Rene Rivera

Lucas Duda Is Better Than You Believe

With the Mets announcement of selling, we have officially begun the silly season of people proposing ridiculous trade rumors.  However, that isn’t limited to fans like you and I.  That goes to people who are actually paid to write about baseball, and those that are paid to talk about it on the air.  The first doozy came from Mark Feinstand of MLB.com who wrote the Mets should trade Lucas Duda to the New York Yankees for Austin RomineShockingly, instead of being met with derision, Evan Roberts was right on board with this one.

How can anyone be on board with that trade?

Since becoming the Mets everyday first baseman, Duda is a .247/.347/.484 hitter who has averaged 28 homers and 83 RBI in the seasons he was able to play a full season.  This year, Duda is hitting .251/.362/.553 with 13 homers and 29 RBI in 53 games.  That’s a 40 HR and 89 RBI pace.

Since 2014, Duda is eighth among first baseman with a 129 wRC+.  Considering Edwin Encarnacion has been a DH more than 1B over that time, Duda is really seventh.  If you focus on his two full seasons of 2014 and 2015, Duda has a 134 wRC+, which would rank him seventh.  Again, if you view Encarnacion as a DH, Duda is sixth.  And with Duda’s stats this year, it looks like he’s back to that 2014-2015 form.

Sure, Duda can be prone to bouts of streakiness (like any other player), and he had one bad throw in the 2015 World Series.  That doesn’t detract from the fact Duda’s in the upper echelon of Major League first baseman.

His return should be much more than a career backup catcher like Romine.  Think about it. Romine’s career numbers are .219/.268/.342, but he is better this year hitting .268/.305/.423.  Sorry, those are Rene Rivera‘s numbers.  Romine is a career .224/.258/.325 hitter who is hitting .231/.262/.314 this year.

How can anyone believe Duda is worth a player worse than Rene Rivera?  The same Rivera who the Mets signed prior to the 2016 season because he was released by the Tampa Bay Rays after Spring Training.  And by the way for all the hand wringing over Travis d’Arnaud‘s arm, d’Arnaud has thrown out to 22% of base stealers in his career to Romine’s 21%.  At this point, you could even argue you would rather have Kevin Plawecki over Romine.

And yet, people believe Duda isn’t good enough to fetch more than a backup catcher . . . a bad one at that.  They say that despite the Yankees, Astros, Angels, Twins, Royals, and possibly other teams being in the market for a 1B/DH.

There is going to be a point where Duda is no longer the Mets first baseman.  He is going to go to another place where the fans are going to appreciate him for getting on base even when he’s cold at the plate.  They’re going to be in awe of a 30 home run caliber bat.  He’s going to play a good first base.

All the while, Mets fans will be bending over backwards to say no one could have expected this.  It’s just another case of Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy.  In reality, they’ll be wrong.  Duda was this good when he was in New York, but you just failed to appreciate him.

Montero Figured Out At Least One Thing . . . The Giants

The Mets have given Rafael Montero enough chances that he was bound to finally figure it out.  Still, it seemed like he never was.  Each and every year, Montero was getting worse . . . not better.  He stuck around while useful and promising pitchers like Gabriel Ynoa were sent away for a mere pittance.  Finally, in his ninth major league call-up, Montero seems to have figured it out.

Montero only got this last chance due to injuries.  Unlike the other eight times Montero got a chance, Montero finally took advantage.

With the Mets needing some innings out of the bullpen, Terry Collins twice turned to Montero.  In those two appearances, Montero pitched 6.2 innings allowing just one earned on three hits.  He only walked two while striking out eight.  If nothing else, he helped save the bullpen in those games.  More than that, he finally earned a start, which he got on Sunday.

On Sunday, Montero looked like the guy the Mets have been waiting for all these years.  He was throwing strikes and attacking the zone.  He was mixing up his pitches and using his change-up as a weapon and not as a panic pitch because he didn’t trust his other stuff to get outs.

Things were going smooth for Montero until the third inning.  After allowing a pair of one out singles, he walked Hunter Pence to load the bases with Buster Posey heading to the plate.  In the past, this is the exact point where Montero would fall apart.  He didn’t.  Montero bore down, and he got Posey to hit a sacrifice fly.  He then battled Brandon Belt when the Giants bailed him out.  Pence tried to steal a base, and Rene Rivera gunned him down to get out of the inning.

That wasn’t the only way Rivera helped his pitcher.  Rivera went 2-5 with two homers and three RBI.  Overall, he helped his pitcher behind the plate and at the plate.

But it was Montero who was great.  In 5.2 innings pitched, Montero allowed just one run on five hits while walking just two and striking out seven.  You could argue this was just the Giants terrible offense, but it should be remembered his last two appearances were against the Nationals and Dodgers, who are two of the best offenses in baseball.

Montero would get the win because of his terrific pitching and because the Mets offense continued to roll.

Again, it was Curtis Granderson who got things started drawing a lead-off walk against Matt Moore.  He’d eventually come around to score on a Jay Bruce RBI groundout.  Bruce’s next RBI came in the eighth when he hit a two run homer to put the game away.  The homer was Bruce’s 20th home run of the season.  At his current pace, Bruce will have his first 40 HR season and just his second 100 RBI season.

Throw in a Lucas Duda fifth inning RBI double and a Granderson ninth inning solo shot, and you have a Mets 8-2 victory.  More than that, the Mets have swept just their second sweep of an opponent this season.  If only the Mets had played like this earlier in the season.  We could have been talking about the Mets being about to go on a push to make the postseason.  Instead, it is probably too little too late.

Game Notes: After moving to second for the first two games in the series, Asdrubal Cabrera was back at shortstop with Jose Reyes getting the day off.

What The Gsell, Man!

Tonight’s game effectively started like yesterday’s gameCorey Seager and Cody Bellinger each hit a two run homer to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead over the Mets. 

From there, Robert Gsellman allowed solo shots to Seager in the fourth and Yasmani Grandal in the fifth giving the Dodgers consecutive four home run games. 

Another run scored off a Joc Pederson RBI double. That capped off three straight Dodger extra base hits. It also was the end for Gsellman. 
Gsellman’s final line was 4.2 innings, nine hits, eight runs, seven earned, three walks, and two strikeouts. At this point, it’s safe to assume he’s taking the loss. 

For his part, Jose Reyes should take a lot of blame with his killing two rallies off Dodger starter Brandon McCarthy. He ended a third inning rally grounding into a double play. In the fifth, he struck out with runners on first and second. 

His counter-part wasn’t missing. Seager homered off Josh Edgin in the fifth giving him three homers in the game. At that point, it was 10-0, and the game was effectively over. 

[If more happens worthy of mentioning, this will be updated]. 

This season has completely unraveled. It’s time to sell for whatever they can get . . . no matter how little the return

Game Notes: Gavin Cecchini was rewarded for yesterday’s homer by being put in the lineup and batting eighth behind Rene Rivera. So far, he’s 1-2. The unearned run was the result of a T.J. Rivera throwing error allowing Justin Turner to get on in front of the Bellinger home run. 

What Is There To Even Sell?

After getting outclassed by the Washington Nationals, the Mets are now six games under .500, and they are 10.5 games back in the division.  Things are bleaker in the Wild Card race.  The Mets are now 12 games out of the second Wild Card spot.  One of the teams they are trailing are the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs.  While it may be too early on July 20th to say the season is over, realistically speaking, the Mets really need to consider selling.

Aside from Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, and the core group of starting pitchers, the Mets should look to sell everyone on the major league roster.  The problem is why would anyone want what the Mets are selling?

Travis d’Arnaud has had another injury this year and has regressed in all aspects of his game.  His backup, Rene Rivera has been hitting .162/.205/.297 over his last 10 games.  With Rivera, this isn’t too far from what he’s been his entire career.

Across the infield, the situation is no better.  Lucas Duda has had his typical hot and cold season with him hitting .175/.283/.375 over the past two weeks.  It also doesn’t help that he struggles against left-handed pitching.

Just as Neil Walker was playing great again, he suffered a tear in his hamstring, and he will not be able to come back from the disabled list until after the All Star Break.  That leaves little time for him to get back into form before the trade deadline assuming he is even able to return by then.

Asdrubal Cabrera is having a terrible season.  He has twice landed on the disabled list with a thumb injury.  His already poor range has been further limited.  While he’s always been a second-half hitter, his stats this season lag behind last year’s first half stats.

Flat out, Jose Reyes has been the worst infielder in the major leagues.  With his poor defense, he is little more than a pinch runner.

In the outfield, Curtis Granderson has shaken off his cold start, and he has been much better of late.  However, he’s still hitting .212/.302/.396, and he’s still 36 years old.  If a team were interested in Juan Lagares and his Gold Glove defense, that opportunity has passed with Lagares’ thumb injury.

Outside of Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins, the bullpen has been mostly terrible.  Josh Edgin has had a nice season there, but 30 year old LOOGYs hardly fetch a large haul at the trade deadline.  And for what it’s worth, the Mets still have years of control over Edgin.  He’s more valuable to the team as a pitcher than a trade asset.

Certainly, if the Mets were interested in moving Blevins, many teams would be interested in the LOOGY.  With his outstanding season, he’s probably going to get a larger return than your standard LOOGY, which still won’t be a prospect who will be a major piece of the future.

No, the only two players really capable of that are Reed and Jay Bruce.  With respect to Bruce, the bar has been set fairly high for his return.  Last year, the Mets traded Dilson Herrera, who was seen as an important part of the Mets future, and Max Wotell, who is an interesting left-handed pitching prospect.  If the Mets can match or come near that, they’ve done well.  The problem is Bruce is now a pending free agent making that kind of a return all the more unlikely.

Based on last year’s trade deadline, the Mets can legitimately ask for the moon for Reed.  He’s been great as a Met, and he’s been great this year.  He’s a great eighth inning reliever, and this year, he is showing he can replicate that success as a closer.  At the trade deadline, everyone is looking for relief help meaning everyone should be looking at Reed.

And the Mets better maximize that return because looking at the team as a whole, the Mets aren’t likely to get a whole lot back at the trade deadline.  Certainly, it will be paltry compared to the Yankees haul last year.  The sad part is if these players were playing better, the Mets return might’ve surpassed that.  Then again, if these players were playing that well, we wouldn’t be talking about selling at the trade deadline.

Five Mets Not Alive

Through the first four innings, this was a game. The Nationals got to Robert Gsellman, but the damage wasn’t as bad as it could have been. 

He made two mistakes. The first Bryce Harper hit for a long first inning home run. The second was a Matt Wieters fourth inning double. He came home to score on a Gio Gonzalez single. That’s problematic because Gonzalez is terrific at Citi Field. 

He was again tonight. The Mets had just one hit through the first three innings, and he looked like he was going to make that 2-0 lead stick. 

Still it was only 2-0 because in the third inning, Juan Lagares nailed Harper at the plate:

In the fourth, Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce hit back-to-back one out doubles to bring the Mets within 2-1. Considering how terrible the Nationals bullpen has been, that isn’t a bad position for the Mets.  If they kept it close, you had to like their chances. 

The Mets didn’t keep it close as the Nationals went to work in the fifth inning. 

Daniel Murphy continued to torture the Mets hitting a two run triple with a ball Lucas Duda couldn’t knock down and Jay Bruce couldn’t pick up. Murphy then scored on an Anthony Rendon single that tipped Lagares glove as he dove for it. The Nationals capped off the inning with a Michael Taylor homer. 

At that point, it was 7-1 Nationals. The only thing left was to add some injury to insult. 

Because this is the Mets that happened. On Lagares’ dive, he broke his left thumb, the same one he injured last year. 

It really just kept getting better and better. With Gary, Keith, and Ron discussing Amed RosarioWilmer Flores made an error. With all the injuries the Mets have had, there was a Hospital for Special Surgery advertisement behind home plate. I

After that, there was insult to injury. Rafael Montero came on in the sixth, and he dominated the Nationals. He had three straight 1-2-3 innings, and he struck out three batters. 

All the Mets had to do was keep it close, and they couldn’t do that. The Wilmer Flores homer off Joe Blanton was a stark reminder of that. 

But no, the Mets lost to the Nationals, and they lost badly. With Lagares getting hurt and Neil Walker and Matt Harvey landing on the DL, it’s once again hard to see how things are going to get better.

Game Notes: Rene Rivera hit an opposite field homer in the fifth. Gavin Cecchini struck out in his pinch hitting attempt. Matt Reynolds was scratched from the Vegas lineup meaning he’s likely ticketed for the Mets. 

Mets Bullpen Holds This One

If you like a traditional offense of get ’em on, get ’em over, and get ’em in, this was not the game for you. The Mets were 1-5 with RISP making them much better than a Pirates team that was 1-12.

That one hit wasn’t much of a hit either. In the fourth, Elias Diaz followed a one out Jordy Mercer double with an “infield single.”  It really should have been an error as Wilmer Flores charged the ball and had it go underneath his glove. With that being the one hit, you already know the Pirates did not capitalize on the opportunity. 

In fact, they let Robert Gsellman off the hook. After a 1-2-3 first, Gsellman allowed base runners in all six innings he appeared. 

The only rally they cashed in on was a third inning rally where the Pirates started the inning with back-to-back singled to set up first and third. Gregory Polanco hit an RBI groundout to plate a run. 

The only other run the Pirates would score off Gsellman was a Josh Bell second inning homer. 

The Pirates did have a golden opportunity in the sixth. Despite his having thrown 96 pitches heading into the sixth, Terry Collins went with Gsellman to start the inning. The Pirates put runners on first and second with one out, and Gsellman was up to 109 pitches. Collins then went to Fernando Salas

Salas came on and struck out yesterday’s hero Elias Diaz, and got Jose Osuna to fly out to end the inning and preserve the Mets 4-2 lead. 

With the Mets similarly struggling with runners in scoring position, they had to turn to the home run to win this game. 

The Mets got an early 2-0 lead as Neil Walker hit a two run first inning home run off Pirates starter Tyler Glasnow. After the Pirates tied the score at 2-2, Jay Bruce hit a solo homer to make it 3-2 Mets in the third. Wilmer Flores then hit a fourth inning homer to make it 4-2. That’s where the score stayed besides both teams having a number of chances. 

In the sixth, the Mets had first and third no outs off Pirates reliever Johnny Barbato. Flores and Rene Rivera strikeouts book ended. Curtis Granderson popping out to center. 

In the sixth, seventh, and eighth, the Pirates hand two on, and they would not score a runner. Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed made the pitches they needed, and they preserved the lead.

For his part, Reed was double switched into the game in the eighth and was entasked with the six out save. Prior to this, he had never recorded a four out save. 

Reed buckled  down and did it. It wasn’t uneasy, but he got the job done. The Mets did as well.  It was a good win, and the Mets needed to build off of this win. 

Game Notes: Asdrubal Cabrera made his eighth error of the season thereby surpassing his error total from last year. Jose Reyes took over for him in the eighth when Reed was double switched into the game. 

Gsellman Stays In This Time

In his last start, Terry Collins controversially lifted Robert Gsellman after throwing 84 pitches over six innings in a 5-3 game. It came back to haunt the Mets as the bullpen blew the lead and the game. 

Today, Collins controversially left Gsellman in the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Gsellman was due up with the bases loaded and two outs. To that point, Gsellman had thrown 89 pitches, and the Mets were clinging to a one run lead. 

Rather than go for the knockout punch, Collins stuck with his starter in what could be Gsellman’s last start. Before the game Sandy Alderson announced both Steven Matz and Seth Lugo will likely join the rotation some time next week. In all likelihood, this means Gsellman is bound for the bullpen or Vegas. 

Collins’ faith in Gsellman was rewarded in more ways than one. First, Gsellman earned a bases loaded walk off Brewers reliever Rob Scahill with some help from C.B. Bucknor:

It was actually Gsellman’s second RBI of the game. His previous RBI came in the fifth inning. 

The Mets had runners on second and third after a Rene Rivera RBI double. Gsellman hit a medium to shallow fly ball to right, and Glen Sherlock sent Wilmer Flores. Rivera would then score on a Michael Conforto RBI double. 

With that, it was 4-2 Mets heading into the seventh. Gsellman rewarded his manager’s faith in him by mowing down the Brewers with a 1-2-3 inning. That would close the books on a good start for him. 

Gsellman’s final line was seven innings, three hits, two runs, one earned, two walks, and five strike outs. It was the Mets fourth straight quality start, and it might’ve been his best start of the season. 

He kept a good hitting Brewers team at bay. The one run on him was a home run he allowed to Domingo Santana on a pitch that was on the batter’s shoe tops. The first run was on the Mets infield. 

Asdrubal Cabrera threw a ball away allowing Jonathan Villar to reach. Later that inning, Jose Reyes picked up a Matt Garza sacrifice fly bunt attempt rather than letting it go foul. This put Villar in scoring position and allowed him to score on a groundout.
The Brewers wouldn’t have a rally like that until the ninth. Travis Shaw and Domingo led off the ninth with back-to-back singles. Addison Reed then settled down by striking out the next two batters and then getting a game ending ground out. It was Reed’s seventh save of the season. 

Right now, it’s time to start getting optimistic about this team. The offense is still scoring runs, and the starting pitching has been pitching better and going deeper into games. If that continues, you’ll see more games of just Paul Sewald and Reed. That right there is a winning formula. 

Game Notes: Jerry Blevins did not warm up. Unlike Saturday, Curtis Granderson moved to right field for defense when Juan Lagares came on in the eighth for defense. On SaturdayJay Bruce stayed in and couldn’t get to the game winning hit. Flores was 3-4 with all at-bats coming against right-handed pitching. 

Quality Start Begets Brutal Loss

Due to the ineffectiveness and injury to Tommy Milone, the Mets put Robert Gsellman back in the rotation. 

Gsellman went out there and gave the Mets what is technically considered a quality start, which is three earned over six innings. Things might’ve gone better for him, but Yangervis Solarte got to him twice knocking in all three runs against Gsellman. 

After the top of the sixth, Gsellman had thrown just 84 pitches. There would be no seventh inning though because Gsellman was due to lead off the inning. That and the fact Gsellman hasn’t started in a while. 

Still, it should not have mattered. The Mets were up 5-3 against the team with arguable the worst offense in the National League. 

Well, the Mets look like the worst bullpen in the National League, and Terry Collins used all the quality arms last night. Well push came to shove, and Fernando Salas was the one who got hit. 

Salas loaded the bases with two outs following a pinch hit single by Chase d’Arnaud with back-to-back walks to Matt Szczur and Solarte. At that point, Collins decided to make the worst possible move he could’ve made. He went with Neil Ramirez and his 10.32 ERA to pitch to Wil Myers:

Thanks in part to a little luck and some Timo Perez-esque base running, the Padres only tied the score. Fortunately, Josh Edgin got the Mets out of the jam. 

Unfortunately, Collins went to Josh Smoker to pitch the eighth. For the second straight night he was greeted with a long home run. This one was hit by Hunter Renfroe

Renfroe would return the favor to the Mets in the bottom of the eighth. He flat out dropped a Juan Lagares fly ball. To his credit, Lagares hustled on the play and got to second base. The Mets would strand him there. 

That was about all that the Mets offense had done wrong on the night. Michael Conforto continued to rake going 2-3 with a run, RBI, and two walks. Wilmer Flores hit a bases clearing double in the third. He scored on a Curtis Granderson single. Overall, every Mets starter except Rene Rivera reached base at least once. 

The Mets offense would get one last chance against Brad Hand who came on to save the Padres 6-5 lead. 

Neil Walker got the rally started with a lead-off single. Lucas Duda had a tough at-bat drawing a well earned walk, his third of the game. He came off for Matt Reynolds. The bases were then loaded as Flores hit a seeing eye single just past the shortstop. 
Granderson and Rivera then struck out putting the game in Lagares’ hands. Renfroe wouldn’t drop this flyball leading to yet another brutal loss created by a bullpen meltdown. At least we know Collins won’t learn from this game either. 

Game Notes: Jay Bruce sat with a back injury. 

Travis d’Arnaud Is Better Than Rene Rivera

We saw it again.  When Travis d’Arnaud is healthy, he has the talent to be an All-Star.  However, yet again, he is injured, and his injury has once again created an opportunity for another player.  In the past, Kevin Plawecki wasted those opportunities.  This year, it is Rene Rivera, and he has taken full advantage of the opportunity.

Since d’Arnaud went back on the Disabled List, Rivera is hitting .357/.400/.452 with a double, homer, and 11 RBI.  Right now, Rivera is exactly what the Mets thought they would be getting from a healthy d’Arnaud.  Because of that Terry Collins has basically said d’Ranud is not getting his starting job back when he returns from the Disabled List.  Specifically, Collins said, “When Travis gets back, we’ll have to make some decisions, but obviously Rene Rivera has earned a spot, has earned a job catching, and we’re going to play him as much as possible.”  (Mike Puma, New York Post).

If Collins follows through with that plan, it is going to be problematic.  It is Collins confusing a hot streak at the plate from a veteran to a player transforming themselves.  There are two things that are true here: (1) It is hard to trust in d’Arnaud because of his injury history; and (2) Rivera is playing some of the best baseball in his career.  To say anything different is to read too much into everything.

In fact, this isn’t the first time we have seen this from Rivera.  In July 2016, Rivera hit .323/.400/.581 with two doubles, two homers, and seven RBI.  With that hot streak and another injury prone season from d’Arnaud, Rivera would be the starter the rest of the way.  In the ensuing 34 games, Rivera would hit .216/.278/.295 with one double, two homers, and nine RBI.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this.  Rivera is not a good hitter.  In his career, he is a .219/.269/.338 hitter who has just one season with double digit homers.  He has been slightly better in his one plus season with the Mets hitting .247/.304/.361 with eight homers and 40 RBI in 89 games played.  Even is you were to argue Rivera is a better hitter with the Mets, he is still not a good enough hitter to play everyday.

The obvious argument is Rivera should be starting because he is a strong defensive catcher that gets the most out of his staff.  Unfortunately, the data does not support this notion.

In April, with d’Arnaud catching 16 out of the 24 games, the Mets pitching staff had a 4.53 ERA and were walking 3.5 batters per nine innings and striking out 9.5 batters per nine innings.  In May, the Mets pitching has fallen apart.  In the month, the Mets pitchers have a 6.02 ERA while walking 4.4 batters per nine and striking out just 8.3 batters per nine.

Now, there are a number of reasons why this happened.  First of all, Noah Syndergaard has not thrown a pitch in the Month of May, and his replacement in the rotation was Tommy Milone.  We have also Adam Wilk make a disasterous spot start due to Matt Harvey being suspended.  That’s another thing.  Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Robert Gsellman have all regressed in May.

April May
       ERA     WHIP      BB/9        ERA     WHIP       BB/9
deGrom 2.84 1.17 3.20 4.50 1.50 4.50
Harvey 4.25 1.15 3.00 8.04 2.11 6.90
Gsellman 6.23 1.71 3.70 7.41 1.77 2.60

Now, there is always a real danger in trying to draw too many conclusions from a small sample size even if that is what Collins is doing in naming Rivera a starter right now.  However, there might be one big reason why these pitchers have struggled since d’Arnaud went on the Disabled List.  It could just be because d’Arnaud is a better pitch framer than Rivera.  In fact, between d’Arnaud, Plawecki, and Rivera, Rivera is the worst pitch framer on the roster.

Now, it might be difficult to accept d’Arnaud is better handling this Mets pitching staff than Rivera because that’s not the narrative.  The narrative is Rivera is the defensive specialist.  If you are looking for proof, look no further than his 36% caught stealing rate.  Actually, people rarely do look further than that.  While Rivera has his strong points as a catcher, he is not a great defensive catcher.  His pitch framing holds him back.  If he’s not getting that extra strike for his pitching staff on a per at-bat basis, it is hard to defend playing him everyday with his offensive ineptitude.

Overall, d’Arnaud is the better pitcher for this Mets pitching staff.  His pitch framing skills help turn balls into strikes.  This get his pitchers into advantageous counts.  This shortens at-bats.  It keeps runners off the bases.  Ultimately, pitchers can now go deeper into games.  Also, the pitchers can have leads when they leave the game with the help of d’Arnaud’s bat in the lineup.  Looking at d’Arnaud’s bat and his pitch framing, there should be no doubt he should play everyday.

Mets Win An Unnecessarily Close Game

When tonight being the night Terry Collins became the Mets all-time leader in games managed, you knew tonight couldn’t be easy no matter how far ahead the Mets got. 

As it turns out, the Mets jumped out to a big lead despite falling to completely cash-in on their opportunities. 

In the first, the Mets loaded the bases with no out. The only run the team would score would be on a Neil Walker RBI ground out. Walker got the RBI because Angels first baseman (and former Mets prospect) Jefrey Marte dropped the throw on what should’ve been a double play. 

In the third, the Mets had second and third with no outs after Jose Reyes stole second. Michael Conforto would score on a Jay Bruce sacrifice fly. Reyes tagged up and went to third on the play. He’d be stranded there despite reaching third with less than two outs. 

The Mets loaded the bases again in the bottom of the fifth against Angels starter Alex Meyer leading to a pitching change. Walker greeted Jose Alvarez with a two RBI bloop single. Instead of putting the game completely away, the Mets wouldn’t plate another run in the inning carrying a 4-0 lead into the sixth. 

It did look like it was going to be enough as Zack Wheeler was cruising. He had pitched five scoreless allowing just three hits and three walks while striking out five. 

He then fall apart in the fifth allowing issuing back-to-back walks to start the inning. He then yielded a single to Andrelton Simmons to load the bases, and he plunked Marte to make it a 4-1 game. 

Fernando Salas would come on in a huge spot, and for the first time since the beginning of the season, Salas came up huge. He yielded no more than an RBI ground out there for preserving the Mets lead. Due to Salas’ work, Wheeler was still in line for a win. 
With Robert Gsellman pitching two scoreless, looking like the guy we all thought could be a Rookie of the Year candidate, and the Mets tacking on runs, the game appeared to be in the bag. 

It became time to test out the lower end relievers after a big eighth. Lucas Duda got things started with a two out double. Rene Rivera was intentionally walked. Wilmer Flores hit an RBI double scoring Duda. On the play, Rivera got caught on a rundown. With Simmons dropping the ball, Rivera was able to stay alive. 

He then scored on a Reyes RBI single. It was a huge night for Reyes in that not only did go 3-4, but he also recorded his 2,000th career hit. 

The Mets entered the ninth with a 7-2 lead, which was the perfect spot to bring in Neil Ramirez and his 8.71 ERA. After tonight, it appears there’s no real spot for Rivera

He loaded the bases in the ninth without recording a win. The Mets would need to bring on Addison Reed for his sixth save of the season. It wasn’t easy with him allowing all the inherited runners from Ramirez to score. One of those runs scored on a sac fly when Trout just missed one. 

In any event, Reed closed the door, and Collins has coaching more games than anyone else. The Mets have also shaved 2.5 games off the standings over this recent hot stretch. 

Game Notes: The Mets played some good defense today. Conforto had a leaping catch and nails someone at the plate. Also T.J. Rivera made a diving stop at third and throw out the runner   first.