Perhaps, it is unfair to suggest J.D. Davis was the reason the New York Mets lost. After all, in baseball, it is really more than just a player, play, pitch, or at-bat.
The Mets were down 3-0 after former Los Angeles Dodger Rich Hill allowed homers to Trea Turner, Albert Pujols, and Chris Taylor. With the Pujols homer that was one 40 year old homering off another one.
The Mets would begin to mount a comeback against Max Scherzer in the fifth beginning with a Brandon Nimmo solo homer. The inning continued, and Michael Conforto would have a tough at-bat with two outs to draw a walk with the bases loaded.
This brought J.D. Davis up to the plate. If you were expecting anything other than a strikeout, well, you haven’t been paying attention all season. This was the fifth time he did it all season in five such tries. Again, it was a fastball over the heart of the plate.
Didn't have his best stuff today, but legendary strikeout here from Max Scherzer to get outta the jam pic.twitter.com/IhDRIAbyId
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) August 21, 2021
The shame was after Miguel Castro loaded the bases with no outs walking in a run, Jeurys Familia got the Mets out of the jam further unscathed. Pete Alonso would also hit a two run homer off Blake Treinen to pull the Mets to within 4-3.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 21, 2021
That would be the final score, and it was an extremely frustrating one at that.
As for Davis, well, the Mets decided they’d rather let him sink the season. It doesn’t matter he doesn’t play defense, run the bases, and isn’t hitting. In the end, the Mets just seem to be accepting his blaming everyone else for his inability to produce.
The New York Mets briefly fooled us. For a brief moment, Mets fans actually thought the Mets were game and could possibly get a win.
The Mets had fallen behind in the fourth when Rich Hill lost it. Honestly, with Hill, you expect it to happen at some point in the fourth or fifth.
The rally continued anyway with the Giants getting three more hits. Wilmer Flores had the third driving home the second run of the inning. Things might’ve gotten worse, but Miguel Castro got the Mets out of the jam.
What’s shocking is the Mets, who seemed dead in the water, rallied. It was all the more surprising against Kevin Gausman.
After the first two reached, Pete Alonso drove a two RBI triple to Triple’s Alley to tie the score. He then scored on the rarest of rare things, a Dominic Smith sacrifice fly. Improbably, the Mets had a 3-2 lead.
That lead was very temporary. In the very next inning. Kris Bryant hit a two run homer off Castro. It was his first of two on the night.
Trevor May took the mound in the seventh. He struggled and didn’t look right. Theres certainly an explanation for it with his wincing on the mound. Whatever the case, Belt and Bryant homered.
Later on in the inning, Brandon Crawford hit an RBI trouble extending the Giants lead to 7-3. At that point, it was game over.
Yes, Jonathan Villar would hit a two run homer in the eighth, but it was really window dressing. The reason is the Mets ability to hit with RISP is non-existent.
Case in point was this inning. Brandon Drury followed with yet another pinch hit. The tying run was on base with one out as the Mets flipped the lineup.
At the end of the day, the Mets lost 7-5. They’ve now lost four in a row again. They’ve done it twice in less than two weeks. Heads typically roll after games and stretches like this.
Game Notes: Alonso’s triple was the first for the Mets in 68 games).
The New York Mets began the suspended game down 3-1. Rich Hill volunteered to pitch earlier than his spot because the Mets needed a starter. He’d be far from the only person who stepped up on the day.
Now, while Hill stepped up, he wasn’t great. The deficit grew to 4-1 in the second when Victor Robles hit an RBI double.
Then, something happened to the Mets offense. That something was Joe Ross. As fans, we tend to focus on the Mets killers of the world, but we overlook the Rosses of the world who just wilt when they see the orange and blue.
Brandon Nimmo awoke the offense with a leadoff double in the third. That led to the dreaded bases loaded no outs situation. Michael Conforto got the Mets past the mental hurdle of never scoring with an RBI groundout. This sparked a three run inning tying the score at 4-4.
It was the first time in a week the Mets scored more than three and just the second time all month. Whether it was Ross or not, the Mets offense seemed to be clicking.
They needed it to because Hill ran out of gas in the fifth. After allowing the first two to reach, he allowed a Luis Garcia two RBI double putting the Nationals up 6-4. That’s when the Mets went to the bullpen to ask Jeurys Familia to stop the bleeding.
Familia didn’t exactly do that. The first batter he faced, Riley Adams, drove home Garcia with an RBI single. After a sacrifice bunt, he was in scoring position. That set the stage for Jeff McNeil to save the game.
In what was a flashback, Alcidies Escobar, a 2015 Kansas City Royal, was up against Familia with the opportunity to end the game. He’d rip a liner, but McNeil got higher than we’ve ever seen him robbing an RBI base hit and ending the inning.
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 11, 2021
The Mets then started chipping away at that lead. In the bottom of the inning, McNeil drew a leadoff walk, and he was still there with two outs. On a 3-2 pitch, a clearly hobbled McNeil was running when Conforto ripped an RBI single through the shift.
The Mets have sliced a run off of the lead. pic.twitter.com/H1QBJNocxG
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 11, 2021
Thanks to a double clutch from Carter Kieboom on the relay McNeil scored easily. Conforto tried to advance on the throw, but he was caught in a run down easily making the last out.
Gabe Klobosits relieved Ross to start the seventh. Nimmo would led off the inning with a single. Two batter last later, Pete Alonso came sooo close to giving the Mets the lead. Instead, it was an RBI double pulling the Mets within a run.
Pete was thiiiiiiiis close to tying the game
But it's an RBI double 🙌 pic.twitter.com/HpvsSJtg3f
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 11, 2021
While the Mets wouldn’t get the lead there, they finally would in the eighth. With a runner on second, Jonathan Villar was up there hybrid bunting, that is, he was up to sacrifice, but he always bunts to get a base hit.
That always puts extra pressure on the defense, especially with his speed. Nationals pitcher Mason Thompson fielded it rather cleanly and easily, but he appeared to rush the throw leading him to throw it away. The tying run scored, and Villar was in scoring position.
The Mets have tied the game!! pic.twitter.com/njP49RumzQ
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 11, 2021
Later in the inning, we’d see pinch hitting extraordinaire Brandon Drury. For some reason, just like Matt Franco in 1999, some pinch hitters just get locked in at the plate. That’s been Drury this year, and he delivered again with a go-ahead RBI single through a drawn-in infield.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 11, 2021
Astonishingly, that was the first Mets lead in 43 innings. Somehow that seems impossible. Then again, the Mets have been terrible of late losing four straight and nine of 10.
The Mets got to this point not just due to the offense but the bullpen as well. Familia, Miguel Castro, Drew Smith, and Trevor May combined to pitch four scoreless allowing just the two hits. They walked none and struck out two.
While the Mets were armed with the lead heading into the ninth, they weren’t out of the woods. The very mercurial and rusty Edwin Diaz was coming in for the save, and the first batter he’d face was Juan Soto.
Diaz made quick work of Soto striking him out on four pitches. With Soto down, it was effectively game over at that point. Diaz hit the easy save, and the Mets finally won a game.
This is what we envisioned the Mets offense can and should be. There are reasons why he saw it happened with Ross being one of them.
There was also Nimmo being a table setter. McNeil was spraying the ball, and Alonso’s talk about the process produced tangible results.
Mix in Conforto getting further away from COVID and returning to form with some luck, which is always needed, and you get a huge Mets win. The key now is to build off of this.
Game Notes: The second game of the doubleheader was rained out. The Mets signed Josh Reddick to a minor league deal.
After all that, the 3-0 lead became a 7-3 deficit, and it looked like Pittsburgh all over again. In actuality, it was, but it was like the series finale.
Michael Conforto got the comeback started with a two run homer in the fourth.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 20, 2021
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 20, 2021
It was a brand new game, and it would stay tied into the seventh. Miguel Castro departed with one on and two out. He didn’t get out of the inning as J.D. Davis had his typical difficulty getting the ball out of his glove thereby costing the Mets of any chance to get an inning ending double play.
At that point, Nido had a double and an RBI. James McCann had been scuffling amidst an 0-for-11 streak. Naturally, when Jauss tabbed McCann to pinch hit for Nido, he hit a go–ahead two run homer.
That shouldn’t been enough for a 9-8 win. The problem was for the first time in his career, Edwin Diaz would blow three straight saves.
Part of that was Diaz walking Kyle Farmer to start the inning. The other part was Jauss unnecessarily having Diaz pitch to Winker. Predictably, Winker hit the game tying single to tie the game at 9-9.
In extra innings, the took advantage of the dumb gimmick when McCann singled home the go-ahead run. Remarkably, the ball double tapped his bat on the singles. It was 10-9 heading into the bottom of the inning.
With all the bullpen usage, the Mets opted for Anthony Banda for the save. It didn’t go well. Two batters into the inning, there were runners on first and second with Tyler Naquin driving home the tying run.
After that, Jose Peraza made an impact against his former team starting the around the horn double play on Eugenio Suarez‘s grounder. He’d then get the put out on the ensuring Shogo Akiyama grounder to send the game to the 11th.
Brandon Nimmo led off the 11th putting runners at the corners. After a poor Alonso at-bat, McNeil delivered the go-ahead single giving the Mets an 11-10 lead.
For some reason, with Banda of all people up, the Mets put the contact play on. The end result was Nimmo getting nailed at home. Fortunately, the Mets weren’t done as Kevin Pillar and Conforto would go back-to-back.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 20, 2021
That 15-10 lead was enough for even Banda. Although, he did test that allowing back-to-back one out singles pulling the Reds to within 15-11.
With that, May saved hid second in a row and third of the season. That’s a testament to the never give up mentality of this never give up clubhouse.
Game Notes: Mets are 177-0 all-time when scoring at least 12 runs. Johneshwy Fargas was designated for assignment. Travis Blankenhorn was optioned to Syracuse. Eickhoff and Stephen Nogosek were called up.
If you thought blowing a 6-0 lead entering the bottom of the eighth was bad, Taijuan Walker only lasted one-third of an inning. In that one-third, he allowed SIX runs.
The key moment of the inning was a Kevin Newman hit ball Walker tried to touch foul. Instead, the umps called it fair. While Walker argued, and J.D. Davis aimlessly walked towards the third base coaches box not even pretending to care to make a play, the Pirates scored three runs to take a commanding 6-0 first inning lead.
Luis Rojas has been ejected from the game after 3 runs scored on this ground ball up the third base line: pic.twitter.com/dDECsIlOpt
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 18, 2021
Luis Rojas argued the play as vociferously as we’ve ever seen him argue with an umpire. Between that and a bump, he’d get tossed.
Walker departed as well. He’d be replaced by Drew Smith. Over 2.2 scoreless innings, Smith gave the bullpen some much needed length, and he kept the Mets in position to get back into the game.
The Mets would do that. First, it was a Dominic Smith two out RBI single making it 6-1. In the ensuing inning, Travis Blankenhorn came up to pinch hit for Smith, and he hit his first Major League homer.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 18, 2021
Suddenly, it was 6-4 in the fourth. That meant the Mets were back in the game. They’d stay in the game because the bullpen was phenomenal.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 18, 2021
Just like that, it was a one run game. After Jeurys Familia pitched an adventurous yet scoreless eighth, the Mets had a chance. Those chances improved when Smith hit a lead-off single. Then, Michael Conforto had his biggest hit of the year.
— JoseShoulders7 (@JoseShoulders7) July 18, 2021
Conforto has been heating up of late, and we’ve seen him hit for power again. When he hits like this, no deficit is insurmountable, even a 6-0 first inning one.
This was a game where we saw how special and resilient this Mets team is. They responded to a 6-0 first inning deficit with 8.1 scoreless. Wins like these makes you believe they can win the World Series.
The New York Mets had a golden opportunity with seven straight games against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Somehow, they started the stretch with a split:
1. Blowing a five run first inning lead to the Pirates is completely unacceptable.
2. Part of blowing that game was bullpenning. As correctly noted by Zack Braziller, if you’re the Mets, you do that you should choose a seven inning game and not the nine inning game.
3. That game was exactly why they waited so long on calling the Jacob deGrom start.
5. It’s odd that Rojas and the Mets don’t trust Drew Smith. For the most part, when he’s been called upon, he performs.
7. . Taijuan Walker was a very deserving All-Star, and it will be great to see him pitch on Tuesday. It’s still shocking to believe the Mets were his only offer.
10. With the draft last night, and Kumar Rocker fortunately falling to the Mets, its interesting to note with Smith, Nimmo, and Conforto, the Mets starting outfield is all first round picks.
11. This is just another reminder of how just impossibly good the Mets are at drafting. They really don’t pay those guys enough money.
13. On that note, it’s interesting to hear Rojas say he’s not giving Davis the job back. It’ll also be interesting to see what exactly the Mets do with the position at the trade deadline.
14. Seeing the series against the Pirates, the Mets main need at the deadline seems to be the bullpen. Too many of their guys are tired and have been pushed too much.
16. The Mets offense has shown they can be clutch, and they’ve shown the propensity for the big inning, but we’re not seeing them be able to sustain an onslaught throughout a game.
17. Luis Guillorme continues to be clutch and a good pinch hitter.
18. Heading into the break. deGrom is the Mets best pitcher, and Lindor is the best position player. For all the hysteria, that’s what you ultimately expected.
19. For all the disappointment and consternation over this split, the Mets are still in first place heading into the break.
The NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers came to Citi Field with their pitching lined up. It was the Mets who took two out of three:
1. While the consternation of the split doubleheader seven inning games is justified, the larger issue is the fact seven inning doubleheaders exist.
2. The extremely long rain delay at Citi Field was the first of the Steve Cohen era, but when you’re trying to get an extra Jacob deGrom start, you do it.
3. Recently, deGrom has gone from super-human to merely being just the best pitcher in baseball.
4. deGrom is correct. With his sitting out the All-Star Game, Taijuan Walker absolutely should take his place.
6. It should be noted they’ve all been so good lately (and for the last few years) we shouldn’t blow it out of proportions. That goes double when you see how they combined to win Monday’s game.
8. Speaking of that moment, Luis Rojas had an excellent series and was pushing all the right buttons. For example, one under the Radar move was pinch running Billy McKinney for Alonso in the late innings, which permitted him to get the faster runner and reset the defense.
9. One thing which is becoming increasingly obvious is Brandon Nimmo is the most important hitter on this team.
10. Jeff McNeil is turning a corner (i.e. getting some luck), and his game winning hit was a huge moment for him and the team.
11. That doubleheader really was a tale of the bases loaded. In the first game, McNeil delivered the walk-off hit. In the second, they literally struck out.
12. We don’t know if it’s the early usage, the lack of substances, or something else, but Miguel Castro looks done.
13. James McCann had a great AB in the first game of the doubleheader fighting for that walk to load the bases. It’s indicative of just how good he’s been lately, and how he’s outplaying J.T. Realmuto (h/t Brian Mangan).
14. Great job by Robert Stock to give the Mets a credible start in the second game of the doubleheader.
15. Giving him 89 is the continuation of a dumb practice of forcing Major Leaguers to try to prove they deserve a real number.
17. If the Mets won’t move McNeil to third, third base is their biggest hole and most important area to attack at the trade deadline. Josh Donaldson would make a lot of sense.
18. Of course Adam Fox is a Mets and Rangers fan. It’s because he’s awesome.
19. Win or lose, this Mets team has no quit. That makes them a very special group, and the Mets may not want to tinker too much with the clubhouse.
20. The Mets have seven straight against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s time to make a big run.
With the New York Mets in first place and there is earnest discussion over what the Mets should add at the trade deadline. With all the injuries, the discussion has centered on starting pitching.
Before delving into potential names, the first consideration should be the Mets only need four starters to get them through the postseason. With respect to that, they have a phenomenal foundation with
Now, it’s a dangerous game waiting for injured players to return. That goes double for pitchers. For example, we’ve already seen Carrasco’s and Syndergaard’s return dates pushed back repeatedly.
However, on that note, Carrasco is throwing batting practice, and he’s throwing in the mid 90s. After another session, he may be set for a rehab assignment.
Carlos Carrasco threw BP to live batters from Citi Field this afternoon 💪 pic.twitter.com/YoW8MBqnra
— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) July 6, 2021
If Carrasco continues on this path, he will have at least one start in the majors prior to the trade deadline. If he’s back in the rotation by then, there’s no sense in adding another starter.
As we’ve seen, Tylor Megill has the stuff to at least be a five and fly starter. There’s also David Peterson and Corey Oswalt, who could be available soon after their IL stints. Again, we shouldn’t count on them, but they’re part of the equation. That’s nothing to say of Syndergaard who MAY return in September in some capacity.
In terms of the fifth starter spot, they have the numbers to address it. We should keep in mind whoever that starter is, it’s unlikely they’ll be on the postseason roster, at least not as a starter.
To that point, if the Mets are looking to add pitching at the trade deadline, perhaps they should be looking more at relievers. They’ve already seen an incredible number of injuries on that front, and Miguel Castro, who was supposed to be a key piece of the bullpen, has lost his effectiveness.
Of course, if Carrasco has yet another set-back, the Mets should pivot. Moreover, if the right deal presents itself, the Mets shouldn’t object to improving the roster. That said, the team has much bigger holes in the bullpen and at third base, and after what Brodie Van Wagenen did to the roster, they have somewhat limited resources to add at the trade deadline.
Taking everything into account, as of right now, the Mets focus shouldn’t be on adding a starter. It should be on building the best possible postseason roster.
This year’s edition of the Subway Series saw two struggling New York teams. After the series, the Mets weren’t the ones struggling anymore:
1. There shouldn’t be anymore doubt Brandon Nimmo is the Mets best offensive player, and he’s the real catalyst for the team.
2. If the point of replay is to get the calls right, there’s no point to replay when Nimmo is called out on a play he was clearly safe.
4. Imagine being someone who thought Cole deserved to be in the same breath as Jacob deGrom let alone thinking he was better.
5. Taijuan Walker absolutely should’ve been an All-Star, and he proved it again with his no-hitting the Yankees for 5+ innings. Hopefully, he will be an alternate for when deGrom won’t pitch in the game.
6. Was the Aaron Judge homer off Walker the first time one 99 broke up the no-hitter of another 99?
7. Again, there is no way the Mets should even contemplate DFAing Jose Peraza, especially after that bases loaded double to clear the bases. Use one of J.D. Davis‘ options and teach him how to play a position.
8. It’s funny that Tony Tarasco was on the field for the play where the Mets fan reached over the wall for the Peraza double. Tarasco was the Baltimore Orioles RF on the Jeffrey Meier/Derek Jeter play.
9. Pete Alonso‘s homer off Chapman was arguably the biggest hit of the year.
10. Alonso looks much more like the 2019 version hitting 275/.343/.517 with nine homers and 135 wRC+ over 134 PA since returning from the IL (h/t Tim Ryder).
11. Dominic Smith is red hot with a .875 OPS the past week and a .327/.365/.571 over the past two weeks. Like Alonso, he absolutely can keep this up.
12. That sure looked like the Jeff McNeil of old in this series.
14. Considering he’s being stretched out, you absolutely take those five innings from behind Corey Oswalt, who looked good besides the one mistake.
16. What is going on with Michael Conforto?
18. This Mets team is built for the postseason because of their pitching and their ability to fight back late in games.
19. It was odd to see the Mets not optimize their defensive alignment behind Marcus Stroman, especially with the DH in play.
20. This series coming up against the Milwaukee Brewers is a good temperature check to see how good the Mets are, and for that matter, just how good the Brewers are.
The New York Mets inability to score runs was starting to become problematic. That was until Brandon Nimmo was activated off the IL, and the Mets got to play in Yankee Stadium.
Nimmo would get a hit in his first AB, but he didn’t ignite the Mets offense until his one out single in the fifth. He’d score the first run of the game after ensuing singles from Francisco Lindor and Dominic Smith.
The rally continued with a Pete Alonso walk. James McCann drove home Lindor with an RBI single. The Alonso walk knocked New York Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery out of the game. After reliever Lucas Luetge allowed the McCann single, he threw a wild pitch permitting Smith to score the third run of the inning.
That was more than enough run support for Taijuan Walker, who was strong. He didn’t allow a hit until Aaron Judge homered off of him in the bottom of the sixth. His final line was 5.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.
By the time those runs scored against Walker, the game was all but over because the Mets exploded for five runs in the top of the sixth.
Starting with a Jeff McNeil single, the Mets loaded the bases with no outs. Lindor walked to force home a run, and Smith followed with a two run double increasing the Mets lead to 6-0.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 3, 2021
Michael King entered the game and nearly got the Yankees out the jam by striking out Alonso and McCann. However, he’d walk Michael Conforto to reload the bases. Kevin Pillar is them delivered a two out two run RBI single. Through six, it was 8-3 Mets.
There was so much to like about this game. Walker pitched well. Nimmo, Lindor, and Smith combined to go 8-for-15. McNeil and Jose Peraza each had two hit games. Jeurys Familia and Drew Smith were terrific out of the pen.
If you’re a pessimistic Mets fan looking for a downside, it was Miguel Castro.
There was two out and one on when Luis Rojas pulled Walker for Castro. Castro then loaded the bases on a HBP and walk before allowing a two run single to Gio Urshela. This forced Rojas’ hand as we brought in Familia to reliever Castro.
Despite that blip, the Mets completely and utterly dominated the Yankees. This once again looked like the Mets team we anticipated seeing throughout the 2021 season. It started with Nimmo atop the lineup and followed with the lineup clicking.
Game Notes: Smith played first and Alonso was the DH. Peraza played third. He had an error. Tomorrow is a split admission doubleheader.