T.J. Rivera

Matz Picks Up A Grandy Win

Another Steven Matz start and another seven innings. Since coming off the Disabled List, Matz has pitched seven innings in three of his four starts. Tonight might’ve been the best start of the lot. 

Matz pitched seven shut out innings befuddling the Marlins. No Marlins player would even make it to third base.  He pitched mainly to contact, weak contact, which permitted him to once again go deep in the game. Over the seven innings, he needed just 110 pitches. 

His final line was seven innings, six hits, no runs, one walk, and four strikeouts. 

And Matz would get the win in this game with some help of some veterans looking to boost their trade value. 

Curtis Granderson was great just like he’s been all June. In fact, he’s been among the top three hitters in the majors during the Month of June. 

To start the game, Granderson battled back from a 1-2 count to draw a nine pitch walk against Marlins starter Jeff LockeAsdrubal Cabrera followed with a home run:

He’s been much better since moving to second base. 

The rally continued with a Jay Bruce single and a Travis d’Arnaud two out walk. In what might’ve been his best game of the season Jose Reyes delivered with an RBI single making it 3-1. 

Overall, Reyes was 3-4 with a double and an RBI. With his seventh inning single, he passed Ed Kranepool for second on the Mets all-time hit list. 

The Mets offense would go silent from there until the Marlins brought Dustin McGowan into the game. d’Arnaud got it started with an RBI single, and he’d go to third on the aforementioned Reyes single. If that ball does not hit McGowan, Reyes has an RBI. 

That RBI would go to T.J. Rivera with his RBI groundout. It appeared to be a sure fire double play ball, but at the last second, it took a strange hop on Marlins shortstop JT Riddle

After a Matz sacrifice bunt, the Marlins brought in the left-handed Justin Nicolino to face Granderson. Granderson responded by hitting a bomb:

This was the third straight game Granderson hit a home run. 

The Mets would build on this 6-0 lead in the eighth. Brandon Nimmo continued his terrific work as a pinch hitter delivering a two out RBI single giving the Mets an 8-0 lead. That’s a lead not even this Mets bullpen could blow. 

Mets are back on track for at least one day, and they look to take the series tomorrow. 

Game Notes: Robert Gsellman was put on the DL, and Matt Reynolds was called-up to take his place on the roster. Reynolds came on for defense for Cabrera in the eighth. 

Mets Should Be Angry They’re Terrible, Not at Puig Homers

Yesterday, the Mets lost their cool with Yasiel Puig‘s home run trot.  Wilmer Flores had something to say to him as he passed first base.  Travis d’Arnaud said something as Puig crossed home plate.  Between innings, Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Reyes pulled Puig aside to talk with him about the incident.  Jay Bruce voiced his displeasure with Puig in a post-game interview.  That’s where we are this season.
Cespedes and Reyes, two players known for their on field celebrations, are talking to another player about how he acts on the field.  More than that, it’s bizarre that a Mets team who has played terrible baseball this year is going to go out there and tell another player how the game should be played.  Instead of Puig, maybe the Mets players should be focusing on their own issues:

1.  They Can’t Pitch

The Mets have a team 5.05 ERA, which is the worst ERA the Mets have had since the 1962 Mets.  It doesn’t matter Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, and Steven Matz have been injured this year.  That ERA is just inexcusable.  There was still enough talent on this roster that an ERA that high should never be that possible.  Certainly, there is no reason why this pitching staff should be in the same conversation as the worst baseball team in history.

2.  The Defense Is Terrible

The team -9 DRS and team -7.3 UZR ranks 21st in baseball.  Their -14 DRS at the shortstop position is the worst in baseball, and the -6.0 UZR is ranked 27th.  At third base, the Mets -7 DRS is 27th and -4.8 UZR is 26th.  Behind those numbers, Asdrubal Cabrera has no range anymore.  Travis d’Arnaud is having difficulty throwing out base stealers.  Flores and T.J. Rivera have once again showed they are bats without a position.  Overall, it’s ugly, and they are not helping their pitching staff.

3.  They’re Always Injured

Of all the position players on the Opening Day roster, Michael Conforto, Bruce, and Reyes are the only ones who have not spent time on the Disabled List.  For his part, Conforto is playing through back issues, and his play has dipped in June.  The only two pitchers in the starting rotation from the famed seven deep group who haven’t been on the Disabled List are deGrom and Gsellman, both of whom are coming off of offseason surgeries.  In the bullpen, the Mets have seen Jeurys Familia go down with an injury, and Terry Collins pitched Josh Smoker into one.  If the Mets want to be angry, be angry with their trainers, physicians, and maybe even themselves for how they prepare.

4.  They’re Under-Performing

So far this season, the Mets have had 13 position players with at least 100 plate appearances.  Only five of them have an OPS+ over 100.  Cespedes is the only player with a .300 batting average.  Conforto is the only one with a .400 OBP.  Aside from Cespedes, each player has had one month where they have been in a deep slump.

Other than Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins, no Mets pitcher who has thrown at least 15 innings has an ERA below 3.29, and that ERA belongs to Syndergaard.  After him the lowest ERA on the team is 3.94.  There are five pitchers who have an ERA over 6.00 and seven with an ERA over 5.0

We can get on Collins for his bizarre managing decisions all we want, and they are quite justified.  Still, Collins is not to blame for these players under-performing.  That’s on all of them.

5.  They’re Not Showing Up For The Big Games

It’s easy to forget, but the Mets were on the precipice of being relevant in the National League East and Wild Card races.  They had back-to-back four game sets against the Nationals, who were reeling with their terrible bullpen, and the Dodgers, who have had injury issues of their own.  Instead of taking control of their destiny and making themselves relevant, the Mets fell flat on their faces.  In the seven games thus far, they have allowed 14 homers and have been outscored 53-22.  It is one thing lost six of seven.  It is a whole other thing to be dominated by teams the Mets believed they were better than entering the season.

If the Mets want to be angry with anyone, they should be angry with themselves.  They are allowing the homers.  They are the ones who are getting their doors blown off on a nightly basis.  They are the ones who have taken a promising season and made it a disaster.

For once, Collins had it right when he said, “We’ve got bigger problems than somebody’s home run trot right now.” (Anthony DiComo, mlb.com).  Maybe instead of focusing on Puig, the Mets should be focusing on those bigger problems.

What The Gsell, Man!

Tonight’s game effectively started like yesterday’s gameCorey Seager and Cody Bellinger each hit a two run homer to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead over the Mets. 

From there, Robert Gsellman allowed solo shots to Seager in the fourth and Yasmani Grandal in the fifth giving the Dodgers consecutive four home run games. 

Another run scored off a Joc Pederson RBI double. That capped off three straight Dodger extra base hits. It also was the end for Gsellman. 
Gsellman’s final line was 4.2 innings, nine hits, eight runs, seven earned, three walks, and two strikeouts. At this point, it’s safe to assume he’s taking the loss. 

For his part, Jose Reyes should take a lot of blame with his killing two rallies off Dodger starter Brandon McCarthy. He ended a third inning rally grounding into a double play. In the fifth, he struck out with runners on first and second. 

His counter-part wasn’t missing. Seager homered off Josh Edgin in the fifth giving him three homers in the game. At that point, it was 10-0, and the game was effectively over. 

[If more happens worthy of mentioning, this will be updated]. 

This season has completely unraveled. It’s time to sell for whatever they can get . . . no matter how little the return

Game Notes: Gavin Cecchini was rewarded for yesterday’s homer by being put in the lineup and batting eighth behind Rene Rivera. So far, he’s 1-2. The unearned run was the result of a T.J. Rivera throwing error allowing Justin Turner to get on in front of the Bellinger home run. 

A Better Father’s Day

Last year, new dad Jacob deGrom got the Father’s Day start against the Braves, and he took the loss.  However, you could say it was a great day for deGrom because his son was in attendance at the game.  This is the same son who had breathing issues after he was born earlier that year.  To that end, it was a pretty great Father’s Day for deGrom.

This year was even better.

With his son in attendance, deGrom had one of his best games as a major leaguer.  In fact, it if wasn’t for a Wilmer Flores error leading to a first inning unearned run, deGrom might have pulled off the Jerry Koosman.

For eight innings, deGrom dominated a Nationals lineup that has the highest slugging percentage in the National League and has scored the second most runs in the league.  In fact, if it wasn’t for Travis d’Arnaud‘s inability to throw out Trea Turner (4-4 in stolen base attempts), no National would have reached third base after the first inning.  Overall, deGrom pitched eight innings making it the first time in his career he has pitched eight innings in consecutive starts.  His final line was eight innings, three hits, one unearned run, two walks, and six strikeouts.

As if that wasn’t good enough, deGrom helped his own cause hitting his first ever major league home run:

For an extra added touch, deGrom used David Wright‘s bat to hit that home run, so in some small way, Wright has had a contribution this season.

After the home run, the Mets offense came alive against Joe Ross.  In the fourth, d’Arnaud delivered with an RBI single scoring Lucas Duda sending T.J. Rivera to third base.  Michael Conforto hit a two out infield single allowing Rivera to score putting the Mets up 3-1.

It was part of a big day for Conforto who finally seemed to get his bat going again.  On the afternoon, he was 2-3 with a walk and two RBI.  The second RBI came in the sixth inning when he singled home d’Arnaud.  What was impressive about both of Conforto’s RBI was they were both with two outs.

After Curtis Granderson‘s RBI single scoring Jay Bruce in the seventh, the Mets were up 5-1, and there was no real chance they were going to lose this one.  Still, it might have been too little too late for this Mets team that is now six games under .500 and 10.5 games in the division.

Game Notes: Mets moved Flores to second and Rivera to third to try to help Flores defensively and to help him get going again at the plate.  Mets begin a 10 game road trip, and they get to face Clayton Kershaw in the first game of the road trip.

Sandy Didn’t Want To Call-Up Michael Conforto Either

Back in 2015, the New York Mets season was falling apart at the seams.  The Mets needed offense, and the fans wanted Michael Conforto.  Scouts and talent evaluators said the Mets 2014 first round draft pick was ready, but the Mets consistently insisted Conforto wasn’t ready.

Instead of Conforto, the Mets trotted out people who weren’t good and weren’t ready.  The Mets were happy trotting out John Mayberry, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Darrell Ceciliani in the outfield.  Briefly, the Mets would even try Eric Campbell in left field.  For the most part, the Mets mostly stuck with a clearly injured and hobbled Michael Cuddyer in left field.  He fell apart in June hitting just .211/.237/.311 in 25 games.

Finally, both Cuddyer and the Mets both had enough, Cuddyer would go the Disabled List, and Conforto would finally get called-up to the majors.  At that time, the Mets had lost two in a row and five of their last seven.  For a team that once had a 4.5 game lead in the division, they would fall to three games back.

It turns out Conforto was indeed ready.  He would play 56 games hitting .270/.335/.506 with 14 doubles nine homers, and 26 RBI.  He was a big part of the Mets turn-arond with the team having been 10 games over .500 in the games he played.  He was also a big part of the Mets postseason run.  He hit three homers in the postseason including two in Game Four of the World Series.

It’s possible Conforto needed every bit the time he had in Double-A.  Maybe the extra time he spent in Doube-A put him in position to succeed when he came to the majors.  It’s also likely Conforto was ready well before the Mets did what they didn’t want to do when they called him up.  Fact is, we’ll never know.  The only thing we do know is Conforto was very good when he was called up to the majors, and he has an important part of the Mets success in 2015.

The Mets are in the same exact situation in 2017.

The team has seen Asdrubal Cabrera struggled offensively and defensively, and he has landed on the Disabled List twice.  His primary back-up, Jose Reyes, has statistically been the worst infielder in the major leagues this year, and he appears to be getting worse.  Now, Neil Walker has suffered an injury that will keep him on the Disabled List for an extended time frame.

Unlike 2015, the real issue for this Mets team is defense.  As a team, the Mets rank last in the majors with a -13 DRS, and it is not likely to improve.  Reyes is not only struggling offensively, but he is struggling defensively as well.  The other players on the roster aren’t much better.

The Mets took the starting shortstop position away from Wilmer Flores for a reason.  The Mets also transitioned T.J. Rivera from shortstop to other positions because he couldn’t handle the position defensively.  Same goes for Gavin Cecchini who is now a second baseman.  Matt Reynolds is actually a good defensive shortstop, but he can’t hit enough to play everyday.

Like in 2015, the fans are clamoring for the Mets top prospect, and like in 2015, everyone but Sandy Alderson seems to believe he’s ready.  In 65 games for Las Vegas, he’s hitting .336/.378/.500 with 15 doubles, four triples, seven homers, 47 RBI, and 12 stolen bases.  Based on the offensive statistics, he seems ready, but that’s not an in depth analysis.  Truth is considering the hitting environment that is the Pacific Coast League, we probably don’t know how much improvement a player is making until they get to the majors.

However, the Mets don’t need Rosario for his offense even if anything else is likely better than what Reyes is providing.  No, the Mets need him for his defense, and the Mets need him sooner rather than later.

After losing last night’s game, the Mets are five games under .500, and they are 10.5 games back in the division.  Like in 2015, the Mets promising season is falling apart.  Instead of the team calling up the player who could help address the team’s needs, they are being stubborn in insisting the top prospect isn’t ready.  They are once again letting the season slip away.  Unlike 2015, things are much more dire.

Sure, the Mets could be right in saying Rosario isn’t ready.  After all, it is very well likely they know more than anyone about where Rosario stands in his development.  Maybe, just maybe, the Mets know what they’re doing, and when they finally bring Rosario up to the majors, he will have the success and impact Conforto did in 2015.

Hopefully, there is still a season to salvage whenever the Mets get around to calling up Rosario.

Despite Struggles, Cecchini Gets The Call

Once Neil Walker pulled up lame when he tried to bunt for a single, every Mets fan had two thoughts:

  1. [Expletive Deleted]
  2. Will this lead to the Mets calling up Amed Rosario?

Apparently, the answer is no. After Walker’s injury, we were all waiting to see if Rosario would be removed from the Las Vegas 51s lineup. He wasn’t. Rather, it was Gavin Cecchini. Suffice it to say, this is not the guy Mets fans wanted to see.

That goes double when you consider how much he is slumping this year.  In 62 games in Triple-A, Cecchini is only hitting .249/.313/.349 with 14 doubles, a triple, three homers, 17 RBI, and three stolen bases.  In a league where everybody is hitting, Cecchini isn’t, and he has a 74 wRC+.

This is not the same Cecchini who had a breakout season last year.  In 117 games for Las Vegas last year, Cecchini hit .325/.390/.448 with 27 doubles, two triples, eight homers, 55 RBI, and four stolen bases.  His terrific play last year earned him a September call-up.  In this limited time he played down the stretch, Cecchini did not looked over-matched.  In his seven plate appearances, he hit two doubles with two RBI with a hit by pitch.

The stark difference between 2016 and 2017 leads you searching for answers.  The answer is likely a mix between Cecchini has been less selective at the plate, and he’s hitting into some hard luck.

Cecchini has seen his walk rate drop from 9.6% to 8.0%, and his strike out rate jump from 11.0% to 13.5%.  While, this is a relatively small move, we do see some implications across the board.  Cecchini’s isolated power has dropped from .125 in 2015 and .123 in 2016 to .100 this year.  His BABIP has gone from .348 in 2015 and .357 in 2016 to just .282 this year.

Going a little deeper, Cecchini is hitting more fly balls than last year and fewer ground balls and line drives. For a player who is a gap-to-gap doubles hitter, this is death.  At this point in his career, Cecchini just doesn’t have the type of power to make his living as a fly ball hitter.

It is possible Cecchini’s struggles has to do with his position change.  With his defensive struggles last year and with Rosario starting the year in Las Vegas, Cecchini has transitioned to second base.  At the same time, he is working on becoming more versatile in the field.  He has played six games at shortstop this year, and he has reportedly been working at third base.

Fortunately, the switch to second base has gone extraordinarily well for Cecchini.  He has really put his time in there, and he has become a good defensive second baseman.  Of course, the time he has spent there may have detracted from the work he has typically done at the plate.  If that isn’t the answer, it could just be the mental drain from shifting positions. Long story short, there’s no simple explanation.

Whatever it is, Cecchini has an opportunity here.  He is likely getting called up soon where he will at least have a chance to compete with T.J. Rivera for the starting second base job.  He will also have the opportunity to work with Kevin Long to help him return to the hitter he was the past two years. He also has a chance to show the Mets he is the second baseman of the future.

Like it or not, Cecchini is the guy getting called up now.  There is every chance this is the right move for both him and the Mets.  The Mets calling him up is certainly a defensible choice.  Still, Rosario should have been on the plane from Vegas with him.

It Was Juan Grandy Win

This game started just like yesterday’s game with Anthony Rizzo leading off the game with a home run. Then, things were worse than where last night’s game started when Ian Happ followed with a home run of his own to make it 2-0 Cubs before there was an out in the game. 

It seemed Iike things were going to be worse than that. It has become passé to say Matt Harvey didn’t have it, but he really didn’t have it tonight. He was throwing his two seamer in the high 80s. Even when Harvey’s been at his most injured, he was never there. The Cubs would take advantage too. 

Kyle Schwarber was chief among them with this shot OVER the Shea Bridge:

The Cubs would go up 4-1, and Harvey would only last four innings. 

However, unlike last night, the Mets were in this game. 

In the second, the Mets took advantage of an error by Kris Bryant to cut the lead to 2-1. Bryant’s throw in the dirt allowed Jose Reyes to reach safely, and it allowed Jay Bruce to score. 

In the fourth, the Mets loaded the bases with no outs with Harvey due up. Yoenis Cespedes wasnot yet warmed up to play, because, why have all your players ready to play the game.  Michael Conforto likely wasn’t an option with the left-handed starter Mike Montgomery on the mound. Terry Collins opted to go with Steven Matz as the pinch hitter. 

Matz made Collins look like a genius (nah) with an infield single in a ball Javier Baez didn’t get quite cleanly enough. After Juan Lagares‘ sacrifice fly, the Mets rally sputtered, and the Mets went to the fifth inning and their bullpen down 4-3. 

The Mets pitchers contributions were terrific. Matz had the RBI single. Paul Sewald pitched two scoreless. Fernando Salas pitched two-thirds of an inning scoreless. Jerry Blevins had his longest outing of the year pitching 1.1 scoreless innings. Robert Gsellman entered the game as a pinch runner. 

Their collective work allowed the Mets to stay in the game and have a chance to win. 

The chance came when Curtis Granderson earn a lead-off walk. Two outs later and two strikes on Lagares, it appeared as if the Mets might squander the opportunity. Then, Lagares hit a ball off Pedro Strop only Lagares could’ve caught:

The score remained tied until the eighth when Granderson did what Granderson does when the Mets need a huge hit:

The homer ignited the Mets offense.  The next big hit came from Lucas Duda:

As it turns out, Duda wasn’t even supposed to be in the game. With the left-handed starter on the mound, he was on the bench. However, when Neil Walker suffered a leg injury attempting a bunt single, Duda came in the game.

The homer didn’t kill the rally either. The Mets poured it on against Carl Edwards, Jr. Three more hits would follow culminating in a T.J. RBI single to make it 9-4. 

Collins went to Addison Reed to close out the game.  It wasn’t easy with the Cubs loading the bases with two outs and Rizzo coming to the plate. Rizzo grounded out, and the Mets won 9-4. 

This was a huge win in front of a huge series this weekend. Things are definitely looking up for this Mets team. 

Game Notes: Walker is getting an MRI tomorrow and is likely DL bound. Gavin Cecchini was held out of the 51s game, and he looks like he will get the call once Walker is put on the DL. Granderson’s eighth inning home run was the 300th of his career. 


PSA: Jose Reyes Is A Bad Baseball Player

There are times a manager is stuck playing a player because he doesn’t have a better option.  There are times when a manager is stuck playing a player because that player has a big contract, and the team wants to try to extract as much value from the player as they can.  There are other times when you play a player because you legitimately believe that player will improve.

Then there is Terry Collins continuously putting Jose Reyes in the lineup.

You cannot possibly justify putting Reyes in the lineup now.  In his first 58 games this year, Reyes is hitting .186/.261/.294 with nine doubles, two triples, three homers, 18 RBI, and nine stolen bases.  Among Major League third baseman, Reyes has the lowest batting average and slugging.  He also has the second worst on base percentage.  His -1.1 WAR is the second worst in the majors among third baseman, and it is the third worst among major league infielders.  Overall, he’s a bad hitter.

You can’t even argue Reyes is hot.  He is current two for his last 30, and he hasn’t had an extra base hit in over two weeks.  You could call it a funk, but look at his numbers for the season.  This is who Reyes is now.

He’s also not much of a fielder.  In 270 innings at third, he has posted a -4 DRS and a -2.2 UZR.  It’s a short sample size for sure, but it lines up with the numbers he posted in 427 innings at third last year when he had a -6 DRS and a -2.5 UZR.

It’s not like Collins is stuck playing Reyes.  First and foremost, Reyes is making the major league minimum, and he is going to be a free agent after the season.  There’s no need to try to save any face by playing Reyes.  Also, there is a much better option.

Wilmer Flores is in the middle of a career year.  He’s hitting .326/.349/.507 with eight doubles, a triple, five homers, 18 RBI, and a stolen base.  He’s not the platoon bat he once was either.  Against right-handed pitching this year, Flores is hitting .298/.327/.462 with six doubles, a triple, five homers, and 14 RBI.  Since May 1st, Flores is hitting .366/.398/.573 off of right-handed pitching.

In essence, Flores is not just the Mets best choice at third base.  Right now, Flores is the best hitter in the Mets lineup.  Sure, he will likely be supplanted by another player on the roster.  However, that player is likely to be Michael Conforto or Yoenis Cespedes.  It’s not going to be Reyes.

By the way, if you are interested in fielding your best defensive infield, Flores still needs to play ahead of Reyes.  In 197.1 innings at third this year, Flores has a 1 DRS and a -2.3 UZR.  No, those aren’t great numbers, but they are better numbers than Reyes is posting.

Overall, there is absolutely no reason why Reyes is in the starting lineup.  Frankly, you could argue the Mets should have kept Sean Gilmartin and designated Reyes for assignment.  At the very least, that would have kept T.J. Rivera, who is having a much better season than Reyes, on the roster.

But no, Reyes has been in the starting lineup for four straight games and five out of the last six games while appearing in all six games.  That’s more than any other infielder on the roster.  It needs to stop, and it needs to stop now.  Unfortuantely, with Reyes’ sizzling hot 1-4 with an RBI last night, it’s not likely Collins will reduce his playing time.

Editor’s Note: This was first published on MMO.

Ironically Mets Beat By Dynamic Young SS 

With the Braves sending Julio Teheran to the mound, the Mets needed Matt Harvey to be good tonight. 

Harvey was good enough. For just the third time in his 12 starts, he didn’t allow a homer. More than that, for the first time this season he had an outing where he didn’t allow a run. 

Still, it wasn’t smooth sailing. The only 1-2-3 inning he had was the fifth, which was also his final inning as he needed 104 pitches.

Most of those pitches came in a 27 pitch second inning. The Braves loaded the bases with one out with Teheran coming to the plate. He hit a chopper to Wilmer Flores, who came home with it. His throw barely beat Matt Adams

For what it’s worth, it may not have beat Adams. That play was close as it gets, and shockingly, the Braves didn’t challenge. It was probably lucky they didn’t. It was emblematic of the luck Harvey continues to have with runners in scoring position. 

The Braves were 0-5 with RISP against Harvey leaving six runners on base. It fueled a good start for Harvey whose final line was five innings, four hits, no runs, no earned, two walks, and three strikeouts. It was enough for Harvey to leave with the win. 

And it was barely enough. Teheran was his usual terrific self, and the Braves were flashing the leather. 

In the third, Dansby Swanson made a diving catch on a sinking Michael Conforto line drive, and turned it into a double play. It was the second time Swanson made a play to get Conforto out. 

In the fifth, Ender Inciarte robbed Travis d’Arnaud of an extra base hit that probably would’ve scored Curtis Granderson

While he wouldn’t score there, Granderson did get the Mets on the board with a solo shot in the third. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. 

Paul Sewald was double switched into the game in the sixth, and he was immediately in trouble after Matt Kemp‘s lead-off double. Sewald was so close to working around it. With two outs in the inning, the Mets had an option: pitch to Danny Santana or Swanson.

The Mets chose Swanson, and intentionally walked Santana putting the go-ahead run on base. The Mets would rue the the decision as Swanson hit a two RBI double to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. 

In the seventh, the Braves brought on Jason Motte to pitch to d’Arnaud, and d’Arnaud tied the game at 2-2 with a solo home run. 

In the eighth, d’Arnaud would also help the Mets by completing a strike ’em out – throw ’em out double play. 

That only stayed the inevitable. In Fernando Salas‘ second inning of work, he allowed a one out hit to Swanson. Swanson got on his horse, and he took advantage of Granderson’s poor arm for the hustle double. It didn’t hurt that Granderson was deep playing no doubles, and he didn’t go full speed getting to that ball. 

Terry Collins went to Josh Edgin to pitch to Rio Ruiz. Ruiz hit Edgin’s first pitch past a diving Asdrubal Cabrera. With Conforto unable to get the ball out of his glove, there would be no play at home. 
The Mets lost a game they should’ve won further pushing them closer to selling. If only this team had a SS prospect who could’ve had an impact on this game like Swanson. 

Game Notes: Neil Walker missed his second straight game with a knee issue, and T.J. Rivera was given the start. Yoenis Cespedes will come off the Disabled List tomorrow as the 26th man. 

Mets Win A Pill Of A Game

In the Matrix, Morpheus said to Neo, “You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” 

Apparently, Tyler Pill is the blue pill because there were a number of strange things that happened at Citi Field that only the most ardent Mets fans could believe:

Jose Reyes started over a red hot Wilmer Flores. More than that, Zack Davies appeared to strike him out looking. Instead, the home plate umpire called it a call leading to a Reyes bases loaded walk. 
Travis d’Arnaud threw out last year’s stolen base leader Jonathan Villar:

Jerry Blevins allowed an inherited runner to score. 
Fernando Salas not only got an at-bat, but he also got a hit. 

More than that, Pill only allowed one run over 5.1 innings. 

Despite Pill having a minor league 1.60 ERA this year, his peripherals indicated his ERA should be over 4.00.  Long story short, Pill has been extremely lucky this year. While that luck escaped him in his major league debut, he brought it with him today. 

Starting with his warm-ups, Pill was in trouble all night. He hit Keon Broxton, who was the very first batter he faced. He’d be the only one to score against Pill after a Travis Shaw double. 

From there, Pill had no 1-2-3 innings. He somehow stranded seven batters including Eric Thames, who tripled to lead-off the fifth thanks to some poor Jay Bruce defense (that was believable). 

Through of all this, the Mets had a 4-1 lead scoring twice in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera hit a pair of doubles to tie the game at one. The Mets would then load the bases, and Reyes drew the aforementioned bases loaded walk.

Neil Walker hit a lead-off double off Brewers reliever Eric Sogard, and he would score on a Lucas Duda homer:

This left Pill on the long side on a night despite allowing six hits, three walks, and a hit batter over 5.1 innings. Despite all of this, he wouldn’t get the win. 

He didn’t get the win because in the seventh inning the unthinkable happened. Yes, it was easy to believe Salas would walk two to help load the bases with one out. It’s easier to believe that happened when you consider he was running the bases in the top half of the inning.

Blevins came on, and it appeared he did what he had to do. He struck out Shaw looking. While he did issue a bases loaded walk to Domingo Santana to make it 4-2, he did get Jett Bandy to pop up to short. 

That’s when the unthinkable happened. The sure-handed Cabrera Luis Castilloed it:

Thankfully, Santana was not hustling like Mark Teixeira did meaning the Brewers merely tied the score on the play instead of potentially going up 5-4. 

The bullpen did its job. Josh Edgin and Addison Reed each pitched a scoreless inning, and Josh Smoker pitched three scoreless. Smoker got into a jam, but he got a huge strikeout to get out of the 10th.  We then saw one of his signature celebrations:

What’s interesting is Terry Collins had the opportunity to double switch both Reed and Smoker into the game to possibly get an extra inning out of them. He passed both times. 

Finally, the Mets got something started in the 12th. T.J. Rivera led off with a pinch hit single off Wily Peralta, and Conforo walked. After Reyes couldn’t get a bunt down, he hit a fielder’s choice with Thames getting Conforto at second. The Mets finally won it with a Bruce single against the drawn-in shifted infield. 

A long bizarre game finally came to an end with the Mets winning a game they have typically lost all year. The final score indicates Mets fans really took the blue pill. 

Game Notes: Walker’s two doubles on the night gave him 1,000 hits for his career. Mets are 3-10 when they walked six or more. They walked eight.