Drew Smith

Arigato, Thank You, Eduardo Escobar

Baseball is the best sport there is. No other sport can give a team and player the chance for redemption like the others.

We were reminded of that with this New York Mets team and Eduardo Escobar.

Escobar was great to start the season. However, he tapered off and was injured. He’d lose his starting job and become a weak side platoon option.

First, he lost his job to Luis Guillorme. Later, he lost it to Brett Baty. The Mets made moves at the trade deadline which had the direct or indirect impact of limiting his playing time.

Well, Guillorme and Baty would both go dish with injury. That meant the Mets had little choice than play Escobar. Boy, are they lucky that happened.

Arguably, Escobar has been the Mets best player this month. In fact, he’s been a top 20 player in the majors this month (per fWAR) with the third most RBI in all of baseball.

That Escobar was on display against the Miami Marlins. It is not hyperbole to say the Mets were collapsing, and they looked dead in the water in this game. That was until Escobar’s seventh inning homer:

Suddenly, the Mets were back in the game, and they had some life. In fact, the Mets team now down 4-2 would load the bases in the eighth.

In that inning, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil could not get that key hit. That left it up to Escobar, who would again come through in a huge spot:

Through six innings, the Mets couldn’t muster a run. In the ensuing two innings, Escobar would knock in a pair tying the score.

In the ninth, the Mets couldn’t come through because, well, Escobar didn’t bat. That’s only half-joking because Escobar was in the zone like no other Mets player.

After Drew Smith came up huge, the Mets went to the bottom of the tenth needing just one to walk it off. With the Washington Nationals beating the Atlanta Braves in extras, the Mets had a chance to go to Atlanta one game up in the division.

Lindor was at second as the ghost runner because Rob Manfred hates baseball. Mark Canha came close to ending it, but he’d strike out.

The Marlins intentionally walked McNeil to get to Escobar. Unlike the previous at-bats, Escobar was batting left-handed, his far weaker side. On a night like this, it didn’t matter:

Like that, the Mets won 5-4 with Escobar driving all five Mets runs. Not too bad for a guy who lost his job twice and saw the Mets try to severely limit his at-bats.

You could see Escobar was ecstatic. We all were. We got to see it on display when Escobar gave one of the more joyful and entertaining postgame interviews we’ve ever seen with him ending the interview saying, “Arigato! Thank you!”

While great and much appreciated, it is Escobar who deserves our thanks and appreciation. Even when times were at their worst, he never gave up, and he kept fighting saying he would one day give the fans a reason to cheer:

Assuredly, this came at a time later than anyone wanted. However, it could not have come at a better time. For this game propelling the Mets to a one game lead, Mets fans should say to Escobar, “Arigato! Thank you!”

Mets Projected Postseason Roster

While the division is still up for grabs, the New York Mets are definitively headed to the postseason. While their opponent remains to be seen, we can start looking at who will be on the roster. After all, the Mets have begun doing that themselves by playing Mark Vientos in addition to taking looks at starters Tylor Megill and David Peterson in the bullpen.

While September rosters are at 28, rosters will drop back down to 26 for the postseason. So with that, at least two players currently on the roster will not be on the postseason roster. With that in mind, here’s a look at who is currently a lock to make the postseason roster.

CATCHERS (2)

Believe it or not, Francisco Alvarez could potentially be added to the postseason roster. However, that’s only in the event of an injury to McCann or Nido and another to Michael Perez. Put another way, we’re going to see McCann and Nido all postseason.

INFIELDERS (5)

There are no surprises here. This is obviously the starting infield with the Escobar/Guillorme platoon. Of course, Marte’s health will impact if Guillorme and Escobar play everyday with McNeil in right field against right-handed pitching.

OUTFIELDERS (3)

The obvious caveat here is Marte. If he is good to go, there are four outfielders who will be good to go. However, at the moment, we do not know how or if Marte can play through the pain. Keep in mind, that broken middle finger is inhibiting his ability to throw.

DH (1)

Simply put, Darin Ruf is not doing enough to secure a spot on the postseason roster, and the same goes for Vientos at the moment. The Mets obviously brought Gore in for the sole purpose of being a pinch runner, but his spot may be in some doubt with the Mets platoon strategy. Marte’s health may very well impact who is carried to be the right-handed DH with Marte himself being a possibility.

STARTERS (5)

We now the top three will be deGrom, Scherzer, and Bassitt. At the moment, it looks like the Mets will have to decide between Carrasco. Whichever they pick, it would be an absolute shock if the Mets do not put the other starter in the bullpen for the postseason.

BULLPEN (4)

There are a name or two here that may very well be here, but at the moment, this is the only group that can be considered a lock. Yes, it is a surprise that’s it after a long season and multiple opportunities for upgrades.

With all the aforementioned players, the Mets have 20 players who are locks for the postseason roster. Per MLB roster rules, the Mets (or any team) can only carry up to 13 pitchers. At the moment, the Mets have nine pitchers considered as locks. As a result, the Mets can add up to four more pitchers leaving them to add two position players.

POSITION PLAYER BUBBLE

If Marte is healthy and ready to go, he will be on the postseason roster. However, the Mets have to be very careful here. If they carry Marte in the first round series, and he can’t go that puts them in a very precarious spot. That means they’re going to be down a player for the round, lose Marte for the ensuing series if he needs to be replaced on the roster, or both.

Marte’s availability is the biggest question mark, and it may be the biggest issue with how the roster is comprised.

For example, Gore was brought here solely to pinch run in the postseason. However, if Marte is still working his way back, the Mets just may roll the dice and use Marte for the role and revisit it again for the next series. If Marte can’t play the field but can DH, that takes Ruf and Vientos completely out of the picture.

Essentially, what Marte can and can’t do will dictate which two players will make the roster. Ideally, the Mets probably want to carry Marte and Gore, but we will see if that is a possibility. Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility, the Mets carry just 12 pitchers with a reliever going to the bullpen to allow the Mets to carry Marte, Gore, and one of Ruf/Vientos.

RELIEF PITCHER BUBBLE

As noted above, we can see the Mets carry 3-4 pitchers from this group. Keep in mind, who the Mets carry from this group may be somewhat opponent dependent.

Right off the bat, the Mets would carry Givens, but he is on the COVID IL. Until he is activated, we are not quite sure if he can be carried on the postseason roster, at least not in the first round. Assuming for a second Givens is available, things get interesting.

Realistically speaking, the Mets will carry Rodriguez even though he has been bad all year. Of course, Lucchesi is a wild card here. However, if we don’t see him pitch in the Majors soon, there is just no way the Mets can carry him on the postseason roster.

If the Mets want two left-handed relievers, they are definitively going to carry Rodriguez and Peterson (short of Lucceshi being good to go). If they carry both, and Givens is healthy, that may just be a full bullpen depending on what the Mets want to do from a position player perspective.

To a certain degree, that squeezes Williams off the postseason roster. That is unfair and dubious considering he has been one of the Mets best pitchers all season. That said, if you’re carrying your best pitchers, Williams has been that all season.

Theoretically, Megill of Co-No fame would be left off the roster. At the moment, Megill is trying to prove he can be utilized in the bullpen.

Overall, this all hinges on Marte’s health. The role if he can play, if he can play role at all, can dictate just how the Mets are able to comprise their postseason roster. Right now, there are eight games for players to secure their place on the roster leaving a number of moving pieces and decisions yet to be made.

 

 

Buck Showalter Needs To Be Better

Back in 2015, the New York Mets blew the World Series in large part due to Terry Collins. While time has somehow been more kind to Collins, fact is he is the main reason the Mets didn’t win the World Series.

Yes, Jeurys Familia blew three saves. Daniel Murphy made an error. David Wright fielded a ball he shouldn’t have while Lucas Duda threw it away. However, there were a series of just baffling and just flat out dumb decisions from Collins which led to these events. Really, these were all consequences of Collins’ horrific managing.

All of his errors have been explained in full here and other places. Ultimately, this is the worst case scenario for a team. You cannot have a manager and his poor decision making be the reason a team does not win a World Series.

We are starting to see signs Buck Showalter is probably cut from the same cloth as Collins. His recent decisions are an indication of that, and that would be very bad news for the Mets.

The Mets last game against the Milwaukee Brewers should have each and every Mets fan very nervous for the postseason. To set the stage, Starling Marte is on the IL, and Brandon Nimmo had to come out of the game with a quad injury. The Mets were trailing 1-0 heading into the seventh despite having base runners on in each and every inning.

Before we get into the pitching, he would leave a very clearly hobbled Jeff McNeil on the field. For one game, Showalter risked losing McNeil for the rest of the season and postseason. He did that and then managed his bullpen horrifically.

Some questioned letting Taijuan Walker start the inning. That is a decision which can be debated with some of the bullpen arms probably unavailable including Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo. After Walker stumbled, Collins went to David Peterson.

Now, Peterson is a starter who has struggled out of the bullpen. This was a big ask of him. Runners were on first and second with no outs and a run already in.

The thing is Peterson did his job. The Brewers gave up the out with a sacrifice bunt before Peterson struck out Christian Yelich. The Mets were one out away from getting out of the inning. That’s where Showalter made a number of flat out dumb decisions.

While you can understand the impetus not to want to pitch to Willy Adames, intentionally walking him to load the bases is a bad move because it gives Peterson, a pitcher who sometimes inexplicably loses command, no lee-way. However, as we found out, it wasn’t going to be Peterson.

After Craig Counsell pinch hit Mike Brosseau for Rowdy Tellez, Showalter went to Drew Smith. This is the same Smith who has not pitched since July 24. This is the same Smith who has been homer prone this year. Well, he would go up 0-2 in the count before giving up that grand slam.

Keep in mind, Showalter isn’t dumb. He is the guy who prepares and over prepares. He is the type of manager who likes to take control and set innings into motion. He’s not a bystander. Put another way, Showalter put that inning in motion with the intent of having Smith pitch to Brosseau.

He was prepared for that eventuality when he sent Walker out there to start the inning. He had that plan when he ordered the intentional walk of Adames. This is the match-up he wanted. He wanted it, and it blew up in his face.

Unfortunately, this is Showalter in big moments. It is David Cone for too long before Jack McDowell. It is Bobby Chouinard over Matt Mantei. It is literally anyone but Zack Britton. It’s been a problem in Showalter’s managerial career, and it is a big reason why his teams have only won one postseason series, and it’s why Showalter is still chasing that elusive World Series ring.

Right now, we’re seeing that same Showalter. If he really wants to win this time, and he has the roster capable of winning a World Series, he is finally going to have to adapt and change. If not, we may see moments like this again come this postseason with Mets fans dreaming of what might have been.

Mets World Series Hopes Hinge On Scherzer

After three straight embarrassing and inexplicable losses, the New York Mets seem back on track. They swept the doubleheader and destroyed the Pittsburgh Pirates in the process.

That was not the only good news. In fact, the Mets got plenty of good news.

Starling Marte has a non-displaced fracture and is day-to-day. Tylor Megill is dominating out of the bullpen in his rehab assignment. Drew Smith is set to start his own.

Then, there’s the Max Scherzer news. In many ways, the reaction is based on your perspective:

The irony of Scherzer saying it’s not week-to-week is he’s on the 15 day IL. That’s literally two weeks and a day. By nature, that’s weeks.

Admittedly, that’s semantics. What truly matters is Svherzer is good to go after those two weeks. As with Carlos Carrasco, he’s not really going to be given a shot to make a rehab start.

Backdating it to September 4, Scherzer can return September 19. The Mets would have 14 games remaining. With a five man rotation and wanting to save billets for the postseason, that’ll mean Scherzer had two starts remaining.

That’s not a lot of time, so Scherzer will have to make do. He needs to use those starts do get fully up to speed because the Mets World Seriew hope now hinge on that right arm.

Chris Bassitt had stepped up in the second half. Conversely, Walker and Carrasco have been nicked up and have struggled. The Mets can’t go with them both in the postseason.

The Mets need Scherzer being the Curt Schilling to deGtom’s Randy Johnson. That’s an untouchable top two, and with Bassitt, it might just be unbeatable. However, that hinges now on Scherzer.

The offense has come and gone. That may happen in the postseason (as it usually does. That puts the onus on the starters.

The starters are up to the task, but only if they’re healthy and ready to go. Right now, they’re not. We need to see in two weeks.

If Scherzer is Scherzer, this Mets team could be the World Series favorites. If not, it may be one-and-done. We will find out soon.

Mychal Givens A Problem

Realistically speaking, Mychal Givens shouldn’t be a real issue for the New York Mets or any team seeking to make a deep postseason run. After all, Givens wasn’t the Chicago Cubs closer, and he shared primary set-up duties.

Keep in mind, the Cubs are a very bad team. Even with the expanded postseason, they sold at the deadline. That made Givens available.

For a team looking to make a postseason run, Givens is nice depth. A nice dependable battle tested arm at the end of the bullpen. He’s the guy who grabs some earlier innings and can steal some late inning set-up spots with a slightly larger lead or when your main guys are tired.

If Givens falters, you should be able to shrug it off. To date, Givens has faltered. In seven appearances with the Mets, he’s 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA, and a 2.167 WHIP. He’s almost allowed as many runs with the Mets (9) as he had in 40 appearances with the Cubs (12).

Again, a team like the Mets should be in a spot to shrug this off and adjust accordingly. However, Givens was the Mets ONLY trading deadline bullpen acquisition. As such, the Mets actually need him to be more than he is.

Except, he hasn’t been. That’s made all the worse by the Mets uncertainty in their bridge to Edwin Díaz.

Adam Ottavino has been great but needs rest. Seth Lugo has been inching back to peak Lugo form, but he’s still uneven. Trevor May is still working his way back to game shape.

Ideally, that group would’ve made Givens a luxury and not a necessity. The Mets may still get there, but they’re not quite there yet.

That’s also before the Mets face any injuries. On that note, the Mets still don’t know if they’re getting anything at all from Drew Smith or Tylor Megill the rest of the season.

Givens was a boom or bust gamble going bust. There’s still time for him and for the rest of the bullpen. The thing is after the trade deadline you’d think the Mets would’ve been in a far better spot than this.

Mets Neglect Bullpen At Trade Deadline

The New York Mets thought their offense needing addressing at the trade deadline, and they set out to do it. Apparently, that was really their objective.

It’s undeniable Tyler Naquin, Darin Ruf, and Daniel Vogelbach make this a more potent offensive team. When you look at the high prospect cost, it appeared the Mets were not going to let prospects stand in the way of a World Series.

So, then, how does Billy Eppler and the Mets explain only coming away with Mychal Givens to bolster the bullpen at the trade deadline?

Keep in mind, Colin Holderman was having a better season than Givens. Yes, Givens is having a good season, and he has a good track record, but overall, Holderman was better leaving the Mets in a worse spot than when they entered the trade deadline.

This is where you wonder what Billy Eppler was thinking.

He traded Holderman because of a purported robust relief market. Then, on the trade deadline, he admits it wasn’t all that robust, and that the prices were too high.

This doesn’t pass the smell test.

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired David Robertson from the Chicago Cubs for prospect Ben Brown, a soon to be Rule 5 eligible pitcher who has not reached Double-A. Sure, he’s the Phillies seventh best prospect, but their system is one of the very worst in the game.

The Minnesota Twins made an intra-division trade to acquire Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers. The cost was pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long. He’s a 24 year old former sixth round pick with a 7.17 ERA in Double-A.

Baltimore Orioles All-Star closer Jorge López went to the Twins as well. Admittedly, it took quite a haul to get him. Really, he’s just about the only reliever who came at a steep cost.

Raisel Iglesias was basically a salary dump to the Atlanta Braves. The Mets could’ve thought outside the box to bring Noah Syndergaard back to recreate Game 5 of the NLDS. That Mickey Moniak led return was laughable.

Then again, so is the notion the Mets are going to the postseason with Tommy Hunter and Joely Rodriguez in their bullpen.

Now, it’s imperative Trevor May is healthy, effective, and has the stamina the rest of the way. Seth Lugo needs to further prove he’s all the way back. Adam Ottavino needs to continue this run.

Drew Smith and Tylor Megill may need a miracle to be 100% in time for the postseason, and Megill has to show he can pitch in the pen. David Peterson has shown he couldn’t, but now, he needs to be in that mix again.

That’s hope, and hope is not a plan. Whatever the case, that’s what the Mets are left with after the trade deadline. They just have to hope it’s enough.

That’s a dereliction of duty by Eppler, and that goes double when you consider his excuses in trading Holderman. What makes this all the worse is the relatively low prices at the deadline, and the Mets overpaying for bats.

In the end, we just have to hope the Mets have enough. If not, they’ll forever lament not going all-in as their trades indicated they were. They’ll be left wondering why they didn’t try to do all they could to win the World Series and why they gave up so much just to fall short.

Mets Bullpen Might Be Better Than We Thought

With Edwin Díaz, the New York Mets have the best closer in baseball. As for the rest of the bullpen, well, that’s a question mark right now.

The expectation is the Mets will address this at the trade deadline. At first blush, there’s a lot which needs addressing. However, when you dig deeper, maybe the Mets are in much better shape than originally contemplated.

Lets start with the fact Major League Baseball has a 13 pitcher limit. After the five man rotation, which will be further bolstered by Jacob deGrom’s return, a team can carry seven relievers.

We know Díaz is the closer. As a result, the Mets need to fill six bullpen spots. Here’s how they look.

Adam Ottavino has been terrific with a 2.29 ERA, 176 ERA+, and a 10.5 K/9. He’s emerged as a primary set-up man. That’s five spots remaining.

Seth Lugo looks like a different reliever out of the break. He’s yet to allow a run in 4.2 innings. His run goes deeper than that. Since June 8, he has a 2.70 ERA. That’s four spots remaining.

Trevor Williams has been an important pitcher for the Mets all season. With a healthy rotation Williams will now stay in the bullpen.

As a reliever this season, he has a 1.50 ERA striking out 10.9 per nine, and he recorded his first career save this season. He can be a long man, and we’ve recently seen him get some late inning opportunities. That’s three spots remaining.

Trevor May will be coming off the IL. He’s a high leverage reliever who had a 3.38 ERA, 130 ERA+, and a 12.1 K/9 out of the bullpen from 2018 – 2021.

He looked strong during his rehab outings. If he’s back to form, the Mets bullpen gets exponentially better and deeper. That’s two spots remaining.

Now, this is where things get a little interfering. The Mets have a mix of arms in Tommy Hunter, Stephen Nogosek, and Yoan López, each of whom has performed well when given a chance.

However, that’s depth, and the Mets understandably aren’t going to rely on them come the postseason. Of course, with the innings they get from the starting rotation, the Mets may never really need anything beyond Diaz-May-Lugo-Ottavino.

Still, you build as strong a bullpen as you can. It’s possible the remaining two spots could bee filled internally.

Buck Showalter has said Tylor Megill will move to the bullpen when he comes off the IL. When he was healthy, Megill was dominant, and he could be a real weapon in the bullpen.

Of course, that also applied to Drew Smith. However, no one knows if Smith can return this year. That may go double with Megill.

As a result, ideally speaking, the Mets have two spots to fill. That could’ve been one, but Colin Holderman was traded for Daniel Vogelbach. As a result, it’s two spots.

With Joely Rodriguez being a disappointment, and with the needless obsession with LOOGYS even despite the three batter rule, the Mets will likely bend backwards to get a left-handed reliever. It’s dumb, but that’s what they’ll do.

That leaves the team finding one more big arm. Given his success in New York, and how he’s pitched this year, David Robertson is THE perfect fit. Of course, there are other options.

Then again, if the Mets get no one, they will still be fine.

As noted, the starting pitching goes deep. So far this year, they average 5.2 innings per start. Remember, that’s without one deGrom start and the team getting 30 starts outside their projected Opening Day rotation.

If we focus on Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker, they’re averaging almost six innings per start. Again, this is without deGrom.

Keep in mind, one of those five moves to the postseason bullpen. That takes one of the two needed slots. Maybe they also carry David Peterson even if he struggled in his two cracks at the short relief route.

Really, when you break it down, the Mets already can go with what they already have in October. That goes double if Megill and/or Smith return.

While very true, the Mets still should get Robertson. That’s a move that puts this bullpen in a different stratosphere and pushes them closer to being World Series favorites.

Trevor Williams Should Be High Leverage Reliever

Much of the reason the New York Mets are in first place is due to their unsung heroes. With the rash of injuries, players like Trevor Williams stepped up and has been huge.

His biggest start was his last one where he earned a win after shutting out the Miami Marlins over seven innings. The thing is that may be his last start of the season.

Max Scherzer is back and dominating. Jacob deGrom is throwing 100 MPH fastballs in his rehab starts. When deGrom is back, which will be sooner rather than later, there’s zero chance Williams gets a start.

We saw the Mets accepting and planning for that eventuality as Williams pitched the final three innings in the Mets 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Since Williams pitched the final three innings, he was credited with the save, the first of his career.

We should be seeing more of Williams in these late inning situations. Preferably, it would be high leverage situations.

For starters (or relievers), the Mets need someone to fill that role. It’s something the Mets have been trying since Trevor May was injured.

Drew Smith struggles with left-handed batters, is becoming homer prone, and has a 4.68 ERA since May 14.

Seth Lugo had struggled on back-to-back days and pitching more than an inning. Adam Ottavino is on a good run, but he needs his rest, and historically, he’s terrible in September and October 5.17 ERA).

Seemingly, that’s it for relievers Buck Showalter trusts in a big spot to set up Edwin Diaz. Speaking of Diaz, he might just be the only reliever everyone trusts, and he can’t set up for himself.

Likely, the Mets main set-up reliever is not currently on the roster. Keep in mind, the Mets still need to figure out who is going to pitch innings 6-8.

To phrase it as one set-up reliever is a misnomer because the Mets still need at least two more relievers. While we can be curious about a Colin Holderman, Showalter isn’t using him in high leverage situations.

Maybe Showalter will use Williams. Keep in mind, Williams is a veteran. He’s also pitching some of the best baseball of life.

Williams struck out a career high 22.5% of batters. While an admittedly small sample size, in his career, he’s struck out 9.9 batters per nine as a reliever (against 7.1 as a starter).

That could increase as Williams focuses more on his sinker and slider. Right now, Williams has a 40% whiff rate on his slider and a 36.8% put away rate on his sinker. Both are the best marks for his career.

Putting aside the eccentricities, it’s a two pitch repertoire and level of effectiveness reminiscent of Turk Wendell. Of course, we don’t know if Williams can be Wendell, at least not until the Mets try it.

For Williams, it will be an adjustment. It should be noted he’s at his worst this year the first time through the lineup. Then again, he adapted just fine earning his first career save against the Cubs.

Past that, we don’t have a real sample size this year to make any judgments. That is even with him performing well in a very limited sample size last season after the Mets were out of the race.

Ultimately, we don’t know how Williams will fare. What we do know is there are signs he could succeed in the role, and more importantly, the Mets have an immediate need. Everything together, it’s time to give Williams a shot as a high leverage reliever.

Mets In Desperate Need Of Another Reliever

In the New York Mets 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves, their biggest flaw was highlighted and their downfall. Their bullpen.

We know the missed strike call to Dansby Swanson which should’ve ended the inning. However, David Peterson was pitching too long.

Peterson was at 98 pitches before he allowed that homer to Matt Olson. In the at-bat. Olson hit a very long foul. When Mookie Betts did that to Peterson in Los Angeles, Buck Showalter gave him the hook.

The Mets really weren’t able to do that here. That’s even with Peterson set to go over 100 pitches for just the third time all season. It was the third time through the order. That’s something the Mets have justifiably shielded him from all season.

Here, the Mets had little choice. After all, aside from Edwin Diaz, who do you absolutely trust in the Mets bullpen right now? The answer is probably nobody.

Well, Diaz was unavailable as was Adam Ottavino. The Mets bullpen was short, and they needed Peterson to get through six. He didn’t, and he allowed the Olson two run homer to put the Mets down 2-1.

Seth Lugo came in and was huge getting the Mets out of that inning. And then, he was not S he allowed his own two run homer to Adam Duvall in the seventh.

Just like that a shallow and tired pen helped turn what could’ve been a 1-0 win into a 4-1 loss.

Yes, we can and should point to the offense. However, the Mets had a lead. They just don’t have the arms to bring games like these home.

Drew Smith is increasingly unrealizable and can’t get left-handed batters out. Joely Rodriguez is a LOOGY and not really cut out for the three batter rule.

Tommy Hunter is a great story, but you still don’t know if he can trust him quite yet. Same goes for Colin Holderman, who did pitch well in this game and all season. Maybe they’ll get there, especially Holderman, but the Mets don’t trust him completely right now.

That leaves you questioning who else is there? Well, until Trevor May comes back, the answer is no one. That’s the problem.

Sure, with Max Scherzer pitching, it masks the problem. When he gives you seven, you just need one inning from someone not named Diaz. The same is true for when Jacob deGrom comes back from the IL.

Taijuan Walker is approaching this level, and Chris Bassitt is a strong 6+ inning starter. With this starting pitching, you don’t need much in the bullpen.

The Mets proved this in 2015. One of the ways do address a faltering bullpen is to just not use it. Let the starters absorb the innings.

The plan works, but you need more than just a Jeurys Famila, or in this case, a Diaz. They’re also going to need more than just May returning and Peterson likely shifting to the bullpen come October.

The Mets need an answer. That may come from a Holderman. Mostly, it’s going to have to be a trade deadline move. Really, it’s both that are needed. We’ll see if the Mets get it.

Astros Different Class Than Mets

The New York Mets played the Houston Astros four times over the past week, and it just didn’t go well for the Mets. Not only did the Astros sweep all four games, but they also dominated them.

As Mets fans, we can lie to ourselves. We can say it’ll be different when the Mets have Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. Truth is, that might not be sufficient.

We saw that with Taijuan Walkers start. He was again brilliant shutting the Astros out over 7.1 innings. Edwin Diaz finished that inning, but Drew Smith couldn’t keep it scoreless allowing a two run homer to Jason Castro.

Even with the homer from the backup catcher hitting .095, it was just two runs. When your pitchers all two runs, that’s a winnable game. When you’re at home, you need to win those games.

The excuse will be it was Justin Verlander. Fine, he’s a future Hall of Famer, and he leads the AL in wins. He was great. However, that doesn’t explain one run scored over two games and six over four games against the Astros.

Come up with your reasons. Once you cycle through them, there’s one simple answer – the Astros are just better. That’s a big problem.

If the Mets want to win a World Series, the Astros are a potential roadblock. If not them, the New York Yankees, who are having a historically great season.

Before that, there’s the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and really, the seeming randomness of the postseason.

For the Mets, they need to admit their problems and find solutions. Really, they’re pretty obvious.

First and foremost, J.D. Davis is not a DH. They need to stop forcing it. Maybe the team gives Dominic Smith another look. Maybe they call-up Mark Vientos.

Whatever the Mets decide, they can’t play Davis anymore. He’s been a disaster. Sure, people will run to say the same about Smith, but whatever. Point is, DH is a black hole for the Mets.

This alludes to another issue. With Francisco Lindor struggling again (potentially due to the broken finger), Pete Alonso is the ONLY power threat.

The Mets need to try to give someone a look there before they can make a trade. While we’re on that subject, Chasen Shreve can’t pitch for this team again.

Shreve hasn’t performed for two months now, and he’s getting worse. The Mets need to find his replacement ASAP. While they’re at it, it couldn’t hurt to add another reliever for the late innings.

There’s some other areas to address. However, Jeff McNeil’s versatility and Luis Guillorme’s glove answers many of those problems.

There’s more from there, but those potential problem areas may be overstated. Overall, we see against better pitching and fielding teams, the put the ball in plat approach fails. That’s been very true for the Mets.

None of this is an overreaction. The Mets are great and can win a World Series. However, that doesn’t change the facts. The Astros are in a different class than the Mets.

That’s with or without deGrom and Scherzer. Yes. deGrom and Scherzer can lead the Mets to a World Series. They can also lose due to the inability to score runs against good pitching and defense teams.

With each day, the Mets issues become more apparent. Fortunately, there’s still time to address them. Hopefully, the Mets admit them now and become incredibly pro-active.