Peter Alonso

Mets Haven’t Given Dominic Smith A Chance

After this weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Mets are going to have to make a decision. They will have to cut one pitcher and one position player as the team needs to bring the roster down from 28 to 26. If this was purely merit based, the answer to that conundrum would be Robinson Cano, who has only shown he’s done.

As of this moment, if it is not Cano, all signs point to Dominic Smith, and the biggest reason why is he has an option remaining, and he does not have five years of service time. As a result, he can not reject the assignment to Triple-A.

Based on the numbers so far, there isn’t much of an argument. Through 17 games, he is hitting just .182/.300/.212 with a double and three RBI. More troubling behind that 69 wRC+ is a 30.0 K%. Even if there has been some recent improvement, including his go-ahead pinch hit against the St. Louis Cardinals, he just hasn’t shown enough so far this season.

A large part of that could be attributable to how the Mets have handled him this season.

As the Mets approached Opening Day, Smith was showing his 2021 shoulder issues were behind him. Max Scherzer was commenting how Smith was showing an ability to hit balls he was never able to hit. He was red hot at the plate, and he looked poised to return to his 2020 form where we all thought he was on the verge of being a star.

As it turned out, the team first looked to get Cano going. Even after he had a PED suspension costing him the 2021 season, they rewarded him with the Opening Day start. Smith would have to stay on the bench. He would actually be the last Mets player on the roster to get an at-bat and a start in the season.

Nearly a full month into the season, Smith has only started on back-to-back days just once. While having good numbers against left-handed pitching, better than Pete Alonso, he is benched against left-handed pitchers. Really, this is the story of his entire Mets career.

Heading into the 2018 season, the Mets signed Adrian Gonzalez to block Smith. When Gonzalez didn’t work, they went to Wilmer Flores. They never gave him an opportunity to compete with Alonso for the first base job. Time and again, the Mets just go out of their way to find excuses to not play Smith, and then when he doesn’t succeed in a tough situation, they act like they’re justified pretending like he didn’t thrive with extended playing time in 2019 and 2020.

All-in-all, Smith hasn’t performed this season. Certainly, there is blame on his shoulders for not taking advantage of his limited opportunities. That said, sooner or later, the Mets need to put him in a position where he can thrive and be an everyday player because Smith has shown he isn’t just an everyday player but a good one at that.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets/Cardinals Rivalry Still Alive

The New York Mets traveled to St. Louis for another litmus test, and once again, they proved they’re this good. More than that, they proved they’re mentally tougher.

1.  Pete Alonso has now been hit twice in the head and dragged to the ground from behind by Stubby Clapp. He’s either going to break or just absolutely going to go on an absolute tear.

2.  On that note, Alonso needs to start hitting for power again. These opposite field singles aren’t going to cut it.

3.  Chris Bassitt basically said he dominated the Cardinals without being able to get a grip on the ball. He’s that good.

4. Miles Mikolas is an idiot. Bassitt threw his pitchers a life-line saying it was MLB’s fault the Cardinals hit his teammates, and Mikolas, who hit Mark Canha with a pitch, basically said, no, it’s not the ball. We’re going it on purpose, or we’re that incompetent.

5.  Sooner or later, Canha has to get an extra base hit, and it has to be more than an attempt at a hustle double. With him coming out of games last for Travis Jankowski, he’s not good enough to be a glorified slap hitter.

6.  Jankowski has proven himself to be a valuable contributor. He cannot be DFA’s May 1. That goes double when you consider how bad Robinson Cano has been.

7. That may not be an issue with J.D. Davis getting hit on the foot and having to get taken out of the game. The x-rays were negative, but if it’s a lingering issue, there will be an MRI and perhaps an IL stint.

8.  Jacob deGrom‘s MRI was a mixed bag. On the one hand, he is healing, but it does not appear he is on schedule to return when we all hoped. Still, it’s progress, so we should take it.

9.  Max Scherzer has been just as advertised. He’s out there pitching like an ace, and he’s as fierce a competitor as there is. He was in the dugout telling the Cardinals to shut up, and then he was the first one out of the dugout when the benches cleared.

10.  Oliver Marmol is a fraud. His pitchers hit Mets batters in the head. Steven Matz threw one up at Brandon Nimmo‘s head. His team knocked Davis out of a game with an injury. He is then going to get up there and complain like the Mets have been throwing at his batters all series, and then he goes and defends Clapp.

11. Nimmo has been great to start the year as has Jeff McNeil. Those are two homegrown Mets who have been the Mets best players, and they are leading them to first place.

12. The Mets are withstanding slumps from Eduardo Escobar, Francisco Lindor, and Starling Marte to win games, and they are doing it against good teams like the Cardinals. That’s a very good sign for the season.

13. With respect to Marte and Scherzer, there is a real edge to this team. We see it in how the players stick up for one another, and we see it in moments like that comeback against Giovanny Gallegos. This is just a special team.

14. Yoan Lopez made a case for himself when he buzzed Nolan Arenado. That alone is not enough to keep him on the roster (ask Jacob Rhame), but he has the respect of everyone in that clubhouse.

15. There is a lot Buck Showalter is getting wrong here. For example, batting Cano during that ninth inning was indefensibly bad. That said, the way he has handled the time share with James McCann and Tomas Nido has been a masterpiece. He’s starting to get the best out of both of them, and as a result, the Mets pitching staff.

16. Trevor May is fighting it. Fortunately, with the return of the real Seth Lugo in addition to the emerge of Drew Smith, the Mets can wait for him to get fully healthy and back on track.

17. There are some serious 1986 vibes with this Mets team. They are not just beating teams on the field, but they are also taking a mental edge. That is a very large reason why we see miscues like we did from Arenado and why Marmol was so bent out of shape.

18. it may be a golden rule not to make the last out of the inning at third, but you can give Luis Guillorme a pass trying to stretch a double to a triple because that throw from Dylan Carlson was the best you’ll ever see.

19. If you want an idea of how good the Mets are right now, the San Francisco Giants are the second best team in the majors with a 13-6 record. Half of their losses have come against the Mets.

20. The New York Yankees have been surprisingly good to start the year. Aaron Judge has been great, and he has a contract situation. Anthony Rizzo has been phenomenal. Gerrit Cole is struggling mightily. They’re in first place. Despite all of that, right now, they seem to be taking a back seat to the Mets. That is really the most shocking development of the year.

Game Recaps

Mets Shock Cardinals

Mets McCann Beat Good Teams on Road

Mets Lose While Cardinals Lose Their Cool

Mets Lose While Cardinals Lose Their Cool

Over the course of a 162 game season, there are going to be games like this. Frankly, Carlos Carrasco just didn’t have it, and as a result the New York Mets just weren’t going to win.

With the Mets winning six straight series to open the season, we shouldn’t be dwelling too much on a game like this. That goes double with the Mets resting players in advance of a travel day.

Where the focus needs to be is how the Mets comport themselves and are rattling their opponents.

Again, Mets batters were thrown at by the opposing pitcher. Steven Matz went up-and-in on Brandon Nimmo. J.D. Davis left the game with a foot injury after being plunked by Genesis Cabrera.

Finally, for the first time all season, the Mets responded in a way that wasn’t Starling Marte or Max Scherzer threatening the other team. Yoan Lopez took the ball and buzzed Nolan Arenado.

It was a pitch reminiscent of Noah Syndergaard and Alcidies Escobar. It was up-and-in, but the batter was not in danger of getting hit. Like with the 2015 World Series, an overreaction ensued.

Arenado chirped, attacked Tomas Nido, and then, he headed for Lopez. He wouldn’t get there as the benches cleared, and Arenado backed off. During the melee, the Cardinals went after Pete Alonso.

That was done by the Cardinals first base coach Stubby Clapp, a coach whose name is reminiscent of what Jimmy Duggan advises young boys to avoid. Things might’ve gotten worse, but Albert Pujols stepped in and de-escalated the situation.

At this point, the Cardinals had hit five batters. That included hitting Alonso in the helmet. Then, they went after him in a scrum.

Chris Bassitt tried to throw the Cardinals pitchers a lifeline by blaming MLB. Instead, Miles Mikolas effectively called Bassitt a liar and said Bassitt needed to take responsibility for his own control issues. Again, this was in response to Bassitt trying to absolve Cardinals pitchers of throwing at his teammates.

After the game, Cardinals manager Oli Marmol not only whined after the non-HBP, but he went on to defend attacking someone from behind:

When Buck Showalter was asked about the same course of events, his reaction was markedly different. He noted how when Alonso was ACTUALLY HIT IN THE HEAD, he went to first base.

This is where the Mets and Cardinals could not be more different. The Mets are angry they keep getting hit by pitches, but they’re channeling that anger towards beating you. So far, it’s not only worked, but it’s also galvanized the team.

With respect to the Cardinals, they couldn’t handle it. They threw with reckless abandon and kept hitting Mets batters.

When the Mets said, we get what’s happening here. It’s not your fault. The Cardinals response was to tell the Mets to take responsibility.

When the Mets three inside, the Cardinals freaked out and attacked Alonso from behind. Then, they went and pretended like all of their actions were justified.

In the end, the Mets are better than the Cardinals because they’re a better and more mature team. Every time you hit them, they get you back by winning. As for the Cardinals, well, they’re there to whine, complain, and point fingers.

The Mets took two of three, and they’ll have the mental edge when the Cardinals come visit Citi Field.

Mets McCann Beat Good Teams On Road

When you have a staff like the New York Mets have, all the offense needs to do is score a couple of runs. When they didn’t for Max Scherzer last night, they needed late inning heroics.

Tonight, the Mets got runs for Chris Bassitt, and it seemed like everything was in cruise control. Again, Bassitt was terrific.

Bassitt did have to navigate through the first inning, but it was relatively smooth sailing from there. He was working well up in the zone much to the consternation of the St. Louis Cardinals.

He pitched so well Paul DeJong didn’t even have a hit. When things are going good, they’re going good.

On the other side, the Cardinals started Jordan Hicks getting the start. He was the only Cardinals pitcher to give up runs.

The Mets opened the scoring in the third on back-to-back doubles from Jeff McNeil and James McCann. McCann had a three hit game and is apparently heating up.

After Brandon Nimmo walked, Hicks left the game with an injury. Starling Marte greeted Andre Pallante with an RBI single.

The Mets were up 2-0 with two on and no outs, and they appeared poised to blow it open. After Francisco Lindor grounded into a double play, that was it for the scoring in the inning.

One thing that was noticeable was how the ball wasn’t carrying. It was a cool night in St. Louis, but this has been a much talked about issue in baseball this season. That said, this was seemingly the first time it was truly noticeable in a Mets game.

While there wasn’t much in terms of threats after that third inning, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t drama. In the eighth, Cardinals reliever Kodi Whitley hit Pete Alonso in the helmet.

Alonso and the Mets were furious, and the benches cleared. Intentional or not, Alonso was hit in the head for the second time this season.

The Mets wouldn’t make the Cardinals pay in the eighth, but they would in the ninth.

Mark Canha hit a one out single, and Travis Jankowski pinch ran for him. Jankowski went first to third on a McNeil single.

After McCann struck out, Nimmo had a typical tough at-bat where he drew a walk. That brought up Marte who was hit by a pitch forcing home a run.

Marte wasn’t happy, but a run scored showing it was unintentional.

An interesting aside here is after Alonso was hit by the pitch, warnings were issued. Despite that Adam Ottavino plunked Tommy Edman in the eighth. Marte was plunked by Aaron Brooks in the ninth.

With no intention adjudged, neither Ottavino nor Brooks were ejected.

Drew Smith had pitched a scoreless seventh in front of Ottavino’s scoreless eighth. Even with Seth Lugo also warming, Buck Showalter went with Edwin Diaz in the ninth.

Traditionally, Diaz isn’t good on a second straight day. After a leadoff walk, it seemed like he was in for trouble again. However, he’d settle down and record the save.

With that, the Mets secured their fourth shutout of the season. It’s also the first time in franchise history they won the first six series to open the season.

Game Notes: Mets batters have been hit 18 times which is the most in the majors. Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez were unavailable leading to Todd Zeile to join Gary Cohen.

Neon Moment Of The Week: The Stretch

After a 7-3 start to the season, there was genuine excitement about this New York Mets team, but there was still some naysayers. After all, the Mets were beating up on the likes of the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Some questioned how the Mets would fare against a good team.

On that note, the San Francisco Giants came to town. Last season, the Giants led the majors with 107 wins, and they were off to a 7-2 start. Simply put, this series was going to be a real litmus test for the Mets.

Things did not get off to a great start. Tylor Megill, who had been great in place of Jacob deGrom finally struggled. The pitcher who was unscored upon would allow four runs over six. Fortunately, the Mets would tie the game in the fifth on RBI doubles by Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor. The score stayed that way until it was sent to extra innings.

With extra innings comes the gimmick Manfred Man on second base. Brandon Belt was the runner, and he would move to third on a Wilmer Flores flyout. After walking Darin Ruf, Brandon Crawford lined out. That left Thairo Estrada for Adam Ottavino. Estrada would hit a routine grounder to Lindor, but Lindor made an errant throw:

Initially, the umpires ruled Pete Alonso was pulled off the bag. However, upon replay, we saw Alonso made an incredible stretch to stay on the bag. That kept the game tied for the Mets to walk it off on a Lindor game winning RBI single.

That stretch was a key moment in the Mets winning that game. From there, the Mets went on to sweep the doubleheader and take three out of four from the Giants. As a result, the Mets proved they can beat a good team.

That moment was also indicative of just how far Alonso has come. Alonso was known as a poor defender when he was first called up to the majors. He has since made tremendous strides to vastly improve there. As a result, Alonso has shown himself as a player who can help the Mets win with their defense, and that is why “The Strech” is the Mets Neon Moment of the Week!

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Mets Shock Cardinals

This game featured an absolutely incredible pitcher’s duel between Max Scherzer and Miles Mikolas over the first seven innings. If not for pitch counts, they’d still be pitching with no one scoring.

Really, it was a shame each of them had to come out. It was a joy to watch them one up each other.

Scherzer only allowed two hits while walking one and striking out 10. Mikolas allowed four hits and walking one while striking out five.

As is typically the case, after a pitchers duel, things tend to get a little haywire with the bullpens. This game was no different.

After a scoreless top of the eighth, Mets killer extraordinaire Yadier Molina led off the inning with single off Trevor May. Again, May didn’t have it, and he’s starting to run out of excuses.

The eight and nine hitters singled, and with the Mets having the wheel play on, Tommy Edman swung away. May jumped and got a piece of it allowing Jeff McNeil to make a quick reaction to get the first out at first.

Buck Showalter then made a curious decision to have May pitch (around?) to Paul Goldschmidt rather than just walk him. The at-bat seemed to take a lot out of May as he wound up walking Goldschmidt anyway to load the bases.

Tyler O’Neill hit a two run RBI single, which at the time seemed like the game winner. Some credit should go to May here for recovering by striking out Nolan Arenado en route to getting out of the inning.

The Mets entered the ninth down 2-0 with Giovanny Gallegos entering the game. That’s usually game over.

It certainly seemed that way when Pete Alonso lined out on the first pitch. Eduardo Escobar followed with a single to give the Mets some hope.

Now, you really had to wonder what Showalter was thinking. It’s one thing to slot Robinson Cano as DH. It’s another to bat him ahead of McNeil. It’s beyond baffling how Showalter let Cano bat in this spot.

In all seriousness, the Mets were lucky Cano didn’t hit into an inning ending double play. That at least gave Mark Canha and the Mets a chance.

Canha had a terrific at-bat. After falling down 0-2, he battled his way back into the at-bat. On the seventh pitch, he grounded it to Arenado.

That should’ve been game over. However, Arenado threw it away. Between the Escobar advancing on the difference indifference and the home town scoring, Canha had an RBI single.

For the baffling decisions Buck made, he made a very good one here inserting Travis Jankowski as a pinch runner. Jankowski absolutely flew around the bases on the ensuing McNeil double, and if not for perfect Cardinals execution on the play, Joey Cora might’ve sent him.

Instead, Cora went against his nature and held Jankowski (the right move) putting the game in Dominic Smith‘s hands. Smith was up pinch hitting for Tomas Nido.

Smith ripped one down the line, and he was robbed by Goldschmidt. Had Gallegos broke immediately, the game was over. Instead, it was a foot race, and Dom beat him to the bag.

That not only allowed Jankowski to score the tying run, but it also allowed McNeil to score. On the play, McNeil never slowed up, and he scored rather easily.

A point here is you have to wonder what the Cardinals were thinking. With Smith pinch hitting (and looming all inning) and Brandon Nimmo lurking, T.J. McFarland was warning. You’d think they use him for the consecutive left-handed batters.

Well, we got a sense of what the Cardinals might’ve been thinking when Nimmo greeted McFarland with a two run homer to put the Mets up 5-2:

It needs to be reiterated the Mets were down to their last strike with Canha. If Arenado makes a routine play, it’s over. Gallegos going to first immediately ends that game.

Yes, the Mets got the breaks here. However, that underscores how good they are. They got those breaks, and they took advantage of them to score five runs and shock the Cardinals.

The 5-2 win was complete when Edwin Diaz came on and earned his second save of the season.

Remember, this is a very good Cardinals team, and the Mets just flew in from Arizona. That’s just two of many factors which just makes this such an incredible win.

Game Notes: Mets still have not been shut out. McNeil had two doubles. Nido struck out three times. Jacob deGrom had an MRI and the results will be shared tomorrow.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Win Fifth Straight Series

Another series and another series win for the New York Mets. That’s five in a row to start the season.

1.  As Starling Marte said, Brandon Nimmo‘s hustle rubs off on other people. That’s what makes this team great. They’re making each other play better and harder.

2.  While the extra inning rule stinks, with Marte’s infield single and Pete Alonso‘s stretch, you can get used to extra inning replays for the Mets.

3.  Marte gave the Mets two wins with his speed. It was the infield single, and then, it was the go-ahead run with the double, stolen base, and error on the throw. We’re seeing he can have an impact while still struggling at the plate.

4.  Seth Lugo is back. He’s throwing strikes, getting spin on his curve, and dominating again.

5.  As we saw with the homer, so is Edwin Diaz. He’s always a mixed bag, so we just have to ride the wave this season.

6.  Tylor Megill shook off a rough start to have a very good start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He may very well be a special pitcher.

7.  David Peterson did not deserve the demotion. He showed he is a Major League caliber pitcher right now, but he’s still seventh on the depth chart with Taijuan Walker set to return. This is a good problem to have for the Mets.

8.  With the rosters shrinking May 1, Trevor Williams is putting himself on the bubble with his struggles. Part of that is Buck Showalter‘s usage of him not allowing him to get into the flow of the season.

9.  In some ways, the Mets biggest hit of the season was the James McCann homer. If he gets going at the plate, this is a truly elite team with the way he has framed this season.

10. There aren’t a lot of positives with Trevor May‘s performance so far, but much of that is explainable. He dealt with arms issues, and Showalter is just asking him to do things he has never been comfortable doing in his career.

11. Showalter needs to stop shoehorning Robinson Cano into the lineup. While he can still contribute some, he is just not an everyday player or semi-regular right now. Other players deserve the playing time.

12. Luis Guillorme has earned his playing time, and he should be getting more. The DH allows to get his bat into the lineup and get rest for the outfielders who have been injury prone in their careers.

13. Mark Canha has cooled off, and he still doesn’t have an extra base hit. His hard hit rates are also concerning as is his poor defense to start the season.

14. While he’s had his moments, Alonso has been mostly poor to start the season. His defense has slipped completely, and he’s swinging at a lot of the zone. In some ways, this is very promising because once he gets going, watch out!

15. The Mets are beating bad teams, which is the key to making the postseason. In fact, that’s basically all they did in 2015, and they came within Terry Collins of winning the World Series that year.

16. It is a real shame Michael Conforto is done for the year. Not only is this costing him a year of his prime, but it is also costing the Mets a draft pick and pool money because Conforto had turned down the qualifying offer.

17. Given the year he had, Conforto probably should’ve accepted the qualifying offer and built back his value. That said, the talk around him rejecting the extension is plain wrong. That was a severely discounted offer anyone would’ve rejected.

18. Noah Syndergaard has been excellent to start the season, and Marcus Stroman has been quite bad. This hasn’t been discussed much because the Mets have been excellent with a very good rotation. That’s something the Wilpons never figured out. Make those decisions but make other ones to justify it.

19. In some ways, the Mets are about to get their real first test of the season with a long flight to play the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. This is a true measuring stick of where they are, especially with the Mets having Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt pitching in the series.

20. The Mets are the only team in baseball with 12 wins. It is a really good time to be a Mets fan right now.

Mets Extra Inning Replay Magic

This was just the latest example of how good this New York Mets team is and can be. There was every excuse not to win, but win they did.

They flew cross-county after playing the San Francisco Giants at home. The travel and let down after a big series win wasn’t a deterrent.

The Arizona Diamondbacks had the upper hand in the starting pitching department. Zac Gallen is a good starter, and David Peterson entered that season as seventh on the Mets starting pitching depth chart.

The Diamondbacks took the lead partially due to a Pete Alonso miscue in the third.

Pavin Smith hit a lead-off double, and he’d advance on what was ruled a Jose Herrera infield single. Truth be told, it was rather routine for Jeff McNeil (even with the shift), but Alonso ventured too far leaving McNeil with no one to throw to for the out.

The subsequent Cooper Hummel groundout drove in a run instead of being the last out of the inning.

There’s no sense in belaboring Alonso’s misplay. After all, Peterson didn’t cover. Also, he made a sterling play earlier robbing Matt Davidson of extra bases.

Alonso would also get the run back.

Gallen was perfect through three, but the Mets made him work. In the fourth, Brandon Nimmo had the first crack hitting a ball against the shift for a hustle double.

There would be runners at the corners with one out after a walk and fielder’s choice. Alonso went the other way to drive in the tying run.

Gallen would get through five allowing just that one run. The Mets were very lucky Gallen had a pitch restriction. They were also lucky Peterson was great.

After allowing that one run, he kept the Diamondbacks off the board. Sure, there was some luck, but Peterson did his job.

In the fifth, Smith forgot how many outs there were. After a flyout, Smith was on third allowing the Mets to double him off easily.

In the sixth, he gave up a two out double to Ketel Marte. Drew Smith entered and got him out of the inning with a lead.

The Mets got that lead in the top of the inning.

Nimmo and Starling Marte led off the inning with consecutive singles off Oliver Perez. On Marte’s single, Nimmo was overly aggressive going first to third. He was lucky Davison dropped the throw. Marte followed the play and went to second.

Nimmo scored on a Lindor sacrifice fly with Marte advancing. That allowed Marte to score on the Alonso fielder’s choice.

The Mets were not done scoring. In the seventh, we saw James McCann break out hitting a LONG home run expanding the Mets lead to 5-1.

The Mets needed everyone of those runs as the bullpen struggled.

It started with Chasen Shreve allowing a pair of singles leading to a Daulton Varsho sacrifice fly.

Trevor May looked a little rusty allowing Hummel to double. May almost worked his way around that, but Christian Walker shocked everyone by hitting a very rough pitch up-and-in for a two run homer.

Edwin Diaz came on in the ninth to save the Mets 5-4 lead. After getting two quick outs, Varsho hit the game tying homer sending this to extra innings.

McNeil was the Manfred Man, and McCann led off the inning with a ground out to the right side allowing McNeil to advance. With the infield in, Nimmo hit one on the screws at Nick Ahmed.

Ahmed bobbled it, but with McNeil already holding, he was stuck at third. From here, we’d again see replay help the Mets in extra innings.

Marte hit a ball fielded deep and on the line. Davidson made a string throw leading to the out call. Upon replay, Marte beat the throw allowing McNeil to score the go-ahead run.

With Diaz already used, Buck Showalter went to Seth Lugo for the save. This looked like the Lugo of old.

He struck out Hummel and Marte to start the inning. After walking Davidson, he got Walker to pop out to McNeil in shallow center.

Overall, this wasn’t pretty. The Mets blew a lead and then find a way, but that’s what they did. They won 6-5.

Game Notes: Mets bullpen scoreless inning streak ended at 17.2 innings.

Seth Lugo Struggling

There are a number of reasons the New York Mets lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks by the score of 3-2. For starters, Carlos Carrasco got absolutely no run support after a terrific start.

The Mets came charging back after being down 3-0 with a Starling Marte two run homer. Francisco Lindor kept that rally going by drawing a walk, but the Diamondbacks got out of the jam when Pete Alonso swung at the first pitch from Ian Kennedy resulting in an inning ending double play.

All that aside, the reason the Diamondbacks put three on the board was because Seth Lugo didn’t have it . . . again.

Now, there are some caveats. For starters, Buck Showalter pushed his luck again with Joely Rodriguez. Again, Showalter sent him out for a second inning with an impending left-handed batter, and Rodriguez walked the batter.

Lugo is not as sharp when he enters the middle of an inning instead of beginning the inning. April is usually his worse month. He’s not as good in day games as night games.

When you break it down, he just doesn’t seem to have the same control he once had. The spin is there. The velocity is there. He’s just not getting it in the same spots.

As a result, he’s not getting the same swing-and-misses. He’s getting hit a little bit harder. He’s now given up two homers. This last one to Sergio Alcantara, a terrible hitter, helped cost the Mets the game.

It wasn’t just that. He walked Daulton Varsho before allowing an RBI double to Ketel Marte. While Rodriguez got tagged with the loss, this was the run that cost the Mets the game.

With respect to Lugo, it’s too early to panic. We’ve seen poor stretches only for him to rebound. Fortunately, he’s doing this while the Mets are winning. Hopefully, he turns it around just when the Mets need him most.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Roll Over Phillies

The New York Mets traveled to Philadelphia for their first “test” of the 2022 season. While it started rocky, the team passed with flying colors.

1.  The Mets built this team on starting pitching, and it is working. They league the league in innings, ERA, and WHIP while being second in strikeouts. That could be the biggest reason they started the season 5-2.

2. Tylor Megill is doing everything we expected from Jacob deGrom did. Just imagine how good things will look when they are both in the rotation.

3.  Taijuan Walker looked great until he had to leave with injury. Fortunately, it appears he will be fine.

4.  David Peterson stepped up in long relief, and it appears he will rejoin the rotation. On that front, he started out jittery, and the K/BB wasn’t great. Still, there is talent there.

5. James McCann isn’t hitting now, but at least his framing seems much improved. So long as he and Tomas Nido continue to frame, they are more than doing their job.

6. As good as the starting rotation is, the bullpen has been that bad. Much of the blame there goes to how Buck Showalter chooses to utilize them.

7. Showalter knew Trevor May was dealing with bicep and tricep issues, and he still tried to push him another inning. This is all the more egregious considering it was cold and Showalter just came from a lecture about not pushing relievers early in the season. Fortunately, May is alright.

8. Joely Rodriguez is terrible when pitching to right-handed batters, which is exactly why trading away Miguel Castro for him made zero sense.

9.  Brandon Nimmo has been phenomenal atop the lineup. He has been everything we could expect and more.

10. The lineup in the finale of this series was perfect. Switching Francisco Lindor and Starling Marte makes so much sense analytically. Also, getting Robinson Cano out of the lineup right now makes even more sense.

11. Cano looks just about done. He has no bat speed. He has no speed. He isn’t hitting the ball with authority. This is already a huge problem.

12. Pete Alonso looks very comfortable as the DH. You still want to use the position to cycle through players on a modified rest, and you want to keep him engaged defensively, but it would be ideal for him to be the primary DH.

13. Dominic Smith needs to be better. Assuredly, some of the slow start is being sat to see if the Mets could get Cano or J.D. Davis going, but he needs to earn his way back into the linup. Hopefully, that sacrifice fly will get him going.

14. It is a pleasure watching Eduardo Escobar play. He gives his all on every play, and it was his hustle that allowed the umpires to award him a triple on that fan interference.

15. Sending Escobar was just plain dumb. Even a semi-competent throw gets him easily, and Escobar has real speed. The Mets have a very real Joey Cora issue, and it was an unforced error.

16. That Phillies lineup is frightening. As we saw on Monday, you give them an inch, and they can make you pay. More than that Joe Girardi alternates L/R so effectively you can never bring in a true LOOGY.

17. It’s a testament to this Mets offense they knocked both Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola out of the game early. It wasn’t that they put up a lot of runs, but rather, they just continued to grind and force up the pitch counts for both pitchers.

18. It should bother everyone Clayton Kershaw left a perfect game after seven innings with just 80 pitches. That is inexcusable, and there is simply no defending it. It really was everything wrong with baseball right now.

19. It is long past time we have a Tom Seaver statue, and it is going to be great seeing one on Opening Day.

20. The Mets still need to face some of the better teams in baseball to get a true feel for them, but so far, they look like a real contender this year.

Game Recaps:

Phillies Five Run Eighth Bucks Mets

Tylor Megill Outpitches Zack Wheeler

Mets Outlast Phillies