For the second time this season, a New York Mets pitcher was thrown out of a game for having an illegal substance on their hands. Both times, there was an MLB official involved.
With Max Scherzer, he was told to clean his hands because of the rosin residue. He would wash his hands in the presence of an MLB official. When Scherzer returned to the game, he would be thrown out for having an illegal stick substance on his hand.
What was interesting with Scherzer was David Cone did an experiment on Sunday Night Baseball which effectively exonerated Scherzer. In essence, he showed how what Scherzer claimed was absolutely true, and yet, Scherzer was still suspended.
In the opener of the Subway Series, the umpires did a check of Drew Smith before the top of the seventh. Umpire Bill Miller determined Smith’s hands were too sticky and ejected him from the game. After the game, Miller would say he didn’t know what the substance was, just that Smith’s hands were too sticky.
Ron Darling was frustrated asking for a standard to be put in place. This might be more fantasy than reality. It’s really difficult to adopt a uniform standard, and that is part of the shortsightedness of MLB implementing this rule.
However, that’s not the most troubling part of all of this. The most troubling part is an MLB official did not find Smith’s hands sticky in a post-ejection inspection.
Drew Smith says he had an MLB official check his hands in the tunnel after his ejection.
He says the official laughed and said there was "nothing there." pic.twitter.com/Vc1AfdCxA3
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 14, 2023
Now, there is the caveat here that either Smith or the MLB official was not exactly being truthful. That said, it is alarming Smith was told there was nothing there after he was ejected. If the timeline of events are correct, Smith would not have even had an opportunity to clean his hands before this post-ejection suspension.
With Scherzer, an MLB official supervised and approved the hand washing. With Smith, an MLB official said there was nothing on Smith’s hands.
Of course, the obvious point here is that there is an MLB official right there. Why is that official not performing these substance checks?
The MLB official has the opportunity to see if there is anything illicit happening. The MLB official can easily check hands before or after an inning without any of the theater we see now. For a league hyper focused on pace of play, it would also make the game move just that much quicker.
We can also get more checks with that official able to do it each and every inning. Yes, that would also mean a need for an official in the bullpen. With Major League Baseball having record revenues that should not be an issue at all.
The end result would be the promise of a more unified standard for ballparks because you get the same person checking every time, and that person can be trained specifically for this one area. You also get more testing resulting in the appearance of a fairer game with less foreign substances. Moreover, you get the game moving slightly quicker by ending the umpires periodic checks.
Really, there is no reason why this isn’t happening. At a minimum, you take away the ability for players to claim the MLB official cleared them creating less drama and frustration with the sport. Overall, you’re just making the game better.
The first Subway Series was 1997, and it had all of New York enthralled. There was the upstart New York Mets led by Lance Johnson, Bernard Gilkey, and Todd Hundley, against the defending World Series champion New York Yankees.
The first Subway Series did something rare in sports. It exceeded the hype. Dave Mlicki is still a Mets legend for the complete game shutout to open the series culminated with striking out Derek Jeter to end the game.
The Mets would spoil a David Cone no-hit bid in the series finale and almost pull out a win. While the concept of the Mets and Yankees being rivals was a bit forced at the outset, we did see the beginnings of a rivalry.
The rivalry reached its apex in the 2000 World Series and with all the drama surrounding Mike Piazza and Roger Clemens. There was a lot more to it like former Mets greats like Cone, Dwight Gooden, and Darryl Strawberry returning to Shea.
Mostly, it was Bobby Valentine who knew the Mets underdog status. He embraced it, and he treated those games like they were must win. Typically, they were for him as it was usually a marker for how the Mets were performing that season.
Since 2000, we have seen the series go through ebbs and flows. There have been moments like the Luis Castillo dropped fly ball or Carlos Delgado‘s power display. Of course, there was the Shawn Estes/Clemens drama.
All that said, this series has never been the same since 2000. In reality, this series has never been at a lower point than it is right now.
The Yankees are in third place and nine games back of the Tampa Bay Rays, but they do have a half-game lead in the Wild Card race. The Mets are in fourth place, are four games under .500, and they trail by three games in the Wild Card race.
The Yankees are without Aaron Judge. The Mets are without Pete Alonso. The ticket prices are through the roof, and Citi Field still has not sold out the game. It’s also a two game set making the possibility of the teams walking away with a somewhat uninteresting split.
On the bright side, we are going to see Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander. The Baby Mets of Francisco Álvarez, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos will get their first taste of this series, and more importantly, put their stamp on this series.
We may very well see competitive games with a number of storylines emerge. However, in the past, the storylines were already written because of all the intrigue surrounding the series. That intrigue is seemingly gone for now.
The New York Mets were swept in a doubleheader by the Detroit Tigers. With the Tigers being a very bad team (entered the day 10-17), that’s bad news in and of itself, but it’s not quite cause to overreact.
Losing with Adam Ottavino blowing the save in game one is what it is. Ottavino hasn’t quite been what he was last season, and this is the second time out of five chances he has faltered in ninth inning duties. Considering he had a 2.70 ERA before the appearance, this is not cause for alarm.
No, the real cause for alarm was Max Scherzer was very bad . . . again.
In a homecoming of sorts, Scherzer lasted just 3.1 innings allowing six earned on eight hits and one walk. He only struck out three. He allowed two homers. There’s no other way to say it. He was horrible.
More to the point, he has been very bad this season. He’s averaging 4.2 innings per start. Yes, that is partially because of the 10 game suspension, but he also has not pitched beyond 5.1 innings since his Opening Day start.
The 7.9 K/9 stands to be the worst mark of his career. The same goes for the 20.8 K%. His 2.00 K/BB and 2.4 HR/9 also stand to be the worst. Really, all across the board, this looks like it is going to be the worst season of Scherzer’s career.
With Scherzer being 38, this is cause for panic. He is supposed to be a co-ace, and instead, he looks like a pitcher who could be done. He’s not even pitching like an effective fifth starter.
Maybe it was the altered off-season routine because of last season’s oblique issues. Perhaps, it is the pitch clock. Maybe, just maybe, it is the fact, he’s 38 years old, and sooner or later, we were just going to see his performance drop.
Scherzer thinks the layoff hurt him. Maybe, he’s right, but then again, he seemingly has had a lot of excuses this season. He’s needed them too with his performance.
His fastball velocity is down almost a full MPH with it dropping to 92.5 MPH in the start against the Tigers. The average exit velocity against us by more than three MPH. The hard hit rate is a troubling 40.9%. Batters have been able to barrel him up.
Looking at the spin rates in his first start back from the suspension, they were all notably down. That’s not de facto evidence of cheating or a drop off. It could just be frustration and confusion on what to do now after being suspended for using rosin. Remember, David Cone effectively defended Scherzer on Sunday Night Baseball.
The cheating or not aspect misses the point. If Scherzer is now at a loss for what he can and cannot do, we should be at a loss for how Scherzer reclaims his ace form.
The Mets are missing José Quintana. Carlos Carrasco looked done before going on the IL. David Peterson regressed. Tylor Megill hasn’t lit the world on fire. Joey Lucchesi followed a great start against the San Francisco Giants with diminishing returns in his subsequent starts.
This Mets team was built on their starting pitching. Considering they did not improve the offense, their chances of contending are tied to this rotation. Even if Justin Verlander is what we hoped he would be, it looks like the rotation as a whole won’t be. If that’s the case, the Mets are in a very dangerous place.
The New York Mets finished April with a 15-12 record three games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League East. Even for the Mets, there was a lot to digest:
2. Jacob deGrom‘s continued injuries are sad, and we should all want the best for him. However, no one should be using that as justification for the Mets letting him go to Texas when Justin Verlander has yet to throw a pitch for the Mets.
3. David Peterson pitched himself out of the rotation, and it’s not clear where the Mets go from here with him. He’s in Triple-A where he belongs for the time being. In the long term, the Mets need to figure out if he’s salvageable as a starter, needs to be their Trevor Williams, or perhaps their next Seth Lugo.
4. David Robertson has more than taken over for Edwin Díaz. The issue is the rest of the bullpen continues to fluctuate between injured, ineffective, and lights out. Really, game-to-game, the Mets have no consistency down there other than Robertson.
5. The youth movement has begun with Brett Baty, and we see Francisco Álvarez has been forcing the issue (surprisingly with his defense). At some point, the Mets are going to have to just give the DH job to Mark Vientos because he has been annihilating the baseball.
6. Buck Showalter seems content to stick with his veterans, and if that continues in the long run, it is going to be a problem. Given how young players were the key to his success in Baltimore, it is flat out crazy to see how he hasn’t involved from the instincts which doomed him with the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Texas Rangers.
7. Pete Alonso has been nearly everything you could ask from him to start this season. In fact, he’s even back to playing good defense at first base.
8. Brandon Nimmo has responded to signing that massive contract by arguably being the best player in baseball to start the season. This will be the first season he is an All-Star, and we should seem him get some MVP consideration should he stay healthy.
9. It’s been an uneasy start for Francisco Lindor, but he has been phenomenal defensively. Just remember with him, May is typically the month he breaks out in a season, so we should be in for a treat.
10. The way Daniel Vogelbach has started the season he is going to give the Mets reason to follow Daniel Murphy, who is off to a hot start with the Long Island Ducks. Better yet, we may see Vientos here sooner rather than later. Really, at some point, Vogelbach has to hit for some power.
11. Whatever the Mets thinking was on Tommy Pham, it was wrong. Moreover, it was wrong to build outfield depth with players 34 and older (aside from Nimmo). That goes double when you consider the Mets have zero Major League ready outfield depth in Syracuse.
12. Jeff McNeil surprisingly got off to a very slow start. However, he has been really strong the past two weeks, and he appears poised to have another very good season for the Mets.
13. McNeil needs to be more of a table setter. The Mets going with Starling Marte batting second just isn’t working. He’s making weak contact, and he’s just not getting on base enough. McNeil isn’t a five hitter. Again, Showalter needs to stop with the deference to veterans and start looking to win games.
14. Give Eduardo Escobar all the credit in the world. He lost his job, and he responded by being an amazing teammate and mentor. While his production may not be what the Mets wanted it to be when they signed him, the signing has paid off tenfold with his leadership and clubhouse presence.
15. Increasingly, Mark Canha looks done, at least as an everyday player. There needs to be a rotation with him and Luis Guillorme playing until the Mets figure out what they want to do with Ronny Mauricio. On Mauricio, so long as Showalter is loathe to play the young players, you simply cannot call him up.
16. There is an ace somewhere inside Kodai Senga. We saw it in Japan, and we have seen glimpses of it here. However, if he is going to continue to walk the ballpark, he is going to be a borderline MLB starter. That is a huge problem for the Mets with much of their success being tied into how good or bad he performs.
17. Every year, Drew Smith seems to be performing worse than what his actual numbers are. Part of that is his walk rate is too high.
18. Tomás Nido‘s defensive metrics are surprisingly poor. Part of that may be the difficulties in catching Senga. If not, the Mets are in trouble when their defensive specialist behind the plate isn’t performing.
19. The biggest takeaway from April is the Mets appear to be a postseason team with part of that being because it is an expanded postseason format. Keep in mind, while their record now may not be awe inspiring, they are still on a 90 win pace.
20. It needs to be repeated over and over again. The Mets need to go with their younger and more productive players. If Showalter is going to stand in the way of that, the Mets need to find someone who won’t. It’s just that simple.
The New York Mets have had too many starting pitching injuries to start the season. In fact, at the moment, Kodai Senga is all that remains from their projected Opening Day rotation.
Justin Verlander and José Quintana started the year on the IL. Verlander is missing over a month, and Quintana is out until around the All-Star Break if not longer. Carlos Carrasco has an elbow injury, and there is a very real possibility he could be done for the season if not for his career.
Max Scherzer needed to have an extra day before his last start, and then he was suspended. Our good friend David Cone would show why the suspension was garbage, but nevertheless, Scherzer was suspended for 10 games.
David Cone's Rosin Experiment. pic.twitter.com/ZI5CnAkZ1C
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 24, 2023
As we know, this has pushed David Peterson and Tylor Megill into the rotation. That wasn’t a big deal as both were good starters for the Mets 101 team last season. Joey Lucchesi also had a history of being a capable Major League starter, so while the Mets may not have wanted him in the rotation, his needing to start wasn’t an issue.
The issue was with José Butto being pushed into the rotation.
Last season, Butto was thrust into the rotation, and the results were ugly. In his lone start, he last just four innings allowing seven runs to the Philadelphia Phillies. Alec Bohm really got the best of him hitting two homers. After that game, there were many who unfairly said he was a bust and would never be a Major League starter.
Fast forward to this year, and Butto was again starting games for the Mets. That is something no one wanted, but this time, Butto has fared far better than anyone would have expected.
Through two starts, Butto has pitched 9 2/3 innings allowing three earned runs. Per Baseball Savant, batters are not hitting him hard at all, and they’re having difficulty squaring the ball up on him.
Of course, it’s not all good news. Butto’s control has been poor, and that’s probably being kind. He’s walked 10 over 9 2/3 innings. That’s more than a walk per inning.
Forget about his 2.79 ERA being unsustainable with those many walks. It’s a flat out recipe for disaster. That goes double when he’s recorded only three strikeouts.
However, he’s getting away with it. There are some good reasons for it. There’s the aforementioned weak contact against him.
The other answer is Butto has faced bad teams in the Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals. Assuredly, he’d get roughed up by better teams, but he pitched passably against the opponents he had to face.
We can dismiss what he’s done. He’s been five and fly against bad teams. That’s only part of the picture.
He’s also eaten up 9 2/3 innings which could’ve been put on the bullpen. That will help the Mets in the long run. It makes what he did far more important than many realize.
In the end, Butto looks like he still has work to do before he’s Major League ready. In the interim, he’s better than when we last saw him, and he still made a positive contribution to the team. Credit to him for stepping up.
The last time a current New York Mets player was in the postseason, Jacob deGrom took the ball in Game One of the 2015 NLDS in the first step of their journey to the pennant. We saw deGrom set the tone with 13 strikeouts over seven scoreless to pick up the win.
It was part of a great postseason for deGrom. If they had an NLDS MVP, it would’ve been his. Overall, he was 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA that postseason racking up 29 strikeouts.
Believe it or not, deGrom is the only Mets player remaining from that 2015 team. The Mets made it to the postseason the following year, but Seth Lugo was left off the Wild Card Game roster. However, that does not mean deGrom is the only Mets player with postseason experience. Here is a look at how the other Mets have fared.
Stats: 1-0, 3.27 ERA, 1.455 WHIP, 0.8 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
Bassitt would receive two starts in the 2020 postseason for the Oakland Athetics. He was great against the Chicago White Sox picking up the win and evening the series. One note here is the Mets may be looking for him to pitch a Game 2 in the Wild Card Series again.
Stats: .138/.212/.241, HR, 3 RBI
This century, the Athletics have been defined by quick postseason exits. That is what Canha has experienced being part of teams who lost the Wild Card Game in consecutive years and never advancing to the ALCS.
Stats: 0-1, 3.86 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 4,.5 BB/9, 10.3 K/9
Carrasco would miss Cleveland’s pennant run with a broken right hand. Cleveland would lose in the ALDS in each of the ensuring years, but Carrasco did what he could to prevent that pitching well in his one start in each series.
Stats: .357/.357/.429, 2B
Escobar’s postseason experience is all of five games. While he amassed five hits, he didn’t have much of an impact for two teams that were quick exits.
Stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 BB/9, 11.6 K/9
Givens lone postseason appearance came in that epic 11 inning Wild Card Game against the Toronto Blue Jays forever defined by Zack Britton not appearing in the game. Givens was brilliant in the game helping save the Baltimore Orioles by pitching 2 1/3 scoreless after Chris Tillman was knocked out in the fifth.
Stats: .000/.000/.000, 5 SB, CS
Gore is known as a lucky rabbit’s foot having been a part of two World Series winning teams. However, he has been more than that. He has been a pinch runner extraordinaire stealing five bases. One interesting fact is his one caught stealing was upon review when it was determined he slightly came off the bag against the Houston Astros in the 2015 ALDS.
Stats: .263/.327/.463, 4 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, SB, 3 CS
Lindor has had huge moments in the postseason. In 2016, he had a .979 OPS in the ALCS, the only LCS he has played in his career. In his last postseason appearance, the 2018 ALDS, Lindor was great against the eventual pennant winning Houston Astros with a 1.273 OPS.
Stats: .167/.231/.306, 2 2B, HR, RBI, SB
Like Canha, Marte played for a Pittsburgh Pirates team known for not being able to advance in the postseason. What is remarkable with Marte is this is the second straight postseason series he will not be able to appear in his career due to injury.
Stats: 0-0, 0.333 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 6.0 K/9
May was part of those Minnesota Twins, so you knew they weren’t getting past the New York Yankees. That Twins team also didn’t get past the Houston Astros. May was not remotely to blame pitching three scoreless innings in two separate postseasons.
In the 2020 season which led to McCann getting a big contract with the Mets, he did not have an impact in the inaugural Wild Card Series.
Stats: .161/.188/.226, 2 2B, 3 RBI
As a rookie, he was part of that Cleveland team who came as close as any team could to winning the World Series. Unfortunately, Naquin did not do much that postseason or in his postseason career.
Stats: 0-1, 5.40 ERA, 1.714 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
Ottavino really struggled in the 2019 postseason; however, Ottavino was overworked. He would appear in seven straight games to diminishing returns. In his postseason, with the 2021 Boston Red Sox, Ottavino was terrific allowing just one earned in five appearances.
Stats: .091/.091/.364, HR, RBI
Ruf’s first postseason experience came in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. The highlight for Ruf was hitting the game tying homer in the sixth off Julio Urias in a game the Giants ultimately lost. It should be noted Ruf will most likely not be appearing in the Wild Card Round due to injury.
Stats: 7-6, 3.22 ERA, 1.104 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, 11.2 K/9
Remarkably, this will be the ninth postseason series for the Mets Game One starter. In his young days with the Detroit Tigers, he had flashes of brilliance. In 2019, he had a 2.40 ERA for the eventual World Series Champion Washington Nationals. Last year, he was great for the Dodgers until fatigue set in during his last start.
Stats: .167/.286/.333, 2B
Vogelbach did not have much of an impact for Milwaukee Brewers teams who were quick outs in consecutive seasons.
Stats: 0-1, 36.00 ERA, 18.0 BB/9, 27.0 K/9
Walker has made only one postseason start, and that came in the 2020 pandemic season. The Dodgers jumped all over him in the first, and he and the Arizona Diamondbacks never recovered.
Showalter will always be defined in the postseason by not using Britton in the American League Wild Card Game. Previous to that, he had been defined by his teams doing better with a different manager in the ensuing postseason.
Much of the reason is Showalter has made a number of curious to baffling decisions in the postseason. It’s not just Britton.
Showalter’s teams have only won one postseason series. He had his best chance of going to the World Series in 2014 where the Orioles were swept by the Kansas City Royals.
Right now, none of this matters. He has a Mets team built to win the World Series. If this Mets team does in fact win, no one will care about his previous failures, and Showalter will have the last piece to what would then be a Hall of Fame managerial career.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article will also appear on MMO.
Back in 2015, the New York Mets blew the World Series in large part due to Terry Collins. While time has somehow been more kind to Collins, fact is he is the main reason the Mets didn’t win the World Series.
Yes, Jeurys Familia blew three saves. Daniel Murphy made an error. David Wright fielded a ball he shouldn’t have while Lucas Duda threw it away. However, there were a series of just baffling and just flat out dumb decisions from Collins which led to these events. Really, these were all consequences of Collins’ horrific managing.
All of his errors have been explained in full here and other places. Ultimately, this is the worst case scenario for a team. You cannot have a manager and his poor decision making be the reason a team does not win a World Series.
We are starting to see signs Buck Showalter is probably cut from the same cloth as Collins. His recent decisions are an indication of that, and that would be very bad news for the Mets.
The Mets last game against the Milwaukee Brewers should have each and every Mets fan very nervous for the postseason. To set the stage, Starling Marte is on the IL, and Brandon Nimmo had to come out of the game with a quad injury. The Mets were trailing 1-0 heading into the seventh despite having base runners on in each and every inning.
Before we get into the pitching, he would leave a very clearly hobbled Jeff McNeil on the field. For one game, Showalter risked losing McNeil for the rest of the season and postseason. He did that and then managed his bullpen horrifically.
Some questioned letting Taijuan Walker start the inning. That is a decision which can be debated with some of the bullpen arms probably unavailable including Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo. After Walker stumbled, Collins went to David Peterson.
Now, Peterson is a starter who has struggled out of the bullpen. This was a big ask of him. Runners were on first and second with no outs and a run already in.
The thing is Peterson did his job. The Brewers gave up the out with a sacrifice bunt before Peterson struck out Christian Yelich. The Mets were one out away from getting out of the inning. That’s where Showalter made a number of flat out dumb decisions.
While you can understand the impetus not to want to pitch to Willy Adames, intentionally walking him to load the bases is a bad move because it gives Peterson, a pitcher who sometimes inexplicably loses command, no lee-way. However, as we found out, it wasn’t going to be Peterson.
After Craig Counsell pinch hit Mike Brosseau for Rowdy Tellez, Showalter went to Drew Smith. This is the same Smith who has not pitched since July 24. This is the same Smith who has been homer prone this year. Well, he would go up 0-2 in the count before giving up that grand slam.
Keep in mind, Showalter isn’t dumb. He is the guy who prepares and over prepares. He is the type of manager who likes to take control and set innings into motion. He’s not a bystander. Put another way, Showalter put that inning in motion with the intent of having Smith pitch to Brosseau.
He was prepared for that eventuality when he sent Walker out there to start the inning. He had that plan when he ordered the intentional walk of Adames. This is the match-up he wanted. He wanted it, and it blew up in his face.
Unfortunately, this is Showalter in big moments. It is David Cone for too long before Jack McDowell. It is Bobby Chouinard over Matt Mantei. It is literally anyone but Zack Britton. It’s been a problem in Showalter’s managerial career, and it is a big reason why his teams have only won one postseason series, and it’s why Showalter is still chasing that elusive World Series ring.
Right now, we’re seeing that same Showalter. If he really wants to win this time, and he has the roster capable of winning a World Series, he is finally going to have to adapt and change. If not, we may see moments like this again come this postseason with Mets fans dreaming of what might have been.
For the seventh time in seven tries this season, the New York Mets won a series. For the second time in team history, they did the impossible:
2. I don’t get everything right, but I got this one (# 55) in my preseason predictions.
4. It’s somewhat interesting that no-hitter came from Jacob deGrom‘s spot in the rotation when deGrom can never seem to get that close himself despite his unhittable stuff.
5. The next game was a letdown, but it was hilarious the Mets were up 1-0 at one point scoring a run on no hits.
6. In that no-hitter, Kyle Schwarber was walked in all three plate appearances. Seeing him the rest of this series (and his career), this is a very smart strategy.
8. You can’t send him down after that game. In fact, it only reaffirms he’s your everyday 1B/DH.
10. We don’t talk enough about the possibility J.D. Davis could be the guy. Really, the only thing which keeps him up is he’s the only right-handed bat on the bench.
11. The injury is preventing Sean Reid-Foley from being DFA’d, but it’s a damn shame it was a torn UCL which prevented it.
12. Say what you want about James McCann, but he’s had a big impact this year with his work behind the plate. That co-no was the latest example.
13. Taijuan Walker coming off the IL and pitching like that was just what the Mets needed. It shows just how deep that rotation is, and with a rotation that deep, this team can win a World Series, and that’s before you even account for deGrom.
14. The Mets best player has arguably been Jeff McNeil. He’s not back to his 2019 form because he’s a much better version of that now.
15. There is something wrong with Pete Alonso. It’s difficult to know what it is at the moment, but this is just not the same player right now.
16. David Cone was criticized, but he was right. When the Mets are good, fans come out of the woodwork. That’s obvious because those fairweather fans flock over from the Bronx to Queens when the Mets are good. We know those fans exist in New York. Let’s not pretend they don’t.
17. That ESPN booth was brutal, which was odd because Cone and Eduardo Perez are great. Perhaps, it is because Karl Ravech is not a play-by-play guy who brings his color analysts into the conversation. Also, Buster Olney calling Ronald Acuna Jr. this generation’s Willie Mays was just about the dumbest thing he ever uttered. He should have had his mike cut and sent home.
18. The wave is an indelible part of Mets history as it was a big part of the 1980s celebrations. There is a place for it in the game, and at times, we should do it. However, doing it in the late innings of a close game is a blatant violation of the wave rules, and we should not stand for it (pun intended).
19. The Mets have won seven straight series. To do that at any point of the year is a phenomenal feat. With the Atlanta Braves coming to town, they absolutely have to make a statement and make it eight in a row. Do what the 1986 Mets did to the St. Louis Cardinals and let the Braves know this division race is over before it began.
20. As Ron Darling said after the co-no, that was one of the special moments you get after a special season.
Baseball is different today than it was 20 or even five years ago. There was a time barring real injury risk a pitcher was never pulled with a no-hitter.
Now, there’s a premium put on pitcher health and the longevity of their career. Teams are looking to protect their investments.
That’s why Tylor Megill gets pulled after 88 pitches even though he held the Philadelphia Phillies to no hits over five innings. To some, it tarnishes the no-hitter saying it’s not the same, or it doesn’t count.
If a starter throws a complete game no-hitter, what an accomplishment. If it’s a combined no-hitter, I couldn’t care less. Only the team that got no-hit should really care. Because they got no-hit. But nobody threw a no-hitter. Does that make sense? I don’t anything anymore.
— Jerry Blevins (@jerryblevins) April 30, 2022
Honestly, if Johan Santana didn’t happen, there would’ve been some disappointment in it not being one pitcher. If it was another franchise, the excitement would not be at the same level. There, Jerry Blevins is right.
However, this is the New York Mets, and because of that, it just means so much more.
For me, it was memories of growing up. My dad would always allow me to stay up until the Mets gave up a hit because he didn’t want me (or him) to miss the first ever no-hitter.
To this day, I remember my mom urging my dad to send me to bed while David Cone had a no-hitter going. The fact the St. Louis Cardinals spoiled his bids twice makes me hate them all the more, and I’ll never forgive Felix Jose.
With Cone, we always rooted for him. We stopped everything to watch his perfect game. We did the same for Dwight Gooden‘s no-hitter. While they weren’t Mets at the time, they are forever Mets, and their heroics were worth celebrating.
The same goes for Tom Seaver‘s no-hitter. That glorious one came against the Cardinals.
For the Mets, they were defined by not getting the no-hitter. At times, you wondered if it was a curse emanating from them trading away Nolan Ryan.
But, then it finally happened. To some degree, because we’re Mets fans, we’re almost conditioned to believe it would never happen again. After all, how is it Jacob deGrom hasn’t come close to one?
For me, I got to experience this no-hitter in a completely different way. This time, I was the dad letting my kid stay up late. I was the one regaling him of stories of Mets greats and misses.
Of course, I was on the phone with my dad. First, calling him to make sure he had the game on. Next, to just share that moment only for it to be hijacked by his also wanting to share it with his overexcited grandson.
In a word, the moment was perfect.
It brought back fond memories of my youth and why I became a Mets fan in the first place. I got to share it with my son who will forever have this memory. In the end, it was three generations of Mets fans celebrating a moment no one expected.
In the end, not only did that no-hitter count as a no-hitter, but it also mattered to Mets fans. It mattered more than anyone will ever know.
Since 1989, you would tune into the occasional New York Mets broadcast, and you would hear Howie Rose incredulous another Mets player wearing the number 17. With the New York Mets announcing Keith Hernandez‘s 17 will now be retired, we will be forever robbed of those moments, but we can look back at the players who wore the number after Hernandez left the Mets.
David Cone – Cone would change his number from 44 to 17 in honor of his teammate. It would be the number Cone wore when he led the league in strikeouts and tied Tom Seaver‘s then National League record of 19 strikeouts in a game.
Jeff McKnight – McKnight became the first player assigned the number after Hernandez wore it, and you could argue it was even more of an eyesore because it was the year the Mets had the underscore jerseys. Believe it or not, McKnight just had a knack for wearing great numbers. He would also wear David Wright‘s 5, Jose Reyes‘ 7, Carlos Beltran‘s 15, and Darryl Strawberry‘s 18.
Bret Saberhagen – Saberhagen changed from his usual 18 with the Kansas City Royals and the number he first had with the Mets after his good friend Cone was traded to the Toronto BLue Jays. While Saberhagen did have some success with the Mets, he was probably the player least suited to wearing the number after the bleach incident.
Brent Mayne – Again with the former Royals wearing 17. Mayne’s first hit with the Mets was a walk-off RBI single off Dennis Eckersley to take the opening series of the season. Even after that, he still couldn’t get recognized on the 7 line on the way to the park.
Luis Lopez – Lopez was a utility player for the Mets for three years including the beloved team. His biggest hit with the Mets was the time he punched Rey Ordonez on the team bus. Hearkening back to the team photo incident between Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry, this may be the most Hernandez moment any of the subsequent players to wear the number 17 ever had.
Mike Bordick – Bordick was supposed to be the key pickup for the Mets to replace the injured Ordonez at short. He gave us all hope as he homered in his first Mets at-bat, but things would end badly as he would be benched for Kurt Abbott in the World Series, and he would return to the Baltimore Orioles in free agency. Worse yet, 1999 postseason hero Melvin Mora, who was traded for Bordick, would go on to be a star for the Orioles.
Kevin Appier – With Cone, Saberhagen, and then Appier, it seemed Royals pitchers really liked wearing 17 with the Mets. Appier came to the then pennant winning Mets in the hopes of winning a World Series, but unfortunately, he is forever known as the key piece sent to the Angels for Mo Vaughn.
Graeme Lloyd – Lloyd was one of the few who thrived with the Yankees who pitched well for the Mets. He didn’t last a full season as he and many of the 2003 Mets who battled under Art Howe was moved at the trade deadline.
Wilson Delgado – Mets fans were thrilled to obtain Delgado in 2004 as he would be the return for Roger Cedeno. Delgado played 42 games for the Mets in 2004. He’d never appear in a Major League game after that.
Jose Lima – The 2006 Mets pitching staff was so injured that we’d get Lima Time! for four starts. After struggling mightily, this marked the end of his MLB career as he then played internationally.
David Newhan – There really isn’t much to tell with Newhan. In his one year with the Mets, he proved himself to be that classic Four-A guy who annihilated Triple-A pitching but struggled in the majors.
Fernando Tatis – Omar Minaya first signed Tatís as an amateur and would bring him to the Mets organization. Tatís rewarded Minaya’s faith by winning the 2008 NL Comeback Player of the Year. For a franchise known for “what ifs,” you can’t help but wonder if the Mets don’t collapse for a second straight season if Tatis didn’t injure his shoulder. While Tatís had many memorable moments with the Mets, perhaps, his most memorable was his being one of the few actually capable of hitting it over the Great Wall of Flushing.
After Tatis, the Mets had finally said enough was enough. They were taking the number 17 out of circulation like they had done in the past with Willie Mays‘ 24. That meant the number was not going to be worn again. That is, unless, the next Rickey Henderson came long. However, now, with the number being officially retired, no one will ever wear Hernandez’s 17 again.