Mason Williams

Mets Split 2-1 Extra Inning Games Against Phillies

In the first game of the doubleheader, Aaron Nola had out-dueled Taijuan Walker. Not only did he match Tom Seaver‘s MLB record of 10 consecutive strikeouts (with the aide of some very questionable strike calls), but he drove home the only run heading into the seventh.

It looked like the Mets would lose in a frustrating 1-0 fashion. That was until Luis Guillorme led off the ninth, sorry seventh, with a comebacker against Jose Alvarado. Alvarado threw it away allowing Guillorme to go to second.

Albert Almora pinch hit and struck out. Jeff McNeil then grounded out putting all the pressure on Francisco Lindor. Lindor had Alvarado’s timing, and he delivered a game tying single.

Luis Rojas made an astute move double switching Seth Lugo into the game. Not only did this bring in his best reliever, but due to a quirk in the extra inning rules, it put Lindor at second even though he didn’t make the last out.

After Lugo struck out three of the four batters he faced, the Mets were going to get their opportunity to walk it off.

The left-handed Ranger Suarez intentionally walked Pete Alonso to face Dominic Smith. For some reason, Smith offered to bunt the first two pitches, and on the third, he hit a walk-off RBI single giving the Mets a 2-1 win.

Once again, in the second game of the doubleheader, the offenses were anemic. Only this time, it wasn’t as excusable because it was Matt Moore and David Peterson.

For a split second in the second, it appeared Almora put the Mets ahead 2-0 on a homer. However, Andrew McCutchen went up to grab it, and while the Mets thought it hit the back wall, replay upheld the out call.

Entering the sixth, there was a combined five hits in the scoreless game. Bryce Harper homered in the sixth to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, and once again, in the bottom of the seventh, the Phillies bullpen begged the Mets to win the game.

Instead of Alvarado, Joe Girardi tabbed Archie Bradley to close it out. There was no one warming in the pen. You could say it was a mistake, but the Phillies bullpen is terrible.

Bradley book-ended Guillorme once again reaching on an error by walking two batters to load the bases with no outs. Walk-off king Patrick Mazeika strode to the plate, but he struck out.

James McCann gave one a ride to deep center, but even though he was playing shallow, Odubel Herrera tracked it down. Instead of a game winner, it was a game tying sacrifice fly.

Jeff McNeil, who had a tough doubleheader going 0-for-7 with three strikeouts, grounded out to end the inning.

Rojas went to Sean Reid-Foley, the 27th man for the doubleheader for the eighth. Reid-Foley did what he needed to do, but he got some bad luck behind him.

Brad Miller hit a grounder to Lindor. Lindor couldn’t quite get a handle on it allowing Rafael Marchand to get to third without a throw. The Phillies then pinch ran Travis Jankowski for him.

The Mets drew the infield in, and Herrera hit a hit shot at Guillorme. Guillorme made a great play to snag it on the short hop, but it popped out of his glove as it hit the ground. Guillorme was noticeably frustrated with himself for being unable to make a play at home, but he made a great play just to get the out at first.

Unfortunately, there were no heroics against Hector Neris. Lindor and Alonso grounded out before Smith struck out to end the game.

In the end, the Mets scored zero earned runs, but they were still able to scratch out a split. That’s good, and yet, there can be some frustration as a Mets team with a nearly complete lineup could barely score runs.

Game Notes: Jonathan Villar was put on the IL, and Travis Blankenhorn was recalled. J.D. Davis was transferred to the 60 day IL, and the Mets claimed Chance Sisco. Mason Williams opted for free agency. Aaron Loup and Edwin Diaz were unavailable to pitch.

Mets Ran Away From Win

It was Jerad Eickhoff facing off against Ian Anderson, so naturally, this was a pitcher’s duel. That’s nothing to say against Anderson, who has been very good in his brief career. Rather, it’s noteworthy when Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors in two years.

We saw that immediately when the Atlanta Braves loaded the bases in the first with one out. Eickhoff responded by striking out Austin Riley and getting Dansby Swanson to ground out to him.

While not flawless, it was a good start for Eickhoff. He’d pitch four scoreless innings allowing three hits and three walks while striking out three. Understandably, Luis Rojas and the Mets didn’t have him face the order a third time.

Instead, Miguel Castro started the fifth. He’d leave one over the middle of the plate for Ronald Acuña Jr., and Acuña hit a solo homer to deep center to give the Braves the 1-0 lead.

That’s all the Braves needed entering the seventh because of the Mets poor base running. It was almost indescribably bad.

In the second, Pete Alonso was running on the 3-2 pitch, and he thought he could beat Acuña’s arm. He couldn’t as Acuña’s throw was perfect and nailed Alonso at third.

With the Mets offense sputtering, they didn’t get another rally going until the sixth. That started with a Jonathan Villar one out double against Anderson. Of course, because this is the Mets, Villar came out of the game with an injury.

Jose Peraza pinch ran for Villar and for reasons that defy logic he took off for third on a Francisco Lindor grounder to his right. After Swanson easily nailed Peraza, Lindor would make matters worse. With Jeff McNeil up, Lindor broke for second. Anderson threw over leading to Lindor getting caught stealing easily.

In the seventh, the Mets got a one out rally started against Braves closer Will Smith. Alonso and Dominic Smith hit back-to-back singles, and this time, Alonso didn’t test Acuña.

Then, Luis Rojas made a monumentally dumb move. The slow footed Alonso was the tying run, and yet, somehow, Rojas opts to pinch run Albert Almora for Smith. There’s no good explanation why you don’t look to do all you can do to try to ensure you get the tying run.

After James McCann was plunked the bases were loaded, and Kevin Pillar was up. Pillar ripped a liner, but it was right at Riley. Riley snagged it, and he was initially ruled to beat Alonso back to the bag for a game ending double play.

As it turned out, it was a blown call overturned on replay. That’s fortunate as Rojas’ mistake didn’t cost him and the Mets there.

Whatever the case, it didn’t matter as Brandon Drury popped out to end the inning. With that, the Mets ran themselves out of innings and the game. That’s the biggest reason for this split doubleheader.

Game Notes: Joey Lucchesi has a torn UCL. Jeurys Familia was placed on the IL with a hip impingement. Robert Gsellman is on the IL with a lat injury. Stephen Tarpley was the 27th man for the doubleheader. Yennsy Diaz was recalled. Mason Williams was designated for assignment.

Issue Wasn’t Edwin Diaz Relieving Seth Lugo

The Mets pitching was again phenomenal. That started with Joey Lucchesi pitching 5.1 scoreless innings. After that, the bullpen provided 2.2 scoreless.

That last one-third of an inning came from Seth Lugo. It wasn’t a pressure situation in the bottom of the eighth, but Luis Rojas tabbed to get relieve Aaron Loup and get Trea Turner out.

He did. Keep in mind, Lugo’s turn in the order didn’t come up. He didn’t have an injury issue. The Mets didn’t get a lead.

Simply put, Rojas just trusted Edwin Diaz against the Washington Nationals top hitters more than Lugo. Honestly, this is not a bad decision.

Lugo has been phenomenal, but he’s still working his way back from injury. The Mets are also in an insane stretch of games, and they’ll need a fresh Lugo again soon. Mostly, this is Diaz whose been phenomenal all year.

No, it didn’t work. Diaz walked Juan Soto before surrendering back-to-back singles to Ryan Zimmerman and Yan Gomes. With that, the Mets lost 1-0.

It should be noted with Soto, that was a completely blown call. Still, the inning fell apart, and the Nationals scored the only run of the game.

Therein lies the problem. Erick Fedde limited the Mets to two hits over seven innings. He did walk four, but the Mets did nothing to drive home any runs.

Mason Williams and Luis Guillorme were thrown out trying to steal a base. In total, the Mets were 0-for-1 with RISP, and they stranded four.

When you get just two hits, and you don’t score for a second straight game, you’re going to lose. That’s the case whether Lugo or Diaz pitches.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Secure Winning Road Trip In Baltimore

The New York Mets traveled to Baltimore to play the Orioles to complete their nine game road trip. With the split, they finished 5-4:

1. Of course, Kevin Pillar and Mason Williams were the first Mets to go back-to-back. In some ways, that’s the perfect encapsulation of this season.

2. On the subject of homers, Pete Alonso hit three, and he’s heating up just before a temperature check series against the San Diego Padres.

3. Alonso has always been one to speak his mind, and he was right on point when he said the biggest issue is the way MLB changes the ball year-to-year.

4. It’s funny. The Mets really had no choice but to obtain Billy McKinney, but now they suddenly look like geniuses for it.

5. The story of how Kevin Pillar has been a big believer in McKinney, was exited about the acquisition, and picked up McKinney when he joined the team speaks volumes about why this team is performing so well.

6. It’s funny how quickly fans went from why would the Mets sign Pillar to Pillar becoming a fan favorite they fiercely defend has been hilarious. It’s also a sign about all the things Pillar does right on and off the field.

7. While the Mets offensive onslaught felt great, especially the day after the Mets were blown out, some of the joy was taken out of it because it happened against Matt Harvey.

8. At this moment, David Peterson is not an MLB caliber starting pitcher, and it’s unfair to him to keep putting him in a position to fail.

9. No, the Mets don’t have a real answer in Triple-A, and it is going to be tough to navigate this next stretch, but when Peterson has given you 3.0 innings over the last two starts, he’s not going to help you.

10. The Mets desperately need Robert Gsellman to be good. As we saw, when he isn’t, games get way out of hand.

11. The best way for the Mets to navigate things going forward is to get starts like they did from Taijuan Walker.

12. There’s something to be said for Walker and McKinney, two once highly regarded prospects who haven’t lived to expectations, starting to look like the players we thought they would become under Luis Rojas.

13. This is getting way to ahead of ourselves, but McKinney just has this vibe right now where he’s just going to have a really big moment this postseason.

14. McKinney and Ty Kelly are doppelgängers.

15. It was hard to take Ron Darling seriously yesterday when he didn’t have Jacob deGrom atop his pitcher power rankings. In fact, it’s hard to take MLB Network seriously as Darling wasn’t the only one.

16. The baseball card shtick in blowouts works, and Darling and Gary Cohen trading an Andres Gimenez card for a Francisco Lindor was pretty clever.

17. It’s actually amusing the Mets had a game where Alonso and Dominic Smith were both in the lineup and neither played first base.

18. The replay system has become a complete and utter joke. They can’t even manage to get clearly blown calls overturned.

19. Nobody is talking about him, but Cedric Mullens is a phenomenal baseball player who put on a show against the Mets. The All-Star Game is at its best when it gives a player like him a stage to introduce himself to the world, and it’ll be great to see that next month.

20. MLB can keep the Mets down in the power rankings all they want. This is still a first place team.

Game Recaps

Mets Loss Was for the Birds

Mets Deep Six Orioles

Mets Deep Six Orioles

The New York Mets got beaten up last night, but tonight, they returned the favor in a 14-1 win. The only downside was the bulk of the damage came against Matt Harvey, who the Mets pushed closer to getting DFA’d.

Pete Alonso opened the scoring with a two run homer in the first. The Mets then put five up against Harvey in the third highlighted by a Kevin Pillar three run homer.

Harvey wouldn’t pitch past the third, and Taijuan Walker was dominant. Walker pitched 7.0 innings allowing one run on five hits and one walk while striking out nine.

As for the Mets, they just keep on hitting. The best way to show how dominant they were is to just show the batting stats from the game:

  1. Jonathan Villar 2-5, 2 R, 2 2B
  2. Francisco Lindor 1-3, R, BB
  3. Pete Alonso 3-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
  4. Dominic Smith 0-5
  5. James McCann 2-4, 2 R, 2B, BB, RBI
  6. Billy McKinney 3-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI
  7. Kevin Pillar 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI
  8. Mason Williams 2-4, R, HR, RBI
  9. Jose Peraza 0-4

Overall, the Mets hit six homers. That included Pillar and Williams going back-to-back in the eighth. Believe it or not, that was the first time it’s happened this year.

The Mets end their road trip and season series with the Orioles. They are now primed to go home and send another statement to the San Diego Padres.

Game Notes: Mets were 5-4 on the nine game road trip.

Mets Blow It Against Diamondbacks

This seemed like yet another easy win. Everything was clicking for the New York Mets, but baseball always finds a way to make things interesting.

Through the first three innings, there were base runners, but Caleb Smith and Marcus Stroman were making the pitches they needed to make. It also doesn’t help the cause when Jonathan Villar was picked off yet again.

In the fourth, Pete Alonso hit a two out single. Then, for that first time in well over a month, Dominic Smith homered.

Stroman did his part to keep it at 2-0 by continuing to shut down the Arizona Diamondbacks lineup. The Diamondbacks were so frustrated, they began jawing at Stroman, and like most baseball confrontations, it proved to be much ado about nothing.

The Mets would get Stroman’s back the best way they could. That’s by scoring runs.

Villar went right to work against Diamondbacks reliever Joe Mantiply. Villar then scored as the suddenly hot Francisco Lindor tripled him home.

After Alonso was walked, Smith hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Lindor giving the Mets a 4-0 lead. Alonso wasn’t able to move up on the play, which was unfortunate as Tomas Nido followed with an inning ending GIDP.

It didn’t seem to matter much. After all, Stroman was dealing, and the Diamondbacks have been reeling. However, that didn’t stop the Diamondbacks from responding.

The Diamondbacks led off the bottom of the sixth with two straight hits. Then, with one out, Pavin Smith pulled them to within one by hitting a three run homer. Suddenly, an easy 4-0 game was a tight 4-3 one.

Stroman was done after that sixth. What was once a dominant effort turned into merely just a good one. Still, allowing three runs on seven hits and no walks with std strikeouts was enough to get the win. The Mets bullpen assured he would get it.

Again, it wasn’t easy. Jeurys Familia came on to pitch the seventh, and he was greeted by Villar making an error to not only allow Nick Ahmed to reach, but to also take second.

Familia rebounded to get the next two out, but he would walk Ketel Marte. While the tying and go-ahead runs were on base, it’s important to remember we’re seeing vintage Familia this year. He proved that again by striking out Eduardo Escobar to get out of the inning.

Aaron Loup pitched a scoreless eighth, but Edwin Diaz could not converthis 10th save in many chances. It wasn’t entirely his doing.

After striking out Stephen Vogt, he allowed a single to Ahmed. Ahmed then took second when McKinney had a bobble fielding it. Ahmed would be at third with two out when Josh Rojas, the same player jawing at Stroman earlier in the game, hit a game tying single.

Things got dicey from there. Marte singled, and Rojas appeared set to go first to third. However, he slipped, but the Mets couldn’t take advantage as Jose Peraza couldn’t quite secure a throw from Mason Williams.

Diaz got out of the ninth with the game tied 4-4 when Escobar flew out. That meant we got Rob Manfred extra innings gimmick baseball.

Peraza was the designated runner, and James McCann pinch hit for Williams. McCann, who has corrected himself at the plate after his first base stint, hit a go-ahead RBI single off Alex Young to give the Mets a 5-4 lead.

McCann would be stranded there meaning Trevor May had no margin for error when he entered the game with a runner on second to try to earn the save.

May was an odd choice as he’s been fighting it of late, and he threw 26 pitches last night. There was also the fact Seth Lugo was just activated and available. Whatever the case, Luis Rojas went with May.

It was an easy first guess, and it cost the Mets. May issued a one out walk to Smith. Josh Reddick then hit a ball down the line which appeared foul but was ruled fair.

The ball got by Brandon Drury in right allowing the tying and game winning runs to score. The Mets tried to challenge to no avail.

The Mets will certainly want this one back. They blew a 4-0 lead and wasted opportunities to add insurance runs. Diaz blew his first save, and Rojas went to the exhausted reliever with the game on the line.

Overall, the Mets are and need to be better than this. They should be tomorrow.

Game Notes: Mets-Diamondbacks finale will be televised on YouTube. Billy McKinney has four straight games with an extra base hit.

Jacob deGrom Nearly Perfect

Joe Musgove. Carlos Rodon. John Means. Wade Miley. Spencer Turnbull. Corey Kluber.

It just doesn’t make and sense. Somehow, these six have no-hitters, and yet, with one out in the fifth, Carson Kelly hit a single off Jacob deGrom.

Regardless of the inane scoring when Billy McKinney dropped a Josh Reddick line drive, that’s all the Arizona Diamondbacks could muster off deGrom through six. He had no-hit stuff (as usual), and the Diamondbacks were his victims.

All told, deGrom’s final line was 6.0 innings, two hits, zero runs, zero walks, and eight strikeouts.

As is the case, deGrom drove in more than he allowed. In the fourth, Jose Peraza hit a one out double, and Merrill Kelly intentionally walked Mason Williams to get to deGrom.

Kelly and the Diamondbacks paid for that mistake when deGrom hit an RBI single. With that hit, he’s driven in as many runs as he’s allowed this year. Honestly, there was nothing unusual about that.

What was unusual was the run support. A big part of that was the return of Pete Alonso to the lineup.

In the third, Alonso came up with the bases loaded and two outs, and in his second at-bat since coming off the IL, he hit a two RBI single giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. Alonso got two more RBI when he hit a two run homer in the seventh.

At that point, the Mets were in control. That’s when Luis Rojas went to the bullpen. Between the 5-0 lead and deGrom’s recent IL stint, you understood the move.

The problem is Trevor May struggled. Eduardo Escobar homered off of him to lead off the inning.

After two quick outs, Pavin Smith singled off May and then took second on a wild pitch. He then scored on a Reddick RBI single. Miguel Castro relieved May and got the Mets out of the inning further unscathed.

Well, it wasn’t so much Castro as it was Williams. The call-up singled in his first at-bat, and he’d make a big play to get the Mets out of the seventh up 5-2.

Castro would give the Mets another inning, and with the help of another fine Jonathan Villar play, it was a scoreless eighth. Even with the scoreless inning, he did not give the ball off for a save situation.

The reason for that was Billy McKinney hitting his second homer in as many games. This one gave the Mets a 6-2 lead.

With the four run lead, Jeurys Familia came on to finish the game. Familia retired the first two quickly, but the second batter, Smith, hit one off Familia’s hand.

Familia shook everyone off, but there was some concern after a Reddick bloop double. Whatever concern that might’ve been, Familia put it to rest striking out Domingo Leyba.

Game Notes: In addition to Alonso, Kevin Pillar and Seth Lugo were activated off the IL. Sean Reid-Foley, Khalil Lee, and Patrick Mazeika were optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. Sam McWilliams and Cameron Maybin were designated for assignment. The Mets had 13 hits with James McCann being the only starter without a hit.