Since some struggles coming out of the All-Star Break, Taijuan Walker has been slowly returning to his first half All-Star form. He was that and more tonight.
Walker was hitting the mid 90s again, and he was giving the vaunted Los Angeles Dodgers lineup fits. In fact, he’d no-hit them for 6.1 innings. His thanks was a no decision.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 15, 2021
This was the latest sign Conforto is getting past COVID and needing the ability to carry this team offensively. He basically was the entire Mets offense driving in the only run.
Just like how Conforto broke a no-hit bid for Buehler in the fourth, Will Smith did the same in the seventh. It was his second devastating homer in as many nights tying the score 1-1.
During the at-bat, Rojas had enough with what was an erratic at best strike zone. Despite the zone, Loup got his man like he always does. It kept that game tied.
To the extent the Mets gained momentum off of that, they squandered it. They had two on and no out. For some idiotic reason, Tomas Nido was sent up to bunt. He couldn’t get it down, and the inning unraveled from there.
Fact is, that was the Mets chance. While this was a battle of exhausted bullpens with the top guys effectively unavailable, the Dodgers bullpen did their job.
The Mets got to the 10th, and they were in a bad spot. Seth Lugo made quick work of the Dodgers in the ninth, but he’s struggled going a second inning this year. With the top guys overworked or already used, Dave Jauss tabbed Yennsy Diaz.
Diaz came close to getting through the 10th, but Bellinger would double driving home the go-ahead run. In the bottom of the inning, the Mets put up little resistance to Phil Beckford and Corey Knebel.
As a result, the Mets lost a winnable game 2-1. They wasted a Walker gem, and they lost two straight extra inning games to a team who came to Citi Field 0-12 in those games. Also, they fell 1.5 games back.
This isn’t a time for moral victories. It’s a time for victories. They Mets need them, and if they don’t get them, they we’ll continue to squander away what should’ve been a special season.
While he may not normally be recognized as such, Brandon Nimmo is the best hitter on the New York Mets. The Washington Nationals got a first-hand glimpse of that in the first end of the doubleheader.
Nationals starter Sean Nolin allowed a leadoff single to Jonathan Villar in the second. He was close to getting out of it until Marcus Stroman had a bunt base hit. Yes, this is the same Stroman the Mets once refused to let swing the bat with the bases loaded.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 12, 2021
That brought Nimmo to the plate, and he gave the Mets an early 3-0 lead:
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 12, 2021
This marked the first time the Mets scored first in a game since August 4. It would set them on the path to win consecutive games for the first time July 21-23.
Nido singled after Conforto and stole a base. That meant Nido had a stolen base and caught stealing. Nimmo would drive home Conforto increasing the Mets lead to 4-0.
In that inning, Pete Alonso would get hit by a pitch by Nationals reliever Andres Machado. Machado clearly wasn’t trying to hit Alonso, but Alonso was jawing. Both sides would, but eventually, cooler heads prevailed.
The Mets would load the bases in that inning with one out, but they wouldn’t increase the lead. Machado settles down after the hullabaloo getting two strikeouts including J.D. Davis.
It’s difficult to say Nimmo was the Mets entire offense on a day where the Mets had 12 hits over seven innings. That said, Nimmo was the only Mets player who drove in any runs.
These four runs were more than enough for Stroman. For the first five innings, Stroman was locked in limiting the Nationals to one hit and one walk. As alluded to earlier, Nido eliminated one of those base runners with a caught stealing.
There was some concern Stroman wouldn’t get to that point. He labored in the fourth. As he admitted later in the postgame, he needed to do a better job hydrating. With the extreme heat today, that was important.
The Nationals finally got to Stroman in the sixth. It started with Stroman losing Riley Adams after being ahead in the count 1-2. It certainly didn’t help Stroman the umpire missed strike three and called it a ball.
With the lefties due up for the Nationals, Luis Rojas turned to Aaron Loup. Loup was phenomenal again. While he did lose and walk Juan Soto, he rebounded to get Josh Bell to hit into the inning ending double play.
Edwin Diaz came on in the ninth and would record his 25th save of the season. With that, the Mets put themselves a half game out of first, the ability to tie atop the division with a win in the second game of the doubleheader, and their first sweep since they took two from the San Diego Padres in June.
Game Notes: This is the first time a Mets starter won a game since Tylor Megill on July 23. The four RBI tied a career high for Nimmo.
The New York Mets obtained Javier Baez to be a difference maker as the team tries to hold on and win the division. In the 5-3 win against the Miami Marlins he was just that.
Gonna watch this Javy slide on repeat the rest of the night ✨ pic.twitter.com/fZeq8eFB6w
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 4, 2021
The Mets would eventually blow that 3-0 lead, but they’d get the lead back in the eighth when Baez hit the go-ahead homer in what would become a Mets 5-3 win:
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 5, 2021
In that game, Baez was much more Cespedes than Bruce. If that continues, the Mets will win this division. After that, if everyone gets heathy, who knows?
For reasons which defy logic, the New York Mets offense just stops scoring runs all together. That was exactly the case today.
In the first game, the Atlanta Braves scored a run in the second and third off Marcus Stroman. That gave them a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the Mets offense just shot themselves in the foot. In the third, Stroman got it started with a bunt single, and there were two on with one out. Peter Alonso and Michael Conforto struck out to end the inning.
Alonso failed to come through again in the fifth. With two on and one out, he hit a ball down the line which Austin Riley made a 5-5-3 inning ending double play.
The worst one of them all was in the bottom of the seventh. After Tomas Nido singled with one out, James McCann pinch hit for Luis Guillorme (who has been clutch all year) and hit into the game ending double play.
The Mets really wanted that one because not only did Stroman pitch well, but the Mets were also bullpenning the second game of the doubleheader.
Alonso lost a Riley pop up in the lights. Then Dansby Swanson hit what should’ve been a double play, but J.D. Davis couldn’t catch the ball on the dive for a ball literally any other third baseman easily fields for an around the horn double play.
Familia rebounded to strike out the next three batters to end the inning. Anthony Banda followed with two scoreless innings. Of course, while this was happening, the Mets offense wasn’t delivering.
In the first, Davis grounded out with RISP. In the fourth, Jonathan Villar struck out swinging, and McCann followed with an inning ending double play.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 27, 2021
Speaking of Freeman, earlier in the game, he had some fun with Nimmo after Nimmo drew a walk:
Freddie Freeman looks up to the sky with Brandon Nimmo 🤣 pic.twitter.com/7S2zMvrXTv
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 27, 2021
After Freeman long flyout, Riley hit into an inning ending double play. That set it up for Edwin Diaz, who struck out the side for his 22nd save of the season.
The Mets avoided near disaster in this game in advance of a potential bullpen game tomorrow. Things could’ve gotten ugly quick for a team who scored once in 14 innings. Instead, they got the split, and they fend off the Braves for at least one day.
Game Notes; The Mets have not been swept in a doubleheader this season.
The Toronto Blue Jays of Buffalo came to Citi Field, and like usual, the New York Mets took the series:
1. Luis Guillorme is an absolute magician on the field. That tag between the legs was next level genius.
2. Guillorme also has .417 OBP and 121 OPS+. How he doesn’t play everyday, even when everyone is healthy, is just bizarre.
3. One of the reason the Mets are good is Tomas Nido. On Sunday, he was flashing his cannon picking off one runner and throwing out another. He could start for half the teams in the league.
4. Luis Rojas gets maligned for some reason, but his opting to pinch hit an ailing Jeff McNeil for Nido resulted in a game winning double. Most managers don’t pinch hit for their catcher, especially in the sixth inning.
5. It was absolutely right to pull Tylor Megill. He’s a rookie who threw zero innings in a game last year. You need to keep him going to the finish line and we’ll beyond.
6. Megill has been great, and at this rate, while there are bound to be tough games and setbacks, we should expect him to continue to improve.
7. Keeping Rich Hill in for the sixth was probably the wrong move. At this point in his career, he’s a five and fly. That said, you understand pushing him with the doubleheader and the lack of starters. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
9. J.D. Davis again showed he can’t play third. If you continue playing that glove while relying on a 30.8 K% and .526 BABIP, you’re going to get burned.
10. At the trade deadline, the Mets should call the Cleveland Indians and ask what they want for Jose Ramirez, and then, they should say, “Yes!”
12. Taijuan Walker has struggled out of the break. He’ll be fine.
13. Maybe Michael Conforto won’t be any good this year. Aside from one outburst in Cincinnati, he’s been bad all year.
14. Brandon Nimmo has been terrific this year, and the Mets should be talking extension with him.
15. Mets really need bullpen help at the trade deadline. While you can count on their top guys, they don’t have depth. With the doubleheaders and just four starters, they’re going to get taxed more.
16. Dominic Smith has continued his resurgence, and quietly, he’s at a 0 DRS in left (even if OAA paints a much different picture).
17. Steven Matz once again proved he can pitch in New York. It was nice seeing him treated well by Mets fans. It’s a shame he still isn’t with the team. They needed him this year.
18. Aaron Loup continues to be phenomenal. When he pitches this way in the postseason, they’ll write ballads about him.
19. Seth Lugo has been good and effective, but he hasn’t been Seth Lugo yet.
20. The Mets seem to have the division wrapped up heading into the deadline with the NL East teams really in position to sell. They need to get healthy, and they can’t let anyone try to make things interesting.
The New York Mets showed they had real fight in the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and they would show even more in Cincinnati:
1. With all the injuries to the pitching staff, Marcus Stroman had the biggest start of the year. Those eight innings were a godsend.
2. The reason the Mets are in first isn’t just because of performances like we saw from Stroman. It’s because of performances like we saw with Stephen Nogosek and Geoff Hartlieb. Even though they lost that game, it saved the pen.
3. Of course, Robert Stock, who is well past Plan Z, makes a spot start, and he leaves the game with an injury after an inning.
4. For over a month now, Dominic Smith has returned to form. He’s hitting for power, and he’s getting big hits.
5. James McCann has had his adjustment period, and he’s been better than the catcher they thought they were signing. Since May 29, he’s hitting .300/.361/.485.
7. Actually, that wasn’t Rojas, it was Dave Jauss filling in for the suspended Rojas. Jauss certainly seemed to enjoy his time at the helm, and fans seemed to love his infectious personality.
9. Luis Guillorme might’ve had one tough inning defensively, but he’s been great all season. It’s long past time messing around and just let him play everyday.
10. Michael Conforto had a huge Two home run game in the comeback extra inning win. At the time, it seemed like he was taking off, but then he stopped hitting again.
11. That’s not too dissimilar from J.D. Davis who is one for his last 10 with five strikeouts.
12. This is just a reminder that unless the Mets move Jeff McNeil to third, they really need a third baseman at the trade deadline.
13. McNeil’s bat has awoken with him hitting .316/.395/.421 over the past few weeks.
14. The loss of Jose Peraza is going to hurt more than you expected at the beginning of the year. He’s been playing great defense, and he has a bevy of clutch hits.
15. People love to love situational hitting and small ball, but then they go berserk when the Mets are mashing homers.
16. Jesse Winker is a no-good evil Mets killer. Actually, he’s not evil. He has fun with the fans and the game. Still, the Mets should never even contemplate pitching to him in a big spot again.
17. In a big spot late in the game, you don’t know it Kevin Pillar is going to get a base hit, but he’s certainly going to tattoo the ball.
18. Gary Cohen deriding skyline chili was like Bud Harrelson punching Pete Rose combined with Al Leiter‘s one hitter. Put another way, Gare landed a punch, and there was no way Cincinnati could come back from it.
20. The Mets certainly love playing in these band boxes in Cincinnati and Philadelphia because they continue to win games in these cities.
After all that, the 3-0 lead became a 7-3 deficit, and it looked like Pittsburgh all over again. In actuality, it was, but it was like the series finale.
Michael Conforto got the comeback started with a two run homer in the fourth.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 20, 2021
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 20, 2021
It was a brand new game, and it would stay tied into the seventh. Miguel Castro departed with one on and two out. He didn’t get out of the inning as J.D. Davis had his typical difficulty getting the ball out of his glove thereby costing the Mets of any chance to get an inning ending double play.
At that point, Nido had a double and an RBI. James McCann had been scuffling amidst an 0-for-11 streak. Naturally, when Jauss tabbed McCann to pinch hit for Nido, he hit a go–ahead two run homer.
That shouldn’t been enough for a 9-8 win. The problem was for the first time in his career, Edwin Diaz would blow three straight saves.
Part of that was Diaz walking Kyle Farmer to start the inning. The other part was Jauss unnecessarily having Diaz pitch to Winker. Predictably, Winker hit the game tying single to tie the game at 9-9.
In extra innings, the took advantage of the dumb gimmick when McCann singled home the go-ahead run. Remarkably, the ball double tapped his bat on the singles. It was 10-9 heading into the bottom of the inning.
With all the bullpen usage, the Mets opted for Anthony Banda for the save. It didn’t go well. Two batters into the inning, there were runners on first and second with Tyler Naquin driving home the tying run.
After that, Jose Peraza made an impact against his former team starting the around the horn double play on Eugenio Suarez‘s grounder. He’d then get the put out on the ensuring Shogo Akiyama grounder to send the game to the 11th.
Brandon Nimmo led off the 11th putting runners at the corners. After a poor Alonso at-bat, McNeil delivered the go-ahead single giving the Mets an 11-10 lead.
For some reason, with Banda of all people up, the Mets put the contact play on. The end result was Nimmo getting nailed at home. Fortunately, the Mets weren’t done as Kevin Pillar and Conforto would go back-to-back.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 20, 2021
That 15-10 lead was enough for even Banda. Although, he did test that allowing back-to-back one out singles pulling the Reds to within 15-11.
With that, May saved hid second in a row and third of the season. That’s a testament to the never give up mentality of this never give up clubhouse.
Game Notes: Mets are 177-0 all-time when scoring at least 12 runs. Johneshwy Fargas was designated for assignment. Travis Blankenhorn was optioned to Syracuse. Eickhoff and Stephen Nogosek were called up.
Apparently, the answer to what ails the New York Mets offense is Michael Conforto was on the IL. Because tonight, when he returned, the Mets offense was clicking.
Suddenly, it was a 2-0 first inning lead for a Mets team who had been shut out in consecutive games. Believe it or not, the Mets weren’t done scoring.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 23, 2021
That was a 5-0 lead. It was exactly when you wanted to have it as Tylor Megill was making his Major League debut. Despite the limited time in Double and Triple-A, Megill looked quite good.
His mid 90s velocity was hitting 97. While there was some control concerns, his first walks didn’t happen until the fifth. Overall, Megill looked like a pitcher who belonged, and this stage wasn’t too much for him.
He pitched four scoreless before running trouble into the fifth. He walked Ehire Adrianza to lead-off the inning, and one out later, Ender Inciarte homered to pull the Braves to within 5-2. When Megill walked the next batter, Josh Tomlin, his night was over.
Megill departed to a standing ovation and an umpire check for foreign substances. Even though Miguel Castro got the Mets out of the inning, Megill didn’t qualify for the win as he pitched just 4.1 innings.
The win would go to Corey Oswalt who came on in relief and gave the Mets some needed length out of the bullpen pitching 2.1 innings.
The Braves jumped on Oswalt with an Austin Riley double and Adrianza RBI single. However, he’d settle in, and he’d even register a pick-off.
Caught 'em leaning the wrong way. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/y00BGuB4MB
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 24, 2021
The Mets added an insurance run in the seventh, and once again Conforto was at the forefront. He’d hit a lead-off single and score off a James McCann RBI single.
With runners on first and second with one out, the Mets were well poised to blow it open there. However, Kevin Pillar hit into an inning ending double play, and for some reason, didn’t bother running it out.
With the Mets having a 6-3 lead and not much available out of the pen, they looked to push Oswalt another inning. After retiring Almonte, he surrendered a double to Riley and a walk to Adrianza.
It was a long bottom of the eighth starting with a Luis Guillorme walk. Singles by McNeil and Lindor gave the Mets a 7-3 lead. Despite the long inning, Diaz came back out for the ninth, and he pitched a scoreless inning for his 16th save of the season.
But, overall, this win was about the reawakened Mets offense. Pillar was the only starter without a hit, and we’d see five Mets with multi-hit games. That includes McNeil’s three hit game.
The Mets had to earn this split, and they got it. They’re now going to get a much needed day off putting them well poised to go on a nice run heading into the All-Star Break.
The New York Mets entered the game with Jonathan Villar and Tomas Nido unavailable. Brandon Drury was sent down to Syracuse, and Patrick Mazeika was recalled. However, Syracuse was shut down for the day due to COVID.
The Mets had a doubleheader yesterday, and they have a planned bullpen day tomorrow. The absolute last thing this team needed was another injury. That goes double for a starter.
Well, Marcus Stroman had to leave the game with a left hip problem while facing the lead-off batter in the second inning.
Marcus Stroman has exited tonight's start vs. the Braves in the 2nd inning
Yennsy Diaz is coming on to pitch. pic.twitter.com/uIbdFmTRvC
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 22, 2021
This meant Yennsy Diaz, who pitched 2.1 innings three days ago, was needed to give the Mets multiple innings. Put another way, they needed him to come up huge.
Well, that’s the way his outing started. After loading the bases with no outs, and a mound visit from Francisco Lindor, Diaz would strike out the next three batters to escape the jam. That’s made all the more impressive by his striking out Ronald Acuña to end the inning.
With the shift, Jeff McNeil opted to field the ground ball on the shortstop side of second instead of letting Lindor field it.
McNeil initially tried to out race Almonte to second, but he couldn’t. Instead, he got Riley out at first. What might’ve been an inning ending double play was just one out. On the very next pitch, Dansby Swanson hit a three run homer.
That’s all the runs the Braves needed. That’s because of a mixture of Charlie Morton being great and the Mets offense being dreadful. After all, the Mets have been shut out in consecutive games and in three of their last seven.
With the injuries, the Mets resorted to having David Peterson and Jerad Eickhoff pinch hit. You may want to attribute that to the offensive problems, but Eickhoff had the Mets only hit off Morton. After that fifth inning single, the Mets didn’t get another hit until James McCann doubled with two outs in the ninth.
Really, about the only bright spot was the bullpen. Over eight innings, they allowed just the three runs. The big hero was Aaron Loup who came up big by pitching three scoreless.
Still, this was a 3-0 loss where the Mets lost another pitcher and could only muster two hits. They’ve missed a chance to really deliver a blow to the Braves chances of winning the division, and according to what happens tomorrow, they may be giving the Braves new life.
Game Notes: Michael Conforto was going to be activated off the IL, but the Mets opted to wait another day.
For all the talk about the San Diego Padres this year, a depleted New York Mets team just took the season series:
1. People keep telling us to appreciate Jacob deGrom and not take him for granted. Not sure why because every Mets fan absolutely venerates him.
2. One of these days, deGrom is going to have a perfect game. It’s just going to happen.
3. Next time deGrom departs a game early, the reaction should be calm. He’s listening to his body, the Mets are listening to him, and they’re all just getting him ready to dominate in October . . . which he will.
4. While we’re told not to under appreciate deGrom, his sheer greatness is actually overshadowing Marcus Stroman who has been great this year.
5. Give credit where it is due, Joey Lucchesi has absolutely turned around his season. He wants a chance to go through a lineup a third time, and sooner or later, he probably should get that chance.
7. Of course, it was a poor decision to leave in Jeurys Familia that long and to bring in Jacob Barnes in that spot. However, when you’re short bad and indefensible decisions like that are going to happen.
8. The question does need to be asked – if the Mets are so reticent to use Barnes, why is he still on the team?
9. Seeing Seth Lugo back to Lugoat form, you’re further convinced this team is going to win the World Series.
11. Dominic Smith really needs to pick it up. Sooner or later, this team will get healthy, and he’s going to be in peril of losing playing time.
12. It’s great to see Luis Guillorme back healthy and performing wizardry in the field.
13. Months later, he may no longer be on the roster, but people should remember how Jose Peraza held down the fort and each and every single one of his homers gave the Mets a lead.
14. He’s probably not the best option, but Jonathan Villar has done everything the Mets could’ve asked. He’s been better than anyone could’ve reasonably expected, and at this point, the third base job should be his.
15. Of course, Billy McKinney is dealing with a sore knee and needed to miss a game. This would’ve be the 2021 Mets if that didn’t happen.
17. More than what they’re doing at the plate, the Mets pitchers are thriving while throwing to both of these catchers. So long as the catchers are maximizing pitcher performances, they’re doing a great job.
18. On the topic of catchers, if Francisco Alvarez hits a huge homer, let him do a bat flip. Criticize him when he celebrates and the ball doesn’t go out, which is something that hasn’t happened yet.
19. People may want to get rid of the DH, but deGrom has more RBI than earned runs allowed.
20. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s June 14, and the Mets are over .500 so far this month.