Starling Marte

Starling Marte Recruiting Juan Soto

When you’re a 23 year old superstar put on the trade bloc, you’re going to get a ton of attention. New York Mets right fielder Starling Marte made sure Juan Soto got that attention.

With respect to Soto, he’s thrown out if sorts. He thought he’d be a Washington National for life, or at least for another two plus years. Instead, he may be gone.

There has been some inklings Soto would want to be a Met. Last season, he posted on Instagram that posted a photo of himself at Citi Field hinting he’d like to play in New York.

During his media availability for the All-Star Game, Soto spoke about how much he likes hitting at Citi Field. He cautioned it with hitting against the Mets, but there’s no unringing that bell.

For their part, the Mets players have voiced their respect for Soto and how much they’d want him. Marte went a step further than anyone saying of the potential of Soto wearing a Mets uniform,”It’d be phenomenal. He’s one of those guys that doesn’t have any flaws.”

Being an All-Star himself, Marte found himself with a chance to hang out and speak with Soto. Boy, did he ever take advantage.

Soto is at the All-Star Game by himself as he’s the lone Nationals representative. That means while Edwin Diaz, Marte, and Jeff McNeil we’re hanging around and rooting on Pete Alonso, no one was there for Soto.

Marte took care of that. He was there for Soto every step of the way (as he was for Alonso). He was there to celebrate when Soto won the Home Run Derby.

via SNY Twitter

Keep in mind, Marte bowed out of the All-Star Game and was replaced by Freddie Freeman. It’s almost as if Marte showed up just to try to recruit Soto to the Mets.

Now, it should be noted Soto’s preferred destination may not be worth anything. The Nationals can send him anywhere they want, and they will seek out the best return they can find.

Certainly, Scott Boras throws a monkey wrench into this. He knows how to try to leverage things for his clients, and if Soto truly wants to be a Met, you can be assured Boras will try to find a way to help guide Soto towards the deepest pockets in the game.

Who knows if Marte’s efforts will move the needle. Regardless of the success, you have to love Marte for trying.

Mets Fans All Star Voting Has Been Ridiculous

As a fanbase, you really have to wonder what is going on with New York Mets fans. They are showing up for many of their players, and the vote totals are reflecting that, but they are not showing up for all of them. On that point, here is how the Mets players are faring in the All-Star voting with their National League rank in WAR:

By WAR, Nimmo has been the Mets best player this season. By WAR, he trails only Mookie Betts among all of National League outfielders. However, despite that, he’s not only the lowest ranked of all the Mets outfielders on the All-Star ballot.

Yes, other fanbases vote and look to make their voices heard. That is to be expected. Certainly, there is a measure of popularity in the voting. That is exactly why the voting for Nimmo is so problematic.

Look at the Mets players again. With the exception of McNeil and Nimmo, each one of the Mets players vote ranking outpaces where they are in WAR. For McNeil, it actually matches where he ranks. However, for Nimmo, he is lagging, and he’s unjustifiably far off from where he ranks among National League outfielders.

It’s hard to see this as anything other than a popularity contest. After all, Davis is in the top five in DH voting. This is a player who ranks 21st in WAR among designated hitters. It is worse when you consider he trails Dominic Smith in WAR, and Smith was demoted to Triple-A Syracuse for a stretch. Realistically speaking, it’s hard to fathom how Davis is getting any votes.

For that matter, Escobar ranks fifth, and he has not been good since April. More to the point, you get the sense Mets fans are unfortunately starting to turn on him.

It’s more difficult to fathom why Nimmo isn’t getting any votes. He’s the best player on the team this season. He’s been great atop the lineup and in center field this season. He’s been better than any other position player on this team, and that includes Alonso, who is the player getting MVP talk from the fans.

Overall, Nimmo should not only be an All-Star, he should be a starter. He is the Mets best player, and he has undoubtedly been one of the best outfielders in the National League this season. There may not be enough time left, but Mets fans have to be better than this and step up for him.

 

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Toss Out Rotten Fish

From the rumors, the New York Mets are being threatened for National League East supremacy, but then again the Mets dispatched with another opponent. This time it was the Miami Marlins.

1.  It might’ve been Father’s Day Weekend, but Francisco Lindor proved it’s always Mother’s Day. His mom came to the game on Friday, and he hit his first of two homers in the series. After breaking his finger, he seemed understandably off, but this weekend, we saw the real Lindor again.

2.  Taijuan Walker has pitched like an ace since Max Scherzer went down. Over his last six starts,  he’s averaging 6.0 starts with an increasing strikeout rate. This could be one of the best two year deals in Mets history.

3.  The Mets DH situation was a disaster before J.D. Davis got hit on the hand. That could effectively end his season (it did last year), which is going to rob the Mets of a right-handed bat off the bench. And before people start, he wasn’t hitting for power before this hand injury.

4.  It seems the DH spot will now fall to Dominic Smith, who faltered earlier, and/or Daniel Palka, who hasn’t played in the majors since 2019. With respect to Smith, the only hope is he begins hitting again with regular at-bats.

5.  While Mark Vientos continues to be the best possible DH option, from a purely crazy standpoint, you do wonder if Michael Conforto would be available on a minor league deal. After all, Scott Boras has hinted Conforto may be able to hit this season. It would seem a mutually beneficial arrangement even if there’s a 99% chance Conforto doesn’t play this year.

6.  The biggest concern right now is Jeff McNeil‘s hamstring. As Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez pointed out, he tried to play through a similar injury last year and struggled. Hernandez also noted the flight to Houston won’t help matters. Ideally, the Mets can give him a day or two to get healthy.

7.  David Peterson had a much needed good start. That was much needed for him and for the Mets.

8.  The fact Seth Lugo was pitching after his two year old just had surgery and his wife is expecting any day now is just remarkable. Given that context and how great he has been as a Met, we can afford him one bad pitch before freaking out.

9.  Where is it written in stone the Marlins play their very best against the Mets at all times?

10.  Chris Bassitt had a strong start but hit a bump. He is still a part of the solution this season and in the ensuing years.

11. Sandy Alcantara is just that good, and the Marlins have him effectively locked up until 2027. That would be very bad news for the Mets except you know the Marlins will get rid of him well before that.

12. The cavalry seems to be on their way with reports Scherzer could be a week away and James McCann on a rehab assignment.

13. The Mets have effectively shelved Patrick Mazeika, and you have to wonder just how much longer he will be a Met. With every homer from Francisco Alvarez, the chances of his getting designated for assignment increase exponentially because next time there is an injury, Alvarez may very well be called up to stay.

14. The Mets continue to do Josh Lewin dirty. First, he’s replaced by an inexperienced and poor announcer, and then, his podcast is replaced with amateur hour. He and Mets fans deserve much better.

15. Drew Smith is back to being Drew Smith, and as a result, the Mets bullpen is again a strength. That goes double with Adam Ottavino pitching well.

16. Very quietly, Starling Marte keeps getting better and better all season.

17. It’s obvious why we’re not talking about it much, but Pete Alonso‘s defense has really regressed. With the Mets DH options being what they are, you could move Alonso there, but the Mets obviously don’t want to interrupt his Silver Slugger caliber season.

18. Luis Guillorme is just a guy who gets on base and plays great defense. If the Mets cared about that in the past, perhaps they make the postseason prior to this year.

19. On this date last year, the Mets had a 5.5 lead game on the Atlanta Braves. The key differences is that Mets team had a +20 run differential, and this one has a +72. The other key difference is that team lost deGrom, and this one will be getting him back. These are not remotely the same seasons.

20. Interesting to think about, but this upcoming series against the Houston Astros might actually be a World Series preview.

Mark Vientos Emerging As Mets Best DH Option

The New York Mets screwed up their DH position entering the season. Largely due to his contract, Robinson Cano was given the first crack, and he failed miserably. It led to his release, and notably, he’s now playing for the San Diego Padres Triple-A affiliate.

While the Mets were trying to get Cano going, Dominic Smith faltered. With the lack of at-bats, he never got going, and eventually, he was sent down to Triple-A.. He’s hitting now, but his doubters will use this to call him a Four-A player.

This has led to J.D. Davis “winning” the DH job, but not really. Since Smith was demoted, Davis has a 142 wRC+, but there are caveats there. That comes with a .423 BABIP, 1.11 GB/FB, softer than usual contact for him, and a 26.2% strikeout rate. This looks more like a hot streak than true talent level.

Per Baseball Savant, Davis’ Whiff% and K% is among the worst in baseball. He’s also been a poor base runner. Despite the exit velocities, he still only has two homers, and the Mets very noticeably did not start Davis at DH against the pitching rich Milwaukee Brewers. All told, it does seem the Mets are not sold with Davis as the permanent DH.

That could open the door for someone else, and noticeably, Mark Vientos is red-hot in Triple-A.

So far, Vientos has followed his professional career path. He was terrible over the first month of the season only to post a 1.050 OPS in May. He has followed that with a 1.264 OPS in June. This is no fluke. Vientos did the same exact thing in Double-A last season posting a 1.182 OPS and 1.008 OPS over the second and third months of the season last year.

Once Vientos turns it on, he’s locked in for the rest of the season. Right now, he is in one of his better stretches. He has a six game hitting streak with three multi-hit games. He has homered four times over his last three games, and he is hitting .285/.467/.846 over this stretch.

What you see with Vientos is as the season progresses, he proceeds to drive the ball more and get the ball in the air more. At the lower levels of the minors, he was a predominantly pull side hitter, but as time as progressed he has hit for power to all fields. He’s also developed much better pitch recognition skills, and he’s walking at his highest rate in full season affiliate minor league baseball.

That’s not to say there aren’t risks. Vientos still does strike out at a very high clip. So far this season, he’s at a career worst 31.6%, and there is justifiable concern that will worsen against Major League pitching. While he’s had a 1.103 OPS since May 1, he also has a 32.7% strike out rate. He has walked 9.9% of the time over this stretch.

Of course, Vientos does not have the same benefits as Major Leaguers do down in Triple-A. The Mets have more and better analytical data at their disposal with a coaching staff adept at disseminating the information. This has helped the Mets have the fourth best strikeout rate in the majors. That’s even with Davis having one of the worst.

Right now, the Mets are in an interesting spot. They don’t have any players they like to DH everyday. Their offense is taking a hit with Francisco Lindor‘s broken finger, and it is likely to take another hit with Starling Marte getting hit on the forearm. They seem to like Davis but not against good pitching. More than that, aside from Pete Alonso this is a team without another real power threat at the moment.

This could lead to the Mets looking to trade for a DH at the trade deadline, and Steve Cohen has said he will spend to do it. However, before it gets to that point, it would behoove the Mets to take a look at Vientos. He is flat out mashing in Syracuse, and if his minor league history is any indicator, he will mash the rest of the season.

Vientos is earning the call-up, is on the 40 man roster, and he fills a need for the Mets. It is time to give him a chance. If nothing else, the Mets will know just how much DH is a real trade deadline issue.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Ran Out of Gas

The New York Mets followed an inspired series split against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a less than inspiring performance against the San Diego Padres. To be fair, there are some caveats to this performance:

1.  The Mets played their 30th game in 30 days. Over that span, they had two west coast trips with no scheduled travel day prior to their trip out west. Overall, this team is exhausted, and when that happens, you are going to see what we saw.

2.  What’s impressive is the Mets actually grew their lead from 7.0 to 8.0 games over this stretch. Keep that in mind when they finally get some days off with a chance to rest and play at their peak level.

3.  The Mets won the only game of this series they did because Carlos Carrasco was great again. He stepped up big time saving the bullpen, and he helped secure the Mets only win in the series.

4.  Chris Bassitt has really struggled since James McCann hit the IL with his start in the series finale being the worst start of them all. There are many reasons why this is happening, but one overlooked one is he has really struggled pitching to Tomas Nido. He is just a different pitcher on the mound with Nido back there.

5.  It was great to see Jeff McNeil off the snide. After that recent slump, he was back to being himself at the plate. As noted by Keith Hernandez, McNeil never brings his slumps into the field which is another reason why you have to love him as a player.

6. Speaking of Keith, he was just overly kind to J.D. Davis about his play at first. He was making excuses for Davis dropping balls that where in his mitt and making poor throws. We gets it’s a difficult thing to do on the fly, but Keith went way out of his way to excuse a poor performance.

7.  Speaking of poor performance, Davis has been bad. On this west coast trip, he is 4-for-18 (.222). When it was between him and Dominic Smith, you understood choosing Davis because he was a right-handed bat on the bench. However, now, they need Smith because it appears they will need someone who can play first everyday.

8.  MetsWes put it best with Pete Alonso when he said, “Pete Alonso walked away from an awful car crash and been hit in the head and was fine. You think a little [Yu Darvish] “fastball” is going to break a bone? Tongue-in-cheek for sure, but it does speak to how much Alonso has dealt with this season.

9.  Starling Marte had quietly been one of the Mets best players for a few weeks now. They’re going to miss him in the lineup, and in many ways, they will miss his fire.

10. This is Nick Plummer‘s big opportunity to prove he can be a Major Leaguer. He started by going 0-for-3, but he did hit the ball hard. If he has a big stretch, the Mets would be hard pressed to send him back down to the minors again.

11. With Alonso and Marte down, you can understand the Mets scoring just two runs over the final two games. Of course, the Padres pitching had a lot to do with that as well.

12. In addition to the injuries, Luis Guillorme and Francisco Lindor chose the wrong time to go into slumps. More than ever, the Mets need them to start hitting again.

13. Eduardo Escobar is heating up at the right time, and as noted several times here, he is a player who breaks out in June. He became the first player to hit a cycle at Safeco, and the is the first player in Major League history to get his cycle after hitting a homer and triple over the final two innings.

14. Mark Vientos chose the wrong time to get injured. It is very possible he could’ve gotten his chance now with his hot hitting and the Mets recent injuries leaving them looking for offense.

15. Brandon Nimmo is obviously still dealing with his wrist. You can see it when he swings. Frankly, he won’t be put on the IL now because of the other injuries and the fact he provides offense with his ability to draw walks.

16. The Mets batters get plunked more than anyone because it is their approach. Really, do we think anyone is throwing at someone like Mark Canha? Of course not. This is a design of where they are positioned in the box and their approach at the plate. That said, retaliation every so often is merited especially with Sean Manaea buzzing Guillorme by the head multiple times.

17. In case you haven’t heard from Mets fans starting to panic, the Mets have the largest division lead in the National League and are tied for the second largest division lead in all of baseball. There’s absolutely no need to panic. This team is great and will be fine.

18. The impending matchup with Noah Syndergaard is going to garner a lot of attention. With respect to Syndergaard, he went to the Los Angeles Angels for more money and this front office and pitching staff. The Joe Maddon firing was a sign he might’ve been duped.

19. The Mets are catching the Angels at exactly the right time. They’ve lost 14 straight, and Mike Trout is hurt. They got a much needed day off. There is no excuse for not taking at least two out of three.

20. In some ways, the Mets need for the New York Rangers to win this series. They need the Rangers to have some buzz to keep some of the unnecessary heat off of the team at a time when they are tired and hurt. Mostly, I need the Rangers to win the series. so yes, I am selfishly saying this.

 

Mets Lose Game But More Importantly Marte And Alonso

The New York Mets are going to lose games, and they are especially going to lose games where the starting pitcher is great. That was the case with Yu Darvish, who had no-hit stuff. Mark Canha got a hit in the sixth, and it was one of two total from the Mets, so there’s that.

Really, at the end of the day, no one should care about losing this game. It’s going to happen. It will happen many times this season. That said, there was something very troubling during that game.

Both Starling Marte and Pete Alonso left the game with injury.

Marte seemed to injure his leg on a stolen base attempt. First, he was thrown out, and then after he tried to give it a go, he was out of the game. Later in the game, Alonso was hit on the hand with a pitch, and he had trouble with his grip

Both had imaging, and the early results were negative. While initial good news, we have seen through the years how quads and hand injuries can linger. That is even if subsequent MRIs prove to be negative.

Now, we can argue the Mets could handle the absence of either for a prolonged period of time. After all, the Mets are in first place without Jacob deGrom throwing a pitch, and they are 13-6 (.684) with both deGrom and Scherzer out of the rotation. Keep in mind, Tylor Megill was also out of the rotation.

Certainly, the Mets could navigate losing Marte even with how good he has been. Jeff McNeil can shift to left with Canha going to right. Of course, this is dependent on Luis Guillorme playing like an everyday player, which he has even with his latest slump. The Mets also have the option of playing Nick Plummer everyday in right, which he has showed he may be capable of doing right now.

With Alonso is where things get dicey. You could shift Canha to first with McNeil and Plummer in the outfield, but Canha isn’t ready to play first everyday. As noted by Buck Showalter, J.D. Davis neither has the footwork nor the instincts, but he sure has the arm. Considering that was the Mets failed talking point about Davis playing left and third, that’s an indication Davis can’t handle the position long term.

In many times, that means the balance of the season could rest with Dominic Smith.

On the bright side, Smith has responded well to the demotion going 4-for-14 with a double, homer, and three RBI over three games. If he can carry that forward, the Mets are not going to miss a beat. There are a few caveats there.

First and foremost, the Mets have to want to bring him back up to take over at first. The team really hasn’t shown a willingness to do that even when Smith had his good moments this season. They seem more comfortable giving Davis a run because we are all pretending his hot streak of hitting .286/.360/.381 over seven games means he can justify playing first or DH.

The other caveat here is Smith has to do it. He just hasn’t this year. For him, it is very possible the Mets are going to desperately need him to do it now. In reality, Smith desperately needs to as well because if he doesn’t, it just may mean the end of his Mets career.

So, in the end, this 7-0 loss went from bad loss to existential crisis. We’ll see if this moves to panic as the MRI results come back.

Eduardo Escobar Cycles Mets To Victory

If you were an analyst or New York Mets fan who thought the team had something to prove on this west coast trip, you have to find yourself feeling awful silly. After all, they split with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and now they took the opener of the series against the San Diego Padres.

That’s not to say everything was perfect for the Mets. They had some short starts, and their bullpen has been getting taxed as a result. That means they desperately needed length from Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco would deliver.

Arguably, it was the best performance by Carrasco as a member of the Mets. He pitched 7.0 innings, which was the second most innings he’s thrown in a start, and he struck out a season high 10 batters. He did that while getting the key outs he needed in the big spots.

Entering the bottom of the third, the Mets were up 3-0 largely because Blake Snell could not find the strike zone early on. After Starling Marte stole second with two outs, Snell would walk three consecutive to force in a run, then Eduardo Escobar hit a two RBI single giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. It was not the last time we would hear from him.

As alluded to above, Carrasco got into trouble in the third. It started with a Jorge Alfaro lead-off double past a non-moving J.D. Davis, who got the surprise start at first. Alfaro scored on a Jurickson Profar RBI single. On the play, Mark Canha didn’t come close to getting Alfaro. Tomas Nido read it perfectly, and he came up firing to first to pick off Profar. With that, the rally was stymied to just one run.

The Mets began tacking on runs from there.

In the fourth, Escobar continued his hot hitting with a lead-off single, and he would eventually score on a Brandon Nimmo RBI single. In the fifth, Alonso reached on a Manny Machado error, and he moved to third on a Canha two out double before scoring on a sacrifice fly.

To their credit, the Padres just didn’t go away. In the seventh, Nomar Mazara hit a two out double scoring Ha-Seong Kim from first. Carrasco got out of the inning and ended his night by striking Alfaro.

The Mets would extend their lead in the eighth. Again, it was courtesy of Escobar, who would hit a two run homer to extend the Mets lead to 7-2:

As noted, the Padres wouldn’t go away. In the bottom of the eighth, they went to work against Joely Rodriguez. If you wanted, you could question Buck Showalter going to him, but with a five run lead and a depleted bullpen, you go to Rodriguez in these spots. He allowed two on with one out before Showalter went to Drew Smith.

Smith would get Machado, but he would get tagged by Luke Voit for a three run homer. Suddenly, a 7-2 impending blowout was now a game in question. Well, it wouldn’t be for long.

You see while the Padres refused to go away, the Mets refused to keep this game close.

In his second inning of work, the Mets would rock Craig Stammen beginning with an opposite field one out single by Pete Alonso. After Canha singled, the Padres brought in Tim Hill. Hill would easily dispatch of Davis, but Escobar got a hold of one. Escobar didn’t hit it out of the park, but he would hit that deep right foot wall.

After it ricocheted off the wall, he would himself with a two out two RBI double. More than that, it was the triple he needed for the cycle. It was the first since Scott Hairston in 2012 and the 11th in team history.

The Mets weren’t actually done scoring. Jeff McNeil would double home Escobar. That would set the stage for Tomas Nido who is a monster with two outs and runners in scoring position. Tonight would be no different. As McNeil took off towards third, Nido shot the ball down the third base line driving home a run. With that single, it was 11-5.

That was once too much for the Padres, who didn’t have any fight left in the ninth. With the huge lead, Showalter opted for a second inning of Drew Smith instead of using Edwin Diaz. After the huge top of the ninth, it was no longer a save situation allowing the Mets to save him for another fight. Smith set the side down in order.

Even with the Padres giving everything they had, the Mets were just flat out better. If you wanted a litmus test to see how good the Mets are and can be, here it is.

May 20/20 Hindsight: Best Mets Team Ever?

The New York Mets have finished the first two months of the season in first place with a 10.5 game division lead. That is tied for the best ever lead on June 1 in MLB history.

1.  It doesn’t matter what happens with this team. They are perhaps the most resilient Mets team we have ever seen.

2.  Luis Guillorme has earned a job in the starting lineup, and he’s playing like someone deserving of an All-Star right now.

3.  Playing time may hold back Guillorme, but it should not hold back Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo. They’re not just having All-Star caliber seasons, but they are also building budding MVP campaigns.

4.  Lindor going around humming the Rangers goal song is awesome. That run is having a big impact on this Mets team, and it seems to be driving them all the more to have their own special season.

5.  Colin Holderman and Stephen Nogosek have earned a permanent place in the Mets bullpen.

6.  If Drew Smith is hurt, just put him on the IL. There is no need to mess around and have the chance he hurts his arm compensating for the pinkie.

7.  Trevor Williams has stepped up big time, and he has taken that last spot in the rotation for now. He might’ve been a throw-in last season in the Javier Baez trade, but he’s been a very importance piece for this Mets team.

8.  The pitching injuries necessitated Dominic Smith be sent down. The team needs the arms, and right now, Smith hasn’t made the case he should stay in the majors. Then again, J.D. Davis hasn’t either, but looking at everything, he is on borrowed time as well.

9.  Eduardo Escobar is slowly but surely coming out of his struggles, and he is primed to have the same big June he has always had. To his credit, he has not let his struggles get the better of him as he was always out there hustling. That’s why he had the big extra innings catch followed by the walk-off hit.

10. The Mets are in a tough spot at the catcher position, and it seems like the problem isn’t improving as Patrick Mazeika just can’t seem to get on the same page as his pitchers, and he’s made some questionable pitch calls. Case-in-point was that Adam Ottavino fastball.

11. The most important move the Mets made all season was Chris Bassitt. While he was not pegged as such, he has been the team’s ace all season long. That’s because he has pitched that way and because he’s the last man standing.

12. There is not enough we can say about how Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker have stepped up this season. This team is in first place because of them as any other reason.

13. With Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer coming back at some point this season, it is really difficult to pinpoint where this team desperately needs to make a move to make it a World Series contending club.

14. That said, Joely Rodriguez and Chasen Shreve at least have you wondering if the Mets need a left-handed reliever. Then again, maybe David Peterson can move there for the postseason and have a 2015 Jon Niese type of impact.

15. Having Johan Santana out there with Tylor Megill, Smith, Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz was one of the coolest photos in Mets team history.

16. It is amazing hearing Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry will return to Flushing for Old Timers’ Day. It seems like all of the Mets greats want to come back to experience this.

17. Nick Plummer is what makes a season like this so special. He’s a former first rounder who was given the bust label before having a good year in Triple-A with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. It wasn’t enough to keep him around, and the Mets have been the beneficiaries for taking a chance on him.

18. It’s astonishing to think it took the Mets nearly two months to complete their first series sweep of the season. Of course, they may follow it with yet another sweep.

19. The Mets impending west coast trip isn’t really anything but a series of nine tough games. It’s not a litmus test because we know this team is good, and we also know they don’t have all of their pitching.

20. Starling Marte has responded to hearbreak by being great. If there is anyone who understands what it means to be a Met, it may just be him.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Finally Lose Two In A Row

The New York Mets went to San Francisco looking to take yet another series, but this time, they failed, and for the first time this season, we saw some cracks in the foundation.

1.  If Edwin Diaz wants to be considered an elite closer, he cannot blow that save. Even when he is at his best, he has a propensity to blow saves in an inordinate fashion, and that is starting to creep back this season.

2.  A bigger issue in the bullpen is Drew Smith. The Mets can ill afford him regressing. No, you shouldn’t anticipate he would be the 12 scoreless appearance guy he was to start the season, but lately, he’s allowed runs in four of his last six appearances. There needs to be a happy medium here.

3.  Luis Guillorme is one of the Mets best players. He sits. J.D. Davis has a four hit game. He sits. Dominic Smith has a multi-hit game. He sits. It’s like Buck Showalter is punishing players for playing well.

4.  Starting Thomas Szapucki was just plain wrong on every level, and it cost the Mets a game.

5.  Yet again, Trevor Williams and Stephen Nogosek stepped up for the Mets. Williams needs a job in the starting rotation, and Nogosek is earning a deeper look going forward.

6.  Colin Holderman was been fantastic.

7.  Chris Bassitt chose a bad time for his first bad start, but it is what it is. He’s been great all year, and he will be fine.

8.  With his versatility and hitting, the Mets can ill afford to lose Jeff McNeil. That is even with Guillorme being more than capable of locking down second.

9.  McNeil’s sliding catch is why this Mets team is great. It was 9-1 in the third, and he’s risking injury to make an out. This team keeps fighting and does not quit no matter what the obstacle.

10. Francisco Lindor was a force in this series, and he fueled that seven run comeback. It was a reminder he’s an All-Star caliber player and future Hall of Famer.

11. For the first time in a long time, Eduardo Escobar had a good series. It was more than the doubles. It was the hustle on that infield single.

12. Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte certainly set the tone atop the lineup. It’s not just the at-bats or getting on base. It’s the way they hustle. It has rubbed off on everyone on this roster.

13. You can say until you’re blue in the face the Mets need to get a starting pitcher. They’re not available now. The Mets just have to weather this storm.

14. The ceiling is not caving in on this team. That is partially because the Phillies and Nationals are next. That said, they absolutely need to take care of business with an absolutely brutal West Coast trip to open June.

15. Just as Patrick Mazeika looked like he was going to push for more playing time, he stopped hitting. He also doesn’t seem to be syncing with up with the starting pitchers.

16. For all the talk about J.D. Martinez, the Boston Red Sox have gotten hot, and it looks like they can play themselves back into the expanded postseason picture. Also, we again need to note teams don’t make big trades like this in May.

17. While many are focusing on trades and needs and starting to panic, this Mets team keeps reminding us how good they are and just how much fight they have. That ninth inning rally against the Phillies was no fluke. This is deeply ingrained in the team’s DNA.

18. Mark Canha has really stepped it up of late. He had a big series against the Giants, and he’s reached safely in seven straight games. This comes at a time when the Mets need all of their bats to step it up.

19. It is certainly interesting that Showalter thinks Canha needs to sit as much as he does. What it says is difficult to ascertain, but we will see if this changes with McNeil banged up.

20. The Mets have a chance to absolutely bury the Phillies. They need to take advantage.

Mets Offense Explodes With Giant Win

Another game and another New York Mets starter with a big start. This time it was David Peterson‘s turn.

It didn’t start that way for Peterson. In the second, Brandon Crawford hit a two run homer giving the San Francisco Giants an early 2-0 lead.

The Mets would get him a lead in the top of the third. At the time, you wondered if it was going to be enough.

The Mets would nickel and dime Alex Cobb to death. For example, Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte had consecutive infield singles in the third to help load the bases.

Francisco Lindor followed with a bloop down the left field line. Darin Ruf lumbered over, but he couldn’t make the play as he and the ball landed in the stands for a two RBI automatic double.

The two RBIs tied the score at 2-2. It was also Lindor’s 500th RBI. He would then score his 609th career run as Pete Alonso absolutely launched one to give the Mets a 5-2 lead.

Peterson seemed poised to give that lead right back in the bottom of the third. He walked Ruf to start the inning and then plunked Wilmer Flores.

Peterson bore down, and he got Mike Yastrzemski to hit into the 1-6-3 double play. That play changed the game as Peterson got out of the inning, and the Mets would eventually blow out the Giants.

For Peterson, it was a well earned win. He limited the Giants to the two runs over six while striking out six.

Colin Holderman relieved Peterson in the seventh, and he continued to prove he belongs. He pitched a scoreless inning battling through a bleeding thumb on his pitching hand.

While Mets relievers literally bled, the Giants did figuratively as the Mets offense pounded them in the eighth to break the game open.

It started because Jeff McNeil just couldn’t get a bunt down all game. As noted by Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, it was partially because his approach has him running towards first at the point of contact.

When McNeil couldn’t get the bunt down to beat the shift, he instead swung away and hit a two run homer off Giants reliever Mauricio Llovera.

And then, Mark Canha went back-to-back increasing the Mets lead to 8-2.

Patrick Mazeika capped off the scoring in the inning with an RBI double. That gave the Mets a 10-2 lead. For Mazeika, it was his third straight game with a double as he attempts to get the starting catching job.

After another scoreless inning from Holderman, the Giants sent outfielder Luis Gonzalez to the mound. After the dog and pony show was over the 10-2 lead grew to 13-2.

The Mets ability to clobber the Giants pitching led to Gonzalez pitching. Things were so bad for the Giants J.D. Davis, who entered the game hitting .188 with a -0.4 WAR, had a four hit night. It was just one of those nights for the Mets.

Chasen Shreve, who has struggled mightily of late, took the mound in the ninth. Again, he let up a run, but in a 13-3 game, it’s a footnote.

The Mets are now eight up in the division. That includes being nine up on the Atlanta Braves. Yes, the Mets are this good.

Game Notes: This was Max Scherzer‘s spot in the rotation. This was Buck Showalter‘s 66th Birthday.