Jose Reyes

Mets Do Just Enough To Lose

Heading into this year’s Yankee Stadium portion of the Subway Series, the Mets had a decided advantage in starting pitching. Yesterday, that led to a win with Noah Syndergaard on the mound.

Through the first three and a half innings, it seemed like it would be the case again with Steven Matz out-pitching Sonny Gray.

Up until that point, the Mets had a 1-0 lead due to a Michael Conforto second inning homer. That lead completely evaporated in the bottom of the fourth.

It started innocuously enough with a Giancarlo Stanton leadoff single. Then with one out in the inning, Matt den Dekker would make a number of defensive miscues starting with the Didi Gregorious RBI “triple.”

Throughout that fourth, Matz would make his pitches, but his team, specifically den Dekker, wasn’t making a play behind him. All told, it was a four run inning for the Yankees.

In the sixth, Conforto would get things started with a one out walk, and Jose Bautista followed with a walk of his own. This led to Aaron Boone lifting Gray and bringing in David Robertson.

With two outs in the inning, Amed Rosario hit an RBI single that not only brought Conforto home, but it allowed Bautista to go to third. It mattered because Robertson threw away a pickoff attempt allowing Bautista to score. The rally would end there as den Dekker struck out.

The Mets would quickly see the 4-3 deficit grow and grow.

In the bottom of the inning, Miguel Andujar doubled, and Greg Bird singled him home.

It’s hard to say Matz pitched well considering he surrendered five runs, all earned, but he did. The defense was that poor.

In consecutive innings, Tim Peterson and Anthony Swarzak would surrender a run to give the Yankees a 7-3 lead.

In the ninth, it seemed like Aroldis Chapman was in to pitch his inning and let everyone get home before the rain came later tonight. The issue with Chapman was he couldn’t get an out.

After loading the bases, he walked Jose Reyes and then plunked Brandon Nimmo. Suddenly, the Mets were down 7-5 with bases loaded and no outs.

Now, it should be noted Asdrubal Cabrera should have been due up. The problem was he was ejected in the fifth after getting tossed arguing balls and strikes. When that happened, he joined hitting coach Pat Roessler who was tossed in the third for the same issue.

Cabrera was replaced in the lineup by Devin Mesoraco (as a DH). He’d face Chasen Shreve who came on for Chapman, get the most important at-bat of the game, and he’d hit into a rally killing 4-6-3 double play.

Ty Kelly would score on the play to make it 7-6. Wilmer Flores then tapped out to Shreve to end the game.

With that, the Mets did just enough to lose. Just enough.

Game Notes: Jeurys Familia was finally traded to the Athletics. Yoenis Cespedes was unavailable as he was too sore to play. As it turns out, he also needs surgery to remove calcifications in both heels. The recovery time is approximately 10 months.

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.

A Mets Problem

I had a previously scheduled event at the precise time as first pitch yesterday. With the Mets 16 games under .500, that should not have been an issue. And yet, I couldn’t help but follow the game on my phone.

I was pumped when I saw the 7-0 led propelled by a Michael Conforto three run homer:

I got annoyed when I noticed Jose Reyes delivered a key hit fully knowing it would mean six more weeks without Jeff McNeil.

I was once again excited about how far Zack Wheeler has come, even with him allowing a homer to Matt Adams.

I then lamented how Wheeler may soon join Matt Harvey as an ex-Met as this dream rotation is dismantled before it really ever got off the ground.

The Mets bullpen, especially Anthony Swarzak for one-third of an inning, and Jeurys Familia held on. As for Familia, he’s great again in time to leave.

In the end, really, I write about the Mets because I love this team no matter how bad they are and no matter how awful ownership is.

Utley To Retire, Reyes Still Playing

Yesterday, Chase Utley had a press conference to announce he was going to retire from baseball at the end of the season.  As a Mets fan, this probably should make you elated.

After all, back from his days in Philadelphia, he has been nothing but a dirty player, and he has been a villain.  For proof of that look no further than that tackle which not only broke Ruben Tejada‘s leg, but it really ruined his career.  Just remember that as people write and talk about Utley being a hard-nosed player who “played the game the right way.”

Utley is also the guy who completely embarrassed Noah Syndergaard and the Mets.  Really, Shawn Estes‘ message to Roger Clemens was more heartful, and really much closer, than the message Syndergaard tried to send that night.  As a bonus, we did get that great Terry Collins‘ ejection video.

If you’ve been a Mets fan long enough, there are many, many, many more Utley moments which will instantly spring to mind.

So yeah, in a sense it’s good for the Mets that Utley is gone much in the same way it was good to see players like Chipper Jones retire.

However, the Mets and their fans are nowhere near a position to celebrate the retirement like Utley, even if he was a coward ducking the Mets and and their fans during the NLDS.

Ulitmately, it’s really hard to care when the Mets not only chose to employ the 35 year old Jose Reyes, but they also play him over Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, and really any player who could hit better than .164/.246/.227.

So, people can go ahead and celebrate Utley’s retirement and pretend like the bad guy is gone.  It’s not true.

The real bad guy, the one who is a Met right now because he threw his wife through a glass door, is still with the Mets, and he’s become a major impediment to the Mets organization moving forward and improving for the future.

So congrats on a great career to Utley.  He may have been dirty and ruined careers, but at least he didn’t beat his wife and complain to the press to help take playing time away from players he was supposed to mentor.

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.

 

Nimmo Hits First Walk Off Homer

Every fifth day, Mets fans are treated to a pitching duel. It’s Jacob deGrom against whoever the starting pitcher will be for the other team.

Tonight, that pitcher was Vince Velasquez.

Now, Velasquez occasionally shows some flashes. That said, this is a guy with a 4.69 ERA.

Didn’t matter for a Mets team historically inept at home (.207 home batting average).

Velasquez limited to no runs in two hits in six innings. The Phillies bullpen contributed two more scoreless including Adam Morgan coming on in the bottom of the eighth to get Michael Conforto to ground out to end a mini rally.

On the other side, deGrom was once again completely dominant.

In eight brilliant shut out innings, he allowed just five hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Because the Mets gave him absolutely no run support, he walked away with yet another no decision. It’s criminal.

However, for the second straight deGrom start, the Mets would win on a walk-off homer.

Mark Leiter, Al Leiter‘s nephew, got two quick outs in the 10th before Amed Rosario hit a two out double.

Then the third baseman drew a walk on a 3-2 count putting the game in Brandon Nimmo‘s hands. He would deliver his first career walk-off homer to give the Mets a 3-0 win.

Because baseball is sometimes comical, Robert Gsellman got the win. He now has six wins which is one more than deGrom.

Game Notes: In the third, deGrom popped up a bunt Maikel Franco let drop so he could turn an inning ending double play.

Mets Game As Pointless As Keith Reading The Media Guide

The Mets had Jose Reyes at third base, Ty Kelly in left field, and Drew Gagnon on the mound. Put another way, this was going to be a completely pointless game for a Mets team 16 games under .500.

Here’s how pointless this 7-3 game was – Keith Hernandez was reading passages from the Mets media guide about the Mets Hall of Famers.

The best thing from this game was Amed Rosario going 3-4 with two runs, two triples, and an RBI. What’s shocking is both triples were to left.

Tyler Bashlor allowed just one run on three hits in 2.1 innings.

P.J. Conlon pitched two scoreless while striking out three.

Dominic Smith singled in his only at-bat.

Perhaps most important, Wilmer Flores made an impressive play in the field.

With the score already 5-0, Scott Kingery popped up to shallow right. Flores made an over the shoulder catch and threw home to nail Carlos Santana to double him up.

It was a terrific play in a lost game in a lost season. Flores still cares. Be very careful before you trade him.

Game Notes: Mets are 0-13-2 in their last 15 series.