In what is likely Terry Collins last game as the Mets manager at Citi Field, he went out the way he would’ve wanted to go out. No, not batting Jose Reyes lead-off while sitting Dominic Smith and Michael Conforto against the left-handed Braves starter Sean Newcomb. Although, we can be sure he was happy to do that. No, Collins went out a winner.
The main reason the Mets won this game was Robert Gsellman.
Gsellman would allow just one run over six innings while allowing six hits. That sole run came off an Ozzie Albies two out RBI single in the third. That wouldn’t be the Braves last threat.
In the fifth, the Braves loaded the bases with two outs with Mets killer Freddie Freeman striding to the plate. Gsellman would get out of the jam striking out Freeman: one of his four on the night.
Gsellman would depart in the sixth due to the bat of Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud would have all three Mets RBI on the night.
Gsellman led off the fifth with a walk, and Reyes followed with a single. After a Lagares strikeout, an Asdrubal Cabrera groundout moved Gsellman and Reyes to second and third for d’Arnaud, who delivered a two RBI single under the diving Swanson for a 3-1 lead.
The game would stay tight until the seventh when the Mets would blow the doors open with the help of a Freeman error.
That error proved costly as Smith would snap out of a 3-35 streak with a three run homer into the Coke Den.
.@TheRealSmith22's 3-run homer highlights the 4 run 7th. 😀
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 28, 2017
Surprisingly, the rally would continue. Matt Reynolds singled, and Nori Aoki walked chasing Johnson. The Braves substituted Ian Krol for Johnson. In what may prove to be Reyes’ last at-bat at Citi Field in a Mets uniform, he doubled home Reynolds and Aoki giving the Mets a 7-1 lead.
Jamie Callahan, Chasen Bradford, and Paul Sewald combined to pitch the final three scoreless innings preserving the 7-1 win.
This game closed a chapter in the legacy of Collins and perhaps Reyes. It’s very likely neither one of them will be Mets next year. For Collins part, he deserved to go out this way.
Through it all, he gave his all to the Mets and treated Mets fans better than any other Mets manager. Whoever takes over for him will have big shoes to fill on that front.
Almost five years ago to the day, R.A. Dickey took the mound for the Mets, and he earned his 20th win of the season all but locking up his highly improbable Cy Young Award.
While Dickey hasn’t been anywhere near that good since the 2012 season, he looked like that pitcher once again tonight. He controlled his knuckleball extremely well not walking anyone. He kept the Mets honest by throwing his fastball just enough.
Really, the Mets didn’t seem like they were going to touch Dickey until Kevin Plawecki hit what seemed to be the first mistake Dickey made all night for a two run homer. The homer pulled the Mets to within 3-2 making the game a bit more perilous for Dickey than originally anticipated when the inning began.
It would be a two out Amed Rosario triple that finally chased Dickey from the game. With Dickey having been a beloved Met during his tenure, he received a well earned ovation as he entered the dugout.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 27, 2017
In the second, Montero got himself out trouble by issuing a lead-off walk to Dansby Swanson. He scored on a Jace Peterson double, and Peterson scored on an Ozzie Albies RBI single. It was be enough to ensure Montero would finish the year with an ERA over 5.00.
On the season, Montero finished 5-11 with a 5.26 ERA. Keep in mind, this is what was deemed to be a resurgent year for Montero where the Mets think he could realistically be a contributor next year.
While the three runs were enough to ding Montero, it would not prove enough to give Dickey a win partially because Sam Freeman was snake bit.
The first issue was his issuing a one out walk to Nori Aoki. Johan Camargo would then throw the ball away on a Jose Reyes grounder setting up second and third with one out.
Asdrubal Cabrera then ripped a line drive that should have give the Mets the lead. It would only be a game tying sacrifice fly because Inciarte did it against the Mets again:
After a scoreless ninth from Jeurys Familia, the Mets would have a chance to walk it off. It was going to be difficult against A.J. Minter who has had a terrific rookie season.
The Mets would give the rookie his first loss of his career.
The game winning rally started with a Plawecki single, and Juan Lagares pinch ran for him. Terry Collins then uncharacteristically allowed Dominic Smith to face a left-handed pitcher. The decision was all the more surprising when you consider the Mets had a bench full of right-handed batters.
Smith rewarded Collins’ faith when he drew the first walk Minter has issued in his brief career. Not just a walk to a left-handed batter. First walk.
After Rosario failed to lay down the sacrifice bunt, Taijeron delivered with a single to left giving him the first walk-off hit of his Major League career.
Five years later, Dickey was great, and the Mets won the game. If this was really the end of his career, it was a fitting end for a pitcher that really helped turn the Mets around.
Game Notes: AJ Ramos has been unavailable with a bicep issue, and he may be done for the season.
The Mets played two ends of a doubleheader against the Braves with vastly different results.
When you look at the lineup on the first game, you can immediately guess which game they won and which one they lost:
- Nori Aoki
- Jose Reyes
- Brandon Nimmo
- Phillip Evans
- Dominic Smith
- Amed Rosario
- Juan Lagares
- Tomas Nido
- Chris Flexen
For his part, Flexen fought the good fight pitching five good innings allowing just one earned run. Then the sixth inning happened.
Josh Smoker would relieve Flexen, and he would allow all three inherited runners to score. The highlight (lowlight?) was Mets killer Freddie Freeman hitting a two run double.
With the lineup the Mets had, this game was all but over. The base running certainly didn’t help that Tyler Flowers threw out Lagares and Reyes trying to steal a base.
The Braves would score runs in each of the final four innings in the 9-2 blowout. The only Mets runs came off a Nido two run seventh inning double; his first career extra base hit.
Things would go much better in the second game of the double header because Seth Lugo was great.
Lugo pitched six scoreless innings allowing just two hits while walking none. He kept the Braves off balance striking out seven.
He’d get all the run support he needed from Travis d’Arnaud who had another big night in what has been a big month for him.
In the third, after Asdrubal Cabrera had an RBI groundout scoring Nimmo, d’Arnaud doubled home Lagares. The Mets 2-0 lead would become a 3-0 lead with a d’Arnaud eighth inning homer.
The Mets needed all the room they could get because Jeurys Familia had an adventure in his second save opportunity since coming off the disabled list.
After a Kurt Suzuki lead-off single, Familia made an error on a Freeman grounder to set up first and second with no outs.
Familia then bore down, and he got Flowers to ground out to end the game.
Between the two games, the Mets scored five runs. The runs were sufficient in the second half because the Mets had good pitching. That was a reason why the team was good in 2015 and 2016. For at least one night, you were reminded of those days.
Of course, with them getting annihilated in the first half of the doubleheader, you were reminded why the Mets are terrible this year.
Game Notes: Kevin Plawecki started at first base in the second game. With the Mets losing the first game of the doubleheader, they have officially gone the 2017 season without sweeping an opponent at home.
Yesterday, the Mets sold us own Noah Syndergaard making his first start since April followed by a “relief appearance” by Matt Harvey. T0day, the selling point was to see Jacob deGrom try to get t0 200 innings for the first time in his career and to see him get his 16th win of the year.
While the Mets largely disappointed, deGrom didn’t. Despite experiencing flu like symptoms, not too long after Amed Rosario had to be hospitalized, deGrom took the mound and gave his team every chance to win. However, deGrom would not get that win.
Part it was his giving up a two run homer to Trea Turner turning a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 deficit. Another part was his teammates really let him down today. To that end, it was not much different than most deGrom starts this year.
Things were really bad in the fifth. Michael Taylor led off the inning with an infield single to third that Phillip Evans couldn’t quite make a play on. Taylor then attempted a steal of second base, and he found himself on third after Travis d’Arnaud threw the ball into center field. A Jose Lobaton RBI single later, and the Nationals had an insurmountable 3-1 lead.
It was insurmountable because the Nationals had Max Scherzer going. As such deGrom’s final line of six innings, five hits, three runs, two earned, no walks, and 11 strikeouts wouldn’t be good enough for that win.
Really, after a Brandon Nimmo first inning home run, the Mets offense couldn’t get anything going. More than that, this offense was inept. This was apparent in the seventh when Victor Robles caught a Rosario liner in right and picked Evans off first.
— MLB Replay (@MLBReplays) September 24, 2017
The play helped kill what could have been a game tying rally. That play was even more magnified in the eighth.
With three straight singles, the Mets pulled within 3-2 with one out.
After a Nimmo strikeout and a d’Arnaud walk, the bases were loaded for Dominic Smith. It was a big moment for a big Mets prospect. The only problem is the Mets manager is still Terry Collins, a manager who has shown zero interest in developing these young Mets players.
Plawecki got ahead 3-1 in the count, but Solis would get back in the count and strike him out.
That ended the Mets last chance to beat the Nationals. Not just today, but the season.
Game Notes: Nimmo has struck out in 14 straight games.
Well, the good Rafael Montero we had seen become one of the Mets most reliable starters turned back into the Montero of old. In his four innings of work, Montero had allowed seven hits, two walks, and five earned runs.
The Marlins went to work against him right away with a Dee Gordon lead-off double. For a moment, it seemed like Montero would get out of the inning unscathed, but he would allow a two out RBI single to Marcell Ozuna. After a 1-2-3 second and Montero retiring the first two batters of the third, it seemed as if Montero had settled in and was ready to go deep into the game.
That was until a two out walk to Christian Yelich got the rally started. Yelich stole second and scored on Ozuna’s second RBI two out RBI single of the game. For a moment, it seemed as if Jose Reyes could make a play on the ball, but it went right by him. After a Justin Bour two run homer, the Marlins were up 4-0, and it became an easy game for Jose Urena and the Marlins.
The Mets would make things look better than they were. Travis d’Arnaud would hit a pinch hit RBI single in the fifth scoring Kevin Plawecki. Brandon Nimmo would hit a seventh inning homer to pull the Mets to within a manageable 5-2 score. It seemed like the Mets would have a chance with Chris Flexen pitching two scoreless innings in what might have been his best outing in a Mets uniform.
It was all for naught as the Marlins would play Home Run Derby against Erik Goeddel in the eighth. He allowed homers to A.J. Ellis, Miguel Rojas, and Giancarlo Stanton to turn a 5-2 lead into a 9-2 lead. For Stanton, it was his 56th homer of the year. Too bad for Stanton, he no longer has games against the Mets in his chase of Roger Maris.
To that extent, the Mets had maybe one win in what was a putrid sweep at the hands of the Marlins. The Mets will now get a day off, and they will come home for the last home series of the season. For the first time in two years, that does not involve a loss in a postseason series.
Game Notes: Amed Rosario missed his third straight game with a gastroenteritis.
If you want to see how important defense is to a starting pitcher, especially a ground ball pitcher, you need to look any further than today’s game.
With a better infield defense featuring Amed Rosario, who we all recall cannot pitch, and Phillip Evans in his first career start, Robert Gsellman reminded us of the pitcher we all thought was going to take a big step forward this year instead of the struggling one that doesn’t care.
Gsellman had that power sinker working today getting the Braves to drive the ball into the ground. With the better defense behind him, most of those balls turned into outs. Part of that was also Gsellman getting the ball inside. Credit there should go to Kevin Plawecki, who called a superb game.
Really, the only time the Braves got to him was when the infield defense failed him. On back-to-back plays in the seventh, Rosario made errors allowing Johan Camargo and Dansby Swanson to reach with one out. To Gsellman’s credit, he shook off the errors, and he got out of the jam allowing just the one run.
Gsellman’s final line would be seven innings, three hits, one run, none earned, no walks, and three strikeouts. Because his offense did just enough, he would get the win.
It was tough going for the Mets offense because the Braves started Julio Teheran has been great against them in his career. Entering today, he was 8-4 with a 2.56 ERA against the Mets.
That made the first inning rally all the more important.
Teheran would then lose his control a bit walking Brandon Nimmo, who had a typical Nimmo game walking twice, and Dominic Smith to load the bases. Rosario would knock in Reyes on an RBI groundout giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.
From that point until the ninth, the Mets would only get two more hits, both by Aoki, for the rest of the game. It didn’t matter because the two runs they did score were more than enough for Gsellman.
The Mets would put the game out of reach in the ninth. After a Rosario infield single and stolen base, Evans would hit his second career double and earn his first major league RBI.
After Evans’ double, Asdrubal Cabrera put a 10 game hitting streak on the line in his pinch hitting appearance. He now has an 11 game hitting streak after his two run homer giving the Mets a 5-1 lead.
AJ Ramos closed out the ninth with a scoreless inning. The win gave the Mets their seventh win in 10 games at SunTrust, which already makes it much more hospitable than Turner Field ever was.
Game Notes: Rosario was recently rated by Statcast as the fastest player in the majors. The Mets rank last in the majors in infield hits, bunt singles, and stolen bases.
After you get your brains beat out like the Mets did in Chicago, you want your ace taking the mound. The good news is the Mets had their ace taking the mound. The bad news is that their ace has become Rafael Montero.
That’s no slight on Montero, who had pitched much better of late. It’s more of an indictment on the Mets starting pitching staff who has the second worst ERA in the majors.
Tonight, Montero regressed a bit needing 108 pitches to get through 4.2 innings. It harkened back to the days when he couldn’t put anyone away. On the flip side, he only walked two batters. With Montero only pitching 4.2 innings, he didn’t qualify for a win.
He also didn’t qualify for a win because he reliqushed the lead in that turbulent fifth inning.
Cecchini got the rare start partially due to Amed Rosario missing tonight’s game with a hip injury which forced him out of last night’s game. Cecchini took advantage of the opportunity going 1-3 with a run and a double. He was also good at second showing range and helping start a double play.
Despite Cecchini playing well defensively, it was defense that cost the Mets this game.
The game winning rally started in the fifth when Brandon Nimmo misread a ball cutting in on a David Freitas liner. Hard to say it would have been an out with the correct read, but with Freitas’ speed, Nimmo might’ve been able to limit him to a single.
Freitas would score on a Ender Inciarte game tying single. Inciarte then put himself in scoring position with a stolen base. With his speed and Kevin Plawecki‘s arm, it really was only a matter of time before Inciarte stole that base.
After that stolen base, Montero walked Ozzie Albies. Worse yet, Montero threw a wild pitch during Freddie Freeman‘s at bat putting runners on second and third with one out. Freeman was then intentionally walked bringing Lane Adams to the plate.
Adams hit a sinking line drive that Nimmo made a great play on:
Nice catch Nimmo! pic.twitter.com/oOTGicmZIS
— Jim F (@TheFranchise41) September 16, 2017
It was a great play, but it was also a sacrifice fly giving the Braves a 3-2 lead.
The Mets would rally in the eighth staring with a two out Cabrera walk. After a Plawecki single, the tying run was in scoring position for Smith, the team’s leading RBI guy since he call-up. Unfortunately, he didn’t deliver.
With that, the Mets had a rather mundane 3-2 loss against the Braves. The real hope in watching this game is that Smith continues to hit for power, and Cecchini builds off of this game.
Game Recap: In addition to Rosario, Travis d’Arnaud sat a day after being lifted from a game. It is possible he was going to sit anyway with Plawecki having served as Montero’s personal catcher of late.
- You’ve been in a coma since 2014;
- You’re a much better gambler than Craig Carton; or
- You just started watching baseball this September.
Seriously, Montero and Plawecki have been much improved players at a time where it seemed even the Mets were beginning to give up on both of them. Finally, the Mets faith in both seems to be rewarded. Tonight was the latest example.
Plawecki has been much improved at the plate. It’s not just batting average or OBP, it’s his hitting for power.
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 9, 2017
His two run shot in the second inning was a no doubter. It was the second of the season and sixth of his career. It gave the Mets a 2-1 lead, and the team didn’t look back.
For the first five innings that was because of Montero. Except for a 1-2-3 first, he was in trouble all night long. Part of that was the re-emergence of his walks problem with Montero allowing five walks in five innings.
Still, while the walks re-emerged, the meltdowns didn’t. He made the pitches he needed to get out of jams and innings.
He then handed the call to Chasen Bradford, who has rebounded well from his one poor outing against these Reds at the end of August. In that outing, he gave up four runs without recording an out tonight. He got redemption pitching 1.2 scoreless striking out four.
He not only kept the lead, but he allowed the Mets to blow it open for their fourth win in a row.
Cabrera’s next double plated Nori Aoki in the seventh. This followed Aoki singling home Matt Reynolds and Jacob deGrom. Reynolds was hit by a pitch, deGrom pinch hit for Josh Smoker, and both advanced on a Jose Reyes sac bunt.
With the Mets having a 6-1 lead, it was an easy game for rookie Jamie Callahan to put to rest. It might’ve been the reps or the five run lead, but he looked more relaxed and composed. All the Mets look that way with the team playing much better of late.
Game Notes: Amed Rosario is feeling better, and he may play tomorrow v
With Reyes hitting two home runs, his 100th and 101st with the Mets, accounting for three of the Mets five runs. With the way Collins manages, Reyes will continue to be the lead-off hitter for the rest of the year. If Reyes and Collins come back next year, you know Reyes will remain as the lead-off hitter.
That’s why this September has been such a waste. We’re not finding out what we need to know about these players.
Players like Travis Taijeron, who was added to the 40 man only due to the myriad of injuries to the Mets outfielders. He was a player who flashed power in the minors who hit his first career homer against Amir Garrett in the second.
There’s Gavin Cecchini, who was hitless but made a great play in the field.
Seth Lugo got through six scoreless today by finally making it through the lineup without getting scored upon.
To a lesser extent, the Mets need to find out about Travis d’Arnaud who’s finally hitting again with Kevin Plawecki breathing down his neck. He got a six inning rally started with another opposite field extra base hit.
In the end, there are players the Mets need to learn about and develop. Instead, we’re getting Jose Reyes: Lead-off Hitter and Shortstop. The 5-1 win was nice. Focusing on player development would be better because that’s what the Mets need.
Game Notes: Phillip Evans was called-up to the majors, and he made his MLB debut lining into a double play with the bases loaded in the sixth. To make room for him in the roster, Steven Matz has been put on the 60 day DL.
Whenever you see Brandon Nimmo, you see him grinning ear to ear. Well, tonight he gave Mets fans reason to smile.
That smile never gets old @You_Found_Nimmo. 😁
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 8, 2017
In a surprise decision, Terry Collins made Nimmo the clean-up hitter tonight. Despite, Nimmo not hitting for much power in the minors, he looked every bit the clean-up hitter tonight.
It was a career night for Nimmo who went 3-4 with three runs, a double, two homers, and three RBI. Oh, and of course, he drew a walk.
One of those homers was the start of back-to-back homers with Juan Lagares:
Two solo shots, same celebration. #LGM
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 8, 2017
The Nimmo performance and Lagares homer was part of what was a terrific night for the Mets. Now, it wasn’t just terrific because the Mets won 7-2; it was terrific because of who contributed to the win.
That started with Matt Harvey.
Harvey, starting on normal rest, took a step in the right direction. He pitched five innings allowing two runs on five hits. It was far from a perfect performance, but it was an improved one.
We saw his slider get a little sharper as the game progressed. After allowing runs in consecutive innings to start the game, he allowed just one hit from the third inning through the fifth. Had he not been on a pitch limit, it’s likely he would have pitched the sixth.
Once Harvey left, the Mets bullpen was very good. Josh Smoker struck out the side in the sixth. Jeurys Familia had his best outing of the year pitching two scoreless. While not a save situation, AJ Ramos closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
At this point of the season, it’s really not about wins and losses inasmuch as its about how the Mets are playing. Tonight, the Mets won getting key contributions from important people. That made this a night that gave you reason to smile.