If you ever wanted the perfect encapsulation of what it means to be a Mets fan and the Wilpon Era has been, this was the series for you:
1. Amed Rosario takes first with two outs in the ninth after a wild pitch on strike three. He got picked off first.
2. That’s being a Mets fan. There’s a near miracle which gives you hope, and it’s followed with a massive blunder which leaves you completely befuddled.
3. Speaking of befuddled, how does Wilson Ramos swing at ball three against a reliever who can’t find the strike zone? That double play helped cost the game more than Rosario getting picked off.
5. It seems Rojas hasn’t found that balance of when to push a starter or go to the bullpen. It at least seems his decision comes back to bite the Mets no matter what.
6. Of course, that’s a larger sign of how bad the Mets rotation has been and just how bad the Mets bullpen is without Lugo.
7. Speaking of the state of the Mets pitching, Jeff McNeil apparently left the game to go to the bathroom.
8. At that point in the game, he had scored the Mets only run, and well, it seems the runs went with them.
9. Dominic Smith continues to be great this year. Not bad for a guy the team didn’t realize was one of the best players on the team.
10. Speaking of players the Mets thought were better than Smith, J.D. Davis has a .780 OPS and dropping, and he still can’t play third.
11. On the topic of ill conceived Brodie Van Wagenen trades, one poor appearance for Anthony Kay doesn’t suddenly make Kay bad (he isn’t), the Marcus Stroman trade good (it wasn’t), or Simeon Woods Richardson not a key part of the deal (he was).
12. Brandon Nimmo is a good hitter who can play a good corner outfield. He should not be the 2021 center fielder. In fact, he shouldn’t be that in 2020.
14. Again, Jacob deGrom showed he’s the best pitcher in baseball, and he’s nearing towards locking down his third straight Cy Young.
15. Even with deGrom having another historical great year, the Mets rotation is historically bad and are challenging the 1962 Mets for the worst starting rotation ERA in team history.
16. The Mets have legitimate candidates for Cy Young (deGrom), MVP (Michael Conforto), and Rookie of the Year (Andres Gimenez). Despite that, odds are they won’t finish above .500 or compete for a postseason spot.
17. When does Brodie Van Wagenen collect his Executive of the Year award?
18. Mets will be promoting the team being just three games back despite all that’s gone wrong on the final game of the season.
19. Steve Cohen is almost complete in his purchase of the Mets. This means the Wilpons will not win a World Series as majority owners of the team.
20. MLB finally did the right thing allowing the players to wear the first responder caps again. Everyone involved in making that happen, including Jeff Wilpon, should be commended.
The Mets were up 7-2 after a good Rick Porcello start and some late clutch hitting blowing the game open. It was the bottom of the seventh of the top end of the doubleheader, which meant this game should have been over.
But this is the Mets.
Andres Gimenez, ironically in for defense, threw a ball away to allow the lead-off hitter to reach. Later on in the inning, he had a chance to tag out Thairo Estrada to end the game on an insanely bad base running mistake, but Estrada would kick it out of Gimenez’s glove.
Still, that doesn’t explain why Justin Wilson pitched so poorly. Even with those two gaffes, Wilson still allowed two runs leaving runners at the corners with two outs.
Well, Diaz threw a wild pitch scoring a run before allowing Aaron Hicks to hit a game tying homer. From 7-2 to tied 7-7.
Since this is a doubleheader in 2020 and Manfred hates baseball, this meant the eight inning was considered extra innings, and there was a runner at second to start the innning.
That meant Diaz got a blown save and a loss in one of the most frustrating losses you will see.
Being this is the Mets, more misery was in order.
Yankees prospect Deivi Garcia made his Major League debut and was great allowing just an unearned run over six.
In that sixth, Jeff McNeil reached and went to second on a Luke Voit error. He’d score on a Dominic Smith RBI single. The rally ended there was J.D. Davis, who has been absolutely terrible of late, hit into an inning ending double play.
That play got Seth Lugo off the hook after he had allowed one run over 3.2 innings. It also meant another maddening loss was on the horizon.
Drew Smith, who was not trusted to protect a five run lead in the first game, came on to pitch the eighth. He’d take the loss because Gary Sanchez would hit a grand slam off of him, and in the bottom of the inning, Ramos would strike out in his bases loaded situation.
Overall, the Mets should’ve won four of these games. Instead, they lost three, and they did so in excruciating fashion.
Game Notes: Luis Guillorme made a pinch hitting appearance and drew a walk. Despite hitting .419, it was just his sixth plate appearance over the past week.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 29, 2020
That homer got Robert Gsellman off the hook. It’s a good thing because Gsellman didn’t deserve to lose this one.
After allowing the second batter of the game, Luke Voit, to homer, he turned in his best work since returning to the rotation. After that homer, he allowed just three more hits while walking none and striking out four.
The plan was to have Steven Matz piggyback his start, but Matz left the game after one inning with a shoulder injury and may very well land on the IL.
That meant to the Mets bullpen needed to step up again. It really wasn’t quite up to the task.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 29, 2020
Ramos really had no chance to catch Betances’ wild pitch. With that wild pitch, the Mets wouldn’t have another big come from behind win. Instead, they’d be walk-off losers.
On the bright side, Steve Cohen agreed to buy the Mets . . . again. This time it’s for $200 million cheaper. That should allow him to fix all the mistakes Brodie Van Wagenen made which led to losses like this.
After an inexplicable hiatus, Luis Guillorme was back in the lineup, and he picked up offensively and defensively. The beneficiary of his great play was Jacob deGrom who has been unaccustomed to Mets players stepping up their games when he’s on the mound.
For starters, deGrom was his usual brilliant self and showed no ill effects of his neck issue. The Marlins only had five base runners against deGrom and one of those was courtesy of a J.D. Davis error.
While that wasn’t surprising, deGrom getting support was mildly surprising. After being inexplicably benched a few games, Guillorme was back in the lineup, and he delivered almost immediately with an almost literal cue shot double.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 19, 2020
Luis Guillorme's defense is 🔥 pic.twitter.com/rlXokv0DTm
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 20, 2020
deGrom would also get some defensive help from Alonso. Good defense and a lead is a rare experience for deGrom.
Get 🆙 Pete!! pic.twitter.com/vLPtp0reNS
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 20, 2020
When the Mets went to the bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, the Mets had a 2-0 lead. The second run came in the top of the seventh when Guillorme singled home Dominic Smith, who had doubled earlier in the inning.
The bottom of the seventh didn’t get off to a great start with Jeurys Familia walked Francisco Cervelli. After a fielder’s choice, Davis wasn’t able to get a throw off after diving after a Logan Forsythe grounder.
After a Villar groundout, Wilson would throw a pitch in the dirt. Instead of getting in front of it, Ramos missed on the backhand. The pitch went to the backstop as a run scored.
The Mets would get that run back in the top of the eighth when Smith doubled in Conforto. Unfortunately, the two run lead was not enough for Dellin Betances.
The Marlins loaded the bases with two outs against Betances. Instead of going to the bullpen for another reliever, Rojas let Betances pitch to Eddy Alvarez. With his second pitch of the at-bat, Betances hit Alvarez to force in a run.
Rojas then made a very curious decision. Edwin Diaz has a history of bouts of wildness. Bases loaded with the tying run at third was probably a better situation for Brad Brach who has better control and also has closing experience.
Diaz walked Forsythe on five pitches with none of them all that close. After blowing the save, Diaz rebounded to strike out Villar.
At that point, deGrom’s brilliance was wasted. It seemed Guillorme’s efforts were all for naught. At this point, the hope was the Mets would not fall apart and lose a game they should’ve won.
That didn’t happen, and that’s because Michael Conforto had another clutch ninth inning hit.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 20, 2020
That two run homer gave the Mets a 5-3 lead. That was enough for Diaz who struck out the side in the ninth to vulture the win.
With the win, the Mets pull themselves to within two games of .500. They also are close to completing their first series sweep of the season.
Game Notes: Lugo was unavailable as he will start the series finale against the Marlins. He will be taking over Steven Matz‘s spot in the rotation with Matz moving to the bullpen.
The Mets fell down 1-0 when Robert Gsellman struggled in the top of the first. When Dominic Smith hit a bases loaded double off Jordan Yamamoto in the second, the Mets took a 2-1 lead. After that, the Mets offense exploded with nearly everyone destroying the baseball:
- Brandon Nimmo 1-4, R, 3B, 2 BB
- Jeff McNeil 1-4, R, BB, K
- J.D. Davis 0-3, 2 R, 2 BB, K, HBP
- Michael Conforto 1-3, R, 2B, BB, K, HBP
- Robinson Cano 3-4, 3 R, 4 RBI, K, 2 HR
- Pete Alonso 3-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 HR
- Dominic Smith 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HBP
- Wilson Ramos 1-5, K, 2B
- Amed Rosario 2-5, R, RBI, 2 K, 2B
The story of the night was Cano and Alonso. For Cano, he continues his great hitting in 2020. For Alonso, that’s eluded him this year, and he’s struggled to the point he was dropped in the lineup to the sixth for the first time in his career. He responded with a two home run game.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 18, 2020
If you are looking for a negative from this game, it was Gsellman who struggled. Even staked to a 3-1 lead, he couldn’t get through the second. He was a bit wild leading Luis Rojas to lift him earlier than he would’ve wanted.
While there was some disappointment in Gsellman not taking a step forward after being reinserted into the rotation, there should be genuine excitement in Chasen Shreve, who was again excellent.
Shreve struck out five while pitching 2.1 scoreless and hitless innings. He led the charge of a bullpen which allowed one run over the final 7.1 innings.
Of note, Franklyn Kilome came in to pitch the final three innings picking up his first career save. He was wild walking five allowing two runs, but he was also lighting up the gun at 96 MPH. He struck out four.
Ultimately, Kilome didn’t do much to make a case for him to replace Gsellman. Still, he helped the bullpen while showing he’s still not ready to pitch at this level.
Things got so bad for the Marlins in their 11-4 loss, Logan Forsythe was the sacrificial lamb. He was the position player who pitched the ninth.
Overall, the Mets outclassed the Marlins. This is what we expect from this Mets team. Hopefully, this will prove to be a turning point of the season.
Game Notes: Jacob deGrom threw a bullpen and showed no ill effects. He’s in line to make his next start.
The Mets went into Philadelphia with a chance to make a statement. On the bright side, they made that statement. On the downside, it wasn’t the statement we wanted them to make.
1. This series only further cemented Brodie Van Wagenen as the worst GM in baseball.
3. Remember when Van Wagenen said the Mets had the deepest rotation in baseball? With Jacob deGrom dealing with a neck injury, Porcello and his 5.76 is now the Mets staff ace.
5. Steven Matz had three good enough starts to begin the season before pitching terribly in his last three starts. Fortunately for him, the Mets don’t have other options to replace him in the rotation.
6. It’s easy to point fingers at Jeremy Hefner but even a pitching coach with a magic lamp would still be stuck with two incapable starters.
7. On the topic of Van Wagenen’s incompetence, Wilson Ramos has been beyond terrible this year. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, he completely whiffed on a tag allowing the game winning run to score.
8. Van Wagenen preached accountability and media access when he took the job. The Mets made Ramos unavailable after that lame tag attempt, and the Mets made every player who would rebut their fabricated version of events when Yoenis Cespedes opted out.
9. There’s a lot wrong with the Mets, but Luis Rojas isn’t one of them. The Mets are not losing games because of him. They’re losing because the GM is horrendous.
10. Knowing that and seeing all that has transpired since, everyone owes Mickey Callaway an apology for how he was maligned.
12. Way too much was made of Drew Smith being optioned. The Mets bullpen has depth at the MLB level, and there were legitimate options in Brooklyn.
13. No, Smith didn’t deserve to be optioned as he pitched well, and yes, Brian Dozier had been terrible, but the Mets have nothing in reserve on terms of MLB caliber hitters.
14. Speaking of the Brooklyn site, the Mets added Francisco Alvarez and Matthew Allan which means they can now be traded.
15. We should be afraid they’ll be traded for pennies on the dollar with that being the defining characteristic of Van Wagenen’s tenure.
16. On the bright side, Van Wagenen is getting exposed, and the Wilpons will sell the team without winning a World Series as majority owners.
17. Mets fans deserve better. Hopefully, we’ll get that instead of getting Alex Rodriguez.
18. The St. Louis Cardinals have played eight games. The Miami Marlins are playing catch-up and have only played 15 games. The Cincinnati Reds aren’t playing games. Naturally, MLB’s response is to loosen COVID19 return to play restrictions.
19. Good for the Cleveland Indians for optioning Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger to the alternate site after breaking COVID19 protocols. It’s good to see someone in baseball take this pandemic seriously.
20. It’s the centennial of the Negro Leagues, and MLB did not do nearly enough to honor it. That goes double in a year where COVID19 prevented them from honoring Jackie Robinson. Shame on MLB.
There’s many reasons to pinpoint why the Mets lost this game in excruciating fashion to the Phillies. That’s the way excruciatingly losses go.
There was the Mets going 2-for-16 with RISP leaving 10 runners on base.
There was Billy Hamilton‘s TOOBLAN off all TOOBLANs when he cleanly stole second, took off for third, and was easily thrown out.
Despite all that, it was tied 5-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Seth Lugo, who hadn’t pitched in five days, wasn’t sharp allowing the first two to reach.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) August 15, 2020
What ensued was the absolute worst attempt at a tag. Seriously, Wilson Ramos should be embarrassed, and frankly, he owes his teammates an apology for costing the game. It was that bad.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 15, 2020
You don’t want to accuse someone of not trying. However, you really should question what Ramos was doing there. You should also ask why the apparent lack of a sense of urgency.
While we’re asking questions about the catcher who went 1-for-5 with a GIDP, we also need to ask what should the Mets do with him? Clearly, it seems it’s time for a switch to Tomas Nido. We know the Mets won’t do that, so we’re stuck with the awful play of Ramos.
It’s at that point where it’s overshadowing some truly terrific performances from his teammates.
Dominic Smith was 2-for-4 with a run, walk, homer, and two RBI. He also made a nice play in the field.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 15, 2020
Robson Cano returned from the IL to go 2-for-5 with a run, homer, and two RBI. That includes a two RBI.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 15, 2020
The biggest story right now remains Luis Guillorme. In addition to playing Gold Glove caliber second base, he’s hitting .474. With this being a shortened season, we may be having a Ted Williams discussion at some point.
However, none of this matters as Ramos continues to be terrible. It’s now at the point it’s costing the Mets games. Sooner or later, the Mets are going to be forced into making a decision on him.
It’s easy to overreact to what Tomas Nido did yesterday. After all, his two homers and six RBI put him in the company of Gary Carter, Todd Hundley, Mike Piazza, and Paul Lo Duca. When you’re capable of doing that, you’re a star in the making.
The thing is Nido isn’t that type of player. He entered this season as a career 39 OPS+ hitter. Before he was called up to the majors, he had just one minor league season with an OPS higher than .660.
No, Nido has never been an offensive force. When you look at the Mets catchers, the offensive thread behind the plate is Wilson Ramos. Well, at least he’s supposed to be
So far this year, Ramos is hitting .196/.274/.286 (60 OPS+). While Ramos has typically been a slow starter (April has historically been his the second worst month), this is a new floor for him.
As an example, last year, Ramos hit .320/.393/.340 over the first 16 games. The average and OBP were there, but the power wasn’t. The power wouldn’t come until May. His power would improve in June.
What’s interesting with Ramos was while he had 14 homers last season, he only had one homer through the Mets first 16 games. That’s where he stands now.
If he follows on that power pace, Ramos’ second homer won’t come until the 40th game of the season. Not only would it take him 40 games to catch Nido, but the season would also be 2/3 over.
No one realistically believes Nido will outhit or out-homer over the course of the season. That’s the case even with Nido doing just that 1/3 of the way through the season, and as Justin Toscano of nj.com explains is a retooled swing and refined approach.
What’s odd is it is not even close. Nido has a 225 OPS+ to Ramos’ 59. Yes, Nido’s will drop precipitously, but how soon before Ramos starts hitting like Ramos again?
We don’t know, and the question for the Mets is how long can they wait for it to happen. That issue gets magnified by Nido being VASTLY superior defensively.
Per Baseball Savant, Ramos ranks 44th of all qualified catchers in pitch framing. Of catchers with over 400 chances, he’s the third worst in the league. Put another and simpler way, he’s bad behind the plate.
While Nido hasn’t qualified, his numbers were better than Ramos’ last year, and he has a better reputation as a defensive catcher. Of course, that’s partially because Ramos has never been known for his defensive prowess.
Overall, Nido is giving the Mets a much better chance to win 1/3 of the way through the season. In fact, Nido’s fWAR (which incorporates framing) has him at 0.4 to Ramos’ -0.1.
If you’re the Mets, how much longer do you wait around for Ramos to turn it around? The team is two games under .500, and they’re barely in the playoff picture.
When Nido is the catcher hitting homers and framing the low pitches better for a staff of sinkerball pitchers, you really wonder if Ramos even has a role on this team right now. He and the Mets are running out of time to find out.
The Mets lost two out of three to the Washington Nationals dropping them deeper into last place. While that was not good, they really found something. Hopefully, they’ll follow it through.
2. Guillorme and Gimenez gave the Mets a chance to win with their defense and their offense. Right now, the Mets cannot justify taking either out of the lineup. Not when they’re changing the complexion of games with their defense.
5. Amed Rosario is still an everyday caliber player at the Major League level, and he very well may still reach the full potential he has. With the Mets, that may need to be in CF where his tools translate extremely well.
6. Brodie Van Wagenen not looking to move one of Gimenez or Rosario to CF in an organization with tremendous middle infield depth and ZERO outfield depth is another indictment on him.
7. It’s another reason why the Robinson Cano trade was short sighted and very poorly executed. Cano needed to be moved to first or third.
8. It should be no surprise this is how Van Wagenen has operated as this is all one big grift. It’s clear the Wilpons were selling, and they were willing to trade off all of the future to win now.
9. With the sale bidding process, we see the Wilpons will do what they can to win one last World Series. We also see Van Wagenen has a complete disregard for his farm and acts like an excited puppy when teams asks for real prospects for defensive replacements. That means right now no prospect is safe . . . no matter how ridiculous the trade.
10. To set narratives straight, Michael Conforto continues to be the Mets best hitter, and he came through with a clutch hit yesterday.
11. Also, Dominic Smith should be playing everyday. Between his bat and heads up play getting the tag at second, this is a smart and very good baseball player.
13. Something just seems off all year with McNeil. He’s nowhere near the hitter or defender he was last year. He’s still a productive player, but we’ve learned to expect more. He’ll figure it out soon.
14. The Marcus Stroman trade was a bad trade at its inception, not because he opted out. The only thing the Mets can do to salvage the trade is to extend Stroman, but there’s no way the Mets do that before the sale.
15. It’s good to see Pete Alonso hitting again. The team needed it. If he’s hitting again, the Mets can roll with their defense, and they’re going to win a lot of games.
16. While everyone is taking about what the Mets need to do this offseason at catcher, they really need to have discussions on what they should do right now with Wilson Ramos playing like the worst catcher in baseball.
17. The Mets getting completely blown out by the Nationals at least once a year is a tradition we can all do without.
18. Juan Soto hitting monster homers, including two of longest in Citi Field history, and killing the Mets is another thing we never need to see again.
19. Gsellman was the right choice to move to the rotation. The Mets have the bullpen depth now to bullpen it as he gets up to speed, and his stuff plays better as a starter than reliever.
20. The NL East is a mess right now. It’s still winnable. The Mets don’t need bold moves at the trade deadline. They just need to play the right players, and they’ll win a lot of games.
Look, when Max Scherzer is pitching, you can expect to get shut down offensively. It doesn’t matter if you start you Top offensive lineup, or your best defensive lineup like the Mets did tonight.
The positive takeaway from the defensive lineup was they were dazzling in the field. In their own ways, Dominic Smith, Luis Guillorme, and Andres Gimenez were absolutely brilliant in the field giving the Mets every chance to win this game. They were magicians with their gloves.
What can’t this guy do? pic.twitter.com/vZbZuel6Y8
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) August 12, 2020
The Mets had fallen behind 2-0 early with this game, and it seemed like the Nationals had Rick Porcello on the ropes.
Trea Turner led off the game with a homer. In the second, Victor Robles hit an RBI single scoring Howie Kendrick. Robles had taken off for what appeared to be the vacated second, but he was beaten there by Smith who took the throw from Brandon Nimmo, and he got the tag down to end the inning.
A run scored on this, but heads-up play by Brandon Nimmo to instead fire it to second base to … first baseman Dominic Smith?
It could have been worse for the Mets, who trail 2-0. pic.twitter.com/ptoRdq6maG
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) August 11, 2020
Luis Guillorme can pitch and make great plays in the field. Versatility >>> pic.twitter.com/uzEQkSyYb2
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 11, 2020
Rick Porcello gets a BIG double play to end the 4th 🙌 pic.twitter.com/Yie43Yclep
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 12, 2020
Luis Guillorme and Andrés Giménez are making it look it easy out here. pic.twitter.com/NFRyvPzin6
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 12, 2020
Their defensive prowess helped Porcello out together another strong outing for the Mets. This time, he allowed two earned on eight hits while walking none and striking out five over six innings.
If he wasn’t facing Scherzer, and the Mets bats who were supposed to deliver did, he would’ve gotten the W instead of the loss.
The Mets only run came in the fourth, and it should come as no surprise it came courtesy of their middle infield. After Gimenez tripled off Scherzer, Gimenez brought him home with a sacrifice fly.
The Mets would have other chances, but as noted, their bats didn’t deliver.
After Nimmo walked, McNeil again failed to deliver. This time, Nationals reliever Tanner Rainey got him to hit into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play.
Overall, Guillorme was the Mets best player. In addition to his dazzling defense, he was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Gimenez was great as well with the triple and run scored.
Unfortunately, the rest of the Mets team did not play anywhere near the level those two did. If they had, the Mets would’ve won this easy instead of facing that brutal loss.
Game Notes: Amed Rosario was scratched from the lineup with a stomach ailment. Nimmo leads the NL in walks drawn.