If the Mets want a chance at the postseason, they may not be able to lose even one game. For that to happen, they’re going to need some unexpected great pitching performances.
They got that last night out of the rookie David Peterson.
Peterson would join Jerry Koosman, Pete Schourek, and Hisanori Takahashi as the only left-handed Mets rookies to strike out 10 in a game. Overall, he allowed just one run over six on three hits and four walks.
To put into perspective how well he pitched, Freddie Freeman was 0-for-5 with the golden sombrero and a GIDP. This is the same Freeman who routinely kills the Mets and is a front runner for the NL MVP.
He’d pick up the win because the Mets offense scored just enough early and blew it out late.
Offensively speaking, Robinson Cano drove the Mets to victory.
In the first, Braves starter Ian Anderson was wild walking the bases loaded. Cano delivered the rare Mets big hit with RISP with a two RBI single.
It was 3-2 entering the bottom of the eighth after a Travis d’Arnaud homer in the top of the inning. Any flashbacks to the 1998 and 1999 Mets subsided when Dominic Smith and Cano went back-to-back to expand the Mets lead to 5-2.
That rally would continue with Brandon Nimmo, who is getting insanely hot of late, hitting a two RBI single. That pushed the score to 7-2.
In the end, the Mets chances of pulling this off aren’t very good. Not in the least. However, the bright side is on a night like this, we might’ve found out something about Peterson. There’s a lot more to his career, but this big start in a huge spot is the type of game which can springboard a career.
Game Notes: Robinson Chirinos hit an RBI double in the fourth
The New York Mets never cease to be completely ridiculous and absurd. They never cease to amaze and shock you.
When you gotta go to the bathroom and you don't trust anyone to watch your bat. pic.twitter.com/LoFYokB7cF
— Roger Cormier (@yayroger) September 13, 2020
Believe it or not, this was due to “gastrointestinal discomfort,” which is probably just another way of saying he had to use the bathroom.
With the one man who scored a run over the first seven innings gone, the Mets had their own runs issues.
David Peterson had allowed two earned over five, but he had retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced. Despite his being at 81 pitches, he was lifted as the Mets went to the bullpen.
The Mets added two cosmetic runs in the eighth, but all that did was make the score 7-3 giving the allusion it was much closer than it was.
The Mets now have the fourth worst record in the NL, and they’re two games behind the Giants in the loss column for the final postseason spot with 13 games remaining.
Essentially, we’re watching the 2020 Mets season being flushed down the drain while McNeil is standing there watching with a bat.
Game Notes: Dominic Smith has an eight game hitting streak, and he knocked in two of the Mets three runs.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 29, 2020
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 28, 2020
Again, in the second end of the doubleheader, the Mets fell behind the Yankees. However, while David Peterson did struggle in his first start off the IL.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 29, 2020
With that, Rosario hit a walk-off homer in Yankee Stadium giving the Mets a 4-3 win and doubleheader sweep, and Jared Hughes picked up his first Mets win. The Mets batted last in this game (but were still technically the away team) due to this game being rescheduled from last week.
As if the doubleheader sweep with both wins coming in dramatic fashion wasn’t enough, it appears Steve Cohen will be buying the Mets. All in all, this is about as good a day as it gets for Mets fans.
Game Notes: Juan Lagares was DFAd to make room for Marisnick. In the doubleheader, Smith was an incredible 3-for-4 with two runs, a double, homer, and RBI.
First and foremost, everyone’s sincerest hope is the player and coach who tested positive will be safe and healthy. At the moment, that is the most pressing concern. After that, we all continue to hope none of the other members of the Mets organization tests positive.
That said, Mets baseball returns today with the Mets having a real grind. They’re going to play nine games over the next six days and 34 games over the final 34 days of the regular season. Assuming Brodie Van Wagenen was honest saying the Mets would not be active at the trade deadline (no one should assume Van Wagenen is honest or won’t jump at the chance to trade prospects), what the Mets have now is what they’ll have to try to grab a postseason spot.
With that being the case, it’s good these Mets got some rest because it’s the last test they’ll see all season. With that rest came some opportunities for this team.
With the time off, the Mets now get to reset their rotation. That presumably means we see Jacob deGrom pitch today in one of the two games. When you get more deGrom, the Mets not only get more rest for what will be a tested bullpen, but also a better chance of winning.
On the starting pitching front, the extra time off buys the Mets time in getting David Peterson back from injury. It also gives Steven Matz some time to work on things. The came could potentially be said for Michael Wacha, but with his history of shoulder injuries, who knows with him?
Looking at the pitching, the bullpen needs the rest their getting because they’re going to be pushed to their limits. They’re going to be up and pitching 34 times in 34 days. They’re going to need the Mets to get as many healthy and viable arms in the rotation that this team could get.
Given the construct, this bullpen needs Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo back. The bullpen is going to need the quality innings they can provide. Honestly, the plan of stretching them out may no longer be a viable one as the Mets schedule doesn’t permit for it.
Looking at the offense, Jeff McNeil has been nicked up and struggling. Currently, he’s mired in a very un-McNeil like 2-for-18 slump. The time off should hopefully allow him to heal up a bit and get back to being McNeil.
That’s of increased importance because with the condensed schedule, the team is going to have to find games off for everyone. McNeil’s versatility is needed for the Mets to maximize their lineup and defense even with the days off.
In terms of days off, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo are the only two Mets who have played in every game. This time off should help them recharge and allow them to play as many of the remaining 34 games as possible.
In terms of the rest, it is going to help this team. It’s allowing their best players to heal and recharge. It’s also allowing the Mets to reset their rotation. Overall, this time off has helped. Let’s just hope it’s enough to make the push the team needs to make over the final 34 games.
Around many corners, many were wondering if this was it for Amed Rosario. The one time uber prospect was struggling while Luis Guillorme and Andres Gimenez seemed to be forming an all-time great Mets middle infield.
That’s what small sample sizes will do to you. That’s also what the urgency of the 60 game season will do.
To their credit, the Mets haven’t given up on Rosario’s talent. Last night, they were rewarded.
It started as an ominous day. That was because in typical Mets fashion David Peterson‘s shoulder injury being worse than originally advertised. That led to Peterson being placed on the IL, and Corey Oswalt being recalled to make the emergency start.
Oswalt acquitted himself well. He threw three scoreless before getting into trouble in the fourth. In that inning, Jesus Aguilar hit an RBI double and come in to score on a Brian Anderson RBI single. That Marlins rally narrowed the score to 3-2.
The first two Mets runs came via solo homers off Marlins starter Humberto Mejia. The first of which was a Brandon Nimmo third inning shot which has continued his impressive stretch of extra base hits.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 18, 2020
The Mets rallied in the fourth with another solo homer. After that Michael Conforto walked, and Pete Alonso hit a one out single. Dominic Smith would drive in the Mets third run with a ground rule double.
That put Oswalt in position for the win, but he would fall just short. Overall, his final line was 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. He’d also have a pick-off.
Magneuris Sierra led off the fifth with a single, and he would steal second. With the Mets holding a one run lead and the tying run in scoring position, Luis Rojas brought in Justin Wilson to relieve Oswalt with one out in the fifth.
They’d maintain the lead and see it grow as Rosario began to put on a show. In addition to making diving stops in the infield, we’d see his bat come back to life. We first saw that with a no doubter in the seventh.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 19, 2020
He wasn’t done. In the eighth, the Mets loaded the bases, and Smith drew a wall forcing home a run. Then, Rosario came up and delivered an opposite field two RBI single effectively ending the game.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 19, 2020
Nimmo delivered the final RBI with a single to increase the Mets lead to 8-2. In addition to Rosario, Nimmo had a huge game as well going 3-for-5 with a run, triple, homer, and three RBI.
Going back to Rosario, he was 2-for-5 with a run, homer, and three RBI. Perhaps more than any Met, he needed this one. Maybe, he just needed to get away from Citi Field as he’s been a MUCH better hitter on the road.
Whatever the case, he put together a big game with Guillorme and Gimenez seriously vying for playing time. He helped a Mets team desperately trying to right the ship. They’re now 11-14 and three games behind the Braves.
Game Notes: Wilson picked up the win on his birthday. Jacob deGrom appears set to start the series finale against the Marlins.
For all his bravado, Brodie Van Wagenen has not only stripped the farm system down, but he did it while impinging the Major League roster’s ability to compete for a World Series. To put it in perspective, let’s just look at what the Mets roster would look like right now if Van Wagenen only kept the Mets players in the organization had he not taken the job, or, if he did nothing.
Some caveats here. This assumes free agents were re-signed. Without the Robinson Cano deal, that would’ve been possible. Also, it assumes the same players who are injured for the season would remain injured. Finally, this will eliminate those players not on active 28 man rosters. With that in mind, here’s what the 2020 Mets would’ve looked like.
2B Jeff McNeil
3B Todd Frazier
SS Amed Rosario
CF Juan Lagares
DH Pete Alonso
INF Wilmer Flores
1B/OF Jay Bruce
INF Luis Guillorme
RHP Jacob deGrom
RHP Zack Wheeler
LHP Steven Matz
LHP Anthony Kay
LHP David Peterson
RHP Seth Lugo
RHP Rafael Montero
RHP Justin Dunn
RHP Robert Gsellman
RHP Drew Smith
LHP Blake Taylor
RHP Bobby Wahl
LHP Daniel Zamora
RHP Paul Sewald
RHP Franklyn Kilome
Looking at the team overall, the starting pitching is vastly superior as is the team defense. The bullpen may not be as deep, but they certainly have the arms.
Overall, this non-Van Wagenen impacted roster would’ve certainly been better than the 9-14 team his Mets roster is. This just goes to show you how bad of a GM Van Wagenen is.
He’s made the Mets worse in 2020, and he’s made the Mets future less promising. You could not have done a worse job than Van Wagenen has done.
That’s how the Mets day game against the Nationals began. That’s how the game began. Seeing that, you probably didn’t expect the Mets to not just win, but win big.
The reason? Tomas Nido.
Peterson got ahead of Soto 0-2 before getting a REALLY low pitch for a called strike three. Part of that was another day of poor umpiring. To put how bad it was, Stephen Strasburg was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. He was seated in the stands.
The other reason is Nido is a terrific pitch framer adept at getting the low strike called. That call changed the complexity of that inning and the game. After that strikeout, the only run the Nationals would score that inning was off a Howie Kendrick RBI groundout.
One of the reasons the scoring ended there was Jeff McNeil absolutely robbed Asdrubal Cabrera of an extra base hit. McNeil would hurt himself on the play and would have to be taken off the field via stretcher.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 13, 2020
That Nationals lead was very short lived because Dominic Smith hit his fourth homer of the season:
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 13, 2020
After that it was the Nido show. In successive innings, Nido would homer. In the fourth, it was a two run shot off Voth. In the fifth, it was his first career grand slam off Seth Romero:
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 13, 2020
That second homer put him in some very exclusive Mets territory with the two homers and six RBI:
#Mets catchers with 2 HR, 6 RBI in a game:
Tomás Nido (today)
Paul Lo Duca (9/4/07)
Mike Piazza (7/3/02)
Mike Piazza (4/30/02)
Todd Hundley (5/18/96)
Gary Carter (7/11/86)
Gary Carter (9/3/85)
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) August 13, 2020
Lost in this insane day was the fact Peterson carried a no hitter into the fifth. His final line was 5.0 IP, H, R, ER, 2 BB, 3 K. He’d leave after 74 pitches due to some shoulder soreness. According to Peterson, it’s not serious.
From there, the teams would score one more run apiece in the Mets 8-2 victory. It was a complete team victory.
Overall, the Mets split the series with the Nationals. In doing so, they learned how this defense first lineup is their path to victory.
Game Notes: Billy Hamilton replaced McNeil and batted third. He finally got his first hit after going hitless in his first 15 Mets at-bats. Davis is hitless in his last 10 at-bats with six strikeouts. Andres Gimenez is tied for the MLB lead with five stolen bases.
The Mets lost two out of three to the Washington Nationals dropping them deeper into last place. While that was not good, they really found something. Hopefully, they’ll follow it through.
2. Guillorme and Gimenez gave the Mets a chance to win with their defense and their offense. Right now, the Mets cannot justify taking either out of the lineup. Not when they’re changing the complexion of games with their defense.
5. Amed Rosario is still an everyday caliber player at the Major League level, and he very well may still reach the full potential he has. With the Mets, that may need to be in CF where his tools translate extremely well.
6. Brodie Van Wagenen not looking to move one of Gimenez or Rosario to CF in an organization with tremendous middle infield depth and ZERO outfield depth is another indictment on him.
7. It’s another reason why the Robinson Cano trade was short sighted and very poorly executed. Cano needed to be moved to first or third.
8. It should be no surprise this is how Van Wagenen has operated as this is all one big grift. It’s clear the Wilpons were selling, and they were willing to trade off all of the future to win now.
9. With the sale bidding process, we see the Wilpons will do what they can to win one last World Series. We also see Van Wagenen has a complete disregard for his farm and acts like an excited puppy when teams asks for real prospects for defensive replacements. That means right now no prospect is safe . . . no matter how ridiculous the trade.
10. To set narratives straight, Michael Conforto continues to be the Mets best hitter, and he came through with a clutch hit yesterday.
11. Also, Dominic Smith should be playing everyday. Between his bat and heads up play getting the tag at second, this is a smart and very good baseball player.
13. Something just seems off all year with McNeil. He’s nowhere near the hitter or defender he was last year. He’s still a productive player, but we’ve learned to expect more. He’ll figure it out soon.
14. The Marcus Stroman trade was a bad trade at its inception, not because he opted out. The only thing the Mets can do to salvage the trade is to extend Stroman, but there’s no way the Mets do that before the sale.
15. It’s good to see Pete Alonso hitting again. The team needed it. If he’s hitting again, the Mets can roll with their defense, and they’re going to win a lot of games.
16. While everyone is taking about what the Mets need to do this offseason at catcher, they really need to have discussions on what they should do right now with Wilson Ramos playing like the worst catcher in baseball.
17. The Mets getting completely blown out by the Nationals at least once a year is a tradition we can all do without.
18. Juan Soto hitting monster homers, including two of longest in Citi Field history, and killing the Mets is another thing we never need to see again.
19. Gsellman was the right choice to move to the rotation. The Mets have the bullpen depth now to bullpen it as he gets up to speed, and his stuff plays better as a starter than reliever.
20. The NL East is a mess right now. It’s still winnable. The Mets don’t need bold moves at the trade deadline. They just need to play the right players, and they’ll win a lot of games.
Well, the last place Mets took a series from the first place Marlins. That’s certainly something we never thought would happen in August 2020, but that’s where we are.
2. If you’ll note, since the Mets have been forced to switch to a vastly superior defensive alignment, they’ve begun winning.
5. On a related note, the Mets embarrass themselves, when they tout average plays as being great plays as part of their endeavoring to make a horrendous GM look somewhat competent.
6. Gimenez shows how great the Mets had been identifying Major League talent in the draft and international free agent market during the Sandy Alderson era.
7. The Mets bullpen had stepped up in August. Part of that is Edwin Diaz returning to his old form. No, it’s not because he’s out of the closer role. It’s because he has great stuff.
8. Seth Lugo needs to be used in the highest leverage spots. That’s not always the ninth, and that’s why he can’t be used as just a closer.
9. Speaking of pitchers with great stuff, Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball and not even a blister or “hot spot” can get in his way.
11. Jared Hughes is one of those players who come along and are a pure joy. Not only has he pitched well, but he’s also shown the ability to laugh at himself. Like the Juan Uribe era, the Jared Hughes era will go down as one of the most enjoyable in Mets history.
12. Even with the juiced ball appearing to return, the Mets offense has looked off all year. That’s most likely the result of their inability to hit with RISP.
13. Pete Alonso struggling doesn’t help either. The frustrating part is every time he appears to break out, he starts slumping again.
14. Mets have been lucky getting serviceable starts from David Peterson. He did it again in this series helping the Mets turn things around.
16. This further highlights how the Mets desperately need Marcus Stroman back. That was the case when Wacha was “healthy.”
17. Michael Conforto has a hit in every game this season, and Brandon Nimmo has reached in 30 straight games (dating back to last year). Somehow, Mets fans still have a hard problem embracing them and instead ask why they’re not perfect.
18. The Cardinals have only played five games, and seemingly every time they appear set to return, there’s another positive test. Maybe they should just be contracted . . . at least for the 2020 season.
20. If the Mets want to be taken seriously, they need to beat up on a Washington Nationals team who is undermanned and playing terribly right now.
One of the most puzzling and overblown aspects of this early season was Pete Alonso struggling. The Mets made the right move for defensive purposes and to allow him to focus on hitting by moving him to DH. The move has proven to be a boon.
We saw that again tonight when he hit a two run homer off of Marlins starter Daniel Castano, who was the second straight Marlins starter to make his MLB debut. Alonso’s homer certainly got out in a hurry:
💥 1️⃣1️⃣6️⃣.9️⃣ 💥 pic.twitter.com/JoVEVyZfZT
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 9, 2020
It was the Mets second two run homer of the game. The first came from Michael Conforto who supposedly can’t hit lefties. Someone just forgot to tell Conforto and MLB pitchers this year:
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 8, 2020
Notably, Conforto has reached safely in all 15 games this season. Conforto and Brandon Nimmo remain the only Mets to reach safely in every game they’ve played.
That pair of two run homers gave David Peterson a 4-1 lead. It was another strong performance for the young lefty. He allowed two earned over five on four hits and three walks. He may have only struck out three, but he did flash some filthy stuff.
Oh my goodness David Peterson pic.twitter.com/69yR2v7QHm
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) August 9, 2020
Jeurys Familia continued his Jekyll/Hyde routine of the season struggling tonight. After allowing the first two to reach, he got Francisco Cervelli to hit into the double play he needed. Unfortunately, instead of getting out of the inning, Familia walked the next two to load the bases.
Drew Smith relieved Familia, and he made a good pitch getting Monte Harrison to hit what is normally a routine ground ball. Unfortunately with the shift, it was a two RBI single. This was a situation where the process was right, the pitch was good, but the result was bad. More often than not, if the Mets continue this approach, they’ll win more than they lose.
Smith fell down 3-0 to Jonathan Villar. Fortunately for Smith, it was a horrendous at-bat by Villar from that point forward, and Smith would get the strike out to end the jam.
Nearly a year to the date of his last performance, Robert Gsellman pitched a scoreless seventh striking out two. After Gsellman, Seth Lugo pitched a scoreless eighth. With the Mets up by four runs and it not being a save opportunity, Rojas made the right call limiting Lugo to an inning.
While eventful, Justin Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth. With that, the Mets became the first team to beat the Marlins in two weeks. That’s partially the result of the Marlins COVID19 outbreak. Whatever the case, the last place Mets beat the first place Marlins.