Yesterday, the Mets needed a ninth inning rally to beat the Braves. Today, things were not nearly as dramatic as Michael Conforto‘s RBI ground out in the second gave the Mets a 2-1 lead and the lead for good.
Yesterday, the Mets could only muster a run against the Pirates. When Michael Conforto hit a two run homer in the first, the Mets surpassed that total. They also provided Steven Matz with more than enough run support.
Matz picked up the win after allowing just one run over 5.2 innings.
MLB The Show 20: Mets vs Diamondbacks, Game 42 https://t.co/ORb9vpDVA1
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 13, 2020
The Cincinnati Reds are built somewhat similar to the 2015 Mets – exciting young pitching with some interesting position players. Today, we saw the Mets did it better with Steven Matz out-dueling Trevor Bauer.
The Mets returned to Citi Field with a nine game winning streak, and they were wearing their Friday black jerseys. However, they would not be winners.
Ozzie Albies hit a two run homer off of Steven Matz in the fifth to give the Braves a 3-1 lead. The Mets almost took the lead in the bottom half, but Amed Rosario‘s fly ball was caught safely inches from the wall.
In the seventh, Jeff McNeil hit yet another homer this season to pull the Mets to within 3-2. While the Mets had two on in the eighth, they couldn’t push that tying run across, and they eventually lost by that 3-2 score.
The Mets started this year in 2005 fashion, but with today’s 6-4 victory, they’re now at 11-11 and in third place in the division .
Steven Matz was pitching a gem until Orlando Arcia hit a game tying three run homer in the seventh. The game was tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth when Pete Alonso delivered a two out two RBI bases loaded single.
The Mets fell behind 4-0 early in this game with Steven Matz not getting out of the fourth. The Mets pulled within 5-4 with a three run rally in the fifth, but they couldn’t complete the comeback.
The Mets had the bases loaded in that fifth inning, but Jake Marisnick flew out to end the rally.
Heading into the 2020 season, many anticipated Steven Matz and Amed Rosario would have breakout seasons. In the simulated game against the Milwaukee Brewers, we got a look into what that might’ve looked like:
Through six, the only run scored in the game was off a Rosario solo shot. At that point, Matz was straight dealing, and as such, Luis Rojas let him hit for himself in the top of the seventh.
That appeared to be a mistake when Eric Sogard homered off Matz to start the bottom of the seventh.
Jeurys Familia relieved him, and he’d pick up the win. Pete Alonso led off the eighth with a ground rule double. Jake Marisnick pinch ran for Alonso, and he’d eventually score on a Yoenis Cespedes sacrifice fly.
In years past, the Mets have been able to use the opening series against the Nationals to make a statement. In this simulated series, the Mets team without Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard was swept at home.
Mets actually had an early lead when Wilson Ramos hit a two out two run double in the fourth. However, the wheels came off for Matz in the fifth as the Nationals scored five runs capped off by a Kurt Suzuki two run homer. Matz was lifted when he couldn’t get the last out of the inning.
The Mets were down 6-2 entering the seventh. Robinson Cano chased Patrick Corbin with an RBI single. Amed Rosario and Jake Marisnick greeted the Nationals bullpen with RBI singles pulling the Mets to within 6-5.
The Mets had two on, no out, and they were ready to flip to the top of their lineup. For some reason, Justin Wilson hit for himself, and he couldn’t quite get the sacrifice down leading the Mets to strand the tying run at third.
An eighth inning rally sputtered without scoring a run, and the Nationals racked on two insurance runs in the ninth for the 8-5 win.
In the series, we saw the Nationals were a better team as they flexed their championship muscles. Of course, while some may debate whether that’s an actual thing, it’s most likely not in a simulation. The other key detail is while we have not seen Luis Rojas manage a game yet, we can be certain he doesn’t bat Wilson in that situation.
Overall, the Mets may be 0-3 in MLB The Show, but they’re still 0-0, so that’s something.
With Noah Syndergaard going down with Tommy John, suddenly the question isn’t who among Steven Matz, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha will make the rotation. No, the question now is who is up next in the event there is another pitcher injury or the need for a spot starter in the case of fatigue or other complication.
On the bright side, the Mets appear better poised than they did in 2019. On that note, that Mets team didn’t have to go that deep into their rotation as Mickey Callaway had a knack for keeping his starting pitchers healthy. He’s now gone, and now, there is the challenge of keeping pitchers healthy in an environment where pitchers ramped up to start the season, were shut down, and now have to revamp it up to pitch a season.
The first pitcher who may be up in the event of an injury is Walker Lockett. Lockett has a step up on the competition because he is out of options meaning the Mets either put him on the Opening Day roster or risk losing him off waivers.
The downside he presents is that is if he is in the bullpen, he will not be stretched out enough to pitch as a starter. The other complication is he has not fared well as a Major League pitcher. In seven starts and six relief appearances, he has an 8.84 ERA and a 1.885 WHIP.
Another Mets pitcher who has struggled in his brief Major League appearances is Corey Oswalt. Of course, the biggest issue with him is how haphazardly the Mets have handled him. One minute, he is pitching in relief on two days rest after a cross country flight, and the next, he’s not being used for over a week.
If you want hope for him, he pitches much better when on regular rest and used normally. Still, in 12 starts and seven relief appearances, he has a 6.43 ERA and 1.458 WHIP. That’s not great, but it is much better than Lockett.
Similar to Lockett and Oswalt, Stephen Gonsalves struggled in his limited Major League appearances. In four starts and three relief appearances for the Twins in 2018, he was 2-2 with a 6.57 ERA, 2.027 WHIP, and a 0.73 K/BB. After that, he had arm issues leading to his release from the Twins, and the Mets claiming him.
Gonsalves is a former Top 100 prospect who Baseball America once described as a future middle of the rotation starter who ” reads hitters well and works effectively at the top of the zone.” When healthy, he can get his fastball near the mid 90s to couple with a very good change.
The issue with him now is health, getting his stuff back, and developing a third pitch. With this being a new organization and Jeremy Hefner having familiarity with him, it is possible.
On the topic of potential, there is also former first round pick David Peterson. He has reached the Top 100 just once in his career, but he has progressed through the Mets system, and he has had a strong Spring Training.
While his stats the past two years do not appear strong with an ERA of over 4.00 in St. Lucie and Binghamton, there are other stats which show he has pitched better than his ERA. First and foremost, his FIP the past two years was respectively 2.98 and 3.19.
He has also maintained a very good strikeout-to-walk ratio while keeping walks to just 2.5 per nine in his minor league career. When looking at him, he is not a pitcher who is going to beat himself when he gets the chance to pitch for the Mets.
When he does pitch, fans will see what MLB Pipeline says is “Solid bat-missing ability and a knack for inducing weak, ground-ball contact points to more of a floor than ceiling for Peterson, but it might not take him that long to reach that potential.
Finally, there is Kevin Smith, who appears further away than Peterson after making just six starts in Double-A last year. Still, the 2018 seventh round draft pick has far outperformed what was expected of him, and with another strong showing in the minors this year, he may find himself on the radar.
Overall, the Mets have interesting options in the minors, and that is before we take into account pitchers like Franklyn Kilome, who is returning from Tommy John. In the end, the Mets are likely going to have to go to the minors for at least a spot start or two, especially with baseball likely having scheduled doubleheaders in 2020.
The hope for the Mets is these talented pitchers can put it together and put some very strong starts together when the Mets need them. Time will tell.