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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the second straight season, the Mets are launching a write-in campaign for one of their outfielders left off the ballot. Last year, it was Michael Conforto. This year, it is Brandon Nimmo. While the write-in campaign will likely be unsuccessful, it is likely Nimmo will join Jacob deGrom on this year’s All Star roster.
While deGrom has previously been an All Star, he has not been one in consecutive seasons, which is partially due to his stepping aside for Bartolo Colon in 2007. In any event, the Mets have had 20 players be named All Stars in consecutive years. Can you name them? Good luck!
Tom Seaver Jerry Koosman Bud Harrelson Willie Mays Jon Matlack John Stearns Jesse Orosco Keith Hernandez Dwight Gooden Darryl Strawberry Gary Carter Sid Fernandez Frank Viola Todd Hundley Mike Piazza Pedro Martinez Carlos Beltran Jose Reyes David Wright Billy Wagner
There’s shooting yourself in the foot, and then there is doing what the Mets did against the Rockies today.
Somehow, the Mets grounded into five . . . FIVE! . . . double plays.
Each one of them were brutal.
Bautista would be erased when Kevin Plawecki grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
In the third, after Brandon Nimmo hit an RBI single to pull the Mets within 5-2, Frazier would hit into the inning ending 5-4-3 double play.
Speaking of Reyes, he can’t field and doesn’t know how to use sunglasses:
How is Reyes to know to put his sunglasses on? He's only been alive for 35 years. pic.twitter.com/5GbS3AvmIs
— Good Fundies is short for Good Fundamentals (@goodfundies) June 21, 2018
Finally in the eighth, after the Mets pulled themselves to within 6-3 on a Flores sacrifice fly, Devin Mesoraco hit into the inning ending 5-4-3 double play.
You combine all of these double plays with Steven Matz allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks in 5.2 innings, and you have all the makings of a 6-4 loss.
Much of the game was deja vu back to the previous game.
That really put the Mets behind the right ball despite their breaking out for three runs in the first.
Still, despite falling behind 6-4, the Mets would take the lead with a four run fifth.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two RBI single to give the Mets a 8-6 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, right after the Mets retook the lead, the Rockies took it back with Ryan McMahon hitting a three run homer to give the Rockies a 9-8 lead.
At this point in time, it appeared like this was going to be a classic back-and-forth Coors Field game. It certainly felt that way in the sixth as the Mets loaded the bases with one out and Rockies reliever Harrison Musgrave having lost the strike zone.
In a surprise decision, Callaway tabbed Kevin Plawecki to pinch hit instead of Amed Rosario. Perhaps it was the reliever having lost the strike zone and Callaway wanting a hitter who has a better read of the strike zone.
In any event, the choice was Plawecki, who worked a full count, swung at a borderline pitch which was probably ball four, and he hit into the inning ending double play.
That was it from the Mets. After that, there were no more rallies. With the Rockies scoring a run off Anthony Swarzak in the bottom of the sixth, the final score would be 10-8.
Suddenly, a Mets team who appeared poised to make a little run is now just hoping to earn a split.
The hapless Mets offense had gone searching for a place to have an offensive breakout. Their tour took them to hitter’s parks like Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Arizona. All hitter’s parks, but form them to be hitter’s parks, you need to have hitters. The Mets haven’t, at least not until recently.
Finally, the Mets made it to the hitter’s paradise that is Coors Field. After two good performances to close out their series against the Diamondbacks, this Mets team was primed for an offensive explosion. That would begin with Brandon Nimmo leading off the game:
Over-the-fence home runs are becoming a little too easy and conventional for Brandon Nimmo. pic.twitter.com/52B07uHPWa
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 19, 2018
It was Nimmo who hit the go-ahead homer in Sunday’s big comeback against the Diamondbacks, and it was him homering again to lead-off the game.
With that Nimmo homer, Jacob deGrom was in a rare position. He had a lead with himself on the mound. If you had any concern about how deGrom would handle these uncharted waters in a ballpark like Coors Field, you shouldn’t. One again, deGrom was great.
Through eight innings, deGrom limited the Rockies to two runs (one earned) on five hits while walking one and striking out seven. This made deGrom the rare pitcher who came to Coors Field and actually lowered his ERA. It now stands at an MLB best 1.51.
Though it’s criminal it took this long, deGrom finally got his fifth win of the season. That happened because the Mets offense finally exploded.
One important thing to note about this game is the Mets organization has long shied away from having either Nimmo or Conforto face Major League left-handed pitching. In a game started by the left-handed Tyler Anderson, both Nimmo and Conforto had great games:
- Nimmo: 4-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
- Conforto: 3-4, 2 R, 2B, BB, SB
At that point, the Mets lead 6-2, and the game was pretty much on hand. That said, with this being Coors Field, it didn’t hurt the Mets added on some insurance runs.
In a six run ninth inning, the Mets batted around, and the Mets would score runs on:
- Mesoraco bases loaded walk
- Bautista bases loaded walk
- Amed Rosario two run double
- Nimmo two RBI single
After that, it was 12-2. After a scoreless ninth from Paul Sewald, the Mets have finally have won three games in a row. That is in no small part due to their bats waking up scoring 22 runs over three games. To put that in perspective, the Mets offense only scored 21 runs over the 13 games prior to Saturday’s victory over the Diamondbacks.
Game Notes: Bautista replaced Jay Bruce from the starting lineup after he was once again scratched due to injury.
Well, with two outs in the ninth, this once again appeared to be a typical Mets loss.
After Todd Frazier‘s first inning sacrifice fly, the Mets couldn’t muster more than a run.
The offense couldn’t muster more than a run.
While Zack Wheeler pitched well allowing just two earned on three hits in six innings, for the fourth time in five starts, he couldn’t hold onto a narrow margin.
Jay Bruce came up to the plate as the go-ahead run on two different occasions,and he failed to deliver.
In his first game off the disabled list, Jeurys Familia performed like most of the bullpen allowing the Diamondbacks to score an eighth inning insurance run to give them a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead.
After two quick outs in the ninth, the Diamondbacks choked this one away.
This set the stage for Brandon Nimmo to hit the go-ahead two run homer.
While Brad Boxberger and the Diamondbacks were still dazed from the events leading to them blowing a two run lead with two outs in the ninth against an inept Mets offense, Asdrubal Cabrera would go back-to-back increasing the now Mets lead to 5-3.
This was enough room for Robert Gsellman to record his third save of the season.
With that, the Mets have won consecutive games for the first time in a month. Coincidentally, that time was also against the Diamondbacks.
This team looks better the last few days, and it will be interesting to see where the Mets go from here.
Game Notes: With his drawing two walks, Michael Conforto has reached safely in four of his last five games.
Last night, despite the Mets being mired in what was become an absurd slump, the entire Mets team was on the top railing. They were almost willing something to happen.
In the postgame, Mickey Callawaytalked about how much closer the Mets team was. It was a sentiment met with derision or eye rolling.
With the Diamondbacks starting the left-handed Patrick Corbin and with the Mets ineptitude against left-handed pitching, it seemed like the Mets offense was going to have to wait another day to finally break out.
Well, baseball is a funny game because this was the day the Mets offense broke out.
Actually, it wasn’t really the Mets offense. It was really Michael Conforto:
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 17, 2018
The homer coming off a LHP, which the Mets told us Confurto could turn hit, gave fans all the more reason for optimism.
It was more than just the three run homer from Conforto. In the sixth, he would also double home Devin Mesoraco.
That increased the Mets lead to 5-1 with the five runs scored being the most amount of runs scored by this Mets team since the McKinley administration.
The fourth run was scored on a Corbin wild pitch in the third. Just so you know the Mets are still the Mets, that wild pitch also put Todd Frazier at second with just one out. The Mets could not get him home.
The five run lead held up because Steven Matz was terrific. He kept the Diamondbacks at bat limiting them to just one run on six hits and one walk through 6.2 innings.
He would get into a bit of trouble in the seventh with Deven Marrero and Daniel Descalso hitting back-to-back one out singles. The second of which was deflected by a diving Dominic Smith, who could not make the play.
The Nick Ahmed grounder up the middle looked like trouble, but Asdrubal Cabrera showed more range than he has in over a fortnight. Cabrera got the ball and flipped it to Amed Rosario out raced Jay to the bag for the final out of the inning.
Believe it or not, it was smooth sailing from there with the Mets pulling out a 5-1 victory.
Game Notes: Gsellman became the first Met to use the Diamondbacks bullpen cart
With the way things are going with the New York Mets, it is becoming increasingly clear this team will be in position to sell at the trade deadline. The question is what in the world do the Mets have to sell.
Well, the biggest asset the Mets have right now is Jacob deGrom. If he was ever truly available, you would have 29 teams lining up to give you their best prospects. The problem with that is, you could assume the Mets will not deal with either the Yankees or the Nationals. With the Yankees, you are taking one deep farm system off the table, and that is assuming the Yankees would part with their top prospects in a trade with the Mets.
Overall, based on recent comments from Sandy Alderson, it does not appear the Mets are trading deGrom anytime soon, which is a relief because Sandy really does poor work at the trade deadline. He’s much better working deals in the offseason.
So when looking at players to trade, you obviously begin with guys on the last year of their deals. Well, the Mets don’t have much to offer there:
Jerry Blevins – the LOOGY has a 5.28 ERA, 1.761 WHIP, and a 6.5 BB/9. Worse than that, left-handed batters are hitting .351/.415/.514 off of him.
Jose Bautista – When he was released, the Mets were seemingly the only team who called him, and it’s hard to imagine teams giving up much for a second division bench player with a .366 SLG.
Asdrubal Cabrera – A year after the Mets found no takers for him, they may be in the same position after having him play through injuries. Since April 24th, he’s hitting .233/.269/.423 while playing the worst defensive second base in the majors (-10 DRS).
Jeurys Familia – If he returns from the DL healthy, Familia has real value because he has once again shown himself to be a good reliever and closer. The issue with him is Sandy Alderson flipped Addison Reed, who was healthier and having a better year, for an uninspiring group of Gerson Bautista, Jamie Callahan, and Stephen Nogosek.
Devin Mesoraco – Briefly, Mesoraco was a revelation showing power and helping buttress a struggling Mets lineup. The hot streak has worn off, and he’s hitting .107 with no extra base hits over his last nine games.
AJ Ramos – Ramos is contemplating season ending shoulder surgery. That would take him off the table. The same can be said for his 6.41 ERA.
Jose Reyes – He’s the worst player in all of baseball this year; one the Mets are reportedly asking to retire.
Alright, so the Mets don’t have much in terms of players on expiring deals. Maybe, the team can look at players whose deals are expiring after the 2019 season:
Todd Frazier – The normally durable Frazier landed on the DL, and he has not been the power hitter he has been in his career. The positives are he’s kept a solid walk rate while playing a solid third base. Overall, he’s the type of player who is of more value to you than to what you would get back in a deal.
Jason Vargas – He’s now a five inning pitcher with a 7.39 ERA.
Zack Wheeler – Wheeler is an interesting case because he has shown promise, but he is still prone to the occasional hiccups. He’s probably not due for a large arbitration increase from his $1.8 million, which should be enticing for a Mets team who probably doesn’t want to spend $8 million to replace him with next year’s Vargas.
So, right now, looking at the expiring deals by the end of the 2019 season, the Mets assets basically amount to Familia and maybe Frazier and Wheeler. Arguably, Frazier and Wheeler are not bringing back the type of players who would be key pieces of a rebuild. To that extent, you at least have to question why you would move them on a Mets team with a fairly solid core which includes Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Noah Syndergaard, and deGrom.
And really, past that group, there isn’t much else available for the Mets to trade to justify blowing it up.
Jay Bruce is injured, and he already looks like he’s in a group with Jason Bay and Vince Coleman for the worst free agent mistake in Mets history. Yoenis Cespedes is both injury prone and has a no trade deal, which will likely limit their ability to move him.
Really, what the Mets need to be doing is some soul searching.
Much like they did when they extended David Wright, the team needs to assess whether players like deGrom and Syndergaard will be here when promising young players like Andres Gimenez, David Peterson, Justin Dunn, Mark Vientos, and Jarred Kelenic are here to open the Mets next World Series window.
If they’re not, you’re doing the franchise a complete disservice by hanging in this if everything breaks right structure. Really, things only broke right in 2015, and the team has been ill designed every since.
Blow it up now, or start spending money on players like Manny Machado this offseaosn. If you’re not doing that, this Mets team isn’t going anywhere for at least the next decade.
The Mets lost this game 7-3. Sadly, one of the reasons for the loss was Seth Lugofinally having a poor game.
The guy we all want in the rotation allowed five earned on eight hits in five innings pitched.
It really was an off night for a guy having a great season. Unfortunately, despite Lugo bailing out the Mets several times this year, the Mets could not bail him out.
In the second, after a Dominic Smithdouble, the Mets had runners at second and third with no outs.
Sure, Alex Avilabailed out Godley more than a few times by stopping a few balls in the dirt with a runner on third. But really, this was in an inept Mets offense.
Things looked interesting with a Smith fourth inning homer off the foul pole to make it 3-2.
In the ninth, a bewildered Mets team stood at the top railing almost willing something to happen.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Mets are really bad right now.
Game Notes: Smith made an appearance in LF