Pedro Martinez

Simply Amazin: Looking Bleak Podcast

Due to site difficulties, this is going up a week later than anticipated, but fortunately (or unfortunately), all of what was discussed remains relevant. Players discussed during this podcast included Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Melvin Mora, Mike Bordick, Brandon Nimmo, Mark Canha, Starling MarteBilly Taylor, Jason Isringhausen, Matt Harvey, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Josh Hamilton, David Wright, Ike Davis, Jake Marisnick, Blake Taylor, Dominic Smith, Robinson Cano, Eduardo Escobar, Shawon Dunston, Craig PaquettePedro MartinezCarlos Beltran,  and many, many more.

As always, thanks to Timothy Rider. It was an absolute blast. Please take a listen to the Simply Amazin podcast (by clicking on this link).

 

With Universal DH, MLB Needs Radical Realignment And Postseason

With the institution of the universal DH, MLB has officially killed off National League Baseball. As such, the only real difference between the two leagues is their names. One just happens to be the American League, and the other just happens to be the National. Why are we even bothering anymore?

It’s not like changing up divisions and leagues is unheard of in this sport. Tom Seaver led the Mets to the first ever NL East title in 1969. Prior to that, there were no divisions in either league. Fast forward to 1994, and the Montreal Expos would have won the division led by players like Moises Alou, Cliff Floyd, and Pedro Martinez. Of course, that season didn’t reach completion because of the strike.

As a result, the first World Series with a Wild Card in the postseason was won by the Atlanta Braves with Tom Glavine taking home World Series MVP honors. The Braves would win the NL East as part of their journey. An interesting fact here is the Braves won the first ever NL West title, and they actually played the Mets in the inaugural NLCS.

Baseball has moved and changed teams and divisional structures as they have seen fit. When baseball expanded in 1998 to include the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Milwaukee Brewers were moved from the AL Central to the NL Central. In 2013, the Houston Astros, who were an expansion team the same season as the Mets, were switched from the NL Central to the AL West because baseball wanted six five team divisions.

Things change according to the random whims of the commissioner. We see that has happened with the institution of the universal DH, and we are likely going to see it again with MLB trying to increase the amount of postseason teams from the current five per league to seven per league. That is again completely radical, and it cries for the need for another correlative move.

Before delving further, one of the reasons for the push for an expanded postseason is increased revenues. It should also be noted the reason for revenue sharing and compensation systems is to address the (laughable) assertions owning an MLB franchise isn’t profitable and costs need to be reduced. One major cost which can be cut is travel fees.

To do that, you can more geographically align the divisions of baseball like it is done in the NBA and NHL. After all, we see MLB trying to more align their sport like those, so why not take a look at what that would look like:

Northeast League

  1. Baltimore Orioles
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. New York Mets
  4. New York Yankees
  5. Philadelphia Phillies
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. Toronto Blue Jays
  8. Washington Nationals

Southern League

  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. Houston Astros
  4. Miami Marlins
  5. Tampa Bay Rays
  6. Texas Rangers
  7. EXPANSION
  8. EXPANSION

Central League

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. Chicago White Sox
  3. Cleveland Guardians
  4. Detroit Tigers
  5. Kansas City Royals
  6. Milwaukee Brewers
  7. Minnesota Twins
  8. St. Louis Cardinals

Western League

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. Colorado Rockies
  3. Los Angeles Angels
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. Oakland Athletics
  6. San Diego Padres
  7. San Francisco Giants
  8. Seattle Mariners

Yes, this does call for the inclusion of two expansion teams. Let’s face it. It is well past time for MLB to expand. If the NHL can support 32 teams, MLB certainly can. There are markets in the United States and Canada which have been relatively untapped, and to a certain extent, the minor league retraction has created a void in many communities for baseball. At least geographically, the southeast with cities like Raleigh and Nashville makes sense, but MLB can look elsewhere and align differently if it makes more financial sense.

As for the blowing up of some rivalries, well, that’s a consequence. That said, it wasn’t a concern when the Brewers and Astros changed leagues. There is also the important consideration the geographical rivalries will be off the charts, and there will certainly be the development of new rivalries.

Now, the next step is especially radical, but then again, so was the death of National League baseball. Before delving further, we first need to acknowledge baseball’s crown jewel is the World Series. Baseball needs to do all it can endeavor to create the best possible World Series matchups to generate more fan interest. The best way to do that is to actually set up the best possible match-ups in the World Series.

For that, just eliminate the AL and NL in its entirety. Instead, just have the four divisions. If you want to keep an AL and NL for nostalgia stake and create new names for the other two divisions, fine. That said, the World Series should abandon the concept of the AL against the NL. Instead, it should be the two best postseason teams.

This is where MLB can borrow a bit from the NHL. Since MLB wants an expanded postseason, they can have the top three teams in each division make the postseason. After that, the next eight non-automatic qualifying teams, regardless of division and division rank, can play a one game Wild Card Game to qualify for the Division Series. The World Series will instantly become increasingly more interesting.

The potential match-ups can radically change. For example, one year, the Mets and Cardinals could meet in the World Series, and the next, they could meet in the Championship Series. As a bit of added intrigue, under this format, MLB could get their biggest dream to come true with a Yankees-Red Sox World Series. The ratings and revenues from that may set records never before seen.

Overall, MLB has been forever changed with the death of National League baseball. As a result, instead of trying to hold onto some vestiges of the NL, it is time to just let it go away entirely and focus on what would create the most interesting and exciting baseball. Creating a four league format would be refreshing, and it would create the best possible postseasons. From there, genuine interest (and associated revenues) would grow putting baseball in the best footing it has been in a century.

Jacob deGrom Needs Great 2022 To Bolster Hall Of Fame Chances

Heading into the 2020 season, Jacob deGrom was definitively the best pitcher on the planet. He was coming off back-to-back Cy Young awards, and he was doing things only Hall of Fame pitchers do. Certainly, the Hall of Fame was on deGrom’s mind as he told us all he wanted to be an inner circle Hall of Famer.

Certainly, deGrom was well on his way to carving a path to the Hall of Fame. After all, he was fifth all-time in ERA+. He was bettering Tom Seaver‘s New York Mets records. He was otherworldly great. Think Pedro Martinez in 1999 and 2000.

Then, the pandemic struck. The 2020 season was shortened, and deGrom would suffer an injury which would just about end his chances of winning a third straight Cy Young. deGrom would being the 2021 season pitching better than he ever has, which is saying something. However, again injury would strike limiting deGrom to just 15 starts. Despite the injury, he still finished in the top 10 in the Cy Young voting.

However, for deGrom, it isn’t about Cy Youngs. Well, it is in part, but that is just part of the larger picture. Really, when it comes to deGrom’s career, it is about two things: (1) World Series rings; and (2) the Baseball Hall of Fame.

As of this moment, he has a 43.4 WAR with a 40.8 WAR7 and a 42.1 JAWS. The average Hall of Fame pitcher has a 73.0 WAR, 49.8 WAR, and a 61.4 JAWS. That puts the 33 year old deGrom in an interesting position.

Right now, he is 39.6 WAR behind the average Hall of Fame pitcher. For WAR7, he is only 6.4 behind the average Hall of Famer. He is 19.7 behind the average Hall of Famer in terms of JAWS. In some ways, that is actually achievable for deGrom.

Consider from 2018-2019, deGrom AVERAGED an 8.9 WAR (pitching only). If he puts together another two year stretch like that, and as we saw last year, he can, deGrom would have a 61.2 WAR. That puts him within an ear shot of the 73.0 mark. More than that, his peak numbers will be through the roof. He will have a 51.7 WAR7, which would be a giant step above the current standard. His JAWS would then be 56.5, which would be a hair behind the standard.

Keep in mind, narrative matters. As we see with players like Sandy Koufax having an absolutely dominant peak at a higher level than anyone else matters. That would certainly describe deGrom if he can put 2-3 great seasons under his belt.

On that front, this could be where Max Scherzer helps him. Scherzer was a pitcher who did not look like a Hall of Famer until he turned 28. From that point forward, he put together a stretch of nine consecutive Cy Young and Hall of Fame caliber seasons. If there is anyone who knows what a pitcher needs to do from their mid-30s to stay dominant towards their 40s, it is Scherzer.

With deGrom having a true peer in Scherzer in the rotation, not only will deGrom have a better opportunity to win a World Series, but he will also increase his Hall of Fame chances. Whenever the lockout ends, deGrom’s path towards the Hall of Fame and a World Series title will begin anew.

Willie Randolph Should Be In Mets Managerial Mix

The New York Mets seem to be narrowing their managerial search, and reading the tea leaves, it seems Buck Showalter will be the next manager. There are reports Steve Cohen wants him, and there are ties from the New York Yankees between new general manager Billy Eppler and Showalter.

If we are going to go back to Eppler’s old Yankees ties, the Mets could also look at Willie Randolph for the managerial role. With Randolph, there are two things which stand out in his candidacy: (1) he’s actually had success as the Mets manager; and (2) he has unfinished business.

When we look back at Randolph’s Mets tenure, people mostly remember the bad. There was the 2007 collapse, and he was fired one game into a west coast trip. There was the chasm between him and Carlos Delgado. Of course, many forget the 2008 Mets also collapsed, but this time under the helm of Jerry Manuel.

Really, Randolph had to deal with more as the Mets manager than most did. He never had the full backing and respect of ownership. Things got so bad Manuel and Tony Bernazard were going behind Randolph’s back to not only spy on him but to find reasons to remove him from the job. The shame of it was Randolph was quite good at the job.

First and foremost, Randolph was immediately challenged in his job by trying to find a way to graciously end Mike Piazza‘s Mets career. Randolph did it in a way where Piazza not only had a strong season, but he had his dignity during the course of the season.

Randolph was gifted an old foe in Pedro Martinez atop the rotation. Notably, despite the many battles between the two during the heyday of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, there was nothing but respect between the two. Randolph had tried to protect Martinez from the team, but to no avail.

Another challenge with Randolph was the Carlos Beltran situation. He helped Beltran navigate through what was a disaster of a 2005 season and get him playing at a Hall of Fame level. By most accounts, the two had a good relationship, which is something a smart manager will have with their superstar.

One important part of that is the ability to adapt. When Randolph first took over the Mets job, he initially tried to make the Mets more like the Yankees. Case-in-point was the restrictions on facial hair. That is something he eventually rescinded.The ability to adapt to the job is of vital importance.

There were other highlights from Randolph’s tenure with the most important being his development of David Wright and Jose Reyes. With respect to Reyes, he was able to help him hone his skills to develop a more sensible approach at the plate to help him become an All-Star. With respect to Wright, he admitted in his book, The Captain: A Memoir, Randolph helped him become the Major League player he wanted to be. If not for injuries, that would’ve been a Hall of Famer.

Looking at Randolph, one of the biggest skills he had was his working relationship with Rick Peterson. The two worked together to get the most out of the Mets pitching staff, and we saw them do some things which may now be considered commonplace. For example, Randolph had a very quick hook in the 2006 postseason, and he was not afraid to let his superior bullpen win him games. The Mets will be looking for something like that in 2022 with Jeremy Hefner being retained as pitching coach.

Overall, Randolph had strenghts and weaknesses as manager. As we saw with him, the strengths far outweighed the weaknesses. That’s a major reason why he’s second only to Davey Johnson in winning percentage. He was a very good manager, who for some reason, never got another opportunity to manage.

Perhaps at 67, Randolph no longer has any designs on managing. If he does, we need to remember he was a good manager for the Mets. Unfortunately, he never received a fair shake. All told, Randolph knows what it takes to succeed with the Mets. No, he’ll never get the job, but there should have at least been some level of interest.

 

Steve Cohen Continues To Face More Scrutiny Than Wilpons

In a recent article by Mike Puma of the New York Post, he indicated the New York Mets were going to have difficulty finding a President of Baseball Operations just like they did last offseason. That article cited the errors in the hirings made by Sandy Alderson and Cohen’s Twitter account.

Considering former Miami Marlins executive David P. Samson was the source, you can take all of this with a grain of salt. After all, Samson loved operating his teams and treating the Marlins fans every bit like the Wilpons did with the Mets.

That right there is the problem. There have been years of transgressions by the Wilpons largely unreported and/or criticized in the press. These are the same people who claimed they were duped in a Ponzi scheme. They had a number of hirings and a lawsuit hostile to women in their workplace. They threatened the press about the coverage of their team, and they would go so far as to restrict access in response to a negative story about them or a favored player.

They stripped the team down for financial solvency. They used SNY as an intermediary to do exactly what the McCourts did with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jeff Wilpon interfered with medical decisions which cut short Pedro Martinez‘s career, and he tried to interfere with Carlos Beltran‘s career saving knee surgery. By and through Sandy Alderson, there was the lie about Matt Harvey‘s innings limits, and we saw what happened with Harvey’s once promising career.

Overall, the Wilpons were just flat out bad people. They did horrid things, and they did them purposefully. They cared about no one but themselves and their own power. This largely went unreported and uncriticized except when a reporter would leave the beat.

However, with Cohen, if his eye glasses are askew or he tweets something, it is a capital offense demanding the power of the pen. In the end, those now criticizing him have let us know they’re not reporting what they know, but rather, what ownership tells them they’re allowed to report. If anything, these reports attacking Cohen are a credit to Cohen because he is not standing in the way.

If nothing else, that tells us the Mets are truly in a much better spot. It’s not just the money or the desire to win. While there have been missteps requiring reflection and growth, things have truly changed in how the team is operated. The only hope is these mistakes are cleaned up, and the Mets get back on the path towards winning a World Series.

Plan To Keep Jacob deGrom Healthy

Earlier in the season, Jacob deGrom landed on the IL with tightness in his right side. Since coming off the IL, deGrom has left games for various reasons.

There was fatigue. There was a flexor tendon issue. The latest was his leaving a game with a shoulder issue. Overall, since that IL stint, it needs to be reiterated deGrom has left starts for reasons other than he hit his pitch count, and it was time to bring in a reliever.

With that being the case, everyone has a theory on what the issue is and how to handle it. He has too much velocity. He didn’t heal and is pushing it. As usual, there was Dr. Sal Licata with his input saying deGrom never should’ve made the start:

Actually, no, Licata doesn’t have an MD. The same goes for people like Chris Carlin, who proffered similar advice. Really, anyone rendering an opinion has the same level of medical expertise as Jeff Wilpon, which is to say they have none. As we saw with Wilpon, when people with zero medical expertise renders an opinion on what should be done, bad things happen.

On that note, there is something to be said for what Pedro Martinez said. Remember, Pedro was once what deGrom is now, and we did see Pedro’s prime and career shortened due to injuries. When he speaks, it should carry weight.

Pedro’s advice was rest, and while his words should be heard, it’s not dispositive. Really, nothing is right now.

At this moment in time, no one knows what’s wrong. We don’t know if these injuries are all linked by one core problem, if one injury begat the other, or if these are just three isolated injuries which happened.

No one knows, and those offering advice are just trying to get heard and sound smart. Well, everyone except Pedro, who is someone speaking from experience.

To the question of how to keep deGrom healthy, the answer is no one knows. If they did, he wouldn’t be dealing with different issues right now. That said, someone will figure it out, and everyone will go on from there.

Overall, just be patient and wait with baited breath until we find out what’s wrong and how to best address it. Hopefully, sometime soon, we’ll see deGrom back out there pushing for a third Cy Young and leading the Mets to the World Series.

Neon Moment Of The Week: Jacob deGrom Most Dominant Pitcher Ever

Yet again, Jacob deGrom flirted with a perfect game. Yet again, he drove in more runs than he allowed. Yet again, records were set.

After facing the minimum through six, deGrom has a 0.56 ERA through 10 starts, which is the best in MLB history. Coincidentally, he has allowed just four earned runs on the season while driving in five himself. He’s the first pitcher to ever accomplish that feat.

During the game, deGrom struck out 10. He now has 103 on the season. With his doing it in 64.0 innings, he’s the fastest in MLB history to record 100 strikeouts.

His career numbers are already heading into another stratosphere. His 2.50 career ERA is already ahead of Tom Seaver for best in Mets history. It’s also just a hair behind Clayton Kershaw for the best since World War I.

deGrom’s 156 ERA+ has not only surpassed Seaver for best in Mets history, he’s also moved past Pedro Martinez and tied Kershaw for best all-time.

Tim Keefe had the best single season ERA+ with a 293 mark in 1880. The modern day record is Martinez with a 291 in 2000. Right now, deGrom has a 689.

Read that again. Jacob deGrom has a 689 ERA+. He’s more dominant than anyone ever has been. He’s going to completely re-write record books. That is why his virtuoso performance is the Neon Moment of the Week!

* * * * * *

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20/20 Hindsight: Mets Show They’re Better Than Padres

Just like looking at the records, the San Diego Padres were a much better team than the New York Mets. It certainly didn’t play out this way in the weekend series:

1. Over the first two games of this series, the Padres had Yu Darvish and Blake Snell against Taijuan Walker and Joey Lucchesi. It took everything the Padres had to beat a Mets team with 17 players on the IL.

2. Give Lucchesi credit. He’s fixing his release points, optimizing the churve, and he’s turned his season around.

3. Did it look like Darvish was cheating? Who knows, and really we should stop these witch hunts because: (1) you don’t know; and (2) you don’t know who is and who is not cheating.

4. The exception of course is Jacob deGrom. When one idiot looking for attention, clearly still sore over the 2015 NLDS, the Mets came out en mass to shut him up.

5. deGrom is taking another run at Bob Gibson. In 2017, it was the quality start streak. Now, deGrom has had a better nine start beginning to his season than Gibson had in the Year of the Pitcher.

6. For that matter, deGrom has had a better start to his season than Pedro Martinez had in either of his best seasons.

7. Honestly, it was a treat to watch Fernando Tatis, Jr. for four games.

8. The Tatis for James Shields trade was not worse than the Jarred Kelenic trade. Those saying that don’t understand either trade or how value works.

9. We have another example why GKR are the best with Gary Cohen asking where the Bartolo Colon home run plaque is calling it the most significant event in Petco Park history.

10. Not to be sour grapes, but while the Steve Gelbs segment was funny, we should be reminded he’s the guy who gets to ask the first question at every press conference. If he’s just the sideline guy or in the studio, this is all well and good, but he’s not trying to be just that.

11. Marcus Stroman reminded us again he’s a terrific pitcher who can beat you in so many ways. Also, he showed how mentally tough he was to shut down the Padres after than Bob Brenly fiasco.

12. When Stroman talks about how good the clubhouse is we should listen. It should also be noted this is one of the more likable Mets teams we’ve seen in years.

13. Jose Peraza doesn’t hit many homers, but when he does, it gives the Mets the lead.

14. Brandon Drury is perhaps the perfect encapsulation of this team right now. He probably hasn’t been a viable Major Leaguer since 2017, so, of course, he makes a game changing double play.

15. For those questioning why the Mets are still winning games right now, the answer is pitching and defense. Pitching and defense always wins more games than optimizing your offensive lineups.

16. It took a while, but we’re seeing the real Francisco Lindor, and it’s glorious. Phenomenal defense. Great offense. Unparalleled leadership.

17. Someone awoke the power in Dominic Smith‘s bat.

18. Sometimes you get lucky finding the right guy at the right time. That might’ve just happened for the Mets with Billy McKinney who is playing a good right field and has a 148 OPS+ with the Mets so far.

19. Between the Pete Alonso 9/11 jokes and mocking Kevin Pillar‘s face mask, who knew Padres fans were such trash?

20. The Mets are on pace for 90 wins right now, and that’s while they’re incredibly injured. Who knows just how good this team can and will be.

GAME RECAPS

Mets Just Had Bad Luck

Mets Had Just Three Hits

Jacob deGrom Made Padres Look Like Children

Chris Paddack Not Winning NL Pitcher of the Week

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Overcome Diamondbacks And Bob Brenly Ignorance

The New York Mets went to the desert, and it was the Arizona Diamondbacks who came up dry. While the Diamondbacks did push the Mets, the Mets took this series:

1. The fact Bob Brenly is still employed after what he said about Marcus Stroman is an embarrassment to the Diamondbacks and Major League Baseball. Seriously, why hasn’t Rob Manfred stepped in here?

2. Brenly should forever keep Tom Seaver‘s name out of his mouth. He should not be sullying the name of a great man and best right handed pitcher in the post World War II era.

3. Luis Rojas going to the well with Trevor May was really bizarre. May has been struggling, and he was very fatigued.

4. Holding back Seth Lugo from a save opportunity when you’ve already used Edwin Diaz and Miguel Castro because you want to ease him back from his injury is all well and good. However, you just can’t follow that up by trying to throw him two innings in his first appearance back. That’s a contradictory and dumb position.

5. Diaz is just a different pitcher than he has ever been. He’s able to go back-to-back days now with no issue. He’s shaking off blown saves. He’s having consecutive good years. There is not enough superlatives you can throw his way right now. He really deserves credit for how much he’s improved.

6. On that note, Jeurys Familia resurrecting his career has been perhaps the biggest key to this bullpen being this good.

7. It looks like that stint at first base was great for James McCann. He’s continued hitting well, and as we’re seeing, he seems to thrive on the platoon role. Fortunately for the Mets, Tomas Nido has taken his game to a new level to make this a tenable plan.

8. Between McCann hitting again and Francisco Lindor having figured things out, perhaps we can stop passing judgments on two months. Clearly, these two needed to settle into a new city with a new coaching staff. And yes, it helps them and everyone that the team replaced Chili Davis.

9. For those who haven’t noticed, Lindor is a truly great player. Look at what he’s doing. He’s top five in the majors in OAA, and over the past month, he has a .758 OPS. Remember, that includes a period when he was in a deep slump. By September, we’re all going to laugh at the panic some people showed over his start.

10. This team is clicking with the return of Pete Alonso. His presence in the lineup seems to have taken pressure off of everyone, and frankly, it helps that he returned to the lineup in peak Alonso form.

11. There is no one tougher than Kevin Pillar. Not only did he return from that fastball to the face and surgery to replace multiple facial fractures, but he’s picked right up where he left off.

12. The Mets have had a number of injuries, but if the hamstring lingers, none might be more impactful than Jonathan Villar. Villar has been able to hold down third base with all the injuries, and while his numbers and propensity to get picked off leave something to be desired, he does find a way to have an impact on games. The Mets are going to miss him.

13. The J.D. Davis injury is getting increasingly worrisome. It seems like he just has set back after set back. You really just have to wonder if the Mets are really missing a significant injury here.

14. The fact the Mets have a 4.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves, the largest in baseball, is impressive. The fact the Mets have that lead allows them to hold their cards and wait for Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo to return at their own pace. Of course, the pitching being so dominant allows that as well.

15. At some point, Jacob deGrom gets a no-hitter, right? Sure, Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux didn’t, but you have to believe deGrom eventually gets one.

16. Because baseball is stupid, you have to guess Joey Lucchesi or David Peterson gets one before deGrom even though neither pitcher really belongs in the starting rotation right now. Injuries have really helped keep them here.

17. The Mets really need to decide if they want Peterson to be Mike Pelfrey, or if they want to try to give someone else a shot while he goes to Syracuse to develop like he needs.

18. For those saying the Mets need Pelfrey, the team can certainly figure it out. After all, they have Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and Sean Reid-Foley who can give you multiple innings consistently out of the bullpen. They also have Jerad Eickhoff, Corey Oswalt, and Thomas Szapucki to plug into the rotation. Really, there are options, and they need to do something.

19. Speaking of Gsellman, those 3.2 innings were phenomenal, and it speaks to his being back to being the pitcher the Mets thought he was when he was first called up in 2016.

20. May was right. That game winning hit by Josh Reddick was foul. Really, this just highlights the absurdity of the replay system where there aren’t cameras down the lines to ensure we get calls like that absolutely correct. Then again, this is baseball under Manfred, so why should we expect any different?

 

GAME RECAPS

Jacob deGrom Nearly Perfect

Mets Blow It Against Diamondbacks

David Peterson Should Be Demoted to Syracuse

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Sweep Orioles

After sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks, the New York Mets swept the Baltimore Orioles to complete a perfect 5-0 homestand:

1. What’s the over/under on game winning RBI Patrick Mazeika gets before finally collecting his first Major League hit?

2. Mazeika is the first player with two walk-off RBI in his first four games, and it’s been well over a century before someone had multiple walk-offs before a hit.

3. Mazeika is why Old Timer’s Days are great. Some random player who most of baseball history will overlook gets to come back to a huge ovation and be treated like a legend.

4. That sentiment may apply perfectly to Mike Baxter.

5. Players and plays like this are a testament that you need contributions from up and down your roster. The Mets are getting that and then some right now.

6. Certainly, it helps the Mets experienced those injuries during a soft spot in their schedule. Then again, in years past when they didn’t have players like Kevin Pillar on the bench, they would fall completely apart anyway.

7. One annoying GKR trait is when a player like Pillar makes a good defensive play, they’ll mock defensive metrics.

8. We can talk about a number of reasons why the Mets are doing well, but defense is front and center. This has gone from a dreadful defensive team to a top 12 team.

9. When you’re playing good defense, your pitching can shine, and you only need four runs per game. When the Mets hit that mark, they’re 15-2.

10. If Jeff McNeil really only had cramps, and this front office has actually been upfront about injuries, the Mets dodged a huge bullet.

11. Albert Almora‘s collision with the wall is one of the scariest you’ll see. And yes, he did catch that ball.

12. It’s amazing after all the years of Jeff Wilpon laying waste to careers like Pedro Martinez, Ryan Church, Jason Bay, and many more with his playing doctor, people like Buster Olney only now take issue with the Mets handling injuries with Jacob deGrom landing on the IL.

13. We’re truly living in bizarre times when deGrom is on the IL, and Matt Harvey is pitching at Citi Field.

14. Harvey deserved each and every one of those standing ovations, and it was wonderful to hear how much it meant to him. Certainly, he meant the world to us.

15. Dominic Smith has started hitting again, and not a moment too soon with that clutch game tying RBI.

16. Contrary to previously held beliefs, Michael Conforto is indeed clutch.

17. Taijuan Walker continues to pitch great, and he’s probably been the best free agent starter. That said, he embarrasses the game of baseball when he doesn’t even try at the plate.

18. Marcus Stroman continues to be phenomenal both on the mound and as a fielder. As we’ve seen, he’s an even better teammate.

19. With deGrom, Stroman, and Walker, the Mets have three of the top seven in ERA.

20. The sting of Jarred Kelenic getting called up and the sheer stupidity of all things Brodie Van Wagenen will dull if the Mets keep playing like this.

Game Recaps

Patrick Mazeika With Another Walk-Off

Matt Harvey’s Sad Return