Paul Sewald

Mets Prove Again They’re Awful

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

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

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

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

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

Simply put, this is bad and unwatchable baseball.

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

Mets Blogger Roundtable: Is Callaway In Over His Head?

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

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

Roger Cormier (Good Fundies)

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

Mark Healey (Gotham Baseball)

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

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

Greg Prince (Faith and Fear in Flushing)

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

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

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

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

Mets Daddy

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

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

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

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

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

Rockies Just Turned Another Double Play

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.

In the second, after the Rockies turned a 1-0 Mets lead (Todd Frazier first inning solo home run) into a 3-1 Rockies lead, Jose Bautista earned a leadoff walk against Rockies starter Kyle Freeland.

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.

In the sixth, Michael Conforto led off the inning with a single. He would be immediately erased when Wilmer Flores hit into a 5-4-3 double play.

In the seventh, Jose Reyes, who for some inexplicable reason started a second straight game, was erased on an Amed Rosario 6-4-3 double play.

Speaking of Reyes, he can’t field and doesn’t know how to use sunglasses:

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.

Game Notes: After another poor outing in this game, Paul Sewald was demoted to Triple-A. He is joined by Chris Flexen. In their stead Drew Smith and Kevin Kaczmarski will be called up.

Mets Offense Can’t Keep Up

Much of the game was deja vu back to the previous game.

While Seth Lugo isn’t Jason Vargas, he really struggled in the thin air. Lugo just couldn’t figure out how to throw his curve, and as a result, he allowed six runs on six hits in three innings.

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.

The rally started with a Dominic Smith triple. After a Wilmer Flores sacrifice fly, the Mets would load the bases, and a run would be forced home on a Brandon Nimmo walk.

Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two RBI single to give the Mets a 8-6 lead.

The bases would reload with Michael Conforto drawing a walk. The Rockies then brought in Bryan Shaw, who got Todd Frazier to ground out to end the inning.

With the lead, Mickey Callaway brought in Robert Gsellman to not just hold the lead but to get multiple innings from him. He got neither.

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.

Game Notes: Chris Flexen, who is on three days rest, was called up to give the Mets an extra arm in the bullpen. To make room for Flexen, Hansel Robles was sent down to Triple-A.

Mets Offense Finally Scores Runs For deGrom

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:

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.

In the second, Michael Conforto started a rally with a double, and he would come home to score on a Jose Bautista RBI groundout.

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

In addition to the Nimmo and Conforto exploits, Wilmer Flores would contribute with a third inning solo shot, and Devin Mesoraco would hit a two run homer in the eighth.

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.

Mets Deep Sixed By The Braves

Things got interesting for the Mets in the sixth inning. Very interesting.

After five shutout innings, the Braves pulled Mike Foltynewicz in favor of LHP Jesse Biddle. The Mets got to work with Todd Frazierearning a one out walk. The ensuing batter, Brandon Nimmo, stuck out his elbow, and he was hit by a pitch.

Except, he wasn’t awarded a base because the home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater ruled Nimmo didn’t try to get out of the way of that pitch. Upon review, he was correct.

That didn’t stop Mickey Callawayfrom going absolutely ballistic leading to his first ejection in his managerial career.

With Dansby Swanson unable to get a hold of an Asdrubal Cabrera grounder the bases were loaded for Jay Bruce, who actually delivered by hitting a ground rule double to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

In case you were wondering whether this was going to be an offensive breakout, don’t.

Devin Mesoracoripped a ball right at Braves third baseman Johan Camargo, who tagged out the lead footed Cabrera, who was standing next to the bag, before throwing to first to complete the double play.

Considering how Mets starting pitchers haven’t had leads for nearly a week (with the exception of Sunday), you could almost understand Zach Wheelerseemingly not knowing how to handle the situation.

Wheeler’s first pitch in the bottom of the sixth was hit by Freddie Freeman for a game tying solo homer.

What was odd after that was even after Tyler Flowersbarely beat the throw on what was almost a double play grounder, Bruce would nail him at third on a Camargo single. On the play, Frazier fielded the throw and dove back to tag Flowers out.

In a what was impressive base running, Camargo moved to second on the Flowers gaffe.

With two outs and a runner at second, Wheeler couldn’t get out of the inning. Like most of the night, it was a soft single which did him in.

The go-ahead Ender Inciartesingle was blooped just past Amed Rosario‘s outstretched glove leaving Brandon Nimmono shot to get Camargo at home.

Now, before reflecting on the final score and Wheeler’s final line, consider this – the Mets should have gotten out of that inning down 3-2.

Inciarte took off for second, and Mesoraco made a perfect throw to second. Only problem was Cabrera flat out dropped the ball. What appeared to be a gassed Wheeler walked the next two batters.

Gary Disarcina finally went to Paul Sewald, who had been standing around for quite some time.

What is odd was with the pitcher’s spot due up third that inning, Disarcina didn’t bother double switching Sewald into the game. Considering it was a one run game, at a minimum, it was a curious decision.

It wound up not mattering as Sewald surrendered a grand slam to Ozzie Albies. With the Mets down 7-2, Sewald hit for himself in the top of the seventh because at that point, why not?

Sewald allowed another run in the seventh to make it an 8-2 game. That was the final score of a game the Mets had a lead and were in decent position of winning. Things are getting real bad.

Game Notes: The Mets have scored 14 runs in nine games this month.

Mets Find New Way To Ruin deGrom’s Greatness

In the bottom of the first, Brandon Nimmohit the second pitch of the game from Masahiro Tanaka. From there, the Mets offense did nothing.

It was as if the Mets said to Jacob deGrom, “Here’s your run. Now go win this game.”

For five innings deGrom was brilliant, and he was keeping his pitch count down. It was as if he was going to make sure he wasn’t going to let the bullpen blow this one.

The bullpen wasn’t going to get that chance because the defense did.

A Tanaka grounder somehow ate up Adrian Gonzalez who booted it leading to Tanaka teaching with one out.

Tanaka went to third after a Gleyber Torres single and Brett Gardner walk. deGrom then got Aaron Judge to fly out to medium depth right field.

Naturally, Jay Bruce labored to get to the ball, and he made an absolutely dreadful season throw home that was already rolling by the first base bag.

The throw, which rolled past Gonzalez, was not in time to catch a hobbled Tanaka, who had to exit the game with a leg injury.

Because he’s Jake, and he’s great, he got out of that jam allowing just the one earned run.

That said, we knew the Mets were going to lose this one. It really was an inevitability from a team who has not scored more than one run in a game since the first of this month. That stretch is made all the worse when you consider it includes a 14 inning game.

Mets had a golden chance in the sixth withJonathan Holder needing to warm up on the fly to get ready to pitch that inning. They went down 1-2-3.

They seemed to be getting to Chad Green in the seventh. Two on, two out, and Devin Mesoraco struck out swinging.

That was a real shame because it set the stage for deGrom to lose his first game of the season.

After a Torres two out single, Gardner got a hold of one which bounced off the top of the right field wall for a two run homer.

After Giancarlo Stanton homered off Paul Sewald, the Yankees lead was 4-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

If you woke up from a coma, you might’ve gotten excited in the bottom of the ninth.

Nimmo was hit by Aroldis Chapman‘s first pitch. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with an infield single (no, seriously).

After Michael Conforto flew out to center, Todd Frazier hit a ball hard that Miguel Andujar made a nice play on. That said, it was a somewhat slow moving play, and it was a play that only Cabrera would be out at second.

To put a nice capper on everything, Bruce popped out to end the game because he apparently had not done enough to help cost the Mets this game.

Game Notes: Noah Syndergaard suffered a setback and won’t be activated for Sunday. Seth Lugo will start in his place. Jeurys Familia was placed on the DL before the game, and Jacob Rhame was called up to take his place.

Mets Finally Under Sewald Level

Well, it took 58 games, but the Mets are finally under .500. Again, it was a combination of the same issues which cost the Mets this game.

Through six innings, the Mets had a 2-0 lead compliments of a Brandon Nimmo homer and six very strong shutout innings from Zach Wheeler.

For some reasons after Wheeler threw 97 pitches, Mickey Callaway stuck with him for the seventh.

After Addison Russell and Tommy La Stella led off the inning with back-to-back singles, Callaway made a double-switch bringing in Jose Reyes (because why not?) and Paul Sewald.

The game quickly unraveled from there.

Kyle Schwarber hit a sac fly, and with Michael Conforto missing the cut-off man, La Stella went to second, which made it easy for him to score on the ensuing Ben Zobrist double.

The Cubs took the lead later that inning on a Kris Bryant RBI single.

Now, the justification for no Robert Gsellman was he needed another day off. Honestly, you can never question managers over giving fatigued pitchers a day off. However, you can question why Sewald for a second inning after a seventh where he had nothing.

Well with one on and two out, Willson Contreras hit a ball, Reyes should have fielded. With him failing to make the play, two runners were on base for a Schwarber three run homer instead of the Mets getting out of the inning.

The Mets did rally in the eighth with a Jose Bautista double putting runners at second and third with two out. Joe Maddon brought in Brian Duensing to face Adrian Gonzalez.

Gonzalez delivered with a two RBI single to pull the Mets within 6-4. That rally would stall as Maddon brought in Steve Cishek, who got out of the jam by striking out Kevin Plawecki on a 3-2 pitch.

From there, Jeurys Familia allowed the Cubs to tack on an insurance run to give the Cubs a 7-4 lead. With the Mets failing to do much of anything in the ninth, that would be the final score.

And with that, the Mets are now under .500.

Game Notes: Jay Bruce left the game in the fifth with back issues. Jose Lobaton was called up, and to make room for him on the 25 and 40 man roster Scott Copeland was designated for assignment.

Braves Walk Off Against Overly Taxed, Struggling Mets Pen

Well, with the way the bullpen has been blowing games, and the Mets poor defense, you can understand why the Mets starters are going to have finger issues.

Those finger issues manifested themselves first with Noah Syndergaard landing on the disabled list with a strained ligament in his pitching finger.

Then, during tonight’s game, when the Mets so desperately needed some length from Steven Matz, he departed after three scoreless innings due to his own finger injury.

Long term this further complicates matters with Jason Vargas starting on three days rest tomorrow with Seth Lugo being limited to 50 pitches in a start the following day.

Short term, the Mets had a ballgame to win.

Fortunately, by the time Matz departed, the Mets already had a 4-0 lead due to the Mets roughing up Anibal Sanchez in his first start coming off the disabled list.

The scoring began courtesy of Brandon Nimmo acting like a true leadoff hitter. He led off the game with a hit by pitch, stole a base, and he scored on a Jose Bautista double.

Nimmo would start the next rally with a one out base hit putting him in base before Asdrubal Cabrera‘s first homer of the game giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

The less grew to 4-0 in the fourth after an Adrian Gonzalez solo shot. If you’re keeping score at home, the Braves paid for Bautista and Gonzalez to help beat them today.

With Matz’s injury, Paul Sewald had as many pitches as he needed before starting the fourth. You can never be too sure how well a pitcher warms in those situations, and you question it with how Sewald struggled in the fourth.

Charlie Culberson hit an RBI single playing Tyler Flowers, who led off the inning with a double. On the play, Nimmo made a very poor throw to the plate. It was about the only black mark on another wise terrific season.

A Dansby Swanson double set up second and third with one out, and with Devin Mesoraco whiffing on a pitch, Culbertson scored making it 4-2 Mets.

Sewald was really struggling to find the zone and was fighting it. Somehow, he made it through the rest of the inning unscathed, and he followed with a scoreless fifth.

After that, the Mets got some much needed insurance runs off Matt Wisler. First, Cabrera hit his second homer of the game in the fifth.

Then, in the sixth, Nimmo doubled home Amed Rosario from first. On the play, Rosario flew around the bases and slid in just ahead of Flowers’ tag.

Unfortunately, that 6-2 lead did not stand.

In Jerry Blevins second inning of work, all he needed to do was get through the Braves two best left-handed hitters, the job for which he is paid, to get out of the inning.

Instead, Freddie Freeman continued his dominance of Blevins with a single, and he would score on an ensuing Nick Markakis double.

Jacob Rhame came on to bail Blevins out of the seventh, but with a depleted bullpen, no one was on hand to bail him out in the eighth.

After a run had already scored on a Preston Tucker RBI groundout, Ender Inciarte hit a two RBI triple Michael Conforto couldn’t get but took a bad route to the ball.

Rhame rallied to strike out Ozzie Albies, and after intentionally walking Freeman, he got Markakis to pop out to end the inning.

The game was tied at 6-6 heading into the ninth, and the Mets would squander a golden opportunity against Dan Winkler.

Rosario led off the inning with a single, and Nimmo was hit by a pitch. What ensued was a Cabrera strikeout, Luis Guillorme pinch hit fielder’s choice, and a Conforto strikeout.

This put the game in Gerson Bautista‘s hands. This is a pitcher with all of 22.0 innings above Single-A. With the bullpen already taxed before this game, Mickey Callaway really had little choice.

That not having little other choice led to Johan Camargo ending the game with a walk off homer to give the Braves a 7-6 win.

This marks the second time in this series the Braves walked one off against the Mets. With the way the bullpen is pitching of late, it may not be the last.

Game Notes: For some reason Jose Reyes started. Predictably, he was 0-4 with a strikeout.

Same Old Mets Loss

It was inexcusable for the Mets to lose this game, but what else is new.

Heading into the seventh, Zack Wheeler battled. He gave you the six innings needed, and he fought a tough Brewers offense.

Through it all, the Mets were up 6-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Sure, you wish they could have plated more runs in a four run second inning. But even with Wilmer Flores and Jay Bruce leaving the bases loaded, the Mets had a two run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh thanks in large part to an Asdrubal Cabrera solo shot in the top half of the inning.

That’s when Mickey Callaway repeated the same exact mistake he did from the previous loss.

Robert Gsellman had two on and two out with Travis Shaw coming to the plate.

Now, two days ago, Shaw double off Gsellman. However, Gsellman has limited left-handed batters to a .174/.291/.413 batting line. Jerry Blevins, on the other hand, is morphing into Scott Schoeneweis and Eric O’Flaherty.

This season, lefties are hitting .296/.367/.370 off Blevins. Predictably, Blevins allows the base hit to bring the Brewers within a run.

With AJ Ramos unavailable because he’s being evaluated for an injury, Callaway went to Paul Sewald, who had nothing.

Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar hit back-to-back doubles to give the Brewers an 8-6 lead.

Devin Mesoraco hit a pinch hit homer to leadoff the ninth. Amed Rosario would not only get on with one out, but he would also steal second with two outs.

It didn’t matter as Michael Conforto struck out to end the game.

There were many reasons to be frustrated by this loss, including a suspect home plate umpire. However, it was the Mets and their manager repeating the same mistakes that did them in.

Game Notes: Flores left the game in the fourth with a back injury. He’s being evaluated in New York while the team travels to Atlanta.