Zack Wheeler

Mets Need To Obtain Corey Kluber

With the Mets reportedly not pursuing Manny Machado this offseason, the Mets have put them in a position where their options to improve their batting order are becoming increasingly limited.  That is at least on the free agent market.  Instead, the team is going to have to look towards trades to try to improve their roster.

When looking at trades, the team should look much further than any of their oft publicized and discussed needs.  Instead, the team should do all they can do to improve their roster.  If you are looking to build a World Series contender, that means obtaining Corey Kluber.

If the Mets are able to obtain Kluber, they are going to have the best rotation in baseball, and quite possibly, they could have one of the best rotations of all-time.  When you have pitching like that, you win games and postseason series.

Remember, the 2001 Diamondbacks won the NL West and the World Series riding Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling.  While Luis Gonzalez hit 57 homers that year, the rest of the Diamondbacks team wasn’t great offensively.  That team had a 97 wRC+, which was ranked 15th in the majors.

The Mets would have that with Kluber and Jacob deGrom.  Kluber has led the Majors in wins over the past three seasons with the second most innings pitched and the third highest fWAR.  As for deGrom, he was the best pitcher in baseball last, and we have seen what he can do in the postseason.

As for the Mets offense, well, in the second half of the season last year, they were ranked 11th in the majors.  With a 38-30 second half record, the Mets were tied with the Braves for the best record in the NL East.  Combining that improved offense with the emerge of Zack Wheeler, and this is suddenly a very scary Mets team, which is something the Mets need to be building.

Notably, Wheeler is a free agent after the 2019 season, and after the 2020 season, deGrom will be a free agent.  The biggest hit happens after the 2021 season with Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz becoming free agents.  That’s a big chunk of the Mets current core, which means this organization has three years to win a World Series with this group.

It just so happens Kluber is under team control for three years with 2020 and 2021 team options.  All told, Kluber is owed just $52.5 million over the next three years giving the team some flexibility to add talent around an ace pitcher.

Now, there will be obvious skeptics as to whether this will work for the Mets.  This plan would require buying Amed Rosario making strides.  It also requires Jeff McNeil to repeat a second half which was fueled by .368 BABIP.  Todd Frazier is going to have to be what he was in April and stay off the disabled list, and Jay Bruce is going to have to learn first base.  You are also going to need a full season from Juan Lagares in center.

Then again, maybe you won’t.

Adding Kluber only adds to the possibilities.  With Kluber atop the rotation with deGrom, the Mets could look to trade Wheeler at his peak value.  Possibly, the Mets could move Wheeler to address other areas of need like their bullpen or a right-handed bat.  With Charlie Morton and Dallas Keuchel being free agents and Lance McCullers missing all of 2019 due to Tommy John, the Astros are certainly a fit.  Seeing how Wheeler pitched in the second half, there will obviously be other suitors.

Now, getting Kluber is going to hurt.  At a minimum, you are probably talking Peter Alonso, Andres Gimenez, and some other notable Mets prospects.  It’s entirely possible, a Major Leaguer will need to be included in the deal.  Certainly, giving up your top talent will hurt the system.

However, a more broad based analysis needs to take place here.  The Mets window is 2019-2021.  After that, the next real wave for the Mets comes a year or two after that as Jarred Kelenic, Ronny Mauricio, and Mark Vientos all played in Kingsport this past season.  Considering how the talent is structured in the Mets farm system, the time to make a run is right now.

If you’re making that run, the Mets need to go all-out improving this roster.  Unless you are spending on the free agent market to get Machado and Bryce Harper, which the Mets aren’t doing, it means trading for big pieces.  That means giving up Alonso and Gimenez for a big piece.  Right now, there is no bigger piece than Kluber.  He’s the real difference maker.

Get Kluber and make a real run at 2019 and 2020.  The talent is here, and the Mets have the chips to do it.

Montero Gone Both Too Soon And Too Late

Well, the impossible has finally happened. The New York Mets have FINALLY parted ways with one time top prospect Rafael Montero. It is somewhat ironic it comes in the same month when Jacob deGrom is likely to win the Cy Young Award. Mostly, it’s just shocking and strange.

This was a long anticipated moment, and yet one in which many believed would never happen.

Looking back, it was Terry Collins who first made an issue about Montero’s ability to pitch. With the Mets coming off a pennant, Collins went out of his way to challenge/chastise Montero. Collins would tell him the Mets re-signed Bartolo Colon because Montero had not held up hid end of the bargain because he was not good enough to be a part of the Mets rotation.

The reason Montero wasn’t ready to take on that role was because he was hurt. At least, that is what he said. He kept alleging it, and the Mets doctors never found anything, at least not anything they deemed sufficient enough for his complaining of pain. While he was complaining of pain, we were all complaining about the results.

In 2016 and 2017, he was 5-12 with a 5.87 ERA, 1.790 WHIP, and a 1.61 K/BB ratio. Things got so bad with him many talked themselves into him being a late bloomer when he had a 4.15 ERA in August 2017.

That included the Mets who kept Montero over relievers like Josh Smoker, Chasen Bradford, and Erik Goeddel. The later two had good 2018 seasons, which was something which stung all the more when you saw how much the Mets needed relief help.

The Mets releasing players who contributed elsewhere just so the Mets could stubbornly see what they had in Montero was becoming the norm.

Fact is, the Mets were in this deep, so they might as well see how all of this played out. Then a funny thing happened. The guy who always seemed to complain about injuries was actually injured.

On the eve of the 2018 season, it was discovered Montero had a torn UCL, and he needed season ending Tommy John surgery. While it could be a different injury than the ones he had which had caused him pain in the past, it was certainly interesting to see him finally diagnosed with an injury which COULD explain his struggles.

With the surgery, it is likely he would not pitch until sometime around the 2019 All Star break. Looking at Zack Wheeler, there was a chance he may not pitch at all in 2019. With him being out of options, there was a legitimate question if he’d ever pitch for the Mets again.

Still, the Mets had gone this far down the rabbit hole with Montero, and to a certain extent, they were almost obligated to see how he could pitch when he was finally healthy and/or not complaining of pain to his pitching arm.

Maybe, the poor pitching we’ve seen was the result of a torn UCL. Maybe, just maybe, with a surgically repaired elbow, Montero could be the pitcher the Mets envisioned he could be, or at the very least, he could become a competent MLB pitcher.

Well, if that does happen, it’s going to happen somewhere else because the Mets out-righted Montero to get the roster back under 40 players. Montero then opted to become a free agent.

The Mets out-righted Montero while keeping Drew Gagnon, a 28 year old rookie with a 5.63 career Triple-A ERA. Say whatever you want about Montero, but from a pure talent standpoint, he is better than Gagnon. It’s the reason why Montero got so many chances.

And that where’s we are with Montero. The Mets and Montero are parting ways instead of seeing if Montero could pitch like the pitcher the Mets stubbornly believed he could be. Instead, after all that time and seeing all those other pitches go and produce elsewhere, Montero is an ex-Met.

For all the times the Mets should have parted with Montero, the organization chose to do this now instead of all those other times when they should have held onto another player. They chose now even though Montero was finally the player they should have kept.

If the Mets had done this at any other time, and Montero succeeded, many would have understood. Fact is, most probably still will. And yet, if a healthy Montero does prove himself to be competent MLB pitcher and Gagnon pitches like someone with a career 5.63 Triple-A, the Mets will have definitively made the wrong choice here . . . just like all those other times they cut good players from the roster to stubbornly keep Montero.

Brodie Van Wagenen’s First Order of Business: Jacob deGrom

With the contracts Brodie Van Wagenen had been able to procure for his clients, it is fairly clear he has been a staunch advocate who is able to get the best deals possible.  Part of that has been his being quite forceful to inflammatory in his statements.  This includes, but is not limited to his alleging collusion during this past offseason when things moved slowly.

Van Wagenen’s occasional confrontational and inflammatory statements include his demanding an extension or trade for Jacob deGrom.  Specifically Van Wagenen would say:

He and I have been transparent with them about his willingness to consider a long-term commitment.  But if there’s not a commitment, then obviously the player would be prepared for a trade.

If there’s not a desire to have the player, then you’d like to go to somebody that did have the desire to be committed. It’s if not A, then everybody has to be aware of B. The third alternative of just staying status quo, I don’t think benefits anyone.

The very end of the statement is the key statement.  Taking what he said at face value, Van Wagenen honestly believes the Mets have to either extend or trade deGrom.  Now, the Mets could let deGrom play out the next two seasons and make a decision then, but as Van Wagenen said himself, that would not benefit anyone.

Understandably, with Sandy Alderson having to step aside, this decision was better left to a new General Manager.  Whoever the Mets hired had to make a number of important decisions.  With Zack Wheeler a year from free agency, the Mets need to make a decision to extend, trade, or wait until the trade deadline to make a decision on the future of Wheeler.

With Van Wagenen’s comments and his being hired, a decision on deGrom is now front and center.

The team either needs to have a plan for an extension in place, or they need to be prepared to trade him.  Even if those plans are not immediately disclosed, those plans need to be in place right now.  If not, this will serve as a distraction all season long.  The beginnings of that will begin with today’s press conference.  In fact, reporters are lined up to ask the question:

If it is this pressing today, it will be all the more so during the GM Meetings, Winter Meetings, Spring Training, and during any losing streak during the 2019 season.

After that decision is made, the decision is then turned to another one of his clients in Noah Syndergaard.  Should deGrom get that extension, how much is left over for his other client?  The dominoes keep falling after that.

Yes, there are other decisions which technically need to be made first including who should be designated for assignment.  The Mets will need to cut three people by Friday to do that.  That said, deGrom is the first order of business because how the Mets handle that decision will inform everything which happens from now.  That includes how the rest of the Mets team handles a deGrom trade or extension.

Chaim Bloom May Be Interested In Mets Job Due To Mets Terrific Young Talent

Rays Vice President of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom will not just take any job. At 35 years old, he can be selective, and he has. In the past, Bloom has outright refused to even interview for the Diamondbacks position. However, he not only has decided to interview for the Mets job, but he is also a finalist for the General Manager position.

Bloom’s interesting in the position should have Mets fans excited about the future of this team regardless of who the team hires to be the General Manager.

There is a lot to like with this Mets team. Just like 2015, it all starts with the rotation. Jacob deGrom has emerged this season as the best pitcher in baseball. Zack Wheeler looked like an ace himself posting the second best ERA in the second half. Noah Syndergaard had 13 wins in a down year, and he had a strong finish to the season. Finally, somehow Steven Matz actually made 30 starts last year. Now that Matz is able to navigate a full season, he can take the next step much like how Wheeler did this year.

There are also the y0ung left-handed bats on this roster. Using wRC+ as a barometer, Brandon Nimmo was the second best hitter in the National League last year and in the top 10 of all of baseball. After dealing with the shoulder issues, Michael Conforto hit .273/.356/.539 in the second half. Jeff McNeil emerged from out of nowhere to not just make to the majors but to also claim the second base job for 2019 by posting a 2.4 WAR and 137 wRC+ in just 63 Major League games.

The Mets also have a vastly improving farm system. Andres Gimenez, Peter Alonso, and Jarred Kelenic are viewed by nearly every outlet as Top 100 prospects. After a breakout season, Justin Dunn is on the cusp of cracking those lists as well. David Peterson and Anthony Kay are both left-handers who took steps forward and are not far from the majors.

There are also young players who people have lost enthusiasm but still have talent. Dominic Smith will not turn 24 until August, and there are still many who believe in his talent. For example, Keith Law of ESPN believes Smith could hit better than .262/.346/.459 if given the first base job next year. Before his season ending injury last year, Gavin Cecchini returned to the form he was when he was seen as a future middle infielder for the Mets.

This is before we even consider players like Mark Vientos, Shervyen Newton, Luis Santana, and even Desmond Lindsay with his retooled swing. The overriding point is the Mets farm system has plenty of talent, and Bloom, a Rays executive with a strong player development background knows this.

Ultimately, this is why Bloom is interested in the Mets General Manager job. This is also why Mets fans should be excited about the future of this team even if Bloom does not get the job because whether or not he gets the job, the talent is already here. It’s now just a matter of that talent continuing their development and winning the World Series.

Dodgers Won 2015 NLDS War

Back in 2015, the Mets somehow held onto a Game 5 and series clinching win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Despite having nothing, Jacob deGrom kept the Dodgers to two runs over six innings. That was more than enough as Daniel Murphy took over that game in what was one of the truly great postseason games a player has ever had.

He’d double home the first run of the game in the first off Zack Greinke. On a fourth inning walk to Lucas Duda, Murphy went first to third against a shifted and lackadaisical Dodgers infield allowing him to score the tying run on a Travis d’Arnaud sacrifice fly.

The big blow came in the sixth when Murphy hit the go-ahead homer putting the Mets up 3-2.

After a scoreless sixth, it was Noah Syndergaard with a scoreless seventh followed by Jeurys Familia recording the six out save to send the Mets to the NLCS and eventually the World Series.

At the time, the Mets seemed to be the young team on the rise. In addition to deGrom, Syndergaard, and Familia, the team had Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Steven Matz, and eventually Zack Wheeler again.

The team also had a highly rated farm system, albeit one they raided for this one with a myriad of trades including Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa for Yoenis Cespedes.

In 2016, both teams returned to the postseason. The Mets captured the top Wild Card spot only to be shut out by Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. That year, the Dodgers would lose in the NLCS to the eventual World Series winning Chicago Cubs (two years later and that sentence still seems bizarre).

After that, the Mets have had consecutive losing seasons while the Dodgers have gone to back-to-back World Series. Why?

Well, for starters, the Dodgers build a deep team with a deep bench. They do not have top heavy rosters which crumble when there is one injury. For example, Clayton Kershaw has not thrown over 175.0 innings in a season since that NLDS, and yet, the Dodgers remain a great team.

Also, while the Mets are off purging the Murphys and Justin Turners of the world, the Dodgers are finding them. In addition to Turner, we have also seen Chris Taylor and Max Muncy figure things out in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers are also not afraid to take risks or trust their young players. Gone from the 2015 team are Howie Kendrick, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, and Jimmy Rollins. Instead, the Dodgers have players like Cody Bellinger.

For the Mets part, well, Adrian Gonzalez was their Opening Day first baseman.

Mostly, the separation has been financial. The Dodgers ownership has been willing and motivated to keep this championship window as open as possible, and they have with the largest payroll in baseball.

Looking between the 2015 NLDS and 2018 NLCS, Turner, Joc Pederson, and Yasmani Grandal were the only players in both starting lineups. Pederson and Grandal are still under 30.

On the pitching front, Kershaw, Pedro Baez, Alex Wood, and Kenley Jansen were the only pitchers to pitch in both series.

The Dodgers are not just a financial juggernaut, but they are also a supremely well run organization. This is a complete opposite of what the Mets have been, and judging from their current GM search, will continue to be.

This is all why the Dodgers are competing for World Series while the Mets are once again also-rans.

Mets May Have Better World Series Core Than The Yankees But It Doesn’t Really Matter

Starting with the obvious, as constructed today, the Yankees are a far superior team than the New York Mets.  With Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, and Luis Severino, this Yankees team is set up to win 90 plus games a year for the next decade.  Given the talent base and how the Yankees are willing to spend, the Yankees should be a fixture in the postseason, much like they were in the late 90s, and that is a prerequisite to winning a World Series.

However, as we saw with this Yankees team for the second straight season, they could not get through the postseason partially because they did not have the ace to help push them through to the World Series.

Last year, it was Justin Verlander, who helped stop the Yankees.  In many ways, Verlander has proved to be the Yankees kryptonite.  In three different postseasons, Verlander has faced the Yankees, and each time, Verlander’s teams advanced.  Last year, Verlander was the ALCS MVP going 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA.  What made the issue worse for the Yankees is they did not go out and get an eminently available Verlander.

This year, the Yankees were stopped by Chris Sale.  Not only did Sale beat the Yankees in Game 1, but he would stop the Yankees in Game 4 in his one inning of work.

With the Yankees window opening last year, they have failed to get an ace to go up against Verlander, Sale, or even Corey Kluber (who the Yankees beat in the 2017 ALDS).  Severino has not yet proven to be that guy.  Instead of utilizing Justus Sheffield and some other prospect to acquire that ace, they are hoping that he develops into that front line starter himself.

If neither of those things happen, it is hard to imagine how the Yankees can navigate their way through the American League portion of the postseason each and every year.  The Astros and Red Sox have every bit the position player talent the Yankees have, and they also have more starting pitching.  To that end, it’s difficult to see how exactly the Yankees win a World Series with this core.

Equally as difficult is seeing how the Mets even make the postseason.  While the Mets have talent, they are in a division with the upcoming Braves and Phillies teams.  Moreover, the Nationals are always ready, willing, and able to spend in free agency to address the deficiencies on their roster.  This creates a real uphill battle for a Mets franchise with ownership which continues to serve as an impediment to building a winner.

And yet, if the Mets ever do get to the postseason, they are a really dangerous team.  Back in 2015, we saw what Jacob deGrom can do in the postseason and that was before he emerged as the best pitcher in baseball.  Similarly, Noah Syndergaard has shown himself to be a big time postseason pitcher.  Aside from his strong 2015 rookie campaign, Syndergaard would go pitch-for-pitch with Madison Bumgarner, the best postseason pitcher of this generation, in the 2016 Wild Card Game.  What makes that postseason all the more impressive is the emergence of Zack Wheeler this season.

When you substitute Wheeler for 2015 Matt Harvey, you have the type of pitching rotation which can and should carry a team to the World Series.

When you surround this pitching staff with a young core which includes Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, and Amed Rosario, there is a core of players which can not just make the World Series but win it.  So yes, if we are talking about a core of players which can go through the postseason and win the World Series, the Mets have what it takes.

And yet, they don’t have the type of core which can carry them through the regular season.  This team is at least one bat short.  Maybe two.  And that is before you even consider the bullpen.

That’s the real shame of it all.  The Yankees have the talent but not the pitching, and that is partially the result of them getting gun shy when it came time to pull the trigger to obtain that ace which can carry a team through the postseason.  The Mets have the pitching, and they have that young core, but they have ownership which gets gun shy when it comes time to getting a player they need to win.

In the end, the Mets have a better core of players which can carry you to the World Series, but it doesn’t really matter because unless things change, the Mets will be sitting on the sidelines watching this Yankees core squander away without a legitimate ace.

2018 Mets Season Ends On A Sad Note

Perhaps more than any season, there is a sense of sadness which washed upon me when the 2018 season ended.  Perhaps, it was because my father is another year older, and I have yet to truly experience the Mets winning the World Series with him.  Maybe it is because my son follows the game a little bit more and he is starting to become attached to some players, and those players are up in limbo.

There is the sadness with David Wright leaving.  He was the most beloved Mets player in history, and he was arguably the best position player this organization has ever produced.  He was a Met for his entire career, and he ended his career the right way – on the field.  Unfortunately, that career did not end with him winning a World Series.

Past Wright, there are question marks about some other players.  Is this the last time Wilmer Flores ever wore a Mets uniform?  Are we just waiting for him to shed tears when he is wearing another team’s uniform?  Could we have already seen the last of Travis d’Arnaud?  How about Juan Lagares?  With him in the last year of his deal, he is certainly more tradeable, and there should be savvy teams lining up to acquire his defense.  Is he just destined to go somewhere else where the will be able to finally put it all together?  Will a new General Manager come in and opt to start a rebuild that would likely begin with trading Jacob deGrom?

Honestly, will Yoenis Cespedes ever be able to play again?  He has only had one of the two heel surgeries he needed.  Whenever you see a report on him, no one seems to be able to pinpoint a date he can play next year.  At some point, you have to question if he will ever really be able to play.  That seems like such a big departure from the larger than life figure he has been since joining the Mets.

Really, when you look around the 2015 Mets team we loved so dearly has been slowly trickling away.  Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia were traded away this year.  Addison Reed, Lucas Dudaand Curtis Granderson were traded away last season.  Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, and Daniel Murphy are distant memories.  Bartolo Colon is off making goofy barbecue ads in Texas.  Sandy Alderson, the man who orchestrated it all, “took a leave of absence” because he is battling cancer.

What we have left is good, really good.  We have seen Brandon Nimmo be the player the Mets hoped he would be when he was drafted.  After concerns about his shoulder, Michael Conforto was once again Michael Conforto in the second half.  Amed Rosario figured things out in the second half of the season, and Jeff McNeil seemingly came out of nowhere.

We watched deGrom reach a level we never thought possible making him a sure Cy Young award winner.  Zack Wheeler went from enigma to ace.  Steven Matz actually made 30 starts.  Finally, Noah Syndergaard seemed to return to form as the season drew to a close.  This is reminiscent of the pitching of 2015, pitching which led the Mets to a World Series.

Looking at it, the Mets had the best ERA in the majors in the second half (2.97), and they had the best record in the division in the second half (38-30).  When you combine the finish with the start, you can see there is a World Series contender somewhere in the fabric of that clubhouse.  In order for that to happen, the Wilpons are going to have to go out there and get the pieces necessary to put this team over the top.  If they were to do so, it would be the first time since they signed Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran in 2005, and added Billy Wagner and Carlos Delgado the subsequent offseason.

Making bold moves like that to this core WILL put this team over the top, especially since Mickey Callaway and his staff grew during the season and showed they can be a coaching staff who can win you a World Series.

There’s a hesitation there.  After Madoff, no Mets fan can really be assured this team is going to make the bold moves they need to take this roster over the top.  Whatever hope you had was dashed when Jeff Wilpon told us all it was really Sandy Alderson who refused to spend and limited the size of the analytics department.

Thinking back, you realize this is partially why Wright retired without a ring.  Sure, the Shea Stadium days were different.  The Mets did add the aforementioned players, and they did make the Johan Santana trade.  But after that?  Well, it was Madoff and always finding themselves one or two players short.  After all, the Mets traded for Kelly Johnson in consecutive seasons partially because the team believed Eric Campbell, and his major league minimum salary, was part of the solution.

In the end, this is a really likeable team.  Watching Nimmo, Conforto, Rosario, deGrom, Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, and the rest of this Mets team, you can’t help but like and root for these guys.  They are what makes being a Mets fan great.  We don’t want to see deGrom, who looks to take up Wright’s mantle as the next great Mets player, leave Flushing without a ring.  That can’t happen.

In the end, the ending of the 2018 season was a sad one.  Hopefully, that sadness will quickly subside as the Mets go forth and seize the opportunity that is here.  Hopefully, the 2019 season is going to be the year we finally see the Mets win another World Series.  I hope so because I don’t know how many more opportunities I’ll have to celebrate it with all of my loved ones.

Conforto Is Back

When looking at the second half of the season, there are amy number of positives. There’s Jacob deGrom looking to become the fourth Met to win a Cy Young. David Wright is going to play one last game.

Perhaps most important is the resurgence of Michael Conforto. Tonight was the latest chapter of the comeback.

The fun part with Conforto now is it doesn’t matter who’s pitching. Left. Right. Conforto is going to get his hits.

He hit an RBI single off Jake Arrieta in the fifth. He hit an RBI double off Tommy Hunter in the seventh. Finally, he had a homer off Austin Davis in the ninth.

Overall, Conforto was 3-for-5 with a run, double, homer, and a career high six RBI. In total, Conforto would drive in six of the Mets nine runs.

In addition to Conforto, Jeff McNeil would have a three game, which is something that is becoming old hat for him. To just put in perspective just how special this is, he’s tied a Wright Mets record:

All that offense was enough to get Zack Wheeler over a fifth inning blip.

In that fifth inning, Wheeler would hit Odubel Herrera with a pitch. J.P. Crawford followed with a bases clearing triple. After a Cesar Hernandez sacrifice fly, the game was tied 4-4.

That inning marred what was an otherwise terrific Wheeler start. In fact, all three of the Phillies hits off Wheeler would come in that inning.

Even with him battling through the fifth, Wheeler’s final line was 7.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. He’d get the win in this 9-4 Mets victory.

Wheeler’s MLB best 1.32 second half ERA is still a dominant 1.68 ERA. By all indications, his ERA may stay there as Mickey Callaway suggested this could be Wheeler’s final start.

Considering all the time he’s missed the past few years, that would make sense. Fortunately, for the first time in a long time, he’s heathy. Maybe this is why he’s finally pitching like an ace.

Game Notes: Austin Jackson, Amed Rosario, and McNeil would each deliver an RBI.

Wheeler Drowns Marlins

It was supposed to be a doubleheader, but with the rain the best laid plans were washed out. With MLB not looking to schedule a triple-header for the Marlins last series at Citi Field, we waited over five hours for Mets baseball.

Zack Wheeler was worth the wait.

He needed just 35 pitches to get through the first four. With his dominance, he had a chance at The Maddux.

He was in that position partially because he induced Lewis Brinson to hit into an inning ending double play. With that 5-4-3 double play, Wheeler escaped a bases loaded jam.

Astonishingly, with Wheeler only throwing 89 pitches over eight innings, he didn’t get a chance to get the complete game. Paul Sewald would close this one out.

Wheeler’s incredible final line was 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K.

Wheeler got the win because the Mets offense exploded.

Dominic Smith started a second inning rally with a leadoff double off Marlins starter Trevor Richards. He’d score on a double by the worst player in the National League.

Brian Anderson made an error on a Tomas Nido grounder to make it 2-0. Nido scored on a Jeff McNeil triple.

It was another big game for McNeil. For the third time over the past week, he had a three hit game. Overall, he was 3-for-4 with a run, triple, and three RBI.

Speaking of hot hitters, Amed Rosario absolutely launched a three run homer in the fourth:

Up 6-0, things would get completely out of hand on the sixth. The Marlins played terrible defense (no errors charged), and the Mets sent 11 batters to the plate.

The two big blows of the inning was a Jay Bruce grand slam and a Dom two run homer. All said and done, it was a seven run inning turning this into a 13-0 route.

It was just a brilliant performance by the Mets all around. It was the kind of performances we saw in April. We’re seeing them again now, and on nights like this, we can believe it’ll happen in 2019.

Game Notes: Michael Conforto‘s streak of three straight games with a homer was snapped leaving Richard Delgado‘s franchise best five game streak in tact.

Trivia Friday: Multiple Mets In Cy Young Voting

With the way Zack Wheeler has pitched in the second half of the season, you can certainly see him getting some Cy Young votes.  With Jacob deGrom being a favorite for the award (or at least among the leaders), we should see two Mets in the Top 10 in Cy Young voting.  If this were to happen, it would mark just the fourth time in Mets history this has happened.  Can you name the pitchers who received votes the other times this happened?  Good luck!


Jerry Koosman Jon Matlack Tom Seaver Bob Ojeda Ron Darling Dwight Gooden Sid Fernandez Frank Viola Bret Saberhagen John Franco