When making decisions at the trade deadline, it is not just about where your team is in the standings. It is also about where you are at as an organization. Right now, the Mets are 4.0 games up on the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, two teams who are under .500. As for the organization, well, they are in a much more tenuous spot.
After this season, Michael Conforto, Jeurys Familia, Rich Hill, Aaron Loup, Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, and Jonathan Villar will be free agents. After the following season, Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Brandon Nimmo, and Kevin Pillar will be free agents. Jacob deGrom can also opt out of his contract, and Taijuan Walker can decline his player option.
Focusing more narrowly, after two years, the Mets could lose 2/3 of their outfield and 4/5 of their starting rotation. They can also lose four key set-up men as well as their closer. Put another way, this team is on the precipice of losing very important pieces of a team which is going to take it to the postseason this year.
Now, this is certainly a much different proposition with Steve Cohen at the helm than it was with the Wilpons. There is an implicit trust Cohen will continue trying to win. However, as we know, you’re not always successful identifying who to keep and who to let go as well as who the right replacements are.
When we look back to the early 90s, the Mets were coming off their best stretch in Mets history. They made the right decision letting Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez go. However, they made some bad calls like thinking Vince Coleman could replace Darryl Strawberry. They over relied on their belief Kevin Elster, Dave Magadan, and Gregg Jefferies could be first division starters. Of course, there was also the Worst Team Money Could Buy.
All told, when the Mets switched from build around a core to replacing and altering the core, things fell apart. We can look at other points in Mets history when that happened. It happened again when the Mets passed on Alex Rodriguez as part of a calamitous offseason after the 2000 pennant. The 2009 Mets made the mistake of keeping Oliver Perez. The 2017 Mets got their money tied up in Neil Walker, and they saw Robert Gsellman and Lugo couldn’t hang as starters for a full season.
In some ways, that leads us to now. The Mets have extremely important decisions to make on who stays and who goes. They need to see who the correct replacements are. From what we’ve see from this front office, we should have faith they are up to the task. That said, we all had very well placed faith in Frank Cashen, and he blew it up.
Seeing where the Mets are, the best decision they can make right now is to absolutely go for it. Yes, that may very well require overpaying for players and rentals. Back in 2015, that didn’t make much sense. It was year one of contending for a young core who was cost controlled. Their decisions, including letting Daniel Murphy walk, turned it into a two year window. That window slammed shut without a World Series.
Right now, the Mets window is definitely open, but it’s being propped open. Without the right options, this window can slam shut after this year. It may well be that after the 2022 season. The Mets definitely need to keep this possibility in mind as they look to add at the trade deadline.
Players like Kris Bryant and Trevor Story dramatically changes the fortunes of this team. The same can be said for a player like Jose Ramirez. It may hurt to overpay for Max Scherzer or another top of the line starter, but imagine a two headed monster of deGrom and Scherzer (and having deGrom insurance) as the Mets look to win a World Series.
Ultimately, the Mets are going to see radical changes to this roster over the next few years. They’re in first place now with a team capable of winning a World Series. They need to make sure they do everything they need to do to get that World Series, or they may be ruing the missed chance for a team in transition over the next few years.
For once, it was nice watching another team struggle through a bad bullpen, but you still would’ve hoped the New York Mets made more of their opportunity against that dreadful Philadelphia Phillies bullpen:
1. Deepest condolences go out to Marcus Stroman who lost his grandmother.
2. The fact Stroman pitched through the pain of losing a loved one is another in a long series of how no one should ever question his heart or dedication. Again, this is the type of player and person the Mets want to keep around past this season.
4. That spark Michael Conforto provided the Mets offense sure seemed short lived.
5. On that note, the Mets offense is aware they don’t have to wait for the ninth for a rally, right?
6. It’s really difficult to pinpoint what’s wrong with Jeff McNeil other than bad luck. His batted ball numbers are extremely similar to previous seasons. With that being the case, they just need to stick with him.
7. The Mets really need to switch McNeil with Luis Guillorme defensively. Aside from struggles in a COVID impacted season, McNeil is a good third baseman. Guillorme is other worldly at second and not so great at third. It’s time to fix this.
8. Zack Wheeler dominating the Mets is just another example of just how impossibly bad Brodie Van Wagenen was as a GM.
10. deGrom is so amazing two earned over six innings is considered a bad start. When your worst is better than 99% of the league’s best, you know deGrom’s season is beyond hyperbole.
11. The Mets have a bit of a Pete Alonso problem. He’s just nowhere near his 2019 form, and he just seems to be getting further away. More troubling is the struggles hitting at home.
12. That’s not exclusive to Alonso. The Mets also have a Dominic Smith problem, and basically [INSERT PLAYER] problem. McNeil was noted above, and Conforto’s power had seemingly disappeared.
13. Brandon Nimmo appears nearing his return, and the Mets offense seems to need him. That’s problematic considering there are more than enough bats already in this lineup.
16. David Peterson had a strong start. He needs to start stringing them together.
17. Francisco Lindor had a huge game winning hit, and he increasingly looks like the player he was in Cleveland.
18. There’s been focus on Guillorme’s batting average, but he’s got a terrific .403 OBP. Considering he’s an eighth place hitter, you can’t ask for more than that. That goes double when he just finds a way on base in the late innings.
19. It’s funny. The Mets have gone 6-6 in a 12 game stretch against the NL East, and their 4.5 game lead is now 4.0 games. The only real change now is the order of the trans behind them.
20. At some point, the Mets need to go on a run. To that, Noah Syndergaard does say the Mets are a second half team . . . .
Apparently, the answer to what ails the New York Mets offense is Michael Conforto was on the IL. Because tonight, when he returned, the Mets offense was clicking.
Suddenly, it was a 2-0 first inning lead for a Mets team who had been shut out in consecutive games. Believe it or not, the Mets weren’t done scoring.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 23, 2021
That was a 5-0 lead. It was exactly when you wanted to have it as Tylor Megill was making his Major League debut. Despite the limited time in Double and Triple-A, Megill looked quite good.
His mid 90s velocity was hitting 97. While there was some control concerns, his first walks didn’t happen until the fifth. Overall, Megill looked like a pitcher who belonged, and this stage wasn’t too much for him.
He pitched four scoreless before running trouble into the fifth. He walked Ehire Adrianza to lead-off the inning, and one out later, Ender Inciarte homered to pull the Braves to within 5-2. When Megill walked the next batter, Josh Tomlin, his night was over.
Megill departed to a standing ovation and an umpire check for foreign substances. Even though Miguel Castro got the Mets out of the inning, Megill didn’t qualify for the win as he pitched just 4.1 innings.
The win would go to Corey Oswalt who came on in relief and gave the Mets some needed length out of the bullpen pitching 2.1 innings.
The Braves jumped on Oswalt with an Austin Riley double and Adrianza RBI single. However, he’d settle in, and he’d even register a pick-off.
Caught 'em leaning the wrong way. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/y00BGuB4MB
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 24, 2021
The Mets added an insurance run in the seventh, and once again Conforto was at the forefront. He’d hit a lead-off single and score off a James McCann RBI single.
With runners on first and second with one out, the Mets were well poised to blow it open there. However, Kevin Pillar hit into an inning ending double play, and for some reason, didn’t bother running it out.
With the Mets having a 6-3 lead and not much available out of the pen, they looked to push Oswalt another inning. After retiring Almonte, he surrendered a double to Riley and a walk to Adrianza.
It was a long bottom of the eighth starting with a Luis Guillorme walk. Singles by McNeil and Lindor gave the Mets a 7-3 lead. Despite the long inning, Diaz came back out for the ninth, and he pitched a scoreless inning for his 16th save of the season.
But, overall, this win was about the reawakened Mets offense. Pillar was the only starter without a hit, and we’d see five Mets with multi-hit games. That includes McNeil’s three hit game.
The Mets had to earn this split, and they got it. They’re now going to get a much needed day off putting them well poised to go on a nice run heading into the All-Star Break.
It was Jerad Eickhoff facing off against Ian Anderson, so naturally, this was a pitcher’s duel. That’s nothing to say against Anderson, who has been very good in his brief career. Rather, it’s noteworthy when Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors in two years.
While not flawless, it was a good start for Eickhoff. He’d pitch four scoreless innings allowing three hits and three walks while striking out three. Understandably, Luis Rojas and the Mets didn’t have him face the order a third time.
That’s all the Braves needed entering the seventh because of the Mets poor base running. It was almost indescribably bad.
In the second, Pete Alonso was running on the 3-2 pitch, and he thought he could beat Acuña’s arm. He couldn’t as Acuña’s throw was perfect and nailed Alonso at third.
With the Mets offense sputtering, they didn’t get another rally going until the sixth. That started with a Jonathan Villar one out double against Anderson. Of course, because this is the Mets, Villar came out of the game with an injury.
Jose Peraza pinch ran for Villar and for reasons that defy logic he took off for third on a Francisco Lindor grounder to his right. After Swanson easily nailed Peraza, Lindor would make matters worse. With Jeff McNeil up, Lindor broke for second. Anderson threw over leading to Lindor getting caught stealing easily.
Then, Luis Rojas made a monumentally dumb move. The slow footed Alonso was the tying run, and yet, somehow, Rojas opts to pinch run Albert Almora for Smith. There’s no good explanation why you don’t look to do all you can do to try to ensure you get the tying run.
After James McCann was plunked the bases were loaded, and Kevin Pillar was up. Pillar ripped a liner, but it was right at Riley. Riley snagged it, and he was initially ruled to beat Alonso back to the bag for a game ending double play.
As it turned out, it was a blown call overturned on replay. That’s fortunate as Rojas’ mistake didn’t cost him and the Mets there.
Whatever the case, it didn’t matter as Brandon Drury popped out to end the inning. With that, the Mets ran themselves out of innings and the game. That’s the biggest reason for this split doubleheader.
Game Notes: Joey Lucchesi has a torn UCL. Jeurys Familia was placed on the IL with a hip impingement. Robert Gsellman is on the IL with a lat injury. Stephen Tarpley was the 27th man for the doubleheader. Yennsy Diaz was recalled. Mason Williams was designated for assignment.
The New York Mets traveled to Baltimore to play the Orioles to complete their nine game road trip. With the split, they finished 5-4:
2. On the subject of homers, Pete Alonso hit three, and he’s heating up just before a temperature check series against the San Diego Padres.
3. Alonso has always been one to speak his mind, and he was right on point when he said the biggest issue is the way MLB changes the ball year-to-year.
4. It’s funny. The Mets really had no choice but to obtain Billy McKinney, but now they suddenly look like geniuses for it.
5. The story of how Kevin Pillar has been a big believer in McKinney, was exited about the acquisition, and picked up McKinney when he joined the team speaks volumes about why this team is performing so well.
6. It’s funny how quickly fans went from why would the Mets sign Pillar to Pillar becoming a fan favorite they fiercely defend has been hilarious. It’s also a sign about all the things Pillar does right on and off the field.
7. While the Mets offensive onslaught felt great, especially the day after the Mets were blown out, some of the joy was taken out of it because it happened against Matt Harvey.
8. At this moment, David Peterson is not an MLB caliber starting pitcher, and it’s unfair to him to keep putting him in a position to fail.
9. No, the Mets don’t have a real answer in Triple-A, and it is going to be tough to navigate this next stretch, but when Peterson has given you 3.0 innings over the last two starts, he’s not going to help you.
10. The Mets desperately need Robert Gsellman to be good. As we saw, when he isn’t, games get way out of hand.
11. The best way for the Mets to navigate things going forward is to get starts like they did from Taijuan Walker.
12. There’s something to be said for Walker and McKinney, two once highly regarded prospects who haven’t lived to expectations, starting to look like the players we thought they would become under Luis Rojas.
13. This is getting way to ahead of ourselves, but McKinney just has this vibe right now where he’s just going to have a really big moment this postseason.
14. McKinney and Ty Kelly are doppelgängers.
15. It was hard to take Ron Darling seriously yesterday when he didn’t have Jacob deGrom atop his pitcher power rankings. In fact, it’s hard to take MLB Network seriously as Darling wasn’t the only one.
17. It’s actually amusing the Mets had a game where Alonso and Dominic Smith were both in the lineup and neither played first base.
18. The replay system has become a complete and utter joke. They can’t even manage to get clearly blown calls overturned.
19. Nobody is talking about him, but Cedric Mullens is a phenomenal baseball player who put on a show against the Mets. The All-Star Game is at its best when it gives a player like him a stage to introduce himself to the world, and it’ll be great to see that next month.
20. MLB can keep the Mets down in the power rankings all they want. This is still a first place team.
🗣️ PEEEEEETE! pic.twitter.com/FxrT3KT9Pp
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 8, 2021
There were a number of problems from there. Up first was umpiring and replay. Again, the state of umpiring is poor, and the replay system needs to be scrapped.
Ryan Mountcastle hit what should’ve been an inning ending double play. Francisco Lindor‘s throw beat him. James McCann‘s foot was on the bag. Somehow, not only was Mountcastle called safe, but it was upheld on replay. Gary Cohen and Ron Darling justifiably blasted the whole thing:
Gary Cohen is all of us right now. Smh. pic.twitter.com/3FdaJh8KVl
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 8, 2021
Regardless of the horribly blown call, Peterson escaped the inning unscathed. That wouldn’t be the case in the second when the Orioles scored three or when he was knocked out in the third.
It’s the second straight start Peterson didn’t last three innings. He’s now the sixth time in his 11 starts he failed to go five. His ERA is now 6.32.
While Robert Gsellman stepped up the last time this happened to Peterson, he didn’t here. He allowed four over his 2.1 innings.
All told, this was a 10-3 loss where just about everything went wrong. That includes the replay. It’s probably just best to forget about it and move on to the next game.
Game Notes: Alonso was the DH with McCann back at first. The last Mets pitcher who failed to go three in consecutive starts was Steven Matz.
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:
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.
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.
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?
At some point, the New York Mets need to determine what they want David Peterson to be. Do they want more of the same, or do they want to have him develop to become what they thought they were getting when the organization made him their first round pick (20th overall) in the 2017 draft.
More than that, they may need to ask how having Peterson in the majors is helping anyone. His start in the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks indicated no one is.
After being staked to a 4-0 lead before he threw a pitch, Peterson imploded in the bottom of the first.
It was 2-0 before he recorded an out. After 35 pitches, there were only one out, and it was a tie game. At that point, Peterson needed to be relieved by Robert Gsellman.
Yes, Madison Bumgarner would knock in the go-ahead run, but Gsellman stepped up big time. He’d pitch 3.2 innings to help save the bullpen and allow the Mets to win the game.
This was Peterson’s 10th start of the season, and it was the fifth time he failed to pitch at least five innings. It was the sixth time he failed to go past five. It was also the third time he failed to go even four innings.
Taking it all into account, Peterson has been wholly unreliable. You don’t know what you’re getting from him start to start, and you don’t know when the implosion will invariably happen.
Before this start, the numbers were poor. He had a 4.63 FIP and a 79 ERA+. What’s scary is that’s with him getting some luck with a .290 BABIP.
Delving deeper, there are bigger problems. Looking at Baseball Savant, he doesn’t have much velocity or spin. Taking that into account, we probably shouldn’t be surprised he’s getting hit very hard.
This isn’t just this year. Yes, Peterson’s ERA and WHIP were better last year, but it was all an illusion. Peterson still had a 4.52 FIP, a poor K/BB, and he was getting hit hard. He was just extraordinarily lucky with a .233 BABIP.
Really, when you break this all down, Peterson wasn’t ready last year, and he shouldn’t have been pushed again this year. He needed more time to work on things, but the Mets short-sightedness interfered.
Now, we all know the counter-arguments. Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard aren’t close to returning. Thomas Szapucki probably isn’t ready. No one trusts or wants to trust Jerad Eickhoff or Corey Oswalt.
The excuses goes on and on. However, when having those discussions, the focus needs to boil down to what Peterson is.
There needs to be a realization Peterson doesn’t give the Mets what they need at least half the time. It’s probably less than that, and based on what we’ve seen lately, that may be an optimistic view of things.
No matter what you think of the plan beyond Peterson, we should be able to agree he’s not really ready for the majors. Therein lies the problem, and that’s why he should be sent down.
In the end, that’ll help him develop more than he can right now. That’s what the Mets need from Peterson. The 2021 innings can come from a minor affiliate. This is what will be best for him, and that means it’s what’ll be best for the Mets.
In the first half of the doubleheader, we had two good starters going head-to-head. In the second half, well, it was more readily apparent these are two poor hitting teams.
Case-in–point was the first inning. Joey Lucchesi walked the first two batters, and with two outs, the Colorado Rockies pulled off a double steal. Still, the Rockies wouldn’t score. Part of that was Billy McKinney making a running catch down the line taking away an extra base hit from Brendan Rodgers:
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 27, 2021
It seemed like this would be another 1-0 game. After that first, Lucchesi settled in for a bit, and he actually no-hit the Rockies through three.
Of course, this would be another lesson in a pitcher is dealing until he’s not. The Rockies immediately jumped on Lucchesi in the fourth.
After Ryan McMahon led off the inning with a single and was picked off/caught stealing, C.J. Cron singled. A wild pitch moved Cron to second, and Lucchesi would walk Yonathan Daza to put runners on first and second with two outs.
Even with the threat of Charlie Blackmon coming in to pinch hit, Luis Rojas brought in Drew Smith. Surprisingly, the Rockies stuck with Connor Joe. It proved to be the right move as Joe hit a game tying RBI single.
The Rockies threatened to take the lead on what appeared to be an Elias Diaz hit, but Diaz was robbed on a sliding catch by McKinney to get out of the inning.
McKinney made the big catch, and then in the bottom of the fourth he hit a one out double off Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela. From there, the Mets loaded the bases with two outs, and Jose Peraza delivered the go-ahead RBI single giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.
That wasn’t the last rally featuring McKinney and Peraza.
McKinney led off the sixth with a walk against Jordan Sheffield. After a James McCann double and Patrick Mazeika hit by pitch, the Mets had the bases loaded with one out. Peraza would drive home another run by drawing a four pitch walk.
Then, we saw Cameron Maybin is the unluckiest man alive. He was robbed of a hit in the third by Trevor Story. Even with Story out of the game due to injury, the shortstop would again rob him of a hit.
Maybin smoked a ball off the drawn-in infield. The ball would deflect off the diving third baseman McMahon to the shortstop Rodgers. Rodgers then threw home getting McCann on the force out.
Brandon Drury pinch hit for Jeurys Familia, who pitched a scoreless sixth, and in a tough at-bat, he drew a bases loaded walk to increase the Mets lead to 4-1. It was also the Mets first RBI of the day by someone other than Peraza.
The Rockies pulled Sheffield, and Yency Almonte struck out Villar to end the jam. That meant it was a 4-1 game meaning it was still a save situation. Before the rally, it appeared Familia was going to go for the sixth out save.
Blackmon was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a defensive indifference, and then scored on a Raimel Tapia two out RBI single pulling the Rockies to with 4-2. Rojas then brought in Jacob Barnes. Barnes retired McMahon to pick up the save.
With that, the Mets swept the doubleheader and took three out of four from the Rockies. Sure, the Rockies are bad, but this injury depleted team did what it needed to do.
Game Notes: Maybin tied a record with by starting his Mets career by going 0-for-26. The Mets have drawn nine bases loaded walks this season by nine different players.
The New York Mets had a chance to put further distance between themselves and the rest of the NL East. Instead, they lost a tough series:
1. Of course, Jordan Yamamoto got hurt because there can’t be a Mets game without an injury.
3. Johneshwy Fargas belongs.
4. If you wanted proof Baseball is a cruel sport, look no further than Jake Hager being designated for assignment the day after celebrating his first MLB hit.
9. Jonathan Villar has been abysmal of late.
10. There’s literally no point in complaining about the lineups right now because there are zero good choices to put out there.
11. Dominic Smith really is a terrific defensive first baseman. Hopefully, his getting time where he’s most comfortable can get him swinging better.
12. Well, except for clutch situations. He’s as good as gold in those situations right now.
14. Really, the bullpen has been great from top to bottom. You just have to wonder how much longer they can withstand this usage rate.
16. Mets need more from Francisco Lindor. They’ll get it eventually. Until that time, just enjoy the great defense and the hugs.
17. The game winning hit was fun and all, but Khalil Lee is completely and utterly overmatched at the plate right now.
18. It’s awesome to see MSG rocking for Knicks playoff basketball. It’s been so desperately missed.
19. The last time the Knicks and Mets made the playoffs in the same year was 2000 when the Mets lost the World Series, and the Knicks lost to the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
20. The Colorado Rockies are coming to Citi Field at a time the Mets weakened roster needs a truly putrid team they can beat.