Tom Seaver

Mets Who Wore 17 After Keith Hernandez

Since 1989, you would tune into the occasional New York Mets broadcast, and you would hear Howie Rose incredulous another Mets player wearing the number 17. With the New York Mets announcing Keith Hernandez‘s 17 will now be retired, we will be forever robbed of those moments, but we can look back at the players who wore the number after Hernandez left the Mets.

David Cone – Cone would change his number from 44 to 17 in honor of his teammate. It would be the number Cone wore when he led the league in strikeouts and tied Tom Seaver‘s then National League record of 19 strikeouts in a game.

Jeff McKnight – McKnight became the first player assigned the number after Hernandez wore it, and you could argue it was even more of an eyesore because it was the year the Mets had the underscore jerseys. Believe it or not, McKnight just had a knack for wearing great numbers. He would also wear David Wright‘s 5, Jose Reyes‘ 7, Carlos Beltran‘s 15, and Darryl Strawberry‘s 18.

Bret Saberhagen – Saberhagen changed from his usual 18 with the Kansas City Royals and the number he first had with the Mets after his good friend Cone was traded to the Toronto BLue Jays. While Saberhagen did have some success with the Mets, he was probably the player least suited to wearing the number after the bleach incident.

Brent MayneAgain with the former Royals wearing 17. Mayne’s first hit with the Mets was a walk-off RBI single off Dennis Eckersley to take the opening series of the season. Even after that, he still couldn’t get recognized on the 7 line on the way to the park.

Luis Lopez – Lopez was a utility player for the Mets for three years including the beloved team. His biggest hit with the Mets was the time he punched Rey Ordonez on the team bus. Hearkening back to the team photo incident between Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry, this may be the most Hernandez moment any of the subsequent players to wear the number 17 ever had.

Mike Bordick – Bordick was supposed to be the key pickup for the Mets to replace the injured Ordonez at short. He gave us all hope as he homered in his first Mets at-bat, but things would end badly as he would be benched for Kurt Abbott in the World Series, and he would return to the Baltimore Orioles in free agency. Worse yet, 1999 postseason hero Melvin Mora, who was traded for Bordick, would go on to be a star for the Orioles.

Kevin Appier – With Cone, Saberhagen, and then Appier, it seemed Royals pitchers really liked wearing 17 with the Mets. Appier came to the then pennant winning Mets in the hopes of winning a World Series, but unfortunately, he is forever known as the key piece sent to the Angels for Mo Vaughn.

Satoru KomiyamaThat Japanese Greg Maddux never was close to that spending one forgettable winless season with the Mets before returning to Japan.

Graeme LloydLloyd was one of the few who thrived with the Yankees who pitched well for the Mets. He didn’t last a full season as he and many of the 2003 Mets who battled under Art Howe was moved at the trade deadline.

Wilson DelgadoMets fans were thrilled to obtain Delgado in 2004 as he would be the return for Roger Cedeno. Delgado played 42 games for the Mets in 2004. He’d never appear in a Major League game after that.

Dae-Sung KooA largely forgettable LOOGY who will forever live in Mets lore for that impossible double off of Randy Johnson followed by that mad dash home from second on a Reyes’ bunt.

Jose LimaThe 2006 Mets pitching staff was so injured that we’d get Lima Time! for four starts. After struggling mightily, this marked the end of his MLB career as he then played internationally.

David NewhanThere really isn’t much to tell with Newhan. In his one year with the Mets, he proved himself to be that classic Four-A guy who annihilated Triple-A pitching but struggled in the majors.

Fernando TatisOmar Minaya first signed Tatís as an amateur and would bring him to the Mets organization. Tatís rewarded Minaya’s faith by winning the 2008 NL Comeback Player of the Year. For a franchise known for “what ifs,” you can’t help but wonder if the Mets don’t collapse for a second straight season if Tatis didn’t injure his shoulder. While Tatís had many memorable moments with the Mets, perhaps, his most memorable was his being one of the few actually capable of hitting it over the Great Wall of Flushing.

After Tatis, the Mets had finally said enough was enough. They were taking the number 17 out of circulation like they had done in the past with Willie Mays‘ 24. That meant the number was not going to be worn again. That is, unless, the next Rickey Henderson came long. However, now, with the number being officially retired, no one will ever wear Hernandez’s 17 again.

 

Keith Hernandez Mets Impact Second Only To Tom Seaver

The New York Mets made the announcement Keith Hernandez will have his number 17 retired during the 2022 season. After the Mets opted to break with tradition and retire Jerry Koosman‘s 36, there is no doubt it was Hernandez’s number which needed to be retired next.

Really, even if the Mets kept to the old standard, Hernandez’s number should have been retired eventually. When you break it down, Hernandez had a Hall of Fame worthy career. He was the best fielding first baseman of all-time, and he had a better career than first baseman already in the Hall of Fame. Chances are, Hernandez would go in the Hall of Fame with the Mets, but to be fair, that is probably wishful Mets fan thinking.

That said, the standards have changed. Now, it seems to be impact on the franchise. When you look at the Mets franchise as a whole, Tom Seaver undoubtedly had the biggest impact. After all, he was given the moniker The Franchise. He has been and always will be the best player in franchise history. After Seaver, there is no question Hernandez has had the biggest impact in franchise history.

It began in 1983. Hernandez was shockingly available, and Frank Cashen made a shrewd trade not just to obtain him but to give him a contract extension. There are many ways you can define his leadership and what he brought to the Mets. It could be the streak from 1984 – 1989 where they averaged 96 wins winning two division titles and the 1986 World Series. There are the five Gold Gloves, three All-Stars, three top 10 MVP finishes, and the Silver Slugger.

It was more than that. It was what the Mets players told you. They told you it was Hernandez who taught that young but extremely talented team how to win. He then showed them how to do it with his clutch hitting and otherworldly defense. It was the reason why he was named the first captain in Mets history. In many ways, it was Hernandez who ushered in and led the Mets to the greatest run in franchise history.

If that was all Hernandez did, you could make the case Hernandez had the second most impactful career in Mets history. However, Hernandez would prove to be more than that. Hernandez has become part of the beloved Gary, Keith, and Ron. Gary Cohen is the best in the business, and it was Darling whose terrific work which would lead to him getting national broadcasts. However, it is Hernandez who is the reason fans stay watching.

There are the guffaws and the adoration of players. He’s become the beloved uncle who comes into our homes on the SNY broadcasts. Really, dating back to when he was first acquired by the Mets, he has been the beloved uncle of the franchise. He’s been the adult in the room to show us all how things are done, and now, he is the one who has stuck around to tell us how great things are and used to be.

Overall, throughout the history of the Mets franchise, Hernandez has left an indelible mark. He was a great player and a great broadcaster. Much of what we know love about the Mets is all because of him. He deserves his number retired and far more than that.

Jacob deGrom Needs Great 2022 To Bolster Hall Of Fame Chances

Heading into the 2020 season, Jacob deGrom was definitively the best pitcher on the planet. He was coming off back-to-back Cy Young awards, and he was doing things only Hall of Fame pitchers do. Certainly, the Hall of Fame was on deGrom’s mind as he told us all he wanted to be an inner circle Hall of Famer.

Certainly, deGrom was well on his way to carving a path to the Hall of Fame. After all, he was fifth all-time in ERA+. He was bettering Tom Seaver‘s New York Mets records. He was otherworldly great. Think Pedro Martinez in 1999 and 2000.

Then, the pandemic struck. The 2020 season was shortened, and deGrom would suffer an injury which would just about end his chances of winning a third straight Cy Young. deGrom would being the 2021 season pitching better than he ever has, which is saying something. However, again injury would strike limiting deGrom to just 15 starts. Despite the injury, he still finished in the top 10 in the Cy Young voting.

However, for deGrom, it isn’t about Cy Youngs. Well, it is in part, but that is just part of the larger picture. Really, when it comes to deGrom’s career, it is about two things: (1) World Series rings; and (2) the Baseball Hall of Fame.

As of this moment, he has a 43.4 WAR with a 40.8 WAR7 and a 42.1 JAWS. The average Hall of Fame pitcher has a 73.0 WAR, 49.8 WAR, and a 61.4 JAWS. That puts the 33 year old deGrom in an interesting position.

Right now, he is 39.6 WAR behind the average Hall of Fame pitcher. For WAR7, he is only 6.4 behind the average Hall of Famer. He is 19.7 behind the average Hall of Famer in terms of JAWS. In some ways, that is actually achievable for deGrom.

Consider from 2018-2019, deGrom AVERAGED an 8.9 WAR (pitching only). If he puts together another two year stretch like that, and as we saw last year, he can, deGrom would have a 61.2 WAR. That puts him within an ear shot of the 73.0 mark. More than that, his peak numbers will be through the roof. He will have a 51.7 WAR7, which would be a giant step above the current standard. His JAWS would then be 56.5, which would be a hair behind the standard.

Keep in mind, narrative matters. As we see with players like Sandy Koufax having an absolutely dominant peak at a higher level than anyone else matters. That would certainly describe deGrom if he can put 2-3 great seasons under his belt.

On that front, this could be where Max Scherzer helps him. Scherzer was a pitcher who did not look like a Hall of Famer until he turned 28. From that point forward, he put together a stretch of nine consecutive Cy Young and Hall of Fame caliber seasons. If there is anyone who knows what a pitcher needs to do from their mid-30s to stay dominant towards their 40s, it is Scherzer.

With deGrom having a true peer in Scherzer in the rotation, not only will deGrom have a better opportunity to win a World Series, but he will also increase his Hall of Fame chances. Whenever the lockout ends, deGrom’s path towards the Hall of Fame and a World Series title will begin anew.

Make Tom Seaver Patch Permanent

One of the better things the New York Mets did for the 2021 season was to have a second season with the Tom Seaver patch. While it was worn in memorium in 2020, this year, it was to celebrate his life and accomplishments.

The Mets have so far done well to honor Seaver. With his 41 on their right arms, the Mets pitching staff leads the majors in ERA and FIP. Put another way, when emblazoned with the best on their right arms, they’ve been the best staff in the league.

Of course, that all starts with Jacob deGrom. Not only is deGrom the best pitcher in baseball, like Seaver once was, but he’s also challenging many of Seaver’s records.

Certainly, part of what the Mets are doing can be attributed to the excellent staff they’ve assembled. Moreover, Luis Rojas, Jeremy Hefner, and Jeremy Accardo have done an amazing job, which deserves all the accolades and superlatives you can give them.

Still, there’s some magic with Seaver’s number on the jerseys. There’s also something to be said for The Franchise to be a part of the Mets uniform. After all, there’s no rule which states you can’t forever honor a player like this.

Overall, Seaver is the Mets, and he always will be that. He’s arguably more important to the Mets than any player is to any franchise. He should be recognized and honored as such with his number forever a part of the Mets jerseys.

Mets Split 2-1 Extra Inning Games Against Phillies

In the first game of the doubleheader, Aaron Nola had out-dueled Taijuan Walker. Not only did he match Tom Seaver‘s MLB record of 10 consecutive strikeouts (with the aide of some very questionable strike calls), but he drove home the only run heading into the seventh.

It looked like the Mets would lose in a frustrating 1-0 fashion. That was until Luis Guillorme led off the ninth, sorry seventh, with a comebacker against Jose Alvarado. Alvarado threw it away allowing Guillorme to go to second.

Albert Almora pinch hit and struck out. Jeff McNeil then grounded out putting all the pressure on Francisco Lindor. Lindor had Alvarado’s timing, and he delivered a game tying single.

Luis Rojas made an astute move double switching Seth Lugo into the game. Not only did this bring in his best reliever, but due to a quirk in the extra inning rules, it put Lindor at second even though he didn’t make the last out.

After Lugo struck out three of the four batters he faced, the Mets were going to get their opportunity to walk it off.

The left-handed Ranger Suarez intentionally walked Pete Alonso to face Dominic Smith. For some reason, Smith offered to bunt the first two pitches, and on the third, he hit a walk-off RBI single giving the Mets a 2-1 win.

Once again, in the second game of the doubleheader, the offenses were anemic. Only this time, it wasn’t as excusable because it was Matt Moore and David Peterson.

For a split second in the second, it appeared Almora put the Mets ahead 2-0 on a homer. However, Andrew McCutchen went up to grab it, and while the Mets thought it hit the back wall, replay upheld the out call.

Entering the sixth, there was a combined five hits in the scoreless game. Bryce Harper homered in the sixth to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, and once again, in the bottom of the seventh, the Phillies bullpen begged the Mets to win the game.

Instead of Alvarado, Joe Girardi tabbed Archie Bradley to close it out. There was no one warming in the pen. You could say it was a mistake, but the Phillies bullpen is terrible.

Bradley book-ended Guillorme once again reaching on an error by walking two batters to load the bases with no outs. Walk-off king Patrick Mazeika strode to the plate, but he struck out.

James McCann gave one a ride to deep center, but even though he was playing shallow, Odubel Herrera tracked it down. Instead of a game winner, it was a game tying sacrifice fly.

Jeff McNeil, who had a tough doubleheader going 0-for-7 with three strikeouts, grounded out to end the inning.

Rojas went to Sean Reid-Foley, the 27th man for the doubleheader for the eighth. Reid-Foley did what he needed to do, but he got some bad luck behind him.

Brad Miller hit a grounder to Lindor. Lindor couldn’t quite get a handle on it allowing Rafael Marchand to get to third without a throw. The Phillies then pinch ran Travis Jankowski for him.

The Mets drew the infield in, and Herrera hit a hit shot at Guillorme. Guillorme made a great play to snag it on the short hop, but it popped out of his glove as it hit the ground. Guillorme was noticeably frustrated with himself for being unable to make a play at home, but he made a great play just to get the out at first.

Unfortunately, there were no heroics against Hector Neris. Lindor and Alonso grounded out before Smith struck out to end the game.

In the end, the Mets scored zero earned runs, but they were still able to scratch out a split. That’s good, and yet, there can be some frustration as a Mets team with a nearly complete lineup could barely score runs.

Game Notes: Jonathan Villar was put on the IL, and Travis Blankenhorn was recalled. J.D. Davis was transferred to the 60 day IL, and the Mets claimed Chance Sisco. Mason Williams opted for free agency. Aaron Loup and Edwin Diaz were unavailable to pitch.

Neon Moment Of The Week: Jacob deGrom Most Dominant Pitcher Ever

Yet again, Jacob deGrom flirted with a perfect game. Yet again, he drove in more runs than he allowed. Yet again, records were set.

After facing the minimum through six, deGrom has a 0.56 ERA through 10 starts, which is the best in MLB history. Coincidentally, he has allowed just four earned runs on the season while driving in five himself. He’s the first pitcher to ever accomplish that feat.

During the game, deGrom struck out 10. He now has 103 on the season. With his doing it in 64.0 innings, he’s the fastest in MLB history to record 100 strikeouts.

His career numbers are already heading into another stratosphere. His 2.50 career ERA is already ahead of Tom Seaver for best in Mets history. It’s also just a hair behind Clayton Kershaw for the best since World War I.

deGrom’s 156 ERA+ has not only surpassed Seaver for best in Mets history, he’s also moved past Pedro Martinez and tied Kershaw for best all-time.

Tim Keefe had the best single season ERA+ with a 293 mark in 1880. The modern day record is Martinez with a 291 in 2000. Right now, deGrom has a 689.

Read that again. Jacob deGrom has a 689 ERA+. He’s more dominant than anyone ever has been. He’s going to completely re-write record books. That is why his virtuoso performance is the Neon Moment of the Week!

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20/20 Hindsight: Mets Overcome Diamondbacks And Bob Brenly Ignorance

The New York Mets went to the desert, and it was the Arizona Diamondbacks who came up dry. While the Diamondbacks did push the Mets, the Mets took this series:

1. The fact Bob Brenly is still employed after what he said about Marcus Stroman is an embarrassment to the Diamondbacks and Major League Baseball. Seriously, why hasn’t Rob Manfred stepped in here?

2. Brenly should forever keep Tom Seaver‘s name out of his mouth. He should not be sullying the name of a great man and best right handed pitcher in the post World War II era.

3. Luis Rojas going to the well with Trevor May was really bizarre. May has been struggling, and he was very fatigued.

4. Holding back Seth Lugo from a save opportunity when you’ve already used Edwin Diaz and Miguel Castro because you want to ease him back from his injury is all well and good. However, you just can’t follow that up by trying to throw him two innings in his first appearance back. That’s a contradictory and dumb position.

5. Diaz is just a different pitcher than he has ever been. He’s able to go back-to-back days now with no issue. He’s shaking off blown saves. He’s having consecutive good years. There is not enough superlatives you can throw his way right now. He really deserves credit for how much he’s improved.

6. On that note, Jeurys Familia resurrecting his career has been perhaps the biggest key to this bullpen being this good.

7. It looks like that stint at first base was great for James McCann. He’s continued hitting well, and as we’re seeing, he seems to thrive on the platoon role. Fortunately for the Mets, Tomas Nido has taken his game to a new level to make this a tenable plan.

8. Between McCann hitting again and Francisco Lindor having figured things out, perhaps we can stop passing judgments on two months. Clearly, these two needed to settle into a new city with a new coaching staff. And yes, it helps them and everyone that the team replaced Chili Davis.

9. For those who haven’t noticed, Lindor is a truly great player. Look at what he’s doing. He’s top five in the majors in OAA, and over the past month, he has a .758 OPS. Remember, that includes a period when he was in a deep slump. By September, we’re all going to laugh at the panic some people showed over his start.

10. This team is clicking with the return of Pete Alonso. His presence in the lineup seems to have taken pressure off of everyone, and frankly, it helps that he returned to the lineup in peak Alonso form.

11. There is no one tougher than Kevin Pillar. Not only did he return from that fastball to the face and surgery to replace multiple facial fractures, but he’s picked right up where he left off.

12. The Mets have had a number of injuries, but if the hamstring lingers, none might be more impactful than Jonathan Villar. Villar has been able to hold down third base with all the injuries, and while his numbers and propensity to get picked off leave something to be desired, he does find a way to have an impact on games. The Mets are going to miss him.

13. The J.D. Davis injury is getting increasingly worrisome. It seems like he just has set back after set back. You really just have to wonder if the Mets are really missing a significant injury here.

14. The fact the Mets have a 4.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves, the largest in baseball, is impressive. The fact the Mets have that lead allows them to hold their cards and wait for Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo to return at their own pace. Of course, the pitching being so dominant allows that as well.

15. At some point, Jacob deGrom gets a no-hitter, right? Sure, Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux didn’t, but you have to believe deGrom eventually gets one.

16. Because baseball is stupid, you have to guess Joey Lucchesi or David Peterson gets one before deGrom even though neither pitcher really belongs in the starting rotation right now. Injuries have really helped keep them here.

17. The Mets really need to decide if they want Peterson to be Mike Pelfrey, or if they want to try to give someone else a shot while he goes to Syracuse to develop like he needs.

18. For those saying the Mets need Pelfrey, the team can certainly figure it out. After all, they have Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and Sean Reid-Foley who can give you multiple innings consistently out of the bullpen. They also have Jerad Eickhoff, Corey Oswalt, and Thomas Szapucki to plug into the rotation. Really, there are options, and they need to do something.

19. Speaking of Gsellman, those 3.2 innings were phenomenal, and it speaks to his being back to being the pitcher the Mets thought he was when he was first called up in 2016.

20. May was right. That game winning hit by Josh Reddick was foul. Really, this just highlights the absurdity of the replay system where there aren’t cameras down the lines to ensure we get calls like that absolutely correct. Then again, this is baseball under Manfred, so why should we expect any different?

 

GAME RECAPS

Jacob deGrom Nearly Perfect

Mets Blow It Against Diamondbacks

David Peterson Should Be Demoted to Syracuse

Marcus Stroman Was Wearing Tom Seaver’s Du-Rag

Last night, Arizona Diamondbacks announcer Bob Brenly had what should have been his Thom Brennaman moment. However, we didn’t get to hear Brenly talk about a Nick Castellanos, or rather Pavin Smith moment. Instead, Brenly was allowed to make his racially charged statements are carry on with the rest of the game.

If you are going to play the game of Brenly didn’t say anything as bad as what Brennaman said, you’re already doing it wrong. Wrong is flat out wrong. Mocking Stroman’s du-rag was wrong, and it was racist. It’s also stupid and a stain on Tom Seaver‘s good name. More than that, it couldn’t possibly have missed who Seaver was and who he idolized.

In an article by Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, he highlighted how Seaver never buttoned the top of his uniform. This wasn’t by accident. In fact, it was in honor of Willie Mays, a player Seaver idolized. As a collegiate player, Seaver had the opportunity to sit next to Mays, and seeing how Mays didn’t button his top button, Seaver would never again button his.

Looking at it, Seaver saw who he thought was the best player in the game doing something, and he emulated it. Chances are, if Seaver saw Mays wearing the du-rag, he would have done so as well. The reason is Seaver wanted to mold himself as one of the greats, and he did that in what was a unique and then bold statement to not button the top button. He did that to be like Mays. He probably would’ve done anything to be like Mays.

There is two things right now which unite Seaver and Stroman. Both are Mets pitchers. More than that, both are pitchers who strove for greatness, and they sought each and every avenue they could to become great. They are uniquely driven, and they had they own unique fashion when they took the mound. It should also be noted with the patches this year, both wore 41 on the mound.

In some ways, there is no greater honor for a pitcher than to get compared to Seaver. That goes double for a Mets pitcher. Unfortunately, Brenly did it in a disgusting and mocking way which was at best ignorant. There is no place for that anywhere, and Brenly owes Stroman and the Seaver family an apology.

More than that, the entire Diamondbacks organization does as well for letting Brenly say that on their air and to continue speaking after those statements. Stroman is a good person, and he deserves much better than this. We all do.

Happy Harvey Day Returns

From the first time he took the mound with the New York Mets, Matt Harvey was special. You could see it. It was more than just the great stuff. He had the build and demeanor to be one of the best pitchers we have ever seen. In 2013, he would be so good where he would not only be in the running with Clayton Kershaw for the Cy Young Award, we would hear him start to be compared to Tom Seaver.

There was the bloody noses. The time he almost had a perfect game against the Chicago White Sox. There was moment after moment until he had to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Harvey would return from that, and he would return to being a top of the rotation caliber starter. Yes, there would be some drama caused when his agent Scott Boras asked the Mets to honor their agreement over the innings limits, but despite that, Harvey would pitch. Harvey pitched where Stephen Strasburg once did not, which at the time only seemed fitting considering the “Harvey’s Better!” chants which echoed across Citi Field.

Harvey was great in the postseason. He won a pivotal Game 3 in the NLDS. He was lights out in Game 1 of the NLCS setting the stage for a Mets sweep of the Chicago Cubs. His performance in Game 5 of the World Series was one of the best pitching performances in Mets history. He and the Mets would come THIS CLOSE to pulling it off.

From there, things went bad, really bad. We don’t need to recall all the drama. In the end, what really mattered was Harvey had TOS. It would cost him almost all of 2016, and it would cost him his chances of once again being that ace. It would lead to him being designated for assignment from the Mets, which led to him being traded for Devin Mesoraco.

After seemingly reclaiming something with the Cincinnati Reds, he would get a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Angels. After 12 starts, he would be released, and Harvey would try to catch on somewhere. He would finish that season in the Oakland Athletics farm system, but they showed no interest in calling him up. During the pandemic season, Harvey signed on and flamed out with the Kansas City Royals.

What the real story is with Harvey is this is a guy who continued to work hard. Where even the strongest willed people would’ve justifiably retired, Harvey just keep working trying to find his way back to a Major League rotation again. He did everything conceivable, and he would leave no stone unturned. That led to him signing with the Baltimore Orioles and earning his spot onto their Opening Day roster.

Through seven starts this season, Harvey is 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and a 6.4 K/9. No, this is not the Harvey we knew and loved. And yet, this is still a good Major League starter who is putting up a 118 ERA+.

Because of that, we are going to get to see Harvey take the same mound where he first brought hope to Mets fans after the Madoff Ponzi scheme. He’s going to take the mound where he started the 2013 All-Star Game and where he dominated in the 2015 postseason. He is going to take the mound in Citi Field, but this time as a visitor.

Harvey did more and went through far more than anyone could’ve imagined. It will be tough to see him facing the Mets, but as a Mets fan, you can’t help but root for him. Orioles uniform or not, seeing Harvey on the Citi Field mound makes this a great day. In fact, we can once again celebrate and say “Happy Harvey Day!”

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Finally Take Series From Nationals

Well, after the first series of the season was canceled due to COVID19, the Washington Nationals and New York Mets finally got to play in a series. The Mets would win yet another home series and stay above .500:

1. Jacob deGrom is already the second best pitcher in Mets history, and in short order, we will consider him the second best Mets player to ever wear a Mets uniform. In fact, he may already be there.

2. To put in context just how great deGrom is, he’s set the record for most strikeouts to start a season, and he has passed Tom Seaver in Mets ERA and ERA+. Yes, he has been so great he has put himself in Seaver territory.

3. Seeing deGrom hit, you are reminded pitchers can actually hit and help themselves at the plate. The fact other pitchers don’t do it is their own failing, and it is not a good argument for the universal DH.

4. deGrom has driven in and scored more earned runs than he has allowed.

5. Marcus Stroman had one bad day. There is nothing more that should be read into it.

6. We saw Robert Gsellman step up, and he has looks ready to be a solid contributor to the bullpen. Overall, the bullpen has picked it up across the board, and they seem to be outperforming the early season expectations. In some ways, this could be attributable to Jeremy Hefner who had a similar effect in Minnesota as an assistant pitching coach.

7. Once again, Taijuan Walker was really good, and he appears to be the steal of the offseason for the Mets. Notably, when starters are going deep into games, that also helps the bullpen.

8. Michael Conforto‘s defense is still worrisome, especially his arm, but he appears to be getting going at the plate. We saw him hit his first homer of the season, and we saw him get extra base hits on back-to-back days for the first time all season.

9. For reasons that defy expectation, this Mets front office seem to believe more in J.D. Davis than Jeff McNeil. Davis can cost Mets consecutive games with his glove, and they give him on brief rest, but McNeil has some struggles at the plate, and they refuse to try to put him where he thrives in the lineup or let him work through it.

10. Albert Almora doesn’t play much, but when he does, he makes an impact. He scored from first in a pinch running opportunity earlier in the season, and he robbed Kyle Schawarber of an extra base hit as we have only seen Juan Lagares do previously.

11. Jonathan Villar has contributed quite well in the games he has played, and he has earned his playing time. It is really curious why the Mets won’t sit Davis for him, but they will sit McNeil. It’s also curious what Luis Guillorme has to do to get into the lineup.

12. The Mets sat Dominic Smith against a left-handed pitcher again despite his being one of their best hitters against left-handed pitching. Again, better players sit so Davis can be force fed into the lineup.

13. While Sunday was a really good game defensively, the Mets defense continues to be atrocious, second worst in the National League by DRS, and the Mets show little to no interest in playing their best defensive players.

14. It needs to be mentioned again. Jacob deGrom is doing things we haven’t seen since Seaver, and we may never get to see greatness of this level in a Mets uniform again for quite some time, if ever. He is that good, and he is going to be the player we tell our children and grandchildren about for years to come.

15. The Mets better not fail deGrom the way they did Mike Piazza and David Wright. They need to make sure he wins a World Series in a Mets uniform.

16. Brandon Nimmo is very quietly emerging as one of the best players in baseball. He is an on-base machine, and we see his defense steadily improving. This is someone using all the information at his disposal to be better. He should be an All-Star, and at some point, we may need to have serious MVP discussions about him. Then again, that award should go to deGrom.

17. The state of umpiring in the majors may be at its worst. We see calls routinely blown, especially by the home plate umpire. Needless to say, if Nimmo takes a pitch, it’s a ball.

18. Pete Alonso is really heating up at the plate, and we have seen him just demolish homers.

19. Put aside the offense, the work James McCann and Tomas Nido have done behind the plate has been nothing short of phenomenal. They are getting their pitcher the calls they need, and they are playing all around great defense. If McCann can start hitting like we know he can, watch out. Hopefully, that RBI single on Sunday for McCann was a start.

20. Listening to the game on the radio really makes you miss Josh Lewin. No one really wants to hear Francisco Lindor needs to run out foul balls or Nimmo is swinging at pitches because he’s finally confident at the plate. The Mets can and should do better than that, but in some ways, that’s an allegory for their season so far.