Mets Merized Online » Avery Decker Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:05:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Marlins Ace Jose Fernandez Is Dead Following A Boating Accident Sun, 25 Sep 2016 16:21:08 +0000 jose-fernandez-3

I am at a loss of words for having to report this tragic news this morning:

Multiple reporters have confirmed this morning that Marlins ace Jose Fernandez has been killed in a tragic boating accident. There are no other details that has been released at this time. Please check back here for updates as more details become available.

The 24-year-old Fernandez was one of at least three people killed in the early morning collision. He announced on Instagram recently that he and his girlfriend were expecting a child, Local 10 reported.

“The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez,” a team statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”

Sunday’s game between the Marlins and the Atlanta Braves in Miami was cancelled.

The Mets are scheduled to start a three-game series with the Marlins tomorrow in Miami.


“All of baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “He was one of our game’s great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life.”

Jared Diamond of the WSJ shared an excerpt from a story detailing how Fernandez had once saved his mother who was swept overboard by a wave. Fernandez had tried to defect from Cuba three times. On the fourth try, his mother was swept overboard and he jumped in and saved her.

Quick Facts:

- Former 1st round pick in 2011 by the Miami Marlins
- Won Rookie-of-The-Year award in 2013
- 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA in 76 career games

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Jose Fernandez and the Marlins organization.

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Mets Might Have Something With Seth Lugo Fri, 26 Aug 2016 11:00:16 +0000 seth lugo 2

May 2014.

Dillon Gee was headed to the disabled list and the Mets were forced into a corner. Without other options available, it was a lanky right-handed flamethrower with bouncy, brown locks that received the call. Jacob deGrom made his debut against the New York Yankees, not exactly the ideal team to debut against given the cross-town rivalry.

But the lanky right-hander with the brown locks did more than meet the status-quo. He actually struck out six over seven innings, allowing only four hits and one run. It’s rare to see a top prospect command all their pitches with confidence and authority in their first start, let alone an unranked 25-year old.

Enter Seth Lugo. Similarly, Lugo’s opportunity stemmed from a series of injuries, first to Matt Harvey and more recently to Jonathan Niese. The 26-year old has been in the Mets system since being drafted in the 34th round of the 2011 draft out of Centenary College (yes the same school as Celtics great Robert Parish. Enjoy that complimentary name-drop).

Lugo’s career almost ended before it began. He missed his first professional season after undergoing lumbar spinal fusion surgery that had him bed-ridden for three months. Lugo crept up the farm and has found himself with he Mets Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas for the past season and a half. He hadn’t exactly wowed the scouts down there either. He had a 6.50 ERA prior to his callup with 62 strikeouts in 73.1 innings pitched. He started as a starter and struggled in the rotation before he was moved to the pen in AAA. Needless to say, I don’t think I was the only one who yawned when they announced him as the replacement for Niese in the rotation.

Similarly to deGrom, he was originally called up to pitch out of the bullpen. In fact, Lugo did pitch out of the pen during his first call-up back in July and threw 3.2 innings of relief during the most recent call-up. However, Niese pulled a Derrick Rose and it forced Terry Collins‘ hand. Lugo took the loss on the road against the Giants, throwing 6.2 innings of efficient ball with three strikeouts while giving up three earned runs. That’ll do.

Last night was Lugo’s second start in the majors and he was solid. Lugo hasn’t wowed like deGrom did when he first came up. However, his mid 90s fastball is nothing to yawn at. We can also thank Statcast for divulging the spin rate on Lugo’s curveball. The pitch spins an average of 3,353 RPM, 36% above the league mean as identified by Anthony DiComo of That rate is the highest in baseball. Of course, there is more to it then just digging into the seams and spinning the leather like hell. But having command over such a deceiving pitch could pay dividends for Lugo’s career moving forward.

Nevertheless, Lugo pitched five shutout innings for the Mets, striking out five and walking three while allowing only two hits. He earned his first big league win. His calf cramped up due to dehydration so he couldn’t go longer, but he’s okay and will be good to go when the Mets call on him again.

Sure I’m being optimistic. If it was my money at stake, I wouldn’t bet on Lugo having a similar career trajectory to Jacob deGrom. However, there are some things to like from the 6’4” right-hander. Lugo isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so sit back, relax and say a prayer that he becomes half of the 2014 Rookie of the Year.

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Today In Mets Biz: Porsche North America Added To Mets Sponsorship Portfolio Tue, 16 Aug 2016 15:15:09 +0000 Last week, the New York Mets sent out a press release announcing a new multi-year partnership with Porsche Cars North America.

As part of the deal, the German car manufacturer will be given access to the Empire Level Suites as well as the former Acela Club. These two high-end assets will feature activation areas that showcase cars and other retail offerings from Porsche. The Porsche name-print logo is now featured on the glass exterior of the high-end restaurant in the left-field corner of Citi Field.


Their is also a hospitality aspect of the deal. Select season ticket and suite holders will be invited to Porsche test-track driving events. Tri-State Porsche dealers will also have access to team/player activities.

This deal makes sense for Porsche as they continue their marketing efforts in North America, particularly in the sports landscape. This isn’t the first sports-related partnership they have announced recently. This past June, they announced a similar, multi-year partnership with the New York Jets. That sponsorship is estimated to be worth seven-figures. The deal includes hospitality assets that are similar to those included in the Mets deal. Porsche North America is making a clear effort to expand their business and brand awareness in the tri-state area.

Porsche has a history of sponsorship with U.S. sports properties including the Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks and Golden State Warriors. Porsche’s sponsorship objective it to, “engage pro athletes, business executives and other affluent, influential people,” according to an article on

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A Historic Perspective of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in MLB Thu, 07 Jul 2016 20:48:22 +0000 matt harvey 2

Sandy Alderson spoke to the media Thursday afternoon and revealed that Matt Harvey has been diagnosed with symptoms most likely related to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Baseball fans have become very familiar with Tommy John surgery that is required when pitchers tear their ulnar collateral ligament. However, many aren’t familiar with this injury and it’s place in baseball.

TOS occurs when the blood vessels between the collarbone and the first rib become compressed. This usually causes pain in several different places depending on the nature of the specific injury. The shoulders, neck and fingers are all target areas for pain and numbness due to the compression.

There are many different causes of TOS, including physical trauma, anatomical defects and pregnancy. However, one of the more common causes, as is probably the case here, is repetitive injuries, sports or job-related. It is considered a repetitive stress injury (RSI) and is very common in athletes who frequently move in a motion that raises their arm(s) above their head. As you can tell from this description, pitchers sound like primary targets to be victimized by this injury. In fact, Matt Harvey is not the first pitcher to be diagnosed with this.

Several other Major League pitchers have encountered this injury including, but not limited to Josh Beckett, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Noah Lowry, Shaun Marcum and Kenny Rogers. Chris Young was the most recent pitcher to be diagnosed with this injury prior to Harvey. He was diagnosed with TOS during his time in the Washington Nationals farm system.

It’s important to note that Young has an onslaught of arm injuries before this diagnosis. He spent time on the disabled list with multiple shoulder and forearm strains. In 2009, he had surgery on his torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Shortly after, he tore that same shoulder’s anterior capsule.

In 2009, he made a total of nine starts in the minors before being shut down to have surgery. The injury stifled Young’s velocity while causing immense pain on and off the field. He tried many treatment options including physical therapy, soft-tissue exercises, massage therapy and chiropractic adjustments before having surgery.

The 33-year old was resilient and was able to return to the majors to become the 2014 MLB Comeback Player of The Year while pitching with the Seattle Mariners. He then signed a contract with the Kansas City Royals, going on to win a championship with them.

TOS experts including Clark Fuller, a TOS surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. note that the condition is probably vastly undiagnosed in baseball. “We don’t have a really good, objective test for it,” Fuller said.

What does all this mean for Matt Harvey? Harvey is much younger than Young was at the time of his diagnosis. Beckett (33), Garcia (28), Rogers (36) and Carpenter (37) were all older than Harvey is now as well. The 27-year olds body will hopefully be more resilient during his recovery process. Pitchers have been able to have successful careers post-surgery.

The team and Harvey are still weighing their treatment options. Surgery would most likely end the Dark Knight’s season and require at least four months of recovery.

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Cespedes’ Market Hasn’t Shaped Up How We Thought It Would Sun, 17 Jan 2016 14:00:11 +0000 yoenis cespedes

If you would have told me in November that we would be refreshing out Twitter feeds on January 17th, praying to see a report indicating Yoenis Cespedes is heading back to Queens, I probably would of laughed myself into tears. Sure the Mets are still in the hunt for the slugging Cuban outfielder that brought magic to New York City’s largest borough. But the entire market for Cespedes is not what I, or most, expected.

It was back in December when Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News first reported that the Los Angeles Angels might make a run for Yoenis. Around the same time, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors predicted the slugger to end up with the Angels, signing a deal in the $140 million dollar range. My initial instincts entering the offseason was that Cespedes would have a range of offers with an AAV of $20-$25 million, given his incredible second-half of 2015. Since then, he has been also linked to the Detroit Tigers as well as the Chicago White Sox.

The Baltimore Orioles were most recently linked to Cespedes, with reports that they had extended a five-year, $75-$90 million offer according to Jerry Crasnick. However, it appears talks are done between the two sides since the Orioles were able to ink slugger Chris Davis to a lucrative deal.

John Harper penned an eye-opening article yesterday in the Daily News, pointing to several reasons why the market for the 30-year old hasn’t shaped out like some may have predicted. One point in particular stood out to me, where he mentioned the fact that Buck Showalter, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles, insisted the team sign Justin Upton while being “dead-set against bringing in Cespedes.” Showalter is well respected around baseball and it potentially could be a replica of similar feelings by front office executives around the league. This might explain a weaker market for the versatile outfielder than expected. It seems that few predicted a bear market for Cespedes, but maybe the Mets are smarter than we think.

Harper went on to note something Sandy Alderson had mentioned to him. The general manager indicated that the team signed Alejandro De Aza, a budget-level outfielder, to a one-year deal to keep their payroll flexible in the case that the opportunity arises to bring back Cespedes.

There are two ways to look at this situation. Perhaps ownership still doesn’t want to increase the payroll, therefore forcing Alderson’s hand to bring in De Aza and the team is not actually serious about bringing back Cespedes. The optimistic fans in the depths of Mets Twitter will hold out hope that Alderson is smarter than we give him credit for, and the team is turning up the aggression now that the market is weaker than expected. Only time will tell. For now, keep refreshing.

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What Winning On The Big Stage Felt Like Sat, 31 Oct 2015 16:00:01 +0000 mets fans citi field world series

I think it was during God Bless America that things started to really make sense and reality set in. I had yet to convince myself that I was attending a World Series game in 2015 at Citi Field, one in which the Mets were competing in. Merely typing that into my computer seemed odd, like there it is a flawed, incorrect statement. But as I stood there and watched as the NYPD captain belted an anthem of American pride while 44,000 strong sang along, I finally had my moment of clarity.

I watched the game as I do all games; anxious as ever. I’m convinced that during the past month, I have probably shaved years off my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.

I leaned over to my friend and said, “The Mets just need a pick-me-up homer, one that will pump up Thor and will rally the entire offense.” It didn’t take all that long before the captain delivered in his first at-bat of the night with a two-run shot. I only had to wait a bit longer before Curtis Granderson followed suit, with a line-drive homer that just cleared the right-field wall. Another rally later in the game that featured hits from Travis d’Arnaud, Juan Lagares, and the missed-but-not-forgotten journeyman Juan Uribe was the icing on the cake.

The crowd roared all night as the Mets added to their lead and Noah Syndergaard settled down and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the 6th. Addison Reed and Tyler Clippard were lock down and Jeurys Familia was back as the dominant closer we fans have come to know and love.

I took a picture on my phone during the National Anthem, sung beautifully by none other than Billy Joel. I consider this the first time I’ve heard him sing live, as sad as that might be. The picture I took stood out to me, with our nations colors draped over the field, fireworks being shot into the dark, windy night, and Billy Joel starting off a rocking night in the Big Apple like he has done so many times before. Here is the picture:


I had tried to upload it to Instagram while failing because my cell service was being difficult. I have to give a quick shoutout to our partner on this one. Verizon provided me and the rest of the 44,000 fans in attendance with free access to the Citi Field WiFi and I was able to share my picture, a picture that represented so much I have grown to love with the world.

So here I am: a fan, a writer and a believer. I can honestly say that there is a feeling of sheer bliss when winning a game like this and doing it in the national spotlight and with an electric crowd cheering loudly around me.  I wouldn’t  trade my experience last night for the world, and I can attest that the air in Citi Field is clear and inviting. Enjoy this time because nothing is ever guaranteed and moments like this are like finding life’s hidden treasure.

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Maximize Your Postseason Experience At Citi Field With Verizon, Win Harvey Signed Baseball Fri, 30 Oct 2015 12:00:33 +0000 citi field world series

MMO and Verizon are continuing their partnership as the Mets return home to try and win their first World Series since 1986. As this monumental series continues in Queens, Verizon would like people to keep in mind some tips to maximize their enjoyment at Citi Field this weekend.

Also, look out for a tweet from the MMO Twitter account today regarding a Matt Harvey signed baseball giveaway. All those who retweet the giveaway tweet will be entered to win the signed Harvey baseball. The contest will end at first pitch Friday night (approximately 8pm ET) and the winner will be announced the following day. We thank Verizon for the opportunity to give back to our readers!

Share updates in real time with your family and friends.

Love what you just saw? Tweet it, upload a picture of it and tell your friends. There is no such thing as oversharing when it comes to the championship.

Ensure your connection is strong.

Verizon has increased capacity at Citi Field by adding more sites and allocating more spectrum to LTE so customers should experience a fast and reliable connection during the series. Fans can also leverage Verizon’s free Wi-Fi in the stadium.

Keep your selfie game on point.

Lose the selfie sticks out of respect for your fellow fans, but gain more “likes” with selfies that don’t just highlight your face, but include the field green and scoreboard in the background. If you’re taking the subway, snap a shot getting off the 7 train to capture the energy of the crowd before the first pitch.

For the full statement from Verizon, please click here.

Thanks for entering the giveaway and LETS GO METS!

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Keith Hernandez Compares Terry Collins To Whitey Herzog Fri, 18 Sep 2015 13:00:31 +0000 terry collins

Mets color broadcaster Keith Hernandez made some interesting comments about Terry Collins in an article from the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

“Terry has done a great job of managing everybody, just like Whitey used to,” Hernandez said. “Mixing and matching, making everybody feel a part of the club.”

Of course, the famous Whitey Herzog helped build and managed the 1982 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals that Keith Hernandez was a part of. Hernandez went on to note that the 1982 team was a bunch of “nut cases” and that Whitey knew how do handle them all. He spoke similarly of Collins.

“He’s a lifer, old school. I would of loved to have played for him,” Hernandez continued. “He’s one of the best managers I’ve ever seen. He’s not going to beat himself. He’s not going to fall asleep.”

While Collins has taken a lot of grief during his time in Queens, many are starting to give him the credit he deserves for managing a team built on the backs of a handful of farmhands, a few older vets and of course, “La Potencia”. Collins knows that every decision he makes, especially in a pennant race and beyond, is under intense skepticism.

“Every decision you make, there’s 50 percent of people who would do it differently,” he told Bob Klapisch of The Record before Monday’s 4-3 victory over the Marlins. “That’s just the nature of the game and I’m fine with it.”

The new constructs of the Mets roster presents a good challenge for Collins, who has to split time evenly between many impactful players. Whether it’s giving Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe at-bats or giving David Wright the correct amount of rest to keep him healthy, each day presents its obstacles. He also deserves credit for keeping the tone of the team steady and consistent while the New York media frenzy does it’s work.

Collins deserves a great deal of credit in leading his team to this point in the season, with a magic number of 10 and a division clincher in the near-future.

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Mets Pick Harvey Up After Tough Start, Unsure When He’ll Pitch Next Wed, 09 Sep 2015 10:00:17 +0000 CITY-METS-master675

Mets right-hander Matt Harvey has 20 no-decisions during his career, 15 of them in which he allowed one earned run or less. He has picked up the Mets time and time again. While some might disagree with how he handled the fiasco Scott Boras dropped in his lap, what Harvey has done for this team cannot be discredited.

Sure, Harvey has seen brighter days in orange and blue, but the Mets might not be at this point if not for him. He mans the front-lines of one of the best rotations in baseball and is a force to be reckoned with no matter if the opponent is the Miami Marlins or the St. Louis Cardinals.

Obviously, Harvey did not have his best stuff last night. Terry Collins said he tried too hard and was overthrowing taking away from his usual excellent command. He pitched 5 1/3 innings while allowing seven runs (although several of them may not have scored if not for a Yoenis Cespedes outfield blunder).

You could tell from the first inning that Harvey, who has pitched very well as of late, did not have his usual dominant repertoire. After Michael Taylor smoked a bases-loaded single in the sixth that trickled past Cespedes leading to all four runners scoring, a dejected Harvey hung his head as he walked back to the mound before being pulled. Harvey needed to be picked up in a way that he has picked up his team countless times in the past. His teammates responded.

The Washington Nationals’ bullpen combined to give up six runs while walking six in the seventh inning. It was a team effort that saw contributions from David Wright, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores and of course, Cespedes who had the decisive blow: a three-run, two-out double off  Drew Storen.

With the game tied 7-7, the Mets handed the Nationals the final blow, a pinch-hit, solo homer by recently recalled outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis. That’s all it took and the Mets bullpen sealed the deal.

The Amazins are now six games up with their ace, Jacob deGrom, pitching tomorrow night as they go for the sweep.

After the game, Harvey was asked about his next potential start and he told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he has no idea when it will be, but that he will be ready when the Mets call on him.

“If Matt doesn’t pitch anymore, we’re going to pick up the pieces,” Collins told Kristie Ackert of the Daily News. “We’ve got the bodies to do it. He’s a big piece but so is David Wright. So we’ll move forward.”

Matt Harvey’s mask has been removed this week and his unveiling came to climax last night during a rough outing. Maybe this is what he needed. While he will always be larger than life to some fans, he is still human and more importantly still a Met who deserves our support.

Terry Collins has done a nice job of deflecting a lot of the distractions and adversity and has kept his team focused on winning and picking each other up. Tuesday night was a great example of that.

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Herrera, Monell and Verrett Recalled From Las Vegas Tue, 08 Sep 2015 02:37:42 +0000 Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.50.49 PM dilson herrera

The Mets announced they have recalled infielder Dilson Herrera, catcher Johnny Monell and RHP Logan Verrett from Triple-A Las Vegas following Monday’s game. The Las Vegas 51′s season came to a close after they were eliminated from postseason play, so the timing here made sense.

Verrett appeared in 10 games for the Mets in 2015, going 1-0 with a save and a 1.93 ERA. He made a spot start against the Colorado Rockies on August 23rd and through eight innings, giving up only one run. In all likely hood, Verrett will be a part of the Mets six-man rotation going forward, making spot starts in place of Matt Harvey.

Monell hit .178 with four RBIs in 24 games earlier this season for the Mets. He faired much better in Triple-A, batting .324 with seven home runs and 51 RBIs.

Herrera was with the Mets at the beginning of the 2015 season, hitting .195 with two homers and four RBIs before being sent to the minors in June. He was a big part of the 51s lineup this year, batting .331 with 11 home runs and 50 RBIs in 80 Triple-A games. Herrera might be in line to compete for the starting second-base job in 2016 in the event that the Mets do not resign Daniel Murphy.

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Sean Gilmartin Has Found Stability In Queens Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:49:12 +0000 sean gilmartin

While it’s safe to say that the weakest part of this Mets team is the bullpen, that is not to say that there haven’t been several bright spots in it this year. It started with the emergence of Jeurys Familia as one of the best stoppers in all of baseball in the absence of Jenrry Mejia. But it didn’t stop there.

On December 11th, 2014, the Mets selected Sean Gilmartin in the Rule 5 draft from the Minnesota Twins. Of course, acquiring a player this way comes with some strings attached. If the Mets chose not to have Gilmartin on their Opening Day roster, he would be sent back to the Twins. However, the lefty made the cut and didn’t look back from there.

As it stands today, Gilmartin has pitched 44.0 innings for the Mets and pitched to a 2.25 ERA with 43 strikeouts and only 14 walks. Especially as of late, Gilmartin has proved himself a viable option out of the pen for Terry Collins. He has even shown the ability to throw multiple innings at a time in extra inning games or when the starting pitcher gets knocked out early. He has thrown more than one inning in each of his last five appearances.

“My thought process daily was, especially in Spring Training, ‘Don’t give them a reason to send me back,” Gilmartin told Anthony DiComo of “You want to stick. You want to make an impact with the team that took you.”

Gilmartin is one of only six 2015 Rule 5 picks who stayed with the team that chose them for the entire season.

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Terry Collins’ Contract Situation Will Be Handled After The Season Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:04:19 +0000 terry-collins-ap2

Sandy Alderson attended a Military Monday event in Fort Hamilton this morning where he stated that the club will not address Terry Collins‘ contract situation until after the season as reported by Mike Vorkunov of The Star-Ledger. He also mentioned that Terry Collins’ understands the situation and is comfortable with Alderson’s plan.

Earlier this month, Collins was asked about his contract situation and told Steven Marcus of Newsday, “I don’t think about it.” He went on to say that he is, “thinking about playing golf in November right now.”

Terry Collins currently has a one-year option on his contract that if exercised by the front office, will keep him in New York for at least another season. It’s unclear at this point whether Alderson has plans to re-sign Collins long-term.

Collins has managed the Mets for almost five years and is 376-402 during his time in Queens.

Some might not give Collins, and managers in general, enough credit for some of their in-game managing abilities. In yesterday’s Mets game, Collins deked the Red Sox by sending Wilmer Flores onto the on-deck circle to pinch-hit for Noah Syndergaard. Instead of pitching around the batter Anthony Recker, the Red Sox pitched to him and he eventually had the decisive RBI hit. After the at-bat, Collins sent Syndergaard out to bat and brought Wilmer Flores back to the dugout.

The media and fans have hammered Collins relentlessly over the years, but the results this season are hard to argue with now that he actually has a team with real expectations of contending. Collins has the team sitting in first place with a 5.5 game lead, which is a lot more than anyone could have realistically expected heading into the season.

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First Place Mets Have Arrived Earlier Than Experts Expected Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:40:07 +0000 mets win

On this, the final day of August, the playoff races in each league and division have taken shape with a combination of obvious front-runners and competitive surprise teams. At this point in time, it’s safe to say that the Mets have made a statement in New York, the NL East and all of Major League Baseball. While some teams come with baggage and expectations, the Mets, built by Sandy Alderson, are an army of misfit toys that few had predicted to win much of anything this summer.

Not many gave the Mets a fighting chance prior to the season. Hell, even ESPN’s army of insiders predicted the Washington Nationals to win the World Series, receiving 42% of the votes.

Furthermore, when looking over the predictions of some of ESPN’s most respected baseball analysts including Jim Bowden, Jerry Crasnick, Pedro Gomez and Tim Kurkjian, one will realize quickly that their predicted victors of the NL East all wore red and white and played in our nation’s capital.

Yet, as it stands today, the Mets hold a 5.5 game lead over the Nationals as they head into a series with the Philadelphia Phillies while the Nats face the NL-leading St. Louis Cardinals with only 32 games left on the schedule. This could be a prime opportunity for the Mets to add a game or two to their division lead while kicking a bit more dirt into the mouths of Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and the rest of the Nationals’ lobbyists.

Before the season, the Mets looked like a promising collection of young talent in the rotation with a sub-par offense led by a few ailing veterans. Zack Wheeler was the first bug to hit the windshield when he went down with a torn UCL. Shortly into the 2015 campaign, it was the Captain, David Wright,  who would be sidelined with an injury that, “the doctors aren’t that worried about,” assistant GM John Ricco pitched to Anthony DiComo of We all know how that turned out.

Lets also mention Matt Harvey‘s potential innings limit, the lack of a right-handed power bat in the lineup as well as a bench built upon the backs of John Mayberry Jr. and Eric Campbell. Looking back, it’s hard to blame the experts for picking the Nationals.

But here we are. On the final day of August, the boys from Queens have a new look, a new feel and fans in the ballpark. Sandy Alderson flexed some muscle before the trade deadline, filling the bench with big-league talent and adding what might be the perfect fit to the Mets lineup in Yoenis Cespedes.

The Mets are not the only surprise that baseball has seen this year as touched upon in Barry Svrluga’s article in the Washington Post.

The Houston Astros lead the AL-West by three games with the Rangers hot on their trail. They have battled and up until now, defeated the likes of the Los Angeles Trouts, the Oakland Beanes and the Seattle Canos. There is also the Chicago Cubs who currently hold the second Wild-Card spot in the National League. A combination of young talent and strong pitching have kept the Cubs in it, a team that many thought the Mets might have to battle with to make the postseason via the Wild-Card.

Safe to say, the Mets, among others, have dominated within the playoffs landscape long before many had predicted, spending more days in first place than all but one team in the National League.  And in doing so the Amazins have packed some much-needed excitement into the 2015 baseball season.

First Place with 32 left to play and a 5.5 game lead with Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard and now Matz in the rotation, plus the nastiest closer in the league in Jeurys Familia. And did I mention the number one offense in the National League since July 25? Think about that for a moment. Magic Number is 28.

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Nationals Adjust Rotation To Prepare For Mets Matchup Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:05:23 +0000 strasburg

In an effort to align their best pitchers against their division rivals, the Washington Nationals will skip Max Scherzer‘s scheduled start tomorrow and instead pitch Saturday as reported by James Wagner of the Washington Post. Doing this will align Scherzer, Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg to face the mets twice in the final month of the season. Gio Gonzalez will star tomorrow in Scherzer’s place.

The first of the final two series against the Mets will take place in Washington, September 7-9 and the second series will take place at Citi Field to close-out the season.

Scherzer and Strasburg missed the Nationals past two series vs the Metropolitans including the crucial July 31-August 2 series where the Mets pulled ahead in the division, a lead they have not relinquished. Scherzer was missed by chance while Strasburg missed both series due to injury.

As of today, the Mets sit 5.5 games ahead in the NL East.

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Daniel Murphy’s Intangibles Are Just What The Mets Needed Tue, 25 Aug 2015 16:00:16 +0000 gilmartin daniel murphy

Last night’s game showcased the magic of this Metropolitan team. This army of misfit toys has been assembled to make a legitimate run and fans are seeing that night-in and night-out.

One of the quirkiest and most energetic soldiers in the army is Daniel Murphy, the position-less boy wonder who knows how to swing a piece of lumber. Murphy, who got off to a slow start in 2015 after getting hurt in Spring Training, is starting to look like the player that Mets’ fans have grown accustomed to seeing aimlessly strut the dirt between first and second. While he has moved around the infield more this season, his bat is much the same, with an added bit of power thrown into the mix.

Murphy is hitting .289 so far this season which is on par with his career average. The Mets utility man has smacked nine home runs in 97 games while driving in 50 and hosting a respectable 25-31 K/BB ratio with a .326 wOBA and 110 wRC+ .

However, Murphy has really taken it up a notch in his last 20 games, posting a .348 average and .976 OPS with a .407 wOBA and 166 wRC+ in 95 plate appearances. He has 12 doubles, 4 home runs and 17 RBIs in that span.

While Murphy doesn’t excel at any position, he has filled a much-needed role for this Mets team, both before and after the trade-deadline acquisitions. Without his bat faltering, Murphy has moved from third to second to first base each night, depending on where Terry Collins needs him.

No matter where Murphy bats in the order or where Collins plays him defensively, he still brings an intangible flare and excitement that pumps up fans and players alike. We’ve come to expect this from him and the team feeds off of it.

Murphy is part of what makes this team so exciting and fun to watch right now.  If the New York Mets allow him to bolt for free agency after this season as many reports are suggesting, he’ll be a lot more difficult to replace than most people think.

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Michael Conforto Is Making His Presence Felt In Queens Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:00:02 +0000 michael Conforto

Where do most people hope to be 14 months after they leave college? Some want to travel the world. Others want to have a job they love or one that pays the mortgage. Michael Conforto enjoyed his time at Oregon State where he dominated the Pac-12 Conference while batting at the heart of the Beavers lineup. However, he was ready for something more, and he wasn’t going to wait.

Where is Michael Conforto 14 months after finishing his third and final year at Oregon State? He is roaming the cavernous outfield of Citi Field. He is playing a role on a team with painfully strong playoff aspirations. He his swatting baseballs like flies to left, center and right and knocking a handful over the wall. His stroke is pretty, compact and explosive.

“It’s crazy,” Conforto told Anthony DiComo of ”The fact that I’m still here, I’m very excited. It’s where I want to be.”

It isn’t often easy to make ones presence felt in a part-time role, especially when each week it seems there are rumors of your big-league days being numbered. But Conforto has stepped up to the challenge.

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A .258 average and an .840 OPS is nothing to brush off. Conforto has played solid defense to ice the cake and has reassured the Mets front office that he belongs in Queens and not Las Vegas. Another solid month or so, and Conforto might find himself playing October baseball for the first time.

While Conforto is a role player at this point, he is providing much more than just short-term excitement for the Queens faithful. The Metropolitans haven’t had an offensive prospect with so much potential debut at Citi Field since David Wright and Jose Reyes. He is a symbol of a bright future over Flushing Bay.

The Mets are doing something special this year. It can be felt. It only makes sense that they have a young, special bat playing a role in that.

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Terry Collins Unsure Of His Future With The Team Sat, 15 Aug 2015 12:00:03 +0000 terry collins

With the recent success of the Mets, the pressure on the shoulders of manager Terry Collins seems to have lightened. Collins was asked Thursday about his future with the Mets and whether or not he has had any discussions with Sandy Alderson about the topic.

“That’s a good question. I don’t have an answer for it,” Collins told Newsday when asked about whether he has a future with the Mets. ”I’m telling you, I don’t think about it. I think about playing golf in November. That’s the only thing on my mind right now.”

Collins has a team-option for 2016 which, if exercised, would keep him around for at least another year. The other option is to not exercise the option, in which case Sandy Alderson will either be shopping for a new manager come this winter or he will reward Collins with a multi year extension.

Thoughts from David Hong

If the Mets continue their recent winning ways and reach the playoffs, Collins could be a NL Manager of the Year candidate. That could give GM Sandy Alderson more pressure to give Terry a new contract.

Collins may be managing the most talented Mets team he’s ever had this year, armed with strong pitching and a recently improved offense. But he does deserve some credit when you consider all the adversity and especially all of the injuries the team has suffered, the second most days lost to the disabled list in baseball.

Collins has also done an excellent job of not letting the many distractions get in his or the team’s way during the season. He has been able to keep his team focused on each individual game through all the high points and low points of this season.

If the Mets do make the playoffs or even if they fall short but make a significant run and battle hard, Collins should be a safe choice to return in 2016.

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David Wright Played Eight Innings With Two Hits In St. Lucie Sat, 15 Aug 2015 10:00:28 +0000 david wright

David Wright continued with his rehab yesterday with the St. Lucie Mets where he went 2-for-5 with two singles as well as a fielding error while playing eight innings.

Wright has played in four games thus far, with four hits in 12 at-bats and all of the hits were singles. According to Kristie Ackert of The Daily News, the plan right now is for Wright to rejoin the big-league squad in Colorado next weekend if he can make it through this 10-day rehab program without pain and discomfort, while swinging a solid bat. Accrete also noted that a Mets source said that the plan is very strict and for Wright to return next weekend, he will have to react well to his first live-game action in four months.

It’s possible the Mets move Wright’s rehab to another minor-league affiliate due to the rain in Florida that has already shortened one of his rehab starts.

We will continue to report on Wright’s rehab process.

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Innings Limits Are Problematic For October Baseball Fri, 14 Aug 2015 13:15:05 +0000 jacob deGrom

The Mets’ most recent post-trade deadline surge has the team, fans and writers all thinking optimistically to the potential for October baseball in Queens for the first time since 2006.

While everything from the team’s offensive surge to the Nationals’ inability to get out of their own way bodes well for the Metropolitans as October approaches, it seems the hot topic on everyones minds’ now is how Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson will manage the innings limits on some of their young pitchers.

This team has been carried by the starting pitching all year and even with the newly improved offense, the rotation plays a crucial role in keeping the pressure off of hitters and on the opposing lineup. The Mets rotation is one of the most impressive in baseball this year and is set up to be for years to come.

The top three in the rotation: Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, are all on pace to pitch more innings this season then in any previous season of their professional careers.

Below are the inning totals with each corresponding season for the trio:

Matt Harvey

  • 2012: 169 1/3
  • 2013: 178 1/3
  • 2014: 0
  • 2015 (to date): 148

Jacob deGrom

  • 2012: 111 1/3
  • 2013: 147 2/3
  • 2014: 185
  • 2015 (to date): 146 2/3

Noah Syndergaard

  • 2012: 103 2/3
  • 2013: 117 2/3
  • 2014: 133
  • 2015 (to date): 135

DeGrom has age on his side and is probably the most fit to pitch well into a deep season and postseason run.  However, Harvey and Syndergaard could prove to be problematic for the Mets.

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Harvey is coming off Tommy John Surgery that kept him out for all of the 2014 season. While he has impressed in his ability to show flashes of his pre-operation self, every time Harvey steps onto the field, he risks re-injuring his elbow.

Syndergaard is almost 23-years old and like Harvey and Zack Wheeler, is among the hardest throwers in the league. Couple that with added strain from breaking pitches and just a slight twitch in his motion could set him on a path similar to his two predecessors.

With over a month and a half left in the season, both pitchers are slotted to breach 185 innings in just the regular season, barring any setbacks. In an article on CBS SportsMike Axisa notes that this isn’t just about thinking about seasons to come, but rather thinking about making a run in October.

“When we get into September and we get in the middle of September and we will see what’s going on,” Collins said to Mike Vorkunov of “We’ll make a lot of determinations of what’s going to happen. But again I can’t sit here today and say that Matt Harvey’s going to get shut down at X amount of innings.”

The Mets have a handful of arms to help take some of the workload off of their big three: guys like Rafael Montero, Steven Matz, Dillon Gee and Logan Verrett. However, the team isn’t at the point yet where they can afford to not send their best arm out there each and every day.

While they lead the NL East, that can change very quickly (ask the Yankees or Nationals). Steven Matz is currently rehabbing from a partially torn lat muscle and his recovery will be crucial in the team’s rotation plans. Matz, although he only pitched in two games, impressed Mets personnel enough to gain trust as a dependable arm against any opponent when he returns.

Ideally, the boys from Queens would extend their lead over the Nationals to the point where once rosters expand on September 1st, the Mets might be able to afford a handful of spot starts against some of the easier teams in their fall schedule such as the Phillies, Marlins or Braves.

The point is that the Mets’ starting pitching has gotten them this far and if they want to make a legitimate run in October, they need to have all of their pitchers at full strength while holding back nothing. It will be interesting to see how Terry handles the rotation for this final stretch. One thing for sure is that this is the crucial month.

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Brandon Nimmo Taking His Promotion In Stride Thu, 13 Aug 2015 21:30:08 +0000 brandon nimmo

The Metropolitan’s next impact prospect after Michael Conforto is not far down the pipeline.

Brandon Nimmo, the 2011 13th overall pick that drew criticism from many, is letting his play on the field speak for itself. The 22-year old was recently promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas and has impressed thus far. In 12 games, Nimmo has slashed at a .297/.413/.405 clip. Nimmo continues to flash his above-average strike-zone recognition which keeps his on-base-percentage impressively high.

The young outfielder showcased his talents during the Eastern League All-Star Game in July where he spoke about his outlook on making it to the big show with David Laurila of Fangraphs.

“How close am I to playing in the big leagues? I have no clue,” Nimmo answered to reporters. “All I can do is keep working hard. From there, the rest will take care of itself.”

Nimmo participated in big-league spring training this past March and was able to learn more than just baseball skills from some of the Mets’ veterans.

“Those guys are real professionals with the way they go about everything,” Nimmo told reporters. “That’s what I’m trying to do. I want to be a professional who works hard at what he does.”

Nimmo has drawn comparisons to Miami’s Christian Yelich, a tall, lanky outfielder with raw potential. It will be interesting to see if Nimmo is able to break into the majors this season, although it would probably take an injury for him to slot himself into the current logjam in Citi Field’s outfield.

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Mets Score 12 Against The Rockies To Complete The Sweep Thu, 13 Aug 2015 19:06:23 +0000 USATSI_8744872_154511658_lowres

The Mets (63-52) defeated the Rockies (48-65) in today’s series finale by a score of 12-3 to move them to 11 games over .500. Noah Syndergaard pitched for the Metropolitans and did not have his best stuff in the early innings, but settled down later on with some solid run support. He lasted seven innings giving up three earned runs while striking out five and walking two. He improved his record to 7-6 on the year. 

The Mets were down right off the bat in this game. Syndergaard gave up two solo homers in the first inning off the bats of D.J. LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado. Thor was using his fastball predominately and missed a few locations in the inning, all while hitting 98mph on the gun.

However, the Mets were able to strike back in the bottom half of the inning. Curtis Granderson got it started with a walk. With one out and Granderson on first, the Mets hit three RBI doubles in a row off the bats of Daniel Murphy, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson respectively. Butler was able to stop the bleeding there, but the damage had been done.

The Rockies would tie the game two innings later. Charlie Blackmon, who walked to leadoff the inning, stole second and eventually came around to score after a sac-fly and RBI groundout.

The game didn’t stay tied for long. In the bottom half of the inning, Yoenis Cespedes came around to score on a two-out, RBI double off the bat of Kelly Johnson, his second double of the game. At this point in the game, all five hits for the Metropolitans were doubles.

Curtis Granderson helped add to the lead in the fourth with a two-out, two run home run that hit the bridge in right-center field. The homer was Granderson’s 20th of the season, matching his total from 2014. The next inning, Walt Weiss pulled Butler for a pinch hitter. Kelly Johnson added on in the 5th with his 12th home run of the year, a solo shot to push the Mets’ lead to four.

Yoenis Cespedes got in on the two-out RBI action in the 6th with an RBI single to drive home Wilmer Flores. The hit came off of LHP Christian Friedrich and Cespedes drove it to right-center. Mimicking that approach will bode well for Cespedes against the lefties who he has struggled against all year.

Juan Lagares pinch-hit for the pitchers spot in the 8th inning with two runners on base. He wanted to get in on the action and promptly smacked a three-run homer to left for his fourth of the year. He has swung the bat well the past three games.

Hansel Robles pitched a scoreless 8th and Bobby Parnell shut the door in the 9th.

The Mets are back in action tomorrow night at Citi Field against the Pittsburgh Pirates when Bartolo Colon (10-11) will oppose J.A. Happ (0-1). Game time 7:10 p.m.

Today’s Attendance: 36,573

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