Trevor May

Trevor Williams Forgotten Man In Mets Bullpen

In the third game of the season, Buck Showalter shoehorned Trevor Williams into a game under the auspices he needed to get the reliever work. In that game, Williams was credited with a blown save and a loss after allowing two unearned runs. After Williams blew that game, it seems like Showalter feels no need to get him into a game again.

In fact, since that game, Williams has only gotten into four more games. Aside from the “start,” each of those times the score differential was more than four runs. That included when the Atlanta Braves put a beating on the Mets. All told, whatever you want to call a low leverage reliever, that’s what Williams is.

It’s really bizarre when you look at is. For example, Sean Reid-Foley, a pitcher who was widely anticipated was going to be designated for assignment, was used on seven different occasions. He’s been on the IL for about two weeks now, and he still has three more appearances.

We have also seen some diminishing returns from Adam Ottavino. Ottavino has been mostly good with nine scoreless relief appearances out of his 12 appearances for the season. That said, Showalter also felt compelled to use him for three consecutive days in a series against the Braves. That helped lead to the aforementioned blowout and Williams’ fourth appearance of the season.

The problem there is the Mets need that one extra right-handed arm in the pen. Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, and Drew Smith are the late inning relievers. Joely Rodriguez and Chasen Shreve are there for the left-handed relievers. Ottavino was fine for the middle innings, and Trevor May was there for that bridge, but now he’s injured and gone for months.

This could have been a chance to see what Williams has in the tank. However, the Mets haven’t seemed inclined to use him at all. That was even the case in doubleheaders where a spot start opportunity was there. The Mets understandably and correctly went with David Peterson.

Williams was actually useful in the Mets bullpen last season, and he did show some promise. In eight appearances, he pitched 22.1 innings with a 9.3 K/9 and a 3.83 K/BB. Digging deeper, there is something there with Williams.

Generally speaking, he induces weaker contact than most pitchers, and batters have a hard time squaring the ball up against him. Typically speaking, he induces pull side ground balls. With the Mets ability to shift plus having Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil up the middle, this should play right into the Mets hands.

He has an effective sinker, and his change is a weapon. We’ve seen his sinker be one as well. There is something there with Williams even if that is being a long or low leverage reliever. Perhaps he could be more, especially refining things and working on pitch mixes with Jeremy Hefner, but he would have to get the reps to do that.

On the long reliever front, he’s been dormant for even that role. For example, Sean Gilmartin made 50 appearances in 2015, and we saw Darren Oliver make 45 appearances in 2006. So far, Williams is on a pace to make 21 appearances. That’s not going to help him, and it’s not going to help the rest of the bullpen.

Sooner or later, the Mets are going to have to give Williams more chances. They’re going to have to get him in a rhythm and try to establish himself as a real part of this bullpen. If he does, this bullpen is even better. If not, you can move on and find someone else. However, if you’re not pitching him, you can’t make any of these needed assessments. That needs to change soon.

 

Do Mets Have Something In Adonis Medina?

One thing lost in the New York Mets huge comeback against the Philadelphia Phillies was Adonis Medina. After pitching 2.2 scoreless innings, he was in line for the win. You could argue the 2.2 scoreless was as improbable as the comeback itself.

Medina was grabbed by the Mets off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates just as the 2022 season was about to commence. Keep in mind, the Pirates are not a team in a position to part with any pitching, or really, any useful player. They are a bad team who needs to be investing in players in their mid 20s.

The Pirates had Medina because he was designated for assignment by the Phillies. The Phillies bullpen has been a train-wreck the past few seasons. They’re not remotely in a position to start parting with relievers who can part with any pitcher with promise.

Despite that, the Mets traded for Medina for cash after he was DFA’s and used a 40 man spot on him. Part of the reason why is the Mets needed some minor league depth for their bullpen. The other answer is obviously that the Mets saw something in a player once considered a top 100 prospect.

For starters, Medina is a ground ball machine. He has a low to mid 90s sinker, which has generated a 61.0% ground ball rate over his brief Major League career. When you have an infield with Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil or Luis Guillorme up that middle, that is going to translate to a number of outs. That goes double with how well the Mets shift.

Another factor is Medina does have some swing-and-miss stuff. His 21.2 K% at the Major League level is above average. While his fastball is hittable, batters typically struggle making contact with his sinker and change. The slider is below league average in terms of spin, but Medina’s change can be a real weapon.

According to Baseball Savant, Medina’s change is an above average pitch in terms of both movement and vertical drop. What makes that pitch all the more effective is the fact Medina has a very consistent release point.

In the end, Medina tends to induce weaker contact. This is partially because that sinker is a weapon. There is also the fact his change is thrown from a similar release point and tracks as an above average pitch.

All told, this gives Jeremy Hefner something to work with Medina. With the Minnesota Twins, Hefner has helped pitchers work more vertically than horizontally. As we saw with the Mets, he worked with different grips with Justin Wilson to maximize his curve.

Mostly, Hefner can make the tweaks needed to get Medina to throw strikes. More than anything, it’s the walks holding Medina back from taking the next step as a Major Leaguer. By working with Hefner, perhaps there is something there.

In terms of the Mets bullpen, there is room for Medina to prove himself with Trevor May‘s absence. There is a real void to serve as that bridge to Drew Smith, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz. After 2.2 scoreless, it would appear Medina earned another chance. It will be interesting to see where he goes from there.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Blow Opportunity

The New York Mets had won seven straight series before a key divisional match-up against the Atlanta Braves. They would not make it an eighth straight series.

1.  Last season, the Mets failed on multiple occasions to deliver a knockout blow to the Braves leading to the Braves buying at the deadline, winning the division, and eventually, winning the World Series. This was the Mets first chance to deliver a huge blow to the under .500 Braves, and instead, they let the Braves walk away with a split.

2.  You can’t use Adam Ottavino for three straight games. That’s just an unforced error that helped lead to the Mets getting blown out.

3.  Buck Showalter came into this season with a number of questions. Seeing how he burns Drew Smith for two innings instead of saving him for another day and used an injured Trevor May in a key spot, it would seem like he hasn’t improved in the slightest in this area.

4.  Chris Bassitt and Tylor Megill deserved better.

5.  If Bassitt wants to sign an extension, the Mets should sign him to one. This is a good pitcher who seems to like pitching here. You keep those guys.

6.  The walks are starting to pile up with Megill. If he isn’t pounding the strike zone, he becomes vulnerable to the big inning. That is essentially what happened to him. Right now, this isn’t any cause for alarm.

7.  All the metrics say Francisco Lindor is hitting the ball very well, but the results aren’t there. Put another way, it’s too soon to overreact, but it is something we need to monitor.

8.  The Mets poor hard hit rates is not an issue for players like Jeff McNeil and Luis Guillorme. However, it is a much larger issue for the rest of the team who are more line drive power hitters.

9.  Eduardo Escobar went from pleasant surprise and leader to looking like the player the Mets shouldn’t have jumped the market to sign. His hard hit rates are cratering as is his defense.

10. Starting J.D. Davis over Dominic Smith, especially with a right-handed pitcher starting is just plain wrong. With extended playing time, Davis’ struggles with any sort of velocity and with pitches up in the zone are magnified.

11. For all the focus on the struggles of the bullpen, Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, and Smith have the final 2-3 innings locked down. Looking at that, building the rest of the bullpen is a much easier task until May returns from the IL.

12. It’s very interesting how May and Jacob deGrom were dealing with very similar injuries. What that says about the Mets is anyone’s guess.

13. The umpiring in this series was embarrassing. It helped cost one game with Dansby Swanson being ruled to have a double on a clear foul ball. Dom was called out on a pitch well out of the zone. Between this series and the Madison Bumgarner ejection in Arizona, the umpiring has been unacceptably poor this season. Really, you know it’s bad when Max Scherzer gets thrown out of a game when he’s not pitching.

14. The notion anything other than balls and strikes is not reviewable is ludicrous.

15. Travis d’Arnaud is certainly going the way of Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner in how he is making the Mets pay for their flat out wrong decision to cut him loose and look in another direction.

16. Players like Travis Jankowski and Guillorme deserve more respect. They fill their roles in perfectly and make this ball club infinitely better. Jankowski knows people won’t buy his jersey, but we will all cheer him on like he’s a superstar.

17. Carlos Carrasco has been amazing this season, and his eight innings not only helped the Mets pick up a win, but it also saved the bullpen.

18. Trevor Williams wasn’t great, but he took one for the team pitching 3.2 innings. Outings like this often get overlooked and under appreciated, but it is something which will really help the Mets in the long run. With May out, you do wonder if the Mets can give him more of a look out of the pen. After all, it’s not like they have other options.

19. The Showalter suspension was ridiculous, especially when you consider Stubby Clapp wasn’t suspended. You do wonder how much that impacted the Mets in the opener of the series, especially with Showalter being informed right before game time.

20. Alonso is heating up just when the Mets need his bat to carry this team. Hopefully, he can help carry the offense as they try to give the Philadelphia Phillies the knock out blow they failed to give the Braves.

Recaps

Same Old Mets Against Braves

Mets Send Message to Braves

Credit to Trevor Williams

Same Old Mets Against Braves

We’ve seen this story time and again. It’s just something about those wretched Atlanta Braves uniforms. The New York Mets are going great, and then, it stops abruptly.

Seriously, the Mets had more bad luck and miscues than they had the previous 33 games combined.

You knew something was off in the first. Brandon Nimmo was on second with no outs. Francisco Lindor hit a ball center fielder Adam Duvall caught while pedaling backwards. Nimmo has a mind cramp not tagging and going for third, and he knew it almost immediately.

It wasn’t the only time this happened to the Mets in this game. In the seventh, Tyler Matzek threw what should’ve been a wild pitch, but Jeff McNeil hesitated and stayed at first.

It’s notable neither player scored. You could argue they weren’t scoring anyway. That said, it just spoke to how the Mets were just slightly off.

It’s one of the reasons the Mets blew a lead and lost this game. The other was just bad luck.

Heading into the sixth, the Mets had a 2-1 lead. The first run came pure courtesy of Starling Marte‘s speed.

Marte hit a one out double against Braves starter Max Fried, and he advanced to third on a McNeil flyout. That put him in position to score on a wild pitch.

It’s noteworthy Travis d’Arnaud was under assault all night. Braves pitchers were very wild spiking a number of pitches in the dirt. All night, it seemed like Marte was the only one who took advantage.

That lead grew to 2-0 in the third when Mark Canha hit his first homer with the Mets:

The 2-0 looked good enough because Chris Bassitt was dealing. Through five he had allowed just an Austin Riley solo homer, and he had overcome a blown call from home plate umpire Chad Fairchild.

What’s difficult to know is how much that blown strike call impacted the rest of the game. Bassitt had to expend energy facing two more batters he didn’t need to face.

Then again, Bassitt was not hit hard. Really, in the sixth, he was dinked and dunked to death.

There were runners on first and second with one out when d’Arnaud hit one a foot off the plate which dropped perfectly on the line for an RBI double tying the score.

Duvall hit a ball to medium right center. Nimmo had no momentum on the throw whereas Marte could’ve thereby allowing a better throw to home. That said, Pete Alonso made a good cut getting the last out at third.

It was 3-2 Braves, but this isn’t where they won the game. That would be the seventh. They had that chance partially because Nimmo absolutely robbed Ronald Acuna in the top of the inning.

After two quick outs, the Mets loaded the bases leading to the Braves going to Collin McHugh. Canha, the Mets best hitter with RISP, watched two go over the middle of the plate before striking out.

The Mets went to Trevor May, who had struggled all year. This was another example even if it was purely bad luck.

He issued a lead-off walk to Matt Olson, but he’d get two quick outs. Then, Ozzie Albies hit an infield single. May would then throw a pitch up and in on d’Arnaud. Somehow, d’Arnaud muscled it for a two RBI double.

This was another example of d’Arnaud being a Mets killer. Since that flat out dumb DFA, d’Arnaud has absolutely worn out the Mets.

d’Arnaud accounted for three of the five RBI against the Mets in the Braves 5-2 win. He did it hitting doubles on pitches he shouldn’t have even made contact.

The Mets chances to get a rally started in the ninth were ended before they got started. After Marte hit a one out single, Brian O’Nora made an atrocious check swing call on Jeff McNeil ringing him up.

That’s just the way it goes with the Mets and Braves. The Mets just find ways to lose their edge, and they suffer bad luck leading to them letting games slip through their fingers. Hopefully, these Mets don’t let history repeat itself.

Game Notes: Right before the game, Buck Showalter was advised he and Yoan Lopez were suspended for one game due to the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies. After a four hit night, Dominic Smith did not start. With the left-handed pitcher, J.D. Davis started. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets/Cardinals Rivalry Still Alive

The New York Mets traveled to St. Louis for another litmus test, and once again, they proved they’re this good. More than that, they proved they’re mentally tougher.

1.  Pete Alonso has now been hit twice in the head and dragged to the ground from behind by Stubby Clapp. He’s either going to break or just absolutely going to go on an absolute tear.

2.  On that note, Alonso needs to start hitting for power again. These opposite field singles aren’t going to cut it.

3.  Chris Bassitt basically said he dominated the Cardinals without being able to get a grip on the ball. He’s that good.

4. Miles Mikolas is an idiot. Bassitt threw his pitchers a life-line saying it was MLB’s fault the Cardinals hit his teammates, and Mikolas, who hit Mark Canha with a pitch, basically said, no, it’s not the ball. We’re going it on purpose, or we’re that incompetent.

5.  Sooner or later, Canha has to get an extra base hit, and it has to be more than an attempt at a hustle double. With him coming out of games last for Travis Jankowski, he’s not good enough to be a glorified slap hitter.

6.  Jankowski has proven himself to be a valuable contributor. He cannot be DFA’s May 1. That goes double when you consider how bad Robinson Cano has been.

7. That may not be an issue with J.D. Davis getting hit on the foot and having to get taken out of the game. The x-rays were negative, but if it’s a lingering issue, there will be an MRI and perhaps an IL stint.

8.  Jacob deGrom‘s MRI was a mixed bag. On the one hand, he is healing, but it does not appear he is on schedule to return when we all hoped. Still, it’s progress, so we should take it.

9.  Max Scherzer has been just as advertised. He’s out there pitching like an ace, and he’s as fierce a competitor as there is. He was in the dugout telling the Cardinals to shut up, and then he was the first one out of the dugout when the benches cleared.

10.  Oliver Marmol is a fraud. His pitchers hit Mets batters in the head. Steven Matz threw one up at Brandon Nimmo‘s head. His team knocked Davis out of a game with an injury. He is then going to get up there and complain like the Mets have been throwing at his batters all series, and then he goes and defends Clapp.

11. Nimmo has been great to start the year as has Jeff McNeil. Those are two homegrown Mets who have been the Mets best players, and they are leading them to first place.

12. The Mets are withstanding slumps from Eduardo Escobar, Francisco Lindor, and Starling Marte to win games, and they are doing it against good teams like the Cardinals. That’s a very good sign for the season.

13. With respect to Marte and Scherzer, there is a real edge to this team. We see it in how the players stick up for one another, and we see it in moments like that comeback against Giovanny Gallegos. This is just a special team.

14. Yoan Lopez made a case for himself when he buzzed Nolan Arenado. That alone is not enough to keep him on the roster (ask Jacob Rhame), but he has the respect of everyone in that clubhouse.

15. There is a lot Buck Showalter is getting wrong here. For example, batting Cano during that ninth inning was indefensibly bad. That said, the way he has handled the time share with James McCann and Tomas Nido has been a masterpiece. He’s starting to get the best out of both of them, and as a result, the Mets pitching staff.

16. Trevor May is fighting it. Fortunately, with the return of the real Seth Lugo in addition to the emerge of Drew Smith, the Mets can wait for him to get fully healthy and back on track.

17. There are some serious 1986 vibes with this Mets team. They are not just beating teams on the field, but they are also taking a mental edge. That is a very large reason why we see miscues like we did from Arenado and why Marmol was so bent out of shape.

18. it may be a golden rule not to make the last out of the inning at third, but you can give Luis Guillorme a pass trying to stretch a double to a triple because that throw from Dylan Carlson was the best you’ll ever see.

19. If you want an idea of how good the Mets are right now, the San Francisco Giants are the second best team in the majors with a 13-6 record. Half of their losses have come against the Mets.

20. The New York Yankees have been surprisingly good to start the year. Aaron Judge has been great, and he has a contract situation. Anthony Rizzo has been phenomenal. Gerrit Cole is struggling mightily. They’re in first place. Despite all of that, right now, they seem to be taking a back seat to the Mets. That is really the most shocking development of the year.

Game Recaps

Mets Shock Cardinals

Mets McCann Beat Good Teams on Road

Mets Lose While Cardinals Lose Their Cool

Mets Shock Cardinals

This game featured an absolutely incredible pitcher’s duel between Max Scherzer and Miles Mikolas over the first seven innings. If not for pitch counts, they’d still be pitching with no one scoring.

Really, it was a shame each of them had to come out. It was a joy to watch them one up each other.

Scherzer only allowed two hits while walking one and striking out 10. Mikolas allowed four hits and walking one while striking out five.

As is typically the case, after a pitchers duel, things tend to get a little haywire with the bullpens. This game was no different.

After a scoreless top of the eighth, Mets killer extraordinaire Yadier Molina led off the inning with single off Trevor May. Again, May didn’t have it, and he’s starting to run out of excuses.

The eight and nine hitters singled, and with the Mets having the wheel play on, Tommy Edman swung away. May jumped and got a piece of it allowing Jeff McNeil to make a quick reaction to get the first out at first.

Buck Showalter then made a curious decision to have May pitch (around?) to Paul Goldschmidt rather than just walk him. The at-bat seemed to take a lot out of May as he wound up walking Goldschmidt anyway to load the bases.

Tyler O’Neill hit a two run RBI single, which at the time seemed like the game winner. Some credit should go to May here for recovering by striking out Nolan Arenado en route to getting out of the inning.

The Mets entered the ninth down 2-0 with Giovanny Gallegos entering the game. That’s usually game over.

It certainly seemed that way when Pete Alonso lined out on the first pitch. Eduardo Escobar followed with a single to give the Mets some hope.

Now, you really had to wonder what Showalter was thinking. It’s one thing to slot Robinson Cano as DH. It’s another to bat him ahead of McNeil. It’s beyond baffling how Showalter let Cano bat in this spot.

In all seriousness, the Mets were lucky Cano didn’t hit into an inning ending double play. That at least gave Mark Canha and the Mets a chance.

Canha had a terrific at-bat. After falling down 0-2, he battled his way back into the at-bat. On the seventh pitch, he grounded it to Arenado.

That should’ve been game over. However, Arenado threw it away. Between the Escobar advancing on the difference indifference and the home town scoring, Canha had an RBI single.

For the baffling decisions Buck made, he made a very good one here inserting Travis Jankowski as a pinch runner. Jankowski absolutely flew around the bases on the ensuing McNeil double, and if not for perfect Cardinals execution on the play, Joey Cora might’ve sent him.

Instead, Cora went against his nature and held Jankowski (the right move) putting the game in Dominic Smith‘s hands. Smith was up pinch hitting for Tomas Nido.

Smith ripped one down the line, and he was robbed by Goldschmidt. Had Gallegos broke immediately, the game was over. Instead, it was a foot race, and Dom beat him to the bag.

That not only allowed Jankowski to score the tying run, but it also allowed McNeil to score. On the play, McNeil never slowed up, and he scored rather easily.

A point here is you have to wonder what the Cardinals were thinking. With Smith pinch hitting (and looming all inning) and Brandon Nimmo lurking, T.J. McFarland was warning. You’d think they use him for the consecutive left-handed batters.

Well, we got a sense of what the Cardinals might’ve been thinking when Nimmo greeted McFarland with a two run homer to put the Mets up 5-2:

It needs to be reiterated the Mets were down to their last strike with Canha. If Arenado makes a routine play, it’s over. Gallegos going to first immediately ends that game.

Yes, the Mets got the breaks here. However, that underscores how good they are. They got those breaks, and they took advantage of them to score five runs and shock the Cardinals.

The 5-2 win was complete when Edwin Diaz came on and earned his second save of the season.

Remember, this is a very good Cardinals team, and the Mets just flew in from Arizona. That’s just two of many factors which just makes this such an incredible win.

Game Notes: Mets still have not been shut out. McNeil had two doubles. Nido struck out three times. Jacob deGrom had an MRI and the results will be shared tomorrow.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Win Fifth Straight Series

Another series and another series win for the New York Mets. That’s five in a row to start the season.

1.  As Starling Marte said, Brandon Nimmo‘s hustle rubs off on other people. That’s what makes this team great. They’re making each other play better and harder.

2.  While the extra inning rule stinks, with Marte’s infield single and Pete Alonso‘s stretch, you can get used to extra inning replays for the Mets.

3.  Marte gave the Mets two wins with his speed. It was the infield single, and then, it was the go-ahead run with the double, stolen base, and error on the throw. We’re seeing he can have an impact while still struggling at the plate.

4.  Seth Lugo is back. He’s throwing strikes, getting spin on his curve, and dominating again.

5.  As we saw with the homer, so is Edwin Diaz. He’s always a mixed bag, so we just have to ride the wave this season.

6.  Tylor Megill shook off a rough start to have a very good start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He may very well be a special pitcher.

7.  David Peterson did not deserve the demotion. He showed he is a Major League caliber pitcher right now, but he’s still seventh on the depth chart with Taijuan Walker set to return. This is a good problem to have for the Mets.

8.  With the rosters shrinking May 1, Trevor Williams is putting himself on the bubble with his struggles. Part of that is Buck Showalter‘s usage of him not allowing him to get into the flow of the season.

9.  In some ways, the Mets biggest hit of the season was the James McCann homer. If he gets going at the plate, this is a truly elite team with the way he has framed this season.

10. There aren’t a lot of positives with Trevor May‘s performance so far, but much of that is explainable. He dealt with arms issues, and Showalter is just asking him to do things he has never been comfortable doing in his career.

11. Showalter needs to stop shoehorning Robinson Cano into the lineup. While he can still contribute some, he is just not an everyday player or semi-regular right now. Other players deserve the playing time.

12. Luis Guillorme has earned his playing time, and he should be getting more. The DH allows to get his bat into the lineup and get rest for the outfielders who have been injury prone in their careers.

13. Mark Canha has cooled off, and he still doesn’t have an extra base hit. His hard hit rates are also concerning as is his poor defense to start the season.

14. While he’s had his moments, Alonso has been mostly poor to start the season. His defense has slipped completely, and he’s swinging at a lot of the zone. In some ways, this is very promising because once he gets going, watch out!

15. The Mets are beating bad teams, which is the key to making the postseason. In fact, that’s basically all they did in 2015, and they came within Terry Collins of winning the World Series that year.

16. It is a real shame Michael Conforto is done for the year. Not only is this costing him a year of his prime, but it is also costing the Mets a draft pick and pool money because Conforto had turned down the qualifying offer.

17. Given the year he had, Conforto probably should’ve accepted the qualifying offer and built back his value. That said, the talk around him rejecting the extension is plain wrong. That was a severely discounted offer anyone would’ve rejected.

18. Noah Syndergaard has been excellent to start the season, and Marcus Stroman has been quite bad. This hasn’t been discussed much because the Mets have been excellent with a very good rotation. That’s something the Wilpons never figured out. Make those decisions but make other ones to justify it.

19. In some ways, the Mets are about to get their real first test of the season with a long flight to play the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. This is a true measuring stick of where they are, especially with the Mets having Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt pitching in the series.

20. The Mets are the only team in baseball with 12 wins. It is a really good time to be a Mets fan right now.

Mets Extra Inning Replay Magic

This was just the latest example of how good this New York Mets team is and can be. There was every excuse not to win, but win they did.

They flew cross-county after playing the San Francisco Giants at home. The travel and let down after a big series win wasn’t a deterrent.

The Arizona Diamondbacks had the upper hand in the starting pitching department. Zac Gallen is a good starter, and David Peterson entered that season as seventh on the Mets starting pitching depth chart.

The Diamondbacks took the lead partially due to a Pete Alonso miscue in the third.

Pavin Smith hit a lead-off double, and he’d advance on what was ruled a Jose Herrera infield single. Truth be told, it was rather routine for Jeff McNeil (even with the shift), but Alonso ventured too far leaving McNeil with no one to throw to for the out.

The subsequent Cooper Hummel groundout drove in a run instead of being the last out of the inning.

There’s no sense in belaboring Alonso’s misplay. After all, Peterson didn’t cover. Also, he made a sterling play earlier robbing Matt Davidson of extra bases.

Alonso would also get the run back.

Gallen was perfect through three, but the Mets made him work. In the fourth, Brandon Nimmo had the first crack hitting a ball against the shift for a hustle double.

There would be runners at the corners with one out after a walk and fielder’s choice. Alonso went the other way to drive in the tying run.

Gallen would get through five allowing just that one run. The Mets were very lucky Gallen had a pitch restriction. They were also lucky Peterson was great.

After allowing that one run, he kept the Diamondbacks off the board. Sure, there was some luck, but Peterson did his job.

In the fifth, Smith forgot how many outs there were. After a flyout, Smith was on third allowing the Mets to double him off easily.

In the sixth, he gave up a two out double to Ketel Marte. Drew Smith entered and got him out of the inning with a lead.

The Mets got that lead in the top of the inning.

Nimmo and Starling Marte led off the inning with consecutive singles off Oliver Perez. On Marte’s single, Nimmo was overly aggressive going first to third. He was lucky Davison dropped the throw. Marte followed the play and went to second.

Nimmo scored on a Lindor sacrifice fly with Marte advancing. That allowed Marte to score on the Alonso fielder’s choice.

The Mets were not done scoring. In the seventh, we saw James McCann break out hitting a LONG home run expanding the Mets lead to 5-1.

The Mets needed everyone of those runs as the bullpen struggled.

It started with Chasen Shreve allowing a pair of singles leading to a Daulton Varsho sacrifice fly.

Trevor May looked a little rusty allowing Hummel to double. May almost worked his way around that, but Christian Walker shocked everyone by hitting a very rough pitch up-and-in for a two run homer.

Edwin Diaz came on in the ninth to save the Mets 5-4 lead. After getting two quick outs, Varsho hit the game tying homer sending this to extra innings.

McNeil was the Manfred Man, and McCann led off the inning with a ground out to the right side allowing McNeil to advance. With the infield in, Nimmo hit one on the screws at Nick Ahmed.

Ahmed bobbled it, but with McNeil already holding, he was stuck at third. From here, we’d again see replay help the Mets in extra innings.

Marte hit a ball fielded deep and on the line. Davidson made a string throw leading to the out call. Upon replay, Marte beat the throw allowing McNeil to score the go-ahead run.

With Diaz already used, Buck Showalter went to Seth Lugo for the save. This looked like the Lugo of old.

He struck out Hummel and Marte to start the inning. After walking Davidson, he got Walker to pop out to McNeil in shallow center.

Overall, this wasn’t pretty. The Mets blew a lead and then find a way, but that’s what they did. They won 6-5.

Game Notes: Mets bullpen scoreless inning streak ended at 17.2 innings.

Reminder: Mets Season Is 162 Games

Before the New York Mets take the field and try to win a fourth consecutive series to begin the 2022 season, they have emerged as one of the best teams in baseball. In fact, they might even be the best. However, there are going to be ebbs and flows.

We have already seen Tylor Megill and Chris Bassitt go from completely and utterly dominant to struggling against a good San Francisco Giants team. Conversely, we have seen Max Scherzer get better each and every time he has taken the mound.

We have seen the palpable excitement from sweeping the doubleheader against the Giants turn to angst when they lost a frustrating game the following day. What made it even worse was seeing Wilmer Flores absolutely robbing Dominic Smith of an extra base hit which might’ve proven to be a game tying or winning rally.

When things like that and losses like that happen, there tends to be an over-focus on the negative. The fans still don’t quite trust the bullpen even if things look better with Edwin Diaz back from bereavement leave. They become overwrought over how neither James McCann or Tomas Nido are hitting. Even with all that, there are some positives to glean.

Drew Smith has emerged as a true eighth inning guy and possibly future closer. Trevor May has shaken off the rust. Chasen Shreve has been terrific. Right there, you have what you need to win any close game, and that’s before you account for Seth Lugo getting stronger as the season progresses.

With respect to McCann and Nido, no, they aren’t hitting. However, they are framing extremely well. As a result, they are doing exactly what they need to be doing. They are helping this pitching staff immensely, and their respective work behind the plate is a big reason why Mets pitching has been so good to start the season.

Overall, things are very positive right now. This Mets team never seems truly out of it. They battle and fight back. They have pitching and timely hitting. These are the things which tend to last, and as a result, it is a good harbinger for the rest of the season and hopefully the postseason.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Roll Over Phillies

The New York Mets traveled to Philadelphia for their first “test” of the 2022 season. While it started rocky, the team passed with flying colors.

1.  The Mets built this team on starting pitching, and it is working. They league the league in innings, ERA, and WHIP while being second in strikeouts. That could be the biggest reason they started the season 5-2.

2. Tylor Megill is doing everything we expected from Jacob deGrom did. Just imagine how good things will look when they are both in the rotation.

3.  Taijuan Walker looked great until he had to leave with injury. Fortunately, it appears he will be fine.

4.  David Peterson stepped up in long relief, and it appears he will rejoin the rotation. On that front, he started out jittery, and the K/BB wasn’t great. Still, there is talent there.

5. James McCann isn’t hitting now, but at least his framing seems much improved. So long as he and Tomas Nido continue to frame, they are more than doing their job.

6. As good as the starting rotation is, the bullpen has been that bad. Much of the blame there goes to how Buck Showalter chooses to utilize them.

7. Showalter knew Trevor May was dealing with bicep and tricep issues, and he still tried to push him another inning. This is all the more egregious considering it was cold and Showalter just came from a lecture about not pushing relievers early in the season. Fortunately, May is alright.

8. Joely Rodriguez is terrible when pitching to right-handed batters, which is exactly why trading away Miguel Castro for him made zero sense.

9.  Brandon Nimmo has been phenomenal atop the lineup. He has been everything we could expect and more.

10. The lineup in the finale of this series was perfect. Switching Francisco Lindor and Starling Marte makes so much sense analytically. Also, getting Robinson Cano out of the lineup right now makes even more sense.

11. Cano looks just about done. He has no bat speed. He has no speed. He isn’t hitting the ball with authority. This is already a huge problem.

12. Pete Alonso looks very comfortable as the DH. You still want to use the position to cycle through players on a modified rest, and you want to keep him engaged defensively, but it would be ideal for him to be the primary DH.

13. Dominic Smith needs to be better. Assuredly, some of the slow start is being sat to see if the Mets could get Cano or J.D. Davis going, but he needs to earn his way back into the linup. Hopefully, that sacrifice fly will get him going.

14. It is a pleasure watching Eduardo Escobar play. He gives his all on every play, and it was his hustle that allowed the umpires to award him a triple on that fan interference.

15. Sending Escobar was just plain dumb. Even a semi-competent throw gets him easily, and Escobar has real speed. The Mets have a very real Joey Cora issue, and it was an unforced error.

16. That Phillies lineup is frightening. As we saw on Monday, you give them an inch, and they can make you pay. More than that Joe Girardi alternates L/R so effectively you can never bring in a true LOOGY.

17. It’s a testament to this Mets offense they knocked both Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola out of the game early. It wasn’t that they put up a lot of runs, but rather, they just continued to grind and force up the pitch counts for both pitchers.

18. It should bother everyone Clayton Kershaw left a perfect game after seven innings with just 80 pitches. That is inexcusable, and there is simply no defending it. It really was everything wrong with baseball right now.

19. It is long past time we have a Tom Seaver statue, and it is going to be great seeing one on Opening Day.

20. The Mets still need to face some of the better teams in baseball to get a true feel for them, but so far, they look like a real contender this year.

Game Recaps:

Phillies Five Run Eighth Bucks Mets

Tylor Megill Outpitches Zack Wheeler

Mets Outlast Phillies