Kevin Plawecki

Orioles Beat Mets In Game No One Should’ve Watched

This was a matchup not even Gary Cohen to bring himself to watch.

The Mets and Orioles entered the night a combined 65 games out of first place, and the pitching matchup was Andrew Cashner against Jason Vargas.

Really, to put how dreadful both this game and the Orioles are, Vargas’ final line was 6.0 innings, five hits, two runs, two earned, three walks, and a strikeout.

Astonishingly, he had a 2-1 lead in the sixth before allowing a homer to Adam Jones.

That eliminated the lead from the Mets fifth inning rally. Up until that inning, the Mets were mostly stymied by Cashner, who retired the first 10 straight and 12 of the 13 batters he faced through four.

That changed with Brandon Nimmo drawing a two out walk and Todd Frazier singling. For a moment, it looked like that rally would sputter out with Austin Jackson hitting into a 6-4-3 double play.

However, Jose Bautista would draw a walk on a 3-2 pitch, and Kevin Plawecki and Amed Rosario would hit consecutive two out RBI singles.

After that rally, it was all Orioles beginning with the aforementioned Jones homer.

Bobby Wahl came on in the seventh, and he struggled mightily starting with a Chris Davis homer. Remember, Davis entered the night hitting .148/.242/.299. That’s not a typo. That’s just how bad a hitter he’s been this year.

After that, he issued a pair of two out walks leading to Mickey Callaway bringing in Paul Sewald, who allowed an RBI single to Renato Nuñez.

On the play, Frazier dove to stop the ball, but he deflected it towards center and past Rosario.

Sewald would get out of the inning without allowing another run, but he would allow a two run homer to Tim Beckham in the eighth giving the hapless Orioles a 6-2 lead.

After a Nimmo triple and Frazier RBI single in the ninth, it was 6-3 Orioles, which was the final score of this nearly unwatchable game.

Game Notes: The Orioles have the worst record in baseball and are 3-0 against the Mets

Mets Players Weekend Nickname Alternates

Last year, Player’s weekend was a hit as fans got to see their favorite players wear fun jerseys featuring their nicknames on the back of their jerseys.  Believe it or not, some of those were nicknames were rejected for various reasons.

For example, Brandon Nimmo wanted to use his Twitter handle, You Found Nimmo, but MLB was afraid of copyright issues.  When it came to Kyle Seager, he wanted to go with “Corey’s Better.”  With that rejected, he paid homage to his brother Corey Seager by merely noting on his jersey he was “Corey’s Brother.”

Well, the Mets officially approved Player’s Weekend nicknames and jerseys have been released.  However, as noted with Nimmo, there were other names the players wanted which were rejected by MLB:

Tyler BashlorMickey, I’m Available To Pitch

Jose BautistaTrade Value Going, Going, Gone!

Jerry BlevinsOne Magic LOOGY

Jay BruceJason Bay

Michael Conforto – Shouldering The Load

Travis d’Arnaud – d’L

Jacob deGromFewest Wins 4 Cy Young Winner

Phillip EvansDFA TBA

Wilmer Flores – 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Todd Frazier Regrets, I’ve Joined The Mets

Robert GsellmanDon’t Care What You Think

Luis GuillormeAssistant to the Regional Manager

Austin Jackson2019 Opening Day CF

Juan LagaresOut For The Season

Seth Lugo – Quarterrican (That’s perfection; you don’t mess with that)

Steven MatzNot So Strong Island

Jeff McNeil2B/3B/OF

Devin Mesoraco – Harvey’s Better

Brandon Nimmo – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Corey OswaltVargas (figured it was the only way he would get a start)

Kevin Plawecki – Plawful

Jose ReyesMelaza Virus

Jacob RhameStay (Refers to his roster spot and glasses)

Amed Rosario – Mentor Wanted

Paul Sewald AAAAll Star

Dominic SmithWaist And Future Gone

Drew SmithMickey, I’m Available To Pitch (Yes, it’s a repeat of Bashlor.  They’re trying to prove a point.)

Anthony SwarzakStill Just One Good Season

Noah Syndergaard 60’6″ Away

Jason Vargas$16 Million Dollar Man

Bobby Wahl After All, I’m Your . . .

Zack WheelerFinally Good

David Wright – Hurts Here Doc

Mets Bullpen Holds On

With the Mets continue to struggle, Homer Bailey, who entered the game with a 7.22 ERA against the Mets, was a sight for sore eyes.

The Mets quickly went to work against Bailey with three first inning runs highlighted by birthday boy Wilmer Flores opening the scoring with an RBI single.

Overall, it was a really good birthday for Wilmer. He would go 3-for-4 with a run, two RBI, and a HBP. As noted during the telecast, Flores was one of 14 players with three singles and a HBP on his birthday. Two of the other players were Lou Gehrig and Shoeless Joe.

That 3-0 first inning Mets lead grew to 6-0 in the strength of another Flores RBI single, and homers by Kevin Plawecki and Jeff McNeil.

That McNeil homer was absolutely crushed going way up the Pepsi Porch:

(Yes, it’s the Coke Corner now, but the Pepsi Porch sounds better).

That 6-0 lead was looking very safe with Noah Syndergaard dominating the Reds. That was until the seventh.

With one out, Syndergaard plunked consecutive batters. The Preston Tucker one really must’ve been bad as he was checked on by the trainers multiple times, and he could score from second on a Billy Hamilton single, and that’s even with Brandon Nimmo overrunning the ball in right.

Tucker would score on a Jose Peraza single which chase Syndergaard.

In a pleasant surprise, Mickey Callaway initially went to Bobby Wahl in the bases loaded one out situation. Given the Mets record, this is exactly what the team needs to be doing.

Wahl started by throwing three straight balls to Joey Votto. To his credit, Wahl battled back into the count getting two quick strikes. After Votto fouled off two, Wahl walked in a run making it 6-2 Mets.

Wahl rebounded by striking out Scooter Gennett on a 3-2 pitch.

After a tough couple of at-bats, and with Plawecki saving Wahl’s bacon a few times by blocking balls in the dirt, Callaway went to Robert Gsellman.

Gsellman would allow a two RBI single to Eugenio Suarez before getting out of that inning and pitching a perfect eighth.

In a surprise, Jerry Blevins pitched the ninth, and he recorded his first save of the season. In what has simply been a goofy year, Blevins has a start and a save this year.

Overall, the Mets won 6-4 in a game where we saw some good things from youngish players who could be pieces next year. That’s a pretty good day for the 2018 Mets.

Game Notes: Mets had a tribute video for Matt Harvey before the game. Luis Guillorme had an infield single in the eighth. With that hit, Guillorme extended his MLB best 50 at-bats without a strikeout.

Mets Fans Should Not Want Alonso Called Up

Last night’s starting lineup had Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, Austin Jackson, and Devin Mesoraco in it while Wilmer Flores, Luis Guillorme, Jeff McNeil, and Kevin Plawecki sat.

This isn’t really an anomaly as the aforementioned 30+ year old veterans on expiring deals have been getting regular playing time over the younger players.

Earlier this season, Dominic Smith was up with the Mets for a 31 game stretch. The 23 year old former first round pick started in just 16 of those games. During this time, Mickey Callaway described Smith as a bench player.

That’s better than what Guillorme got. Despite his not getting a chance to ever really prove himself, he was described as a pinch hitter and late inning replacement who should not be getting starts the rest of the year. Naturally, this was said on a day Reyes got a start at second.

Seeing how the Mets don’t play the young players when they’re here on how they seemingly go out of their way to disparage those players, as a fan, ask yourself why you would want Peter Alonso called up right now.

Do you want to see him on the bench behind Bautista, or in the event be actually does manage to return this year, Jay Bruce?

Do you want to see him get benched for failing to scoop out a Reyes throw in the dirt leading to his eventual (punishment) benching?

Do you want to see him sit and have the team refer to him as a late inning power threat off the bench?

Judging from what we’ve seen this year and the last, we know that’s what’s going to happen to Alonso.

With that in mind, again ask yourself, do you really want to see the Mets call up Alonso this year?

deGrom Has Off Night By His Standards And Loses

Tonight, Jacob deGrom pitched eight innings allowing just two earned on six hits. He struck out nine and walked one.

Believe it or not, this outing increased his ERA from 1.82 to 1.85. He lowered his K/9 from 10.7 to 10.6.

Put another way, deGrom has been so great this season that this qualifies as an off night for him.

He did his part to offset his “poor” pitching by driving home a run. That would be one of the Mets only two hits on the night.

To make matters worse, it’s not even like the Mets lost with the young players either:

  • You could almost understand playing the veterans to get deGrom a win, but it hasn’t worked so far this season. In fact, deGrom is the only pitcher in MLB history with a sub 2.00 ERA after 20 starts with fewer than seven wins.
  • Well, he doesn’t have seven wins. He’s stuck at five with seven losses.
  • As great as deGrom is is as bad as the Mets are. We are well past the point of ridiculous. This better not cost deGrom the Cy Young.
  • Game Notes: Before the game, Mickey Callaway said the Mets organization views Guillorme, a player they added to the 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, as a pinch hitter and late inning defensive replacement. He said this on a day the Mets started Reyes at second.
  • Mets Young Bullpen No Relief

    Heading into this series, Mickey Callaway said how he wanted to get a better look at his younger relievers and put them in higher pressure spots. With Jason Vargas starting for the Mets, you knew today was going to be the day.

    That was even the case with Michael Conforto hitting a first inning three run homer.

    Vargas would get through the first unscathed, but he would allow David Freese to hit a two run homer. This would be the first two of the five runs Freese knocked in on the day.

    While Vargas somehow got out of a fourth inning bases loaded jam, Callaway would lift him after he issued a one out walk to Jordan Luplow. At that point, Vargas had already thrown 84 pitches, and the Pirates were about to go through the lineup a third time.

    First up was Seth Lugo, who wasn’t as sharp as he’s been all season. After loading the bases, he allowed a two out two RBI single to Freese to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead.

    One of the two runs were charged to Vargas, who somehow lowered his ERA after allowing three in 4.1 innings. His season ERA is now 8.13.

    After his two-thirds of an inning, the Mets got him off the hook in the sixth in what was a rally that most fell short.

    After back-to-back walks to Conforto and Jose Bautista, Jeff McNeil laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt, which after a Edgar Santana error, loaded the bases with no outs.

    Kevin Plawecki struck out, Jose Reyes lined out, and Phillip Evans grounded out.

    Fortunately, the Mets would inadvertently score on the Reyes line out. On the play, Conforto faked down the line leading to Luplow trying the ball nowhere near home. As it rattled around the backstop, Conforto did score.

    In the bottom of the inning, Tyler Bashlor would get himself into trouble by loading the bases, partially due to him walking two batters. Bashlor got out of the jam by getting Josh Harrison to hit into an inning ending double play.

    After that, Bashlor would pitch a scoreless seventh.

    Jacob Rhame struck out two in a scoreless eighth leaving it up to Tim Peterson to get the Mets into extra innings.

    Harrison led off with an infield single. Amed Rosario made an incredible play to stop the ball, but he couldn’t get it to first with him on his backside. Gregory Polanco then ripped a line drive through the shift to set up runners at the corners with no outs.

    After walking the bases loaded to set up an out at any base, Freese hit a deep fly to right to end the game 5-4.

    Overall, there as some good work from these young Mets arms, but there was still speed bumps, even from those who pitched scoreless innings. Given where the Mets are, the team starting to get a real look at them made this a good game for the team.

    Game Notes: The Mets played one man short as right before the game Asdrubal Cabrera was traded to the Phillies.

    Mets Win A Series!!!!!

    Well, the impossible has happened. After 17 tries the Mets have finally won a series. It’s been a long time.

    The last series the Mets won was the May 18th – May 20th sweep of the Diamondbacks.

    At that time, the Mets were 23-19 and just 3.5 games back. The winning pitcher, Noah Syndergaard didn’t have any issues with his finger, or his hand, foot, or mouth.

    Adrian Gonzalez was the first baseman, and Jose Reyes was still a bench player. Jay Bruce was still able to play, and Yoenis Cespedes had two functioning heels.

    Today, the Mets won with Corey Oswalt picking up his first career win. His final line was five innings, three hits, two earned, two walks, and four strikeouts.

    In the bottom of the fifth, the Mets rallied starting with a Jose Bautista leadoff walk. He’d subsequently come around to score on a Kevin Plawecki RBI single.

    Later that inning, Mickey Callaway would face a tough decision. With two outs and the Mets down 2-1, should he pull Oswalt and chase the win, or should he keep Oswalt in and hope for another rally.

    Callaway opted to pinch hit for Oswalt despite his just having thrown 62 pitches. Callaway’s decision was rewarded when Phillip Evans hit a pinch hit RBI single to tie the score.

    The move looked even better when Amed Rosario hit a two RBI single to give the Mets a 4-2 lead.

    That lead grew to 6-2 with Bautista hitting a two run homer:

    Then considering it is the Mets bullpen at work, it was time to hold on for dear life.

    Once again, Tim Peterson didn’t have it. In the seventh, he allowed a Freddy Galvis two run homer to make it 6-4, and the Padres went right back to work.

    Robert Gsellman would relieve Peterson with one out and one, and he would preserve the 6-4 lead.

    Anthony Swarzak would then have his best outing as a Mets pitching two scoreless to pick up the save.

    For Swarzak, it was more than just two scoreless innings, it was his throwing 95 with a really good slider. Really, he looked like the guy who the Mets thought they were signing.

    Some more of that, and suddenly, things look much better for this team next year.

    Game Notes: For reasons no one can explain, Reyes started over Jeff McNeil. Before the game, Cespedes announced he el have season ending surgery.

    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.

    Kevin Plawecki Better Than You Think

    For some reasons, Mets fans become fixated on players from other teams, and there is a constant call for the team to acquire those players at all cost. In recent years, one of those players has been Jonathan Lucroy.

    Last night, Lucroy made Luis Castillo‘s gaffe not even worth mentioning. In the bottom of the 11th with one out and runners at first and second, Alex Bregman hit a ball right in front of home plate. Lucroy pouned on it, missed the tag, dropped the ball, and then threw it into Bregman’s back. As the ball rolled into right field, Kyle Tucker scored the winning run.

    No, it’s not fair to judge Lucroy from one play, but it does merit looking a little deeper into his stats. On the season, Lucroy is hitting .245/.298/.318. Since 2017, he’s hitting .257/.328/.352 with a 79 wRC+.

    Simply put, Lucroy isn’t the player Mets fans think he is, not anymore. The same rings true for Kevin Plawecki.

    In 2015 and 2016, Plawecki just was not a good baseball player. Rushed to the majors due to Travis d’Arnaud injuries, Plawecki hit .211/.287/.285 in the two year stretch which equated to a 59 wRC+.

    If you want to expand it further to the first two months of the 2017 season where he was again thrown into the majors due to a d’Arnaud injury, Plawecki started his career hitting .206/.282/.272 with a 55 wRC+.

    At 26 years old, Mets fans had seen more than enough, and they were not only too happy to label him a bust, but they have also been quite upfront about being done with him.

    Well, after being sent down in May 2017, Plawecki FINALLY received consistent playing time, and he got to put the work in at Triple-A he needed to do for the past two-and-a-half years. The guy who couldn’t hit was suddenly hitting .338/.386/.529 since his demotion. With Rene Rivera being released, it was as good a time as ever to see if Plawecki was for real.

    Well, since August 19, 2017, his first game since being recalled again, Plawecki has been hitting .256/.378/.417. Really, this is much improved from his play to start his career. Digging deeper into the numbers, he’s been much more impressive than you could actually believe.

    In this time frame, Plawecki ranks third in wRC+ among catchers. That puts him ahead of catchers like Buster Posey, J.T. Realmuto, and Gary Sanchez.

    Now, you may believe each one of the aforementioned catchers are better than Plawecki, and when you assert that belief, there are going to be very few if anyone who dares contradict you. However, making this argument completely misses the point.

    The point is Plawecki is continually showing himself to no longer the catcher from 2015 to the first few months of 2017 who had no business being in the Major Leagues. Regardless of where you want to rank him among MLB catchers, one thing is increasingly clear – Plawecki has the bat to play the position.

    Also, given his historical pitch framing numbers, he has the ability to be an everyday catcher at the Major League level. Saying differently ignores the progress he has made over the past year and asserts personal biases built up after the terrible start to his career.

     

    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.