Devin Mesoraco

Mets Blew A Chance

With the Mets winning 8-6 yesterday in what was an odd and messy game between two also rans, the Mets took the season series against the Nationals for the first time since 2015.

This only underscores just how vulnerable the Nationals were this year.

There was an opportunity for the Mets to take this division. The Mets record against the rest of the NL East further proves this out:

  • Atlanta 4-12
  • Philadelphia 11-8
  • Miami 10-6

Even with their struggles against the Braves, the Mets are two games over .500 in the division. Seeing how well the Mets performed in their own division, you have to question what went wrong.

We all know the answer. It was that 5-21 June.

During that month, the Mets tried to play Jay Bruce despite him being too injured to play. Same for Asdrubal Cabrera. Neither played well.

Devin Mesoraco and Jose Reyes played more than younger counterparts, and they underperformed.

All of this offset a Jose Bautista return to form making him a surprise contributor. Still, that Bautista contributing highlights a key problem.

The Mets answer is always to go older, older and more injury prone. We see the Mets have a healthy foster, they can compete, but when are they ever healthy?

They’re not, and it continues to be an issue. The Mets keep getting older, and they make unnecessary gambles. For example, Reyes was playing over Luis Guillorme and Jeff McNeil.

The McNeil case was the worst of them all.

First, he wasn’t much of a prospect. Then, he couldn’t play third base. Now, the Mets are pinpointing second as a position they could upgrade at this offseason. They wouldn’t feel this way if they observed McNeil this season.

This is emblematic of how this organization’s views on how to build a roster. Worse yet, despite evidence to the contrary, they repeat this behavior.

This is why 2018 fell apart. That is why we should treat the 2019 version with skepticism, at least until such time as the Mets change the way they conduct their business.

That’s why, even with the this window opening, the Mets could not take advantage. If they continue operating the same way, they’ll continue not competing.

deGrom Inches Closer To Cy Young

That Cy Young Award is now so close for Jacob deGrom he can almost taste it. While Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola have slipped this month, deGrom continues setting records.

With his win tonight (A WIN!), he broke the record he shared with Bob Gibson and Chris Carpenter for consecutive quality starts in a season.

In his seven innings of work, deGrom allowed just one earned on three hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. He would lower his MLB best ERA to 1.77.

After Wilmer Difo hit a second inning sacrifice fly, deGrom would only yield one base hit. That lone base runner wouldn’t get past first.

Unlike other games where deGrom has taken the loss for a terrific start like this, he would get that rare win.

Amed Rosario hit the first pitch of the game for a double. Victor Robles misplayed it, but Rosario didn’t head to third. For a moment, it looked like Rosario would be stranded there, but Jay Bruce blooped a two out single to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

After the Nationals tied it in the second, the Mets got the lead again in a big three run third.

That rally was started with Michael Conforto and Bruce hitting consecutive one out doubles off Nationals starter Joe Ross.

Dominic Smith brought home Bruce with a key two out RBI. After an uncharacteristic Anthony Rendon error allowed Todd Frazier to reach, Devin Mesoraco doubled home Rosario.

At that point, it was 4-1 Mets, and deGrom was in the drivers seat. Effectively speaking, both offenses went completely silent. That meant the cushion the Mets have deGrom was more than sufficient.

Seth Lugo pitched a scoreless eighth, and Robert Gsellman had an eventful ninth. He’d get through it allowing just one run with some help as Conforto made a leaping catch to take a hit away from Bryce Harper.

With the 4-2 win, both the Nationals and deGrom now see their records at .500. With how the season has gone,

Game Notes: After not playing in over two weeks, Mesorsco was 3-for-3 with a double, RBI, and

https://twitter.com/mikemayermmo/status/1043316071770537984?s=21

deGrom Sets Mets and MLB Records In No Decision

When Justin Turner hit a first inning home run off of Jacob deGrom, it was evident deGrom did not have his best stuff.  After all, deGrom had not allowed a home run in his last 42 innings pitched.  As it turned out, it really was a struggle for deGrom with him needing 109 pitches to get through six innings.  That’s notably because he threw 108 pitches in each of his last three starts, and he went 9.0, 6.0, and 8.0 innings respectively.

Through all of his troubles tonight and him fighting it, deGrom’s final line was 6.0 innings, two hits, one run, one earned, one walk, and six strikeouts.

It’s at the point where deGrom is so good his inability to find himself and be on his A game leads him to having an absolutely terrific and dominant start.  He’s been having a lot of those lately.  In fact, with this quality start, deGrom set a new Mets record with 20 straight quality starts.  It gets better.  With deGrom allowing three earned runs or less in his past 25 starts, he has set a new MLB record.

And to think there are some people who don’t want to give him the Cy Young.  Of course, those people’s justification is wins.  Well, tonight was another exercise of how absurd that is.

While deGrom has been great all season, Alex Wood has been great of late, and the Mets do not hit left-handed batters well.  More to the point, for some reason when the Mets have been playing good teams of late, they find ways to shoot themselves in the foot.  Tonight was no exception.

In the first Wilmer Flores hit into an inning ending double play.  In the second, Todd Frazier, who had made a fine catch in the game diving into the stands,  was thrown out stealing to end the inning.  In the third, Austin Jackson struck out to end the inning with runners at second and third.  After all of that, deGrom needed to take control of things himself in the fifth inning.

After a Jay Bruce leadoff walk and a Devin Mesoraco single (he was lifted from the game and Jose Reyes pinch ran for him due to injury), Jeff McNeil hit into a double play leaving it up to deGrom to get Bruce home from third.  With him using McNeil’s bat, deGrom delivered the RBI single tying the game at 1-1.  Really, deGrom was doing all he could do out there with him combining his excellent pitching with him going 2-for-2 at the plate.

There was a chance deGrom was going to get into the seventh inning in this game to just allow him to hang around long enough to hope beyond hope the Mets put him in a position to win.  However with an Amed Rosario error in the sixth inning, that pretty much ended that hope meaning the 8-8 deGrom was saddled with another no decision, and this was going to become a battle of the bullpens.

The Mets would win that battle as the offense would eventually break through and because the Mets bullpen did not break.

In the seventh, the Mets were close.  They had the bases loaded with two outs, but Jackson couldn’t deliver the key hit.  Well, if the Mets thought they were close, the Dodgers were even closer.

Against Seth Lugo in the seventh, they had runners at the corners and no outs.  Lugo first struck out Yasmani Grandal, and then he induced Yasiel Puig to hit into the inning ending 6-4-3 double play.

In the eighth, Drew Smith issued a two out walk to Turner which almost blew up in his face.  If not for the low right field wall in Dodgers Stadium, it is likely Manny Machado‘s double gives the Dodgers a 2-1 lead instead of being a ground rule double putting runners at second and third with two outs.  After getting Enrique Hernandez to fly out to center, Smith officially dodged a bullet.

Kenta Maeda was not dodging the same bullet in the ninth.  After a Bruce leadoff double, Kevin Plawecki sacrificed him over to third base.  After McNeil was hit by a pitch, the Mets had runners at the corners with one out setting the stage for Brandon Nimmo, who came on to pinch hit for Smith:

With Nimmo’s pinch hit three run homer, the Mets had an unlikely 4-1 lead, which Robert Gsellman had the task to save.  It was not going to be easy for him and the Mets.  After a replay review, the Dodgers had runners at the corners with no outs.  The game was 4-2 after Grandal brought a run home with a sacrifice fly.  That would be the final score as Gsellman induced Matt Kemp to hit into the game ending 6-4-3 double play.

So overall, the Mets won a game partially because of the six dominant innings he gave them, but for some reason, there is going to be a voter out there who is not going to put him atop the Cy Young ballot because of his 8-8 record.

Game Notes: With the Dodgers starting the left-handed Wood, McNeil batted eighth, and Nimmo was on the bench.  Before the game, the Mets recalled Dominic Smith, Jack Reinheimer, and Drew Gagnon

Wheeler On, Wheels Off Offense and Bullpen

Zack Wheeler was back in San Francisco to pitch against the team who made him the sixth overall pick of the 2009 draft.  Like he has to most teams in baseball this year, especially in the second half of the season, Wheeler showed the Giants why he was drafted that high.

Even with him yielding two doubles over the first six innings, the Giants never truly threatened Wheeler.  Really, it wasn’t until the third triple of the game that Wheeler faced any real danger.

Brandon Belt would lead off the seventh with a double, and he would move to third on a ground out to shortstop.  It was a slow hit ball off the bat of Austin Slater, one which shortstop Jose Reyes made zero attempt to charge.  Therefore, even with the ball being hit to Reyes’ right, Belt would be able to advance.  This was important as Chris Shaw would hit a fly ball to center that easily scored Belt.

That run caused partially by a lackadaisical play by Reyes would be the dagger in this game despite Wheeler pitching seven innings allowing just the one run on four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.

The reason why this was a dagger was that no Met other than Jeff McNeil could do anything against Giants starter Andrew Suarez. For his part, Suarez allowed no runs with just two hits, no walks, and five strikeouts.

Of course, it didn’t help that Reyes was starting for the red hot Amed Rosario because Rosario needed an emergency root canal.  It also didn’t help Michael Conforto was sitting and Devin Mesoraco was in the lineup as Kevin Plawecki went on paternity leave.

In the top of the eighth, the Mets would get their chance with Brandon Nimmo, who was once again curiously hitting in the bottom of the lineup again, hit a one out double.  Slater would have a difficult time fielding the ball in right, but Nimmo was unable to take advantage and get to third as he was already decelerating as he approached second.  It wouldn’t matter much as Reyes popped out, and Conforto would ground out to end the inning.

If there was any hopes the Mets would get back into the game, it was all dashed in a horrific bottom of the eighth with the Mets needing four relievers to record three outs.  Robert Gsellman did not record an out while allowing a homer and another hit.  Daniel Zamora relieved him striking out Joe Panik and Alen Hanson.

Rather than go to the bullpen to face Evan Longoria, Mickey Callaway ordered him intentionally walked to allow Zamora to face Belt.  Belt would crush a pitch off the right center field wall which would have been a homer in any other park.  At AT&T, it was a triple.

Drew Smith didn’t retire any of the three batters he faced leading to Jacob Rhame, who was called up for the 10th time this season, striking out Gregor Blanco to finally end the inning.

All told, the Mets went from a 1-0 deficit to a 7-0 loss.  It was an ugly loss in every way, shape, and form.

Game Notes: After hinting during Spring Training, Todd Frazier was finally tabbed as the leadoff hitter.  Former Met Curtis Granderson was traded to the Brewers.

Mets Win Pointless Game Over Nationals

Well, today was a day the Mets pretended they were 15 games over instead of 15 games under .500.

With the Mets refusal to put Devin Mesoraco and his injured neck on the disabled list, the team called up Tomas Nido from Double-A to serve as a back-up to Kevin Plawecki.

With Jay Bruce having a bobble head day on Saturday and his finally eligible to come off the disabled list, this meant the Mets needed to either demote or DFA two players.

Naturally, the Mets opted to demote Jack Reinheimer despite his having a batting average nearly 80 points higher than Jose Reyes.

The other player was Dominic Smith, who had gone 2-for-6 with a double, homer, and two RBI in the bizarrely limited playing time he had been given during this all too brief call-up.

To make matters worse, the Mets started Bruce in the outfield with Austin Jackson and Jose Bautista.

Remember Jackson and Bautista are Mets because no one else wanted them. The Mets called these 30+ year old impending free agents from their homes because other teams were paying them not to play for them.

Naturally, the Mets decided to play all three of them over Michael Conforto.

To top it off, Jason Vargas started the game instead of Corey Oswalt because we need to find out about the 35 year old left-hander and not the 24 year old prospect.

This is the squad the Mets opted to go with to face off against the Washington Nationals.

That Nationals team they played just traded away Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams as they admitted to themselves their .500 club was not making the postseason.

Basically, this set the stage for a game between two teams playing out the string, and it showed.

In the first, Amed Rosario hit a leadoff single off Gio Gonzalez, and he would steal second. Jeff McNeil pushed him over to third on a groundout to the right side, and Rosario would score on a Wilmer Flores RBI single.

Sadly, that was all the run support Vargas would need as the Nationals really didn’t show up.

Vargas pitched six shutout innings while allowing three hits, walking none, and striking out eight.

In the entire game, the Nationals would have just four hits with no one reaching third.

Seth Lugo pitched two innings, and Robert Gsellman earned his eight save of the season in the Mets 3-0 victory.

Those other two runs came courtesy of a Bruce two run homer. It was his first homer of the year at Citi Field.

Given how the Mets are dedicated to this 30+ year old veteran movement, we should see Bruce gets more chances to add to that home run total.

Overall, it was just astonishing to see how a Mets-Nationals game has zero juice. Both teams are very disappointing, and when they play games like this, it’s completely pointless.

Game Recap: Before the game, Mickey Callaway said Bruce could be the first baseman for the Mets next year. That would require Bruce getting time there next year, which all but eliminates the chances we see Peter Alonso this year or Smith again (at least in terms of his getting extended playing time).

deGrom Can’t Beat Giants, Umpire, and His Catcher

With each start he makes, it becomes readily apparent if Jacob deGrom wins the Cy Young this season, he is going to do so with the lowest win total ever compiled by a starting pitcher.  Looking at his stats, you really have no idea how he could be just 8-8.  However, if you watched yesterday’s game, you know exactly why his record is that poor.

To no one’s surprise, deGrom began the game matching zeros with Madison Bumgarner in the first two innings.  However, the Giants would break through in the third.

After Steven Duggar earned a leadoff walk, he would steal second.  Devin Mesoraco would get out of his croutch slower than an old man reaching for a walker, and he would make a lollipop throw to second Travis d’Arnaud thought was bad.  Duggar found himself on third after a Joe Panik groundout, and he would score when Mesoraco just missed a pitch, which would go back to the backstop.

Now, Home Plate Umpire Tony Randazzo was horrendous on the day, but despite Mesoraco’s complaints otherwise, Evan Longoria did not foul tip that ball.  No, Mesoraco, who is showing himself to be a really poor catcher, flat out missed it.  Mesoraco also failed to frame any number of pitches which would aid Randazzo in being a horrendous umpire.

The key call came in the fourth inning.  With two outs and a runner on, deGrom threw an 0-2 pitch which led everyone in the ballpark to believe Nick Hundley just struck out looking:

Perhaps because he was frustrated, deGrom would walk Hundley, and then he would allow an RBI double to Bumgarner.  At that point, it was 2-0 Giants, and with Bumgarner pitching, there was little to no hope the Mets would win this one.

Overall, this was an off-day for deGrom as he needed 108 pitches to get through six innings, and he would have a season high four walks.  Of course, these struggles are indicative of just how great deGrom has been all season.  In fact, a struggling deGrom limited the Giants to two runs (one earned) on four hits while he striking out 10.

As good as he was, Bumgarner was more dominant against a Mets lineup which featured Jeff McNeil batting sixth and Michael Conforto batting eighth.

The Mets would not even threaten Bumgarner until the fourth.  There were two and two out, and McNeil hit a hard liner, but it was right at Panik.

It seemed as if the Mets may finally break through and get deGrom off the hook in the seventh.  Todd Frazier led off the inning with a homer making him the first ever Met to homer off Bumgarner at Citi Field.  Jose Bautista would get hit by a pitch, and McNeil would single.  The rally would sputter as Kevin Plawecki, who had come on for an injured Mesoarco in the sixth, hit into a 6-4-3 double play.

That brought up Conforto.  He battled back from 1-2 to draw a full count in a nine pitch at-bat.  On the ninth pitch, Bumgarner beat Conforto inside with a well placed fastball to end the rally. Given how Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling were harping on the false narrative Bumgarner ruined Conforto’s 2016 season, we should see more of the same for any poor play Conforto makes the rest of the year.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Mets had a chance to rally back from 3-1 against Tony Watson, who they had already gotten to in the series.  The only problem was Tony Randazzo wasn’t going to have any of it.

It appeared Wilmer Flores drew a four pitch walk to start the ninth.  Instead, Randazzo called an obvious ball a strike.  Flores then went the other way as he has been doing so well lately only to line it directly at Panik.  Like with deGrom earlier in the game, Flores had some choice remarks for Randazzo, who, again, was terrible.

The game would come down to McNeil, who both Randazzo and the third base umpire ruled did not check his swing leading the Mets and perhaps more importantly deGrom to a loss.  Looking at this game, you really see just how much deGrom has working against him as he tries to win games.  Ultimately, if he does not win the Cy Young, there should be a line of people offering apologies.  On that line, we should see Mesoraco and Randazzo.

Game Notes: Dominic Smith sat against Bumgarner the day after hitting a home run.  The Mets are now 19-41 in games Mesoraco has played.

Smith Blamed, Veterans Get Major Pass

There are many reasons why the Mets lost yesterday’s game, but ultimately, the blame has been and will continue to be placed on Dominic Smith for his colliding into Amed Rosario:

The two players colliding allowed Andrew McCutchen to score the unearned run and tag Tyler Bashlor with the loss instead of the Mets heading into the bottom of the 13th with the score tied 1-1.

Now, looking at that play ad nauseum, that’s Smith’s ball.

Yes, a more experienced left fielder is more aware on the play, and he would make a stronger call for the call.

For his part, Rosario should know who is in left, and he should have made a stronger call for the ball instead of acting like a timid second grader unsure of whether he really knew the answer to the teacher’s question.

That’s important when you consider Smith actually called for the ball first:

While it’s easy to pin the blame on this, it’s important to note this wouldn’t have been an issue if the veterans who the Mets insist on playing actually delivered.

In the 12th, Austin Jackson came up with runners on first and second with two outs, and he popped out to Brandon Crawford.

On the night, Jackson was 1-6, and he left five men on base.

Jose Reyes had the same situation in the 11th, and he softly lined out to Crawford.

On the night, Reyes was 0-5, and he loved left four runners on base.

Good thing he started over Jeff McNeil who singled in his only at-bat.

Really, the Mets offense did absolutely nothing after the Wilmer Flores RBI double. In fact, Flores was the only Met who was hitting with him going 3-6.

Jose Bautista, the other outfielder who has been playing over Smith, was 0-5 with three left on base.

Devin Mesoraco started over Kevin Plawecki, and he was 0-5.

Ultimately, the Mets played four 30+ year old impending free agents over younger players, and the four went 1-for-21 while stranding 13 runners on base.

In addition to Bautista and Jackson starting in the outfield, the Mets started Jack Reinheimer in left field, a player with only eight innings of outfield experience in the majors and 49.0 innings in the minors.

This became an issue in the seventh inning.

Heading into the seventh, Zack Wheeler had been absolutely brilliant pitching six scoreless innings.  Those six scoreless innings included his Houdini act in the fifth inning.

After an Evan Longoria double, the Giants had runners on second and third with no outs.  Wheeler responded by striking out Steven Duggar, Alen Hanson, and Derek Holland to get out of the jam.  Wheeler was so close to repeating the trick in the seventh.

Wheeler issued a leadoff walk to Crawford, which would be the only walk Wheeler would allow on the day.  Trouble was brewing immediately as Brandon Belt singled to set up runners at first and second with no outs.  It would be runners at the corners with one out after Crawford moved to third when Longoria lined out to Bautista.

After Duggar struck out again, Wheeler got Hanson to pop up to left.  With Rosario shifted over, and the inexperienced Reineheimer playing deeper than an experienced left fielder, the ball fell past the outstretched hands of Rosario.  Reinheimer was nowhere to be seen.

After the game, Wheeler channeled his inner Jon Niese and griped about players playing out of position, which led to the ball falling.  Wheeler was speaking about the shift, but considering how the Mets both the game and this season, he might as well have been talking about how the Mets play all of their players out of position.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Mets had a chance to get back the lead.  McNeil and Michael Conforto, two left-handed batters sat against the immortal Derek Holland, came up in successive pinch hitting attempts against the Giants bullpen, specifically Tony Watson.  They hit consecutive one out singles to set up runners at the corners with one out.

Rosario hit a 3-2 pitch for an inning ending double play.

To their credit, the booth did discuss how Crawford charged in a couple of steps to get the Rosario grounder, which led him to beat Rosario by less than a full step in turning the double play.

Overall, the Mets lost this game because of their refusal to play young players over the veterans.  Maybe if Smith was playing in the majors instead of Jackson, when this play happens, he and Rosario have the communication issues hammered.  Perhaps, if the Mets didn’t decided a done Adrian Gonzalez was a better option than him, Smith would have been a first base, and this never would have been an issue.

In the end, we will never know because the Mets would rather play 30+ year old players who no other team wanted at the trade deadline to try to win some meaningless games which could only hurt their draft position.

Game Notes: Wheeler’s seventh inning walk to Crawford was the first walk yielded by Mets pitching in 25 innings.

deGrom Showed Up . . . Nola

Yesterday, Aaron Nola threw a gem against the Mets which showed everyone the National League Cy Young race is far from over.

While that may be true, Jacob deGrom stepped on Nola’s mound and reminded everyone that while Nola and Max Scherzer may be in the Cy Young race, they have a lot to do to catch up to deGrom.

All season long deGrom has been great, but today may have been him at his best. Through eight, he was at 99 pitches, and still Mickey Callaway sent him out for that ninth to let deGrom go out and get his complete game.

Any chance of trouble arising after Carlos Santana‘s leadoff single we’re quickly erased after Wilson Ramos hit deGrom’s next pitch to Amed Rosario for a 6-4-3 double play.

When Nick Williams grounded out, deGrom had his complete game. His final line was 9.0 innings, seven hits, one unearned run, no walks, and nine strikeouts.

Really, deGrom was just that close to a shutout.

Wilmer Flores made a nice play to get the lead out at second, but instead of eating the ball, Rosario made a low throw which went past deGrom.

The throw allowed Williams to score from second, but the Mets still got out of the inning as both deGrom and Jeff McNeil made a heads up play.

With Odubel Herrera making the ever so brief turn to first, he was fair game. McNeil got to first and got the tag down on the deGrom throw.

This was just one of several ways McNeil helped deGrom come away with his eight win of the season.

In the fifth, he flat out robbed Herrera of a hit:

McNeil also started a fourth inning rally with a leadoff single against Jake Arrieta. When Arrieta threw one away trying to pick him off, he went to third, and he’d score on a Flores RBI single.

In the seventh, he hit an RBI triple off Luis Garcia to score Rosario. Add in a Devin Mesoraco homer earlier that inning, and the Mets would lead 3-0.

With deGrom pitching like deGrom, the Mets would win 3-1.

In the victory, deGrom lowered his already MLB best ERA to 1.71. He would also clear the 200 strikeout plateau. Basically, he continues to prove he’s the best pitcher in all of baseball with each and every start.

Game Notes: Brandon Nimmo missed another game after injuring his hand.

Mets Score Ton of Runs in Doubleheader Split

Amed Rosario hit the very pitch of the game from Ranger Suarez for a home run, and the Mets were off and running to set a new franchise record with 24 runs on 25 hits in their 25-4 victory.  These records were previously set 30 years to the date in a Mets game at the Cubs.

What is interesting is this game was back-and-forth for the first four innings with the Phillies getting to Corey Oswalt with solo homers from Rhys Hoskins, Maikel Franco, Nick Williams, and Jorge Alfaro.

Entering the fateful fifth inning, it was just 5-4 Mets.  Then in that fifth inning, Alfaro threw away the ball on an Oswalt bunt, and then Hoskins would later just completely miss a fly ball in left.  The big hit in what would be a 10 run fifth inning was a Jose Bautista grand slam.  From there, the game was over, and eventually Phillies manager Gabe Kapler actually turned to position players to get the final nine outs of the game so to save his bullpen for the second half of the doubleheader.

To put in perspective how well that went, the Mets scored seven runs off the position players, and that was highlighted by Jerry Blevins hitting an RBI single off of Scott Kingery.  Yes, that’s how absurd things got.  A reliever got a hit off of a position player.  All told, the Mets had an absolute field day at plate:

As you can see from the 1-2 for Nimmo, the one downside was he had to come out of the game due to him hitting his hand when he swung at a pitch he put in play.  Nimmo would come out the game, and his x-rays would be negative, but with the Mets being the Mets, you never know what will happen next.

In the second game of the doubleheader, it seemed like the Mets were going to once again be off and running.  Against Phillies starter, Zach Eflin, Rosario, Jeff McNeil, and Conforto would hit three consecutive doubles to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.

The disappointment of Conforto not scoring from second would soon be magnified by Steven Matz giving up the lead by surrendering a three run homer to Hoskins in the bottom of the first.  Matz would not settle in during the second inning either with him giving up a homer to Kingery in what would be a consecutive three run inning for the Phillies.

All told in his first start since returning form the disabled list, Matz pitched just those two innings allowing six runs (four earned) on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

As bad as Matz looked, Devin Mesoraco looked worse.  After Roman Quinn reached on a throwing error by Matz, Mesoraco would push him to second with a passed ball.  Later that inning, Mesoraco threw through on what would be a double steal, and on the return throw, the out of position Mesoraco whiffed on the tag.

Things would lie dormant until the bottom of the sixth when Bobby Wahl entered the game.  Wahl would appear to have tweaked something in his leg or bat on the Quinn bunt single.  Wahl would stay in the game, and he would surrender an RBI double to Cesar Hernandez.  On the double, Conforto got to the ball, and made a strong throw to second.  Hernandez was dead to rights, but McNeil just dropped the ball.

Later that inning, Williams hit a sinking liner Williams just missed getting to in time.  At that point, it was 8-2 Phillies.

The Mets, who have been playing much better of late would show some fight.

In the seventh, Rosario doubled home Jack Reinheimer, and Conforto would hit a single through Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana to pull the Mets to within 8-4.

Tyler Bashlor would give one of those runs back by allowing back-to-back doubles to Santana and Franco in the seventh before settling in and retiring the Phillies.

Even with the five run deficit, the Mets would go on the attack in the ninth starting with Plawecki reaching with Phillies reliever Yacksel Rios throughing a screwball between Santana’s legs.  As the inning continued Conforto and Flores would hit RBI singles to pull the Mets to within 9-6, which then led to Kapler brining in his closer Seranthony Dominguez.

The Mets would bring the tying runs to the plate with Jackson and Bautista, but both would strike out to end the rally and the game.

Overall, it was quite a day for a Mets offense who is suddenly alive and robust.  It will be interesting to see how this continues as this series progresses with the Mets always hitting well at Citizens Bank Park.

Game Notes: With the Mets scoring 25 runs, they became the first team in a decade to score 15 runs in consecutive games.  Jacob Rhame was available as the 26th man, and he would pitch two scoreless to close out the first end of the doubleheader.

Mets Stake Claim to Fourth Place

In the Mets weekend series, they faced off against the Miami Marlins to determine who exactly was the worst team in the National League East.  With some guts and guile, the Mets showed it was in fact the Marlins.

In the series, we did see a lot of good from the Mets.  Corey Oswalt had another quality start even if he once again sputtered as he navigated the sixth and the third time through the lineup.  Noah Syndergaard racked up his eighth win of the year, and Zack Wheeler continued his great pitching winning his fifth straight start.

We also saw Michael Conforto continue this second half resurgence.  With his home run yesterday, he’s now hitting .307/.398/.533 with five doubles, four homers, and 11 RBI.  If we were to exrapolate those 21 games over a full 162 game season, he would hit 39 doubles and 31 homers.  That’s right around the pace he was last year when he suffered that brutal shoulder injury.

While Jacob Rhame took another step back, we saw Drew Smith, Tyler Bashlor, and Bobby Wahl pitch well out of the bullpen.  As the season winds to a close, we will have to see that trio get increased chances with the Mets limiting both the appearances and innings of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, both of whom have been pitching better of late.

Moreover, we are watching Wilmer Flores earn a starting job with the Mets next year.  Since taking over the first base job in mid-June, he’s hitting .290/.337/.489 with 14 doubles, seven homers, and 26 RBI.  In a real surprise, he is getting stronger as the season progresses.

Still despite all that good, there are so many issues, including but not limited to the Mets having three tight games against a bad Marlins team just to win this series.

We have seen Devin Mesoraco continue to regress with him now having a 64 wRC+ since June 1st.  Moreover, he has been one of the worst defensive catchers in baseball with him being in the bottom 15 in the majors in pitch framing.  Really, there’s a reason why the Mets are just one game under .500 when he doesn’t catch and 16 games under .500 when he does.

Overall, like we saw on that botched double play on Saturday, the Mets defense continues to be horrendous.  Per DRS, at every position but third base and left field, they are in the bottom three defensively in the National League.  Up the middle, the Mets are the worst in the majors.  That also speaks to just how disappointing Amed Rosario‘s development has been.

That also goes towards the Mets continued employment of Jose Reyes, who is one of the worst players in baseball this year.  While his selling point this year was he was going to mentor Rosario, it has been a failure.  In almost every areas of Rosario’s game, he is worse.

Really, with the exception of isolated instances like the starting rotation, Flores, and Brandon Nimmo, this team is just worse across the board.

So yes, the Mets beat the Marlins, but in the end, who cares?  This continues to be a rudderless bad baseball team.