Jose Bautista

Thor Returns And So Does Mets Winning Ways

Do you want to get a sense of how this season would have gone if the Mets didn’t suffer all of these injuries? Well, tonight was the night.

After being on the disabled list for seven weeks, Noah Syndergaard return to the mound.

If not for a goofy Tanner Roark triple that rolled up the side wall, it’s likely Syndergaard escapes his five innings without allowing a run.

Still, he would allow just the one run, which is impressive considering both the layoff and the Nationals having the leadoff hitter on against him all five innings, it was quite a performance.

In total, he allowed one run on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Oh, and he also had an RBI single.

While Syndergaard was trying to get his footing, it was Roark who looked rusty from the get-go.

The Mets jumped all over Roark with the first three Mets hitting singles. The third of which came from Jose Bautista who brought home Brandon Nimmo.

A Wilmer Flores sacrifice fly would score Asdrubal Cabrera, and Bautista would score on a Devin Mesoraco single.

In the second, Amed Rosario tripled to center past Bryce Harper, who was in center for some reason. Rosario then scored on the aforementioned Syndergaard RBI single.

This was another good game from Rosario who was 2-4 with a run, double, triple, and a stolen base.

Despite the hot start and continued base runners, the Mets would not add a run meaning the Mets bullpen would have to come up with 4.0 innings to protect a three run lead.

Mickey Callaway entrusted that duty to Seth Lugo (2.0) and Robert Gsellman (2.0) to bring it home.

The only run that duo would allow was a bomb Matt Adams would hit off of Gsellman in the eighth. Gsellman would shake that off to record the six out save.

For a brief moment, we had a glimpse of how good this Mets team once was and how happy things were like when Nimmo made a diving catch to end the game.

Game Notes: Jose Reyes was double switched into the game, and he went 0-2 making him 1-19 since Todd Frazier landed on the DL.

3B Jeff McNeil Shows How Inept The Mets Organization Has Become

When Todd Frazier landed on the disabled list, one of the justifications proffered for the Mets not calling-up Jeff McNeil was the organization views McNeil as a second baseman, and at the moment, the team still had Asdrubal Cabrera.

In true Mets fashion, their narrative and their actions made this statement and position increasingly absurd. And that’s before you consider Cabrera having an MLB worst -16 DRS at second base.

First and foremost, the Mets actually had Mickey Callaway say Jose Reyes was playing well enough recently to man third until Frazier returns. It shouldn’t shock anyone that since Callaway uttered those words, Reyes is 1-for-17 at the plate.

1-for-17

While Reyes was hitting, sorry not hitting, Cabrera would hyper-extend his elbow requiring him to come out early from one game and not start the next.

Now, this wasn’t an opportunity to call-up McNeil. Not for a game. However, this was a chance to play Dominic Smith. After all, the former first round pick and once first baseman of the future has only started in 16 of the Mets past 28 games.

Instead, the Mets opted to start Wilmer Flores at first, Jose Bautista at third, and Matt den Dekker at third.

Think about that for a second, the Mets actually went out of their way to start the soon to be 31 year old den Dekker in center over giving the 23 year old Smith playing time. Naturally, the Mets are now looking to send down Smith while presumably keeping den Dekker up in the majors.

It gets better.

Because Amed Rosario was playing well, the team opted to have him sit against Max Scherzer. It should come as no surprise Reyes got the start at short in his stead.

With those lineup decisions, the Mets had a starting lineup with an average age of 29.6 years old. Take out Brandon Nimmo (25) and Michael Conforto (25) and that average age jumps to 31.2 years old.

The average age of the Mets bench last night was 26.0 years old, and that includes the 22 year old Rosario and the 23 year old Smith.

Remember, this is a Mets team who his now 17 games under .500.  Sure, you can understand the concept of playing Bautista to try to pump up his trade value.  However, it is unfathomable to sit both Smith and Rosario to get Reyes and den Dekker into the lineup.

If you think this is all a sick joke and a gross mismanagement of the team, we have yet to reach the best part.

Last night, McNeil, the guy the Mets solely viewed as a second baseman, played third base for Triple-A Las Vegas.  On Monday, McNeil was just a second baseman.  By Thursday, he was capable of playing third base.  It didn’t take the Mets a week before completely upending their own narrative.

This just highlights how completely lost this entire Mets organization is.

The player the Mets view only as a second baseman is playing third base.  The man who is supposed to be the first baseman of the future has played way out of position in left field over one-third of the time.  Their starting shortstop, a player upon much of the future hangs, is sat because he’s playing too well.

The Mets would have to significantly improve things in order for them to start looking completely inept and confused.  Really, this is as bad as it gets.  But hey, at least the Wilpons are doing well financially.

Mets Lose With Veterans Again

Even when the Mets were at their best, Max Scherzer dominates them. In fact, as the Mets were preparing for what would be a pennant run, Scherzer threw a no-hitter against them.

With the Mets lineup featuring Jose Reyes and Matt den Dekker, it was fair to assume the worst.

Shockingly, the Mets were actually game against Scherzer tonight.

A pair of misplays from Michael Taylor in the first led to an Asdrubal Cabrera double and then his scoring easily on a Jose Bautista RBI single.

That rally sputtered with Bautista getting nailed by Taylor inches:

In the fourth, Bautista hit a solo homer, and Kevin Plawecki homered in the seventh.

It wasn’t enough as the Mets were chasing all night.

One of the reasons why is Anthony Rendon owned Steven Matz. Rendon hit a pair of homers off Matz giving the Nationals a 3-2 lead.

Aside from the Rendon at-bats, Matz had a pretty good game. He limited the rest of that lineup to six hits in 6.1 innings.

Still, he would be tagged with the loss.

The big hit for the Nationals came after Matz left the game. With the Mets down 3-2 in the seventh, Mickey Callaway brought in Jerry Blevins to face Bryce Harper. Harper would launch a homer to give the Nationals a 5-2 lead:

Asdrubal Cabrera homered off Kelvin Herrera in the eighth to pull the Mets to within 5-4, but that was it.

After that homer, Bautista and Michael Conforto drew back-to-back walks putting the tying run in scoring position with one out.

Since it was the eighth and not the ninth, Wilmer Flores fouled out, and den Dekker followed with a strikeout.

In the ninth, Plawecki led off against Ryan Madson with a single. That went nowhere.

First, after Reyes failed to get down the bunt, he hit a fielder’s choice. Amed Rosario, who didn’t start because he was hitting too well (seriously) pinch hit and hit into a game ending double play.

The Nationals are back over .500 now and are in the thick of the postseason race. The Mets are 17 games under .500 and starting Reyes.

Game Notes: Jeff McNeil, a prospect the Mets previously said is only a second baseman, started tonight at third base. This is on the same night Bautista started at third for the Mets.

Mets Blogger Roundtable: Who Should The Mets Make Untouchable?

Well, the Mets are terrible, and we are at the point where the Mets are sellers at the trade deadline.  Given the composition of their roster, there isn’t much in terms of trade assets unless you start giving away some pretty major pieces.  Given the rise of the Braves and Phillies and this awful Mets season, it’s worth asking whether the Mets should burn it all to the ground and start over.

Then again, with Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper being free agents and the Mets starting pitching staff, there is a legitimate question whether the Mets truly need to tear it all down in a rebuild.  With that as the pre-text, our Mets Bloggers offered their opinion as to whether any of the Mets players should be absolutely untouchable at the trade deadline:

Michael Baron (nym.news)

I don’t think there’s anyone who is untouchable in this scenario. By doing so with sincerity severely handicaps one’s position in the trade market. I think that can be used to posture in an effort to drum up the cost, but in the end, the Mets cannot discount any one single trade scenario they are confronted with. But I also believe if they intend on contending next season, there’s no way they can trade any one starting pitcher. To get this value in free agency would cost 2-4x (if not more) that which they are paying now. That’s not to say Jacob deGrom will repeat his performance, or any one of them will be healthy, but its safe to say that about any starting pitcher. That plus the cost to get equivalent value in years they want to contend would make it foolish to trade from their only strength at this point in time.

Roger Cormier (Good Fundies)

David Wright

Michael Ganci (Daily Stache)

My one untouchable is Jason Vargas, because no other team would dare touch him. Just kidding, I’d keep Brandon Nimmo and have him cloned eight times. That solves all of our problems.

Mark Healey (Gotham Baseball)

Only pending free agents should be dealt.  I don’t trust this front office in the slightest, and while I like Omar immensely, he let Eddie Rosario walk and gave the reins to Tony Bernazard . . .

Joe Marcic (Loud Egg)

No player should be untouchable if there is a team out there willing to give a lot of value in return.

Metstradamus (Metstradamus Blog)

I’m sorry, but I have to flake out and say it’s deGrom AND Noah Syndergaard. I know you said one, but these are two guys that should be built around. And if the Mets spent more money on the fringes of the roster, and on scouting and development, you could rebuild rather quickly. Also, sign players for their baseball ability, not for their clubhouse presence.

Greg Prince (Faith and Fear in Flushing)

Everybody is listenable. That’s the key. The Mets should listen to everybody who asks about anybody — and start conversations as they deem fit. They can decide on who shouldn’t be touched from there.

But, honestly, all things being equal, I don’t want anybody laying a finger on deGrom.

Mets Daddy

Unless you are a player on an expiring deal, you should be untouchable because this team does not have a front office in place for next season.  Seriously, should we trust John Ricco to trade Wilmer Flores or Zack Wheeler let alone deGrom or Syndergaard?

Say good-bye to Jerry Blevins, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Jeurys Familia.  Maybe Jose Bautista and Devin Mesoraco if anyone will actually give you something in return.  After that, unless you are firing Vargas and Jose Reyes into the sun, there’s no other realistic moves to be made . . . at least not by this front office.

As you can see in what has been a depressing season, there is still people putting out quality content about this team.  While the Mets really don’t have much to offer at the trade deadline, these writers do.  You should take the time to visit their sites.

 

Gary Cohen’s Greatness

Through baseball history, we have seen some absolutely astonishing moments, which were someone heightened by an equally amazing call.

Other times, we get John Sterling stepping all over Charlie Steiner terrific call of Aaron Boone‘s epic walk off ALCS winning home run off Tim Wakefield:

Despite it not being his call, Sterling tripped all over Steiner to jump in with his “Thuuuuuuuh Yankees Win!” shtick.

As we’ve seen with Sterling and his home run calls, it’s always shtick over the call. It’s why he stepped all over a great Steiner call. He couldn’t help himself.

This is another reason why we should all appreciate Gary Cohen.

Like any announcer, he has his signature and set calls for each type of play. Everyone does, but what separates a great one like Cohen from the rest is his ability to let the game dictate how he makes the call:

Rather than go to, “IT’S OUTTA HERE!” for the call, Cohen called the Jose Bautista walk off grand slam in a different fashion. Presumably, it’s because that’s what the moment dictated.

The shtick and signature calls were not needed there, and the genius that he is, Cohen didn’t go to it.

That’s why he will one day be a Hall of Famer, and it’s why he should be in the Mets Hall of Fame.

Really, as Mets fans, we are all truly blessed to have Cohen announce these games.

Mets Surprised, Not Ready

The Rays have become a story in baseball for using an opener, i.e. a reliever, to start some games. They’ve arguably had to experiment with it due to the state of their starting pitching. The obvious exception to that is today’s starter Blake Snell, who has been phenomenal this year.

Snell is an ace, and when you face him, you have to take advantage of your opportunities and not make mistakes.

Well, Steven Matz did make mistakes, including walking and hitting Snell, but he fought through it with what was a really good start. In fact, in a fair and just world, Matz gets through his 6.1 innings unscathed.

Matt Duffy doubled to lead off the sixth, and after a Daniel Robertson groundout, he was on third with one out. With Snell on the other side, Mickey Callaway brought the Mets infield in.

Matz got the grounder with Wilson Ramos grounding it right at Amed Rosario. Rosario charged in, and the ball hit him in the heel of the glove. This cost him a shot at Duffy, and it gave the Rays a 1-0 lead.

With the Mets offense completely sputtering and shooting itself in the foot, that one run was enough.

In seven of the nine innings, the Mets got their leadoff runner on base. In three of those innings, it was a leadoff double.

Still, the Mets had one really good opportunity in the seventh, and it as bad luck that cost them.

Jose Reyes led off the eight with a double past the outstretched arms of Duffy. Then, in what was a tough at-bat against Snell, Brandon Nimmo hit a ball which seemed destined for center field. Instead it tipped off of Snell’s foot leading to a 1-4-3 put out.

Instead of scoring, Reyes would be stranded on third as Jose Bautista popped out, and Asdrubal Cabrera flew out to center to end the inning.

With Robert Gsellman and Anthony Swarzak not getting the job done with each reliever allowing an earned run, the Mets would lose this game 3-0.

So much for the momentum from Bautista’s grand slam.

Game Notes: Wilmer Flores had nearly half of the Mets seven hits going 3-4 with a double.

Bautista Walks It Off

With the Mets starting Jacob deGrom tonight, the hope was deGrom could go deep enough into the game to minimize the damage the bullpen could do.

Well, deGrom did his part pitching eight brilliant innings striking out eight Rays.

The only mark against him was a Willie Adames fifth inning homer. It hurts when it’s a guy like Adames hits a homer. It hurts all the more when the Mets can’t give deGrom run support.

The only run deGrom got in support was in the third.

After deGrom made the first out of the inning, Brandon Nimmo reached on a throwing error by the aforementioned Adames. After a Jose Bautista walk, Nimmo would come around to score on an Asdrubal Cabrera RBI single.

The Mets had a chance to take the lead in the sixth, but Glenn Sherlock would have another one of his awful sends.

Todd Frazier hit a one out double to center, and for some reason, Sherlock sent Wilmer Flores, who was trying to score from first. As it usually happens when Sherlock sends Flores, Flores was out at the plate.

This all looked like it was going to haunt the Mets as the Rays loaded the bases against Jeurys Familia with one out.

Mallex Smith grounded to first. On the good side, Flores aggressively charged the ball. On the bad side, he lollipopped the throw home. The leaping Devin Mesoraco didn’t come down on the plate for the first out. Instead, he lunged to tag out Hunter Wood, who had entered the inning earlier as a pinch runner, by a hair.

Familia struck out Adames to escape the jam and keep the game at 1-1.

In the ninth, Frazier walked, and after he couldn’t get a bunt down, Mesoraco singled to put runners at first and second with no outs.

Next, the maligned Amed Rosario laid down a great bunt to move up the runners. Of course, the decision to give away an out almost backfired immediately when Dominic Smith grounded out to the pitcher Chaz Roe, which kept Frazier at third.

At that point, the Rays had the option to face either Nimmo or Bautista to get out of the inning. They chose wrong:

After 336 homers over a 15 year career, this would be the first walk off homer of his career.

About the only thing disappointing on the night is Jake didn’t get the win. That, and we weren’t treated to one of Bautista’s epic bat flips.

Game Notes: Suspended reliever Jenrry Mejia will have a chance to resume his suspension end and renew his baseball career in 2019.

Mets Have Big Fifth Inning And Don’t Blow Lead

A day after the Mets bullpen blew another big lead, you had to imagine this game was going to be a disaster.  The Mets were starting Corey Oswalt, who was not exactly great in his first career start, and if he could not go deep into the game, it meant more of the Mets bullpen.

The good news is Oswalt held his own.  Over four innings, he would allow two earned on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts.  The first run was a big blast from Kendrys Morales in the second.  When Morales came back up in the fourth, it looked like he got another one.

It turned out to be a double that hit a leaping Michael Conforto in the glove.  It was one of those can’t be an error because it required a leap, but you would think a player as good as he is should catch that.  In any event, Morales was on second with a double, and he would come around to score on a Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. RBI single.  Realistically speaking, the Mets should have had a play at the plate, but Brandon Nimmo, who is struggling in every aspect of his game since getting plunked on the hand on June 24th, spiked the throw home into the turf.

After 65 pitches and the Blue Jays about to go through the lineup a third time, Mickey Callaway took the ball from his young starter, and he gave the ball to Seth Lugo.

Once again, Lugo showed us why he is such a great bullpen weapon.  Lugo would pitch three innings allowing just one earned on three hits.  If it was a different batter in the sixth, it might’ve been no runs.  After Todd Frazier made a nice play, he got it to Asdrubal Cabrera who made the quick turn to first.  As it was the speedy Gurriel, Cabrera’s throw had little chance to get him.

One bright spot there was, that only cut the Mets lead to 6-3, and that was because the Mets had a huge fifth inning.

The scoring began when a Frazier two run homer gave the Mets a 3-2 lead.  The homer did not kill this rally as Kevin Plawecki hit a one out ground rule double.  After the obligatory Jose Reyes failure to get a base hit, Nimmo walked setting up consecutive RBI singles from Cabrera and Jose Bautista.

At that point John Gibbons pulled Marcus Stroman and put in Luis Santos.  Conforto greeted him with and RBI single to give the Mets a then 6-2 lead.

Believe it or not, Lugo would get the win as the Mets bullpen did it’s job.  First, Jerry Blevins gtting two of the three batters he faced out, and Robert Gsellman got the final out of the eighth.  Jeurys Familia came on to pitch a perfect ninth for his 16th save of the season.

With that, the Mets earned a somewhat surprising split, and they are coming home for a long homestand where we may get the last chance to see some of the veterans on this team.

Game Notes: The Mets are about to play 11 games in 10 days as they head into the All Star break.

This Is What Quit Looks Like

This team doesn’t deserve to have any Mets fan watch them right now. No, not even on a Jacob deGrom start.

Thanks to a Jose Bautista first inning homer and a Todd Frazier sixth inning homer, deGrom actually had a 2-0 lead.

Did that mean the Mets won the game? Of course not.

Derek Dietrich hit an infield single, and deGrom allowed an uncharacteristic homer to Brian Anderson.

Clearly, deGrom was fatigued then issuing a four pitch walk to Justin Bour. Runners were at the corners with two outs after a Starlin Castro single.

Still, deGrom did his job, and he got J.T. Riddle to hit a grounder to first. Wilmer Flores didn’t charge the ball and took so long to get to first, he still may not have reached first.

3-2 Marlins.

After that sixth inning, Amed Rosario booted a ball. Jose Reyes couldn’t be bothered to even fake running out a grounder. The Mets wouldn’t get one more base runner over the final three innings.

All told, the Mets lost 5-2. Although a lot of them may not have realized it because some of them seemed to have quit before the game even ended.

When they bother to pay attention, they’ll come to realize they are tied for last in the NL East and have the worst winning percentage in the NL.

Game Notes: Reyes claimed he didn’t run out the grounder because he felt something. That something was probably apathy.

Mets Can’t Even Beat Competitive Against Tanking Marlins

Well, in a season where the Mets are desperately looking to find rock bottom, they made a step closer to it getting their doors blown off by the Marlins in an 8-2 loss.

Corey Oswalt made his first professional start a day earlier than expected because Jacob deGrom had a family emergency.

Considering deGrom missed time two years ago with his son Jaxon having a medical emergency, we can all only hope his family is alright.

Still, this put Oswalt in a very tough spot as he had approximately three hours to prepare for his first MLB start.

Things went well for Oswalt through two innings. Then Lewis Brinson hit the first pitch of the third out of the park to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead.

The wheels quickly came off from there with the Marlins scoring six runs on five hits off Oswalt. Oswalt would then get lifted with one out left in the inning.

This put the Marlins well on their way to an 8-2 victory. With the win, the Marlins, who actively made moves to win as few games as possible, now have one more win than the Mets this season.

If you’re looking for a bright side, somehow Amed Rosario drew three walks. Also, Tyler Bashlor threw 2.2 innings allowing one run on three hits.

Of course, there’s a question why a Double-A closer was throwing 36 pitches in almost three innings.

But that’s the Mets for you. Even when things are bad, you can always find how things are worse.

Game Notes: Jose Bautistahas started eight straight games, and Dominic Smith has not started since Tuesday.