Jose Reyes

Flores Walks Off Before Walks Kill Oswalt

Well, it was a topsy-turvy doubleheader with the Mete earning a split. With a lot to digest, instead of paragraph form, it might be easier to make some quick points:

  1. This was a Zack Wheeler start from earlier this season with him not making it through the fifth.
  2. Seth Lugo continues to both confound and be a weapon by pitching 2.2 scoreless in relief.
  3. Asdrubal Cabrera must really want to go to a contender because he was 2-4 with a double, homer, and two RBI.
  4. With Todd Frazier landing on the DL, Jose Reyes started both games, and according to Mickey Callaway, Reyes will get the bulk of the playing time.
  5. The Mets will continue to keep Dominic Smith languishing on the bench and refuse to call up Jeff McNeil, who the team only views as a 2B now.
  6. Pinch hitting for Tim Peterson in the 10th, Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off home run. He’s now the Mets all-time leader in walk off RBI (10).
  7. Mets won the first game 4-3 in 10 innings.
  8. Corey Oswalt looked much improved in the second game of the doubleheader starting things off with four perfect innings.
  9. In the fifth, Oswalt walked three batters. The first two led off the inning. The third was intentional so Oswalt could face Aaron Nola, who entered the game as a .067 hitter. He would hit a bases clearing double.
  10. Nola was dominant allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out 10 over 7.0 innings.
  11. Entering the ninth inning, there were two hits total in the game, and yet, the Phillies lead 3-1.
  12. Callaway opted to bring in Jerry Blevins and force Gabe Kapler‘s hand. Kapler opted to go with that .190 hitter. over Odubel Herrera. Kapler went with Jesmuel Valdez who struck out.
  13. Flores ninth inning double to pull the Mets to within 3-1. Mets would lose by this score.
  14. There was a pop up with Amed Rosario calling for it. Instead, Reyes took it from him, and he walked away right as Rosario looked miffed.
  15. Mets lost the second game 3-1.

Mets Prove Again They’re Awful

Want a perfect encapsulation of what the 2018 Mets are?  Look no further than what happened in yesterday’s game.

Nathan Eovaldi was working on a perfect game entering the seventh inning.  Brandon Nimmo stepped up to the plate, and he broke it up with a single.  This was followed by Wilmer Flores striking out on three pitches, and Asdrubal Cabrera grounding into an inning ending double play.

At that point, the Mets were already down 7-0 because Chris Flexen pitched poorly, and his pitching was exacerbated by the defense behind him, which was just as poor if not worse.  After three innings, he was relieved by Chris Beck, who was once again terrible.

The final score was 9-0 with Paul Sewald, who replaced Jerry Blevins, who had been placed on the bereavement list, didn’t quite have it again.

Overall, this is just a bad baseball team, and they’re not even losing with a purpose as the team is starting Jose Reyes over Amed Rosario, and Dominic Smith plays once in a blue moon.  To make matters worse, he is playing well out of position in left field.

Simply put, this is bad and unwatchable baseball.

Game Notes: Nimmo was not named an All Star despite leading all NL outfielders with a 148 wRC+.  This leaves Jacob deGrom as the lone Mets representative.

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.

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.

Mets Blogger Roundtable: Is Callaway In Over His Head?

Initially, we planned to run a roundtable on our thoughts about the job Mickey Callaway is doing, but with Sandy Alderson announcing his cancer has returned and due to personal issues, it turns out that roundtable needed to be delayed.

Being a glass half full kind of person, the Mets performance did little to change the opinions set forth on the job Callaway has been doing with the Mets:

Roger Cormier (Good Fundies)

Well, Gary Apple called him ‘Mickey Collins’ the other day. That should say enough. Someone on Twitter correctly noted that if Aaron Boone was the manager of the Mets and Mickey helmed the Yankees, those teams’ current records would be exactly the same. *That *should say enough, except the sentences that “say enough” kind of talk over one another, don’t they? So I’ll say that I don’t think we should say “enough” to Mick, while acknowledging he is over-matched, since this fact is obvious yet forgivable. It’s his first time doing this, and none of his coaching staff can say they’ve managed a major league club before without lying. He’s also dealing with a much more crowded kitchen, full of men who think they are cooks because they bought chef costumes, than he could have possibly imagined.

Mark Healey (Gotham Baseball)

He might be overmatched for the city, not the job. When he said “New York is tough on players,” I think he may have been admitting he wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of media and fan pressure. Willie Randolph played here, and he couldn’t handle it either. I think he’s been forced to follow a script, which is why I think so many of his moves have backfired — much like Terry Collins — but I also thinkhe’s made a few of his own dopey decisions. He reminds me of former New York Giants defensive coordinator Rod Rust; whose read and react defense stifled his own team.

End of the day, if you’re going to struggle and you’re going to lose, lose young and lose playing aggressive. I can take losing, I watched the 1978 Mets. But this guy is boring me to death…

Greg Prince (Faith and Fear in Flushing)

Callaway increasingly comes across as the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s terrific before a season or a game, when nothing has yet gone wrong. In game and afterward, it’s a debacle.

There must be an immense disconnect between how he presented himself while getting the job and everything we’ve seen since the middle of April, as if he just never fully accounted for what managing in real time would be like.

I often listen and get the gist of what he’s saying as he attempts to explain away the latest loss (or losing streak) but am amazed at how he only makes it worse. It’s not the biggest part of his job, but it is an element. Eloquence isn’t everything, of course. We’d also take a tight-lipped winner.

Editor’s Note: Greg wrote a more extensive piece on his thoughts about Callaway on FAFIF.  It’s well worth a read.

Mets Daddy

Initially, I did not believe Callaway was over-matched for the job in the sense he was unable to do the job well from a personal standpoint.  However, I did believe him being over-matched in terms of the roster and talent at his disposal on a nightly basis.  When your end game options is watching Jose Reyes pop or ground out in a pinch hitting attempt and picking who from Chris Beck, Jerry Blevins, Hansel Robles, Paul Sewald, etal you want to blow the lead, you’re going to look over-matched.

That said, Callaway made a decision yesterday which has given me pause.  After Reyes completely dogged it on a grounder Saturday night, Callaway double switched Reyes into the game.

If Reyes was hurt, give him the extra day.  If he wasn’t, he needs to be benched.  In either event, Reyes can not play a day after completely dogging it.

However, he did play, which now makes all questions about Callaway’s ability to control the game and the clubhouse fair game.

Once again, I want to thank everyone for the well wishes and these excellent writers for contributing to the roundtable.  Please make sure you take time to read their great sites, and there’s no excuse this week with a link being provided to FAFIF.

Bad Mets Team Wins Poorly Played Baseball Game

On the one hand, you knew it wasn’t June anymore because the Mets beat the Marlins 5-2. On the other hand, things aren’t that different because they played a really sloppy game.

The thing is the Marlins played an arguably sloppier one. To that end, we shouldn’t be surprised these two teams set the game of baseball back a few years.

Even with the comedy of errors, three Mets errors to be precise, Steven Matz kept the Marlins at bay.

Oddly enough, the one time the Marlins scored off of him, it featured a Matz error.

Miguel Rojas hit a one out double, stole third, and he scored with two outs when Matz couldn’t field a Dan Straily bunt.

As alluded to earlier, Matz made one of three errors with Asdrubal Cabrera and Todd Frazier making the others.

Like Matz, who lowered his road ERA to 2.25 after allowing no earned in 5.1 innings, Cabrera and Frazier would contribute to the win.

Cabrera hit a third inning solo homer off Straily. In the eighth, Frazier hit an RBI double which gave the Mets a then 4-1 lead.

That would become a 5-1 lead when JT Realmuto got cute and tried to pick Frazier off third. Instead, he threw it away allowing Frazier to score.

The Mets other runs came from a Kevin Plawecki second inning RBI double and a Matz fourth inning RBI single.

The Mets held onto win because they finally got some good pitching from the pen. Of course, it helps when you use Seth Lugo, Tim Peterson, and Jeurys Familia.

One note on Lugo entering. He came in with one out in the fifth after Matz threw 109 pitches.

With Amed Rosario making the last out of the top of the sixth, and Mickey Callaway wanting some length from Lugo, he double switched Jose Reyes into the game.

That cannot happen.

Just yesterday, Reyes blatantly refused to run a ball out because he claimed to have felt something. As a result, he needed to be benched today.

He needs to be benched because: (1) he dogged it; (2) he’s hurt; or (3) both.

In any event, the Mets finally won and are out of the basement of the NL East.

Game Notes: It was revealed Dominic Smith has been dealing with a wrist injury which required an injection. Purportedly, that’s why he hasn’t been playing.

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.

On Day Of Tears, Wilmer Delivers Walk-Off

Coming off the news their general manager, the man who brought all of them to the Mets, was once again fighting cancer, and he was going to take a leave of absence, which was phrased more like a termination, the Mets seemed game to win one for Sandy Alderson.

In the first, surprise leadoff hitter Jose Bautista led off with a single off Pirates starter Chad Kuhl.  After two quick outs, he found himself on third after an Asdrubal Cabrera walk and a Kuhl wild pitch.  Both runners would score on a Wilmer Flores seeing eye single through the left side of the infield.

From there, the Pirates would make three errors, Pirates pitching would throw three more wild pitches, and Kuhl would leave early due to injury.  They would not be able to take advantage of any of it, which put Steven Matz in a precarious situation.

To start the game, Matz was terrific, and he would not yield a hit until David Freese hit a leadoff single against him to start the inning.  That leadoff single would create some trouble for Matz.

Elias Diaz would double putting runners at second and third.  Both runs would score on successive RBI singles from Jose Osuna and Gregory Polanco.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Mets would have an opportunity to reclaim the lead for Matz.  After Kevin Plawecki was hit by a pitch, the Mets would have runners at first and second with two outs.  Jose Reyes would fly out to left to end the inning.  On the play, Pirates outfielder Austin Meadows almost overran the ball, but he recovered in time to make the inning ending catch.

That all loomed large as it allowed Mickey Callaway to give Matz the seventh.  With two outs in the inning, a terrific outing was spoiled as Polanco hit what looked to be the game winning homer.

Fortunately for Matz, the Mets would bail him out as Michael Conforto delivered hit own two out home run in the bottom of the inning to tie the score anew.

With Matz off the hook, Callaway initially went to Anthony Swarzak to keep the score tied in what would become a truly bizarre top of the eighth.

With Josh Harrison following a Meadows one out walk, Callaway took no chances, and he brought in Jeurys Familia.  Familia used his fabled sinker to induce what should have been an inning ending double play.  That never materialized as Reyes took his sweet time not only getting to the ball, but also flipping it to Cabrera.

With Harrison making a good hard-nosed slide, Cabrera had little choice but to record the out and jump to avoid the slide.  That offended Familia who got into words with Harrison leading to the benches clearing.  Things died down when Cabrera hugged Harrison, which was something the booth did not take kindly.

Familia still got out of the jam, and he pitched a scoreless ninth.  Tim Peterson, who has been very good in limited duty, followed with a scoreless tenth.

In the tenth, Conforto got things started with a leadoff walk against LHP Steven Brault.  Things got more interesting when Todd Frazier followed the walk with a single.  After Cabrera popped up not one but two bunt attempts, with the second one being caught, Flores would get his third walk-off hit of the season with a single down the third base line.

On a day of tears, it is quite fitting that Flores would be the guy to get the game winning hit.

Game Notes: Before the game, Luis Guillorme was sent down and Gerson Bautista was called up in his place.  Flores now has nine walk-off RBI which ties David Wright‘s club record.

Guillorme Deserves Better Treatment Than This

If you had the pleasure of watching Luis Guillorme play middle infield in the minor leagues, you had the privilege of watching a virtuoso at work.  He had the ability to make the impossible seem plausible, the difficult seem easy, and perhaps just as impressive to make the routine look routine.

Defensively, he could be the best player in the entire Mets organization this side of Juan Lagares.  Offensively, well, he had work to do.

While he had work to do, he continued to make strides.  Over the past three years in the minors, he increased both his walk rate and his wRC+.  He worked both on bunting and hitting the ball with more exit velocity and a better launch angle.  Really, he was working to do anything he could do to make himself a Major League hitter.

When he was called up to the Majors on May 11th, he may have been making progress, but he was not ready to make the leap to the majors.  However, with his being on the 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft and the team facing a number of injuries, he was needed in the majors.

It’s been a struggle for Guillorme since getting called-up.  Not only was he asked to play third, a position he had not previously played as a professional, but he struggled at the plate.  With those struggles, he has become buried on the bench being nothing more than a pinch hitter.

During this stretch, a stretch which may potentially stunt his development, Guillorme said nothing.  No complaints.  No excuses.  Nothing.

That was the case yesterday when he made a couple of errors and another misplay.  Instead of whining about rust, lack of playing time, and not being in the best position to succeed by his manager Mickey Callaway, Guillorme owned up to his mistakes and made no excuses.

Seeing how hard he works as a player, and seeing his making no excuses, why is he used as a pinata for those people who want to call upon Jose Reyes to play more for some reason or other.

That’s just one example of the unfair treatment Guillorme has received from those in the media who would rather have a wife beating bad baseball player get more playing time.  The narrative on Reyes has gotten to the point where they suggest he has not been put in a position to succeed, which is completely absurd because Reyes was getting the playing time befitting a utility player, which is what he signed on to be.

As an extension, the people holding the water for Reyes and the Wilpons decide that since they can’t defend Reyes based upon his play on the field, they would rather trash a player like Guillorme.

It’s nonsense, and it has to stop.

Day-in and day-out, Guillorme is there waiting for his chance.  He’s working on his game.  He’s not speaking to Matt Ehalt of nj.com and saying things like, “I believe in what I can do.  But it’s hard for me if there isn’t opportunity out there.”

Nope, Guillorme keeps to himself and works hard.  His reward?  People going out of their way to trash him for making the simple mistake of getting called up before he was ready, arguably still out-performing Reyes, and being the being labeled as the guy who is preventing Reyes from getting in the lineup.

Guillorme deserves better than this garbage treatment.

Embarrassing Mets Lineup Does The Expected

For quite a while, Mets fans have bemoaned the ridiculous lineup with Eric Campbell and John Mayberry, Jr. hitting in the middle of the lineup.  As bad as that lineup was, tonight’s ridiculous lineup might have taken the cake.

Despite Luis Guillorme arguably being the best defensive shortstop in the entire Mets organization, he started the game at third with Jose Reyes, a player who has been a bad everything for a few years now playing the most important position on the infield.

Dominic Smith started the game in left field because for some reason the Mets wanted to get another look at Kevin Plawecki at first base.  This meant the far superior pitch framer in Plawecki was at first base while Devin Mesoraco caught.

Taking it slightly a step further, because of the injuries to pitchers, Seth Lugo, a man who looks like Andrew Miller in the Mets bullpen, was pressed into another start.

Really, looking at this lineup, you have to wonder if the person making that lineup wanted to get fired.  Considering Mickey Callaway essentially let it be known he didn’t want to play Reyes, he may not be the person filling out the lineup card.

Whatever the situation, it was a sick joke, and it was a joke that had no one laughing, especially not Lugo.

The good news for Lugo was he would allow just one earned run in his five innings pitched.  The bad news is when he left the game in the fifth, the Mets trailed 3-0.  The reason for that is the defense behind him was terrible.

What was a surprise was both of the errors leading to the unearned runs came from Guillorme.

Guillorme couldn’t field a ball off the bat of Starling Marte.  Marte was probably safe anyway, but it was ruled an error.  The first batter of the game reached, would promptly steal a base, and he would eventually score on a Josh Harrison sacrifice fly.

It was Harrison who reached on a two out throwing error by Guillorme in the third.  He’d score on an Elias Diaz single.  It should be noted that was a ball Rosario probably fields.

Really, the only earned run against Lugo was a second inning Gregory Polanco second inning solo shot.

After Lugo labored through five, partially due to his defense abandoning him, it was time for Tyler Bashlor to make his Major League debut.  He was rudely welcomed to the big leagues by a Josh Bell excuse me opposite field line drive two run homer.

Other than that, Bashlor looked pretty good in his two innings, and it made you question why the Mets have been subjecting their fans to the Chris Becks and the Jacob Rhames of the world.

While none of this was a surprise, okay, the Guillorme defensive struggles was a bit of a surprise, the Mets fighting back in this game was a bit of a surprise.

After Jameson Taillon dominated the Mets for six innings, the team would finally get to him in the seventh.

A pair of doubles by Reyes and Plawecki scored the first run.  After Tyler Glasnow entered the game, Guillorme walked, and Wilmer Flores hit a pinch hit three run homer to pull the Mets within 5-4.

That prompted Clint Hurdle to bring in Steven Brault.  He walked Michael Conforto putting the tying run on base with no outs.  The rally would die there as Jose Bautista struck out, and Asdrubal Cabrera hit into an inning ending double play.

In the eighth, the Mets put two on with one out.  That rally fizzled as Plawecki struck out, and Guillorme grounded out.

That was pretty much it for the Mets.  In his second inning of work, Robert Gsellman couldn’t get through the ninth unscathed.  This time a tough play for Guillorme was scored a hit.  Gsellman would do well to limit the Pirates to one run when they had the bases loaded with one out, but really, who cares at this point?

The Mets aren’t doing nearly enough to win games, and now, they are putting out embarrassing lineups.

Game Notes: To make room for Bashlor on the roster, Chris Flexen was sent down to Triple-A.