavino plunked Tommy Edman in the eighth. Marte was plunked by Aaron Brooks in the ninth.

With no intention adjudged, neither Ottavino nor Brooks were ejected.

Drew Smith had pitched a scoreless seventh in front of Ottavino’s scoreless eighth. Even with Seth Lugo also warming, Buck Showalter went with Edwin Diaz in the ninth.

Traditionally, Diaz isn’t good on a second straight day. After a leadoff walk, it seemed like he was in for trouble again. However, he’d settle down and record the save.

With that, the Mets secured their fourth shutout of the season. It’s also the first time in franchise history they won the first six series to open the season.

Game Notes: Mets batters have been hit 18 times which is the most in the majors. Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez were unavailable leading to Todd Zeile to join Gary Cohen.