Robert Gsellman

Mets Finally Score for deGrom

With Jacob deGrom entering today’s game with an MLB best 1.85 ERA and a career 1.99 ERA in day games, you knew he was going to completely shut down the Reds.

Even with him getting squeezed a bit by the home plate umpire leading to an increased pitch count, deGrom would dominate yet again.  In his six scoreless innings pitched, deGrom limited the Reds to just four hits and a walk while he struck out 1o.

Two of those four hits would come in the first inning with Phil Ervin and Scooter Gennett hitting back-to-back one out singles.  After Eugenio Suarez struck out, the Reds put on a play in an attempt to score a run.

Gennett broke for second, and he was supposed to stop when Devin Mesoraco threw through.  Gennett would go too far leaving him in position to get tagged out by Amed Rosario before Ervin could score.

While it was surprising the Mets made a good defensive play and took advantage of another team’s error, it was all the more surprising the Mets scored some runs for deGrom.  In fact, he would get eight runs of support, which was more than he received in any game he has had since the middle of June, which was a Mets game in Coors Field.

To put it in perspective, over his last four starts, the Mets scored six runs for him.  In entire Month of July, he received 10 runs of support.  Basically, today was an extreme and welcome outlier.

The first run came in the second inning when Austin Jackson doubled home Michael Conforto from first.  Conforto and Jackson would once again take part in the scoring in the fifth.

Conforto would get a one out hustle double, and he would come home to score on a Brandon Nimmo RBI double.  Nimmo scored on Jackon’s second RBI single of the game.

At that point, it was 5-0 Mets as in the previous inning, Reds starter Robert Stephenson loaded the bases by intentionally walking Mesoraco to pitch to deGrom.  deGrom would help his own cause by walking on four pitches, and Rosario would tack on another run with a sacrifice fly.

At 5-0 in the fifth, deGrom had nearly a half month’s worth of run support.  After six, it was up to the bullpen to make sure they didn’t blow a big lead for a pitcher everyone on the Mets owed a win.

Seth Lugo, Jerry Blevins, and Robert Gsellman did their job by pitching three scoreless to give deGrom the rare win.

The use of Gsellman was certainly odd as the Mets rallied in the eighth to tack on three runs.  Again, that was the result of Conforto and Jackson at work.  Conforto, who walked, scored with Wilmer Flores on Nimmo’s double, and once again, Nimmo scored on a Jackson RBI base hit.  This one was a double.

Speaking of Nimmo, this was a nice bounceback game for him with his going 3-for-5 with three runs, three doubles, and three RBI.

All-in-all, this was a very good game for the Mets, and it was the type of game which will hopefully get deGrom that Cy Young Award he so richly deserves.

Game Notes: A day after Mickey Callaway said he isn’t pressured by anyone, specifically the Wilpons, to play Jose Reyes, Reyes announced he wants to return to the Mets next season.

Mets Bullpen Holds On

With the Mets continue to struggle, Homer Bailey, who entered the game with a 7.22 ERA against the Mets, was a sight for sore eyes.

The Mets quickly went to work against Bailey with three first inning runs highlighted by birthday boy Wilmer Flores opening the scoring with an RBI single.

Overall, it was a really good birthday for Wilmer. He would go 3-for-4 with a run, two RBI, and a HBP. As noted during the telecast, Flores was one of 14 players with three singles and a HBP on his birthday. Two of the other players were Lou Gehrig and Shoeless Joe.

That 3-0 first inning Mets lead grew to 6-0 in the strength of another Flores RBI single, and homers by Kevin Plawecki and Jeff McNeil.

That McNeil homer was absolutely crushed going way up the Pepsi Porch:

(Yes, it’s the Coke Corner now, but the Pepsi Porch sounds better).

That 6-0 lead was looking very safe with Noah Syndergaard dominating the Reds. That was until the seventh.

With one out, Syndergaard plunked consecutive batters. The Preston Tucker one really must’ve been bad as he was checked on by the trainers multiple times, and he could score from second on a Billy Hamilton single, and that’s even with Brandon Nimmo overrunning the ball in right.

Tucker would score on a Jose Peraza single which chase Syndergaard.

In a pleasant surprise, Mickey Callaway initially went to Bobby Wahl in the bases loaded one out situation. Given the Mets record, this is exactly what the team needs to be doing.

Wahl started by throwing three straight balls to Joey Votto. To his credit, Wahl battled back into the count getting two quick strikes. After Votto fouled off two, Wahl walked in a run making it 6-2 Mets.

Wahl rebounded by striking out Scooter Gennett on a 3-2 pitch.

After a tough couple of at-bats, and with Plawecki saving Wahl’s bacon a few times by blocking balls in the dirt, Callaway went to Robert Gsellman.

Gsellman would allow a two RBI single to Eugenio Suarez before getting out of that inning and pitching a perfect eighth.

In a surprise, Jerry Blevins pitched the ninth, and he recorded his first save of the season. In what has simply been a goofy year, Blevins has a start and a save this year.

Overall, the Mets won 6-4 in a game where we saw some good things from youngish players who could be pieces next year. That’s a pretty good day for the 2018 Mets.

Game Notes: Mets had a tribute video for Matt Harvey before the game. Luis Guillorme had an infield single in the eighth. With that hit, Guillorme extended his MLB best 50 at-bats without a strikeout.

Wheeler Dominates And Gets aWin.

This is exactly the way the Mets are supposed to play things over the final two months of the season. Sure, it’s easy to say that after a 3-0 win, but even if the Mets fell behind or lost the lead, they did he right thing.

Zack Wheeler, who the Mets were right to hold onto at the trade deadline, once again showed the Mets he’s turned a corner.

Over seven shutout innings, Wheeler linter a Braves team who had the third highest batting average in the majors and the fourth most runs in the National League to just three hits and one walk.

Really, Wheeler dominated from the jump with him striking out the side in the first, which would set the tone for a none strike out night. Overall, only one Brave would even reach second against Wheeler.

That was Freddie Freeman with a leadoff double to start the seventh. Wheeler responded by getting three quick outs.

With this not being a Jacob deGrom start, Wheeler would get the run support he would need to get the win.

The first run, and really only run needed came in the second when new Brave Kevin Gausman hit Todd Frazier. He’d quickly move to third on a Jeff McNeil double.

Overall, McNeil was a perfect 4-for-4 as he raised his batting average from .190 to .320.

The Mets mostly squandered the two on no out situation, but Amed Rosario was still able to get Frazier home on a fielder’s choice to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

Once again, it was Frazier and McNeil getting things started. They’d follow a Michael Conforto sixth inning leadoff single with consecutive singles to both load the bases and chase Gausman.

Austin Jackson hit one off the reliever Shane Carle for an RBI leadoff single. Kevin Plawecki brought the next run home with a sacrifice fly.

Once again, it was an opportunity largely squandered, but the Mets did enough to get a 3-0 lead.

Surprisingly, Mickey Callaway would tab Bobby Wahl for the eighth. He’d get into some trouble, but he worked around it to get the ball to Robert Gsellman.

Gsellman for the ninth is an inspired move as it lets you know if he could be part of the later inning bullpen mix.

Well, tonight, Gsellman was up for the challenge much loot McNeil was just for almost the full night.

Overall, the Mets have young players and a chance to play them. For tonight, it worked.

Mets Will Have At Least $64 Million To Spend In Free Agency

As a second straight Mets season has completely fallen apart, there has been discussions about whether the Mets should blow the whole thing up. Those discussions have been ramped up with Yoenis Cespedes being out for at least 10 months with his having double heel surgery.

What’s odd about that is the Mets arguably have the best starting rotation in baseball with the top 1-2 combination with Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.

Brandon Nimmo has played like an All Star caliber player, and lately Michael Conforto has returned to his All Star form.

The Mets have two potent weapons with Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo.

There’s also good talent close to the majors with Peter Alonso, Justin Dunn, and Andres Gimenez. Of course, Jeff McNeil was just called-up.

There’s talent present which could make the Mets winners in 2020 or even 2019. However, for that to happen, the Mets will need to add some pieces.

Fortunately for the Mets, this could go down as one of the most consequential free agent classes in Major League history. Teams will be lining up to throw money to Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel, Clayton Kershaw, and A.J. Pollock.

Given all that has happened, the Mets will have the money to be competitors on the free agent market.  In fact, they are going to be quite flush with cash.

Expiring Contracts

Even if the Mets do not trade anyone who is due money past this season, the Mets will have money freed up because there are a number of contracts expiring after this season:

With respect to Mesoraco, there was an undisclosed amount of cash provided by the Reds when they obtained Harvey in exchange for Mesoraco.  While Mesoraco is due $13.12 million this year, it was Harvey’s $5.625 million salary that was part of the Opening Day roster.  Therefore, for the sake of calcualting how much money will be available, Harvey’s salary is used as the placeholder.

With the Harvey/Mesoraco caveat, the Mets will have $32.1 million coming off the books just from contracts currently on the books expiring after the season.

Subtotal $32.1 million

Familia Trade

With the Mets trading Jeurys Familia, the team not only was able to acquire two prospects in Bobby Wahl and William Toffey, both of whom will be earning de minimis minor league salaries, but the team was also able to remove Familia’s $7.925 million from the books with the team getting some cash savings this season with the Athletics taking on the remainder of Familia’s 2018 salary.

Subtotal $40.025

Insurance Money

David Wright has not played a Major League game since May 27, 2016.  With each passing day and each additional set-back, it becomes increasingly unlikely we will ever see Wright play in another game for the Mets.  Now when it comes to Wright, there are two factors at play which would give the team an avenue to spend more money this offseason.

First and foremost, Wright’s salary goes from $20 million in 2018 to $15 million in 2019.  Right off the bat, that gives the Mets an additional $5 million to spend this offseason.

Additionally, Wright’s contract is fully insured with insurance paying 75% of Wright’s salary.  As a result, the Mets will have an additional $11.25 million available to spend due to Wright’s inability to play.

But Wright is not the only injured player insured.  In addition to Wright, Yoenis Cespedes‘ contract is also insured.  That’s important in light of the announcement Cespedes will have double heel surgery and will be out at least 10 months.  For what it’s worth, the Mets suggested he may be out longer than that.

Remember, Cespedes is out from 10 months from whenever he has the surgery.  Not from the date of the press conference.  With that in mind and for the sake of being conservative in the estimates, lets assume Cespedes is out for half the season.

With the Mets saying there is insurance that picks up over 50% of the salary owed to Cespedes, that means, the Mets will be able to recoup roughly 50% of a  half’s seasons salary.  With Cespedes due $29 million next year, insurance will pay at least $7.25 million.  With each passing day that number will grow.

When combining the monies covered by insurance for Wright and Cespedes, the team will have an additional $18.5 million available to spend.  When you include the $5 million drop in Wright’s salary, that number is $23.5 million.

Subtotal $63.525

Other Factors

As noted by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, ownership says it considers Wright’s contract part of the payroll, and the team does not reinvest the money saved into baseball operations.  Putting aside what that means in terms of money available for a second, what this does mean is the team has saved and socked away $15 million of the $20 million due and owing to Wright this season.

The same likely applies to whatever the team can and will recover from insurance from Cespedes’ $29 million contract this season.

Additionally, the team saw savings of roughly $3 million for trading Familia, and they will likely see the same savings when other players are traded for the roster.  Presumably, since that money is not being invested into baseball operations this season that would make that money available for 2019 and beyond.

For a moment, we can presume for a moment the $3 million saved on Familia can offset the $3 million pay increase due to Jay Bruce next season. Of course, the pay raises due in arbitration and the like will very easily be offset by the money saved on the Wright and Cespedes insurance policies.  Really, there should be money to spare.

What This All Means

Looking at the Mets as currently constituted, they have tw0-third of their outfield set with Conforto and Nimmo.  On the infield, they have Todd Frazier and Amed Rosario.  They will also have Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera, and Jeff McNeil, who could become part of a time sharing at either first or second.  If he can get healthy, the team could have Bruce at first or right depending on the development of Alonso, or yes, even Dominic Smith.

All told, this means the Mets have the payroll room and the spots on the roster to add at least one player of significance.  Perhaps even two.

With that in mind, with the Mets having $63.525 million to spend this offseason, there is no excuse why this team shouldn’t aggressively pursue Machado and Harper.  They should come away with one of them plus an additional piece to help take them over the top like a Kimbrel, Pollock, or yes, even a Daniel Murphy (first base only).

If the Mets do that, this is a potential World Series contender, especially with this starting pitching.  If the team goes out and does this, the fans will pack Citi Field to the gills.

The time for excuses is over.  It’s time to act like a big market club with a chance to win a World Series.

 

 

 

Mets Win A Series!!!!!

Well, the impossible has happened. After 17 tries the Mets have finally won a series. It’s been a long time.

The last series the Mets won was the May 18th – May 20th sweep of the Diamondbacks.

At that time, the Mets were 23-19 and just 3.5 games back. The winning pitcher, Noah Syndergaard didn’t have any issues with his finger, or his hand, foot, or mouth.

Adrian Gonzalez was the first baseman, and Jose Reyes was still a bench player. Jay Bruce was still able to play, and Yoenis Cespedes had two functioning heels.

Today, the Mets won with Corey Oswalt picking up his first career win. His final line was five innings, three hits, two earned, two walks, and four strikeouts.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Mets rallied starting with a Jose Bautista leadoff walk. He’d subsequently come around to score on a Kevin Plawecki RBI single.

Later that inning, Mickey Callaway would face a tough decision. With two outs and the Mets down 2-1, should he pull Oswalt and chase the win, or should he keep Oswalt in and hope for another rally.

Callaway opted to pinch hit for Oswalt despite his just having thrown 62 pitches. Callaway’s decision was rewarded when Phillip Evans hit a pinch hit RBI single to tie the score.

The move looked even better when Amed Rosario hit a two RBI single to give the Mets a 4-2 lead.

That lead grew to 6-2 with Bautista hitting a two run homer:

Then considering it is the Mets bullpen at work, it was time to hold on for dear life.

Once again, Tim Peterson didn’t have it. In the seventh, he allowed a Freddy Galvis two run homer to make it 6-4, and the Padres went right back to work.

Robert Gsellman would relieve Peterson with one out and one, and he would preserve the 6-4 lead.

Anthony Swarzak would then have his best outing as a Mets pitching two scoreless to pick up the save.

For Swarzak, it was more than just two scoreless innings, it was his throwing 95 with a really good slider. Really, he looked like the guy who the Mets thought they were signing.

Some more of that, and suddenly, things look much better for this team next year.

Game Notes: For reasons no one can explain, Reyes started over Jeff McNeil. Before the game, Cespedes announced he el have season ending surgery.

Mets Are Good With Cespedes, Thor, and No Reyes

With all the injuries, Mets fans were left to wonder how this team would have been if they had Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes. Right off the bat, we’d find out the answer is very good.

Brandon Nimmo led off the game with a walk against Yankee starter Domingo German. After that leadoff walk, Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Conforto, and third baseman Jose Bautista hit RBI doubles giving the Mets a quick 3-0 lead.

That lead would grow to 4-0 when Cespedes had a Yankee Stadium special ding off the foul pole:

That 4-0 lead was good for Syndergaard who had another five inning effort where he could not get that 1-2-3 inning.

Fortunately, Syndergaard, who was popping off at the mouth before the game, was able to navigate through the jams effectively. The only damage against him was a Giancarlo Stanton third inning sacrifice fly.

In the fifth, Cespedes led off the inning with a walk, advance to second on a Wilmer Flores one out walk, and he’d score on a Conforto RBI single.

Bautista walked to load the bases, and they’d come away with just one more run. With the Mets having a 6-1 lead, you knew it was a tight margin for the Mets pen.

Amed Rosario didn’t help matters playing poor defense and going 0-4 at the plate.

Seth Lugo dealt with poor defense, but he gutted through two innings. Still, the margin tightened with Neil Walker hitting a two run RBI double.

After Lugo, Robert Gsellman would have a rough eighth. As alluded to earlier, Rosario’s poor defense was a factor allowing the quick Brett Gardner on base.

Didi Gregorious doubled home one run, and Giancarlo Stanton knocker another one home with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-5.

The game was teetering. Fortunately, Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar were terrible in big spots on the night. Each had a chance to get the big hit, and they fizzled.

With that, the Mets carried a 6-5 lead into the ninth. With the team producing a run with Cabrera getting on, Flores going the opposite way to get him over, and a Conforto sacrifice fly would get him in.

This seemed like the perfect shot for Jeurys Familia to shut the door, but with the trade speculation, Mickey Callaway opted for Gsellman for the six out save instead.

Game Notes: Conforto had a terrific night going 2-4 with a run, double, and three RBI. Bautista has a nice barehanded play. Bautista started at third over Jose Reyes.

Thor Returns And So Does Mets Winning Ways

Do you want to get a sense of how this season would have gone if the Mets didn’t suffer all of these injuries? Well, tonight was the night.

After being on the disabled list for seven weeks, Noah Syndergaard return to the mound.

If not for a goofy Tanner Roark triple that rolled up the side wall, it’s likely Syndergaard escapes his five innings without allowing a run.

Still, he would allow just the one run, which is impressive considering both the layoff and the Nationals having the leadoff hitter on against him all five innings, it was quite a performance.

In total, he allowed one run on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Oh, and he also had an RBI single.

While Syndergaard was trying to get his footing, it was Roark who looked rusty from the get-go.

The Mets jumped all over Roark with the first three Mets hitting singles. The third of which came from Jose Bautista who brought home Brandon Nimmo.

A Wilmer Flores sacrifice fly would score Asdrubal Cabrera, and Bautista would score on a Devin Mesoraco single.

In the second, Amed Rosario tripled to center past Bryce Harper, who was in center for some reason. Rosario then scored on the aforementioned Syndergaard RBI single.

This was another good game from Rosario who was 2-4 with a run, double, triple, and a stolen base.

Despite the hot start and continued base runners, the Mets would not add a run meaning the Mets bullpen would have to come up with 4.0 innings to protect a three run lead.

Mickey Callaway entrusted that duty to Seth Lugo (2.0) and Robert Gsellman (2.0) to bring it home.

The only run that duo would allow was a bomb Matt Adams would hit off of Gsellman in the eighth. Gsellman would shake that off to record the six out save.

For a brief moment, we had a glimpse of how good this Mets team once was and how happy things were like when Nimmo made a diving catch to end the game.

Game Notes: Jose Reyes was double switched into the game, and he went 0-2 making him 1-19 since Todd Frazier landed on the DL.

Nimmo Hits First Walk Off Homer

Every fifth day, Mets fans are treated to a pitching duel. It’s Jacob deGrom against whoever the starting pitcher will be for the other team.

Tonight, that pitcher was Vince Velasquez.

Now, Velasquez occasionally shows some flashes. That said, this is a guy with a 4.69 ERA.

Didn’t matter for a Mets team historically inept at home (.207 home batting average).

Velasquez limited to no runs in two hits in six innings. The Phillies bullpen contributed two more scoreless including Adam Morgan coming on in the bottom of the eighth to get Michael Conforto to ground out to end a mini rally.

On the other side, deGrom was once again completely dominant.

In eight brilliant shut out innings, he allowed just five hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Because the Mets gave him absolutely no run support, he walked away with yet another no decision. It’s criminal.

However, for the second straight deGrom start, the Mets would win on a walk-off homer.

Mark Leiter, Al Leiter‘s nephew, got two quick outs in the 10th before Amed Rosario hit a two out double.

Then the third baseman drew a walk on a 3-2 count putting the game in Brandon Nimmo‘s hands. He would deliver his first career walk-off homer to give the Mets a 3-0 win.

Because baseball is sometimes comical, Robert Gsellman got the win. He now has six wins which is one more than deGrom.

Game Notes: In the third, deGrom popped up a bunt Maikel Franco let drop so he could turn an inning ending double play.

Mets Surprised, Not Ready

The Rays have become a story in baseball for using an opener, i.e. a reliever, to start some games. They’ve arguably had to experiment with it due to the state of their starting pitching. The obvious exception to that is today’s starter Blake Snell, who has been phenomenal this year.

Snell is an ace, and when you face him, you have to take advantage of your opportunities and not make mistakes.

Well, Steven Matz did make mistakes, including walking and hitting Snell, but he fought through it with what was a really good start. In fact, in a fair and just world, Matz gets through his 6.1 innings unscathed.

Matt Duffy doubled to lead off the sixth, and after a Daniel Robertson groundout, he was on third with one out. With Snell on the other side, Mickey Callaway brought the Mets infield in.

Matz got the grounder with Wilson Ramos grounding it right at Amed Rosario. Rosario charged in, and the ball hit him in the heel of the glove. This cost him a shot at Duffy, and it gave the Rays a 1-0 lead.

With the Mets offense completely sputtering and shooting itself in the foot, that one run was enough.

In seven of the nine innings, the Mets got their leadoff runner on base. In three of those innings, it was a leadoff double.

Still, the Mets had one really good opportunity in the seventh, and it as bad luck that cost them.

Jose Reyes led off the eight with a double past the outstretched arms of Duffy. Then, in what was a tough at-bat against Snell, Brandon Nimmo hit a ball which seemed destined for center field. Instead it tipped off of Snell’s foot leading to a 1-4-3 put out.

Instead of scoring, Reyes would be stranded on third as Jose Bautista popped out, and Asdrubal Cabrera flew out to center to end the inning.

With Robert Gsellman and Anthony Swarzak not getting the job done with each reliever allowing an earned run, the Mets would lose this game 3-0.

So much for the momentum from Bautista’s grand slam.

Game Notes: Wilmer Flores had nearly half of the Mets seven hits going 3-4 with a double.

Mets Have Big Fifth Inning And Don’t Blow Lead

A day after the Mets bullpen blew another big lead, you had to imagine this game was going to be a disaster.  The Mets were starting Corey Oswalt, who was not exactly great in his first career start, and if he could not go deep into the game, it meant more of the Mets bullpen.

The good news is Oswalt held his own.  Over four innings, he would allow two earned on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts.  The first run was a big blast from Kendrys Morales in the second.  When Morales came back up in the fourth, it looked like he got another one.

It turned out to be a double that hit a leaping Michael Conforto in the glove.  It was one of those can’t be an error because it required a leap, but you would think a player as good as he is should catch that.  In any event, Morales was on second with a double, and he would come around to score on a Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. RBI single.  Realistically speaking, the Mets should have had a play at the plate, but Brandon Nimmo, who is struggling in every aspect of his game since getting plunked on the hand on June 24th, spiked the throw home into the turf.

After 65 pitches and the Blue Jays about to go through the lineup a third time, Mickey Callaway took the ball from his young starter, and he gave the ball to Seth Lugo.

Once again, Lugo showed us why he is such a great bullpen weapon.  Lugo would pitch three innings allowing just one earned on three hits.  If it was a different batter in the sixth, it might’ve been no runs.  After Todd Frazier made a nice play, he got it to Asdrubal Cabrera who made the quick turn to first.  As it was the speedy Gurriel, Cabrera’s throw had little chance to get him.

One bright spot there was, that only cut the Mets lead to 6-3, and that was because the Mets had a huge fifth inning.

The scoring began when a Frazier two run homer gave the Mets a 3-2 lead.  The homer did not kill this rally as Kevin Plawecki hit a one out ground rule double.  After the obligatory Jose Reyes failure to get a base hit, Nimmo walked setting up consecutive RBI singles from Cabrera and Jose Bautista.

At that point John Gibbons pulled Marcus Stroman and put in Luis Santos.  Conforto greeted him with and RBI single to give the Mets a then 6-2 lead.

Believe it or not, Lugo would get the win as the Mets bullpen did it’s job.  First, Jerry Blevins gtting two of the three batters he faced out, and Robert Gsellman got the final out of the eighth.  Jeurys Familia came on to pitch a perfect ninth for his 16th save of the season.

With that, the Mets earned a somewhat surprising split, and they are coming home for a long homestand where we may get the last chance to see some of the veterans on this team.

Game Notes: The Mets are about to play 11 games in 10 days as they head into the All Star break.