Jose Reyes

Mets Options Better Than Jose Reyes

Admittedly, this is beating a dead horse, a horse deader than Jose Reyes‘ ability to contribute to a Major League team, but if you are going to complain about something, you need to present solutions.  After all, what is the good in saying Reyes should be released if you are not prepared to suggest improvements?

As much as I like to joke about it, no, David Wright would not be an improvement over Reyes right now, even if the argument could sadly be made.  Jokes aside, there are plenty of better options available to the Mets over what Reyes is giving the team right now and in the future:

Luis Guillorme
MLB Stats:
.400/.400/.500, 2B, RBI
MiLB Stats:
.300/.394/.433, 7 2B, 3B, HR, 15 RBI, 2 SB, CS

The main thing Guillorme brings to the table is great middle infield defense.  Even if his ability to drive the ball will remind you of Luis Castillo, he does have the ability to give you a good at-bat and get on base.  At a minimum, since getting called-up, he has show he is not over-matched, and he is ready right now to contribute as a utility player for the Mets right now.

Ty Kelly
MiLB Stats: .274/.350/.500, 7 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 24 RBI, SB

The immediate reaction whenever Kelly is mentioned is he is a Four-A player because he has a MLB career stat line of .211/.297/.340.  Even if you’re right, it bears mentioning this would be a huge upgrade over Reyes’ current stats.  More than that, Kelly is a versatile player and switch hitter who can play all four infield positions and can handle both corner outfield spots.  And for the knocks against him, he is .255/.351/.340 against left-handed pitching.

Tomas Nido
MLB Stats:
.154/.214/.179, 2B, RBI
MiLB Stats: .257/.333/371, 4 2B, 6 RBI

Nido would mean carrying three catchers and pressing Wilmer Flores to become a backup at short as well.  Given Reyes’ -15 DRS at short last year, Flores is not a dropoff defensively.  Nido’s presence on the roster would accomplish a few things.  First, you can give Noah Syndergaard his own personal catcher, which may not be a bad thing given the challenges catching Syndergaard possesses.  Second, having Nido would free up both Devin Mesoraco and Kevin Plawecki for more pinch hitting attempts.  Third, Nido would allow the Mets to take it easier on Mesoraco, who has an extensive injury history, and it permits the team to not over rely on Plawecki, who is still not quite established as a major leaguer.  However, you would ideally keep Nido in the minors once Plawecki returns to give him the regular at-bats he needs to improve offensively.

Gavin Cecchini
MiLB Stats:
.294/.342/.468, 11 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, SB, CS

After a lost season last year, Cecchini worked on a number of things in the offseason, and he is back to being the player he was just two years ago.  However, this is more on the long-term view as Cecchini has not played since May 9th when he fouled a ball off his foot.

Jeff McNeil
MiLB Stats:
.328/.403/.715, 11 2B, 3 3B, 12 HR, 31 RBI, SB

For all the clamoring over Peter Alonso, many are overlooking his teammate McNeil, who has recently surpassed Alonso in doubles, homers, SLG, and OPS.  The 26 year old is healthy after a few injury riddled seasons, and he’s flat out raking.  With him mashing right-handed pitching, he would be a good platoon partner for Wilmer Flores in Todd Frazier‘s absence.  However, ideally, you’d like to keep him in Double-A longer, and you would want to see him in Triple-A before rushing him to the majors, especially when there are more than sufficient options ahead of him.

In complete fairness, Phillip Evans, who has not gotten a hit in seven at-bats and was not great in Las Vegas was not mentioned.  Also not mentioned is T.J. Rivera because no one can be quite sure when he will be ready to return to playing after his Tommy John surgery.  Really, the Mets need Rivera to return as soon as he can because he would be the best possible internal addition to the Mets bench.

Good And Bad Mets On Full Display In Comeback Win

This game was a clear dichotomy of what is going right and what is going wrong for the Mets.  First, the wrong –

The first moment was in the fourth inning.  Paul Goldschmidt broke out of his funk by hitting a homer off Steven Matz to tie the game at 2-2.  Later that inning, Matz went from 1-2 to walking Jarrod Dyson.  Matz then seemed to get out of the inning by picking Dyson off first:

Somehow both the umpires and the replay officials miss what everyone watching the game saw – Asdrubal Cabrera got the tag in ahead of the slide.

Well, it was a blown call, which led to a typical Matz letdown.  Diamondbacks backup catcher and former Yankee John Ryan Murphy hit a go-ahead two run homer.

With that, you had your typical 2018 Matz start.  He didn’t get through five.  He allowed two homers.  He allowed a big walk, and he had a meltdown.

Still, down 4-2, the Mets were still in this game, and it looked like they were going to break through in the sixth with Patrick Corbin on the ropes. The team didn’t break through.

First, Devin Mesoraco popped out, and after the Diamondbacks put Michael Conforto on first, the inning was in Jose Reyes hands.  Now, Reyes presumably got the start because he had good career numbers against Corbin.  He wouldn’t get a hit off Corbin, and he was in there to face Jimmie Sherfy.

Reyes fouled out, and Adrian Gonzalez couldn’t get the pinch hit.  This left the Mets trailing, but it wouldn’t stay that way because of the things that have gone right for the Mets.

First, Conforto is back.  After a 4-4 game, he came up in the second inning, and he delievered a two run homer to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

After Matz surrendered the lead and couldn’t go five innings, the game was once again on the bullpen.  The combination of Seth Lugo, Paul Sewald, and AJ Ramos pitched four scoreless walking none, allowing one hit, and striking out six.  Ultimately, they gave the Mets a chance.

The Mets took advantage of that chance.  Jay Bruce led off the eighth with a single off Archie Bradley, and he would come home on a Mesoraco blast:

Jeurys Familia pitched a perfect ninth giving the Mets a chance to walk this one off.

Like many rallies this season, it began with Brandon Nimmo, who led off the ninth with a double, and then the most clutch Met on the team this year, Asdrubal Cabrera laid down a bunt single moving Nimmo to third.  This put the game in Wilmer Flores‘ hands, and as we know he has his own history with walk-off hits.

While not the dramatic homers we have seen, he did end the game with a fly ball to the outfield.  This one was a sacrifice fly scoring Nimmo giving the Mets a 5-4 win.

This was the first time since April 10-11 that the Mets have won consecutive games.  They are now in position for their first home sweep of the season.  They do that, and things will definitely be more good than bad right now.

Game Notes: With the Mets lack of outfield depth, Dominic Smith started in right field for the Las Vegas 51s.  Reyes is now 7-53 on the season.

 

 

Time for Reyes to Retire

In 29 games this season, Jose Reyes is hitting .143/.176/.204 with a 6 OPS+ and 6 wRC+.  To put it in perspective, a league average OPS+ or wRC+ is 100.  That’s a major reason why Reyes has a -0.4 WAR so far this season.

When he is getting into games, he’s making mistakes like how he was picked off of first base by Jake Arrieta.  We’ve also seen more than a few occasions where he has failed to make the proper read off the bat, or he is just not hustling around the bases.

His struggles are apparent to all including his manager Mickey Callaway.  Even with Todd Frazier on the disabled list, Wilmer Flores is getting the starts at third base against right-handed pitching.  When the Blue Jays pitched J.A. Happ in the series finale, Callaway opted to have Flores play first, Luis Guillorme get his first professional start at third, and have Phillip Evans play left.

Based on the past few seasons, hitting left-handed pitching was one of the things Reyes had continued to do quite well.  Also judging from the past few seasons, Flores and his career -19 DRS at third base should never be called upon to play the position on an extended period of time.

And yet, here we are.  Flores is the top third base option, and Reyes is not getting any real playing time.  When he finally does get to play, he is unable to get any hits.

Put your personal feelings aside.  This applies to all Mets fans.  The group who still adores the homegrown player and sparkplug of the early 2000s.  The fans who can never forgive him for the domestic violence.  The younger crowd who may have seen him as an energetic player who helped the Mets capture one of the two Wild Card spots in 2016.  Everyone.

Ask yourself one simple question: Is Jose Reyes done?

When looking at Reyes’ career, you always thought the last thing which would go was the spark.  That smile.  The energy.  An excitement unlike almost any other player who has ever played the game.

Seeing his lackadaisical effort in his increasingly limited playing time, you don’t notice that same spark anymore.  It’s not that he’s going through the motions.  That’s an unfair statement.  It’s just that he’s not the same guy on the field.  It seems the boundless joy he had is slowing dissipating.

Seeing Guillorme start his MLB career the way he has, and seeing Gavin Cecchini bounceback after a down 2017, Reyes is getting pushed, and based upon this play on the field, he may not be able to push back, at least not hard enough to stem the tide.

Considering how well respected he is by ownership (despite his domestic violence past), it is incumbent upon them to work with Reyes to find him a respectable way to end his Major League career.  Something akin to what the Mariners did with Ichiro Suzuki.

Schedule a day.  Let him leadoff and start at short.  Let him get a bunt hit in his first at-bat, and let him depart the field to the chants of “Jose-Jose-Jose-Jose . . . Jose-Jose!”  Whatever you need to do to make it feel to Reyes like a respectful and fitting end before taking a front office or coaching job within the organization.

Really, whatever the Mets can do to get Reyes to agree to retirement will do because the one thing this Mets team cannot afford is to let him continue to play and drag a team desperate for each every win down.

Jake Great, Conforto Getting There In Win

There aren’t many things which are right with the Mets right now, but a big thing that’s right with this team right now is Jacob deGrom, and with him, we are seeing reports how the team may look to trade him.  Of course, the best way to do that is to win as many games as you can between now and the trading deadline.  Part of doing that is going out and not wasting deGrom starts.

Part of that is letting deGrom go out there and do his thing, and really he did his thing tonight.

In seven phenomenal innings of work, deGrom tied his career high with 13 strikeouts, and as noted by the great Michael Mayer, he became the 10th pitcher in Mets history to reach the 800 strikeout mark.  He also lowered his ERA this season to 1.75.

There are many ways to say how great deGrom was, but perhaps the best way to say it is his final line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 13 K.

He carried into the game and extended his scoreless inning streak to 24.1 innings.  It ended in the top of the sixth when Jake Lamb scored Steven Souza from first on a double.  On what was a truly bizarre play, Souza ran through the stop sign only to stutter step and then take off from home.  After Asdrubal Cabrera missed the relay, Adrian Gonzalez backed him up and nailed Lamb at third.

The Diamondbacks threatened in the seventh again with a Daniel Descalso leadoff double.  Being the great pitcher he is, deGrom settled down, and he got the next three out in order.

Fortunately for deGrom, this would be one of the few games where he got real run support, and it began with a first inning rally against Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley, and like with many Mets rallies this season, it all began with a Brandon Nimmo walk.

After Descalso botched what was at a minimum a force out, and quite likely with Cabrera’s speed a double play ball, runners were at the corners with no outs.

Wilmer Flores drove in the first run with a ground out, and then Michael Conforto came through with a big two out RBI single.

Conforto would repeat that feat in the fifth inning.  After a Flores two out walk and Jay Bruce walk, the inning was on Conforto, and he delivered with another RBI single.  It was part of Conforto’s first three hit night of the season and just the second four hit night of his career.  Overall, he was 4-4 with two RBI.

Really, the Mets need more of that from Conforto because he is not just the best hitter in the lineup, he’s the best hitter on the team.  When the team is without Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier, Conforto has to carry even more of the load.  He did it tonight, and if he continues doing it, like he did last year, this Mets team will be in much better shape.

Things got interesting in the eighth.  After a Conforto one out single, Gonzalez dropped a perfect bunt against the shift.  After a Jose Reyes pinch hit walk, the bases were loaded with two outs.  This led to Amed Rosario popping one out to Descalso, but he then dropped it.  Initially, it was ruled a drop leading to two runs scoring.  Upon the umpires commiserating, it was ruled an out meaning it was a 3-1 and not a 5-1 lead.

After Robert Gsellman and Jeurys Familia shut the door, deGrom had his fourth win of the season, and the team beat a Diamondbacks team who is having a very similar season to the one the Mets are having.  Hopefully, this weekend the Mets will take advantage of a reeling team like other teams have done to them over the last few weeks.

Game Notes: Juan Lagares, who suffered a toe injury in the rain soaked game is likely done for the year leaving the Mets with three healthy outfielders on the 40 man roster.  Jerry Blevins was activated from the paternity list, and he took Lagares’ spot on the roster.  Paul Goldschmidt had the golden sombrero.

Mesoraco, Lagares Come Up Huge

Heading into the game, there was much said about how Dave Eiland challenged or disrespected Noah Syndergaard in his saying Thor hasn’t accomplished much at the Major League level.  During the broadcast, it was discussed, and Ron Darling said as a player, he would have taken it the wrong way.

Whatever the case, Syndergaard seemed motivated by it in the first inning as he struck out the side while needing just 15 pitches.  You got all the more excited seeing Syndergaard knocking home Devin Mesoraco from first after he had drawn a leadoff walk against Jaime Garcia giving the Mets a 1-0 lead.  For a moment, it seemed as if things would go rolling on from there, and we would see the Syndergaard we saw prior to the lat injury.

Instead, we saw the Syndergaard we have seen all this season.

In the third, he allowed a one out single to old friend Curtis Granderson, who was playing his first game against the Mets since being traded to the Dodgers for Jacob Rhame last year.  After Josh Donaldson popped out, that should have been the end of any prospect of danger.

Instead, we got to see some of Granderson’s knowledge from his playing time with the Mets.  He would put himself in scoring position stealing a base, and he would hold at third on a Justin Smoak single.  It wound up being a terrible throw from Juan Lagares, but he charged the ball hard, and Granderson, being perhaps well aware of Lagares’ arm, held on third.  It didn’t matter because after Syndergaard plunked Teoscar Hernandez with a pitch, Yangervis Solarte hit a two RBI single.

On the single, it is quite arguable any other second baseman but Asdrubal Cabrera gets to that ball, but he didn’t leading the the Blue Jays taking the 2-1 lead.

Seeing how the Mets have played of late, this was a real danger sign.  Fortunately, the Mets offense would finally break out.

Beginning with a Jay Bruce double, the Mets would quickly load the bases for Syndergaard, who tied the score with a sacrifice fly.  Amed Rosario then nearly hit one out with the ball hitting the top of the fence and bouncing in instead of out.  In any event, it was a two RBI double giving the Mets a 4-2 lead.

It should be noted Jose Reyes, who started because with the left-handed pitcher on the mound, Wilmer Flores started at first and Adrian Gonzalez sat, somehow did not score from first.  Really, he did not score from first on a ball which was nearly a homer to one of the deeper parts of the park.  At best, this was shades of Timo Perez.  At worst, this is a player who no longer belongs in the majors.

Lagares would make sure both Reyes and Rosario both scored as he slashed a two RBI single to center, and even with Donaldson cutting it off, he would get to second ahead of the throw.

A Cabrera double after that, and the Mets not only had a five run inning, but they would also have a 6-2 lead. In the fifth, the Mets would add the runs needed to make this the laugher the Mets desperately needed.

Gonzalez, Rosario, and Brandon Nimmo would hit consecutive singles first scoring Mesoraco and later scoring Gonzalez.  After that Lagares hit an infield single to third allowing Rosario to score.

When Gonzalez pinch hit for Syndergaard that inning, it was the end of Syndergaard’s night, but really, he was going to be pulled after the fifth anyway.

As noted earlier, Syndergaard labored through the third, and he would do the same in the fifth needing a Hernandez double play to get out of the inning.  Overall, Syndergaard needed 103 pitches to get through five.  He walked an uncharacteristically high two batters.  While he’s been effective, he has not yet been Syndergaard this year.

Perhaps in an effort to save the bullpen a bit, Mickey Callaway had Seth Lugo pitch three innings before having Rhame close it out.  Lugo was dominant allowing just one hit while striking out four.

Finally, in the eighth, the Mets would put a capper on this game.  Lagares hit a leadoff triple, and he scored on a Luis Guillorme RBI single, his first RBI.  After a force out, Mesoarco hit his second homer as a member of the Mets expanding the Mets lead to 12-2.

All-in-all, a pretty good night for the Mets.  Mesoraco could not make an out going 2-2 with three walks, four runs, a homer, and two RBI.  Lagares was just as good going 4-5 with two runs, a triple, and three RBI.  Really, in a game like this, you are going to see everyone contribute somehow, and that’s what the Mets did.  The only hope now is the team left some hits in those bats.

Game Notes: The Blue Jays have never beaten the Mets in Flushing going 0-12.

Mismanagement, Vargas Has Mets Seeing Red in Blowout Loss

Well, if you were feeling good about the Mets after their win last night, those feelings were quickly dispatched.  Todd Frazier, arguably their second best position player all year, landed on the disabled list meaning Jose Reyes was in the starting lineup.  Worse than that, Jason Vargas was the starter.

Right away, Vargas loaded the bases, and he then allowed a Eugenio Suarez two RBI single to give the Reds an early 2-0 lead.  It was a minor miracle the Reds did not score more from that point.

However, they would score two more in the second with Suarez once again being the catalyst.  His RBI double scored Joey Votto from first, and he would come home on a Tucker Barnhart, the catcher the Reds kept, RBI single.

Overall, Vargas’ final line was 4.0 innings, six hits, four runs, four earned, two walks, and one strikeout.  As poor as that start was, it should be noted this was his best start this year.  With his pitching, you almost have to question why he’s guaranteed a starting spot while the team is keeping some pitchers in the minors and sending another one to Cincinnati.

That four run margin would prove to be enough for a number of reasons.

The first was Reds starter, Luis Castillo, no not that one, but then again it doesn’t really matter because nothing good happens to the Mets when there is a Luis Castillo on the field.  He would limit the Mets to just a single over the first five innings.

Finally, in the sixth, the Mets would break through on a Wilmer Flores one out homer.  Now, Flores did not start the game.  Rather, he was double switched in for Amed Rosario despite Rosario being the one Met with a hit, and Reyes being a terrible defensive shortstop.

The Mets would continue from there with a two out rally.  With consecutive walks to Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, and Adrian Gonzalez, the Reds forced home a run.  That’s when Mickey Callaway opted to pinch hit Brandon Nimmo instead of Juan Lagares or even the newly acquired Devin Mesoraco to face the left-hander Amir Garrett.

Nimmo struck out to end the rally, and things would only go downhill from there.

AJ Ramos was fighting it, but he kept the Reds off the board in the sixth, but he would allow a double to Scott Schebler, and with Votto coming up, Jerry Blevins would come into the game.  He got his man, but he would be pulled for Hansel Robles.

After a Suarez single, Scooter Gennett would have Robles pointing to the sky again with his three run homer giving the Reds a 7-2 lead.

Making this game worse was the fact the Mets had called up Corey Oswalt in place of P.J. Conlon to give them some length in the bullpen.  Of course, they called up Oswalt on three days rest instead of Chris Flexen on full rest.  The end result was Callaway ripping through his bullpen trying to save Oswalt’s arm . . . the very same Oswalt who was called up to supposedly help protect against that.

That’s embarrassing.  Almost as embarrassing as getting blown out by the now nine win Reds team.

Game Notes: On the eve of the game, Matt Harvey was traded to the Reds for Mesoraco.

Designating Harvey For Assignment Didn’t Go Far Enough

Given everything that has happened since Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, you can hardly blame Matt Harvey for refusing a minor league assignment and for the Mets designating him for assignment.  Ultimately, this is something which may prove beneficial to all parties involved.

For Harvey, he has a lot of work ahead of him.  Unfortunately, the same goes for the Mets, who for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, stopped their roster alterations at Harvey.

There is no doubt Harvey was under-performing, but at the time of the Mets decision he was the last guy in the bullpen mopping up games like the 6-0 mess left for him by Jason Vargas.  Rarely is the last guy in your bullpen the real issue with your team, and the Mets are not one of those exceptions.

One of the main issues with this time right now is the lineup.  With injuries, slumps, and flat out benching more talented players, the team needs to make changes there desperately.

One of the changes that needs to be made is to get Brandon Nimmo into the lineup everyday.  At the moment, Nimmo is hitting .256/.448/.442 with a 17.2% walk rate.  By OPS+ and wRC+, he is the second best hitter in the Mets lineup.  There is no justifiable reason to keep him as the fourth outfielder.

However, he is because the Mets are trying to make Adrian Gonzalez happen.  Well, if you go by his hitting .231/.311/.372 with a -0.4 WAR, it’s not happening, and it’s not going to happen.  Game-in and game-out, he’s showing why the Dodgers took on Matt Kemp to get rid of him and why the Braves were happy to pay him $21.8 million to go away.

Really, there is no reason why the Mets continue to trot him out there when they can put the hobbled Jay Bruce at first base.

Whether it is the plantar fascitiis or something else, Bruce has struggled this year and playing the outfield is doing him no favors.  Really, he and the team is best served by moving Bruce to first and allowing more athletic players like Nimmo and Juan Lagares play out there.

Again, the only thing standing in the way of the Mets optimizing both their defensive alignment and their lineup is a 35 year old with a bad back who already has a -0.4 WAR.

Speaking of players in their mid 30s, well past their prime, and standing in the way of more talented players, the Mets need to do something about Jose Reyes.

So far this season, Reyes is hitting .139/.184/.222.  To put that in perspective, the recently designated for assignment Matt Harvey was batting .286/.286/.286.  Put another way, Reyes is hitting like a pitcher . . . or worse.

That’s except when he’s coming off the bench.  When he’s pinch hitting, he’s not hitting at all going 0-9 with three strike outs.  When he substitutes into games, he’s 0-4.

Really, what’s the point of having a bench player who can’t hit when he comes off the bench?

Remember this was the same Reyes who posted a -0.6 WAR last year and his -26 DRS was the worst among Major League infielders.  There is really not hope there’s any upside.

Looking at Las Vegas, Gavin Cecchini is hitting .313/.359/.500 while mostly playing the middle infield with a game at short.

After a slow start, Luis Guillorme is in the midst of an eight game hitting streak that has seen him go 13-28 with three doubles and seven RBI.  After starting the year hitting .211/.338/.281, he’s not hitting .294/.394/.376.

In addition to Cecchini or Guillorme, the Mets could opt to go with Phillip Evans, who won a bench job out of Spring Training or Ty Kelly, who is once again dominating in Las Vegas hitting .300/.364/.600 with four doubles, four triples, six homers, and 21 RBI.

Even if you didn’t like the group as a collective, you’d be hard pressed to present an argument where they would not be able to get at least one hit while coming off of the bench.

Now, are Gonzalez and Reyes the only two problems?  Far from it.  The catching situation is still a mess, the bullpen is regressing, and every starter not named Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard has been completely unreliable.

That said, Gonzalez and Reyes are blocking more talented players who promise to be more productive than what we have seen from both players not just this year, but stretching back to last year.  If the Mets are truly interested in becoming a better team, these two need to join Harvey in looking for another team.

Post-Harvey Mets Rally Late And Still Come Up Short

Before the game, it was announced Matt Harvey refused an assignment to the minors, and in response the Mets designated him for assignment effectively ending his Mets career.  This may have been a long time coming, and arguably, you could see Harvey being scapegoated for a Mets team that has struggled since it’s incredible 12-2 start.

Well, Harvey might be gone, but the Mets problems still remain.

Zack Wheeler, who allowed five first inning runs is still inconsistent.  Michael Conforto is not hitting for any power, and really, he isn’t even getting on base anymore going 0-5with the golden sombrero.  Jay Bruce, for that matter, isn’t hitting for any power either.  Maybe there was an impact on Jose Lobaton, who was 1-4, and Amed Rosario, who was 2-4 with an RBI, but probably not.

No, we wouldn’t see Jose Reyes or Adrian Gonzalez bat, both of whom have been utterly terrible, and we did not see Jason Vargas, who by comparison made Harvey look like the 2013 version, and we’ll see what Steven Matz contributes tomorrow.

Overriding point is the Mets problems are still present even with Harvey gone because as bad as Harvey was pitching, he was probably fourth or fifth on lower on the tiers of what is actually wrong with this Mets team.

On the bright side, Bruce played first allowing Brandon Nimmo to hit leadoff going 1-4 with a walk.  Of course, he drew a walk.  He also scored on the Asdrubal Cabrera home run.  That provided a jolt that lasted until Charlie Blackmon hit a homer in the top of the second.

As bad as the five run first was or the Blackmon homer was, it was the Josh Thole-esque Tony Wolters hitting one to the top deck off Wheeler that was the worst.

By the time the Mets awoke, it was too late.  Todd Frazier‘s eighth inning two run homer made it 8-4. A ninth inning rally with Rosario knocking in Wilmer Flores, who hit a pinch hit double, made it 8-5   This led to Wade Davis coming into the game to close it out . . . just like he did in Game 5 of the World Series.

He allowed a Cabrera RBI triple and subsequently a Frazier RBI single to pull the Mets to withing 8-7.  It ended there as Conforto struck out to end the game.  Again, somehow Harvey being released didn’t fix him.

Starting tomorrow, it seems like the Mets are going to have to focus on the things that are actually wrong with the team.  Seeing how Reyes was re-signed in the offseason, no one should hold their breath.

Game Notes: With Harvey gone, Jerry Blevins and his 6.43 ERA is the worst ERA in the Mets bullpen.

 

Vargas, Whole Mets Team Terrible

Jason Vargas‘ last start of 2007 was a 3.1 inning effort where he allowed nine runs on 11 hits.  His first start of this season was a 3.2 inning effort where he allowed nine runs on nine hits.  Seeing that, you would only assume Vargas could only improve from there.

Seeing his start today, you would be right.  That’s the good news. The bad news is he’s still terrible.

A Nick Markakis double and Kurt Suzuki gave the Braves a 3-0 lead in the first, and they were off and rolling.

Really, at that point, the game was over.  It was.

Not only did the Braves have Julio Teheran on the mound, but the Mets had another one of their non-competitive lineups enragingly featuring Jose Reyes leading off and playing third.  To be fair, Reyes limited the damage by going 0-4 and misplaying what should have been a foul out.

To perfectly encapsulate both how this game and this series was, Teheran was 2-2 with an RBI and a sac fly.  The entire Mets offense had just two hits off of him, and those did not come until the seventh inning when the score was already 11-0.

That’s right.  11-0.

It got to that point because the Braves chased Vargas in the fifth with a Ronald Acuna and Markakis home run.  Matt Harvey would get the Mets out of the fifth inning jam, and he would pitch a perfect sixth.

Harvey’s velocity was back up to 95, and for a moment you caught yourself thinking maybe he turned the corner.  Well, he didn’t.  Not even close.  In the seventh, he allowed five runs on three hits and three walks.

After the game, you heard people like Nelson Figueroa say Harvey isn’t even a Major League pitcher anymore.  Of course, the silence on Reyes, who was terrible again, and Adrian Gonzalez, who wasn’t great again, was deafening.

Right now, there are a lot of problems with the Mets.  Fortunately, one of them isn’t Jacob deGrom, who appears to be healthy enough to make his next start.  So, there’s that.

Game Notes: The Mets entered this series without being swept or shut out all year.  They’ve now been swept and been shut out in consecutive games.

Cespedes Great, Rest of Team Not So Much In Loss To Braves

With the Braves sending to the mound RHP Mike Soroka for his Major League debut, you knew this was going to be a rough game for the Mets.  The players change.  The managers change.  Even the uniforms have changed.  And yet, somehow, whenever a pitcher makes his Major League debut against the Mets, you know he is going to shut the Mets down.

For a brief second, it seemed like Soroka would be the exception.  The Mets had two on and two out, but Todd Frazier would ground out to end the threat.  From there, it was pretty smooth coasting for Soroka.  Even with he was in trouble, he would be aided by an Adrian Gonzalez double play grounder in the third and a Mets team who was 0-4 with RISP.

Really, the only blip from Soroka on the night was one pitch he threw to Yoenis Cespedes:

Even in this frustrating loss, the good news was Cespedes was still sizzling hot even after his thumb injury which forced him to leave Sunday’s game.  On the night, he was 3-4 with a run, homer, and an RBI.  In the field, he made a couple of nice plays, and he had one of those trademark Cespedes throws:

The problem with the Mets tonight was they needed more than just Cespedes.  Ideally, that would have come in the form of Noah Syndergaard.

It wasn’t to be as the Braves were very aggressive against Syndergaard with many attacking the first pitch.  To start the game, the Braves got consecutive hits from Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, and Nick MarkakisAfter that Syndergaard settled in a bit, and he gutted through six innings.  That’s what a true ace does.  Even when he doesn’t have his best stuff, he finds a way.

Unfortunately, even with him figuring a way to get a quality start, the Mets just didn’t have it.  After Soroka, Dan Winkler, who was pressed into action after a Shane Carle injury got through the seventhIn the eighth, Michael Conforto, Cespedes, and Jay Bruce failed to plate Asdrubal Cabrera, who had led off the inning with a single off A.J. Minter.

In the ninth, the Braves turned to Arodys Vizcaino for the save, and Frazier got it all started with a single that bounced just in front of the diving Markakis.  Then, the Braves did their best Luis Castillo impersonation with seemingly their entire 25 man roster incapable of fielding a pop up to right before second base.

Amed Rosario twice tried to butcher boy it, and he swung and missed both times.  He then just fanned on the third pitch of the at-bat.  Still, the runners would advance on a Vizcaino wild pitch thereby allowing Frazier to score on a Wilmer Flores RBI groundout.  With the Mets down 3-2, the game was then in Jose Reyeshands.

In a surprise to no one, Reyes failed to deliver.

Game Notes: The Mets are now 7-9 since Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki went down.  Fortunately, Plawecki is a few weeks away.