There’s a gag on the show Archer wherein Archer is essentially asked what he can’t understand, and the answer is, “Core concept.” Right now, this applies to the New York Mets and free agency.
Noah Syndergaard was a free agent, who had a qualifying offer in hand and wanted to return to the Mets. However, while the Mets were focused elsewhere, the Los Angeles Angels and other teams were making their pitch.
The Mets immediate response to Syndergaard’s signing with the Angels was they weren’t given the last chance to sign him. Of course, to make that request, they’d actually have to talk to the player.
Not even a week went by, and the Mets are once again upset a player who wanted to return to the Mets didn’t give them an opportunity to make the final offer. This time, it was Steven Matz.
As the story goes, Matz first contacted the Mets, and the team’s interest was mutual. It was a wide open field, but for whatever reason, the Mets not only we’re going to get the opportunity to match, but they were willing to match the deal Matz signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
However, that’s not what happened. Matz liked the deal and the opportunity presented by the Cardinals, so he signed with them. Mets owner Steve Cohen was angry:
I’m not happy this morning . I’ve never seen such unprofessional behavior exhibited by a player’s agent.I guess words and promises don’t matter.
— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) November 24, 2021
Keep in mind, this was the same Matz the Mets traded for spare parts (Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz, and Josh Winckowski). The Mets could’ve extended him last year with zero competition, but they instead traded him.
The Mets getting upset over Syndergaard and Matz not giving them the final chance shows they fail to understand the core concept of free agency. Free agents owe no loyalty to anyone, and they can sign with whomever they want.
For the Mets, you can almost write this off as a fluke. After all, it’s not often these situations present themselves, and it’s really infrequent this happens in a week.
The problem is it’s not just this week. Last year, the Mets thought they had Trevor Bauer signed. Honestly, with the website snafu, everyone did.
When Bauer went to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Alderson complained this was the furthest in the process he went in contract negotiations with a free agent and not get the player. As a result, Anderson and the Mets (fortunately) didn’t sign Bauer.
This marks the third time the Mets thought they were in a great position to sign a player only to come up empty. At some point, that’s a Mets problem and not a agents problem.
Argue over whether the Mets should’ve signed these players all you want. The fact is the Mets lost out on all three, and they wanted all three. That’s a huge problem.
Cohen can pretend it’s the agents fault. It’s not. The Mets are failing to sign players, and all they can do is tweet their way through it.
The Mets need to do better. If they want a player give them a strong offer while they’re there and don’t let them go out and leverage your offer. Just get it done, and then tweet out you actually signed the player.
That’s how free agency works.
The New York Mets traveled to Atlanta, and they lost yet another road series.
1. At 17-25, the Mets are an awful road team, and they’re not going anywhere if they can’t correct this.
2. When you include the one Washington Nationals make-up game, the Mets three out of four. Digging deeper, they’ve lost 10 out of their last 16.
4. Only Jacob deGrom could have a seven inning game where he allows three runs while walking none and striking out 14 a bad start.
5. It’s very troubling Sandy Alderson hired Mickey Callaway (or at least was the GM when Jeff Wilpon did it), hired Jared Porter, and came extremely close to signing Trevor Bauer. Oh, and he was the guy who brought back Jose Reyes.
6. There’s absolutely no place for Bauer in baseball.
8. Mets are a clutch James McCann three run homer from the walls caving in on them.
9. He was injured, but David Peterson hasn’t been good or consistent all year. The sad part is even with that they still need him.
10. Maybe it’s a blip, or maybe the league has figured out Sean Reid-Foley, but his last few appearances haven’t been good.
11. The Thomas Szapucki outing was disheartening as he didn’t really show any indication he’d be ready to help the Mets this year.
13. Albert Almora has now surrendered more homers and RBI than he’s hit. Good on him for volunteering to pitch, but there’s no reason for him to stay up over Billy McKinney when Brandon Nimmo is healthy.
14. Mets need a lot more of what Dominic Smith provided this past week, especially since his LF defense isn’t good.
15. Pete Alonso has been hitting a lot better of late, but sooner or later, he needs to start hitting a home. The same could be said for this entire Mets team.
16. With the great second base defense Jose Peraza has provided and his big hits the Mets should be really be considering his role going forward with the team. You could argue he should be playing everyday.
17. The Mets will never do it, but J.D. Davis still has minor league options and can’t refuse an assignment to Syracuse. Given how he can’t play a position, and his activation may force a Peraza DFA, he should be sent to Syracuse where he can actually learn how to play defense.
18. Speaking of Syracuse, it’s an embarrassment to the Mets and MLB that the Mets organization is not providing housing and other needs to minor leaguers they’re barely paying.
19. The quote was met with derision but hitting coach Hugh Quattlebaum is right. He needs to focus on processes. When processes are correct and clicking, the runs will then follow.
20. The Mets and Yankees both head into the Subway Series in complete disarray and with the threat of all three games being rained out.
David Peterson immediately gave up the lead in the bottom of the first. After a scoreless second, the Braves plated two more against him in the third.
Then, in the fourth, it all fell apart. After one run had scored increasing the Braves lead to 5-2, and one on, Peterson left the game with an injury. Sean Reid-Foley came in, and he was battered.
While the Mets wanted multiple innings from Reid-Foley, they got 0.2. In that stretch, he allowed the inherited runner to score before allowing four of his own.
This all but forced Thomas Szapucki to make his MLB debut. With Szapucki being a top prospect, and his potentially needing to take Peterson’s spot in the rotation, you wanted this to be the feel good story.
The worst thing Szapucki did was not finish the game. He was completely out of gas after 3.2 innings, and he loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth. Luis Rojas had enough, and he brought in Albert Almora, Jr. to pitch.
When Almora surrendered a homer to Ozzie Albies, Almora officially allowed more homers and RBI than he has hit and driven in this season. Basically, that’s the tale of how the Mets lose 20-2.
It’s just time to say nothing more about this one. Before moving on completely, the Mets need to figure it out soon because their +16 rum differential is now -2, and more importantly, their division lead is down to two.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Aaron Nola had out-dueled Taijuan Walker. Not only did he match Tom Seaver‘s MLB record of 10 consecutive strikeouts (with the aide of some very questionable strike calls), but he drove home the only run heading into the seventh.
It looked like the Mets would lose in a frustrating 1-0 fashion. That was until Luis Guillorme led off the ninth, sorry seventh, with a comebacker against Jose Alvarado. Alvarado threw it away allowing Guillorme to go to second.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 25, 2021
Luis Rojas made an astute move double switching Seth Lugo into the game. Not only did this bring in his best reliever, but due to a quirk in the extra inning rules, it put Lindor at second even though he didn’t make the last out.
After Lugo struck out three of the four batters he faced, the Mets were going to get their opportunity to walk it off.
The left-handed Ranger Suarez intentionally walked Pete Alonso to face Dominic Smith. For some reason, Smith offered to bunt the first two pitches, and on the third, he hit a walk-off RBI single giving the Mets a 2-1 win.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 25, 2021
For a split second in the second, it appeared Almora put the Mets ahead 2-0 on a homer. However, Andrew McCutchen went up to grab it, and while the Mets thought it hit the back wall, replay upheld the out call.
Entering the sixth, there was a combined five hits in the scoreless game. Bryce Harper homered in the sixth to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, and once again, in the bottom of the seventh, the Phillies bullpen begged the Mets to win the game.
Bradley book-ended Guillorme once again reaching on an error by walking two batters to load the bases with no outs. Walk-off king Patrick Mazeika strode to the plate, but he struck out.
Jeff McNeil, who had a tough doubleheader going 0-for-7 with three strikeouts, grounded out to end the inning.
Rojas went to Sean Reid-Foley, the 27th man for the doubleheader for the eighth. Reid-Foley did what he needed to do, but he got some bad luck behind him.
The Mets drew the infield in, and Herrera hit a hit shot at Guillorme. Guillorme made a great play to snag it on the short hop, but it popped out of his glove as it hit the ground. Guillorme was noticeably frustrated with himself for being unable to make a play at home, but he made a great play just to get the out at first.
Unfortunately, there were no heroics against Hector Neris. Lindor and Alonso grounded out before Smith struck out to end the game.
In the end, the Mets scored zero earned runs, but they were still able to scratch out a split. That’s good, and yet, there can be some frustration as a Mets team with a nearly complete lineup could barely score runs.
Game Notes: Jonathan Villar was put on the IL, and Travis Blankenhorn was recalled. J.D. Davis was transferred to the 60 day IL, and the Mets claimed Chance Sisco. Mason Williams opted for free agency. Aaron Loup and Edwin Diaz were unavailable to pitch.
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.
The New York Mets had an opportunity to effectively end the Washington Nationals season. Instead, they lost three of four:
1. The Mets have been bad on the road. They’re actually 94 season loss pace (.421 winning percentage) on the road. That needs to change.
2. David Peterson took another step back, but as is par for the course, he’ll stay in the rotation due to injuries.
3. Joey Lucchesi had another strong start, but now, he’s down with elbow inflammation. With this stretch of games and the Mets pitching depth, this could be a devastating injury.
4. The whole bench mob thing has been fun, but the Mets showed how much they need their top guys back. Jeff McNeil coming back now couldn’t have come at a better time.
5. For as obsessed as the Washington Nationals social media team is with Francisco Lindor, he certainly shut them up with a huge game.
7. Guess Kyle Schwarber got his revenge for the 2015 NLDS.
9. Take it for the little it’s worth, but Pete Alonso is a step behind where he was last year when everyone thought he had a disappointing season.
10. Sean Reid-Foley finally had a bad game. The key now is for it to be an isolated incident.
12. It doesn’t matter how good Reid-Foley and Diaz are looking, with the Mets starters dropping like flies, the Mets really needed Matz this year. Yes, that’s even with his hitting the IL himself.
13. If all the doctors say he’s good to go, and Jacob deGrom feels good, then let him pitch. We’ll all still be nervous, but that’s not a good reason to skip a start.
15. Hopefully, Steve Cohen seeking out to talk with Stroman is just laying the ground stages for an extension. Stroman has been great, and he’s built for New York.
16. While the weekend was lost, something good came out of it when Cohen stated his willingness to blow past the luxury tax. That’s a very nice change of pace.
17. If this now classifies as a bad start for Taijuan Walker, he’s an even better signing than we all thought.
18. The Mets two main issues in this series were bullpen and offense. The bullpen will get rest soon, and offensive reinforcements are on the way. The Mets will be fine.
19. The Mets may regret not mercy killing the Nationals when they have starting pitching available. Seeing how stubborn they are, they moved closer to not selling.
20. The Mets have a four game set against the Atlanta Braves, and they lead them by five games in the division. They can’t afford a repeat of what happened in Washington.
After the Chicago Cubs swept the New York Mets at Wrigley, the Mets nearly returned the favor at Citi Field:
1. It all begins and ends with Jacob deGrom. If he’s healthy, he and the Mets are unbeatable. Right now, he’s not healthy.
2. Another important thing is no one knows what’s wrong. We just lived the era of Jeff Wilpon, MD. Let’s let the professionals actually call the shots.
3. Marcus Stroman picked up the slack with seven great innings. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for the win, but with the bullpen innings saved, it may mean one down the road.
4. That David Peterson start was huge, but he’s had those moments. The real key for him is consistency.
5. The Mets are usually known for the worst free agent signing. With Taijuan Walker, it’s nice seeing the Mets make the best one for once.
6. On that note, Kevin Pillar has been much better than advertised. It’s not just the offense and defense. It’s the grit.
7. Pete Alonso is great, but he has his moments where he tries to do way too much. Sometimes,he needs to take instead of jumping out of his heels. It’s why that AN was a sacrifice fly.
8. Its a tough spot for Drew Smith, but if you’re brought in to mop it up, don’t make a game of it. That’s how you eventually lose a roster spot.
10. Luis Guillorme‘s ability to transfer is at another level, and as we saw with the play at the plate, it’s game changing.
11. Billy McKinney continues to play well. It appears he may need to hold the fort down just a little longer.
12. The new rules, or better put, efforts to enforce the rules, is merely a deflection from the change in the ball. It also has the added benefit for MLB to have a bargaining chip for the impending CBA talks.
13. Knock on wood, but so far, we’re not seeing any change in performance for Mets pitchers. We’ll see if that continues when enforcement officially begins.
14. With all these games bunched up, Sean Reid-Foley suddenly becomes massively important. His stepping in for deGrom is a sign of the value he can provide to this team
15. For all that narrative about the Mets not beating over .500 teams, they just took five of seven from the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs.
16. Again, you win with pitching a defense. The Mets have the best FIP and second best DRS. If that continues, they’ll continue to win.
17. The Mets have an opportunity to absolutely bury the Washington Nationals and force them to be sellers. They may be tired, but they can’t miss this chance.
18. Last time deGrom was the Mets only All-Star was 2015. That’s a good omen, but odds are the Mets will get a few pitchers.
19. Dominic Smith seems more comfortable in the OF, and he’s working counts, but he needs to pick it up.
20. The Mets have the largest lead in baseball, and they’re not really playing well yet. This team is scary good.
Jacob deGrom was perfect through three striking out eight of the nine batters he faced. In a two run second, deGrom drove in his sixth run of the year.
Yet again, this had the aura of a special night. Could this be the Mets first perfect game? Could deGrom pass Tom Seaver‘s 10 in a row. Would he surpass Max Scherzer, Kerry Wood, and Roger Clemens for the most strikeouts in a game.
As deGrom left the mound after the third, the answer was none of the above. Instead of history, a very clearly frustrated and upset deGrom left the game.
While in previous starts, it was a flexor tendon or other hopefully innocuous issues, this time it was a shoulder. While it may be nothing, the shoulder strikes fear into the heart into every fan.
This is why the Mets victory was as anticlimactic as they come. It’s a shame because a lot of good happened.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 17, 2021
Francisco Lindor was the latest Met to draw a bases loaded walk. Overall, the Mets scored in four consecutive innings.
Sean Reid-Foley surrendered a homer to Anthony Rizzo, but, until the ninth, that was it for a Mets staff who struck out 15 in this game. Three of those strikeouts came from Trevor May, who bounced back nicely by striking out the side in the eighth.
With that, the Mets won 6-3. That’s great and all, but the real issue on everyone’s mind is deGrom and his shoulder.
Game Notes: Mets pitching staff has struck out 15+ in consecutive games and has more 15 strikeout games than any other team. Miguel Castro had a scoreless inning in his first appearance since he injured his neck.
Every so often you’re reminded why the New York Mets have been so haphazard with their treatment of David Peterson. The talent is so tantalizing, and he can give you the occasional gem. Tonight was one of those nights.
He completely and utterly dominated the Chicago Cubs. For the first time in his career, he pitched six shut out innings. He only allowed one hit, but with it coming in the third, he went flirting with a no-hitter.
The singer and slider were working. Overall, Peterson walked two, allowed the one hit, and he had three strikeouts. Giving the night he had, and the season he’s had, Luis Rojas didn’t push him to go through the lineup a third time, and he got him out feeling good about the start.
He’d also leave with the lead putting him in position for his second win of the season.
For the first 3.2 innings, Jake Arrieta was relatively in control. Then, it quickly and suddenly unraveled for him.
With two out and one on, Billy McKinney drew a walk. James McCann then opened the scoring with an RBI single. On the play, Jake Marisnick‘s throw to the plate for past Willson Contreras allowing McKinney and McCann to advance. Both would score easily on Kevin Pillar‘s two RBI double giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 15, 2021
That lead grew to 4-0 when Dominic Smith hit a homer to dead center off Arrieta in the fifth.
Entering the sixth, Tommy Nance relieved Arrieta, and he lost control. In walking back-to-back hitters, he threw five straight balls. Brandon Drury then pinch hit for Peterson, and he hit a pinch hit RBI single giving the Mets a 5-0 lead.
Things would get interesting from there. Trevor May entered his first game in a week, and he wasn’t sharp. In fact, he’d allow back-to-back homers to Anthony Rizzo and Patrick Wisdom cutting the Mets lead to 5-2.
Aaron Loup then entered the game with two outs, and he gave the Mets four outs to set up the save opportunity. Edwin Diaz would get that save opportunity, and he’d lock it down for his 13th save of the season.
This was another win where the Mets beat another .500 team. More than that, they have a winning record in June.
Rojas proffered his explanation. The bullpen was stressed, and their best reliever, Seth Lugo, was unavailable. Miguel Castro and Aaron Loup were also unavailable. With Billy McKinney ailing and Jonathan Villar dealing with a family matter, the bench was short limiting the pinch hitting options.
Fact is, you’re not seeing a manager bring his closer into the game in the seventh, so that rules out Edwin Diaz. With David Peterson set to go tomorrow, Robert Gsellman needed to be held back just in case. This all left very few options remaining.
Rojas said he didn’t tab Trevor May because he didn’t want to use him for just one out. So, he ran the roulette wheel and landed on Barnes. The fact that option was on the table was the exact problem here.
Sure, you could argue to pitch May, but that might’ve been for one pitch of one out. Considering for situation, that’s probably the wrong move as that’s the game right there.
However, if you look past the moment, and you assume May escapes the jam, now what? Yes, Drew Smith did go two innings in this game. That took them to the ninth. If the game hit extras, well, that’s the run.
To make the long story short, Barnes was realistically going to have to pitch in this game. This is the same Barnes who entered the game with a 6.27 ERA. Since 2017, Barnes had a 6.62 ERA.
Rojas was obviously aware of this. That’s probably why Barnes only pitched once over that past nine days. That one appearance came in a blowout loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
Clearly, Rojas doesn’t really trust him and tries to limit his use of Barnes. That works for only so long. Eventually, you have to use everyone in your bullpen, and sooner or later, you get caught having to use them in a high leverage situation.
To a certain extent, that’s what happened Sunday. The Mets finally had to use Barnes (although not in that spot), and it completely burned them. It’ll burn them again the next time. Of course, that’s if there is a next time.
With pitchers in the minors like Sean Reid-Foley, it’s hard to imagine why the Mets are carrying Barnes in the bullpen. It helped cost the Mets this game. If this continues, it’s likely going to cost the Mets another game or two.