When I began this blog, there were many things and players I thought would be great topics. I u thought I would’ve written so much about Dario Alvarez. In that vain, here’s yet another post.
With the earlier bullpen problems, the Mets called up Alvarez. He was on the roster from August 21st until August 23rd when he was sent down to make room for David Wright on the roster. The Mets kept up Logan Verrett, who wouldn’t be available for another three days.
In that time, Alvarez made no appearances. Even Akeel Morris was allowed to make an appearance the one day he was up. Last night, Terry Collins let Eric O’Flaherty pitch to a right thereby costing the Mets the game. Alvarez didn’t even get warmed up. I’d say it’s personal, but to his credit Collins seems bigger than that.
Overall, with the LOOGY situation unresolved, I can’t believe the Mets keep going to the same failed options. If you’re not going to give Alvarez a chance to be a solution to a major problem, send him back down and stop wasting his service time.
Honestly, the next time I write about Alvarez, I want a one sentence blurb in a game recap. Any more than that, and I’m wasting my time while the Mets are wasting his time.
Where to begin on a day like today? There’s Michael Cuddyer and his new wrist injury of unknown origins. There’s Lucas Duda‘s rehab assignment in Binghamton. There’s Daniel Murphy‘s platelet rich therapy treatment for his injured quad. And, oh yeah, there was something about Matt Harvey.
There was a lot of noise, but this team is resilient. Jacob deGrom didn’t have his best stuff, and he was squeezed by the umpire. However, he made it through six with only three earned and was in line for the win due to a Yoenis Cespedes go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh.
Sean Gilmartin and Addison Reed gave up the lead in the seventh. The go-ahead run was scored after Reed got squeezed on a 2-2 pitch and his 3-2 pitch wasn’t even close resulting in a bases loaded walk. They were picked up by Travis d’Arnaud, who sparked a two out rally in the ninth. Juan Lagares pinch ran for him and scored after consecutive singles from Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. We all talk about the Cespedes trade, but we all neglect the trade that brought Uribe and Johnson aboard that really started to turn things around.
The one thing the Mets couldn’t overcome? Terry Collins. After having a decent game managing, he had to put Eric O’Flaherty in a position to fail again. O’Flaherty came in with an inherited runner and one out from Erik Goeddel‘s second inning of work. O’Flaherty got the lefty, and then for some reason Collins let him face Martin Prado.
Of course, Prado hits a double down the right field line. Of course, it’s Lagares and not Cespedes on right. If Cespedes can’t play right, he’s not the player we all think he is. Sure enough, the run scores and the Mets lose in 11. With the Nationals win, the Mets lead drops to five.
Again, the Mets get burned by Collins managing. If he can’t handle August and September, why do we think he can handle October? Of all the nonsense today, this was the most aggravating.
In actuality, the competition may have begun last night. With one out in the seventh, Terry Collins brought in Sean Gilmartin to face the left-handed Odubel Herrera and Ryan Howard. Herrera singled and Howard hit into a double play. If this was indeed the start of the competition, Gilmartin threw down the gauntlet.
Gilmartin has found a nice role for himself in the Mets bullpen as the long man. He has appeared in 42 games going 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA, 1.095 WHIP, and a 2.46 FIP. In sum, he’s been fantastic. I’m sure he’s been considered for the long man role in the postseason. It appears he’s being considered for the LOOGY role as well.
The problem is the Mets are potentially looking to avoid a season’s worth of data. They’re also neglecting the adage that you never trust September results. The reason I mention this Gilmartin succeeds as a long man because he doesn’t have severe platoon splits. In fact, he’s slightly worse against lefties:
- RHB .215/.288/.280
- LHB .222/.282/.310
With that said, those are good numbers against lefties. Those numbers are on par with Eric O’Flaherty‘s career numbers against lefties: .209/.272/.272. Unlike Gilmartin, O’Flaherty can’t pitch to righties. O’Flaherty gets pummeled by righties in his career to the tune of .277/.356/.392. Also unlike Gilmartin, O’Flaherty has been terrible this year and worse so with the Mets.
O’Flaherty has a 14.14 ERA with the Mets with a 2.429 WHIP and a 5.28 FIP. He’s getting pummeled this year too. Righties are hitting .413/.496/.651. He hasn’t been impressive as a LOOGY going .262/.333/.308 against lefties. If he’s on the postseason roster and the opposition pinch hits a right when he comes into the game, watch out! That’s the strength of using Gilmartin as a LOOGY. If there’s a pinch hitter, he can handle it.
However, Gilmartin’s ability to give you multiple innings cannot be ignored, and that is why, September or no September, Alvarez needs a good, hard look. He’s pitched extremely well in AAA. Lefties and righties are batting .167 off of him. Given the fact that the PCL is a hitter’s league this is all the more impressive.
So we know Alvarez has the talent. It’s now an issue of whether his talent and AAA success translates to the majors. He has a lot riding on this, as do the Mets.
When your team loses big, it’s easy to overreact to the loss. Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez did. They switched places in the ninth in an attempt to keep things interesting. Keith did a good job, but he was no Kidcaster.
We saw the bad Niese again tonight. We haven’t seen him this bad in quite a while. The last bad start he had was when he became a dad. Since then, he has been as prone to the complete meltdown. Maybe fatherhood has been agreeing with him. Anyway, he was bad to the tune of five innings with six earned.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Mets got back into the game capped off by a Yoenis Cespedes three run homerun. Honestly, after the inning was over I assumed the Mets would beat up the Phillies bullpen and overcome the 6-4 deficit. However, the top of the sixth happened.
Let’s start off with this. I know many people first guessed and said why Parnell in that spot. Many wanted to see Addison Reed there. I was okay with Parnell there so long as he was alright. Furthermore, Reed is supposed to be a part of the 7-8-9 tandem, and there was no need for him to go multiple innings tonight.
If Parnell is going to contribute down the stretch and into the playoffs, he’s going to pitch the sixth inning. The problem is he wasn’t ready to return. He walked the first two batters he faced, and he threw the ball away on a bunt attempt. By the time he was done, his line was 0 innings pitched, three runs allowed, two earned, and two walks. Collins would then continue the poor managing.
He would bring in Eric O’Flaherty to face the righty Darin Ruf. Do the Mets not supply Collins with his splits? Does Collins have it out for O’Flaherty that he keeps setting him up to fail? Did Collins think Ryan Howard was in the game? I really don’t understand. After Ruf’s two RBI single, Collins would bring on Carlos Torres.
Collins would then let Torres out to dry. After neither Parnell nor O’Flaherty recorded an out, Collins left Torres out there to finish the inning. The Phillies would hit him hard. Torres let up a walk and three hits. He would allowed three runs with two of them earned.
One of them was unearned because Ruben Tejada threw away a ball he had no business throwing. He could’ve been bailed out, but it was tough a hop for any first baseman, especially so for a part time one like Michael Cuddyer. At the end of the top of the sixth inning, the Phillies would lead 14-4.
The Mets would tack on four runs to make the score look like a more palatable 14-8. Reed’s debut for the Mets was s highlight. He pitched a clean eighth that included a strikeout of Jeff Francoeur. Another highlight was the return of Erik Goeddel from the DL. He pitched a clean ninth.
Look, the Mets are still 13-2 against the Phillies. You can’t go nuts over one loss unless it’s a season ending loss. The Mets are going to lose some games. The Nationals may even win tonight. That’s fine. The Mets still have a nice lead in the division with a weak schedule. If you want something to get upset about, look at Terry Collins.
If the Mets do blow this, and I don’t think they will, Collins will be the culprit. The next time someone mentions him as a Manager of the Year candidate keep this game in mind. I know I will.
Otherwise, you turn the page after a loss like this. Tomorrow becomes a rubber game that the Mets need to win. Luckyily, tomorrow is a Harvey Day.
The Mets have announced what I presume is their first group of September call-ups. These players include Eric Campbell, Kevin Plawecki, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Eric Young, Jr. It’s fitting these four are the ones being called up first because they have a legitimate shot at being on the postseason roster, especially Plawecki.
When I looked at this list, I was surprised that Dario Alvarez‘s name wasn’t on the list. With Eric O’Flaherty struggling and the Mets refusal to put Steven Matz in the bullpen, there are no lefty options. As the August 31st waiver trade deadline has passed, another one cannot be acquired. The Mets need to figure this out.
The Las Vegas 51s season ends on the 7th. They’re in last place, so there won’t be any playoffs for them. The Mets apparently don’t care about the 51s season, and nor should they. That’s why they gutted their roster. Why they left Alvarez behind is beyond me. He’s been terrific in AAA. He is 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA and a 0.871 WHIP.
Alvarez belongs in the majors, especially with the LOOGY problem unresolved. I don’t know that Alvarez is ready to be a LOOGY. I don’t know if O’Flaherty can fix his issues in September to become the LOOGY the Mets need in the playoffs. What I do know is the Mets need to figure something out soon. They could be facing Adrian Gonzalez, Jason Heyward, Matt Carpenter, Pedro Alvarez, and/or Anthony Rizzo. It would be nice to have a lefty to get those guys out.
It’s funny with all the Mets moves, this is the one area they haven’t been able to properly address. I’d hate to see them LEFT out of October glory for that reason.
Yesterday, the Mets acquired Addison Reed. Erik Goeddel is on the 60 day DL, and he’s in the middle of his rehab assignment. Finally, the Mets need to make room for Eric Young, Jr. At a minimum, this means the Mets need to make three moves on the 40 man roster, and two of these changes must be made before September 1st.
Previously, I wrote a fairly lengthy piece on the issue. I won’t regurgitate the analysis here. You can click the link and read it. Instead, I’ll list the players who may see themselves removed from the 40 man roster in the order of what I think is most likely:
If I’m correct, three of these players will be gone. Now, there is the possibility, the Mets can designate Eric O’Flaherty for assignment, thereby clearing room for Reed on the 25 and 40 man rosters. O’Flaherty has been bad with the Mets, but he’s been put in tough spots by Terry Collins.
Keep in mind that O’Flaherty is the only true LOOGY the Mets have right now. He’s only supposed to pitch to lefties. He hasn’t been treated that way by Collins. For his career, lefties hit .208/.271/.270. This season those numbers are .258/.333/.290. He’s been worse this year, but there is still evidence in the numbers that the Mets should stick with him.
There are 33 games left in the season. With the expanded rosters, O’Flaherty should never see a righty except when there’s one beside him warming up in the bullpen. If you can’t get O’Flaherty right in the final 33 games, you can leave him off the postseason roster. Once you DFA him, he’s forever gone. He’s no longer an asset. You can’t work with him to improve. It’s better to keep him now rather than move him two days before you could’ve kept him with expanded rosters.
The better choice is Logan Verrett. The Mets seemingly wanted to see if he could be a seventh inning option, but that plan went away with a spot start. Sure Verrett made two appearances since; one good, one terrible. With Steven Matz being a good bet to join the rotation soon, and the trade for Addison Reed, there appears to be no room for Verrett on the 25 man roster for the time being.
The other realistic option with options left is Hansel Robles. He has trouble with the strike zone at times. However, he’s got good peripheral stats, and he’s shown he can give some length. Accordingly, I’d send down Verrett. He would then be available 10 days later or September 9th. This is enough time for another start or a few relief appearances.
As for Goeddel and EY, I wouldn’t take any actions on the 25 man roster to accommodate them. Rather, I would wait the two days and call them up when rosters expand on September 1st.
Therefore, while there are three 40 man decisions to be made, the Mets really only need to make one move with the 25 man roster. Here’s hoping they keep O’Flaherty Nd get him right for the playoffs.
If you keep playing with fire, you’re eventually going to get burned. Terry Collins’ poor managing has been masked by a seven game winning streak that came off the two worst teams in baseball. The fifth worst team in baseball would capitalize on Collins’ mistakes.
Tonight, the Mets got a dominant start from Matt Harvey. He only allowed two hits over six innings with eight strikeouts. Lucky for the Mets, the extra rest didn’t have a negative impact on Harvey. I don’t know if it was the rest or the last place Red Sox lineup. Either way, Harvey was Harvey.
Unfortunately for the Mets Terry Collins was Terry Collins. He put Juan Lagares and his .290 OBP in the leadoff spot. He was followed by Curtis Granderson and his .220 OBP against LHP. They combine to go 0-8 with two walks. The Mets would only score two runs against Henry Owens and his 4.50 ERA.
Then he brought in Logan Verrett to pitch in a second straight game. He’s never done that before, so Collins decided it was best to do it with a two game lead. However, yesterday with Verrett fully stretched out, he wouldn’t let Verrett go multiple innings. I don’t get it.
Verrett would give the lead away. His stuff looked flat, and the Red Sox teed off of him to the tune of three runs. The first run was a homer juiced by David Ortiz. The next two runs came off a homer by Jackie Bradley, Jr.
The Mets would rally off the Red Sox bullpen. It’s what they have been doing. They’ve been feasting off bad pitching to beat bad teams. The Mets loaded the bases and tied the score at three a piece on a two out bases loaded walk to Travis d’Arnaud. Rather than pinch hit Daniel Murphy, Collins let human rally killer Ruben Tejada bat. Unsurprisingly, the man who is hitting .227 in August popped out to end the rally.
The Mets two big guns out of the bullpen, Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia shut the door in the eighth and ninth. They kept the game tied. It didn’t matter. Because of the mismanaged tired bullpen, Carlos Torres had to come in.
He gave up a home run to the first batter he saw, Blake Swihart hit an inside the park homerun. Or did he? On a ball Lagares makes a play on last year, he went to play it off the wall. After it came off the wall, he never went to play it. Tejada and Granderson would go after it. Yoenis Cespedes never flinched in LF. By the time Tejada reached the ball, it was obvious Swihart was going to score.
Initially, I was irate with Lagares. How could he not go after it? Replays showed the ball went over the orange line in CF. It was going to be a HR anyway. The exhausted Torres, who pitched 2.1 innings last night, was letting up line drives left and right. I can’t blame him he was set up to fail. He was finally lifted with two outs in the tenth with the score 6-3. At least Eric O’Flaherty got a lefty out to end the inning.
The Mets rallied in the tenth. Tejada singled. Michael Conforto had a good AB and a well earned walk. Juan Uribe pinch hit for Lagares, and he walked to load the bases. Granderson walked giving the Mets their second run vis bases loaded walk on the night. Cespedes fm gave one a ride, but his flyball fell short. With that, the Mets luck finally ran out.
In other news, of course the fans gave David Wright a nice standing ovation. He went 2-4 with a run scored. I also noticed he has begun throwing the ball more side armed. I wonder if that has anything to do with the back injury.
Also, the Mets first two runs were with questionable calls by Tim Teufel’s at third base. The first time was Wilmer Flores [standing ovation] going through s stop sign. The second time was off of a fifth inning Michael Cuddyer single and a misplay by Rusney Castillo allowing Wright to score from first. Teufel sent Wright when most thought the stop sign should’ve been applied. To be honest, I haven’t noticed Teufel much at third this year, which usually means he’s been doing a good job.
The Mets missed an opportunity to go 7.5 games up on the Nationals. Overall, they missed a lot of opportunities tonight. It’s not the end of the world, but the Mets need to fix the bullpen and Collins in-game management. It’s going to burn them worse than it did tonight, whether it’s in September or October.
Hopefully, tomorrow will be the start of another long winning streak.
The strength of the Mets team this year has been their rotation. Even when they weren’t scoring runs, the rotation was able to keep it together for long enough to permit Sandy Alderson to make some moves to improve the offense.
With the Mets actually having a major league offense, they now seem intent to tempt fate and continue to mess with the rotation. They got away with it with Logan Verrett having a great game against the Rockies. Reading the tea leaves, Verrett may get another start.
Verrett did not make an appearance in last night’s game even though they needed him. Instead, we saw Eric O’Flaherty, Carlos Torres, and four outs from Tyler Clippard. Now, it appears Clippard will be unavailable tonight. If Verrett was truly available, he should’ve pitched in the eighth or ninth last night. This makes you question why he didn’t make an appearance. Was it because the Mets are giving him another start?
Another cause for suspicion is the Mets handling of the Steven Matz rehab. Initially, the Mets said they wanted to call him up on September 1st and move to a six man rotation. However, the Mets say Matz will need another rehab start before being called back up. That next start would be August 30th. This means he will first be ready to start Friday, September 4th in Miami. That leaves room for one Verrett start.
In between that time, there’s another opportunity for Verrett to start. His next time up would be tonight. If Verrett comes out of the bullpen tonight, we’ll know he’s out of the rotation. If he doesn’t, barring a Jon Niese complete game, we can reasonably assume, he’s getting another start.
The Mets may believe Verrett earned another start with his he pitched in Colorado. I think that’s faulty logic. While he pitched well, I think you only start him if you believe he’s one of your five or six best pitchers. I don’t think the Mets believe that. If that’s the case, put him in the bullpen so you don’t burn out your actual good arms like Clippard and Jeurys Familia before the playoffs.
I think the bullpen is the greater need right now, and I don’t think there is a real innings limit problem. Get Verrett in the bullpen now.
NOTE: while this is something I drafted after last night’s Mets game, it should be noted this is being published after Ryan Burdette’s excellent tweet. Since I saw this tweet, I felt the need to make this notation before publishing this post.
Everyone can talk about the home-road splits with Noah Syndergaard. However, if you think of yourself as a future ace, you don’t have games like Thor had tonight.
He was handed a 3-0 lead by another “Feat of Strength” by Yoenis Cespedes and Thor’s own RBI single. He gave it back and couldn’t make it past the fifth inning. This was important because the Mets have a really short bullpen. Normally, you’d ask your starter to get some extra innings with a short bullpen. The smarts couldn’t do that because of the phantom innings limit issue.
What we have instead was another day with a Mets reliever going multiple innings. Today, it was Hansel Robles‘ turn (more on him later). He pitched well only allowing one of the inherited runners from Eric O’Flaherty to score. I’m assuming the Mets will not have him and Sean Gilmartin available. Plus Logan Verrett will only be available for one inning. This is not the situation you want to be in with Bartolo Colon on the mound tomorrow, reagardless of his health.
Thor was bailed out in the top of the sixth when Travis d’Arnaud, who was inexplicably batting eighth, received an RBI from a bases loaded walk to tie the game. Michael Cuddyer then pinch hit for Thor and hit a two run single to put the Mets up 6-4. This is the latest example showing Cuddyer may still have something to contribute.
Tyler Clippard had a rough eighth inning. He left 1st and 2nd with two outs for Jeurys Familia, who came on for the four out save. He induced a groundballs to David Wright to get out of the jam unscathed. He then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the 6-5 win. Now with Familia going four outs for a save, we now have to question his availability for tomorrow.
Back to Robles. What he did was bush league. It was bush league not because he quick pitched. It was bush league because Cody Asche‘s head was down when he threw the ball. The Phillies dugout was rightfully upset. Normally, I’d argue that Jeff Francoeur should’ve been ejected, but he was protecting his teammate. The dugouts emptied, but neither team really crossed the lines.
My overall issue is with the home plate umpire. You either instruct the batter to get in the box or have your hands up the whole time to let Robles know he can’t throw a pitch. The umpire needs to be aware Robles likes to quick pitch, and he needs to umpire the game accordingly.
It should also be noted that Wright’s second game back wasn’t as successful as his first. He didn’t look as good at the plate. He swung at a lot of balls off the plate and out of the strike zone. Overall, he went 0-4 with a walk and two strikeouts. On the bright side, he was better in the field. Regardless, like last night, this was just one game, and I still have faith in him.
Ironically, despite the predicament Thor left the Mets in, he notched his first career road win. The Mets have problems to deal with tomorrow with an even shorter bullpen and no Wright tomorrow. At least they took care of business tonight and still lead the divisio by 5.5 games. Let’s enjoy tonight and worry about tomorrow.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the story lines from this game, and there were many. However, win, lose, or draw, this game was always going to be about David Wright‘s return. He started his return with a bang . . . or should I say a blast:
— Mets Daddy (@MetsDaddy2013) August 25, 2015
What a way to start! He would finish the game going 2-5 with that homerun, a walk, three runs, and an RBI. He also made two errors in the field. Hey, he isn’t perfect. I’m willing to let him get up to game speed. We all know he’s going to work to get better and be better. Surrounding Wright’s return was quite an interesting game.
While Wright was rising to the occasion, Jacob deGrom wasn’t ready for today. He had his worst outing in terms of innings pitched and runs allowed. His ugly line was 2.2 innings, 8 hits, 3 walks, and 7 runs (6 earned). He left the game down 7-2. Sean Gilmartin would come in and save not only deGrom, but also a depleted bullpen. He would go 3.1 innings striking out four and holding the Phillies to seven runs. That was important because the Mets offense was about to go off again in a bandbox.
The team tied team records with eight homeruns and 15 extra base hits. Here’s the collection of homeruns:
- David Wright (solo, 2nd inning)
- Juan Lagares (solo, 3rd inning)
- Wilmer Flores [standing ovation] (2 run, 4th inning)
- Travis d’Arnaud (464′, solo, 4th inning)
- Wilmer Flores (3 run, 5th inning)
- Michael Cuddyer (solo, 5th inning)
- Daniel Murphy (2 run, 6th inning)
- Yoenis Cespedes (2 run, 9th inning)
It wasn’t until d’Arnaud’s two run double in the sixth that the Mets scored a run without hitting a homerun. It was the Murphy 9th inning double that broke the record, but it was the Cespedes’ “Feats of Strength” that put the cap on the evening. Overall, the Mets treated Citizens Bank Park so much like Coors Field that they scored 14+ runs for the third time in four games. They would win 16-7.
In fact, things went so well from the Mets from the fourth inning on that Hansel Robles pitched a 1-2-3 seventh. Even Eric O’Flaherty had a 1-2-3 inning getting one righty and two lefties out. Carlos Torres‘ ninth inning was even fairly uneventful.
Also, even with the questionable lineup, Terry Collins had a good game. He got deGrom out in time. He rode Gilmartin as long as he could, especially with the short bullpen. I’m not going to disagree with him leaving Wright in fir the full game. You could make a reasonable argument to pull him in a laugher. I liked keeping him in there for a full game. It’s his first major league game since April. Let him get fully up to game speed. Although with the Mets not having two relievers who can give multiple innings, I do question using Torres in the ninth.
One another note, as I said before, these bandboxes produce some ugly and weird baseball. In the bottom of the eighth, Ryan Howard hit a hard line drive into the shift. Flores made a diving stop, but he couldn’t hold onto the line drive. As Howard was walking off the field, Flores got to a knee and threw it to first base. Howard then ran back to first, and because of the off the odd angle, he was heading towards second base when he ran through the bag. As Gary and Ron mused, it would’ve been interesting to see what happened if the throw didn’t beat Howard.
Overall, it’s tough to figure out if Gilmartin or Flores gets the game ball. We do know the Mets expanded their lead to a season high 5.5 games. I’m going to celebrate with a cookie.