David Peterson

Mets Offense Explodes With Giant Win

Another game and another New York Mets starter with a big start. This time it was David Peterson‘s turn.

It didn’t start that way for Peterson. In the second, Brandon Crawford hit a two run homer giving the San Francisco Giants an early 2-0 lead.

The Mets would get him a lead in the top of the third. At the time, you wondered if it was going to be enough.

The Mets would nickel and dime Alex Cobb to death. For example, Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte had consecutive infield singles in the third to help load the bases.

Francisco Lindor followed with a bloop down the left field line. Darin Ruf lumbered over, but he couldn’t make the play as he and the ball landed in the stands for a two RBI automatic double.

The two RBIs tied the score at 2-2. It was also Lindor’s 500th RBI. He would then score his 609th career run as Pete Alonso absolutely launched one to give the Mets a 5-2 lead.

Peterson seemed poised to give that lead right back in the bottom of the third. He walked Ruf to start the inning and then plunked Wilmer Flores.

Peterson bore down, and he got Mike Yastrzemski to hit into the 1-6-3 double play. That play changed the game as Peterson got out of the inning, and the Mets would eventually blow out the Giants.

For Peterson, it was a well earned win. He limited the Giants to the two runs over six while striking out six.

Colin Holderman relieved Peterson in the seventh, and he continued to prove he belongs. He pitched a scoreless inning battling through a bleeding thumb on his pitching hand.

While Mets relievers literally bled, the Giants did figuratively as the Mets offense pounded them in the eighth to break the game open.

It started because Jeff McNeil just couldn’t get a bunt down all game. As noted by Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, it was partially because his approach has him running towards first at the point of contact.

When McNeil couldn’t get the bunt down to beat the shift, he instead swung away and hit a two run homer off Giants reliever Mauricio Llovera.

And then, Mark Canha went back-to-back increasing the Mets lead to 8-2.

Patrick Mazeika capped off the scoring in the inning with an RBI double. That gave the Mets a 10-2 lead. For Mazeika, it was his third straight game with a double as he attempts to get the starting catching job.

After another scoreless inning from Holderman, the Giants sent outfielder Luis Gonzalez to the mound. After the dog and pony show was over the 10-2 lead grew to 13-2.

The Mets ability to clobber the Giants pitching led to Gonzalez pitching. Things were so bad for the Giants J.D. Davis, who entered the game hitting .188 with a -0.4 WAR, had a four hit night. It was just one of those nights for the Mets.

Chasen Shreve, who has struggled mightily of late, took the mound in the ninth. Again, he let up a run, but in a 13-3 game, it’s a footnote.

The Mets are now eight up in the division. That includes being nine up on the Atlanta Braves. Yes, the Mets are this good.

Game Notes: This was Max Scherzer‘s spot in the rotation. This was Buck Showalter‘s 66th Birthday.

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.

Trevor Williams Forgotten Man In Mets Bullpen

In the third game of the season, Buck Showalter shoehorned Trevor Williams into a game under the auspices he needed to get the reliever work. In that game, Williams was credited with a blown save and a loss after allowing two unearned runs. After Williams blew that game, it seems like Showalter feels no need to get him into a game again.

In fact, since that game, Williams has only gotten into four more games. Aside from the “start,” each of those times the score differential was more than four runs. That included when the Atlanta Braves put a beating on the Mets. All told, whatever you want to call a low leverage reliever, that’s what Williams is.

It’s really bizarre when you look at is. For example, Sean Reid-Foley, a pitcher who was widely anticipated was going to be designated for assignment, was used on seven different occasions. He’s been on the IL for about two weeks now, and he still has three more appearances.

We have also seen some diminishing returns from Adam Ottavino. Ottavino has been mostly good with nine scoreless relief appearances out of his 12 appearances for the season. That said, Showalter also felt compelled to use him for three consecutive days in a series against the Braves. That helped lead to the aforementioned blowout and Williams’ fourth appearance of the season.

The problem there is the Mets need that one extra right-handed arm in the pen. Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, and Drew Smith are the late inning relievers. Joely Rodriguez and Chasen Shreve are there for the left-handed relievers. Ottavino was fine for the middle innings, and Trevor May was there for that bridge, but now he’s injured and gone for months.

This could have been a chance to see what Williams has in the tank. However, the Mets haven’t seemed inclined to use him at all. That was even the case in doubleheaders where a spot start opportunity was there. The Mets understandably and correctly went with David Peterson.

Williams was actually useful in the Mets bullpen last season, and he did show some promise. In eight appearances, he pitched 22.1 innings with a 9.3 K/9 and a 3.83 K/BB. Digging deeper, there is something there with Williams.

Generally speaking, he induces weaker contact than most pitchers, and batters have a hard time squaring the ball up against him. Typically speaking, he induces pull side ground balls. With the Mets ability to shift plus having Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil up the middle, this should play right into the Mets hands.

He has an effective sinker, and his change is a weapon. We’ve seen his sinker be one as well. There is something there with Williams even if that is being a long or low leverage reliever. Perhaps he could be more, especially refining things and working on pitch mixes with Jeremy Hefner, but he would have to get the reps to do that.

On the long reliever front, he’s been dormant for even that role. For example, Sean Gilmartin made 50 appearances in 2015, and we saw Darren Oliver make 45 appearances in 2006. So far, Williams is on a pace to make 21 appearances. That’s not going to help him, and it’s not going to help the rest of the bullpen.

Sooner or later, the Mets are going to have to give Williams more chances. They’re going to have to get him in a rhythm and try to establish himself as a real part of this bullpen. If he does, this bullpen is even better. If not, you can move on and find someone else. However, if you’re not pitching him, you can’t make any of these needed assessments. That needs to change soon.

 

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.

Mets Send Message To Braves

After losing the opener of the four game set to the Atlanta Braves and playing their worst baseball of the season, the New York Mets had a doubleheaders scheduled. With maybe not as important in the grand scheme of things, the Mets actually needed to sweep that doubleheader to continue their streak of winning their eighth series to start the season.

They did just that.

In the first game, the Mets jumped all over Charlie Morton not giving him a chance. Now, this wasn’t the Mets hitting bombs, but rather, they kept making contact and putting it where they ain’t.

It all started with surprise lead-off hitter Travis Jankowski hitting an infield single. After the perfunctory HBP, this time it was Francisco Lindor, the Mets got RBI singles from Pete Alonso and Eduardo Escobar to jump out to the early 2-0 lead.

Jankowski would be great in this game. He was a huge part of the Mets offense taking part in all of the run scoring rallies. He was there again in the second drawing a one out walk after Luis Guillorme‘s leadoff walk. Lindor hit an RBI groundout to drive home Guillorme, and again, it would be an Alonso single driving home Jankowski.

In the fourth, Jankowski put on a show with his speed. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, he stole second, and then took third on Travis d’Arnaud‘s wild throw. That permitted him to score on a Mark Canha sacrifice fly. Really, as Jankowski explained properly, he does those things a winning teams need to do.

Right there, the Mets had five runs. It would barely be enough.

David Peterson got the call up for the start with the doubleheader. For four innings, he was really good allowing just one run. It would fall apart in the fifth, which is a shame because he should have been out of the inning.

After Travis Demeritte hit a lead-off single, Guillermo Heredia struck out, and Ozzie Albies hit what should’ve been an inning ending double play. However, Peterson booted it leading to everyone being safe. On the very next pitch, Matt Olson hit a three run homer to pull the Braves within one.

The thing is, that’s the last run the Braves would score in the doubleheader.

The Mets bullpen was awesome. Adam Ottavino struck out two in his scoreless inning. Drew Smith struck out two over his two innings. Finally, Edwin Diaz was unhittable yet again. With that, the Mets took the opener 5-4.

If you thought that pitching performance was impressive, you were in for a real treat with Carlos Carrasco in the second end.

After coming out of the gates red hot, Carrasco took a major step backwards in his last start. Given what happened last season, you could understand fans concerns. This start should have allayed all of those fears.

Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a lead-off double, which again gave rise to concerns of the first inning problems last year. Carrasco settled down to mow down the Braves and pitch the first of what was eight scoreless innings.

In doubleheaders, you need at least one starter to step up. When you don’t have that, you run the risk of absolutely burning out your bullpen. Carrasco being the first Mets starter to go eight innings was bigger than the start itself. He saved the Mets bullpen for the next day. This is what veteran leaders do.

After the second inning, Carrasco would allow just two more hits. He would put the Mets in line for a big win.

After making the roster for good with the Robinson Cano DFA, Dominic Smith would get his first start since his 4-for-4 game. He picked right up where he left off hitting a two run double in his first at-bat to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead.

With respect to Dom, it is important to note just how horrid the umpiring was in these games and overall. For example, when Peterson allowed his first run of the game in the first end of the doubleheader, the ball that was hit was clearly foul. However, due to inane MLB replay rules, it was not reviewable.

With respect to Smith, one of his issues this season has been horrendous strike calls against him. We saw it again in the sixth with Smith striking out on a pitch that was a foot off of the plate.

This call was too much for everyone to take. In fact, after seeing this strike call, and really, the umpiring so far in this series, Max Scherzer would actually get ejected for arguing balls and strikes. This was actually the second time in his career he was ejected with both times coming in games he didn’t pitch.

The Mets would wind up winning this game 3-0. The second run came on a monster Alonso home run to the opposite field. Alonso has been shooting that way all year, and now, he has a big homer out there:

This was a big day for Alonso. Between the two games, he was 4-for-8 with a homer and three RBI. This is the type of hitter we have seen him be, and this is the type of hitter who can carry the Mets offense like he did in these two games.

After Seth Lugo pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save of the season, the Mets completed the doubleheader sweep. That was with the help of six scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

Overall, this was not the Mets who have struggled against the Braves. This is a Mets team ready to make a statement. They did in this game and have a chance to win an eighth straight series to start the season and let the Braves know this division belongs to the Mets.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Win Fifth Straight Series

Another series and another series win for the New York Mets. That’s five in a row to start the season.

1.  As Starling Marte said, Brandon Nimmo‘s hustle rubs off on other people. That’s what makes this team great. They’re making each other play better and harder.

2.  While the extra inning rule stinks, with Marte’s infield single and Pete Alonso‘s stretch, you can get used to extra inning replays for the Mets.

3.  Marte gave the Mets two wins with his speed. It was the infield single, and then, it was the go-ahead run with the double, stolen base, and error on the throw. We’re seeing he can have an impact while still struggling at the plate.

4.  Seth Lugo is back. He’s throwing strikes, getting spin on his curve, and dominating again.

5.  As we saw with the homer, so is Edwin Diaz. He’s always a mixed bag, so we just have to ride the wave this season.

6.  Tylor Megill shook off a rough start to have a very good start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He may very well be a special pitcher.

7.  David Peterson did not deserve the demotion. He showed he is a Major League caliber pitcher right now, but he’s still seventh on the depth chart with Taijuan Walker set to return. This is a good problem to have for the Mets.

8.  With the rosters shrinking May 1, Trevor Williams is putting himself on the bubble with his struggles. Part of that is Buck Showalter‘s usage of him not allowing him to get into the flow of the season.

9.  In some ways, the Mets biggest hit of the season was the James McCann homer. If he gets going at the plate, this is a truly elite team with the way he has framed this season.

10. There aren’t a lot of positives with Trevor May‘s performance so far, but much of that is explainable. He dealt with arms issues, and Showalter is just asking him to do things he has never been comfortable doing in his career.

11. Showalter needs to stop shoehorning Robinson Cano into the lineup. While he can still contribute some, he is just not an everyday player or semi-regular right now. Other players deserve the playing time.

12. Luis Guillorme has earned his playing time, and he should be getting more. The DH allows to get his bat into the lineup and get rest for the outfielders who have been injury prone in their careers.

13. Mark Canha has cooled off, and he still doesn’t have an extra base hit. His hard hit rates are also concerning as is his poor defense to start the season.

14. While he’s had his moments, Alonso has been mostly poor to start the season. His defense has slipped completely, and he’s swinging at a lot of the zone. In some ways, this is very promising because once he gets going, watch out!

15. The Mets are beating bad teams, which is the key to making the postseason. In fact, that’s basically all they did in 2015, and they came within Terry Collins of winning the World Series that year.

16. It is a real shame Michael Conforto is done for the year. Not only is this costing him a year of his prime, but it is also costing the Mets a draft pick and pool money because Conforto had turned down the qualifying offer.

17. Given the year he had, Conforto probably should’ve accepted the qualifying offer and built back his value. That said, the talk around him rejecting the extension is plain wrong. That was a severely discounted offer anyone would’ve rejected.

18. Noah Syndergaard has been excellent to start the season, and Marcus Stroman has been quite bad. This hasn’t been discussed much because the Mets have been excellent with a very good rotation. That’s something the Wilpons never figured out. Make those decisions but make other ones to justify it.

19. In some ways, the Mets are about to get their real first test of the season with a long flight to play the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. This is a true measuring stick of where they are, especially with the Mets having Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt pitching in the series.

20. The Mets are the only team in baseball with 12 wins. It is a really good time to be a Mets fan right now.

Mets Extra Inning Replay Magic

This was just the latest example of how good this New York Mets team is and can be. There was every excuse not to win, but win they did.

They flew cross-county after playing the San Francisco Giants at home. The travel and let down after a big series win wasn’t a deterrent.

The Arizona Diamondbacks had the upper hand in the starting pitching department. Zac Gallen is a good starter, and David Peterson entered that season as seventh on the Mets starting pitching depth chart.

The Diamondbacks took the lead partially due to a Pete Alonso miscue in the third.

Pavin Smith hit a lead-off double, and he’d advance on what was ruled a Jose Herrera infield single. Truth be told, it was rather routine for Jeff McNeil (even with the shift), but Alonso ventured too far leaving McNeil with no one to throw to for the out.

The subsequent Cooper Hummel groundout drove in a run instead of being the last out of the inning.

There’s no sense in belaboring Alonso’s misplay. After all, Peterson didn’t cover. Also, he made a sterling play earlier robbing Matt Davidson of extra bases.

Alonso would also get the run back.

Gallen was perfect through three, but the Mets made him work. In the fourth, Brandon Nimmo had the first crack hitting a ball against the shift for a hustle double.

There would be runners at the corners with one out after a walk and fielder’s choice. Alonso went the other way to drive in the tying run.

Gallen would get through five allowing just that one run. The Mets were very lucky Gallen had a pitch restriction. They were also lucky Peterson was great.

After allowing that one run, he kept the Diamondbacks off the board. Sure, there was some luck, but Peterson did his job.

In the fifth, Smith forgot how many outs there were. After a flyout, Smith was on third allowing the Mets to double him off easily.

In the sixth, he gave up a two out double to Ketel Marte. Drew Smith entered and got him out of the inning with a lead.

The Mets got that lead in the top of the inning.

Nimmo and Starling Marte led off the inning with consecutive singles off Oliver Perez. On Marte’s single, Nimmo was overly aggressive going first to third. He was lucky Davison dropped the throw. Marte followed the play and went to second.

Nimmo scored on a Lindor sacrifice fly with Marte advancing. That allowed Marte to score on the Alonso fielder’s choice.

The Mets were not done scoring. In the seventh, we saw James McCann break out hitting a LONG home run expanding the Mets lead to 5-1.

The Mets needed everyone of those runs as the bullpen struggled.

It started with Chasen Shreve allowing a pair of singles leading to a Daulton Varsho sacrifice fly.

Trevor May looked a little rusty allowing Hummel to double. May almost worked his way around that, but Christian Walker shocked everyone by hitting a very rough pitch up-and-in for a two run homer.

Edwin Diaz came on in the ninth to save the Mets 5-4 lead. After getting two quick outs, Varsho hit the game tying homer sending this to extra innings.

McNeil was the Manfred Man, and McCann led off the inning with a ground out to the right side allowing McNeil to advance. With the infield in, Nimmo hit one on the screws at Nick Ahmed.

Ahmed bobbled it, but with McNeil already holding, he was stuck at third. From here, we’d again see replay help the Mets in extra innings.

Marte hit a ball fielded deep and on the line. Davidson made a string throw leading to the out call. Upon replay, Marte beat the throw allowing McNeil to score the go-ahead run.

With Diaz already used, Buck Showalter went to Seth Lugo for the save. This looked like the Lugo of old.

He struck out Hummel and Marte to start the inning. After walking Davidson, he got Walker to pop out to McNeil in shallow center.

Overall, this wasn’t pretty. The Mets blew a lead and then find a way, but that’s what they did. They won 6-5.

Game Notes: Mets bullpen scoreless inning streak ended at 17.2 innings.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Roll Over Phillies

The New York Mets traveled to Philadelphia for their first “test” of the 2022 season. While it started rocky, the team passed with flying colors.

1.  The Mets built this team on starting pitching, and it is working. They league the league in innings, ERA, and WHIP while being second in strikeouts. That could be the biggest reason they started the season 5-2.

2. Tylor Megill is doing everything we expected from Jacob deGrom did. Just imagine how good things will look when they are both in the rotation.

3.  Taijuan Walker looked great until he had to leave with injury. Fortunately, it appears he will be fine.

4.  David Peterson stepped up in long relief, and it appears he will rejoin the rotation. On that front, he started out jittery, and the K/BB wasn’t great. Still, there is talent there.

5. James McCann isn’t hitting now, but at least his framing seems much improved. So long as he and Tomas Nido continue to frame, they are more than doing their job.

6. As good as the starting rotation is, the bullpen has been that bad. Much of the blame there goes to how Buck Showalter chooses to utilize them.

7. Showalter knew Trevor May was dealing with bicep and tricep issues, and he still tried to push him another inning. This is all the more egregious considering it was cold and Showalter just came from a lecture about not pushing relievers early in the season. Fortunately, May is alright.

8. Joely Rodriguez is terrible when pitching to right-handed batters, which is exactly why trading away Miguel Castro for him made zero sense.

9.  Brandon Nimmo has been phenomenal atop the lineup. He has been everything we could expect and more.

10. The lineup in the finale of this series was perfect. Switching Francisco Lindor and Starling Marte makes so much sense analytically. Also, getting Robinson Cano out of the lineup right now makes even more sense.

11. Cano looks just about done. He has no bat speed. He has no speed. He isn’t hitting the ball with authority. This is already a huge problem.

12. Pete Alonso looks very comfortable as the DH. You still want to use the position to cycle through players on a modified rest, and you want to keep him engaged defensively, but it would be ideal for him to be the primary DH.

13. Dominic Smith needs to be better. Assuredly, some of the slow start is being sat to see if the Mets could get Cano or J.D. Davis going, but he needs to earn his way back into the linup. Hopefully, that sacrifice fly will get him going.

14. It is a pleasure watching Eduardo Escobar play. He gives his all on every play, and it was his hustle that allowed the umpires to award him a triple on that fan interference.

15. Sending Escobar was just plain dumb. Even a semi-competent throw gets him easily, and Escobar has real speed. The Mets have a very real Joey Cora issue, and it was an unforced error.

16. That Phillies lineup is frightening. As we saw on Monday, you give them an inch, and they can make you pay. More than that Joe Girardi alternates L/R so effectively you can never bring in a true LOOGY.

17. It’s a testament to this Mets offense they knocked both Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola out of the game early. It wasn’t that they put up a lot of runs, but rather, they just continued to grind and force up the pitch counts for both pitchers.

18. It should bother everyone Clayton Kershaw left a perfect game after seven innings with just 80 pitches. That is inexcusable, and there is simply no defending it. It really was everything wrong with baseball right now.

19. It is long past time we have a Tom Seaver statue, and it is going to be great seeing one on Opening Day.

20. The Mets still need to face some of the better teams in baseball to get a true feel for them, but so far, they look like a real contender this year.

Game Recaps:

Phillies Five Run Eighth Bucks Mets

Tylor Megill Outpitches Zack Wheeler

Mets Outlast Phillies

Phillies Five Run Eighth Bucks Mets

In the 2015 NLCS, the New York Mets kept pulling the ball taking advantage of Kyle Schwarber in left. In this game, it was an even better strategy because the Philadelphia Phillies had Schwarber in left and Alec Bohm at third.

Brandon Nimmo got it going with a leadoff single off Ranger Suarez. Starling Marte came up, and that’s when Alec Bohm made his first of three errors.

Instead of one or two outs, runners were on second and third. The Mets capitalized.

Pete Alonso had an RBI ground out. Eduardo Escobar had an RBI single. Later in the inning, Mark Canha had a two out RBI single.

Like that, it was 3-0 before Taijuan Walker took the mound.

The good news? Walker was brilliant. The bad news? His brilliance lasted just two innings.

After two perfect innings where Walker struck out four, he left with a shoulder injury. When compounded with the knee issues, you have to wonder when we see him again.

David Peterson came on in relief. He was shaky at first, and he was helped by an excellent pick-off move getting Jean Segura after a lead-off single. Still, he got through the third and settled down.

One thing that helped was there was some outstanding defense behind him. That included a phenomenal turn at second by Luis Guillorme to help complete the double play to end the fourth.

It was one of two the Mets turned on the day. All told, with the sinkerballer Walker, Guillorme started for defense, and he was great out there.

Peterson gave the Mets four shutout innings in relief. It was what the Mets needed, and it was a step towards stretching him out in advance of what’s expected for him to join the rotation.

Because Citizen’s Bank is a joke of a ballpark, you knew the Mets needed more than three. Well, they’d get one more thanks to James McCann.

McCann would draw a walk, and he’d steal second. That put him in scoring position to score on a Francisco Lindor two out RBI single expanding the Mets lead to 4-0.

It was an insurance run, but it wasn’t enough.

After a scoreless seventh, Buck Showalter pushed Trevor May into another inning of work; unfamiliar territory for May.

After May walked Bohm to start the inning, May was wincing and came out of the game. Now, Joely Rodriguez was warming, but with the injury, Showalter could’ve gone with whomever he wanted.

He stuck with Rodriguez.

Sure, Rodriguez would get Schwarber on an RBI ground out, and he’d strike out Bryce Harper. However, he’d allow a hit to Johan Camargo and a long home run to JT Realmuto.

That brought the Phillies to within 4-3. Showalter then went to Seth Lugo, who just didn’t have it.

He walked Nick Castellanos. Rhys Hoskins and Didi Gregorius hit back-to-back RBI doubles to give the Phillies a 5-4 lead. On the Hoskins single, the Mets could’ve had a play at the plate, but Canha flubbed the throw.

Brad Hand pitched a perfect ninth to secure the win for the Phillies. This marks the second straight game a series of bad decisions by Showalter helped cost the Mets a game. That’s two too many.

Game Notes: The start time was 6:40. Jeff McNeil sat despite his hot start at the plate.

Bold 2022 Mets Predictions

The New York Mets will be led by Buck Showalter as the team sets to try to win their first World Series since 1986. Since this is their 60th season, here are 60 bold predictions for the season.

1. The New York Mets will win the 2022 World Series.

2.  Howie Rose will retire after the season. The Mets have already tabbed their replacement in Jake Eisenberg, and Rose could not pass up the opportunity to go out calling a Mets World Series victory.

3.  Rose will return in some limited fashion to SNY and will be a fill-in replacement in 2023 and beyond.

4. Francisco Lindor will be the NL MVP. Like Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran, he’s going to have a huge second year. Unlike them, he wont’ be denied the award.

5.  Dominic Smith will force his way into the lineup. Yes, he’s battling with J.D. Davis and Robinson Cano for the DH spot, but like he did in 2019 and 2020, he’s going to force his way into the everyday lineup and not relinquish his spot.

6.  Edwin Diaz will be an All-Star. Diaz has been an every other year pitcher in his career, and following that pattern, this is his year.

7.  The Mets All-Stars this season will be Diaz, Lindor, and Max Scherzer.

8.  Jacob deGrom will receive some Cy Young votes. Whenever he comes back, he’s going to be deGrom, and he’s going to be so great, he’s going to appear on ballots.

9.  Jeff McNeil will finish the season as the left fielder. That is an injury prone outfield, and McNeil will eventually be forced to move out there.

10.  Robinson Cano will reclaim a starting job. We forget that when Cano played he was actually good in the field. If the outfield is as injury prone as we think, we will eventually play almost every day at second or DH.

11.  Chris Bassitt will have a slow first month frustrating fans, but he will have a terrific stretch starting in the middle of May as he adjusts to working with the new catchers and Jeremy Hefner.

12.  Starling Marte is going to have a fast start and quickly become a fan favorite. When he’s snubbed at All-Star time, fans are going to be livid.

13. Mark Vientos will have a thrilling MLB debut. Vientos’ bat is arguably Major League ready, and he’s going to get some run during some point of the season as a third baseman or DH. He may not relinquish a spot.

14. Brett Baty will be moved at the trade deadline. With the emergence of Vientos and the ground ball problems, the Mets feel comfortable moving him for that big piece at the trade deadline.

15. The Mets everyday catcher is not on the Opening Day roster. At some point, the Mets will swing a deal or call up Francisco Alvarez to take over as the everyday catcher.

16. The Philadelphia Phillies will be the Mets main contenders. Last year, the Atlanta Braves were dead in the water until the Mets were too injured. The Mets won’t do that again this year, and the Phillies pitching and hitters will give people more of a run than we think.

17. The Atlanta Braves will not challenge the Mets at all for the division. They’ll really miss Freddie Freeman, the bullpen will falter, and they will not get Ronald Acuna Jr. back in time.

18. Tylor Megill will last the entire season in the rotation. Now that he’s here, it is going to be difficult to remove him from the rotation. If need be, the Mets will go to a six man rotation to keep him in the majors.

19. Carlos Carrasco will rebound and will pitch like he did with Cleveland, but he will not make more than 20 starts.

20. Trevor Williams will become a huge part of the Mets bullpen as he becomes more of a fastball/slider pitcher.

21. Steve Cohen will purchase SNY during the course as the 2022 season as the Wilpons are scared off by the increasing rights deals with streamers.

22. The Mets will have multiple Gold Glove winners with Lindor and Marte.

23. Hefner will get interviews for managerial positions with other teams after this season.

24. So will Eric Chavez.

25. The Mets will not have any player at DH for more than 40 games this season.

26. J.D. Davis will make multiple relief appearances for the Mets this season.

27. The Joely Rodriguez trade will work out as well as the Alex Torres trade did for the Mets.

28. None of the Mets outfielders will play over 135 games this season.

29. Fans will fall in love with Nick Plummer and get more frustrated by Khalil Lee.

30. Mark Canha will play more games than any other Mets outfielder, but he will have the lowest WAR out of all the regular outfielders.

31. There will be an issue over Marcus Stroman not receiving a video tribute when the Chicago Cubs visit the Mets in September.

32. Old Timers’ Day will have one team wearing the 1986 Mets jerseys and the other team wearing the black jerseys.

33. Carlos Beltran will not return to Citi Field for Old Timers’ Day. We also will not see Carlos Delgado.

34. The loudest ovation on Old Timers’ Day will go to Piazza. The second loudest will go to Nolan Ryan, who will be a surprise attendee.

35. The defensive highlight of the season will come from Luis Guillorme.

36. Pete Alonso will take a step back defensively, and he will see more time at DH than initially expected.

37. A week or two into the season, we will hear some rumblings about Michael Conforto looking to return to the Mets. He won’t return, and likely, he will not sign with anyone until after the Major League draft.

38. Some team will crack the frequency on the pitch calling device, and we will eventually know it is them because they will be the surprise team of the 2022 season. It won’t be the Mets.

39. Mets fans will actually enjoy the Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts this season.

40. Showalter will be the 2022 NL Manager of the Year, and it might be unanimous.

41. Seth Lugo will return to his dominant form, but he will only be a one inning reliever. The multiple inning role will be assumed by Williams.

42. The Tom Seaver statue will be perfect.

43. Drew Smith will take over the eighth inning and will be groomed as the next closer. He will not take over the eighth due to any fault of Trevor May who will have another good year.

44. People will talk about how Scherzer isn’t what they thought he’d be and the contract was a mistake. Those people will be idiots.

45. The Mets are going to have a monster second half with them running away with the division.

46. With the Toronto Blue Jays winning the division, the Mets are going to make a push to get their unvaccinated players vaccinated to ensure their availability for the World Series.

47. Jeurys Familia will receive a tribute video when he returns to Citi Field, and there will be a mix of cheers and boos with probably more boos.

48. The Wild Card round will be a complete dud and fans will be clamoring for the return of the winner-take-all Wild Card Game.

49. We will see David Peterson bounced around between starting and relieving due to the injury issues with the Mets starting staff. He will struggle for it.

50. The Mets will not need to add bullpen pieces at the deadline because we will see pitchers like Colin Holderman and Thomas Szapucki emerge as quality relief options at the Major League level.

51. James McCann will have very similar production to what he had in 2021, and in short order, he will find himself in a catching rotation with Tomas Nido.

52. No New York baseball player will sign an in-season extension. That includes deGrom and Nimmo, and it also includes Aaron Judge.

53. There will be no negative articles written about Showalter this season even during a time in the season where the Mets slump (as even the best teams in baseball always do).

54. Taijuan Walker will make the fewest starts of anyone in the Mets pitching rotation.

55. The Mets will have a no-hitter this season, but it will not be from a starting pitcher going all nine innings.

56. This will be the last Major League season with nine inning double headers. We will see the return of seven inning double headers in 2023.

57. The Mets will announce their next Hall of Fame class, and it will include Al Leiter and Johan Santana.

58. Mets fans will not care about the Apple TV game, but they will be absolutely livid about the game on Peacock. Of course, MLB will not care one iota about the blowback.

59. Showalter is going to get Guillorme in a lot of games for late inning defense.

60. To reiterate, the Mets will win the World Series, and they will not have to wait another three decades for their next World Series.