Well, as Art Howe used to say, the Mets battled. Put another way, for a minute, this was a game.
Walker appeared to settle down in the fourth, but it all came crashing down in the fifth. This time, instead of starting with a Springer homer, it was a Springer single against the shift.
After the single, the Mets checked on him. Apparently, his non-throwing shoulder was bothering him after a swing. The Mets opted to keep him in the game. Perhaps, they shouldn’t have.
Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. followed by hitting a ball VERY hard for a double. Walker battled with Marcus Semien in an 11 pitch at-bat. Semien won by annihilating a pitch for a three run homer. Just like that, it was 6-0, and Walker was done.
For the Mets offense, the problems began with Gary Disarcina in the first. Again, he showed no ability to properly judge when to send runners.
Brandon Nimmo led off the first with a double, and he was there with two outs when James McCann singled to left. Disarcina had no business sending Nimmo, and yet, he did with Nimmo dead to rights to end the inning.
Please tell me Nimmo ran through a stop sign from the 3B coach and didn’t get sent here lol ball beat him by 45 ft pic.twitter.com/zjr5F6r3y9
— Emily Nyman (@EmSheDoesIt) July 24, 2021
Beyond that, the Mets ability to score runs was somewhat of a story of two Springer plays. In the third, the Mets didn’t get a rally started because Springer absolutely robbed Nimmo of an extra base hit.
In the fifth, with one on, Brandon Drury appeared as a pinch hitter and drove one to right-center. The ball was in and out of Springer’s glove and was ruled a double.
Richards stymied the rally by first striking out J.D. Davis. After McCann struck out the rally was over. While the Mets would amass some hits, their scoring was over too.
In the end, this was a 10-3 loss. If not for some mistakes, perhaps it would’ve been closer. It’s also possible the Mets win. Whatever the case, it all happened, and it’s just time to look towards the rubber game.
Game Notes: David Peterson went to the 60 day IL with a broken toe. Stephen Nogosek was put on the IL. Brandon Drury was recalled. Nick Tropeano was sent to Syracuse. Rich Hill was officially added to the roster and will start tomorrow.
Sure, the New York Mets inexplicably blew a 5-0 first inning lead to the lousy Pittsburgh Pirates, but it’s still a great day for the organization. The reason? They drafted Kumar Rocker!
— MLB Draft (@MLBDraft) July 12, 2021
Before the year, Rocker was expected to be the first overall pick. For various reasons, including perceived signability as well as a late year dip in velocity, Rocket moved down the draft board. Still, with there were rumors it could happen, no one really expected him to fall to 10 where the Mets were drafting.
Still, that didn’t stop the Mets from doing their due diligence. Tommy Tanous, Marc Tramuta, and other Mets scouts went to see Rocker pitch. They saw a pitcher they thought had elite stuff and an elite makeup. They saw someone they didn’t expect to be available.
The Mets get an absolutely electric arm in Kumar Rocker with the #10 pick.
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) July 12, 2021
Despite everyone passing, they weren’t fooled, and they made the best pick possible. It’s what they did when they grabbed Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, David Peterson, Jared Kelenic, and others.
Simply put, the Mets know how to draft. They’ve become great at it, and on a day like today, when a player unexpectedly falls to them, they know exactly what to do.
That was to grab an exceptionally talented pitcher. As noted by MLB Pipeline, he had quite the repertoire with a developing change and more:
He usually operates at 93-96 mph with his heater, which can reach 99 and features some run and sink but also can get flat at times, though his velocity sat in the low 90s for three weeks early in the season. He notched all 19 of his whiffs in his no-hitter with his slider, a mid-80s beast with power and depth that grades as plus-plus, and he also has a low-80s curveball with more vertical break.
With the New York Mets in first place and there is earnest discussion over what the Mets should add at the trade deadline. With all the injuries, the discussion has centered on starting pitching.
Before delving into potential names, the first consideration should be the Mets only need four starters to get them through the postseason. With respect to that, they have a phenomenal foundation with
Now, it’s a dangerous game waiting for injured players to return. That goes double for pitchers. For example, we’ve already seen Carrasco’s and Syndergaard’s return dates pushed back repeatedly.
However, on that note, Carrasco is throwing batting practice, and he’s throwing in the mid 90s. After another session, he may be set for a rehab assignment.
Carlos Carrasco threw BP to live batters from Citi Field this afternoon 💪 pic.twitter.com/YoW8MBqnra
— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) July 6, 2021
If Carrasco continues on this path, he will have at least one start in the majors prior to the trade deadline. If he’s back in the rotation by then, there’s no sense in adding another starter.
As we’ve seen, Tylor Megill has the stuff to at least be a five and fly starter. There’s also David Peterson and Corey Oswalt, who could be available soon after their IL stints. Again, we shouldn’t count on them, but they’re part of the equation. That’s nothing to say of Syndergaard who MAY return in September in some capacity.
In terms of the fifth starter spot, they have the numbers to address it. We should keep in mind whoever that starter is, it’s unlikely they’ll be on the postseason roster, at least not as a starter.
To that point, if the Mets are looking to add pitching at the trade deadline, perhaps they should be looking more at relievers. They’ve already seen an incredible number of injuries on that front, and Miguel Castro, who was supposed to be a key piece of the bullpen, has lost his effectiveness.
Of course, if Carrasco has yet another set-back, the Mets should pivot. Moreover, if the right deal presents itself, the Mets shouldn’t object to improving the roster. That said, the team has much bigger holes in the bullpen and at third base, and after what Brodie Van Wagenen did to the roster, they have somewhat limited resources to add at the trade deadline.
Taking everything into account, as of right now, the Mets focus shouldn’t be on adding a starter. It should be on building the best possible postseason roster.
Back in 2006, the New York Mets were in first place, but they were running out of starting pitchers. As a result, they called up John Maine.
Maine was a hard throwing right-handed pitcher who never quite looked ready for the majors, at least he didn’t in Baltimore. However, with Rick Peterson and Willie Randolph, something clicked.
Maine was able to use his fastball and slider to earn a permanent spot in the Mets rotation. Maine began to really force the issue at the end of his July 8 start.
Maine had allowed a go-ahead homer in the sixth before retiring the final two batters of the inning. That started a stretch of 26 innings. By that time, a Mets team looking to add a starter felt comfortable balking at the steep prices, and of course, they had to pivot due to Duaner Sanchez’s cab ride.
Maine would have a strong 2006 season going 6-5 with a 3.60 ERA, 122 ERA+, 1.113 WHIP, and a 7.1 K/9.
What ensued was a crazy postseason where he was an emergency replacement for an injured Orlando Hernandez right before Game 1 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Maine was terrific that postseason including his picking up a win in Game 6 of the NLCS.
What Maine did that season is difficult to emulate, but as previously noted, Megill is emulating that right now. We saw another sign in his last start where he went toe-to-toe with Brandon Woodruff over five innings.
Like Maine in 2006, Megill is only in the majors due to injuries, and he may be here to stay because of them. Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard have yet to pitch this season, and their time tables keep getting pushed back.
Joey Lucchesi had season ending Tommy John surgery. Jordan Yamamoto is on the 60 day IL. David Peterson has hit the IL. The end result has been Megill rushed to the majors and getting his opportunity, and the Mets suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly being in a position where they’ll need to look to add a starter at the trade deadline.
With every start, Megill is alleviating those concerns. Working with Jeremy Hefner and Luis Rojas, he’s taken his game to another level. Working predominantly with his fastball and slider, he increasingly looks like a Major League starter.
So far, he’s made three starts. He hasn’t registered a decision yet, but he has improved with each start. He has a 104 ERA+ and a very impressive 11.9 K/9. That’s even with him walking a couple of batters more than you’d like . . . much like Maine.
With his poise, repertoire, demeanor, and this coaching staff, there’s no reason to believe Megill won’t continue to improve. With each successive start, he’ll make the case he not only should be a part of this rotation, but he can be a part of a World Series contending team.
Again, that’s where the Mets were in 2006. John Maine gave them some comfort they could address other needs because Maine stabilized the rotation. When the pitchers didn’t heal like the Mets had hoped, and others pitchers got injured, Maine had a strong postseason giving the Mets every opportunity to win the pennant.
Megill is showing he can be that type of pitcher. He can be the stopgap. He can be the pitcher who convinces the Mets they don’t need to add pitching at the deadline. He can have a real impact this postseason.
The New York Mets traveled to Atlanta, and they lost yet another road series.
1. At 17-25, the Mets are an awful road team, and they’re not going anywhere if they can’t correct this.
2. When you include the one Washington Nationals make-up game, the Mets three out of four. Digging deeper, they’ve lost 10 out of their last 16.
4. Only Jacob deGrom could have a seven inning game where he allows three runs while walking none and striking out 14 a bad start.
5. It’s very troubling Sandy Alderson hired Mickey Callaway (or at least was the GM when Jeff Wilpon did it), hired Jared Porter, and came extremely close to signing Trevor Bauer. Oh, and he was the guy who brought back Jose Reyes.
6. There’s absolutely no place for Bauer in baseball.
8. Mets are a clutch James McCann three run homer from the walls caving in on them.
9. He was injured, but David Peterson hasn’t been good or consistent all year. The sad part is even with that they still need him.
10. Maybe it’s a blip, or maybe the league has figured out Sean Reid-Foley, but his last few appearances haven’t been good.
11. The Thomas Szapucki outing was disheartening as he didn’t really show any indication he’d be ready to help the Mets this year.
13. Albert Almora has now surrendered more homers and RBI than he’s hit. Good on him for volunteering to pitch, but there’s no reason for him to stay up over Billy McKinney when Brandon Nimmo is healthy.
14. Mets need a lot more of what Dominic Smith provided this past week, especially since his LF defense isn’t good.
15. Pete Alonso has been hitting a lot better of late, but sooner or later, he needs to start hitting a home. The same could be said for this entire Mets team.
16. With the great second base defense Jose Peraza has provided and his big hits the Mets should be really be considering his role going forward with the team. You could argue he should be playing everyday.
17. The Mets will never do it, but J.D. Davis still has minor league options and can’t refuse an assignment to Syracuse. Given how he can’t play a position, and his activation may force a Peraza DFA, he should be sent to Syracuse where he can actually learn how to play defense.
18. Speaking of Syracuse, it’s an embarrassment to the Mets and MLB that the Mets organization is not providing housing and other needs to minor leaguers they’re barely paying.
19. The quote was met with derision but hitting coach Hugh Quattlebaum is right. He needs to focus on processes. When processes are correct and clicking, the runs will then follow.
20. The Mets and Yankees both head into the Subway Series in complete disarray and with the threat of all three games being rained out.
David Peterson immediately gave up the lead in the bottom of the first. After a scoreless second, the Braves plated two more against him in the third.
Then, in the fourth, it all fell apart. After one run had scored increasing the Braves lead to 5-2, and one on, Peterson left the game with an injury. Sean Reid-Foley came in, and he was battered.
While the Mets wanted multiple innings from Reid-Foley, they got 0.2. In that stretch, he allowed the inherited runner to score before allowing four of his own.
This all but forced Thomas Szapucki to make his MLB debut. With Szapucki being a top prospect, and his potentially needing to take Peterson’s spot in the rotation, you wanted this to be the feel good story.
The worst thing Szapucki did was not finish the game. He was completely out of gas after 3.2 innings, and he loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth. Luis Rojas had enough, and he brought in Albert Almora, Jr. to pitch.
When Almora surrendered a homer to Ozzie Albies, Almora officially allowed more homers and RBI than he has hit and driven in this season. Basically, that’s the tale of how the Mets lose 20-2.
It’s just time to say nothing more about this one. Before moving on completely, the Mets need to figure it out soon because their +16 rum differential is now -2, and more importantly, their division lead is down to two.
For once, it was nice watching another team struggle through a bad bullpen, but you still would’ve hoped the New York Mets made more of their opportunity against that dreadful Philadelphia Phillies bullpen:
1. Deepest condolences go out to Marcus Stroman who lost his grandmother.
2. The fact Stroman pitched through the pain of losing a loved one is another in a long series of how no one should ever question his heart or dedication. Again, this is the type of player and person the Mets want to keep around past this season.
4. That spark Michael Conforto provided the Mets offense sure seemed short lived.
5. On that note, the Mets offense is aware they don’t have to wait for the ninth for a rally, right?
6. It’s really difficult to pinpoint what’s wrong with Jeff McNeil other than bad luck. His batted ball numbers are extremely similar to previous seasons. With that being the case, they just need to stick with him.
7. The Mets really need to switch McNeil with Luis Guillorme defensively. Aside from struggles in a COVID impacted season, McNeil is a good third baseman. Guillorme is other worldly at second and not so great at third. It’s time to fix this.
8. Zack Wheeler dominating the Mets is just another example of just how impossibly bad Brodie Van Wagenen was as a GM.
10. deGrom is so amazing two earned over six innings is considered a bad start. When your worst is better than 99% of the league’s best, you know deGrom’s season is beyond hyperbole.
11. The Mets have a bit of a Pete Alonso problem. He’s just nowhere near his 2019 form, and he just seems to be getting further away. More troubling is the struggles hitting at home.
12. That’s not exclusive to Alonso. The Mets also have a Dominic Smith problem, and basically [INSERT PLAYER] problem. McNeil was noted above, and Conforto’s power had seemingly disappeared.
13. Brandon Nimmo appears nearing his return, and the Mets offense seems to need him. That’s problematic considering there are more than enough bats already in this lineup.
16. David Peterson had a strong start. He needs to start stringing them together.
17. Francisco Lindor had a huge game winning hit, and he increasingly looks like the player he was in Cleveland.
18. There’s been focus on Guillorme’s batting average, but he’s got a terrific .403 OBP. Considering he’s an eighth place hitter, you can’t ask for more than that. That goes double when he just finds a way on base in the late innings.
19. It’s funny. The Mets have gone 6-6 in a 12 game stretch against the NL East, and their 4.5 game lead is now 4.0 games. The only real change now is the order of the trans behind them.
20. At some point, the Mets need to go on a run. To that, Noah Syndergaard does say the Mets are a second half team . . . .
The New York Mets entered the game with Jonathan Villar and Tomas Nido unavailable. Brandon Drury was sent down to Syracuse, and Patrick Mazeika was recalled. However, Syracuse was shut down for the day due to COVID.
The Mets had a doubleheader yesterday, and they have a planned bullpen day tomorrow. The absolute last thing this team needed was another injury. That goes double for a starter.
Well, Marcus Stroman had to leave the game with a left hip problem while facing the lead-off batter in the second inning.
Marcus Stroman has exited tonight's start vs. the Braves in the 2nd inning
Yennsy Diaz is coming on to pitch. pic.twitter.com/uIbdFmTRvC
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 22, 2021
This meant Yennsy Diaz, who pitched 2.1 innings three days ago, was needed to give the Mets multiple innings. Put another way, they needed him to come up huge.
Well, that’s the way his outing started. After loading the bases with no outs, and a mound visit from Francisco Lindor, Diaz would strike out the next three batters to escape the jam. That’s made all the more impressive by his striking out Ronald Acuña to end the inning.
With the shift, Jeff McNeil opted to field the ground ball on the shortstop side of second instead of letting Lindor field it.
McNeil initially tried to out race Almonte to second, but he couldn’t. Instead, he got Riley out at first. What might’ve been an inning ending double play was just one out. On the very next pitch, Dansby Swanson hit a three run homer.
That’s all the runs the Braves needed. That’s because of a mixture of Charlie Morton being great and the Mets offense being dreadful. After all, the Mets have been shut out in consecutive games and in three of their last seven.
With the injuries, the Mets resorted to having David Peterson and Jerad Eickhoff pinch hit. You may want to attribute that to the offensive problems, but Eickhoff had the Mets only hit off Morton. After that fifth inning single, the Mets didn’t get another hit until James McCann doubled with two outs in the ninth.
Really, about the only bright spot was the bullpen. Over eight innings, they allowed just the three runs. The big hero was Aaron Loup who came up big by pitching three scoreless.
Still, this was a 3-0 loss where the Mets lost another pitcher and could only muster two hits. They’ve missed a chance to really deliver a blow to the Braves chances of winning the division, and according to what happens tomorrow, they may be giving the Braves new life.
Game Notes: Michael Conforto was going to be activated off the IL, but the Mets opted to wait another day.
The New York Mets had an opportunity to effectively end the Washington Nationals season. Instead, they lost three of four:
1. The Mets have been bad on the road. They’re actually 94 season loss pace (.421 winning percentage) on the road. That needs to change.
2. David Peterson took another step back, but as is par for the course, he’ll stay in the rotation due to injuries.
3. Joey Lucchesi had another strong start, but now, he’s down with elbow inflammation. With this stretch of games and the Mets pitching depth, this could be a devastating injury.
4. The whole bench mob thing has been fun, but the Mets showed how much they need their top guys back. Jeff McNeil coming back now couldn’t have come at a better time.
5. For as obsessed as the Washington Nationals social media team is with Francisco Lindor, he certainly shut them up with a huge game.
7. Guess Kyle Schwarber got his revenge for the 2015 NLDS.
9. Take it for the little it’s worth, but Pete Alonso is a step behind where he was last year when everyone thought he had a disappointing season.
10. Sean Reid-Foley finally had a bad game. The key now is for it to be an isolated incident.
12. It doesn’t matter how good Reid-Foley and Diaz are looking, with the Mets starters dropping like flies, the Mets really needed Matz this year. Yes, that’s even with his hitting the IL himself.
13. If all the doctors say he’s good to go, and Jacob deGrom feels good, then let him pitch. We’ll all still be nervous, but that’s not a good reason to skip a start.
15. Hopefully, Steve Cohen seeking out to talk with Stroman is just laying the ground stages for an extension. Stroman has been great, and he’s built for New York.
16. While the weekend was lost, something good came out of it when Cohen stated his willingness to blow past the luxury tax. That’s a very nice change of pace.
17. If this now classifies as a bad start for Taijuan Walker, he’s an even better signing than we all thought.
18. The Mets two main issues in this series were bullpen and offense. The bullpen will get rest soon, and offensive reinforcements are on the way. The Mets will be fine.
19. The Mets may regret not mercy killing the Nationals when they have starting pitching available. Seeing how stubborn they are, they moved closer to not selling.
20. The Mets have a four game set against the Atlanta Braves, and they lead them by five games in the division. They can’t afford a repeat of what happened in Washington.
After the Chicago Cubs swept the New York Mets at Wrigley, the Mets nearly returned the favor at Citi Field:
1. It all begins and ends with Jacob deGrom. If he’s healthy, he and the Mets are unbeatable. Right now, he’s not healthy.
2. Another important thing is no one knows what’s wrong. We just lived the era of Jeff Wilpon, MD. Let’s let the professionals actually call the shots.
3. Marcus Stroman picked up the slack with seven great innings. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for the win, but with the bullpen innings saved, it may mean one down the road.
4. That David Peterson start was huge, but he’s had those moments. The real key for him is consistency.
5. The Mets are usually known for the worst free agent signing. With Taijuan Walker, it’s nice seeing the Mets make the best one for once.
6. On that note, Kevin Pillar has been much better than advertised. It’s not just the offense and defense. It’s the grit.
7. Pete Alonso is great, but he has his moments where he tries to do way too much. Sometimes,he needs to take instead of jumping out of his heels. It’s why that AN was a sacrifice fly.
8. Its a tough spot for Drew Smith, but if you’re brought in to mop it up, don’t make a game of it. That’s how you eventually lose a roster spot.
10. Luis Guillorme‘s ability to transfer is at another level, and as we saw with the play at the plate, it’s game changing.
11. Billy McKinney continues to play well. It appears he may need to hold the fort down just a little longer.
12. The new rules, or better put, efforts to enforce the rules, is merely a deflection from the change in the ball. It also has the added benefit for MLB to have a bargaining chip for the impending CBA talks.
13. Knock on wood, but so far, we’re not seeing any change in performance for Mets pitchers. We’ll see if that continues when enforcement officially begins.
14. With all these games bunched up, Sean Reid-Foley suddenly becomes massively important. His stepping in for deGrom is a sign of the value he can provide to this team
15. For all that narrative about the Mets not beating over .500 teams, they just took five of seven from the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs.
16. Again, you win with pitching a defense. The Mets have the best FIP and second best DRS. If that continues, they’ll continue to win.
17. The Mets have an opportunity to absolutely bury the Washington Nationals and force them to be sellers. They may be tired, but they can’t miss this chance.
18. Last time deGrom was the Mets only All-Star was 2015. That’s a good omen, but odds are the Mets will get a few pitchers.
19. Dominic Smith seems more comfortable in the OF, and he’s working counts, but he needs to pick it up.
20. The Mets have the largest lead in baseball, and they’re not really playing well yet. This team is scary good.