Jerry Blevins

Mets Vets Win Meaningless September Game

Here’s the thing. While you enjoy beating the Nationals, this game didn’t mean much. It’s not that the Mets season is over, and the Nationals have gone into preparing for the offseason mode. No, it’s because the Mets with Terry Collins at the helm aren’t focusing towards next year enough. 

Once again, the top three in the lineup were Nori AokiJose ReyesAsdrubal Cabrera. For his part, Aoki certainly earned his spot in the lineup going 3-4 with a run, double, and two RBI. 

His second RBI was the game winning RBI scoring Juan Lagares

Now, it’s beer. great to see Lagares get regular playing time. There are so few reasons to watch this team, but his defense is certainly one of them. He did it again today. 


He also had a nice day at the plate going 2-4 with two runs and a double. In fact, it was his bunt double to start a huge five run rally in the fifth to tie the game. 

The reason the Mets were down was because Robert Gsellman wasn’t the same pitcher he was in his last start. Gsellman would only last five innings allowing four hits, six runs, five earned, and three walks with four strikeouts. 

The big blow against him was an Adam Lind third inning three run homer. 

However, when all was said and done, it wasn’t the Lind homer, but the Travis d’Arnaud homers. Yes, plural. 

The first homer off Edwin Jackson that gave the Mets a 1-0 second inning lead. Jackson seemed to settle in after that, but the floodgates would open after the aforementioned Lagares bunt single. 

His second one off Jackson tied the game setting the stage for the bullpen to keep the Nationals at bay. 

The combination of Chasen BradfordPaul Sewald, and Jerry Blevins kept the Nationals scoreless into the ninth handing the ball off to whomever Collins wanted to close. 

At least to start the ninth, it was AJ Ramos. However, Ramos would not finish the inning. 

Ramos struggled again allowing a lead-off walk to Wilmer Difo and a single to Howie Kendrick. This put runners at the corner with one out. It gave Collins the excuse he needed to go to the bullpen. 

Josh Smoker, who has reverse splits in his career, was brought to face Lind.  He rose to the challenge getting him to line out for the second out of the inning. 

Next, just like Collins went back to Jeurys Familia to close it out. For the first time since returning from surgery. It was just like old times with Familia striking out Victor Robles to end the rally and the game.   

Game Notes: Amed Rosario came back after missing three 

Ramos Blows First Save In Mets Loss

This season has mostly been a lost season at the plate for Travis d’Arnaud. Well, that is for everywhere he plays except Marlins Park. 

At Marlins Park, which was designed to be a pitcher’s park, d’Arnaud entered the game hitting .421/.500/.895 with a double, triple, two homers, and eight RBI. 

Tonight, d’Arnaud would continue raking in Miami going 2-5 with a run, homer, and two RBI. Essentially, he was once again Will Smith circa 1997:

Like he was that one glorious game in April, back when we thought this was going to be a special Mets season, d’Arnaud was the difference in this one. In addition to his bat, he did a good job behind the plate catching Seth Lugo

Lugo pitched well with the Marlins only getting to him in the bottom of the fourth on a Christian Yelich opposite field homer. That’s all the Marlins would get with Lugo settling down after a J.T. Realmuto two out double, which put him in scoring position as the go-ahead run. 

Surprisingly, Terry Collins would lift Lugo after five with Lugo having only thrown 83 pitches. It may just be a sign Collins is finally paying attention to the data. With the Mets rumored to replace him, it’s probably too little too late. 

After Lugo, Josh SmokerJeurys Familia, and Jerry Blevins combined to throw three hitless and scoreless innings. 

One thing of note. Even with Familia coming back from surgery and the Mets now hesitant to use him on back-to-back days, it at least appeared Collins was going to test his limits.

After a scoreless seventh, Familia began warming up to pitch the eighth. Once the Marlins announced the switch hitting Tomas Telis as a pinch hitter, Collins went to Blevins. 

It makes you question whether Collins was buying Blevins more time, or if he was trying to get the matchup he wanted. However, considering Giancarlo Stanton was on deck, it’s hard to believe Collins wanted Blevins for him. Then again with Collins, who knows?
One significant note was that with d’Arnaud’s two run homer and homers by Yelich, Justin Bour, and Jose Reyes, all but one run in this game were scored via the home run. It was significant in a season where seemingly every team is hitting homers. 

It was on a night where Alex Gordon hit the 5,694th homer in the majors this season – a new record:

The lone run not scored via the homer was a Reyes RBI single in the ninth scoring Phillip Evans. Evans had led off the inning with a single, and he moved to third after a Matt Reynolds sacrifice bunt and a Nori Aoki groundout. 

The 4-1 lead meant AJ Ramos would get a save opportunity in his first appearance against his former team. He was greeted by a Bour homer. 

Because Ramos likes the high wire act, Realmuto followed the Bour homer with an infield single thereby allowing the tying run to the plate with no outs. 

Even with a couple of strikeouts, you still felt uneasy. Things got worse after an A.J. Ellis pinch hit RBI single. Then, finally, after walking a tight rope for so long with the Mets, Ramos blew a save. 

Ichiro Suzuki lined one just out of the reach of a leaping Reyes. With the ball skimming off Reyes’ glove, the run scored fairly easily. 
If things weren’t bad enough, Stanton and his 55 homers came to the plate. Ramos wanted no part of him, and he walked him. This led to Collins pulling him and bringing in Paul Sewald

Even with Sewald being an accomplished minor league closer this was a difficult situation.  Anytime the bases are loaded, there’s no margin of error. Factor in Yelich being the batter, and Sewald not having been used in these spots, it was a tough ask. 

As if things weren’t difficult enough, Sewald went 3-2 with Yelich. Sewald then reached back and found something within himself, and he threw a slider that Yelich swung and missed to send the game to extras. 

It was a temporary stay of execution. Realmuto would hit a walk off homer off Sewald in the 10th giving the Marlins a 5-4 win. 

Normally, this would’ve been a gut wrenching loss. The way the season has gone, this just seemed to be a quick and merciful end. 

Game Notes: Amed Rosario missed a second straight game with gastroenteritis. 

2018 Mets Bullpen Auditions In Full Swing

With rosters expanding now, the Mets have called up Jacob Rhame and Jamie Callahan up to the majors. 

With Rhame being the return for Curtis Granderson and Callahan being one of the three prospects netted in exchange for Addison Reed, we get a glimpse of how well Sandy Alderson did at the trade deadline. We also get a glimpse into what exactly the 2018 bullpen could look like. 

So far, it’s safe to say Jerry BlevinsJeurys Familia, and AJ Ramos will be in the Mets bullpen next year. Most likely, but not as definitely, Hansel Robles will be in the bullpen as well. Assuming no moves, and based on Alderson’s tenure with the Mets, it’s a fairly safe assumption, there are three open spots in the bullpen. 

To a certain extent, Paul Sewald and Chasen Bradford have stated their case. 

Sewald has shown versatility in the pen coming on for multiple innings and being a late inning reliever brought on to get the Mets out of a jam. He’s pitched 57.0 innings in 47 appearances.  Overall, he’s 0-5 with a 4.11 ERA, 1.158 WHIP, and a 9.8 K/9. 

Bradford has terrific in his first 17 appearances before his clunker against the Reds. Even with that poor performance, he’s still 1-0 with a 3.97 ERA, 1.235 WHIP, and a 7.9 K/9. 

With they way they’ve pitched, you could certainly envision Sewald and/or Bradford being on the Opening Day roster. However, digging deeper, neither pitcher really fits the mold of what Alderson envisions from this bullpen. 

It’s clear Alderson now wants to see power arm after power arm after power arm coming out of the Mets bullpen. 

Rhame throws 98. Callahan can also touch 98. The other two pieces from the Reed trade Stephen Nogosek and Gerson Bautista throw even harder. For his part Bautista is routinely hitting triple digits. 

Clearly, these big arms are a sign of what Alderson wants in this Mets bullpen. The first wave will be Rhame and Callahan.  More will certainly follow. 

Hopefully, now, Alderson had found that right formula. Each and every year he’s been the Mets GM he’s started the year with bad bullpens, and he had to fix them on the fly. 

Hopefully, now, he has the arms in place. If he does, the Mets chances of returning to the postseason are much better. 

Mets Win What Was Apparently MILB Player’s Appreciation Day

With the Nationals getting in at 6:00 A.M., Dusty Baker put out a lineup that looked like the Nationals Triple-A affiliate with Daniel Murphy. For their part the Mets put out a similar looking lineup because, well, the Mets are bad and injured. 

If you think it couldn’t get worse for the Mets, it did. In the top of that first, Yoenis Cespedes pulled up lame running to third base. Once again, Cespedes left the game with a leg injury. 

The shame of the play was the Dominic Smith single hit the second base umpire. It was a dead ball costing him an RBI, and it helped kill a Mets first inning rally. 

At that point, the Mets already had a 1-0 lead. Once again, Brandon Nimmo lead off a game by getting on base. He would come home to score on an Asdrubal Cabrera RBI single. 

The Mets would then load the bases with one out against Nationals starter A.J. Cole. With Travis d’Arnaud and Amed Rosario striking out, the Mets would come up short. 

Speaking of short, the Mets had an insanely short bench tonight. The team had just a three man bench with one of those players being backup catcher Kevin Plawecki

This was mostly the result of the soul crushing Michael Conforto injury, and the Mets having no viable options on the 40 man roster. With Jeurys Familia being ready to return after his rehab stint, the Mets chose to activate him instead. 

The end result was the Mets having a two man bench when Matt Reynolds came in to pinch run for Cespedes. 

Fortunately, it wouldn’t matter as Jacob deGrom was his deGrominant self. For a while, it seemed like he could get a no-hitter tonight. He certainly had the stuff, and the Nationals had the lineup. 

Still, your heart was in your throat during the game with deGrom. First, he is a Mets pitcher. Second, the Mets luck somehow got worse. Third, he was fouling balls off his leg, and he seemed to pull up lame legging out an infield single in the second. 

By some miracle, deGrom was healthy, and he was able to get the win. His final line was 7.2 innings, five hits, one run, one earned, one walk, and 10 strikeouts. 

In Matt Grace‘s second inning of work, the Mets went to work. It started with a Juan Lagares lead-off double. While many were contemplating the bunt, Terry Collins let Reynolds swing away, and Reynolds rewarded Collins’ faith with an RBI single. 

Cabrera followed with a double setting up second and third with no out. Collins again showed a young player some faith, and he was again rewarded. Collins left Smith in to face the left-handed Grace, and Smith delivered with a sacrifice fly to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. 

The Nationals chipped into that lead. It surprisingly came from two rookie players with two outs in the eighth. First, it was an Andrew Stevenson double. Then it was an Adrian Sanchez RBI single. 

With Murphy coming to the plate as the tying run, Collins went to Jerry Blevins, who got a huge strikeout to end the inning. 

In the ninth, Nimmo created a run. He reached with a one out single, and he put himself in scoring position with his first career stolen base. He then scored on a Lagares RBI single making it a 4-1 game. 

Even with Familia back from the disabled list, Collins stuck with AJ Ramos as the closer.  Even when Ramos struggled, Collins had Paul Sewald warming instead of Familia. 

He was greeted with an Adam Lind homer to dead center to make it 4-2. 

Things got interesting when Wilmer Difo followed the Lind homer with a double. Ramos then gave us all a heart attack hanging one to Anthony Rendon, who just hit one foul. Instead, he walked Rendon setting up first and second with one out. 

Things got really troubling when Ramos walked Matt Wieters to load the bases. For some reason while this was all happening, Collins sat Sewald and had none of his other fifty relievers in his bullpen warming up. 

Nimmo came in and would catch a Difo rope, and he made the perfunctory throw home.   While that was happening, Rendon strayed too far from second, but Witt the throw home, Rendon had time to get back. 

It ultimately didn’t matter as Ramos struck out the final batter of the game to preserve the 4-2 win and deGrom’s 14th win of the year. 

Normally, with a game like this, you would leave the game feeling good about the Mets. deGrom was great, and he recorded his 200th strikeout of the season. Nimmo looks like a lead-off hitter reaching base three times, and his stealing his first career base. Lagares’ bat got going. The young Mets beat the Nationals. 

However, there is still a hangover with Conforto’s injury and uncertain future. On top of that, Cespedes is once again on the shelf. 

Really, this team continues to finds ways to make things more depressing. 

Game Notes: For Player’s Weekend, the players were allowed to put nicknames on their jerseys. For the newer call-ups, there apparently wasn’t enough time to get them a nickname jersey. With respect to Nimmo, his choice, “You Found Nimmo” wasn’t permitted due to potential Disney copyright violations. 

Mets Go Young And Win Game

One of the few remaining reasons to watch the Mets is to see how the young players are progressing and whether they can be pieces for the 2018 season. One player getting an unexpected and long audition is Chris Flexen

Today was Flexen’s best start in the majors. This time, instead of working hard to get through five innings, Flexen pitched six good innings. 

The Diamondbacks got to him with a first inning rally capped off by a J.D. Martinez RBI single. From there, Flexen settled in, and he would run off four straight scoreless. He did get some help from Wilmer Flores, who made a nice play and a good throw home to nail David Peralta

He got more help from Juan Lagares in the fifth. For some reason, A.J. Pollock would test Lagares’ arm on a Martinez line-out. Even with the UCL tear, Lagares has a strong enough arm to nail runners at the plate. It should be noted if Lagares continues playing center this way, and his arm continues being this good, he needs to be in the CF conversation next year. 

With the two plays at the plate, Diamondbacks wouldn’t get to Flexen again until the sixth when Chris Iannetta homered off of him. 

Flexen got out of the inning with a respectable line: six innings, six hits, two runs, two earned, four walks, and five strikeouts. It was his first major league quality start. It was also his third career win. 

After Flexen had allowed the aforementioned first inning homer, the Mets responded in the bottom of the first. 

Brandon Nimmo led off the bottom of the first with a double off Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley. He came home on a Michael Conforto RBI single. The two would combine in the fifth to plate another run. 
There, Nimmo got the rally started with a one out walk, and he moved into scoring position on an Asdrubal Cabrera fielder’s choice. Conforto then delivered the two out RBI single. 

That single gave the Mets a 3-1 lead.  The second run came in the previous inning when Amed Rosario followed a pair of walks to Dominic Smith and Travis d’Arnaud with an RBI single. 

Smith made it 4-2 in the sixth with an absolute bomb to left-center off Jake Barrett

The Mets couldn’t quite deliver the knock-out punch that inning. Lagares came up with runners on first and second, and he not into a double play. Nimmo then walked against Jorge De La Rosa, but it was all for naught as Cabrera struck out to end the inning. 
Fortunately, the Mets bullpen, who was been pitching MUCH better of late, didn’t need to help. 

While Jerry Blevins struggled, Paul Sewald came on and retired five straight. AJ Ramos then came on and saved his third game as a Met. 

For tonight at least, the Mets gave their young players a shot. Not only did they play hard, they also won the game. As a Mets fan, you can certainly watch this team learn and improve over the final month of the season. 

Game Notes: With his three homers, Smith has 19 combined homers between the MiLB and MLB leaving him one short of his first ever 20 home run season. 

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:

https://twitter.com/citifieldhr/status/899824587944452096

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.