Jerry Blevins

Mets Finally Score for deGrom

With Jacob deGrom entering today’s game with an MLB best 1.85 ERA and a career 1.99 ERA in day games, you knew he was going to completely shut down the Reds.

Even with him getting squeezed a bit by the home plate umpire leading to an increased pitch count, deGrom would dominate yet again.  In his six scoreless innings pitched, deGrom limited the Reds to just four hits and a walk while he struck out 1o.

Two of those four hits would come in the first inning with Phil Ervin and Scooter Gennett hitting back-to-back one out singles.  After Eugenio Suarez struck out, the Reds put on a play in an attempt to score a run.

Gennett broke for second, and he was supposed to stop when Devin Mesoraco threw through.  Gennett would go too far leaving him in position to get tagged out by Amed Rosario before Ervin could score.

While it was surprising the Mets made a good defensive play and took advantage of another team’s error, it was all the more surprising the Mets scored some runs for deGrom.  In fact, he would get eight runs of support, which was more than he received in any game he has had since the middle of June, which was a Mets game in Coors Field.

To put it in perspective, over his last four starts, the Mets scored six runs for him.  In entire Month of July, he received 10 runs of support.  Basically, today was an extreme and welcome outlier.

The first run came in the second inning when Austin Jackson doubled home Michael Conforto from first.  Conforto and Jackson would once again take part in the scoring in the fifth.

Conforto would get a one out hustle double, and he would come home to score on a Brandon Nimmo RBI double.  Nimmo scored on Jackon’s second RBI single of the game.

At that point, it was 5-0 Mets as in the previous inning, Reds starter Robert Stephenson loaded the bases by intentionally walking Mesoraco to pitch to deGrom.  deGrom would help his own cause by walking on four pitches, and Rosario would tack on another run with a sacrifice fly.

At 5-0 in the fifth, deGrom had nearly a half month’s worth of run support.  After six, it was up to the bullpen to make sure they didn’t blow a big lead for a pitcher everyone on the Mets owed a win.

Seth Lugo, Jerry Blevins, and Robert Gsellman did their job by pitching three scoreless to give deGrom the rare win.

The use of Gsellman was certainly odd as the Mets rallied in the eighth to tack on three runs.  Again, that was the result of Conforto and Jackson at work.  Conforto, who walked, scored with Wilmer Flores on Nimmo’s double, and once again, Nimmo scored on a Jackson RBI base hit.  This one was a double.

Speaking of Nimmo, this was a nice bounceback game for him with his going 3-for-5 with three runs, three doubles, and three RBI.

All-in-all, this was a very good game for the Mets, and it was the type of game which will hopefully get deGrom that Cy Young Award he so richly deserves.

Game Notes: A day after Mickey Callaway said he isn’t pressured by anyone, specifically the Wilpons, to play Jose Reyes, Reyes announced he wants to return to the Mets next season.

Mets Bullpen Holds On

With the Mets continue to struggle, Homer Bailey, who entered the game with a 7.22 ERA against the Mets, was a sight for sore eyes.

The Mets quickly went to work against Bailey with three first inning runs highlighted by birthday boy Wilmer Flores opening the scoring with an RBI single.

Overall, it was a really good birthday for Wilmer. He would go 3-for-4 with a run, two RBI, and a HBP. As noted during the telecast, Flores was one of 14 players with three singles and a HBP on his birthday. Two of the other players were Lou Gehrig and Shoeless Joe.

That 3-0 first inning Mets lead grew to 6-0 in the strength of another Flores RBI single, and homers by Kevin Plawecki and Jeff McNeil.

That McNeil homer was absolutely crushed going way up the Pepsi Porch:

(Yes, it’s the Coke Corner now, but the Pepsi Porch sounds better).

That 6-0 lead was looking very safe with Noah Syndergaard dominating the Reds. That was until the seventh.

With one out, Syndergaard plunked consecutive batters. The Preston Tucker one really must’ve been bad as he was checked on by the trainers multiple times, and he could score from second on a Billy Hamilton single, and that’s even with Brandon Nimmo overrunning the ball in right.

Tucker would score on a Jose Peraza single which chase Syndergaard.

In a pleasant surprise, Mickey Callaway initially went to Bobby Wahl in the bases loaded one out situation. Given the Mets record, this is exactly what the team needs to be doing.

Wahl started by throwing three straight balls to Joey Votto. To his credit, Wahl battled back into the count getting two quick strikes. After Votto fouled off two, Wahl walked in a run making it 6-2 Mets.

Wahl rebounded by striking out Scooter Gennett on a 3-2 pitch.

After a tough couple of at-bats, and with Plawecki saving Wahl’s bacon a few times by blocking balls in the dirt, Callaway went to Robert Gsellman.

Gsellman would allow a two RBI single to Eugenio Suarez before getting out of that inning and pitching a perfect eighth.

In a surprise, Jerry Blevins pitched the ninth, and he recorded his first save of the season. In what has simply been a goofy year, Blevins has a start and a save this year.

Overall, the Mets won 6-4 in a game where we saw some good things from youngish players who could be pieces next year. That’s a pretty good day for the 2018 Mets.

Game Notes: Mets had a tribute video for Matt Harvey before the game. Luis Guillorme had an infield single in the eighth. With that hit, Guillorme extended his MLB best 50 at-bats without a strikeout.

Calm Down on the Callaway Criticism

In yesterday’s 5-4 loss in 10 innings to the Atlanta Braves, people had a field day criticizing manager Mickey Callaway for the perceived errors the first time manager made.  Of course, all these criticisms first ignored how the Mets lost because the Braves at that much better, especially over this injury ravaged Mets team.  Moreover, the perceived errors were not really errors in and of themselves:

Error No.1 – The Starting Lineup

Considering how when he had the appearance of autonomy, Callaway buried Jose Reyes on the bench, we can see he lost some of his control, especially after Reyes complained publicly through the press.  Overall, Reyes is in the lineup because ownership wants him there (and fans won’t boo him like he deserves).  As for Brandon Nimmo, he’s been scuffling lately, and he could probably use a day off.

Error No. 2 – Going Too Long with Oswalt

Entering the seventh inning yesterday, Corey Oswalt was dealing.  At that point, he had allowed just one earned on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts.  He was only at 75 pitches, and he had just made fairly quick work of the Braves in the sixth inning.  It was the bottom of the lineup, and he was due up second.

Considering how well he was pitching, how well he has pitched, and this being a period to evaluate players, the mistake would have been pulling Oswalt.  He should have started that inning.  It’s just unfortunate he gave up the two run homer to Ender Inciarte to lose the lead.

Error No. 3 – Double Switching Nimmo into the Game

Looking at the Mets bench, the player you most wanted up in the bottom of the seventh was Nimmo.  If you are going to burn a bench player, you might as well move the pitcher’s spot as far away as possible to at least give yourself the chance to let Paul Sewald pitch more than just the end of the seventh.

Ultimately, do we really care if it mean Austin Jackson and not Jose Bautista came out of that game?  Sure, Jackson is hitting better, but it’s Bautista who you are showcasing in the hopes he snaps out of this funk and once again becomes a trade piece.

Error No. 4 – Not Waiting for the Pinch Hitter to be Announced

Before criticizing Callaway on this one, ask yourself one key question: Who would you rather face?  Ryan Flaherty, a career .218/.288/.350 hitter or Adam Duvall, a former All Star with two 30 home run seasons under his belt?  If you have a brain cell remaining, it’s Flaherty every single day of the week.

Well, Callaway checked to make sure Duvall wasn’t announced, and he went with Sewald over Jerry Blevins, who was warming, to enter the game.  By doing that, Callaway helped pressure Brian Snitker to put up the far worse hitter.

Seriously, how is that a bad thing?

As for the narrative spewed on SNY, it’s false.  Just completely false.

This is the National League.  A manager is not going to burn two hitters in a tie game in the seventh inning.  You don’t have that luxury.  Knowing that, Callaway was proactive and got the matchup he wanted.  Really, Mets fans should be happy he had the foresight to say he wanted to face Flaherty over Duvall.

And with Callaway, we know this is a strategy he likes to utilize.  After all, this is not the first time he has done it, and with this happening two times, we can expect to see this happen again.  That’s a good thing.

As an aside, let’s remember the thoughts each of the people criticizing Callaway have had:

Maybe we should pump the brakes on taking what this group says as gospel and look for them more for entertainment.

Also, it should be noted, doing it that way allowed Callaway let Sewald face the pinch hitter an Ronald Acuna before going to Blevins for the left-handed Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, and Nick Markakis.

Error No. 5 – Double Switching McNeil out of the Game

The Jeff McNeil decision is a little tricky.  On the one hand, you want him to get as many reps as he possibly can in the field and at the plate.  Yes, his turn in the lineup did come up in the ninth, but it was really unlikely to happen.  To that extent, double switching him out to get some length from Seth Lugo did make sense on paper.

Of course, the real anger here was Reyes stayed in the lineup.  That’s understandable, but remember this is a player being not just forced on the manager, but also into the lineup.  Reyes’ strangehold is such the Mets are challenging plays where he is clearly out because Reyes demands it:

Summation

During the game, Callaway showed he was a guy who was balancing both playing the guys he is told to play while trying to develop young players and winning games.  It’s unfortunate Oswalt couldn’t get an out in the seventh, and it’s a shame Tyler Bashlor gave up the game winning homer in the 10th.

When it comes to Bashlor, there’s your areas of criticism.  Callaway is still feeling his way through bullpen management, and even now, he’s still leaning on veteran arms like Lugo over ones like Bashlor.

As for the other decisions?  Give him credit for being willing to buck trends and try to dictate match-ups he wants.  Allow him to grow on the job and learn from his mistakes, but admit this wasn’t one of them.  Overall, remember the level of interference he has.

Ultimately, remember this is a guy who gets his guys to play.  In this three game set, the Mets went toe-to-toe with a much better Braves team, and they nearly took the series.  Give credit where it is due.

More importantly, don’t distract from the real problem with the Mets – ownership is not spending and is putting an inferior product on the field.

Game Notes: Once again, Luis Guillorme did not get into the game.  Part of the reason being is the Mets have said they do not see him as more than a pinch hitter or late inning replacement.  Instead, Reyes played the whole game while Todd Frazier, who originally did not start because he was just coming off the disabled list, came on late shifting Reyes to second.

Some Positives From Expected Loss To Braves

On the bright side, this was probably one of Jason Vargas‘ best starts of the season. The down side is his final line was 5.0 innings, six hits, four earned, three walks, and seven strikeouts.

With Mike Foltynewicz on the mound, it basically meant the Mets weren’t winning, and yes, that’s even with him having a 5.72 ERA in July.

It also didn’t hurt the Mets kept shooting themselves in the foot.

In the fifth, after Luis Guillorme hit a pinch hit RBI single to pull the Mets to within 4-2, Brandon Nimmo hit into an inning ending double play. On the bright side, Nimmo hit a leadoff homer.

In the sixth, after a Michael Conforto one out walk, Wilmer Flores was thrown out trying to go to second after Ronald Acuna initially overran his single.

Speaking of Flores and Acuna, Vargas appeared to have Acuna picked off of first in the third inning. Flores made a poor throw to second giving Acuna the steal. Five batters later and Johan Camargo hit a bases loaded, bases clearing double.

While the Mets lost 4-2, there were some bright spots including another terrific Nimmo diving grab:

For the talk of his misplays, Flores was 2-for-3 with a walk. That walked matched a career high. He set his previous career high in 2016 in 45 fewer at-bats.

Guillorme has not struck out in 49 plate appearances, which is the longest current streak in the majors.

The bullpen combined to pitch four scoreless innings.

This included Paul Sewald pitching 1.1 scoreless and Jerry Blevins pitching a scoreless inning which included his finally getting Freddie Freeman out.

Mostly, the thing which stands out is Bobby Wahl pitching a scoreless inning while hitting 98 on the gun while showing off an impressive slider and curve.

In the end, the Mets lost, which was to be expected. That said, there were some positives, which is exactly what you want to see from the Mets right now.

Game Notes: Jose Reyes started over Amed Rosario and will continue to do so for approximately two times a week for the rest of the year.

Pick A Lane On Mets Criticism

There are many, many reasons to criticize the Mets.  Even with the presence of smart baseball people, who have been a part of well-run organizations in their previous stops, the Mets are a mess.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this is directly attributable to ownership.

That same ownership has decided that rather than appointing one of their existing assistant general managers to be the interim general manager, they would each role share with them presenting ideas they used to offer to Sandy Alderson directly to Jeff Wilpon.  Yes, Jeff Wilpon essentially named himself the general manager.

The end result of that has led to a number of decisions which have made the Mets even more of a laughingstock then they already have been.

The Jeurys Familia trade was widely panned.  Making matters worse, we subsequently discovered Will Toffey, the key prospect in the deal not only needs offseason shoulder surgery, but his dad is also friends with J.P. Riccardi. It so happens Riccardi was the pointman for the deal.

We didn’t know that initially because the Mets went into media silence.  The reason for that was the team was actively ducking the media over their continued bungling and outright lying in delivering the message about what they knew and didn’t know about Yoenis Cespedes‘ heels.

Consider that over the course of a few days, John Ricco and the Mets went from saying they didn’t know Cespedes needed surgery to saying surgery was a last resort to saying he needed the surgery.

What was even better about all of this was the Mets waited for this noise to clear before calling on Ricco to speak with the media about the Familia trade, a trade which he said Riccardi ran point and that one of the key pieces was the international money which Omar Minaya could utilize well.  So basically, the team sent out the one guy of the three to speak on a deal who didn’t work on getting the deal done or who will utilize the assets acquired.

Meanwhile, the Mets continual insistence Jeff McNeil was a second baseman blew up in their faces.  Within a week of this proclamation, McNeil would play third in a Triple-A game, and eventually he would be called up to play third base in the majors.

After the trade deadline, the three general managers hopped on a conference call where they told everyone ownership entasked them with being creative and open to all possibilities.  That resulted in them getting a poor return for Familia.  Worse yet, the team was unable to move Jose Bautista, Jerry Blevins, or Devin Mesoraco despite them being 30 year old veterans on expiring deals.

Better yet, they added to the over 30 mix by signing Austin Jackson on the eve of the trade deadline.

Looking at what they did and didn’t do, there are still some up in arms that the team didn’t unload Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, or even Noah Syndergaard.

Seriously?

After what we have seen from this front office in a very limited time period, you really trusted them to make major deals on these players.  You really thought they were capable of getting the type of return the Rays got for Chris Archer?

Have you been remotely paying attention to anything that has happened over the past two years?

Honestly, how could you want this structure get rid of players who will have a huge market during the Winter Meetings should the Mets eventually decided to tear it all down and rebuild?

That’s just being completely delusional.

Again, the Mets need to be held to task for many things they do.  They need to be constantly reminded of their failures and ineptitude.

That said, with those failures and ineptitude, how can we possibly trust them to do anything until they bring in a fresh voice into the organization who knows what he is doing?

Mets Failure To Make Trades Leaves Vets Blocking Promising Younger Players

Looking over the Mets roster, Jose Bautista, Jerry Blevins, Devin Mesoraco, and Jose Reyes are all veterans who are over 30 and have expiring contracts.

When you consider, the Mets added Austin Jackson to the mix, that’s five 30 year old players on expiring deals who were not moved at the trade deadline.

The issue isn’t just the Mets inability to get something, anything for these players. It’s the fact these players can and will stand in the way of a younger player.

Looking over this roster, there is no reason why Luis Guillorme and Jeff McNeil aren’t in the lineup everyday. Until Todd Frazier returns, the Mets have second, third, and left to use to figure out playing time.

Speaking of which, the Mets still have both Dominic Smith and Peter Alonso in Triple-A. It’s truly bizarre that neither one of them are up here now, especially with Smith’s purported ability to now play left field.

With McNeil’s, Guillorme’s, Smith’s, and Wilmer Floresversatility, the Mets have the ability to find playing time for everyone. With that versatility, we can not only see who’s ready to contribute at the Major League level, but also who’s a real part of the Mets future.

Instead, we’re going to see way too much of Bautista, Jackson, and Mesoraco in the starting lineup than is warranted for a team this many games under .500. We may very well see a game where they play on the same day as Reyes and Blevins.

Certainly, there are better odds of this happening than seeing an infield of Flores-Guillorme-Amed Rosario-McNeil with Smith in left. That’s before we even consider Alonso.

That’s not how you properly play out the string, and it’s a reason why the Mets are who they are and perennially winning teams are what they are.

Nationals Destroy Mets

The good news:

    Jose Reyes embarrassed himself allowing more homers than he’s hit this year.
  • The bad news:
    • Everything else

    Nationals 25 – Mets 4

    Mets Undefeated With McNeil

    Well, it may not have been the prettiest of games, but the Mets came to play, and they beat the Pirates pretty handily.

    Once again, it started with Michael Conforto and his hot hitting. After he would nearly hit one out against Pirates starter Nick Kingham, Wilmer Flores would actually hit one out.

    The homer gave the Mets a 2-0 lead, and the team was off and running.

    For three innings, it was back-and-forth with David Freese and Josh Harrison hitting two run homers off Steven Matz.

    To Matz’s credit, he settled down, despite him apparently not feeling well, he gutted through six innings keeping the Pirates to the four runs. He would also strike out a career high nine batters.

    Because the Mets bats exploded, he would get the win.

    One of the big reasons why was Asdrubal Cabrera putting on a show in what is likely one of his final games in a Mets uniform. Overall, he was 3-5 with two runs, a double. homer, walk, and four RBI.

    The first big inning for the Mets was the fourth, and it was aided by two big Pirates errors.

    After a Cabrera two run homer, Conforto reached on a Harrison fielding error. Later that inning, with bases loaded and two outs in the inning, Freese threw it away allowing Devin Mesoraco to reach safely and Brandon Nimmo to score.

    Jose Bautista would get thrown out at home with him trying to score from second. That would end the inning with the Mets leading 7-4.

    The Mets bats awoke again in the seventh, and it began with a beautiful Jeff McNeil, who was starting his first game, base hit:

    It was an uneven game for McNeil in his first ever start.  He was 1-2 with a run and two walks, and he did help turn two 5-4-3 double plays.  He also made an error and base running mistake in the game.  Fortunately, not only did they not cost the Mets the game, but his positives did outweigh his negatives in this game.  It should come as no surprise the team is 3-0 in games he has played.

    After a Mesoraco single, Jose Reyes predictably failed to deliver the big hit by popping out to Freese.  Where Reyes failed, the player he is supposed to be mentoring (but isn’t) came up a delivered what could have been the final blow in the game.  Rosario’s RBI single gave the Mets an 8-4 lead.

    With Pirates reliever Rich Rodriguez throwing a wild pitch, Mesoraco was able to get to third and Rosario to second.  This would not just allow Mesoraco to score on a Cabrera grounder to the right of the pitcher, but it would put Rosario to score on another wild pitch during Conforto’s at-bat.  At that point, it was 10-4 Mets, which is a rare place for this team to have been lately.

    Things were going so well for this team, Matt den Dekker would even contribute hitting a sacrifice fly in the eighth.  In fact, Flores would hit one as well in the ninth giving the Mets a then 12-5 lead.

    It is remarkable how the Mets had three sacrifice flies in this game.   Those are the sort of small ball runs this team had been leaving on the bases all season long.  While it has been a rough first year for Mickey Callaway, we are seeing this team improve fundamentally by getting bunts down and their starting to take advantage of these run scoring opportunities.

    Surprisingly, Jerry Blevins and Paul Sewald would get the first cracks out of the bullpen.  Blevins might’ve helped his trade value with a scoreless inning.  Sewald struggled after two quick outs, but he did get out of his inning having allowed just one run scored.

    It was the same story for Drew Smith.  He got two quick outs before getting into minor trouble, minor because the game was nowhere near jeopardy.  After he allowed one run, the Mets would win the game 12-6.

    Surprisingly, this team is not only on a three game winning streak, but they are also over .500 in the Month of July.  Oh what could have been.

    Game Notes: Corey Oswalt was sent down to Triple-A so Jason Vargas could be activated from the disabled list to start the Mets next game.

    Mets Will Have At Least $64 Million To Spend In Free Agency

    As a second straight Mets season has completely fallen apart, there has been discussions about whether the Mets should blow the whole thing up. Those discussions have been ramped up with Yoenis Cespedes being out for at least 10 months with his having double heel surgery.

    What’s odd about that is the Mets arguably have the best starting rotation in baseball with the top 1-2 combination with Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.

    Brandon Nimmo has played like an All Star caliber player, and lately Michael Conforto has returned to his All Star form.

    The Mets have two potent weapons with Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo.

    There’s also good talent close to the majors with Peter Alonso, Justin Dunn, and Andres Gimenez. Of course, Jeff McNeil was just called-up.

    There’s talent present which could make the Mets winners in 2020 or even 2019. However, for that to happen, the Mets will need to add some pieces.

    Fortunately for the Mets, this could go down as one of the most consequential free agent classes in Major League history. Teams will be lining up to throw money to Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel, Clayton Kershaw, and A.J. Pollock.

    Given all that has happened, the Mets will have the money to be competitors on the free agent market.  In fact, they are going to be quite flush with cash.

    Expiring Contracts

    Even if the Mets do not trade anyone who is due money past this season, the Mets will have money freed up because there are a number of contracts expiring after this season:

    With respect to Mesoraco, there was an undisclosed amount of cash provided by the Reds when they obtained Harvey in exchange for Mesoraco.  While Mesoraco is due $13.12 million this year, it was Harvey’s $5.625 million salary that was part of the Opening Day roster.  Therefore, for the sake of calcualting how much money will be available, Harvey’s salary is used as the placeholder.

    With the Harvey/Mesoraco caveat, the Mets will have $32.1 million coming off the books just from contracts currently on the books expiring after the season.

    Subtotal $32.1 million

    Familia Trade

    With the Mets trading Jeurys Familia, the team not only was able to acquire two prospects in Bobby Wahl and William Toffey, both of whom will be earning de minimis minor league salaries, but the team was also able to remove Familia’s $7.925 million from the books with the team getting some cash savings this season with the Athletics taking on the remainder of Familia’s 2018 salary.

    Subtotal $40.025

    Insurance Money

    David Wright has not played a Major League game since May 27, 2016.  With each passing day and each additional set-back, it becomes increasingly unlikely we will ever see Wright play in another game for the Mets.  Now when it comes to Wright, there are two factors at play which would give the team an avenue to spend more money this offseason.

    First and foremost, Wright’s salary goes from $20 million in 2018 to $15 million in 2019.  Right off the bat, that gives the Mets an additional $5 million to spend this offseason.

    Additionally, Wright’s contract is fully insured with insurance paying 75% of Wright’s salary.  As a result, the Mets will have an additional $11.25 million available to spend due to Wright’s inability to play.

    But Wright is not the only injured player insured.  In addition to Wright, Yoenis Cespedes‘ contract is also insured.  That’s important in light of the announcement Cespedes will have double heel surgery and will be out at least 10 months.  For what it’s worth, the Mets suggested he may be out longer than that.

    Remember, Cespedes is out from 10 months from whenever he has the surgery.  Not from the date of the press conference.  With that in mind and for the sake of being conservative in the estimates, lets assume Cespedes is out for half the season.

    With the Mets saying there is insurance that picks up over 50% of the salary owed to Cespedes, that means, the Mets will be able to recoup roughly 50% of a  half’s seasons salary.  With Cespedes due $29 million next year, insurance will pay at least $7.25 million.  With each passing day that number will grow.

    When combining the monies covered by insurance for Wright and Cespedes, the team will have an additional $18.5 million available to spend.  When you include the $5 million drop in Wright’s salary, that number is $23.5 million.

    Subtotal $63.525

    Other Factors

    As noted by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, ownership says it considers Wright’s contract part of the payroll, and the team does not reinvest the money saved into baseball operations.  Putting aside what that means in terms of money available for a second, what this does mean is the team has saved and socked away $15 million of the $20 million due and owing to Wright this season.

    The same likely applies to whatever the team can and will recover from insurance from Cespedes’ $29 million contract this season.

    Additionally, the team saw savings of roughly $3 million for trading Familia, and they will likely see the same savings when other players are traded for the roster.  Presumably, since that money is not being invested into baseball operations this season that would make that money available for 2019 and beyond.

    For a moment, we can presume for a moment the $3 million saved on Familia can offset the $3 million pay increase due to Jay Bruce next season. Of course, the pay raises due in arbitration and the like will very easily be offset by the money saved on the Wright and Cespedes insurance policies.  Really, there should be money to spare.

    What This All Means

    Looking at the Mets as currently constituted, they have tw0-third of their outfield set with Conforto and Nimmo.  On the infield, they have Todd Frazier and Amed Rosario.  They will also have Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera, and Jeff McNeil, who could become part of a time sharing at either first or second.  If he can get healthy, the team could have Bruce at first or right depending on the development of Alonso, or yes, even Dominic Smith.

    All told, this means the Mets have the payroll room and the spots on the roster to add at least one player of significance.  Perhaps even two.

    With that in mind, with the Mets having $63.525 million to spend this offseason, there is no excuse why this team shouldn’t aggressively pursue Machado and Harper.  They should come away with one of them plus an additional piece to help take them over the top like a Kimbrel, Pollock, or yes, even a Daniel Murphy (first base only).

    If the Mets do that, this is a potential World Series contender, especially with this starting pitching.  If the team goes out and does this, the fans will pack Citi Field to the gills.

    The time for excuses is over.  It’s time to act like a big market club with a chance to win a World Series.

     

     

     

    Mets End First Half Only Way They Can

    In some ways, the Mets final game before the All Star Break was a microcosm of the entire first half of the season.  It started with a lot of promise, and things would quickly unravel from there.

    Really, the biggest thing you want to take away from this game is just how good Corey Oswalt pitched. He only needed 59 pitches to get through five innings.  In those five innings, he allowed just one earned on two hits while walking none.

    In four of his five innings, he got the Nationals to go down 1-2-3.  The only issue was the second when Anthony Rendon and Matt Adams led off the inning with back-to-back singles setting the stage for a Michael Taylor RBI ground out.  Even with that rally, Oswalt still impressed inducing Matt Wieters to hit into a rally killing and inning ending double play.

    Of course, with how well he was pitching, you knew Mickey Callaway was going to be double guessed for lifting him for a pinch hitter in the fifth.

    At the time, the score was tied 1-1, and to be fair, the Mets weren’t really setting the world on fire against Jeremy Hellickson.

    After Jose Reyes hit a one out double and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Amed Rosario had a chance to deliver the go-ahead RBI and not just get the lead but keep Oswalt in the game.  He struck out.  Dominic Smith, who was given a talking to by Callaway, pinch hit for Oswalt, and he was hit by a pitch.

    Unfortunately, Brandon Nimmo, who hasn’t been hitting near as well since he was hit on the hand in Atlanta, couldn’t deliver.

    Seth Lugo came out of the pen for a shutdown inning, but after that it was the typical Mets comedy of errors coming out of the bullpen.

    The Mets would use Anthony Swarzak, Tim Peterson, and Jerry Blevins in the seventh.  None of them were effective.  Swarzak was the worst with him walking the two batters he faced before getting pulled.  Ultimately, to add insult to injury, it was Daniel Murphy who delivered the go-ahead hit in what would become a five run inning.

    In the end, the Mets lost 6-1, and they have not won a series since May. They have the fewest wins in the National League, and they continue to play Reyes everyday while not giving younger players like Jeff McNeil or Smith an opportunity.

    Really, this is a bad team whose front office is managing it to the ground.

    Game Notes: Blevins escaped the seventh inning jam by picking off a runner.  That was his third pick off of the season tying him with Steven Matz for the team lead.