Drew Smith

Edwin Diaz Not Quite Elite

The most promising sign we have seen from Edwin Diaz this year was how he reacted to the no-hitter. He knew what was happening, and what he needed to do. That would be the best we’ve ever seen of him.

Really, this year is the best we’ve seen of him. He’s having his first All-Star caliber season with the New York Mets, and there is a real and justified discussion about the need to extend him.

Diaz has been very, very good this year. However, as we saw in San Francisco, he’s just not quite elite. Not yet.

The Mets were down 8-4 entering the top of the eighth when they exploded for seven runs. They took an 11-8 lead.

Drew Smith, who has struggled lately, gave that lead right back. The Giants tied the score at 11-11 before he recorded an out. Fortunately, he was bailed out by Joely Rodriguez.

The Mets offense picked the team off the mat again. After knocking in the first run of that eighth inning rally, Dominic Smith came up huge again leading off the top of the ninth with a triple. Travis Jankowski pinch ran, and he’d score on a Brandon Nimmo sacrifice fly.

The Mets had a 12-11 lead, and they brought Diaz into the game.

Obviously, you need your closer to lock down every game he pitches. That said, these are the games you REALLY need. The Mets fought to get back into the game, and then, they fought back again.

After a double play, all Diaz needed was one more out. He didn’t get it, and the trouble started with a walk to Mike Yastrzemski.

From there, three straight singles from Darin Ruf, Joc Pederson, and Brandon Crawford turned an exhilarating 12-11 victory to a devastating 13-12 defeat.

You’ll note this damage mostly cane from left-handed batters. There’s something there with Diaz.

Yes, by and large, he’s platoon neutral. That said, he’s always walked left-handed batters at a higher clip than right-handed batters. Those walks lead to trouble, and they did here.

This marked the third blown save in 13 chances for Diaz. Those three saves are the second most in all of baseball this season. We can pretend otherwise, but even when Diaz is at his best, blown saves have been an issue for him.

It’s not just the blown saves but the moments. While there were a number of mitigating factors, you can certainly recall how he wilted in his one and only pennant race in 2019.

Overall, you’re better with Diaz than not. We’ve seen him able to rise to the occasion. You can win games and potentially World Series with him.

However, he’s just not elite. He’s not there quite yet. Elite closers lock down that game. He didn’t. We don’t need to over dwell on it because he will be fine in the long run. That still doesn’t mean we have to pretend he’s something he isn’t.

20/20 Hindsight: Mariners Make Mets Regret Sewald

For the first time this season, the New York Mets lost a series. To make matters worse, it was Mets incompetence of the past which came back to haunt them.

1.  Paul Sewald is absolutely right. The Mets gave up on him. More to the point, as I’ve pointed out, and as Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen noted on the broadcast, the Mets completely and utterly botched how they handled him. Sewald absolutely deserved this moment.

2.  Sewald was all the more of a debacle when you consider the Mets kept Ryan O’Rourke, Tim Peterson, and Jacob Rhame over him. None of those three pitched past the 2019 season. Sewald is now a very good late inning reliever.

3.  It’s not just Sewald, but Chris Flexen where the Mets screw up was the Mariners gain. The good news here is the morons in charge who made those decisions are now gone.

4.  The people in charge now get us Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt who were again great in their starts. Much of the Mets success this season is directly attributable to bringing those pitchers onboard.

5.  That Patrick Mazeika start behind the plate was rough, and it limited Bassitt to 5.1 innings when he had the stuff to go much deeper.

6.  That said the legend of Mazeika grew. Not only did he have the game winning homer, but he also had a key hit in that ninth inning rally which fell short.

7.  You cannot have worst at-bats than what Starling Marte and Pete Alonso did with the game tying and go-ahead runs on base than what they did. The Alonso one was even worse considering he got one strike in that at-bat, and he didn’t even swing at the pitch over the heart of the plate.

8.  Brandon Nimmo came up huge in that inning with an RBI double. In fact, he’s been great all season and has been the Mets best player. He’s clearly an All-Star, and sooner or later, if he keeps this up, he is going to get MVP consideration.

9.  Drew Smith went from impenetrable to allowing runs in consecutive appearances. He will be fine.

10. Carlos Carraso looked bad. While he was worse against the St. Louis Cardinals, he arguably looked worse in this start. Again, he’s been very good for all but two starts, so there is no need to dwell too much here.

11. Good for Adam Ottavino for picked up that win. He’s responded well to that rough patch, and part of the reason is Buck Showalter has been much more responsible in how he uses them.

12. Congratulations to Colin Holderman on his Major League debut. It was rocky, but it was a scoreless inning, and he did flash what could be very good stuff out of the pen.

13. Sewald wasn’t the only pitcher to stick it to his old team. Edwin Diaz struck out all three batters he faced in his only save opportunity in the series. By the way, he’s now played more seasons with the Mets than the Mariners.

14. Joely Rodriguez wasn’t great, and Chasen Shreve allowed homers in consecutive appearances. On that note, Aaron Loup is having another great season. So far, this looks like an unforced error by the Mets, and you do have to wonder how much of that is attributable to the Robinson Cano contract.

15. James McCann being out is going to hurt the Mets. He was great behind the plate, and believe it or not, he was a starting level bat at the position in the majors so far this year.

16. Tomas Nido did step-up in this series actually drawing two walks. To put that in perspective, he drew five all of last season.

17. McCann’s injury is the type which may cost him this year even when he can return. Those hammate bone injuries tend to linger and hamper the ability to hit again. Unfortunately, Francisco Alvarez has been struggling in Double-A putting him even further off the horizon.

18. Francisco Lindor hit a big homer. The Mets need more of that from him.

19. One massive takeaway from this series, even with the series loss, is the Mets beat up on reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray. It doesn’t matter if it was an off game or not from Ray, the Mets finally hit left-handed pitching.

20. The Mets were at the Rangers beating the Penguins in Game 7. Perhaps, we will see the Rangers at Citi Field watching the Mets win their own Game 7 this postseason.

Mets Co-No Was A Real No-Hitter

On April 29, 2022, Tylor Megill, Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz each took the mound, and none of them allowed a hit. By its very definition this is a no-hitter. In fact, it was one of 17 in Major League history featuring multiple pitchers in a game.

It was an amazing night at Citi Field, and it was a moment New York Mets fans will forever cherish. After all, this was just the second time in team history this pitching fabled franchise had a no-hitter. It was a historic moment in Mets and MLB history.

Really, no one can take that moment away from those five pitchers, this Mets team, the franchise, or the fan base. This will be forever played on SNY, and this is a moment which will be noted somewhere in Citi Field for eternity. It needs to be repeated – nothing can take this away from us.

That includes when Los Angeles Angels pitcher Reid Detmers threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was what we have long referred to as a no-hitter, or as Noah Syndergaard put it in his Instagram story, a “real” no-hitter.

Image

Honestly, this is not something which should have been met with any reaction whatsoever. Syndergaard took to celebrating a moment. Instead of analyzing whether he was chiding the Mets or trying to examine why he put quotes around real, we should move on. When Syndergaard was doing this stuff with the Mets, we all loved it.

It’s who he is. He’s a quirky personality. In some ways, it’s why he’s built for the big markets, but more to the point, the second team in the big market. He’s built for the Mets, Angels, or Chicago White Sox. He knows how to garner attention and keep his team in front of the local rival. He’s really good at this.

Whether or not this was a shot at the Mets really doesn’t matter. More to the point, anything anyone says about the co-no, good or bad, really doesn’t matter. That goes for players and analysts alike.

As an aside here, if you are in the Apple+ TV booth, making comments like this is rather humorous. This is the only “network” who has zero exclusivity to their time slot for a “nationally televised game.” That is even before you consider how maligned that booth has been this season.

Overall, Syndergaard and Keyser can say what they want. Really, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Guess what? The Mets still threw a no-hitter, and this is a first place team who is built to win a World Series. Mets fans have enjoyed every moment of this season, and there are going to be a lot more special moments in store as this team goes deep into October.

When the Mets make the postseason and win the World Series, let’s see what everyone has to say then.

Trevor Williams Forgotten Man In Mets Bullpen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mets Win With Rat, Not Raccoon

For some reason, the New York Mets couldn’t get to Patrick Corbin even though he’s been terrible since the Washington Nationals won the World Series. Fortunately, he could only go five, and that would be the Nationals undoing.

Entering that top of the sixth, the Nationals were up 2-0. Carlos Carrasco was pitching well, but he allowed an RBI double to Maikel Franco (shocking) and a solo homer to Riley Adams.

The Nationals brought in Carl Edwards, Jr., and the Mets went to work. They loaded the bases with one out, and Jeff McNeil did what he does best – he got it in play.

It was hit hard, but it’s a play Josh Bell needs to make. In any event, Bell pulled a Dorn, and McNeil had a game tying two RBI double.

The Mets took the lead on a James McCann sacrifice fly scoring Eduardo Escobar. It was part of a big game for McCann. In addition to going 1-for-3 with the sacrifice fly and his usual terrific work behind the plate, he also threw out Drew Strange-Gordon attempting to steal second.

It was part of a tremendous defensive inning for the Mets. In addition to the caught stealing, Francisco Lindor robbed Franco of a hit.

That helped Drew Smith get through the seventh. He’d need a little help in the eighth.

Smith departed with one on and Juan Soto coming to the plate. Soto is having a down year (for him), and it didn’t get better as he popped out on the first pitch he saw from Joely Rodriguez.

Buck Showalter would have an interesting ninth. After Mark Canha reached on an error, he didn’t pinch run Travis Jankowski even though he’d bring in Jankowski later in the inning to pinch run, and he’d be the defensive replacement for Canha.

Canha wouldn’t score from second on a Lindor single.

He was also intending to bring in Dominic Smith for defense. However, he didn’t use him to pinch hit for J.D. Davis. Davis was overpowered by low 90s fastballs up in the zone by Erasmo Ramirez.

Davis did fly out. Fortunately, with the infield and outfield in, the Mets took advantage of the back pedaling Soto to not only score a run, but also to see all base runners advance.

The lead was 4-2, but it did seem the Mets left a big inning on the table with some of Showalter’s decisions playing a factor there.

Fortunately, two runs were more than enough for Edwin Diaz, who has been phenomenal all season. He slammed the door shut for his seventh save of the season.

While the win was fun in and of itself, there was some levity during that sixth inning rally when a Rat ran onto the field.

While Keith Hernandez was doing his best James Cagney, Mets fans were remembering the Ratcoon controversy. That’s the way it is when things are going well.

What was once controversy is now fun. Right now, everything is fun for a Mets team on pace for 110 wins.

Mets Catchers Have Been Great

Entering this season, there was serious concern over James McCann and Tomás Nido. Between the two of them, neither one could really hit, and in terms of McCann, his defense regressed significantly. Between the two of them, Mets catchers were fifth worst in the majors by fWAR.

To some degree, a little over one month into the season, it would appear our concerns were justified. After all, McCann and Nido have combined for a 57 wRC+. While it’s shocking that’s only seventh worst in the majors, it is still horrific.

Now, a large part of that is Nido. His 38 wRC+ is eighth worst among catchers who have at least 40 plate appearances. With respect to McCann, for all the consternation, his 70 wRC+ is at least playable for the position as it is the 26th best among catchers. No, it’s not great, but with 30 teams, that’s a starting bat.

Here’s the thing, despite the struggles at the plate, the Mets catchers have been excelling this season, and as a result, the Mets are in first place as a result with the second best run differential in the National League.

In terms of framing, Mets catchers rank best in the National League. They’re also tops in terms of defensive fWAR.

As noted by Baseball Savant, McCann is the 12th best framer in all of baseball, and Nido is 33rd. Make no mistake here, this is a driving force behind the Mets success this season.

From a pitching perspective, the Mets have the fourth best FIP and fifth best ERA. From a starting pitching perspective, they have the third best FIP and foruth best ERA. All told, Mets starters have the second best fWAR in the majors.

It does help having pitchers like Max Scherzer. However, the Mets have gotten top performances across their starting staff, and that is without Jacob deGrom. That includes Tylor Megill surprising, and Chris Bassitt being even better than he was with Oakland.

Really, it was no accident the Mets had a combined no-hitter. McCann was brilliant behind the plate with his framing and pitching calling with Megill, Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz combining for the no-hitter. Seeing these pitchers with Mets catchers, we are bound to see more memorable performances this season.

Overall, this Mets team has been led by their pitching, and that is in large part because of what is happening behind the plate. No, McCann isn’t hitting, and Nido really isn’t hitting. Despite that, they’ve been driving forces for this Mets team because their work behind the plate has been stellar, and as a a result, so have been the Mets so far this season.

Do Mets Have Something In Adonis Medina?

One thing lost in the New York Mets huge comeback against the Philadelphia Phillies was Adonis Medina. After pitching 2.2 scoreless innings, he was in line for the win. You could argue the 2.2 scoreless was as improbable as the comeback itself.

Medina was grabbed by the Mets off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates just as the 2022 season was about to commence. Keep in mind, the Pirates are not a team in a position to part with any pitching, or really, any useful player. They are a bad team who needs to be investing in players in their mid 20s.

The Pirates had Medina because he was designated for assignment by the Phillies. The Phillies bullpen has been a train-wreck the past few seasons. They’re not remotely in a position to start parting with relievers who can part with any pitcher with promise.

Despite that, the Mets traded for Medina for cash after he was DFA’s and used a 40 man spot on him. Part of the reason why is the Mets needed some minor league depth for their bullpen. The other answer is obviously that the Mets saw something in a player once considered a top 100 prospect.

For starters, Medina is a ground ball machine. He has a low to mid 90s sinker, which has generated a 61.0% ground ball rate over his brief Major League career. When you have an infield with Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil or Luis Guillorme up that middle, that is going to translate to a number of outs. That goes double with how well the Mets shift.

Another factor is Medina does have some swing-and-miss stuff. His 21.2 K% at the Major League level is above average. While his fastball is hittable, batters typically struggle making contact with his sinker and change. The slider is below league average in terms of spin, but Medina’s change can be a real weapon.

According to Baseball Savant, Medina’s change is an above average pitch in terms of both movement and vertical drop. What makes that pitch all the more effective is the fact Medina has a very consistent release point.

In the end, Medina tends to induce weaker contact. This is partially because that sinker is a weapon. There is also the fact his change is thrown from a similar release point and tracks as an above average pitch.

All told, this gives Jeremy Hefner something to work with Medina. With the Minnesota Twins, Hefner has helped pitchers work more vertically than horizontally. As we saw with the Mets, he worked with different grips with Justin Wilson to maximize his curve.

Mostly, Hefner can make the tweaks needed to get Medina to throw strikes. More than anything, it’s the walks holding Medina back from taking the next step as a Major Leaguer. By working with Hefner, perhaps there is something there.

In terms of the Mets bullpen, there is room for Medina to prove himself with Trevor May‘s absence. There is a real void to serve as that bridge to Drew Smith, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz. After 2.2 scoreless, it would appear Medina earned another chance. It will be interesting to see where he goes from there.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Blow Opportunity

The New York Mets had won seven straight series before a key divisional match-up against the Atlanta Braves. They would not make it an eighth straight series.

1.  Last season, the Mets failed on multiple occasions to deliver a knockout blow to the Braves leading to the Braves buying at the deadline, winning the division, and eventually, winning the World Series. This was the Mets first chance to deliver a huge blow to the under .500 Braves, and instead, they let the Braves walk away with a split.

2.  You can’t use Adam Ottavino for three straight games. That’s just an unforced error that helped lead to the Mets getting blown out.

3.  Buck Showalter came into this season with a number of questions. Seeing how he burns Drew Smith for two innings instead of saving him for another day and used an injured Trevor May in a key spot, it would seem like he hasn’t improved in the slightest in this area.

4.  Chris Bassitt and Tylor Megill deserved better.

5.  If Bassitt wants to sign an extension, the Mets should sign him to one. This is a good pitcher who seems to like pitching here. You keep those guys.

6.  The walks are starting to pile up with Megill. If he isn’t pounding the strike zone, he becomes vulnerable to the big inning. That is essentially what happened to him. Right now, this isn’t any cause for alarm.

7.  All the metrics say Francisco Lindor is hitting the ball very well, but the results aren’t there. Put another way, it’s too soon to overreact, but it is something we need to monitor.

8.  The Mets poor hard hit rates is not an issue for players like Jeff McNeil and Luis Guillorme. However, it is a much larger issue for the rest of the team who are more line drive power hitters.

9.  Eduardo Escobar went from pleasant surprise and leader to looking like the player the Mets shouldn’t have jumped the market to sign. His hard hit rates are cratering as is his defense.

10. Starting J.D. Davis over Dominic Smith, especially with a right-handed pitcher starting is just plain wrong. With extended playing time, Davis’ struggles with any sort of velocity and with pitches up in the zone are magnified.

11. For all the focus on the struggles of the bullpen, Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, and Smith have the final 2-3 innings locked down. Looking at that, building the rest of the bullpen is a much easier task until May returns from the IL.

12. It’s very interesting how May and Jacob deGrom were dealing with very similar injuries. What that says about the Mets is anyone’s guess.

13. The umpiring in this series was embarrassing. It helped cost one game with Dansby Swanson being ruled to have a double on a clear foul ball. Dom was called out on a pitch well out of the zone. Between this series and the Madison Bumgarner ejection in Arizona, the umpiring has been unacceptably poor this season. Really, you know it’s bad when Max Scherzer gets thrown out of a game when he’s not pitching.

14. The notion anything other than balls and strikes is not reviewable is ludicrous.

15. Travis d’Arnaud is certainly going the way of Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner in how he is making the Mets pay for their flat out wrong decision to cut him loose and look in another direction.

16. Players like Travis Jankowski and Guillorme deserve more respect. They fill their roles in perfectly and make this ball club infinitely better. Jankowski knows people won’t buy his jersey, but we will all cheer him on like he’s a superstar.

17. Carlos Carrasco has been amazing this season, and his eight innings not only helped the Mets pick up a win, but it also saved the bullpen.

18. Trevor Williams wasn’t great, but he took one for the team pitching 3.2 innings. Outings like this often get overlooked and under appreciated, but it is something which will really help the Mets in the long run. With May out, you do wonder if the Mets can give him more of a look out of the pen. After all, it’s not like they have other options.

19. The Showalter suspension was ridiculous, especially when you consider Stubby Clapp wasn’t suspended. You do wonder how much that impacted the Mets in the opener of the series, especially with Showalter being informed right before game time.

20. Alonso is heating up just when the Mets need his bat to carry this team. Hopefully, he can help carry the offense as they try to give the Philadelphia Phillies the knock out blow they failed to give the Braves.

Recaps

Same Old Mets Against Braves

Mets Send Message to Braves

Credit to Trevor Williams

Mets Send Message To Braves

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

They did just that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mets Neon Moment Of The Week: The Co-No

Image

It took the New York Mets 50 years to throw their first no-hitter. When Johan Santana did it, no one ever expected the Mets would ever do it. After all, Tom Seaver had come too close, and the franchise seemed cursed after trading away Nolan Ryan.

In many ways, we never quite expected the Mets doing it again. After all, Jacob deGrom has never really come all that close to it, and he has just about the most unhittable stuff there is. in some ways, there is irony that the no-hitter came from deGrom’s spot in the rotation.

Tylor Megill was dominant over five innings, but with his pitch count already at 88 pitches, he left Buck Showalter with no choice but to lift his young starter. Part of the reason there were no hits was a great diving play made by Brandon Nimmo. Little did we know at the time that it would be THE PLAY like we see with all no-hitters.

Showalter then went to his second best (or even best) reliever in Drew Smith. Smith went 1.1 innings before getting relieved by Joely Rodriguez. After Rodriguez got Alec Bohm to hit into an inning ending double play, the moment became all the more real despite their only being one Mets pitcher on the day who would have a clue the Mets actually had a no-hitter going.

That includes Seth Lugo who relieved Rodriguez after he issued a walk. Lugo would prove to pitch the least of the group with his 0.2 innings serving as a bridge to Edwin Diaz for this most important appearance of his career.

This was easily the best Diaz and his slider ever looked. He would face three terrific hitters in Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, and J.T. Realmuto, and they would have absolutely no chance against him. With all three striking out, the Mets would have the second no-hitter in team history. It was a moment none of us saw coming (well, almost none of us), and it is a moment that will forever last in Mets history.

As an aside, it happened in the black jerseys. Many of the absolute best moments in Mets history have happened in those jerseys. The most famous was Robin Ventura‘s Grand Slam Single, but we have many more with this being one of the top moments in franchise history.

With this Mets franchise pitching a no-hitter for just the second time in team history, this is obviously the Mets Neon Moment of the Week!

* * * * * *

I am very appreciative Athlete Logos has agreed to participate in this feature. If you like his work as much as I do, please visit his website to enjoy his work, buy some of his merchandise, or to contract him to do some personal work for yourself (like I have). You can also go to Breaking T to purchase his now MLB licensed apparel. That includes a t-shirt with his very neon.