Way back when the Mets used to be good, an old friend and I would always lament these days games. It wasn’t just because we had to intermittently listen to the game on the radio, but it was also because odd things tend to happen to the Mets in weekday day games.
I was reminded of that a few weeks ago with that bizarre game against the Padres. With the way Noah Syndergaard started the game, I was afraid of another one of those games. In the first he let up two solo homeruns. The Mets got him the lead in the bottom of the first, and he gave it away in the third.
It looked like this was going to be a high scoring game, and Thor would be lucky to get through five. The Mets upheld their end of the bargain by scoring 12 runs. The Rockies wouldn’t score past the third for a 12-3 final. Amazingly, Thir finished with five strikeouts, 2 walks, four hits, and three earned runs in seven innings. Good for Terry Collins for sticking with him.
This may not have been the game in which he had his most impressive stuff or control, but it might’ve been his most impressive game to date. It’s one thing to win when it’s all working. It’s another to have a rough start with less than your best stuff and still find a way. This is the type of game where you say he could join Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey in being considered an ace.
Offensively, the lefties were hitting on National Lefthanders’ Day. Curtis Granderson went 1-3 with a walk, two runs scored, and a three run homer. Daniel Murphy went 1-5 with a run scored and an RBI double. Kelly Johnson went 3-4 with a double, a home run, a run scored, and three RBIs. Michael Conforto went 2-3 with a walk and three runs scored. The only left not in on the action? Lucas Duda, who missed his third straight game with his back injury.
It was also great to see Juan Lagares hit a pinch hit three run homer. He’s been going well pretty lately. It’ll be great to see him continue because the Mets could use his glove in the field everyday.
On another note, you have to admit you feel great about this team right now. I’m sure there are fans still scared from 2007 and 2008, but this team isn’t that team. Plus, the Nationals aren’t the Phillies. The Mets swept the Rockies and made them look like a last place team. The Rockies beat the Nationals two out of three.
I’m not guarantee in a division title, but I think it’s fine to feel confident and enjoy these games. Don’t let bad memories stop you from enjoying these new ones.
Good morning Mets fans. For some reason, food tastes better this morning. The air smells a little sweater. Overall, everything seems just a little bit better. Why? Here’s why:
Team W L GB
Blue Jays 63 52 –
Yankees 61 51 0.5
Team W L GB
Mets 62 52 –
Nationals 58 55 3.5
That’s right. The Mets are in first, and the Yankees aren’t. It seems like an Abbott and Costello routine. Not even ol’ Sebastian Dimwitty could figure this one out. Do you know the last time the Mets were in first place and the Yankees weren’t this late in the season? 1990!
Here’s a snapshot of what things were like in 1990:
- There were only four divisions and no Wild Card
- There was no interleague play
- Gary Cohen did radio and Howie Rose did TV
- Bud Selig owned the Brewers
- Tom Seaver was not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame
- Ron Darling pitched for the Mets
- Keith Hernandez was finishing his career in Cleveland
- Matt Harvey was one, Jacob deGrom was two, and Bartolo Colon was 30 (numbers are approximate).
- Noah Syndergaard, Wilmer Flores, and Michael Conforto weren’t born yet.
We know now that 1990 was the last hurrah for those 1980’s Mets teams. Now, it just seems like the beginning. Like I’ve said before, it’s a lot easier to raise a Mets fan when the Mets are good. It’s also easier when they’re better than the Yankees.
I know this may only last a day, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts. I get a feeling the Mets are in first to stay. Let’s Go Mets!
I don’t understand what the Mets are doing with their prospects right now. First, they are actively stunting the development of Michael Conforto by keeping him in the majors and not playing him everyday. Keep in mind, this is a player, they didn’t want to call-up in the first place.
Additionally, there is the constant noise over the six man rotation, but their young stud muffins are set to far exceed their innings limits. Plus, these prized arms’ aches and pains are largely ignored until it becomes more serious. They even have Dan Warthen playing doctor. It’s inexcusable.
Their treatment of Kevin Plawecki is almost as ponderous. I understand he might’ve been the best option at backup catcher, but it’s not like he’s been good. It’s just that Anthony Recker and Johnny Monell have been that bad. That was, in part, the rationale behind keeping Plawecki up when Travis d’Arnaud came off the DL on July 30th. Let’s see how that worked out for Plawecki:
- 3 games played out of 11l
- .111 average
- 12 extra days of accumulated service time
In essence, the decision was just short of being a disaster. Plawecki is going to be a Super Two player. Overall, he’s hit .228/.283/.296. Those are ugly numbers, especially when he’s a .292/.368/.435 hitter in the minors. Obviously, he should’ve been in the minors trying to get better. For those that argue that there’s value sitting on a major league bench, it sure hasn’t helped him thus far.
Plawecki probably would’ve benefitted from time in AAA making him a better player. d’Arnaud did the same last year, and he’s the better for it. Plawecki didn’t, and he’s worse off. The Mets catching situation is also worse off.
Overall, the Mets prospects are worse off the past two years in how they’ve been handled. I only hope Plawecki and Conforto can overcome it because they have real promise . . . promise that isn’t being g cultivated by the Mets.
Take a breath and repeat after me: “It’s just one game.”
Yeah, but the Rays ended the Mets seven game winning streak.
“It’s just one game.”
The Mets blew a three run first inning lead after a hard fought win last night killing all momentum.
“It’s just one game.”
The Mets road record this year has worsened to 21-33.
“It’s just one game.”
Noah Syndergaard continued his bad pitching on the road.
“It’s just one game.”
The Nationals won tonight with a strong start from Stephen Strasburg, who just came off the DL.
“It’s just one game.”
The Mets have Bartolo Colon going tomorrow against Chris Archer.
Okay, you’re getting to me a little, but “it’s just one game.”
The Nationals have Max Scherzer going tomorrow, and the Mets only have a one God lead in the loss column.
Ummmm . . . “it’s just one game?”
Ruben Tejada wasn’t good in the field AGAIN.
You’re right. I agree the Mets need a SS, but really all tonight was about was one loss. We can’t make it more than it was . . . even if some evidence points otherwise.
Let’s look at some positives. The bullpen was good tonight, after having some missteps recently, especially Sean Gilmartin. Curtis Granderson continues to hit well. Also, it’s great that so many Mets fans attended the game that the Rays had to remove the tarps to open up additional seating.
So yes, a 5-4 loss is tough especially when your young and budding ace seemingly takes a step back in only going four innings. It’s tough giving a game back in the division to a team like the Nationals, who just got a huge piece back.
However, it’s a legitimate pennant race. It’s supposed to be fun. I know I get too caught up in the game to game nonsense. One day it looks like the division is a lock; the next it looks like all this trades were all for naught.
Even if Colon and Tejada are playing tomorrow, I’m still excited. I hope you are too. Even if they lose tomorrow and the Nationaks win, just remember “it’s just one game,” and the Mets can bounce back tomorrow.
Coming out of the All Star Break, the Mets wisely set their rotation to allow their stud muffins to face the Nationals twice. Initially, the move was a bust. However, after the Yoenis Cespedes trade, the Met took off and swept the Nationals. Now, it seems like the Mets want to go back to the six man rotation, or at a minimum have some spot starts. If the Mets did not go to the six man rotation or have any spot starts, here’s how the rotation would shake out:
8/7 @ Rays
8/12 vs. Rockies
8/18 @ Orioles
8/24 @ Phillies
8/29 vs. Red Sox
9/4 @ Marlins
9/9 @ Nationals
9/14 vs. Marlins
9/20 vs. Yankees
9/25 @ Reds
10/1 @ Phillies
8/8 @ Rays
8/13 vs. Rockies
8/19 @ Orioles
8/25 @ Phillies
8/30 vs. Red Sox
9/5 @ Marlins
9/10 @ Braves
9/15 vs. Marlins
9/21 vs. Braves
9/26 @ Reds
10/2 vs. Nationals
8/9 @ Rays
8/14 vs. Pirates
8/21 @ Rockies
8/26 @ Phillies
8/31 vs. Phillies
9/6 @ Marlins
9/11 @ Braves
9/16 vs. Marlins
9/22 vs. Braves
9/27 @ Reds
10/3 vs. Nationals
8/10 vs. Rockies
8/15 vs. Pirates
8/22 @ Rockies
8/27 @ Phillies
9/1 vs. Phillies
9/7 @ Nationals
9/12 @ Braves
9/18 vs. Yankees
9/23 vs. Braves
9/29 @ Phillies
10/4 vs. Nationals
8/11 vs. Rockies
8/16 vs. Pirates
8/23 @ Rockies
8/28 vs. Red Sox
9/2 vs. Phillies
9/8 @ Nationals
9/13 @ Braves
9/19 vs. Yankees
9/24 @ Reds
9/30 @ Phillies
Now, we are all aware of the rumblings of the Mets using a spot starter or returning to the six man rotation. What we also know is the Mets are going to rip past the innings limits anyway. So in this somewhat academic analysis, just go back and take a look again at how the rotation will work out. For starters, it’s great that Colon only pitches one game against a team over .500 until the last week of the season. Additionally, if everything works out according to plan, you don’t have to finagle the rotation to start the postseason with Harvey, Matz, and Syndergrom. Isn’t that your goal? Now, if things get hectic towards the end, remember the Mets don’t have a huge lead right now, they can shift starts around in September so you can have the stud muffins going against the Nationals in the last series of the season.
Overall, if you are going to rip through the innings limits, why not do it properly and set the team up for success in September and October? My belief is that if you don’t change the rotation as it stands right now, the Mets look to be in good shape for the rest of the season, and they will have their stud muffins front and center entering the postseason. Let’s not overthink things and keep it the way it is.
The way the Mets have been playing, and with the way the Narkins have been playing, this game was effectively over after the Mets four run third. Once Juan Uribe hit a three run homerun in the fifth, the game was over. By the way, this park is so cavernous thst Uribe’s homerun was that much more impressive. Lucas Duda, himself tried to hit two out to CF and only came up with a SF in the ninth.
Rather than lifting Matt Harvey after five, when he was essentially assured the win, he came out for the sixth and the seventh. You don’t throw him those additional unnecessary innings. Why even have Carlos Torres or Sean Gilmartin on the team if they can’t eat up some innings in a laugher?
I hate to be negative after two sweeps and the Mets in first place, but I just don’t understand what the Mets are doing. If Harvey has a no-hitter going, I understand. Absent that, he should’ve been pulled. It makes me question how many innings the Mets have wasted with him, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard.
Further on the negative, Bobby Parnell was not good again. At least, Eric O’Flaherty came in and got out the lefty to snuff out the Markins only threat. He then let up two hits to lefties in the ninth to allow a run and give up the shutout. He let up a second run on an Ichiro RBI single. Collins’ then had to use Hansel Robles, who threw gasoline in the fire.
Collins saw enough and was forced to bring in Jeurys Familia in a save situation in an inning that started 8-0. Talk about wasting a pitcher. Familia let up an RBI single to Dee Gordon to make it 8-6. By the time I was having Padres flashbacks, Familia induced Yelich to groundout to Duda to save the game. Again, if Torres and Gilmartin can’t pick up these innings, I have no idea why they’re on the team. By not using them, the Nets burned through a lot of arms.
In other Mets news, we may have seen the first cracks in the platoon system with Uribe playing and Kelly Johnson sitting against a righty.
I do want to focus on the Dee Gordon groundout to Daniel Murphy. He always comes to play. The Mets were up 7-0, and yet he’s hustling on a routine ball to second. When he was initially ruled safe, he made Murphy look bad (correction: Murphy made himself look bad). Credit is due to Murphy there for immediately accepting responsibility for being lackadaisical. It reminded me of the famous George Brett quote:
I want to hit a routine grounder to second and run all out to first base, then get thrown out by a half step. I want to leave an example to the young guys that that’s how you play the game: ALL OUT.
As a “Mets Daddy,” I appreciate Gordon and Murphy there. It’s great to be able to show him someone who not only plays the right way, but also someone who never gives up. I appreciate Murphy there because rather than make a scene because Gordon should’ve been called out (which he was after replay), he accepted responsibility. I know there was a lot better parts of the game to focus upon, but as a Dad and baseball fan that was my favorite play if the game.
I was naively hoping the Mets were going to ignore the limitations while being smart about how they use their pitchers. For example, if any of the stud muffins are having a rough start, they would pull them a little early. If there is a large run differential, the pitcher could sit down earlier.
I was wrong. It appears the Mets still intend to manage the innings of the stud muffins by having spot starters during the rest of the season. In fact, Terry Collins stated the Mets will soon use a spot starter.
However, the Mets still ultimately want to go with a six man rotation. The most likely candidate is Steven Matz, who was reported to have begun throwing yesterday. If all goes according to plan, Matz will rejoin the rotation for the September stretch run. While we all enjoyed his first two starts, I’m not anxious for his return.
It is too late in the season to mess around with the pitching rotation, which has carried the team thus far. Furthermore, the statistics are not kind to six man rotations. In fact, pitchers’ ERA increases with the extra day of rest.
This begs the question: why would you mess with your biggest strength? We all know it’s pitching that will carry the Mets into the playoffs. The new offense is performing well, but it’s pitching that will help the Mets win now, and we know pitching wins in October.
I already know your answer: we want to protect the young arms. Mets fans have scars from Generation K. Younger fans may remember Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. I think everyone knows the story of Stephen Strasburg sitting out the 2012 postseason.
The end result? The Nationals lost in the NLDS to the eventual World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals three games to two. Strasburg’s replacement in the rotation was the immortal Edwin Jackson. Now Strasburg is injured again (not the elbow) and many question his mental makeup, fairly or unfairly. Thankfully, Terry Collins has assured us we will not see a repeat of the Strasburg incident as the stud muffins will pitch in the playoffs.
However, I’m still troubled by the innings limits. The main reason is because it is based upon the disproven “Verducci Effect.” I’m not willing to risk a whole season on faulty logic. Furthermore, I think the six man rotation overtures are disingenuous.
If the Mets were truly serious about the six man rotation, Dillon Gee would be in the rotation now. Over his last five starts, he’s 4-0 with a 3.03 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, and two consecutive complete games. He’s doing this in an extreme hitter’s league. I know he was not good this year while he was being jerked around regarding his role with the team and the organization. However, I must ask, if the Mets are truly concerned with results, why is Colon in the rotation?
I’m not going to belabor the point, but he’s been awful this year. I’m not going to turn in the blinders because he had a good start against the worst offensive team in baseball, who is without Giancarlo Stanton. Overall, Colon has the fifth worst ERA in the NL. Even with a revived offense, is this the guy you want to run out there every fifth day? If you tell me you want to replace Colon with Matz, I’d say it would be a great move.
Furthermore, if you want to protect the arms, it’s simple. The Mets need to fire Dan Warthen. First, in 2013, Harvey was permitted to make multiple starts with forearm tightness. Harvey had Tommy John surgery. Second, Zack Wheeler pitched with ligament damage last season. Zack Wheeler had Tommy John surgery. Finally, Warthen, himself, declared Steven Matz fit to pitch. Matz then went on the DL.
If it’s not Warthen’s fault, fine. Who is it? The Mets need to root out the cause for the ignored aches and pains of their prime young pitchers. These problems became major injuries. If the Mets are really concerned with their young pitchers, they should start looking there instead of instituting another version of the six man rotation.
On Friday at 3:00 P.M., things were about as bleak as it could be this season. The Carlos Gomez trade fell apart, and there seemed to be bickering as to whether it was due to Gomez’s hip or the Mets’ finances. On Thursday, the Mets’ bullpen inexplicably blew a six run lead.
Then it seemed the Mets would add Jay Bruce until they didn’t. It sure looked like the Mets were never going to add a bat. Worst yet, the Nationals were coming into NY after previously taking 2/3 from the stud muffins. This was a Nationals team that went 15-4 against the Mets last year.
On the eve of the trade deadline, the Mets acquired Yoenis Cespedes. The attention around the Mets changed from despair to hope. This hope continued to grow throughout the weekend.
On Friday, it was a dominant Matt Harvey and an emotionally satisfying Wilmer Flores’ walk off homerun. On Saturday, it was the Lucas Duda Fireworks Show. Tonight, Thor was once again the story. Thor went eight innings with two two earned and nine strikeouts.
Thor made the homerun barrage in the third to stand up. On back-to-back pitches, Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy homered. After Cespedes’ first hit as a Met, Duda capped off the five run inning with a homerun of his own. Tyler Clippard, in for Jeurys Familia (who pitched two days in a row), recorded his first save as a Mets.
The Mets have flipped the script. They swept the Nationals and are now tied for first place in the NL East. I’m so excited that I’ll ignore they’re one behind in the loss column. The Mets are now 38-18 at home. Surprisingly, they’re 7-6 against the Nationals this season.
The Mets are in a dead heat with the Nationaks and have six head-to-head match ups with them. They have an easy second half schedule. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Mets are in the driver’s seat in the NL East. We’ve waited seven years for this, and so far, it’s been worth the wait. Lets Go Mets!
“Look at me, I can be Centerfield.” That is about as fun as the baseball songs get. Another one of my favorites is “Talkin’ Baseball” with it’s famous refrain of “Willie, Mickey, the Duke.” As you can see, Centerfield is an important position with much history in New York City. You always hear about those good old days of Willie, Mickey, and the Duke playing CF in New York City at the same time. That doesn’t seem fair or possible. The Yankees have had an absurd tradition with their centerfielders with Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. The Mets tradition hasn’t been as good, but then again whose has? However, we’ve had some fun names and good players come through and man centerfield in Flushing.
In 1969, the Mets had Tommie Agee, who for at least the 1969 World Series, was the best defensive CF to ever play the game:
Unfortunately, the Mets did try Willie Mays out in CF in the last two years of his career. From what I’ve been told, it did not end well. Then there was fan favorite Lee Mazzilli, who played for some truly awful Mets teams. However, he was the star, if not the MVP, of of the 1979 All Star Game (back when the ASG meant something). Lee Mazzilli then gave way to Ron Darling. They would both win a World Series together with the Mets in 1986.
Speaking of 1986, the Mets had two other fan favorites who played CF: Mookie Wilson and Lenny Dykstra. Both contributed to the 1986 World Series victory immensely between Dykstra’s leadoff homerun against Oil Can Boyd, and well, we know about Wilson:
After that, we saw a bit of a dry spell with highlights like Lance Johnson, the late Darryl Hamilton, Jay Payton, and Mike Cameron. Then, we were blessed with Carlos Beltran. Say what you will about the Wainwright strikeout, in my opinion, he’s even money on making it into the Hall of Fame, and there’s a significant chance he goes in as a New York Met. Although with the way he was treated here by the fans, and mostly by the Wilpons, he’s probably going in as a Royal.
Now after Juan Lagares’ 2014 Gold Glove season and reasonable contract extension, we’re back to who should play CF. This is important because Lagares has a triple slash line of .254/.280/.333. Even if he was what he was defensively last year, this is unacceptable. Honestly, I think a lot of it has to do with his injured elbow. Regardless, CF is now a problem.
It should be noted his splits against LHP are .279/.338/.412. That is much better especially when you consider his defense. Add to the fact that Kirk Nieuwenhuis has hit .333/.400/.444 over the past two weeks (mostly against RHP), there is a real platoon here. Niewenhuis is a very capable CF, but he’s not in Lagares’ league defensively . . . then again who is?
With the Yoenis Cespedes acquisition, there have been some overtures that Curtis Granderson move to CF, a position he hasn’t played since 2012. This is dangerous because the Mets starting pitchers get more outs in the air than on the ground this year. Here are their respective ground ball percentages:
Matt Harvey 44.4%
Jacob deGrom 43.2%
Noah Syndergaard 45.9%
Jon Niese 54.6%
Bartolo Colon 39.9%
According, with the exception of maybe Niese, the Mets need their best defensive outfield out there are all times. This means Lagares must play as much as possible. Granderson and his good OF defense should stay in a corner OF spot where it will remain good defense. While Lagares isn’t hitting and Nieuwenhuis is, the platoon should remain in place.
While we all agree the Mets need to ride their pitching to the postseason, we should also agree that they need to put their best defense out there to help the pitching. Remember helping a pitcher is more than just scoring runs . . . it’s also about preventing runs with good defense. The only effect the Cespedes acquisition should have on the outfield configuration is to demote Michael Conforto to AAA and put Cespedes in LF, where he has played all year. I think that outfield alignment is the best there is that is ready to go out there and play.
There was a lot of stories and distractions today around the Mets. First, there were fans clamoring for the return of Jose Reyes. Then the Mets made it clear they had no interest in Reyes. Next, David Wright resumed baseball activities. Finally, Jenrry Mejia embarrassed Major League Baseball, the Mets, and himself with his second PED suspension THIS YEAR!
Noah Syndergaard took the mound Tuesday night and made himself the story. He was perfect through six innings, and he finished with an incredible line of 8.0 innings pitched, 9 strikeouts, 3 hits, and no walks.
After Thor allowed the first single to potential trade target Will Venable, he allowed an infield single to Yangervis Solarte. On the Solarte single, Ruben Tejada tried to do too much. Rather than smother the ball, he tried a glove flip to Daniel Murphy to try to get the force out. Instead of a Web Gem, Tejada nearly put the ball into right field. Venable advanced to third on the play. It was 2-0 with runners on first and third with no outs.
Thor then threw down the gauntlet (sorry comic book fans if this is mixing metaphors). He got Matt Kemp to pop out and induced Justin Upton, another trade target, to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Despite having only thrown 107 pitches, Thor was lifted after eight innings (perhaps due to the innings limit dilemma). Tyler Clippard made his Mets debut and worked his way around a leadoff double.
After this inning, I finally put my son to bed. Growing up, there was a rule in my household: bed time was suspended until a Mets’ pitcher allowed their first hit. The longest bed time reprieve I remember was David Cone losing a no-hitter on a dribbler down the third base line that refused to go foul. I knew my son wouldn’t remember seeing Thir pitch a perfect game, but I would remember watching it with him. That would’ve made it all the more special maybe next time.
When setting today’s lineup, Terry generally followed the platoon system. With the righty Shields on the mound, Collins went with Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Daniel Murphy. However, after his walk-off hit on Sunday, Juan Uribe was in the lineup. It should be noted that coming into the game Uribe had gone 2/5 with one walk and a triple against Shields.
My belief is that this is the Mets’ best defensive infield alignment. Incredibly, Murphy was the defensive star of the game making two nice defensive plays whe the no-hitter was still viable.
Kudos is also due to Lucas Duda, who hit a mammoth two run homerun in the first inning. It appears the pressure is off and the power is back. His other outs were hard hit balls. Curtis Granderson put the game away with a two run homerun in the eighth.
However, the story of the game and th day was Thor, who pitched like an ace. It seems the stud muffins are pushing each other to be better. It’s incredible, and it’s the type of thing that drives a team towards the postseason.