Seth Lugo

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.

Mets End First Half Only Way They Can

In some ways, the Mets final game before the All Star Break was a microcosm of the entire first half of the season.  It started with a lot of promise, and things would quickly unravel from there.

Really, the biggest thing you want to take away from this game is just how good Corey Oswalt pitched. He only needed 59 pitches to get through five innings.  In those five innings, he allowed just one earned on two hits while walking none.

In four of his five innings, he got the Nationals to go down 1-2-3.  The only issue was the second when Anthony Rendon and Matt Adams led off the inning with back-to-back singles setting the stage for a Michael Taylor RBI ground out.  Even with that rally, Oswalt still impressed inducing Matt Wieters to hit into a rally killing and inning ending double play.

Of course, with how well he was pitching, you knew Mickey Callaway was going to be double guessed for lifting him for a pinch hitter in the fifth.

At the time, the score was tied 1-1, and to be fair, the Mets weren’t really setting the world on fire against Jeremy Hellickson.

After Jose Reyes hit a one out double and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Amed Rosario had a chance to deliver the go-ahead RBI and not just get the lead but keep Oswalt in the game.  He struck out.  Dominic Smith, who was given a talking to by Callaway, pinch hit for Oswalt, and he was hit by a pitch.

Unfortunately, Brandon Nimmo, who hasn’t been hitting near as well since he was hit on the hand in Atlanta, couldn’t deliver.

Seth Lugo came out of the pen for a shutdown inning, but after that it was the typical Mets comedy of errors coming out of the bullpen.

The Mets would use Anthony Swarzak, Tim Peterson, and Jerry Blevins in the seventh.  None of them were effective.  Swarzak was the worst with him walking the two batters he faced before getting pulled.  Ultimately, to add insult to injury, it was Daniel Murphy who delivered the go-ahead hit in what would become a five run inning.

In the end, the Mets lost 6-1, and they have not won a series since May. They have the fewest wins in the National League, and they continue to play Reyes everyday while not giving younger players like Jeff McNeil or Smith an opportunity.

Really, this is a bad team whose front office is managing it to the ground.

Game Notes: Blevins escaped the seventh inning jam by picking off a runner.  That was his third pick off of the season tying him with Steven Matz for the team lead.

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.

Flores Walks Off Before Walks Kill Oswalt

Well, it was a topsy-turvy doubleheader with the Mete earning a split. With a lot to digest, instead of paragraph form, it might be easier to make some quick points:

  1. This was a Zack Wheeler start from earlier this season with him not making it through the fifth.
  2. Seth Lugo continues to both confound and be a weapon by pitching 2.2 scoreless in relief.
  3. Asdrubal Cabrera must really want to go to a contender because he was 2-4 with a double, homer, and two RBI.
  4. With Todd Frazier landing on the DL, Jose Reyes started both games, and according to Mickey Callaway, Reyes will get the bulk of the playing time.
  5. The Mets will continue to keep Dominic Smith languishing on the bench and refuse to call up Jeff McNeil, who the team only views as a 2B now.
  6. Pinch hitting for Tim Peterson in the 10th, Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off home run. He’s now the Mets all-time leader in walk off RBI (10).
  7. Mets won the first game 4-3 in 10 innings.
  8. Corey Oswalt looked much improved in the second game of the doubleheader starting things off with four perfect innings.
  9. In the fifth, Oswalt walked three batters. The first two led off the inning. The third was intentional so Oswalt could face Aaron Nola, who entered the game as a .067 hitter. He would hit a bases clearing double.
  10. Nola was dominant allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out 10 over 7.0 innings.
  11. Entering the ninth inning, there were two hits total in the game, and yet, the Phillies lead 3-1.
  12. Callaway opted to bring in Jerry Blevins and force Gabe Kapler‘s hand. Kapler opted to go with that .190 hitter. over Odubel Herrera. Kapler went with Jesmuel Valdez who struck out.
  13. Flores ninth inning double to pull the Mets to within 3-1. Mets would lose by this score.
  14. There was a pop up with Amed Rosario calling for it. Instead, Reyes took it from him, and he walked away right as Rosario looked miffed.
  15. Mets lost the second game 3-1.

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.

Bad Mets Team Wins Poorly Played Baseball Game

On the one hand, you knew it wasn’t June anymore because the Mets beat the Marlins 5-2. On the other hand, things aren’t that different because they played a really sloppy game.

The thing is the Marlins played an arguably sloppier one. To that end, we shouldn’t be surprised these two teams set the game of baseball back a few years.

Even with the comedy of errors, three Mets errors to be precise, Steven Matz kept the Marlins at bay.

Oddly enough, the one time the Marlins scored off of him, it featured a Matz error.

Miguel Rojas hit a one out double, stole third, and he scored with two outs when Matz couldn’t field a Dan Straily bunt.

As alluded to earlier, Matz made one of three errors with Asdrubal Cabrera and Todd Frazier making the others.

Like Matz, who lowered his road ERA to 2.25 after allowing no earned in 5.1 innings, Cabrera and Frazier would contribute to the win.

Cabrera hit a third inning solo homer off Straily. In the eighth, Frazier hit an RBI double which gave the Mets a then 4-1 lead.

That would become a 5-1 lead when JT Realmuto got cute and tried to pick Frazier off third. Instead, he threw it away allowing Frazier to score.

The Mets other runs came from a Kevin Plawecki second inning RBI double and a Matz fourth inning RBI single.

The Mets held onto win because they finally got some good pitching from the pen. Of course, it helps when you use Seth Lugo, Tim Peterson, and Jeurys Familia.

One note on Lugo entering. He came in with one out in the fifth after Matz threw 109 pitches.

With Amed Rosario making the last out of the top of the sixth, and Mickey Callaway wanting some length from Lugo, he double switched Jose Reyes into the game.

That cannot happen.

Just yesterday, Reyes blatantly refused to run a ball out because he claimed to have felt something. As a result, he needed to be benched today.

He needs to be benched because: (1) he dogged it; (2) he’s hurt; or (3) both.

In any event, the Mets finally won and are out of the basement of the NL East.

Game Notes: It was revealed Dominic Smith has been dealing with a wrist injury which required an injection. Purportedly, that’s why he hasn’t been playing.

Embarrassing Mets Lineup Does The Expected

For quite a while, Mets fans have bemoaned the ridiculous lineup with Eric Campbell and John Mayberry, Jr. hitting in the middle of the lineup.  As bad as that lineup was, tonight’s ridiculous lineup might have taken the cake.

Despite Luis Guillorme arguably being the best defensive shortstop in the entire Mets organization, he started the game at third with Jose Reyes, a player who has been a bad everything for a few years now playing the most important position on the infield.

Dominic Smith started the game in left field because for some reason the Mets wanted to get another look at Kevin Plawecki at first base.  This meant the far superior pitch framer in Plawecki was at first base while Devin Mesoraco caught.

Taking it slightly a step further, because of the injuries to pitchers, Seth Lugo, a man who looks like Andrew Miller in the Mets bullpen, was pressed into another start.

Really, looking at this lineup, you have to wonder if the person making that lineup wanted to get fired.  Considering Mickey Callaway essentially let it be known he didn’t want to play Reyes, he may not be the person filling out the lineup card.

Whatever the situation, it was a sick joke, and it was a joke that had no one laughing, especially not Lugo.

The good news for Lugo was he would allow just one earned run in his five innings pitched.  The bad news is when he left the game in the fifth, the Mets trailed 3-0.  The reason for that is the defense behind him was terrible.

What was a surprise was both of the errors leading to the unearned runs came from Guillorme.

Guillorme couldn’t field a ball off the bat of Starling Marte.  Marte was probably safe anyway, but it was ruled an error.  The first batter of the game reached, would promptly steal a base, and he would eventually score on a Josh Harrison sacrifice fly.

It was Harrison who reached on a two out throwing error by Guillorme in the third.  He’d score on an Elias Diaz single.  It should be noted that was a ball Rosario probably fields.

Really, the only earned run against Lugo was a second inning Gregory Polanco second inning solo shot.

After Lugo labored through five, partially due to his defense abandoning him, it was time for Tyler Bashlor to make his Major League debut.  He was rudely welcomed to the big leagues by a Josh Bell excuse me opposite field line drive two run homer.

Other than that, Bashlor looked pretty good in his two innings, and it made you question why the Mets have been subjecting their fans to the Chris Becks and the Jacob Rhames of the world.

While none of this was a surprise, okay, the Guillorme defensive struggles was a bit of a surprise, the Mets fighting back in this game was a bit of a surprise.

After Jameson Taillon dominated the Mets for six innings, the team would finally get to him in the seventh.

A pair of doubles by Reyes and Plawecki scored the first run.  After Tyler Glasnow entered the game, Guillorme walked, and Wilmer Flores hit a pinch hit three run homer to pull the Mets within 5-4.

That prompted Clint Hurdle to bring in Steven Brault.  He walked Michael Conforto putting the tying run on base with no outs.  The rally would die there as Jose Bautista struck out, and Asdrubal Cabrera hit into an inning ending double play.

In the eighth, the Mets put two on with one out.  That rally fizzled as Plawecki struck out, and Guillorme grounded out.

That was pretty much it for the Mets.  In his second inning of work, Robert Gsellman couldn’t get through the ninth unscathed.  This time a tough play for Guillorme was scored a hit.  Gsellman would do well to limit the Pirates to one run when they had the bases loaded with one out, but really, who cares at this point?

The Mets aren’t doing nearly enough to win games, and now, they are putting out embarrassing lineups.

Game Notes: To make room for Bashlor on the roster, Chris Flexen was sent down to Triple-A.

Mets Offense Can’t Keep Up

Much of the game was deja vu back to the previous game.

While Seth Lugo isn’t Jason Vargas, he really struggled in the thin air. Lugo just couldn’t figure out how to throw his curve, and as a result, he allowed six runs on six hits in three innings.

That really put the Mets behind the right ball despite their breaking out for three runs in the first.

Still, despite falling behind 6-4, the Mets would take the lead with a four run fifth.

The rally started with a Dominic Smith triple. After a Wilmer Flores sacrifice fly, the Mets would load the bases, and a run would be forced home on a Brandon Nimmo walk.

Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two RBI single to give the Mets a 8-6 lead.

The bases would reload with Michael Conforto drawing a walk. The Rockies then brought in Bryan Shaw, who got Todd Frazier to ground out to end the inning.

With the lead, Mickey Callaway brought in Robert Gsellman to not just hold the lead but to get multiple innings from him. He got neither.

In the bottom of the fifth, right after the Mets retook the lead, the Rockies took it back with Ryan McMahon hitting a three run homer to give the Rockies a 9-8 lead.

At this point in time, it appeared like this was going to be a classic back-and-forth Coors Field game. It certainly felt that way in the sixth as the Mets loaded the bases with one out and Rockies reliever Harrison Musgrave having lost the strike zone.

In a surprise decision, Callaway tabbed Kevin Plawecki to pinch hit instead of Amed Rosario. Perhaps it was the reliever having lost the strike zone and Callaway wanting a hitter who has a better read of the strike zone.

In any event, the choice was Plawecki, who worked a full count, swung at a borderline pitch which was probably ball four, and he hit into the inning ending double play.

That was it from the Mets. After that, there were no more rallies. With the Rockies scoring a run off Anthony Swarzak in the bottom of the sixth, the final score would be 10-8.

Suddenly, a Mets team who appeared poised to make a little run is now just hoping to earn a split.

Game Notes: Chris Flexen, who is on three days rest, was called up to give the Mets an extra arm in the bullpen. To make room for Flexen, Hansel Robles was sent down to Triple-A.

Sell? Mets Have Nothing To Sell!

With the way things are going with the New York Mets, it is becoming increasingly clear this team will be in position to sell at the trade deadline.  The question is what in the world do the Mets have to sell.

Well, the biggest asset the Mets have right now is Jacob deGrom.  If he was ever truly available, you would have 29 teams lining up to give you their best prospects.  The problem with that is, you could assume the Mets will not deal with either the Yankees or the Nationals.  With the Yankees, you are taking one deep farm system off the table, and that is assuming the Yankees would part with their top prospects in a trade with the Mets.

Overall, based on recent comments from Sandy Alderson, it does not appear the Mets are trading deGrom anytime soon, which is a relief because Sandy really does poor work at the trade deadline.  He’s much better working deals in the offseason.

So when looking at players to trade, you obviously begin with guys on the last year of their deals.  Well, the Mets don’t have much to offer there:

Jerry Blevins – the LOOGY has a 5.28 ERA, 1.761 WHIP, and a 6.5 BB/9.  Worse than that, left-handed batters are hitting .351/.415/.514 off of him.

Jose Bautista – When he was released, the Mets were seemingly the only team who called him, and it’s hard to imagine teams giving up much for a second division bench player with a .366 SLG.

Asdrubal Cabrera – A year after the Mets found no takers for him, they may be in the same position after having him play through injuries.  Since April 24th, he’s hitting .233/.269/.423 while playing the worst defensive second base in the majors (-10 DRS).

Jeurys Familia – If he returns from the DL healthy, Familia has real value because he has once again shown himself to be a good reliever and closer.  The issue with him is Sandy Alderson flipped Addison Reed, who was healthier and having a better year, for an uninspiring group of Gerson Bautista, Jamie Callahan, and Stephen Nogosek.

Devin Mesoraco – Briefly, Mesoraco was a revelation showing power and helping buttress a struggling Mets lineup.  The hot streak has worn off, and he’s hitting .107 with no extra base hits over his last nine games.

AJ Ramos – Ramos is contemplating season ending shoulder surgery.  That would take him off the table.  The same can be said for his 6.41 ERA.

Jose Reyes – He’s the worst player in all of baseball this year; one the Mets are reportedly asking to retire.

Alright, so the Mets don’t have much in terms of players on expiring deals.  Maybe, the team can look at players whose deals are expiring after the 2019 season:

Todd Frazier – The normally durable Frazier landed on the DL, and he has not been the power hitter he has been in his career.  The positives are he’s kept a solid walk rate while playing a solid third base.  Overall, he’s the type of player who is of more value to you than to what you would get back in a deal.

Jason Vargas – He’s now a five inning pitcher with a 7.39 ERA.

Zack Wheeler – Wheeler is an interesting case because he has shown promise, but he is still prone to the occasional hiccups.  He’s probably not due for a large arbitration increase from his $1.8 million, which should be enticing for a Mets team who probably doesn’t want to spend $8 million to replace him with next year’s Vargas.

So, right now, looking at the expiring deals by the end of the 2019 season, the Mets assets basically amount to Familia and maybe Frazier and Wheeler.  Arguably, Frazier and Wheeler are not bringing back the type of players who would be key pieces of a rebuild.  To that extent, you at least have to question why you would move them on a Mets team with a fairly solid core which includes Brandon Nimmo, Michael ConfortoSeth LugoRobert Gsellman, Noah Syndergaard, and deGrom.

And really, past that group, there isn’t much else available for the Mets to trade to justify blowing it up.

Jay Bruce is injured, and he already looks like he’s in a group with Jason Bay and Vince Coleman for the worst free agent mistake in Mets history.  Yoenis Cespedes is both injury prone and has a no trade deal, which will likely limit their ability to move him.

Really, what the Mets need to be doing is some soul searching.

Much like they did when they extended David Wright, the team needs to assess whether players like deGrom and Syndergaard will be here when promising young players like Andres Gimenez, David Peterson, Justin Dunn, Mark Vientos, and Jarred Kelenic are here to open the Mets next World Series window.

If they’re not, you’re doing the franchise a complete disservice by hanging in this if everything breaks right structure.  Really, things only broke right in 2015, and the team has been ill designed every since.

Blow it up now, or start spending money on players like Manny Machado this offseaosn.  If you’re not doing that, this Mets team isn’t going anywhere for at least the next decade.

As Expected, Mets Lose To Diamondbacks

The Mets lost this game 7-3. Sadly, one of the reasons for the loss was Seth Lugofinally having a poor game.

The guy we all want in the rotation allowed five earned on eight hits in five innings pitched.

It really was an off night for a guy having a great season. Unfortunately, despite Lugo bailing out the Mets several times this year, the Mets could not bail him out.

In the second, after a Dominic Smithdouble, the Mets had runners at second and third with no outs.

Kevin Plaweckigrounded out, and then on a shallow center, the noodle armed Jarrod Dyson threw it offline, and he still got it there in plenty of time to nail Jose Bautistaat the plate.

One of the reasons Bautista was sent was Lugo was due up. Of course, Lugo would single off his counter-part Zack Godley to start a rally. He’d score on a Todd Frazierdouble.

After the double, the Mets had runners at second and third with one out. Brandon Nimmo and Asdrubal Cabrerastruck out to end that rally.

Sure, Alex Avilabailed out Godley more than a few times by stopping a few balls in the dirt with a runner on third. But really, this was in an inept Mets offense.

Things looked interesting with a Smith fourth inning homer off the foul pole to make it 3-2.

From there, Lugo allowed two earned. Newest Mets Chris Beck allowed a run in 1.2 innings of work. Anthony Swarzakallowed a run in the eighth.

In the ninth, a bewildered Mets team stood at the top railing almost willing something to happen.

There was a rally in the ninth against Jorge De La Rosa with Wilmer Floreshitting an RBI double scoring an unearned run.

At that point, the Diamondbacks went to their closer, Brad Boxberger, who got Michael Confortoto fly out to left to end the game.

In case you haven’t noticed, the Mets are really bad right now.

Game Notes: Smith made an appearance in LF