Kevin Plawecki

Mets Against Edison Volquez

The Royals named Edison Volquez as their Game One starter. The Volquez-Johnny Cueto decision wasn’t like what the Mets faced before in the playoffs. However, it merited consideration, and the Royals went with Volquez. 

This year Volquez was 13-9 with a 3.55 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 1.308 WHIP, and a 7.0 K/9. That’s where the good ends for Volquez. In his career, he is 1-4 with a 6.56 ERA, 1.543 WHIP, and a 6.9 K/9. He’s been slightly better this postseason going 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and a 8.1 K/9. In the end, what matters most is how he’s pitched against the Mets:

Curtis Granderson 3-12 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K
David Wright 6-25 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K
Daniel Murphy 3-17 with 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Yoenis Cespedes 0-2 with 1 K
Lucas Duda 3-15 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K
Travis d’Arnaud 0-0
Michael Conforto 0-0
Wilmer Flores 1-6 with 1 double
Juan Lagares 2-12 with 1 BB and 2 K
Combined 18-99 (.182 BA), 12 BB (.270 OBP), 1 double, 4 HR (.253 slugging), 11 RBI, and 22 K

Here’s how the bench has fared against Volquez:

Michael Cuddyer 1-6 with 1 double
Kelly Johnson 4-14 with 1 double, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K
Kirk Nieuwenhuis 1-3 with 2 K
Kevin Plawecki 0-0
Matt Reynolds 0-0
Bench 6-23 (.263) with 3 BB (.346 OBP), 2 double (.467 slugging), 2 RBI, 1 K

In essence, Volquez had pitched well against the Mets. However, the Mets players have gotten to him. When the Mets have made contact, they’ve hit homeruns. It’ll be tough to hit homers in a stadium like Kauffman. 

Fortunately, the Mets have better pitching than the Royals. If the Mets pitch how they should, they will need just one of those blasts to win the game, similar to the NLDS

Cueto is Hittable

Sometimes, there’s no rhyme or reason for things. I think this sums up Johnny Cueto‘s 2015 season. He went from a hitters’ ballpark with poor defense to a pitchers ballpark with terrific defense and got worse. It doesn’t make sense especially when you consider he left the best division in baseball for one of the worst. 

With the Reds, Cueto averaged 6.2 innings per start going 7-6 with a 2.62 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 0.934 WHIP, and a 8.3 K/9. With the Royals, he averaged 6.0 innings per start with a 4.76 ERA, 4.06 FIP, 1.461 WHIP, and a 6.2 K/9. Sure, he was incredible in the clinching game of the NLDS, but his two other starts were terrible. In Game Three of the ALCS, he took the loss allowing six hits, eight earned, four walks, and two strikeouts over two innings. 

Historically, Cueto hasn’t faired well against the Mets either. In his career, he is 3-4 against the Mets with a 4.02 ERA, 1.369 WHIP, and a 10.0 K/9. At Citi Field, he is slightly better with a 2-2 record, 3.60 ERA, 1.267 WHIP, and a 10.5 K/9. The Mets will face him at Kauffman Stadium in Game One. There he is 3-5 with a 3.88 ERA, 1.294 WHIP, and a 6.9 K/9. He’s prime to get hit by the Mets. The only issues is how do these Mets hit him?

Here’s the numbers against the presumed Game One starting lineup:

Curtis Granderson 3-12 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K
David Wright 6-25 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K
Daniel Murphy 3-17 with 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Yoenis Cespedes 0-2 with 1 K
Lucas Duda 3-15 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K
Travis d’Arnaud 0-0
Michael Conforto 0-0
Wilmer Flores 1-6 with 1 double 
Juan Lagares 2-12 with 1 BB, and 2 K
Combined 17-89 (.191 BA) with 12 BB (.287 OBP), 1 double, 4 HR (.337 slugging), 11 RBI, and 21 K

Here’s how the projected bench has hit against him:

Kelly Johnson 1-6 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
Michael Cuddyer 1-6 with 1 double 

Kirk Nieuwenhuis 1-3 with 2 K
Kevin Plawecki 0-3 with 1 K
Matt Reynolds 0-0
Bench Combined 3-15 (.200 BA) with 2 BB (.294 OBP), 1 double, 1 HR (.467 slugging), 2 RBI, and 4 K

In case the Mets make a roster change, here’s Uribe’s numbers:

Juan Uribe 2-6 with 1 double, 2 RBI, 2 K

Overall, the Mets have not hit Cueto well. However, prior to Cueto being a Royal no one did. Just last year, Cueto limited batters to a triple slash line of .195/.261/.313. So, where’s the discrepancy in all this?  Where’s the hope for Mets fans tomorrow?  It’s that Cueto’s numbers are actually no fluke at all. In his career, as the year progresses, he tired and gets hit harder:

March/April .208/.269/.349

May .222/.282/.364

June .235/.298/.367

July .252/.324/.365

August .243/.305/.412

September/October .275/.335/.426

Given these numbers, it’s clear that Cueto can be hit . . . hard. This gives the Mets a Game One advantage. When the goal is to split in Kansas City, the Mets need to utilize this advantage. I think they can and will. 

Back to the Mets Future 

Today is widely known as Back to Future Day because this was the day Marty McFly went to 2015:

Watching Back to the Future Part II in theaters, I remember thinking 2015 was so far away. I remember watching the Mets during this year, I thought the World Series was so far away. Let’s travel back to see the Mets starting lineups:

April 21, 2015 Mets 7 – Braves 1

  1. Curtis Granderson RF
  2. Juan Lagares CF 
  3. Lucas Duda 1B
  4. Michael Cuddyer LF
  5. Daniel Murphy 2B
  6. Eric Campbell 3B
  7. Kevin Plawecki C
  8. Wilmer Flores SS
  9. Jon Niese P

May 21, 2015 Mets 5 – Cardinals 0

  1. Juan Lagares CF
  2. Wilmer Flores SS
  3. Lucas Duda 1B
  4. Michael Cuddyer LF
  5. Daniel Murphy 2B
  6. John Mayberry, Jr. RF
  7. Eric Campbell 3B
  8. Kevin Plawecki C
  9. Jacob deGrom P

June 21, 2015 Braves 1 – Mets 0

  1. Curtis Granderson RF
  2. Juan Lagares CF
  3. Lucas Duda 1B
  4. Michael Cuddyer LF
  5. Wilmer Flores SS
  6. Kevin Plawecki C
  7. Dilson Herrera 2B
  8. Eric Campbell 3B
  9. Matt Harvey P

July 21, 2015 Mets 7 – Nationals 2

  1. Curtis Granderson RF
  2. Ruben Tejada SS
  3. Lucas Duda 1B
  4. Daniel Murphy 3B
  5. Wilmer Flores 2B
  6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis LF
  7. Kevin Plawecki C
  8. Jacob deGrom P
  9. Juan Lagares CF

August 21, 2015 Mets 14 – Rockies 9

  1. Curtis Granderson RF
  2. Daniel Murphy 3B
  3. Yoenis Cespedes CF
  4. Lucas Duda 1B
  5. Wilmer Flores SS
  6. Kelly Johnson 2B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud C
  8. Michael Conforto LF
  9. Bartolo Colon P

September 21, 2015 Mets 4 – Braves 0

  1. Curtis Granderson RF
  2. Daniel Murphy 3B
  3. Yoenis Cespedes CF
  4. Lucas Duda 1B
  5. Travis d’Arnaud C
  6. Kelly Johnson 2B
  7. Michael Conforto LF
  8. Wilmer Flores SS
  9. Jon Niese P

October 21, 2015 (estimated)

  1. Curtis Granderson RF
  2. David Wright 3B
  3. Daniel Murphy 2B
  4. Yoenis Cespedes CF
  5. Lucas Duda 1B
  6. Travis d’Arnaud
  7. Michael Conforto LF
  8. Wilmer Flores SS
  9. Steven Matz P

Looking over these lineups, it was not until August that anyone could believe the Mets had an offense that could be capable of winning in October. Now, Mets fans believe this team can’t be beat. I hoping that’s the case tonight. 

I want to see the Mets Back to the World Series. 

Who’s Getting the Big Hit?

In order for the Mets to win tonight, Jacob deGrom needs to be great, and he will be. However, at some point, the Mets will need to get a big hit. Anyone is possible. Here’s why everyone on this roster is capable of it:

Yoenis Cespedes because he’s already homered off of Zack Greinke in this series

Michael Conforto because like Cespedes he has too. 

David Wright because he already has a big hit in this series. 

Curtis Granderson because he’s been the best Mets hitter in this series

Wilmer Flores because it’s an emotional game, and he’s at his best when he’s emotional 

Lucas Duda because he’s due, he’s hit Greinke, and because he knows how to clinch things

Daniel Murphy because he’s clutch, and he knows how to give deGrom run support in this series 

Travis d’Arnaud because he’s had one big game in this series and is due for another

Kirk Nieuwenhuis because he already has a huge pinch hit homerun in a big spot this year

Juan Lagares because he’s more than a glove, and he’s already hit a homerun in Dodger Stadium

Michael Cuddyer because he still has something up his sleeve

Kelly Johnson because we knew the Mets were onto bigger and better things when he homered in his first game as a Met (against the Dodgers)

Kevin Plawecki and/or Matt Reynolds because you never know who’s going to get the big hit

It’ll happen tonight. If you need more inspiration to believe it’s true just remember what happened 19 years ago today:


C’mon Duda

If you’ve read this site before, you know I’m a big fan of Lucas Duda. So is my son. I’m rooting for him even if he’s having a rough NLDS. 

He’s 2-15 with two walks and nine strikeouts. That’s a triple slash line of .133/.188/.133. That’s ugly. It’s hard to justify giving him playing time. With that said, he has to start in Game Five tomorrow. Now, unlike most, I’ll admit my bias here. I like Duda as a player. However, that’s not the only reason I want him to start tomorrow. 

He’s had some success against Zack Greinke. He’s 3-12 with one homerun, one RBI, and two walks.  It is a small sample size, and he went 0-3 against him in Game Two. With his cold streak, you could argue it’s time to play someone else. 

If you sit Duda, then who do you play? One popular opinion floating around is moving Daniel Murphy to first and starting Kelly Johnson at second. That shouldn’t be an option with Johnson going 0-9 against Greinke. He’s also 0-3 with two strikeouts in his pinch hitting appearances this postseason. 

The next option would be Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer has had some success against Greinke as well going 10-40 with a double and a homer. He’s also struck out 10 times against Greinke. Given the comparability of Duda’s and Cuddyer’s numbers against Greinke you could argue the Mets should start Cuddyer, which is something no Mets fan is lobbying for right now. 

However, I believe you have to start Duda over Cuddyer. If you don’t, this leaves your right handed pinch hitting options to Kevin Plawecki, your backup catcher, and Juan Lagares, the Mets defensive replacement. The Dodgers will have three lefties in the pen assuming Clayton Kershaw isn’t available. I’d prefer Cuddyer pinch hitting in this spot over Lagares or Plawecki. 

Lastly, Duda has been extremely streaky this year. He can flip the switch at any moment. He did go 0-4 last night, but he also gave one a ride last night. Hopefully, it was a sign he’s coming out of it. It’s reason enough to play him tomorrow. I like focusing on this reason other than the lack of better options. 

So, I’m hoping the Mets play Duda, and he gives one a ride. He’s done it before against Greinke. He can do it again. 

Game Two Pitching Matchup

Yesterdsy, I looked at how the Mets fared against Clayton Kershaw. Game Two promises to have its own pitcher’s duel between Zack Greinke and Noah Syndergaard

That means if the Mets want/need to win Game Two, they will need to get some runs off of Greinke or get into the Dodgers bullpen. With that said, here’s how the Mets have fared against Greinke:

Starting Lineup

Curtis Granderson 10-52 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, and 11 Ks

David Wright 3-9 with 1 double and 2 Ks

Daniel Murphy 4-13 with 2 BBs and 1 K

Yoenis Cespedes 1-5 with 1 BB and 1 K

Lucas Duda 3-12 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BBs, and 4 Ks

Travis d’Arnaud 0-0

Michael Conforto 0-2 with 1 RBI and 1 K

Ruben Tejada 0-6 with 1 K

Combined 21-99 (.212 BA) with 5 BBs (.274 OBP), 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HRs (.343 slugging), 5 RBIs, and 21 Ks


Kevin Plawecki 2-6 with 1 double and 1 K
Wilmer Flores 3-8 with 1 K

Kelly Johnson 0-9

Michael Cuddyer 10-40 with 1 double, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 BBs, 10 Ks

Juan Lagares 1-8 with 1 HR, 3 RBIs, and 1 K

Kirk Nieuwenhuis 1-5 with 1 K

Combined 17-76 (.224) with 2 BBs (.244 OBP), 2 doubles, 2 HRs (.329 slugging), 10 RBIs, and 14 Ks

Team Totals 38-175 (.217 BA) with 7 BBs (.241), 5 doubles, 2 triples, 4 HRS (.337 slugging), 15 RBIs, and 35 Ks

Obviously, the .215/.241/.337 line indicates the Mets don’t hit Greinke well, but then again who does?  Greinke has limited batters to .187/.231/.276 this year. So, the Mets do hit Greinke than the league as a whole. 

This goes especially for the top of the Mets lineup. Granderson, Wright, and Murphy have historically hit Greinke very well. If the Mets want to score runs, it’s going to have to start at the top. 

As far as Syndergaard goes, he’s only faced the Dodgers once, and it was at Dodger Stadium. In that game, he pitched six innings allowing two hits, one earned, two walks, and six strikeouts. He got a no decision, but the Mets went on to a 2-1 win. That game was against Kershaw. 

Thor is certainly capable of repeating that performance. In his last four starts, he’s had a 2.93 ERA, a 0.651 WHIP, and a 12.0 K/9.  In this stretch, he’s limited opposing hitters to .163/.188/.337. He’s the key to everything. He’s primed for this playoff run. 

It’s strange to say I’m confident the Mets can pull a game out against Greinke, but Thor gives me that confidence. I can’t wait for him to take the mound Saturday night. 

Mets Against Kershaw

This series comes down to the Mets stud muffins against Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. There could be a lot of 2-1 and 1-0 games. After Kershaw’s last game against the Mets, it’s hard to believe they can even hit him. 

However, that game was in July. The Mets clean-up hitter was John Mayberry, Jr.  Since that time, the Mets have added Yoenis CespedesTravis d’Arnaud, and David Wright to the lineup.  Here’s how the current Mets lineup has fared against Kershaw: 

Starting Lineup 

Curtis Granderson 1-10, 1 BB, 1 K

David Wright 3-14, 1 double, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 2 Ks

Daniel Murphy 3-10 with an RBI

Yoenis Cespedes 0-3

Michael Cuddyer 4-16 with 2 RBIs and 3 Ks
Lucas Duda 1-10 with 1 BB and 7 Ks
Travis d’Arnaud 0-0
Ruben Tejada 5-14 with 3 BBs and 3 Ks
Combined 17-77 (.220 BA) with 9 BBs (.302 OBP), one double (.234 slugging), 4 RBIs, and 16 Ks


Wilmer Flores 3-6 with 1 RBI and 1 K
Kelly Johnson 3-15 with 1 HR, 2 RBIs and 5 Ks
Michael Conforto 0-0
Juan Lagares 0-7 with 1 K
Kirk Nieuwenhuis 0-0
Kevin Plawecki 0-3 with 1 K
Combined 6-31 (.194 BA & OBP) with a HR (.290 slugging), 3 RBIs, and 7 Ks

Team Totals 23-108 (.213 BA) with 9 BBs (.274 OBP), 1 double, 1 HR (.250 slugging), 7 RBIs, and 23 Ks. 

This season Kershaw allowed batters to hit .194/.237/.284. Therefore, arguably, the Mets as a team have hit Kershaw better than the rest of the league.  However, the truth really is Kershaw has dominated the Mets. 

Looking over the numbers, the Mets would be best served by sitting Duda, moving Murphy to 1B, and letting Flores play 2B. I’m not sure the Mets will do that. They se inclined to put Duda out there. 

This leaves the Mets hoping they can work the count to get to an awful Dodgers bullpen. The other Hope is Kershaw reverts to being a bad playoff pitcher. Kershaw is 1-5 with a 5.12 ERA and a 1.235 WHIP. 

Either way, the Mets have as good a chance as anyone to beat Kershaw. 

Re-Revised NLDS Roster

Well, it seems I was wrong about Eric Young, Jr.  I can’t say I am too upset about it. It seems like the last man on the roster will be Kirk Nieuwenhuis, although I still think Dilson Herrera is getting a long look as he’s not on the taxi squad. 

With that said, here’s my re-revised NLDS roster projection. 


1. Travis d’Arnaud

2. Kevin Plawecki


3. Lucas Duda

4. Daniel Murphy

5. David Wright

6. Ruben Tejada

7. Wilmer Flores

8. Kelly Johnson


9. Michael Conforto

10. Yoenis Cespedes

11. Curtis Granderson

12. Michael Cuddyer

13. Juan Lagares

14. Kirk Nieuwenhuis 

Starting Pitchers

15. Jacob deGrom

16. Noah Sundergaard

17. Matt Harvey

18. Bartolo Colon


19. Jeurys Familia

20. Addison Reed

21. Tyler Clippard

22. Hansel Robles

23. Jon Niese

24. Erik Goeddel

25. Sean Gilmartin

If he’s healthy, and he won’t be, Juan Uribe would replace Nieuwenhuis. Also, I’m not putting Steven Matz on my projected roster because he didn’t pitch. If I hear differently with the Instructuonal League appearance, I may still leave him off the projected roster. 

I can’t trust the Mets to be honest on the topic. If I’m convinced, then I would slot him in the rotation moving Colon to the bullpen. That would then bump Gilmartin from the roster. 

No Excuse

No, I’m not panicking after getting swept in both ends of a doubleheader. I don’t think this five game losing streak is that big of a deal. I actually like starting the NLDS on the road

However, I’m angry. The Mets weren’t even competitive against Max Scherzer. They had no hits. They struck out 17 times. They didn’t even make a loud out. If it wasn’t for a Yunel Escobar sixth inning error, it would’ve been a perfect game. I don’t care that Scherzer is an incredible pitcher. It’s garbage. What bothered me most was quotes like this:

I’m not asking Kevin Plawecki to disrespect his opponent. However, what is wrong with saying, “Scherzer embarrassed us out there tonight. We’re heading to the playoffs, and we need to be better than that.”  It’s this attitude that bothers me the most.

The Mets are going to face Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in the NLDS. They have the ability to be as good or better than Scherzer was tonight. They could face the Mets four out of the possible five games in the NLDS. I don’t need to hear how the Mets are ripping their caps. I need to hear how angry they are with their own performance. If you want to point to the Mets biggest flaw, it’s that. They’re too accepting of the poor performances.  

By the way, Matt Harvey was amazing himself tonight. He only let up an unearned run. Because the rest of his team didn’t show up, he got the loss. I hope it’s not an omen. 

How to Handle the Double Header

After last night’s rainout, the Mets are scheduled for double header today. This could be tricky for a team that has a number of banged up players but still wants to fight for homefield advantage

At the same time, the Mets also need to figure out their postseason roster. There are easy decisions to make like Travis d’Arnaud catches one game and Kevin Plawecki catches the other. There are more difficult decisions to be made especially if the field is sloppy. Ultimately, while making these decisions, the Mets to keep in mind the priority is not homefield but winning the World Series. Here’s how I would handle it:

  1. David Wright does not step in the field unless they pull Pete Flynn out of retirement and get his go-ahead;
  2. Jon Niese pitches today [and tomorrow];
  3. If Dilson Herrera has a chance to make the playoff roster, he needs to play in both games, and preferably, he plays a position other than 2B;
  4. Anyone who is on the playoff roster bubble must start one game and at least pinch hit in the other game; and
  5. At bats shouldn’t be wasted on players who can’t make the roster. 

The Mets must keep in mind the goal is to win a World Series. The best way to help that is to make sure the team is healthy and primed to win. I don’t care if the Mets lose both games so long as they do what is needed to get ready for the NLDS.