Jerry Blevins

Mets Energy Level Better, Still Lose

Late in the season, both Robert Gsellman and Yoenis Cespedes gave you reasons to question their commitment. 

Like he has most of his career, Cespedes has failed to hustle this year. While deemed acceptable when things are going well, this becomes an issue for everyone. 

When he comes to Gsellman, he basically said as much. Well, that’s a bit of a stretch. When he was told Sandy Alderson said he needed to pitch better, Gsellman replied he didn’t care. 

On the field tonight against a very good Diamondbacks team, they were both very good. 

Gsellman was reminiscent of the pitcher we saw last year. He mostly kept the ball out of the air preventing him from being victimized by the long ball. With a much better defense behind him, which somehow included Wilmer Flores making some nice plays at third, Gsellman went deep into the game. 

In the odd chance the ball was in the air, the outfield got to those balls. This included Cespedes making not one but two hustle plays in the outfield. 

With the defense playing well behind him, and his sinker working, Gsellman arguably had his best start of the year. His final line was 6.1 innings, five hits, one run, one earned, one walk, and three strikeouts. 

Even with that terrific outing, he still didn’t get the win because the Mets offense continued to squander their scoring opportunities against Taijuan Walker

The Mets could bring home Brandon Nimmo after he lead-off the top of the first with a double. 

Wilmer Flores and Dominic Smith lead off the second with consecutive singles. Amed Rosario  struck out. After Kevin Plawecki intentionally walked to load the bases, Gsellman struck out, and Nimmo lined out. 

Flores came up in the third with runners at first and second with one out, and he grounded into the 6-4-3 inning ending double play. 

Plawecki’s two out double in the fourth didn’t amount to anything with Gsellman hitting it back to the pitcher. 

Plawecki came up in the sixth with runners on the corners and two outs. It would be runners on second and third after Rosario stole second. David Hernandez came on for Rubby De La Rosa, and he got Plawecki to tap it back to him to end the inning. 

Finally, the Mets broke through in the sixth. 

Travis d’Arnaud, who came on for Plawecki in a double switch in the top half of the inning, hit a lead-off double. Nimmo then sacrificed him to third. 
Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Conforto then earned walks to load the bases putting the game in Cespedes’ hands. As noted above, he played this game with a different energy than he has been playing with for most of the season. 
Cespedes battled back from 0-2 against Archie Bradley to rip an RBI single past a diving Jake Lamb to tie the game. 

It only tied the game because David Peralta nailed Cabrera at the plate. It’s a tough play to pin blame on anyone. With it being so close, it was a good send by Glenn Sherlock. Likely, Cabrera would’ve been safe if his leg was on the ground instead of in the air. You can’t blame Cabrera because that was just tough luck. 

In any event, after a Flores foul out, this was now a battle of the bullpens. 

Jerry BlevinsPaul Sewald, and AJ Ramos did their jobs combining to pitch 2.2 scoreless innings helping send the game into extra innings. 

The Mets went to Erik Goeddel in a rare second straight day of work to pitch the 10th. In a rare appearance on consecutive days. We saw the reason why he rarely does this. 

Goeddel issued a lead-off walk to Gregor Blanco before allowing a game winning two run homer to A.J. Pollock:

The homer snapped a Meys bullpen 17.2 streak of not allowing an earned run. 

Mets still has a chance in the bottom of the 10th with the heart of the lineup due up against Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney

Conforto got the inning off on the right foot hitting an opposite field lead-off home run to pull the Meys within 3-2. That’s as close as the Mets got as Rodney set down Cespedes, Flores, and Smith to end the game. 

The main thing that really stood out today was the Mets played with a different energy. At this point in the season, it’s all we can reasonably expect. Well that and better situational hitting. 

When that happen, we will see a much better brand of baseball much like we saw tonight. 

GAME NOTES: Steven Matz is done for the year as he will undergo surgery to re-position his ulnar nerve. It is the same surgery Jacob deGrom underwent last year. 

Jake Not Great, Collins Hates Young LHH

This wasn’t the best of Subway Series games for Mets fans. 

Jacob deGrom was good but not great. 

The Yankees first got to him in the third when Ronald Torreyes hit a lead-off double that Yoenis Cespedes couldn’t even be bothered to hustle to field. His lack of hustle was all the more damning when Torreyes made it to second with ease despite slipping on the first base bag. 

Of course, Cespedes would hustle on two infield singles in the game. 

The Yankees then took a 1-0 on an Aaron Hicks RBI single. 

That lead grew to 4-0 on a pair of homers. The first was a two run Yankee Stadium special off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury in the fourth. The Gary Sanchez solo shot in the sixth would’ve been out anywhere. 

Even with the four runs, deGrom was largely effective. His final line was 7.1 innings, nine hits, five runs, five earned, two walks, and four strike outs. 

deGrom would get the loss because Sonny Gray dominated the Mets for six innings. He had only allowed one walk and four hits while striking out five. 

Dominic Smith knocked him out of the game with his first career homer in the seventh:

It was an opposite field shot just past Hicks’ glove. The homer brought the Mets to within 4-2, bit the Mets wouldn’t get closer. 

One reason why was home plate umpire. Dellin Betances began to get wild after getting two quick outs to start the eighth. Betances then walked Cespedes, and he found himself down 3-1 to Michael Conforto

The 3-1 pitch was certainly a strike, but the 3-2 pitch was low. Even if it was technically a strike, it was not called a strike all night. 

That was the Mets last chance to tie the game. 

The Yankees expanded the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth. Aaron Judge led off with a double by just beating out Cespedes throw to second. It became runners on the corners after Didi Gregorious fought off a pitch and blooped it just over the head of Wilmer Flores

It was a bad situation that could have been worse if not for Juan Lagares. Sanchez hit a ball to the deepest part of the park. Instead of it going for extra bases, a shallow playing Lagares not only ranged all the way back, but he also got into good throwing position. This kept Gregorious at first. 

Jerry Blevins and Chasen Bradford got out of the inning keeping the score at 5-2. Unfortunately, that insurance run would loom large with the Mets challenging Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. 
It started with Terry Collins pinch hitting Jose Reyes for Smith because Collins is apparently the only person on the planet who doesn’t know Rafael Devers hit a home run off Chapman. 

Reyes got the infield hit, but who cares?  The rest of this season is about player development, and the Mets gain nothing from pinch hitting for Smith against a tough lefty. 

It’s complete and utter nonsense. It’s the same nonsense that held up Conforto’s development. 

If this is the way Collins manages from here on out, it’s time to get rid of him. 

That said, Amed Rosario made things interesting with an opposite field two run homer to bring the Mets to within 5-4. 

Gregorious would make a nice play taking a base hit away from Travis d’Arnaud, and Lagares would ground out to end the game. 

It was a frustrating loss not just because deGrom wasn’t at his best, but also because Collins continued the same poor managing. 

Game Notes: This is the first time Smith and Rosario homered in the same game. 

Mets Blow Winnable Game To Yankees

With Rafael Montero and Luis Cessa on the mound, we got the pitcher’s duel we all expected. 

The Mets got to Cessa first with Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes hitting a pair of third inning homers. What was interesting with the Cespedes’ homer was his homer was against one of the two prospects the Mets traded to get him in 2015. 

Unfortunately, the Mets bats went completely cold after this leaving Montero and the pen to hold a 2-0 lead. Most of that was due to Chad Green, who pitched 2.2 hitless and scoreless innings, after coming on for a hurting Cessa with one out in the fifth. 

For his part, Montero cruised into the fourth. All of his pitches were working, especially his fastball which was clocked in the high 90s. However, he would walk consecutive batters helping load the bases with one out. 

Surprisingly, he got out of the jam mostly unscathed. The only run he allowed was when Aaron Hicks beat out a Cespedes throw on Gary Sanchez‘s sacrifice fly. 

Montero got out of the inning without further damage, and he was back on cruise mode. That was until he left one over the plate against Aaron Judge who went opposite field to tie the game in the sixth. 

That closed the door on Montero who pitched a fine game. His final line was six innings, five hits, two runs, two earned, two walks, and six strikeouts. 

Terry Collins went to Hansel Robles, who pitched a scoreless seventh. Then, like Collins always does with Robles, he pushed the envelope with him. It’s all the more puzzling when you consider that not too long ago Robles couldn’t even feel his fingers. 
Hicks led off the eighth, and we soon found Robles pointing to the sky.  

After the homer, the Yankees had a 3-2 lead, and Collins overreacted like he always does. Collins went into super matchup mode using Jerry Blevins for a batter, and then bringing in Erik Goeddel. Goeddel was greeted with a Sanchez home run. 

Unfortunately, the Mets wouldn’t have an outburst in the ninth. That’s partially due to Joe Girardi going with Dellin Betances instead of Aroldis Chapman

In fact, you question a bit where the effort level was with some of the Mets players. In the eighth, Asdrubal Cabrera walked on a 3-2 pitch that ricocheted off the umpire. Instead of busting it to first to see if he could get into scoring position with two outs, he took his time. When Cespedes struck out in the next at-bat, the ball would get away from Sanchez, but he couldn’t be bothered to try to go to first. 

The Mets blew a winnable game, but there’s a silver lining. The Wilpons got their wish that they didn’t have to pay Jay Bruce to beat them. Instead, they paid Collins and a bullpen to do that. 

Game Notes: Granderson’s homer was his 69th in Yankee Stadium since 2010. That trails just Mark Teixeira

Mets Straight Flexen

After two straight tough starts to begin his career, Chris Flexen finally had that magical major league experience every organization’s young top prospect envisions they’ll have. 

Staked with a 4-0 lead on the strength of homers hit by Michael ConfortoYoenis Cespedes, and Travis d’Arnaud off Rangers starter A.J. Griffin, Flexen was able to go out there and just focus on getting the batters out. 

Now, it wasn’t always pretty. He did wind up walking three batters. He also came close to hitting a few batters until he finally plunked Rougned Odor in the fourth. With that said, Flexen pitching inside was a welcome change, and it was part of his effectiveness. 

The Rangers wouldn’t score off of him until a Joey Gallo homer to lead-off the fifth. 

Despite the homer in the fifth, Flexen would start the sixth. He would come just short of finishing the inning. If he had, he would’ve doubled the amount of innings he lasted in his first two starts. 

First, it was an Adrian Beltre homer. After a Carlos Gomez two out walk, Terry Collins pulled his young starter and entrusted Erik Goeddel to get the Mets out of the jam. Goeddel would first allow Gallo to hit an RBI double to pull the Rangers to within 4-3 before Goeddel would get out of the inning. 

Flexen’s final line in his first career win was 5.2 innings, four hits, three runs, three earned, three walks, and four strikeouts. In addition to that, Flexen would double in the fifth to collect his first career hit. 

The win would be secured with some good bullpen work from Jerry Blevins and AJ Ramos, who collected his first save in a Mets uniform. 

It also helped Asdrubal Cabrera hit an RBI double scoring Conforto in the seventh to provide an insurance run in the 5-4 victory.  That homer loomed large with the Robinson Chirinos two out homer in the ninth. 

The game certainly earned Flexen another opportunity to start. That’s a good thing when you consider the Mets are stubbornly playing their vets over the young kids. At a minimum, we can see the maturation of Flexen. 

Game Notes: Neil Walker had his first career start at first base. Matt Harvey threw a 25 pitch bullpen before the game. 

Rosario Flashes Talent And Inexperience In Debut

Surrounding all the hoopla of Amed Rosario‘s first game with the Mets, a baseball game broke out, and it was a pretty good one at that. 

Rosario’s impact was felt immediately. In the first, he made a couple of plays including turning a 1-6-3 double play. 

That play helped preserve a 1-0 lead when Yoenis Cespedes doubled home Michael Conforto, who has reached with a lead-off walk against Rockies starter Jeff Hoffman

That lead grew to 2-0 when Jay Bruce doubled in Cespedes from first in the sixth. 

At that point, things looked great for Steven Matz. Despite a rough stretch over his last four starts where he pitched to a 14.18 ERA (not a typo), he was dealing. 

Through the first four innings, he had a no-hitter going. That was broken up on a Trevor Story lead-off single. On the play, Rosario got to a ball no other shortstop on the roster comes near, but with one slight tap of the glove before the throw, Story was able to beat it out. 

In that inning, he labored, but he managed to work his way out of the jam. He wasn’t so lucky in the sixth. 

DJ LeMahieu double set up second and third with no outs. Matz was flirting with disaster since the fifth and in the following at-bat. He fought back into the st-bat getting it to a 3-2 count, and that’s when Nolan Arenado hit an opposite field go-ahead homer. 

After a Mark Reynolds double, Terry Collins finally pulled Matz. The combination of Josh Smoker and Erik Goeddel would limit the damage keeping the game at 3-2.

The Mets tied it in the seventh with some help from Rockies catcher Ryan Hanigan. When Pat Neshek struck out Jose Reyes to start the inning, Hanigan whiffed on the ball. With the ball going to the backstop, Reyes reached base safely. 

Reyes moved to third on a Conforto single, and he’d score the tying run on an Asdrubal Cabrera sacrifice fly. On the play, Charlie Blackmon didn’t have much of a chance to get Reyes, but still:

It would be untied in the eighth on a Bruce homer off Chris Rusin:

For a moment, it appeared as if that 4-3 lead might grow. 

Rosario would get his first career hit off Scott Oberg. It was an infield single to short (turnabout is fair play). Rosario moved to second on Story’s throwing error. It appeared as if Rosario was going to score his first career run when the ball left Travis d’Arnaud‘s bat. 

Unfortunately, the ball ricocheted off Oberg’s leg to Reynolds. Reynolds was able to flip to Oberg to record the out. It was a bigger out than originally anticipated. 

Paul Sewald started his second inning of relief by allowing a base hit to Reynolds. Collins responded  to this by bringing in Jerry Blevins to face a couple of lefties. 

Blevins responded by allowing singles to Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez. The hit by Gonzalez was cued right off the end of the bat, and Cabrera had little to no chance to get anyone out. With Blevins allowing yet another inherited runner to score, it was a tie game. 

The Rockies rally sputtered when Hansel Robles came on to get the last two outs. Robles wouldn’t be so lucky in the ninth. 

After allowing a lead-off walk to Blackmon, LeMahieu hit what could’ve been a double play ball. Likely, it was just a fielder’s choice. Still, that play wasn’t turned as Rosario broke towards second with Blackmon moving on the play. With Rosario booting it, it was first and second with no outs instead of bases empty with no outs. 

After that, Arenado blooped the ball into center, and Conforto had no chance to get Blackmon. Ballgame. 

Overall, it was an entertaining game where we saw all that Rosario could be. We also saw that he’s an inexperienced rookie that needs more seasoning. 

Game Notes: Matt Reynolds was sent down to make room for Rosario on the roster. 

Conforto Homers Twice In Comeback Win

This was a Mets game that went from promising to false hope, to utter surprise, to more often same, to sheer shock, and finally joy. 

The Mets were off to a quick lead thanks to homers from Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto:

The homer must’ve been extra special as he was back in his hometown in front of his friends and family.

The Mets lead grew to 4-0 when Wilmer Flores hit a third inning sacrifice fly scoring Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera found himself on third because while advancing to second on a Ariel Miranda wild pitch, catcher Mike Zunino hit him with the throw. With no one guarding third, Cabrera was able to get there without a play. 

For an ever so brief moment, this seemed like enough for Rafael Montero, who started the game terribly. Through the first four innings, Montero had allowed just one hit – a homer by Zunino. It all came crashing down for him in the fifth. 

There were some reasons why. Montero was facing the Mariners the third time through the order. He was getting squeezed a tad by the home plate umpire. As Keith Hernandez pointed out, Rene Rivera was not calling a good game. No matter what the reason, the biggest issue was Montero stopper executing. 

Montero loaded the bases with no outs, and he threw a wild pitch allowing a run to score. It was definitely a wild pitch, but it’s also true Rivera didn’t get down completely to block that pitch. 

Montero then walked Jean Segura to re-load the bases, and Robinson Cano hit a sacrifice fly to pull the Mariners within one. Montero then issued another walk, this one to Nelson Cruz, to re-load the bases. At this point, Terry Collins did what he had to do, and he pulled Montero. 

Unfortunately, Josh Edgin didn’t get the job done. He allowed a two run RBI single to Kyle Seager. With that, the Mets 4-1 lead became a 5-4 deficit. 

Through the work of Hansel Robles and Jerry Blevins, the Mets remained within a run. 

The Mets got that run back when Conforto hit not just his second homer of the game, but his second homer of the game against a lefty. This time it was Marc Rzepczynski

This led to the Mariners bringing in a friendly face – David Phelps.  Entering the game, Phelps had a career 6.09 ERA against the Mets. The ERA would go up. 

Cabrera and Bruce each singled, and Flores hit what could’ve been a double play ball due to his lack of speed. With Flores just barely beating the throw, the inning continued. 

Neil Walker would go the other way with the ball hitting an opposite field RBI single against the shift. Flores would then score on a Curtis Granderson RBI single off the glove of Mariners first baseman Danny Valencia. The single gave the Mets a 7-5 lead. 
Like we’ve seen with Paul Sewald on a few occasions this year, he got himself into some trouble. With the Mets having used both LOOGYs, Collins stuck with his young reliever in this spot. 

After a Jarrod Dyson sacrifice bunt, the Mariners had runners at second and third with one out. 

Sewald escaped the jam striking out Zunino and getting Segura to strike out.

This set the stage for what may very well be Addison Reed‘s last save opportunity as a Met. 

With a Ben Gamel grounder eating up Walker, it appeared as if this could be another tense outing. Reed settled down, and he erased Gamel inducing Robinson Cano to hit into a 4-6-3 double play. After a Nelson Cruz fly out, Reed had his 19th save of the year. 

It was a good win. At a minimum, it shows even with the Mets selling this team is still playing hard. 

Game Notes:  Lucas Duda homered in his first game with the Rays. The Mets obtained AJ Ramos in a deal with the Marlins. Segura tried his best to get on base by pretending to get HBP (overturned by review):

Last Home Game For Some Mets

As the Mets take the field today against the Oakland Athletics, they will play their last home game before the trade deadline.  With the Mets looking to sell, this will likely be the final home game for many of the Mets players.  If so, it has been a fun ride.

Lucas Duda – Duda has had an interesting Mets career.  He was the right fielder for the Johan Santana no-hitter.  He won the first base job from Ike Davis.  He become a power bat in the middle of a Mets lineup that went to the World Series.  He is a grand slam in the NL East clincher.  He hit a three run homer in the NLCS clincher.  He made a bad throw allowing Eric Hosmer to score.  Overall, he has been an underrated Met, who became one of the team’s rare power threats at the position.

Curtis Granderson – Granderson has been the consummate professional, and he was the first major free agent to come to the Mets in the Sandy Alderson Era.  He kept the Mets afloat in the 2015 season as the team dropped like flies around him.  All three homers in the World Series gave the Mets a lead.  He had a great September last year leading the Mets charge to the Wild Card. He accepted a bench role this season.  He has been a great Met and an even better man doing more for the community than perhaps any Mets player we have ever seen.

Asdrubal Cabrera – It was his hot hitting bat that helped the Mets get the top Wild Card.  After years of poor shortstop play, he was a steadying force.  Things have not gone as well this year, but he is now doing all he can do to help the team.

Addison Reed – Reed was a shot in the dark when the Mets grabbed him before the waiver trade deadline in 2015.  From there, Reed became the Mets best reliever, and perhaps the best reliever in baseball over that timeframe.  He went from 7th inning reliever to a pennant winner to a dominant 8th inning guy last year to a lights out closer this year.  He is the biggest trade chip, and he’s most likely going to be the first player gone.  When he goes, he will leave behind a spot in the bullpen that will be near impossible to fill.

Jay Bruce – It is a testament to Bruce that he is having a career year this year after playing some of his worst baseball when he first put on a Mets uniform last year.  He’s on pace for his first ever 40 home run season, and he has given the Mets a reason to consider trying to bring him back.

Jerry Blevins – The lanky Blevins is perhaps the least likely player to be traded of all that are on trading block due to his team option.  If he goes, out the door goes the player who has made more appearances out of the bullpen than anyone this year.  With him would go a terrific LOOGY out of the pen who pitched his best baseball in a Mets uniform.

There are other players we do not reasonably anticipate to go, which makes watching today all the more important.  For any of the aforementioned players as well as some other players like Wilmer Flores, this will be the last time they will wear the home jerseys at Citi Field.  Each one of these players have given us reason to cheer.  Hopefully, they get an extra big cheer today.

deGrom deGrominant, Bullpen Barely Holds Big Lead 

When all hope is lost, the main reason to watch the Mets is Jacob deGrom. He started today, and he delivered. 

While deGrom may not have been as dominant as he has been over this stretch, he was still great. For the first six innings, no Cardinal player reached third base. In fact, the Cardinals only reached second base twice in the game. 

deGrom’s final line was 6.2 innings, seven hits, one run, one earned, one walk, and three strikeouts. 

That one run shouldn’t have scored. Luke Voit had a hard hit ball to the wall Yoenis Cespedes fielded cleanly, and he had Voit dead to rights at second. Only issue is Asdrubal Cabrera didn’t bother to cover second. 

Instead a run scored, deGrom got his ovation, and Paul Sewald got the Mets out of the inning. 

With deGrom going like this, you knew the Mets needed one, maybe two runs to win the game. 

Mets took care of that and then some. This should come as no surprise as the Mets have now averaged 7.4 runs per game over deGrom’s now seven game winning streak.  

In the first, the Mets put three runs on the board and all were with three outs. A Cespedes single scored Cabrera. Lucas Duda doubled home Cespedes, and Wilmer Flores brought him home with an RBI single. 

Flores getting the start was interesting, especially with the right-handed Mike Leake getting the start for the Cardinals. Perhaps it was due to T.J. Rivera making two errors yesterday. Maybe Terry Collins just wanted to give Flores a game after he’s sat for so long. Maybe it’s due to the tumors the Red Sox may have interest in him. 

In any event, Flores had a good game with that RBI single and a nice play in the field:

After the good first inning, the Mets had a better second inning. Michael Conforto got things started with a single, and he moved to third on a Jedd Gyorko error allowing Cabrera to reach. 

Jay Bruce hit an RBI single, and Cespedes followed with an RBI double making it 6-0. After Duda was intentionally walked Jose Reyes singled home Cespedes to make it a 7-0 game.
It should’ve been a laugher. It wasn’t. 

In the eighth, Sewald was pulled by Collins with two on, two out, and back-to-back lefties due up for the Cardinals. Rather than find something out about Sewald in a 7-1 game and rest his bullpen with a noon game tomorrow, Collins couldn’t help himself.  He went to a completely worn down Jerry Blevins

While Blevins has been great most of the year, he has struggled mightily since June 1st. In that time, Blevins has a 5.84 ERA and batters are hitting .269/.367/.423 off of him. 

Left-handed batters Kolten Wong and Magneuris Sierra hit consecutive singles to make it 7-3. With those two singles, Blevins has now allowed 25 inherited runners to score this year, which is the fifth worst in the majors. 
After Blevins walked the pinch hitter, pitcher Adam Wainwright, to load the bases, Collins had to go to Addison Reed for the four out save.

As Reed is really the only remaining reliever who is reliable left in that bullpen, it should be no surprise Reed made quick work of the Cardinals for his 16th save of the season. 

With the 7-6 win, the Mets have an opportunity for the split tomorrow.

Game Notes: Josh Edgin has allowed more inherited runners to score than Blevins with 29. That’s the third worst mark in the majors. 

Cespedes Injury Mars Mets Laugher

Because nothing can ever go easy for the Mets, we got to see Yoenis Cespedes leave the game after this awkward slide in the sixth inning:

Before that play, things could not be going better for the Mets. After yesterday’s 14-2 victory, the Mets quickly went up 8-0 in tonight’s game. 

After Tyler Chatwood issued back-to-back walks to Michael Conforto and Asdrubal Cabrera to begin the top of the first, Jay Bruce would drive them all home:

The rally continued, and the Mets would score their fourth run when Travis d’Arnaud would single home T.J. Rivera. Rivera had reached via the walk. After he walked, Chsteood came out of the game due to injury. 

As if four first inning runs weren’t enough, the Mets would pile on three more in the second inning.  

The second inning runs were all unearned as Bruce reached on a two out error by DJ LeMahieu. The Mets did capitalize starting with a Rivera RBI single scoring Cespedes. Bruce and Rivera would score on a Lucas Duda RBI double. 

The Mets eighth run would be provided by Lugo himself:

As you can surmise from Bruce, the Mets pulled that old shtick:

Lugo’s first career home run was certainly a high light, but it was not his only highlight of the evening. Lugo went out there, and he dominated the Rockies for five innings. 

The Rockies did get to him for two in the sixth with the help of Cespedes’ aforementioned divot. The double set up second and third with one out. After a Gerardo Parra sacrifice fly and a Raimel Tapia double, the Rockies pulled within 8-2. 

The Rockies tacked on another run in the seventh on a Charlie Blackmon two out RBI triple. At that point, Terry Collins wasn’t taking any chances. He brought in Paul Sewald, who struck out LeMahieu to get out of the inning. That strikeout closed the books on a terrific start for Lugo. 

Lugo’s final line was 6.2 innings, seven hits, three runs, three earned, two walks, and five strikeouts.

He would get the win as Sewald, Jerry Blevins, and Addison Reed would combine to pitch 3.1 scoreless.  

With the scoreless work out of the bullpen, and a Reyes’ eighth inning homer, the Mets would win 9-3. 

With the win, the Mets are now 8.5 games behind the Rockies for the second Wild Card, and the team is six games under .500. The team is beginning to make a run. The question right now if this is too little too late . . . especially with Cespedes having to leave the game. 

Game Notes: Curtis Granderson replaced Cespedes in the sixth. The Mets have now won 

Trading Season Has Begun

The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox unofficially opened trading season with the blockbuster deal sending LHP Jose Quintana to the Cubs for four prospects including top prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.  The trade was another large prospect haul for the White Sox who are masterfully rebuilding their team.  The trade also addressed an area of need for the Cubs.

With the Cubs addressing a real area of need, it makes the Mets pipe-dream of acquiring the second Wild Card all that more improbable.  It could also mean the Cubs could likely be out on the Mets biggest trade assets in Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins.  With the Cubs getting that much better, it also makes you question how many of the National League teams within shouting distance of a postseason spot would be willing to now swing a deal with the Mets.

On the bright side, this is the second year in a row prices at the trade deadline have been high.  The Yankees completely turned around their farm system with the Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller trades.  The White Sox have just added two more big prospects.  Considering Sandy Alderson was able to get Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud for R.A. Dickey, you can only imagine what the Mets are going to get for Reed, Blevins, Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda, and Curtis Granderson.

It appears the time to make a deal is now.  It’s time for teams like the Brewers to make a big deal to try to solidy their spot atop the Central.  The Diamondbacks and Rockies need to deal to fend off the Cubs as well.  The Dodgers need another piece to try to make themselves a proverbial super team.  As we know the Nationals need an entire bullpen.  Throw in a wide open American League, and the Mets have an opportunity.

The time is now for the Mets to sell.  Hopefully, they can take advantage of the this opportunity and bring back pieces that can help the Mets win in 2018.