1. DeGrom The Team’s Ace Yet Again
After a poor May that saw him pitch to a 4.95 ERA and had him battling just to get to the fifth inning in some of his starts, Jacob deGrom is perhaps pitching the best baseball of his career.
After making adjustments in his throwing routine, deGrom has made four starts going 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA, 0.719 WHIP and an 8.7 K/9. He is also averaging an incredible eight innings per start.
His last start against the Phillies might have been his best. He was unhittable, and if it wasn’t for Curtis Granderson losing a ball in the lights, Terry Collins would have been put in an awkward position.
The single happened on deGrom’s 80th pitch in the fifth inning. Like with Johan Santana, Collins would have had to make a decision to pull a guy with a no-hitter or keep him in and risk the long term effects.
The decision was taken out of Collins’ hands, but that doesn’t detract from the fact deGrom was great yet again.
With deGrom pitching that great, it certainly begs the question – why was he snubbed from the All-Star team?
2. Reed Slamming The Door Shut
Reed has converted his last eight save opportunities while allowing just two earned runs over his last 14 appearances. During his current stretch, he has a 1.13 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, and a 7.9 K/9.
3. T.J. Earning More Playing Time
Over his last 10 games, Rivera is hitting .310/.310/.586 with two doubles, two homers, and five RBI.
In the Philadelphia series, he had two big home runs. The one on Saturday sparked a big rally that led to a 7-6 victory. The one on Sunday kept the Mets in a game that fell apart for them at the end.
If Rivera continues to hit like this, and he begins to field the position better, he may very well find himself the third baseman for the long haul.
1. Grandy Hip Problem
Going into the season, the issue was the Mets have too many outfielders.
In a season where Granderson started slow, it may be hard to believe he is the biggest loss of the group, but he is.
Over the Month of May, Granderson was the second best hitter in the National League with a 196 wRC+. He is also capable of playing all three outfield positions. Not to mention the fact Granderson comes up big when the Mets need him most, and the team is heading into a huge series against the Washington Nationals.
Hopefully, Brandon Nimmo is up for the challenge.
2. Rene Not The Player He Was Last Year
There were a lot of things wrong in that inexcusable 7-1 loss yesterday, and one of them was Rene Rivera. In the ill-fated second run inning, Rafael Montero threw a pitch in the dirt. Instead of getting down to block the ball, Rivera tried to backhand the ball right in front of him leading it to ricochet off of him. Rivera had no idea where it was, leading to the opposing catcher Andrew Knapp scoring from second base.
In the eighth, the Phillies had runners on first and second with no outs when Brock Stassi singled to center. Nimmo made a terrific one hop throw to the plate that had Maikel Franco out by a good margin.
Rivera didn’t make sure to catch the ball, and it went off of his glove and all the way to the backstop. Not only did that allow the run to score, but it also allowed the other base runners to get into scoring position. They eventually scored, putting the game away.
His play on Sunday and his play of late makes you question why Collins gives Rivera so much playing time. Since June 1st, he’s hitting .161/.235/.452. As noted Sunday, his defensive play is slipping. Also, he’s not the pitcher whisperer he has made out to be. For proof of that look no further than Robert Gsellman and his 6.16 ERA. At this point, it’s time for Collins to admit the obvious. Rivera is a backup catcher and needs to be used accordingly.
3. All-Star Snubs
In addition to the aforementioned snubs of deGrom and Reed, there were strong cases to be made for Jerry Blevins and Jay Bruce. Blevins has made the most appearances in all of baseball, and he was been the best LOOGY in all of baseball going 42 appearances. Blevins is 4-0 with a 2.60 ERA, 1.265 WHIP, and a 12.7 K/9.
For his part, Bruce has been even better than he was at this point last year when he was named an All-Star. The slugging right fielder is on pace for a 40 home run, 100 RBI season. Overall, he is hitting .261/.334/.518 with 17 doubles, 20 homers, and 55 RBI.
On the bright side, Conforto made his first All-Star team making him the second youngest Mets outfielder to be ever named to the Mid-Summer Classic. Conforto was well deserving, and it should be the first of many for the budding superstar.
After taking two of three from the Phillies, the Mets now have a real test to see if their recent strong play was the result of a weak portion of the schedule or if the team is really playing better baseball. The upcoming three game set in Washington should once and for all settle the question whether the Mets should have a fire sale or not.