The Mets were blown out by the Orioles 11-2. It happens. The way this happened is not always how these things happen, and someone probably should be fired for this game.
Michael Wacha was terrible again. After allowing four earned over 4.0 innings. That raised his season ERA to 7.50.
This is just the latest example of how bad the Mets rotation is. Including Wacha’s ERA, the Mets starting rotation is now 5.21.
That’s impossibly bad. It’s even worse when you consider Jacob deGrom has been great again with a 1.69 ERA. Despite deGrom’s greatness, the Mets are on pace to have their worst ever starter ERA.
Through 43 games this season, the Mets’ starting ERA is 5.21. That is more than two runs higher than it was during their second-half surge last season, and it would be the highest full-season rotation ERA in club history, sneaking past the 5.18 mark of the ‘62 Mets.
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) September 9, 2020
Remember, this is the same rotation Van Wagenen said was the deepest in baseball. What they’re deep in is anyone’s guess.
To make hatters worse, Robert Gsellman was bad. He was then forced to wear it until he broke.
After a four run fifth, the Mets kept running him back out there. He was out there throwing 76 pitches which was nearly 20 more pitches than his season high. His pitch count would’ve gone higher, but he had to be helped off the field due to an injury.
Just when you thought the Mets couldn’t make things worse, they did. Over this season, Brad Brach has arguably been their best reliever, but he’s been somewhat limited due to the after effects of COVID19.
So, naturally, the Mets wasted him in what was then an 11-1 game. That’s just making a bad situation even worse. We shouldn’t be surprised by this because this is the Mets after all.
Anyway, the Mets were destroyed, and they got a player hurt in the process. Their starting pitching was again exposed. But hey, Jake Marisnick homered, so we’ll probably hear what a great job Van Wagenen has done from all the sycophants.
Game Notes: Jeff McNeil has now homered in three straight games. It’s the second time in his career he’s done that.
When Brodie Van Wagenen took over as GM, the Mets organization had an embarrassment of starting pitching depth. He was gifted a starting rotation which had Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz.
Now, the Mets rotation this week was literally posted as deGrom followed by a bunch of TBAs. The reason? The starting pitching depth is gone. Kaput!
For some reason, Van Wagenen thought the old adage you could never have enough pitching didn’t apply to him. For some reason, he actually thought he improved the Mets rotation and depth with Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha.
Someone will undoubtedly argue the Mets pitching staff suffered a number of injuries, and Marcus Stroman opted out. But that completely misses the point. That’s exactly why you need quality depth. That quality depth is long gone.
Now, at the trade deadline, Van Wagenen could’ve looked at this and pursued another starter. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. What we do know is not only did he not obtain a starting pitcher, but he would also get rid of one.
Van Wagenen traded Kevin Smith for Baltimore Orioles reliever Miguel Castro. He traded a promising left-handed starting pitcher who continues to improve and defy scouting reports for a reliever with a career 4.94 FIP and 1.409 WHIP.
Yes, Castro is talented reliever for sure, but his skills have yet to translate to tangible Major League success. This is the guy you take a flier on in the offseason. He’s not the player you overpay to get as your big time late inning reliever to help get your over the hump. Castro has not been and is not that guy.
As for Smith, he’s the latest starting pitching prospect Van Wagenen needlessly traded away for pennies on the dollar. Van Wagenen explained it away like Smith was a future fifth starter. That’s not too different from how he was dismissive of Dunn’s and Kay’s abilities before being shown how embarrassingly wrong he was.
In what should hopefully be Van Wagenen’s last trade deadline, he traded away his fourth starting pitching prospect. You could form what would’ve been a good Major League rotation with what Van Wagenen traded.
Instead, the Mets will gave zero starting pitching depth and next to nothing in return for all of these trades.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 29, 2020
That homer got Robert Gsellman off the hook. It’s a good thing because Gsellman didn’t deserve to lose this one.
After allowing the second batter of the game, Luke Voit, to homer, he turned in his best work since returning to the rotation. After that homer, he allowed just three more hits while walking none and striking out four.
The plan was to have Steven Matz piggyback his start, but Matz left the game after one inning with a shoulder injury and may very well land on the IL.
That meant to the Mets bullpen needed to step up again. It really wasn’t quite up to the task.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 29, 2020
Ramos really had no chance to catch Betances’ wild pitch. With that wild pitch, the Mets wouldn’t have another big come from behind win. Instead, they’d be walk-off losers.
On the bright side, Steve Cohen agreed to buy the Mets . . . again. This time it’s for $200 million cheaper. That should allow him to fix all the mistakes Brodie Van Wagenen made which led to losses like this.
First and foremost, everyone’s sincerest hope is the player and coach who tested positive will be safe and healthy. At the moment, that is the most pressing concern. After that, we all continue to hope none of the other members of the Mets organization tests positive.
That said, Mets baseball returns today with the Mets having a real grind. They’re going to play nine games over the next six days and 34 games over the final 34 days of the regular season. Assuming Brodie Van Wagenen was honest saying the Mets would not be active at the trade deadline (no one should assume Van Wagenen is honest or won’t jump at the chance to trade prospects), what the Mets have now is what they’ll have to try to grab a postseason spot.
With that being the case, it’s good these Mets got some rest because it’s the last test they’ll see all season. With that rest came some opportunities for this team.
With the time off, the Mets now get to reset their rotation. That presumably means we see Jacob deGrom pitch today in one of the two games. When you get more deGrom, the Mets not only get more rest for what will be a tested bullpen, but also a better chance of winning.
On the starting pitching front, the extra time off buys the Mets time in getting David Peterson back from injury. It also gives Steven Matz some time to work on things. The came could potentially be said for Michael Wacha, but with his history of shoulder injuries, who knows with him?
Looking at the pitching, the bullpen needs the rest their getting because they’re going to be pushed to their limits. They’re going to be up and pitching 34 times in 34 days. They’re going to need the Mets to get as many healthy and viable arms in the rotation that this team could get.
Given the construct, this bullpen needs Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo back. The bullpen is going to need the quality innings they can provide. Honestly, the plan of stretching them out may no longer be a viable one as the Mets schedule doesn’t permit for it.
Looking at the offense, Jeff McNeil has been nicked up and struggling. Currently, he’s mired in a very un-McNeil like 2-for-18 slump. The time off should hopefully allow him to heal up a bit and get back to being McNeil.
That’s of increased importance because with the condensed schedule, the team is going to have to find games off for everyone. McNeil’s versatility is needed for the Mets to maximize their lineup and defense even with the days off.
In terms of days off, Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo are the only two Mets who have played in every game. This time off should help them recharge and allow them to play as many of the remaining 34 games as possible.
In terms of the rest, it is going to help this team. It’s allowing their best players to heal and recharge. It’s also allowing the Mets to reset their rotation. Overall, this time off has helped. Let’s just hope it’s enough to make the push the team needs to make over the final 34 games.
Time and again, we’ve seen Seth Lugo come up huge. That’s both in the starting rotation, where he wants to be, and the bullpen, where he has established himself as the best reliever in baseball.
When it comes to Lugo, it’s never really been a question of whether he could pitch in the rotation. The question is what is his best role on this Mets team.
As this Mets bullpen and pitching staff as a whole is constituted, they lean on Lugo’s ability to not just go multiple innings, but to also get the biggest outs in the game. With the current state of the rotation, you could argue Lugo’s ability to eat those innings in pressure spots makes him all the more needed in the bullpen.
With injuries and opt outs, Jacob deGrom is the only Mets starter guaranteed to give you at least five innings. That’s it. As a result, there’s an onus and strain on the bullpen.
The real value with Lugo is his versatility. He’s a one inning closer. He’s a long man. He’s there to bail you out of the inning. No one else can do what he does.
The aforementioned long men can give you innings, but they cannot be relied upon in a crucial spot. Right now, Justin Wilson and maybe Jared Hughes can be relied upon in a crucial spot, but they can’t give you more than three outs in a consistent fashion.
As we saw last night, the Mets bullpen is still very suspect in those late innings when Lugo is unavailable. Part of the reason is Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, and Jeurys Familia are occasionally prone to fits of wildness.
With respect to Diaz and Familia, they’ve made significant strides from their disastrous 2019 season. As previously explained, Diaz can likely be relied upon to close again. However, like most closers, he’s not as good or as reliable when being brought into a jam.
With respect to Betances, he’s not the same reliever he once was. His velocity is down, and he’s more hittable. As a result, he’s no longer the guy you can just plug into the seventh or eighth.
Now, you may want to argue Steven Matz may be able to be that guy. If that is the case, why remove him from the rotation and disrupt the status quo.
Taking Matz out of the rotation implicitly means the Mets don’t trust him. That goes double when the Mets won’t start him against a Martins team with the fifth wurst wRC+ in the National League.
Digging deeper, the Marlins are the worst offensive team the Mets face all year. This is the team you let Matz get right against. That is all the more the case when the Marlins have a 69 wRC+ against left-handed pitching.
All told, the Mets bullpen is already getting taxed. It’s going to get worse with every Gsellman and Oswalt start. Now, it’s going to get worse with each Lugo 2-3 inning start.
Removing Matz from the rotation now is a short-sighted panic move. The team simply doesn’t have the arms for three bullpen games through each turn through the rotation. They’re even less equipped without Lugo.
In the end, Lugo will be a good starter. It’s just that the entire team is not built to have Lugo in the rotation. The Mets should be aware of this, but as usual, Brodie Van Wagenen thinks he knows better than everyone. Each and every time he thinks that, the decision blows up in the Mets faces.
Chances are, this decision will too.
The Mets fell down 1-0 when Robert Gsellman struggled in the top of the first. When Dominic Smith hit a bases loaded double off Jordan Yamamoto in the second, the Mets took a 2-1 lead. After that, the Mets offense exploded with nearly everyone destroying the baseball:
- Brandon Nimmo 1-4, R, 3B, 2 BB
- Jeff McNeil 1-4, R, BB, K
- J.D. Davis 0-3, 2 R, 2 BB, K, HBP
- Michael Conforto 1-3, R, 2B, BB, K, HBP
- Robinson Cano 3-4, 3 R, 4 RBI, K, 2 HR
- Pete Alonso 3-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 HR
- Dominic Smith 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HBP
- Wilson Ramos 1-5, K, 2B
- Amed Rosario 2-5, R, RBI, 2 K, 2B
The story of the night was Cano and Alonso. For Cano, he continues his great hitting in 2020. For Alonso, that’s eluded him this year, and he’s struggled to the point he was dropped in the lineup to the sixth for the first time in his career. He responded with a two home run game.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 18, 2020
If you are looking for a negative from this game, it was Gsellman who struggled. Even staked to a 3-1 lead, he couldn’t get through the second. He was a bit wild leading Luis Rojas to lift him earlier than he would’ve wanted.
While there was some disappointment in Gsellman not taking a step forward after being reinserted into the rotation, there should be genuine excitement in Chasen Shreve, who was again excellent.
Shreve struck out five while pitching 2.1 scoreless and hitless innings. He led the charge of a bullpen which allowed one run over the final 7.1 innings.
Of note, Franklyn Kilome came in to pitch the final three innings picking up his first career save. He was wild walking five allowing two runs, but he was also lighting up the gun at 96 MPH. He struck out four.
Ultimately, Kilome didn’t do much to make a case for him to replace Gsellman. Still, he helped the bullpen while showing he’s still not ready to pitch at this level.
Things got so bad for the Marlins in their 11-4 loss, Logan Forsythe was the sacrificial lamb. He was the position player who pitched the ninth.
Overall, the Mets outclassed the Marlins. This is what we expect from this Mets team. Hopefully, this will prove to be a turning point of the season.
Game Notes: Jacob deGrom threw a bullpen and showed no ill effects. He’s in line to make his next start.
For all his bravado, Brodie Van Wagenen has not only stripped the farm system down, but he did it while impinging the Major League roster’s ability to compete for a World Series. To put it in perspective, let’s just look at what the Mets roster would look like right now if Van Wagenen only kept the Mets players in the organization had he not taken the job, or, if he did nothing.
Some caveats here. This assumes free agents were re-signed. Without the Robinson Cano deal, that would’ve been possible. Also, it assumes the same players who are injured for the season would remain injured. Finally, this will eliminate those players not on active 28 man rosters. With that in mind, here’s what the 2020 Mets would’ve looked like.
2B Jeff McNeil
3B Todd Frazier
SS Amed Rosario
CF Juan Lagares
DH Pete Alonso
INF Wilmer Flores
1B/OF Jay Bruce
INF Luis Guillorme
RHP Jacob deGrom
RHP Zack Wheeler
LHP Steven Matz
LHP Anthony Kay
LHP David Peterson
RHP Seth Lugo
RHP Rafael Montero
RHP Justin Dunn
RHP Robert Gsellman
RHP Drew Smith
LHP Blake Taylor
RHP Bobby Wahl
LHP Daniel Zamora
RHP Paul Sewald
RHP Franklyn Kilome
Looking at the team overall, the starting pitching is vastly superior as is the team defense. The bullpen may not be as deep, but they certainly have the arms.
Overall, this non-Van Wagenen impacted roster would’ve certainly been better than the 9-14 team his Mets roster is. This just goes to show you how bad of a GM Van Wagenen is.
He’s made the Mets worse in 2020, and he’s made the Mets future less promising. You could not have done a worse job than Van Wagenen has done.
The Mets went into Philadelphia with a chance to make a statement. On the bright side, they made that statement. On the downside, it wasn’t the statement we wanted them to make.
1. This series only further cemented Brodie Van Wagenen as the worst GM in baseball.
3. Remember when Van Wagenen said the Mets had the deepest rotation in baseball? With Jacob deGrom dealing with a neck injury, Porcello and his 5.76 is now the Mets staff ace.
5. Steven Matz had three good enough starts to begin the season before pitching terribly in his last three starts. Fortunately for him, the Mets don’t have other options to replace him in the rotation.
6. It’s easy to point fingers at Jeremy Hefner but even a pitching coach with a magic lamp would still be stuck with two incapable starters.
7. On the topic of Van Wagenen’s incompetence, Wilson Ramos has been beyond terrible this year. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, he completely whiffed on a tag allowing the game winning run to score.
8. Van Wagenen preached accountability and media access when he took the job. The Mets made Ramos unavailable after that lame tag attempt, and the Mets made every player who would rebut their fabricated version of events when Yoenis Cespedes opted out.
9. There’s a lot wrong with the Mets, but Luis Rojas isn’t one of them. The Mets are not losing games because of him. They’re losing because the GM is horrendous.
10. Knowing that and seeing all that has transpired since, everyone owes Mickey Callaway an apology for how he was maligned.
12. Way too much was made of Drew Smith being optioned. The Mets bullpen has depth at the MLB level, and there were legitimate options in Brooklyn.
13. No, Smith didn’t deserve to be optioned as he pitched well, and yes, Brian Dozier had been terrible, but the Mets have nothing in reserve on terms of MLB caliber hitters.
14. Speaking of the Brooklyn site, the Mets added Francisco Alvarez and Matthew Allan which means they can now be traded.
15. We should be afraid they’ll be traded for pennies on the dollar with that being the defining characteristic of Van Wagenen’s tenure.
16. On the bright side, Van Wagenen is getting exposed, and the Wilpons will sell the team without winning a World Series as majority owners.
17. Mets fans deserve better. Hopefully, we’ll get that instead of getting Alex Rodriguez.
18. The St. Louis Cardinals have played eight games. The Miami Marlins are playing catch-up and have only played 15 games. The Cincinnati Reds aren’t playing games. Naturally, MLB’s response is to loosen COVID19 return to play restrictions.
19. Good for the Cleveland Indians for optioning Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger to the alternate site after breaking COVID19 protocols. It’s good to see someone in baseball take this pandemic seriously.
20. It’s the centennial of the Negro Leagues, and MLB did not do nearly enough to honor it. That goes double in a year where COVID19 prevented them from honoring Jackie Robinson. Shame on MLB.
The Mets lost two out of three to the Washington Nationals dropping them deeper into last place. While that was not good, they really found something. Hopefully, they’ll follow it through.
2. Guillorme and Gimenez gave the Mets a chance to win with their defense and their offense. Right now, the Mets cannot justify taking either out of the lineup. Not when they’re changing the complexion of games with their defense.
5. Amed Rosario is still an everyday caliber player at the Major League level, and he very well may still reach the full potential he has. With the Mets, that may need to be in CF where his tools translate extremely well.
6. Brodie Van Wagenen not looking to move one of Gimenez or Rosario to CF in an organization with tremendous middle infield depth and ZERO outfield depth is another indictment on him.
7. It’s another reason why the Robinson Cano trade was short sighted and very poorly executed. Cano needed to be moved to first or third.
8. It should be no surprise this is how Van Wagenen has operated as this is all one big grift. It’s clear the Wilpons were selling, and they were willing to trade off all of the future to win now.
9. With the sale bidding process, we see the Wilpons will do what they can to win one last World Series. We also see Van Wagenen has a complete disregard for his farm and acts like an excited puppy when teams asks for real prospects for defensive replacements. That means right now no prospect is safe . . . no matter how ridiculous the trade.
10. To set narratives straight, Michael Conforto continues to be the Mets best hitter, and he came through with a clutch hit yesterday.
11. Also, Dominic Smith should be playing everyday. Between his bat and heads up play getting the tag at second, this is a smart and very good baseball player.
13. Something just seems off all year with McNeil. He’s nowhere near the hitter or defender he was last year. He’s still a productive player, but we’ve learned to expect more. He’ll figure it out soon.
14. The Marcus Stroman trade was a bad trade at its inception, not because he opted out. The only thing the Mets can do to salvage the trade is to extend Stroman, but there’s no way the Mets do that before the sale.
15. It’s good to see Pete Alonso hitting again. The team needed it. If he’s hitting again, the Mets can roll with their defense, and they’re going to win a lot of games.
16. While everyone is taking about what the Mets need to do this offseason at catcher, they really need to have discussions on what they should do right now with Wilson Ramos playing like the worst catcher in baseball.
17. The Mets getting completely blown out by the Nationals at least once a year is a tradition we can all do without.
18. Juan Soto hitting monster homers, including two of longest in Citi Field history, and killing the Mets is another thing we never need to see again.
19. Gsellman was the right choice to move to the rotation. The Mets have the bullpen depth now to bullpen it as he gets up to speed, and his stuff plays better as a starter than reliever.
20. The NL East is a mess right now. It’s still winnable. The Mets don’t need bold moves at the trade deadline. They just need to play the right players, and they’ll win a lot of games.
Starting with just about the longest homer you’ll ever see off the bat of Juan Soto, the Washington Nationals would hit four homers. Two of those homers were by Soto.
That Soto homer off Robert Gsellman in the first was an ominous sign for a Mets team forced to bullpen this game due to the injury to Michael Wacha and the state of “depth” created by Brodie Van Wagenen.
Brandon Nimmo with the leadoff home run to get the Mets on the board 💪 🏃♂️ pic.twitter.com/pX5r7VanL7
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 12, 2020
What had been a 3-0 deficit heading to the bottom of the first became a 4-3 Mets lead. The Mets wouldn’t trail again.
It was 5-4 entering the bottom of the sixth. That’s when the Mets blew the game open. First, Conforto ripped a two RBI double over Adam Eaton‘s head. The ball probably could’ve been played better by Eaton, but it seemed as if Conforto was at least getting a hit even if Eaton played it well.
After that misplay, Alonso and Smith would go back-to-back to give the Mets a 10-4 lead.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 13, 2020
Those 10 runs stood partially because the Mets got some decent work from their bullpen. They also had another night of exceptional defense. It began with Nimmo robbing Kurt Suzuki of a homer in the second.
GET UP BRANDON!!! pic.twitter.com/TZezpQNDZ9
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 12, 2020
Gimenez and Luis Guillorme were again great in the field turning two double plays. They were also forces at the plate again.
Gimenez was 1-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base. Guillorme was 1-for-2 with a run, two walks, and a stolen base.
That was offset by Alonso getting back on track with two doubles and a homer. We also saw Smith have a double and a homer.
It was the best Betances looked striking out the side. Mostly, this 11-6 win was the best the Mets looked in a while. The hope is they can keep this going.
Game Notes: Alonso batted fifth for the first time this year. It was Gsellman’s first start since 2017.