Taijuan Walker

MLB Needs Utility Player Gold Glove

Watching Luis Guillorme against the Houston Astros was a thing of beauty. His defense alone was worth the price of admission, and he really have not seen a New York Mets player play defense at this level since Juan Lagares or even Rey Ordonez. He’s just been that magical out there.

His defense in the game was on another level with 10 assists and two put outs. He was lunging and fielding balls towards the middle. He was one handing balls and making strong throws. He was grabbing hot shots to the hot corner. With the ground ball pitcher Taijuan Walker, the Houston Astros sent 12 balls his way, and Guillorme ensured they led to outs.

This is part of what has been a stellar year defensively for Guillorme. He has a 3 OAA in his time split between second, third, and short. He rates as the fifth best second baseman in the NL and 10th in the majors. If he had enough innings to quality, he would be the eighth best shortstop in the NL and 11th overall, and he would be the seven best third baseman in the NL and 14th overall.

Keep in mind, that is with Guillorme playing the fewest innings for each of these positions. With more innings at any of these three positions, he would likely rank higher or even much higher in any of these rankings. However, on the Mets, they need him to be a defensive wizard across the diamond.

That shouldn’t diminish what he has done this season. You see it every time he steps on the field. He makes all the routine plays, and he makes the hard plays. More than that, he is making the plays no one makes. His footwork is phenomenal, and he’s one of the best in the majors at turning the double play.

Despite all of that, there is no shot he is going to be a contender for any Gold Gloves. He is simply not going to log the innings needed at any position to quality. Due to the Mets needs and technicalities, one of the best fielders in the game will not be recognized for his play this season. That’s an unforced error by baseball.

Keep in mind, this is a league who instituted a rule for a universal DH. There is a whole non-position whose only job is to hit. That player doesn’t fight the rest of baseball for a Silver Slugger. Instead, that non-position gets one all to themselves. It should naturally follow there would be a separate Gold Glove just for utility players, i.e. those players who demonstrate defensive brilliance all across the diamond.

Overall, when you look at baseball in 2022, it is difficult to argue Guillorme isn’t one of the best defenders in the game. If there was any justice, he would at least be a finalist for a Gold Glove. However, because baseball is too busy look to rebuild Rob Manfred’s image and tell us everything they think is wrong with the sport while instituting rules which do nothing to generate fan interest, they’ll purposefully overlook honoring top defenders on mere technicalities.

That practice needs to end, and it need to end with Guillorme getting a Gold Glove this season.

Astros Different Class Than Mets

The New York Mets played the Houston Astros four times over the past week, and it just didn’t go well for the Mets. Not only did the Astros sweep all four games, but they also dominated them.

As Mets fans, we can lie to ourselves. We can say it’ll be different when the Mets have Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. Truth is, that might not be sufficient.

We saw that with Taijuan Walkers start. He was again brilliant shutting the Astros out over 7.1 innings. Edwin Diaz finished that inning, but Drew Smith couldn’t keep it scoreless allowing a two run homer to Jason Castro.

Even with the homer from the backup catcher hitting .095, it was just two runs. When your pitchers all two runs, that’s a winnable game. When you’re at home, you need to win those games.

The excuse will be it was Justin Verlander. Fine, he’s a future Hall of Famer, and he leads the AL in wins. He was great. However, that doesn’t explain one run scored over two games and six over four games against the Astros.

Come up with your reasons. Once you cycle through them, there’s one simple answer – the Astros are just better. That’s a big problem.

If the Mets want to win a World Series, the Astros are a potential roadblock. If not them, the New York Yankees, who are having a historically great season.

Before that, there’s the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and really, the seeming randomness of the postseason.

For the Mets, they need to admit their problems and find solutions. Really, they’re pretty obvious.

First and foremost, J.D. Davis is not a DH. They need to stop forcing it. Maybe the team gives Dominic Smith another look. Maybe they call-up Mark Vientos.

Whatever the Mets decide, they can’t play Davis anymore. He’s been a disaster. Sure, people will run to say the same about Smith, but whatever. Point is, DH is a black hole for the Mets.

This alludes to another issue. With Francisco Lindor struggling again (potentially due to the broken finger), Pete Alonso is the ONLY power threat.

The Mets need to try to give someone a look there before they can make a trade. While we’re on that subject, Chasen Shreve can’t pitch for this team again.

Shreve hasn’t performed for two months now, and he’s getting worse. The Mets need to find his replacement ASAP. While they’re at it, it couldn’t hurt to add another reliever for the late innings.

There’s some other areas to address. However, Jeff McNeil’s versatility and Luis Guillorme’s glove answers many of those problems.

There’s more from there, but those potential problem areas may be overstated. Overall, we see against better pitching and fielding teams, the put the ball in plat approach fails. That’s been very true for the Mets.

None of this is an overreaction. The Mets are great and can win a World Series. However, that doesn’t change the facts. The Astros are in a different class than the Mets.

That’s with or without deGrom and Scherzer. Yes. deGrom and Scherzer can lead the Mets to a World Series. They can also lose due to the inability to score runs against good pitching and defense teams.

With each day, the Mets issues become more apparent. Fortunately, there’s still time to address them. Hopefully, the Mets admit them now and become incredibly pro-active.

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.

Mets Loss To Dodgers Glass Half Full

The already depleted New York Mets roster faced an even tougher challenge as Francisco Lindor slammed the door shut on his finger knocking him out of the opener of the series between the Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers. To a certain extent, their being shut out for the first time all season wasn’t a shock.

Tony Gonsolin has been great all year, and he was again in this game pitching six shutout innings. Of course, his job was made easier with Lindor out of the lineup and with Brandon Nimmo dealing with a wrist injury. Digging deeper, Eduardo Escobar is ice cold, and the Mets were stuck putting J.D. Davis at DH, who is ill suited to play a team like the Dodgers.

So yes, the Mets were shut out. Luis Guillorme and Jeff McNeil collected two of the Mets three hits with Davis lucking into a mistake from Gonsolin around two strikeouts. Pete Alonso had a golden sombrero which was part of Mets batters striking out nine times.

Looking at that, you would think this was a lost game. That could not be further from the truth. In fact, the Mets showed something as they were in this game throughout despite being dominated by Dodgers pitching.

Taijuan Walker was fantastic limiting the Dodgers to two runs on seven hits and one walk over 5.2 innings. Remember, Walker is a pitcher who would move to the Mets bullpen in a potential postseason match-up between these teams. As of right now, the Mets fifth starter shut down the Dodgers vaunted offense.

Walker was helped by good Mets defense. That included a heads up play by McNeil to run Mookie Betts towards first as he got Freddie Freeman out at first. Alonso threw to Guillorme to get Betts heading to second, and Guillorme had his head on a swivel throwing home to try to catch Gavin Lux.

Guillorme did not make the best throw home, but Patrick Mazeika stopped it. It took longer than needed, but he made a strong throw to Escobar who made a terrific tag. That helped keep that rally to just one run.

The Dodgers scored another in the sixth off a two out double from old friend and now nemesis Justin Turner. Buck Showalter went to Colin Holderman who showed some moxy getting out of the jam. He would then throw another scoreless inning to boot.

For the final inning, the struggling Chasen Shreve threw a scoreless inning. With that, the Mets fifth starter and the Mets “lesser” relievers limited the highest scoring team in the majors to just two runs. Again, without using any of their best pitchers, the Mets limited the high powered Dodgers offense, with all of their best hitters in the lineup, to just two runs.

If you are someone who wants to view this series as a litmus test, the Mets came out of this game looking great. They have the arms to shut down the Dodgers. They’re going to get healthy, and they will hit anyone. Yes, it sucks getting shut out, but in the end, there was far more good than bad in this loss.

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 Leaving Colorado Mile High In Standings

The New York Mets went to Colorado, and while they didn’t explode offensively, they took yet another series.

1.  The Mets are as good as they are because they don’t let losses spiral out of control. They’ve lost two in a row just once, and they have won 14 consecutive games following a loss.

2.  Starling Marte following bereavement leave with a homer was as feel good of a moment as the Mets have had all season.

3.  The Mets may be down Jacob deGrom, Tylor Megill, and Max Scherzer, but they still have starting pitching on this team.

4.  Carlos Carrasco was very good allowing one earned over 5.1 innings.

5.  Taijuan Walker was even better with seven shutout innings. Between him and Carrasco, that’s 12.1 terrific innings from their starters . . . in Coors.

6.  One of the smartest things Buck Showalter has done all season is pairing his groundball pitchers with the optimal infield defensive alignment. It has been something which has helped both Walker and David Peterson.

7.  Of course, that means more playing time for Luis Guillorme, which is a great thing because he was a wizard in the field again, and he just keeps hitting.

8.  Again, Guillorme needs to play everyday. Saying otherwise is just wrong at this point.

9.  Mark Canha is certainly feast-or-famine. He will have two good games followed by a prolonged stretch of bad games.

10. It’s a good thing Eduardo Escobar historically struggles in May and follows that with a great June because it would otherwise be very worrisome that he has been this bad this month.

11. Regardless of how he hits, Escobar is not a third baseman as evidenced by this play in the field in this series and the season (-5 OAA) overall. This leaves the Mets top target at the trade deadline third base.

12. Patrick Mazeika has stepped up in his limited duty, but with Tomas Nido not hitting, the Mets are going to have to find a catcher at some point.

13. Growing up in Wyoming, Brandon Nimmo was a Rockies fan, and he always seems to play very well while out there. Then again, Nimmo plays well everywhere.

14. Chasen Shreve is really fighting it now, but mostly, he is just a victim of baseball’s three batter rule. The rule just never made sense, and it makes it all the more difficult for relievers to thrive.

15. Trevor Williams gave the Mets what you expect from a fifth starter in Coors. To some degree, it was surprising the team did not look to stretch him past four innings especially with him only at 52 pitches.

16. The Mets offense did not give you what you expected. A large part of that is the Mets offense regressed in May going from a 115 wRC+ in April to 105 this month.

17. Give the Mets credit, they did all you can expect up to this point of the season, and they have a seven game lead to show for it. They’re going to need it too with their top starters down as they head to a brutal June schedule.

18. Chris Bassitt avoided arbitration with a mutual $19 million option for next year. He’s not going to take it, but it going to be a launching board for an extension, which would be a great thing.

19. When the Mets are out of town playing a late night West Coast series, it is always great to head to Brooklyn to take in a Cyclones game. It is a great park.

20. This Mets team is more resilient and more special than what we have seen since 2016. They’re going to be in the postseason and make noise.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Take Two From Nationals

The New York Mets are now 9-0-1 in their 10 season series, and they are on pace to win 108 games. After another series against the Nationals, the Mets look all the more like a World Series caliber team:

1.  The incredible 5-6-1-9-6 double play was punctuated by Taijuan Walker knocking down Juan Soto, who went in hard. That’s the way it is with this Mets team, they’re there to beat you, and they’re not stepping down.

2.  It just seems like the Mets have something special store in each series. There was the co-no, the epic comeback, and now that double play. These are the things fun and special teams do.

3.  Luis Guillorme had a heads up play to start that double play, and he’s really earning more playing time. Over his last 10 games, he’s batting ..321/.387/.536 with five runs, three doubles, a homer, and two RBI while playing exceptional defense. Perhaps, he needs to play everyday.

4.  Eduardo Escobar is in a real bad place. Over his last 15 games, Escobar is hitting .167/.231/.200, and he has struggled defensively with a -2 OAA and -3 DRS at third. The good news is he usually has a bad May and breaks out in June.

5.  The Mets can’t seem to hit left-handed pitching even when it’s Patrick Corbin. Corbin has a 2.00 ERA, and against the rest of baseball, he has a 7.60 ERA. Overall, the Mets are the fifth worst NL team against left-handed pitching with a 90 wRC+.

6.  We can save the J.D. Davis needs to be the everyday DH narrative. He’s batting .217/.362/.326 driving the ball on the ground with a 51.5% ground ball rate so far this season. With that, he’s now back to a much more reasonable .286 BABIP. Really, this is the batter he is.

7.  Mark Canha snapped out of it just when the Mets needed him. His 3-for-4 game with a homer and three RBI snapped a streak where he hit .231/.292/.292 over his previous 19 games.

8.  Canha is still a player in decline with him seeing a steady decline in barrels, hard hit rate, exit velocities, whiff%, chase rate, and really all metrics. A game like he had is fun, but overall, there is a reason Buck Showalter removes him late in games and was transitioning him to a part-time player.

9.  Brandon Nimmo has an eight game hitting streak, and he has reached base safely in all but one game this season. He’s the Mets best player, and the way he is playing, he is not only going to get All-Star consideration, but he will get MVP consideration as well.

10. Carlos Carrasco has continued his terrific bounceback season. He is again the pitcher he was in Cleveland, and the Mets are on a different level because of it.

11. Not enough can be said about the job Trevor Williams and Stephen Nogosek did. They saved the bullpen in what was a lost game in more ways than one. These are the unheralded moments which helps teams win divisions and World Series.

12. Trevor Megill had a bad start. It happens. It’s best not to over-analyze it. Just move on and reassess after his next start.

13. The Mets have missed James McCann, who has been out with an injury. He’s been quite good this year, and Tomas Nido has not shown he can replicate what he can give. Now seeing its a hammate bone injury, for all intents and purposes McCann may be done for the year.

14. We can probably now add catcher to third base for trade deadline needs because it is way too soon for Francisco Alvarez. That goes double with Alvarez’s recent slump.

15. Jeff McNeil has been great this year. He has been versatile, and this is the best he has ever hit. He’s learned to combine some patience at the plate with his hit everything approach.

16. This upcoming series was going to be about Jarred Kelenic and Edwin Diaz, but with Kelenic getting sent down, it’s not. Whatever the case, the trade remains an unmitigated disaster.

17. Robinson Cano turned down a chance to go to Triple-A to help get back up to speed and help the Mets in the long term. Instead, he’s going to the San Diego Padres. This is not remotely a player grateful for the Mets keeping tabs on him last year and making sure he was alright and for giving him an undeserved chance again this year.

18. The Mets can beat teams in just so many ways. They can do it with power, with singles and timely hitting, with speed and defense, and with pitching. When you get that rare mix, you’re a special team. This is a special team.

19. No one should care what Noah Syndergaard has to say about the co-no or anything Mets. Just be grateful he was a Met, hope he pitches well this season, and mostly, hope he returns next year.

20. Mets in the black jerseys on Friday the 13th with Max Scherzer on the mound. Mariners are going to be frightened as is the rest of baseball when they see the Mets on their schedule.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Love Beating Philly

Once again, the New York Mets played a series, and once again, they won the series. More than that, the Mets faced off against the Philadelphia Phillies and made some history.

1.  If you want to know why this is a special season, look no further than that comeback. After losing 330 in a row when trailing by six, the Mets scored seven runs in the ninth to shock the Phillies.

2.  That rally started with Starling Marte busting it out of the box to get an infield single. That goes back to Arizona when Marte commented how he needs to hustle more like Brandon Nimmo. Notably, in that game, Marte had a game winning infield hit.

3.  In a game like that, there are heroes abound, and that includes Adonis Medina who pitched 2.2 scoreless to prevent the Phillies from tacking on more runs. Maybe, the Mets have something with him.

4.  Between that rally and the co-no, the Mets really have done a number on the Phillies so far this season.

5.  Not now, but at some point, Taijuan Walker‘s rotation spot will be in jeopardy. Tylor Megill is pitching too well to come out of the rotation, and David Peterson has taken advantage of every opportunity. Also, at some point, Jacob deGrom is going to come back.

6.  After the last series, there is some surprise there was no real issues regarding batters getting hit by pitches.

7.  Max Scherzer‘s unbeaten streak of 24 straigh starts ended on a game where he allowed three earned in six innings. That’s more on the team than him, but overall, this speaks to just how great he is.

8.  Eduardo Escobar has been really bad lately. He’s not hitting, and his defense keeps slipping. Fortunately for him,. the Mets really don’t have another third base option leaving him to be able to fight through it.

9.  Mark Canha hasn’t been hitting much either, but his defense has improved significantly, and he did have a key hit off the pitcher during that ninth inning rally.

10. Chris Bassitt wants to stay with the Mets, and each time he takes the mound, he gives the team another reason to sign him to an extension.

11. Obviously, there is a long line of extensions which needs to get done with Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Diaz needing extensions of their own. That’s nothing to say of the others coming down the pike like Seth Lugo.

12. After dealing with the dead ball by going the other way, we saw Pete Alonso hit two big homers at Citizen’s Bank Park. Perhaps, he is ready to have a break out.

13. You know everything will be alright by the end of the season, but Francisco Lindor‘s defense has been bad. It’s not just the errors. He has a -2 OAA too.

14. The Mets haven’t really given Dominic Smith a chance to get in rhythm, but he’s not forcing the issue with his latest cold snap which includes striking out in the ninth as the tying run at the plate twice in this series.

15. On that point with Dom, who do you sit him after a 4-for-4 game?

16. While Smith is struggling, keep in mind J.D. Davis is hitting .231 with a .734 OPS meaning he’s not exactly pushing for playing time. Moreover, he’s a horrid defender, and with extended playing time he gets exposed with his struggles handling velocity and pitches up in the zone.

17. Remember when the Mets can’t beat good teams was a thing? Well, the Diamondbacks are over .500 now. More to the point, they are 2-4 against the Mets and 13-10 against everyone else.

18. The Mets are 9-4 (.692) against teams with a winning record, and they are 11-5 (.688) against teams with a losing record. While a fractionally small difference, the Mets are better against good teams than bad teams.

19. Chasen Shreve has been awesome to start the season.

20. Right now, the Mets have a 6.0 game lead over the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins in the division. For all the days the Mets were in first place last season, the Mets were never more than 5.5 games up, and they were up 5.5 games for all of three games during the season.

Mets Miracle Comeback After Rangers Win

With the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup playoffs, their games are going to take precedence. That goes double when you see the Philadelphia Phillies annihilating Taijuan Walker to the tune of seven runs over four innings.

It didn’t help that Aaron Nola was having an easy time with the Mets lineup. All-in-all, it just seemed like the Mets were going to get blown out for a second straight night.

Still, when you’re a diehard Mets fan, you check back in here and there. With the Rangers winning, you skip the postgame and head to SNY.

In some ways, it’s a way to reduce the adrenaline. Between the big win and Jeff Carter taking out Igor Shesterkin (and the morons on TNT defending it), the blood was running hot. A cool down was needed.

Then, Francisco Lindor hits a two run homer off James Norwood. Okay, so the score is 7-1, so things don’t look so bad.

Pete Alonso doubles, but just when you think it could get interesting, Eduardo Escobar lines out. Jeff McNeil singles putting runners at the corners.

It’s intriguing, but Joe Girardi is done messing around. He brings in Corey Knebel, the former Milwaukee Braves closer who has been lights out this year.

Except, Mark Canha hits an RBI single. Suddenly, Dominic Smith is up as the tying run. The Mets might just have a chance.

Nah, they don’t. Smith chased ball four to strike out. Buck Showalter throws a Hail Mary sending up J.D. Davis to hit for Tomás Nido.

Davis can’t hit velocity or pitches up in the zone. Knebel is smart, and as a result, you expect this game to be over. However, for reasons beyond comprehension, Knebel grooves a pitch over the heart of the plate, and Davis hits an RBI double.

Suddenly, the Mets are down 7-5 with the go-ahead coming to the plate. To make things all the more interesting, Showalter sent his fastest runner, Travis Jankowski, to pinch run for Davis.

That means a single ties the game. On the third pitch of the at-bat, Knebel hung a curve, and Brandon Nimmo tied the score.

Up to the plate comes Starling Marte. He had hit what seemed like a meaningless sixth inning homer. He had what seemed like a meaningless infield single to start the inning. Now, he could put the Mets ahead.

Off the bat, it looked gone, but it hits the wall. With the way Nimmo perpetually hustles, this was not a Todd Zeile/Timo Pérez situation.

Suddenly, a Mets team left for dead scored seven runs in the ninth to take an 8-7 lead. This was a team who had lost their last 330 games entering the ninth down by at heart six and literally only had a 0.1% chance to win.

That win went to Adonis Medina, a pitcher who most Mets fans probably didn’t know was on the team. He earned that by keeping the Phillies off the board for 2.2 innings.

Edwin Diaz was again lights out picking up his third save of the season.

For a fan, it doesn’t get better than this. The Rangers beat the Penguins 5-2, and then the Mets completely stun the Phillies. Right now, New York owns the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and there are two teams with legit championship hopes.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Co-No And More Team History

For the seventh time in seven tries this season, the New York Mets won a series. For the second time in team history, they did the impossible:

1. The co-no will forever be one of the greatest moments in Mets history. Tylor Megill, Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz will forever have a special place in Mets fans hearts.

2. I don’t get everything right, but I got this one (# 55) in my preseason predictions.

3. Between that co-no, the Robin Ventura, Grand Slam Single, and all things Mike Piazza, black is forever a Mets color, and that debate needs to end.

4. It’s somewhat interesting that no-hitter came from Jacob deGrom‘s spot in the rotation when deGrom can never seem to get that close himself despite his unhittable stuff.

5. The next game was a letdown, but it was hilarious the Mets were up 1-0 at one point scoring a run on no hits.

6. In that no-hitter, Kyle Schwarber was walked in all three plate appearances. Seeing him the rest of this series (and his career), this is a very smart strategy.

7. The Mets finally started playing Dominic Smith, and guess what? He had a 4-for-4 game. Shocking, I know.

8. You can’t send him down after that game. In fact, it only reaffirms he’s your everyday 1B/DH.

9. Francisco Lindor and his teammates have said they’d be upset if Robinson Canó is the one cut, but let’s be honest. The team will be upset with any of the position player choices.

10. We don’t talk enough about the possibility J.D. Davis could be the guy. Really, the only thing which keeps him up is he’s the only right-handed bat on the bench.

11. The injury is preventing Sean Reid-Foley from being DFA’d, but it’s a damn shame it was a torn UCL which prevented it.

12. Say what you want about James McCann, but he’s had a big impact this year with his work behind the plate. That co-no was the latest example.

13. Taijuan Walker coming off the IL and pitching like that was just what the Mets needed. It shows just how deep that rotation is, and with a rotation that deep, this team can win a World Series, and that’s before you even account for deGrom.

14. The Mets best player has arguably been Jeff McNeil. He’s not back to his 2019 form because he’s a much better version of that now.

15. There is something wrong with Pete Alonso. It’s difficult to know what it is at the moment, but this is just not the same player right now.

16. David Cone was criticized, but he was right. When the Mets are good, fans come out of the woodwork. That’s obvious because those fairweather fans flock over from the Bronx to Queens when the Mets are good. We know those fans exist in New York. Let’s not pretend they don’t.

17. That ESPN booth was brutal, which was odd because Cone and Eduardo Perez are great. Perhaps, it is because Karl Ravech is not a play-by-play guy who brings his color analysts into the conversation. Also, Buster Olney calling Ronald Acuna Jr. this generation’s Willie Mays was just about the dumbest thing he ever uttered. He should have had his mike cut and sent home.

18. The wave is an indelible part of Mets history as it was a big part of the 1980s celebrations. There is a place for it in the game, and at times, we should do it. However, doing it in the late innings of a close game is a blatant violation of the wave rules, and we should not stand for it (pun intended).

19. The Mets have won seven straight series. To do that at any point of the year is a phenomenal feat. With the Atlanta Braves coming to town, they absolutely have to make a statement and make it eight in a row. Do what the 1986 Mets did to the St. Louis Cardinals and let the Braves know this division race is over before it began.

20. As Ron Darling said after the co-no, that was one of the special moments you get after a special season.