The line of demarcation for the New York Mets season seems to be June 1. Somehow, someway, it is always June for the Mets.
Entering June, the Mets had the best offense in baseball, and they were running away with the National League East. Since that time, the Mets offense has a 99 wRC+ which is 21st in the majors and seventh worst in the NL.
Keep in mind, the only teams with a worst offense are also-run teams with zero shot at making the postseason. What makes this worse is the Mets starting pitching has been phenomenal over this stretch. Their 3.45 ERA ranks sixth best in the majors and third best in the National League.
Keep in mind, much of that time was while the team had Trevor Williams in the rotation, Chris Bassitt was trying to get on the same page with Tomas Nido and Patrick Mazeika, and Carlos Carrasco was fighting fatigue. It was also a rotation without Max Scherzer for over a month.
Since Scherzer has been back, Mets starters have easily been the best in the majors with a 1.70 ERA. However, the Mets are only 9-7. Moreover, the Mets as a team are 25-20 since June 1 seeing their NL East lead dwindle from 10.5 games to 1.5 games.
Yes, part of the reason is the Atlanta Braves are on a historic tear. However, it has more to do with the Mets. Again, this team is not hitting. Morevoer, the bullpen has just been flat out bad.
Right now, Edwin Diaz is the only reliever the Mets can and will trust. The problem is he only throws one inning a night. The second best reliever on the team by ERA, Colin Holderman, was traded for Daniel Vogelbach. It’s at the point right now where the only set-up reliever the team can trust is Adam Ottavino.
Look at it another way. For the season, Mets relievers have a 3.53 ERA. On the surface, that is pretty good as it ranks as 10th best in the majors and fourth best in the NL.However, that includes Diaz and Holderman.
When you back out Diaz and Holderman, the Mets bullpen ERA rises to 3.90, which would rank 16th. That’s where the Mets bullpen is. They have a great closer, but they have a middling and unstable bridge to him. Arguably, they need a whole new bullpen.
That’s the thing. It’s not just getting players. It’s getting them to perform. Also, as we saw with 2015, the team got healthy and had help from the minors with Michael Conforto.
The Mets need to get a right-handed bat to push out J.D. Davis once and for all. They need a Francisco Alvarez or Mark Vientos to get called up to help at some point. Seeing the Mets catching situation, the Mets really need Alvarez to go on a tear in Triple-A to force a call-up.
Jacob deGrom needs to healthy. With him and the rest of three rotation going deep, it’ll lessen the burden and innings required from the bullpen.
Vogelbach needs to hit as does Davis’ eventual replacement. The ship has probably sailed on relying on Eduardo Escobar hitting leaving his replacement needing to hit.
Really, the Mets need a lot. We’ve previously seen it can be done. Maybe not by Billy Eppler judging from his Los Angeles Angels tenure, but it can be done.
The trade deadline is a little more than a week away. What the Mets do will likely determine whether they win the division and just how deep they’ll go in the postseason.
Much of the reason the New York Mets are in first place is due to their unsung heroes. With the rash of injuries, players like Trevor Williams stepped up and has been huge.
His biggest start was his last one where he earned a win after shutting out the Miami Marlins over seven innings. The thing is that may be his last start of the season.
Max Scherzer is back and dominating. Jacob deGrom is throwing 100 MPH fastballs in his rehab starts. When deGrom is back, which will be sooner rather than later, there’s zero chance Williams gets a start.
We saw the Mets accepting and planning for that eventuality as Williams pitched the final three innings in the Mets 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Since Williams pitched the final three innings, he was credited with the save, the first of his career.
We should be seeing more of Williams in these late inning situations. Preferably, it would be high leverage situations.
For starters (or relievers), the Mets need someone to fill that role. It’s something the Mets have been trying since Trevor May was injured.
Drew Smith struggles with left-handed batters, is becoming homer prone, and has a 4.68 ERA since May 14.
Seth Lugo had struggled on back-to-back days and pitching more than an inning. Adam Ottavino is on a good run, but he needs his rest, and historically, he’s terrible in September and October 5.17 ERA).
Likely, the Mets main set-up reliever is not currently on the roster. Keep in mind, the Mets still need to figure out who is going to pitch innings 6-8.
To phrase it as one set-up reliever is a misnomer because the Mets still need at least two more relievers. While we can be curious about a Colin Holderman, Showalter isn’t using him in high leverage situations.
Maybe Showalter will use Williams. Keep in mind, Williams is a veteran. He’s also pitching some of the best baseball of life.
Williams struck out a career high 22.5% of batters. While an admittedly small sample size, in his career, he’s struck out 9.9 batters per nine as a reliever (against 7.1 as a starter).
That could increase as Williams focuses more on his sinker and slider. Right now, Williams has a 40% whiff rate on his slider and a 36.8% put away rate on his sinker. Both are the best marks for his career.
Putting aside the eccentricities, it’s a two pitch repertoire and level of effectiveness reminiscent of Turk Wendell. Of course, we don’t know if Williams can be Wendell, at least not until the Mets try it.
For Williams, it will be an adjustment. It should be noted he’s at his worst this year the first time through the lineup. Then again, he adapted just fine earning his first career save against the Cubs.
Past that, we don’t have a real sample size this year to make any judgments. That is even with him performing well in a very limited sample size last season after the Mets were out of the race.
Ultimately, we don’t know how Williams will fare. What we do know is there are signs he could succeed in the role, and more importantly, the Mets have an immediate need. Everything together, it’s time to give Williams a shot as a high leverage reliever.
In the New York Mets 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves, their biggest flaw was highlighted and their downfall. Their bullpen.
Peterson was at 98 pitches before he allowed that homer to Matt Olson. In the at-bat. Olson hit a very long foul. When Mookie Betts did that to Peterson in Los Angeles, Buck Showalter gave him the hook.
The Mets really weren’t able to do that here. That’s even with Peterson set to go over 100 pitches for just the third time all season. It was the third time through the order. That’s something the Mets have justifiably shielded him from all season.
Here, the Mets had little choice. After all, aside from Edwin Diaz, who do you absolutely trust in the Mets bullpen right now? The answer is probably nobody.
Well, Diaz was unavailable as was Adam Ottavino. The Mets bullpen was short, and they needed Peterson to get through six. He didn’t, and he allowed the Olson two run homer to put the Mets down 2-1.
Just like that a shallow and tired pen helped turn what could’ve been a 1-0 win into a 4-1 loss.
Yes, we can and should point to the offense. However, the Mets had a lead. They just don’t have the arms to bring games like these home.
Tommy Hunter is a great story, but you still don’t know if he can trust him quite yet. Same goes for Colin Holderman, who did pitch well in this game and all season. Maybe they’ll get there, especially Holderman, but the Mets don’t trust him completely right now.
That leaves you questioning who else is there? Well, until Trevor May comes back, the answer is no one. That’s the problem.
The Mets proved this in 2015. One of the ways do address a faltering bullpen is to just not use it. Let the starters absorb the innings.
The plan works, but you need more than just a Jeurys Famila, or in this case, a Diaz. They’re also going to need more than just May returning and Peterson likely shifting to the bullpen come October.
The Mets need an answer. That may come from a Holderman. Mostly, it’s going to have to be a trade deadline move. Really, it’s both that are needed. We’ll see if the Mets get it.
The New York Mets are in first place in what appears to be a very weak National League East. They’re an astounding 26-12 against under .500 teams. Make no mistake, the Mets are where they are because they are absolutely demolishing bad teams.
If nothing else, this proves the Mets are a great team with nothing to prove.
Look, you can only play the teams on your schedule, and you have to beat the teams on your schedule. So far for the Mets, that schedule has them at 35-17 this season. They have more wins than any team in baseball, and they have the best winning percentage in the National League. This is what good teams do, and the great teams do it while battling adversity.
Jacob deGrom has not thrown an inning this season. Tylor Megill and Max Scherzer hitting the IL have the Mets stretching out Trevor Williams, who has answered the call. The Mets are also without their starting catcher James McCann. Trevor May, a key reliever, has been injured all season long.
Going deeper, the team had the mess of the Robinson Cano situation to start the season. That helped lead to J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith having slow starts. Between the slow start and pitching injuries, this led to Smith’s demotion to Triple-A.
On the converse, players like Luis Guillorme have emerged. We have also seen Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil return to form. It also helps the Mets had far more pitching depth than anyone anticipated entering the season. After all, who expected Colin Holderman and Stephen Nogosek to have this much of an impact?
Really, everyone has had an impact this season. On that note, look no further than Nick Plummer. Plummer had a game tying homer in the ninth in his first ever start. He then homered in his next start. Remember, this was a guy once labeled a bust while in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
Every time you see the Mets, they are winning. They are doing it in all different ways. Their schedule is their schedule, and they are taking care of business. As an aside, that includes against teams with a winning record as the Mets are 9-5 against those teams.
Digging deeper, the Dodgers only have played seven games against teams with a winning record, and they have the second best winning percentage in the NL. To be fair here, their recent history suggests they have nothing to prove.
That said, the San Diego Padres are ten games over .500 (30-20) despite being 6-9 against teams with a winning record. Moreover, the Los Angeles Angels are in second place in the NL West despite having a 5-10 record against teams with a winning record.
Are we really supposed to believe this 10 game stretch out west is a litmus test for this Mets team? This is somehow their third trip out West. They’re playing with a depleted pitching rotation. Somehow, people want to take these next 10 games to determine if the Mets are good or not?
If that’s what they need, they just haven’t paying attention. The Mets are a very good team who is going to be better as they get healthier. This may be a chance to make another statement, but nothing they have done this season is by accident. They are doing what good teams do. If you need to see more it is because you refuse to acknowledge how good this Mets team is.
Ultimately, that is a you problem and not a Mets problem. The Mets have a chance to make a statement, but they will not be defined by this stretch. In the end, they will be defined by winning the NL East and going on to winning a World Series with deGrom and Scherzer leading the way.
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.
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.
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 24, 2022
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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:
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 3, 2022
In between innings, Chad Fairchild owned up to Chris Bassitt for missing a strike call on Dansby Swanson pic.twitter.com/yPWhnSgymx
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 3, 2022
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.
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 3, 2022
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.
Travis d'Arnaud is now 15-for-32 in his career against the Mets.
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) May 3, 2022
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 26, 2022
As is typically the case, after a pitchers duel, things tend to get a little haywire with the bullpens. This game was no different.
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.
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.
A throwing error from Nolan Arenado gives the Mets a run and life in the 9th pic.twitter.com/qJNfA5wMnR
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 26, 2022
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.
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 26, 2022
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:
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 26, 2022
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.