Mets Merized Online » Clayton Collier Tue, 21 Feb 2017 01:19:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MMO Exclusive: Jason Bay Wishes Things Could Have Been Better With Mets Mon, 13 Jun 2016 16:23:14 +0000 jason bay hanging head

From All-Star to disappointment; that’s what fans saw as Jason Bay took the podium last night representing the Pirates at the 2016 MLB Draft.

Pittsburgh fans had a two-time All-Star and a middle-of-the-order slugger. Mets fans, however, saw what could have been, rather than what was.

Bay, in the area for the first time since retiring in 2013, holds similar feelings about his time in New York.

“When I look back,” he told MMO. “I just wish I had done better.”

Bay hit just .234 with 26 home runs in three seasons with the Mets after signing a 4-year, $66 million contract. He was bought out of his contract in 2012.

“I don’t regret it by any means, but I went there to do a job and I didn’t do it,” Bay said candidly about his Mets career. “Ultimately I live with that. It’s a performance-based game, it’s ‘what have you done?’ And I didn’t get it done.”

Bay said he was thrilled to see the Amazin’s capture the National League Pennant last season, and marveled at the quality of the “amazing” pitching staff. The 37-year-old still keeps in touch with several former teammates, including David Wright.

“Nobody cares more than he does,” he said. “He signed with the Mets at a time where things weren’t going well. He wanted to be here. He’s loyal to the Wilpons, he’s loyal to the team, and that goes a long way.”

Bay, who endured two concussions and a broken rib in New York, said injuries were one of the most infuriating parts of his Mets tenure.

“The toughest part is when you’re not healthy, there’s nothing you can do,” he said. “You can’t do anyone any good and that’s a very frustrating feeling.”

While he said he sympathizes with Wright’s situation, Bay stopped short of likening their struggles with injuries.

“I didn’t really build up any good will, I kind of came in here with expectations and didn’t get it done,” he said. “David’s built up an endless supply of good will in my opinion.”

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MMO Exclusive: Michael Conforto Talks About Beating Dodgers With Metsmerized Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:36:32 +0000 michael conforto

Fifteen months ago, Michael Conforto had completed his junior year at Oregon State University. In a matter of days, he will participate in his first MLB postseason game.

Conforto told me before Sunday’s 1-0 win over the Nationals that being called up so soon after being drafted has “accelerated” his development. Now nearly on the eve of the NLDS, the 22-year old Mets rookie said he cannot wait for the playoffs to get started.

“I am really, really excited to get into playoff baseball,” he said. “It’s why we play the game. You want to be in the playoffs and play in the most exciting games at the end and be on the right track to win the World Series, we’ve got a shot. So I’m excited to see how things play out in L.A.”

The 22-year old left fielder debuted on July 24 at Citi Field against the Dodgers, starting all three games of the series. Based off of what he witnessed in that series, Conforto said he draws parallels in how both the Mets and Dodgers were constructed.

“Obviously they’re a solid club, they can swing it, they can play defense, they have really, really good pitchers,” he said. “We know it’s going to be a battle. The blueprint is kind of the same for our team.”

Conforto reached base seven of 12 times up at-bat in that Dodgers series, the most painful addition to his on-base percentage coming on a bases-loaded plunk from Zack Grienke, who the Mets will almost certainly face in Game 1 or 2 of the NLDS.

He said the key to success against the Dodgers’ powerful right-hander is simply to stick to the game plan they’ve had all season.

“We’ve got to take disciplined at-bats and not get away from ourselves,” he said. “Stick to our plan and have quality at-bats, and we’ll be fine.”

Finishing the year with a .270/.335/.506 slash as well as nine homers and 26 RBIs in just 56 games, Conforto will be looked to as an integral bat in the Mets first postseason berth since 2006.

Keep checking back over the course of the week as I’ll have more from Conforto along with interviews with Curtis Granderson, Michael Cuddyer and Kevin Plawecki who recap the regular season and comment on the upcoming Division Series.

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Alderson Would Be “Very Surprised” If Uribe Were On NLDS Roster Tue, 06 Oct 2015 15:08:57 +0000 juan uribe

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he would be “very surprised” if infielder Juan Uribe were to make the NLDS roster.

The Mets are scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Wednesday, and it doesn’t appear that Uribe will be make the trek as he continues to recover from a chest contusion.

This has opened the door for Kirk Nieuwenhuis to make the team, at least for the first round of the playoffs.

After the NLDS, should the Mets advance, they will be able to reevaluate and comprise a new roster for the NLCS which is a best of seven series.

October 4

Speaking to reporters at Citi Field before Sunday’s regular season finale, manager Terry Collins said that third baseman Juan Uribe is “iffy” to make the Mets roster for the NL Division Series against the Dodgers.

That would certainly open up a roster spot for Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

October 1

Terry Collins told reporters that veteran infielder Juan Uribe has made no progress with his chest injury and will now be examined by team doctors in New York.

Collins explained that the injury to Uribe is where sternum meets the clavicle, and the fear is that instead of a cartilage-related bruise they initially diagnosed, it may actually be a separation.

While Collins considers Uribe a valuable player to have against the Dodgers’ left-handers, he admits that his status for the NLDS is now up in the air.

Uribe, 36, re-injured his chest muscle after he appeared as a pinch hitter last Friday night in Cincinnati.

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5 Things We Learned From Terry Collins Today Mon, 05 Oct 2015 01:15:55 +0000 terry collins

The dust has settled, and the New York Mets are in the playoffs and will face the Los Angeles Dodgers sans home-field advantage beginning Friday, October 9.

With the postseason beginning next week, Terry Collins addressed a number of topics regarding the NLDS at his final regular season post-game press conference. Here are some of the highlights:

1.  The fun is only just beginning

“90 wins is a big step, it’s a huge step from where we’ve been and all the things we went through and to see the expression on their faces that they accomplished something. Even though they accomplished it last week, knowing what we’ve got ahead. I just talked to (Cespedes) and he said ‘the fun is just starting,’ and he is right. We’ve worked hard to get there and we’re going to enjoy it. We’re going to get ourselves ready this week and go out to LA and play like we know how.”

2. Bartolo Colon will be a “steadying influence” in the bullpen

“He brings a lot to the table and he’s going to be a steadying influence in that bullpen, we’ve got a lot of guys that are going to be in that bullpen in Los Angeles, so to have him sitting out there will help a lot.”

3. The Mets are confident in the rotation they’ve set for the NLDS

“I think Game 3 in a 5-game series is the pivotal game. So I told Matt a week ago, if we get in, you’re going to pitch Game 3. It’s big, it’s going to limit you obviously to the number of times that you’re going to pitch, which is part of the whole plan behind him saying ‘hey, I want to go out and pitch as much as I can at the end of the season.’

“And then we went with the guy who’s pitched the best all year, and that’s Jake deGrom. To have him start Game 1. Noah, who after his rest in September has been absolutely brilliant, he can go Game 2 and we’re going to come home and we have Matt taking the mound, so we kind of like the way it sets up and we’re going to let them go pitch their games.”

4. Terry appreciates the fan base’s patience, support

I sat here last October and told our fan base that their patience is going to be rewarded, but it was time for us to win. So I just wanted to go out an applaud them for all of their support. The last month, those series against the Nationals here. The energy in the stadium, I have never been around it, and the players talked about the importance of it all and so I just wanted to go around and thank everybody. You can’t shake everybody’s hand but just to let them know that we knew we were there, we appreciate their support and we promise to show them a good time come Friday.

5. Jim Leyland likes to throw stat books

“In ’92, we were getting ready for the playoffs against Atlanta when I was with Pittsburgh and all the information was not on a computer, it was in a binder that was about *this* thick. Jim Leyland at the end of the meeting took the binder and threw it up in the air and papers were flying all over the place and he said ‘understand something, this game is played by humans, who make mistakes.”

“So all the information we have is legitimate, but now we have to go out and execute it, and I think we have the guys who can go out and do that.”

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For Die-Hard Mets Fans, The Joy Is Indescribable Mon, 28 Sep 2015 14:20:30 +0000 NL East Champions clubhouse

As the champagne flowed, the parade of interviews began and the cigar smoke filled the visiting locker room of Great American Ball Park Saturday, a wave of emotions passed over you. Satisfaction, relief, pure elation, perhaps a tear or two; all appropriate.

You’ve been on air all weekend. It’s difficult to explain what you’re feeling to a non-Mets fan.

They don’t have a separate dresser drawer dedicated to shirseys that can no longer be worn in public.

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For the first time in nearly a decade, the vicious cycle of April hope, July disappointment and September football has been broken.

You’ve been through the collapses of 2007 and 2008. You remember the Sports Illustrated cover in March of 2009, picking the Mets to win it all; only to witness everyone not named Daniel Murphy or Mike Pelfrey head to the revolving door that became the 15-day disabled list.

Dropped pop-ups, 3-2 curves, valley fever, the Oli folly, boxes of chocolates; you’ve been through it all.

Sure, there’s been some good times, but maybe outside of HI57TORY, you haven’t felt this good about Mets baseball since Endy Chavez robbed Scott Rolen at the “apex of his leap.”

NL East Champions Flores Wilmer

You watched every meaningless game in the dog days of summer, cheered in a half-empty ballparks, all for the hope that a day like Saturday was on the horizon.

You’ve spent the last month counting down the magic number, not trusting that this dream season was a reality until it hit zero.

Few sports fanbases have suffered more in the last decade than Mets fans have.

Now October baseball is real; it’s happening.

Don’t worry about explaining yourself.

Just savor it, enjoy it–you deserve it.

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Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto: Unsung Heroes of 2015 Mets Thu, 10 Sep 2015 18:00:14 +0000 travis d'Arnaud

The acquisitions of Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson and particularly Yoenis Cespedes proved crucial in sparking the Mets late-July turnaround. Cespedes, a multi-tool talent in the outfield, has performed so well, his name is being mentioned in MVP discussions despite just playing in just 36 National League games. Johnson and Uribe, in addition to their veteran presence, have contributed a number of timely hits and have been key pieces for Terry Collins to rotate around the infield.

These three deadline additions weren’t the only shot in the proverbial arm that has enabled these thrilling seven weeks of Mets baseball.

Travis d’Arnaud returned from injury on July 31 and has hit the cover off the ball ever since. In fact, d’Arnaud’s .954 OPS since the trade deadline is the highest of any Met with the exception of Cespedes during that period. The Mets are 32-16 when d’Arnaud is starting behind the dish, compared to 46-45 when he is not.

His performance at the plate in the last 30 days has rivaled some of baseball’s best. Over the last 30 days, d’Arnaud’s OPS ranks 6th in the National League, Cespedes is third. If his 11 homers and 37 RBIs in 49 games in 2015 were extended to a full season for a catcher (let’s say 130 games), d’Arnaud would have 29 homers and 98 RBIs and likely in more realistic talks for NL MVP.

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Rookie Michael Conforto, as well as Johnson and Uribe, played their first career games as a Met in the Dodgers series from July 24-26, widely seen as the beginning of the new-look offense in Queens. Since then, Conforto has dominated right-handed pitching, ripping six homers and 19 RBIs while posting a .950 OPS in just 101 at-bats. Now the other side of the platoon with Conforto, Michael Cuddyer has managed a mere .714 OPS in 264 at-bats vs. righties.

While much of the attention has pointed to Cespedes, and deservingly so, there have been a number of other bats that have changed the Mets offense from awful to awe-inspiring; foul to feared.

When this season is “in the books,” whether in the first week of October or the last, Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto ought to be remembered as two core additions in the final week of July that helped the Mets turn the corner when the season looked like it was on the rocks, not just Cespedes.


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MMO Exclusive: Bobby Valentine Says Mets Could Win World Series Mon, 17 Aug 2015 16:33:01 +0000 bobby valentine

In the last three weeks, the conversation has largely shifted from if the Mets make the postseason to when. The question still remaining however, is whether this is a team capable of playing deep into October or not.

Bobby Valentine, who knows a thing or two about quality Mets baseball, believes this year’s club could win it all.

“I think they could win a World Series,” Valentine told me Saturday while I was covering the Mets game for WSOU–Seton Hall’s student radio station. “Those guys are healthy and they’re out there pitching. No one wants to play the New York Mets.

In addition to the pitching staff that are “compared to none,” Valentine said the 2015 Mets just have the right formula for postseason success.

“When you get really good talent and then you get really good health you have a chance of being more than competitive down the stretch, I think you have a chance of winning it,” he said.

The flurry of deadline deals, highlighted by the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes, not only drastically improved an offense that was in dire need of assistance, but made a statement that the Mets were ready to play relevant baseball into the final weeks of the season. Valentine, who’s 1998 team benefited from the midseason trade for Mike Piazza, said it is a major confidence booster for a ball club when a front office chooses to buy at the deadline.

“It just changes the attitude,” he said. “Once the attitude changes, life is good. Guys go up there now feeling good about themselves.”

It is that attitude alteration, particularly on offense, that Valentine said puts the Mets over the top.

“They didn’t have enough confidence, now they have enough confidence on offense,” he said. “So they’re the team to beat.”

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This Weekend Proved What A Little Confidence Can Do Mon, 03 Aug 2015 18:30:49 +0000 Cespedes Duda

Sandy Alderson acquired much more in the last 10 days than just three bats and a reliever.

In choosing to buy at the trade deadline, Alderson and the New York Mets have opted for competitive late-season baseball for the first time in the history of Citi Field.

That vote of confidence has had a ripple effect on the Mets clubhouse, who prior to the trade for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, had lost six of their last eight, including two of three against the then-division leading Washington Nationals.

Having scored an MLB-worst 3.4 runs per game prior to the July 25 trade, the Mets offense has improved that figure by nearly two runs since. Much of the offense however, has been without the help of the three new additions to the lineup—hat tip to Lucas Duda—who are hitting a combined 9-for-45 with 11 strikeouts in their first week in New York.

We have heard for much of the last five seasons that the Mets have the ability to spend, but after payroll shrank from the $140 million when Alderson took over to as low as $85 million, there had been understandable doubt.

Sure enough, after roughly $8.5 million in payroll was taken on—in part aided by money recuperated from David Wright’s injury and Jenrry Mejia’s suspension—over the course of 10 days, there has been a dramatic cultural shift in the mentality at Citi Field. Following the trio of trades, teams are taking this laughing-stock of recent years turned contender seriously.

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In giving the ballclub the pieces needed to make a legitimate pennant push, the Mets gave their team, and their fans, a renewed sense of confidence heading into the stretch run.

This is no better exemplified by the three-game sweep of the Nationals this weekend, a team the Mets had posted a 2-16 record against at home since September of 2013 entering the series.

Two weeks ago the Amazin’s were a team with an unbelievable young group of arms, but no offense to support them. They now have a middle of the order worth intentionally walking and a bench with pinch hitters that are an improvement over the pitcher they’d replace.

Citi Field is packed and the Mets are in the thick of things entering the final two months of the season.

It’s amazing what a little help can do.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Padres 0 Wed, 29 Jul 2015 02:45:52 +0000 noah syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard flirted with history in a masterful performance Tuesday as the Mets (52-48) cruised to a 4-0 victory over the San Diego Padres (47-53) at Citi Field.

Tonight was by far the best performance of Thor’s young career; he had everything working for them and the Padres couldn’t get anything going. Syndergaard took a perfect game into the seventh inning in the victory; the bid ending on a leadoff single by future Met Will Venable. Yangervis Solarte would follow with a single as well, setting up a first-and-third situation with nobody out. After Matt Kemp popped up to second, Syndergaard got Justin Upton to ground into the 6-4-3 double play to end the threat. Syndergaard would complete eight shutout innings, surrendering just three hits while walking none and striking out nine, earning his fifth win of the season.

Lucas Duda put the Mets ahead for good in the top of the first inning with a deep, two-run shot to dead center to make it a 2-0 ballgame. Duda’s home run, his 15th of the season, was measured at 462 feet; the longest homer ever by a Mets player at Citi Field according to ESPN Stats & Info. For Duda, it was his third home run in as many games, leading many to believe the Mets cleanup hitter may finally be getting his stride back.

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In the eighth, Curtis Granderson also ripped a two-run homer, also for his 15th on the season, adding some insurance headed into the ninth. It was just the second home run for Granderson in the month of July.

Newly acquired Met Tyler Clippard came on to pitch the ninth to make his debut in Flushing. Clippard surrendering a leadoff double to Abraham Almonte but pitched a scoreless frame to close the door on the Padres and secure their 52nd victory on the season.

With the win and the Nationals falling to the Marlins 4-1, the Mets move within one game of first place in the National League East.

Bartolo Colon will get the ball Wednesday, squaring off against Tyson Ross in the second game of the Padres series, looking to secure a series victory. First pitch at Citi Field is scheduled at 7:10pm.

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Matz’s Debut A Day To Remember Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:45:56 +0000 Steve Matz debut

Between his 7.2 very solid innings, six strikeouts, three hits and four RBIs, Steven Matz‘s debut proved to be worth the wait.

Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Matz did not make it to a professional mound until 2012 due to complications following Tommy John surgery. Eventually battling back to debut with the Kingsport Mets, the Stony Brook native shot quickly up the Mets ranks to achieve the esteem of a top prospect, and now a major league starter.

“It’s unbelievable, it’s like a dream,” said Vito Cervone, a former catcher of Matz at Ward Melville, seated in section 113 Sunday to see his former battery mate’s debut. “I’m living vicariously through him.”

With more than two years of rehabbing following surgery in 2009, and the prospect of having to potentially undergo a second Tommy John operation, it at one point became a real question whether a day like Sunday would ever be possible. Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki said Matz persevering to make it to this point is just a testament to how hard pitchers who’ve had Tommy John have to work.

“Anyone who goes through a surgery like that, you Harvey, Wheeler too, it’s a tough surgery, but it just shows the work ethic that all these guys have,” he said. “Unfortunately it’s part of the game nowadays. Thank goodness there’s doctors and rehab programs good enough to get these guys back healthy and where they were beforehand.”

Steven, Matz

His MLB debut would be further delayed by an addition three hours and 26 minutes as Saturday’s suspended game concluded, during which time Matz told 1988 AL Cy Young Award winner and current Las Vegas 51s pitching coach Frank Viola that he “must have walked three miles” waiting for the first game to end. Viola told WSOU, Seton Hall’s student radio station, how proud he was of Matz.

“It’s like watching a child of yours get the chance to do something that a lot of people have always wanted to do,” he said.

Viola said above all, Matz is genuinely a good person.

“He’s more than just a baseball player, that’s secondary, he’s just a wonderful person, terrific kid, you root for people like that,” Viola said. “The world need more people like Steven Matz.”

Matz’s debut marks the last of a tidal wave of young arms coming through the Mets system in recent years. Now that these long-awaited prospects are here, as Terry Collins said, the future, now shifts to the present.

“It sends a message to our fan base that the future is now,” he said. “We’ve been talking about down the road, next year, next year; the future is now.

(Photos By: Clayton Collier, MMO)

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Doc Gooden On Mets Rotation: “With That Staff, Anything Can Happen” Tue, 09 Jun 2015 16:50:54 +0000 dwight doc gooden

Although this year’s MLB Draft was relatively quiet for the New York Mets without their first-round pick, Flushing was well-represented at the draft with Doc Gooden in attendance.

Speaking at the draft in Secaucus, N.J. Monday night, Gooden said he was honored to have been asked to attend by the Mets.

“It’s a great feeling to be here to represent the (Mets), because I did play for a couple teams after the Mets, so to come back, you feel like you’re back into the family now,” he said.

For many former big leaguers at the draft, it was a time for reflection on the day they were drafted. Gooden, who was picked fifth overall by the Mets in 1982, said he was shocked to have been picked so high.

“I remember my high school coach telling me that I’m probably going to be picked between the fifth and tenth round. I said, ‘that’s fine, I just want to get drafted,’” said Gooden, then a 17-year old standout high school hurler from Tampa.

“So we’re watching the draft, it got to the Mets with the fifth pick, and I see my name across the screen, ‘Dwight Gooden,’ I’m like ‘I just got picked fifth.’ I actually called New York to make sure that was right just based on what my high school coach had told me. They said ‘yeah, that’s right.’”

Though the Mets were short a first round pick due to the signing of Michael Cuddyer, New York has fortified themselves with plenty of young talent in recent years, highlighted by their current starting rotation along with Steven Matz still incubating in Triple-A. Gooden said he sees serious potential in the group of arms the Mets have put together.

“Once you get into the playoffs, with that staff, anything can happen,” he said.

The 1985 NL Cy Young award winner has been highly complimentary of the Mets young pitchers in the past, going as far to compare them to the 1986 rotation. Gooden said such comments drew some flak from former teammate Bobby Ojeda.

“I actually got a call from Bob Ojeda the other day because I had said that this staff could be better than the ’86 staff, so he didn’t like that too much,” Gooden said with a laugh.

The 2015 Mets are well-positioned to capture their first playoff bid in nine years, so long as they can overcome injuries to their primary bats and the resulting offensive woes. Gooden said if the Mets are going to without Wright or d’Arnaud–who is expected to return this week–for a long period of time, they need to make a move.

“If you can’t get both back, I think they should go out and get a veteran hitter for the middle of the order,” he said.

Although acquiring a bat should be a necessity for the Mets, Gooden said they also have to be careful not to mortgage the future with dealing an abundance major-league ready talent. Instead, he said the Mets should look to deal from the talent in the lower minors.

“You have to make a move, but it’s got to be the right fit, because you don’t give up a young pitcher, then in 3-4 years have it come back to bite you,” he said.

“So I would try to trade my lower minor league guys, because they have prospect pitchers all through the system, and try to stay away from my Triple-A and big league guys if I can do that. But if trade comes along that you can’t resist, you need to figure out what guy you want to move and go for it.”

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Gee Slated For One More Rehab Start, Syndergaard Gets Another Turn In Rotation Sun, 17 May 2015 18:23:52 +0000 noah syndergaard

Terry Collins told reporters before the game Sunday that Dillon Gee will have one more rehab start in the minors, guaranteeing Noah Syndergaard at least one more turn in the rotation.

Collins said he would like to see 95-to-100 pitches from Gee in his final rehab start. After that outing, a decision will be made regarding the rotation.

Gee struck out seven over four innings of one-run ball in a rehab start with High-A St. Lucie on Saturday.

The Mets manager said it is possible somebody goes to the bullpen or that Syndergaard goes back to Triple-A Las Vegas. An option that will not be considered, however, is a six-man rotation.

Gee was placed on the disabled list on May 4 with a right groin strain. Prior to the injury, the 29-year-old was 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 7, Marlins 6 Sun, 19 Apr 2015 20:05:24 +0000 lagares murphy nieuwenhuis

The excitement of the Mets 7-6 Harvey Day victory over the Marlins–their eighth straight win–was soured by the news of significant injuries to both Jerry Blevins and Travis d’Arnaud.

Blevins, who came on to relieve Matt Harvey in the seventh, was struck with a comebacker and would be taken out of the game, later diagnosed with a left forearm fracture. In the bottom half of the inning, d’Arnaud was struck by a pitch on his right hand and would be pulled from the game. Soon thereafter, it was announced that d’Arnaud too suffered a fracture.

After the game, Sandy Alderson told reporters that Hansel Robles and Kevin Plawecki would be called up to replace the injured pair. Terry Collins said in his postgame press conference that Plawecki would be the starting catcher if he were to be promoted.

Collins also said that both Blevins and d’Arnaud will be evaluated at the Hospital for Special Surgery Monday. There is presently no timetable for their return.

Earlier this week, the fanfare of a Harvey outing was also eclipsed by an in-game injury to a key player. In the young ace’s 2015 home debut, David Wright suffered a strained hamstring while attempting to steal second base and was soon after placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Harvey himself overcame sickness today in order to complete his six plus innings of work. Although Harvey earned the win today to improve to 3-0 on the year, his velocity was down a hair and looked hitable at times. Collins said at one point this morning there was a chance that Harvey wasn’t going to make his start because of his illness. Harvey said after the game that he felt weak and has been unable to swallow. Nevertheless, Harvey managed to work into the seventh, surrendering four runs on eight hits while striking out seven.

The 26-year-old captured his fifteenth career win in part due to the Mets lineup providing some much-needed run support.

After being retired in order for the first three innings, the Mets bats came alive the second time around the batting order in the form of a near 30-minute long hit parade in the fourth in which the Mets scored seven runs and sent 12 men to bat. With three runs already plated and the bases loaded, Ruben Tejada broke the game open with a bases-clearing double to left center, making it a 6-1 lead. d’Arnaud would later drive Tejada in on his second base hit of the frame.

The seven-run fourth was the largest run total in an inning for New York since July 2, 2013 when the Mets tallied seven times in the seventh inning of a 9-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field.

With the win, the Mets improved to 10-3 on the season, having set a franchise record by winning their first seven home games. The hot start also tied the franchise mark for best start through 13 games. The 1986 and 2006 teams were both 10-3 through 13 games.

Having finished their first-ever four-game sweep of the Marlins, the Mets will have a day off Monday before opening up a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves Tuesday. Jon Niese will have the start, squaring off against Trevor Cahill at Citi Field at 7:10pm.

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David Wright Is Now The Active Leader In Games Played With One Team Sat, 20 Dec 2014 16:25:17 +0000 derek jeter david wright

When the Phillies officially shipped mainstay Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers on Friday, they ended his hold on MLB’s longest active streak of games played with a single team.

In his 15 years with Philadelphia, Rollins played 2,090 games for the Phils, a figure that led all active players for roughly ten weeks following the retirement of Derek Jeter.

Now that both shortstops have moved on from their respective franchises, —in one way or another—a new king of the baseball lifers emerges; Mets captain David Wright.

Wright now leads all active players with 1,508 games played with one team; all as a Met, and only a Met.

Chase Utley is a close second; having racked up 1,478 games with the Phillies in 12 seasons compared to Wright’s 11.

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Let’s also take this time to wish David Wright a very Happy Birthday as he turns 32 today.

When Wright celebrated the 10 year anniversary of his MLB debut on July 21, 2014, the franchise leader in hits, doubles, runs, walks and RBI reflected fondly on his time with.

“I’ve had some great memories here and hopefully there’s a lot more to come,” Wright said. “Hopefully one day I’ll be able to sit back and reminisce and go through videos or whatever and be able to pat myself on the back and have some fond memories.”

In this frenzied age of free agency, and with all the insane amount of money being tossed around in huge mega deals, it’s becoming increasingly rare to see one player spend his entire MLB career with the team that drafted and developed him.

There is something special to be said about Wright’s more than 1,500 games played in blue-and-orange, especially given a frustrating past several years for the organization.

Contracted to another six seasons in Flushing, the seven-time all-star could very well hold onto this achievement for some time.


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Dodgers Send Matt Kemp To Padres Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:03:12 +0000 matt kemp

The Dodgers continue to throw gasoline on the Winter Meetings hot stove.

This time, LA has sent two-time all-star Matt Kemp along with catcher Tim Federowicz to the San Diego Padres in exchange for catcher Yasmani Grandal, RHP Joe Wieland, and a third player who is believed to be RHP Zach Eflin, this according to a report from Dennis Lin and Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The Dodgers will also send $30 million to San Diego to assist in covering the $107 million remaining on Kemp’s contract through 2019.

The deal is the fourth trade in an eventful 24 hours for the Dodgers. The day started with a seven-player swap that sent Dee Gordon and Dan Haren, Miguel Rojas and a player to be named later to Miami for a slew of prospects headlined by Andrew Heaney, who was subsequently dealt to the Angels for second baseman Howie Kendrick later that night. The Dodgers started their middle-infield makeover yesterday by trading for Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. That deal is still pending and potentially could include some of the prospects included in the Marlins deal.

On the free agent market, the Dodgers also signed starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy to a four-year deal valued at $48 million.

A nutty day in LA has given the Dodgers a brand-new infield in Rollins and Kendrick following the departure of Hanley Ramirez–who signed with Boston last month–as well as a young catcher in Grandal to pair with A.J. Ellis. The Padres get the big-name bat they’ve longed for in Kemp, at a semi-reasonable cost. The Angels pick up a stud left-handed pitching prospect with Heaney, the Marlins get some valuable pieces in Gordon and Haren and we will see what the Phillies will bring in once the deal becomes official.

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MMO Flashback: Matt Harvey Was Not The Hero We Deserved, But The One We Needed Tue, 04 Nov 2014 14:03:56 +0000 matt harvey

It feels like an eternity since we last saw Matt Harvey standing on a mound and menacing opposing batters with his array of lethal offerings. Every five days when our young ace took his turn in the rotation, it was treated as an event that couldn’t be missed and aptly called “Harvey Day.” As we get ever so closer to his eventual return next Spring and as our exuberance rises, here’s an MMO Flashback that recalls that fateful day when we learned that Gotham had lost its hero.

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Matt Harvey is going to miss a significant amount of time; not much else is known at this moment.

What has been well-documented however, is just how much of an impact the Dark Knight of Gotham has had on the New York Mets organization and their fans alike.

The mood surrounding this franchise has plunged further and further into disappointment, animosity and frustration ever since Adam Wainwright‘s infamous breaking ball struck the black leather of Yadier Molina‘s mitt. After back-to-back September collapses and a pair of sub-par seasons, a change in management brought hope of brighter days. However the immediate years following only became more gut-wrenching. Since Sandy Alderson took over following the 2010 season, fans have had to endure the departures of Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and R.A. Dickey to name a few; all on the premise of a brighter tomorrow through the procuring of young talent at the expense of the performance at the major league level.

the future

The 2013 season has marked the infusion of those farmhands that have been so long awaited. Zack Wheeler is proving that his 2011 acquisition was certainly worthwhile. The Amazin’s are also enjoying the fruits of their labor from the Dickey deal with Travis d’Arnaud behind the dish.

Following years of development and growth since their mid-teens, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores have finally made it to the show. All have been encouraging and enormously exciting to watch, but all pale in comparison to the energy generated by the emergence of Matt Harvey.

In his first full season–sans their ailing, aged ace in Johan Santana–Harvey exploded out of the gate, quickly gaining national attention. By the third week of April, contests in which he started became not just a typical Mets game, but ‘Harvey Day’. Fans amassed in the stands of Citi Field to see the most exciting young pitcher in Queens since 1984, just to get a glimpse of his increasingly legendary “stuff”. By May, the 24-year old flamethrower was plastered on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the first time a player in orange-and-blue had received such an esteemed honor in nearly five years.

From then on it just got better; Harvey could not be stopped. Anytime he went to the mound, a no-hitter was more than possible, three times becoming probable with bids into the seventh inning. Eventually it all came to a pinnacle when Bruce Bochy named the Mets’ ace to the incredibly rare honor of starting the 2013 All-Star Game at his home ballpark, going on to put up two goose eggs for the National League including three strikeouts, including Miguel Cabrera – the reigning Triple-Crown Winner.

harvey wright

Since the mid-summer classic,  the master “plan” of the future has become the present with the organization’s top prospects all converging on Roosevelt Avenue. ESPN has tagged the Mets as the team of the future in New York; baseball media hubs across the country have begun to recognize the Amazin’s as a club on the rise and no longer in the doldrums of mediocrity.

All was going so well until yesterday when a sobering MRI revealed the ulnar collateral ligament of Harvey lying in his right elbow with a partial tear, crushing many with the very real possibility of the Mets being without one of the game’s best hurlers until 2015.

Until Harvey returns, his absence will be felt in the worst of ways; but his effect on this entire franchise will remain. He has turned another year of “punting” into a season of new beginnings. His performance along with his demeanor has single-handedly altered the culture surrounding the Mets from the second fiddle team of New York to the club to watch out for. The fanbase has wholly changed from beleaguered to stimulated; apathetic to optimistic.

The Mets had to have this year. They desperately needed a season that portrayed direction rather than a ship lost at sea. Matt Harvey has given the Mets that; he has granted them a new look and a new hope, and will return.

The Dark Knight will rise once again. When, we don’t know just yet; but whether that is in one month or twelve, the 2013 season will go down as the year that the corner has officially been turned in Gotham, and that is largely in part to Harvey; and nothing can take that away.

For Matt Harvey was not the hero we deserved, but the one we needed.

the dark knight matt-harvey

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Miracle Mets Still A Sore Spot For Frank Robinson Sun, 19 Oct 2014 04:31:11 +0000 gal-shea-seaver-8-jpg

“It’s always good planning to have a baseball in the dugout with shoe polish on it, just in case.”

That is the expression coined following the infamous Shoe Polish incident, when in Game 5 of the 1969 World Series, Cleon Jones hit the deck to evade a Dave McNally pitch that skidded into the Mets dugout, only to be retrieved by Mets skipper Gil Hodges to reveal a smudge of shoe polish, awarding Jones first base. The next batter Donn Clendenon would smash a two-run homer leading to a Mets victory and eventually winning their first World Series title in franchise history.

The incident capped off one of most incredible World Series upsets in baseball history. The Miracle Mets, more commonly known as the “Lovable Losers” since their inception, needed just five games to best Earl Weaver‘s 109-win Baltimore Orioles and become champions.

I spoke to one of those mighty 1969 Orioles about this controversial moment in Mets history when I was covering the MLB Draft for MMO. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson did not hesitate to speak his mind on the subject when I broached it with him.

“It had to be a trick,” said Robinson. “People forget the length of time that ball went into the dugout before Gil Hodges brought it out to show it to the umpire.”

“That ball didn’t go into the dugout with black shoe polish on it, but it came out with black shoe polish on it,” he said.

Several different Met accounts have come out over the years including Ron Swoboda claiming that the pitch hit an open bag of balls, spilling identical baseballs all over the dugout, one of which Gil picked up that had a black mark on it.

Of the most recent claims was Jerry Koosman, who in 2009 stated that Hodges instructed him to rub the ball on his shoe, however neither accounts put to rest whether the pitch actually hit Jones, a truth that will likely never be known for sure.


Although even if Jones wasn’t awarded first base in Game 5, Robinson doesn’t believe it would have made all that great of a difference in the outcome of the game or the series.

“The Mets deserved to win, they did what they had to to win,” said Robinson. “I still watch it on classic sports and I still don’t believe we lost.”

Like Robinson, many were in shock at the fact that the lowly New York Mets, just seven years into existence, stood atop the baseball world. After their improbable comeback to beat out the Chicago Cubs for the division crown, they had an even greater upset of the Orioles and the ‘Bird’s Big Four’ in stunning fashion. Robinson recalls what he found most impressive about the Mets in that series.

“They got contributions from everybody, the little guys we used to call them, and they did what they had to do,” said Robinson almost begrudgingly. “They also had some great pitching.”

Despite his high praise of the team, it was clear that the Miracle Mets to this day are still not Robinson’s favorite subject as he brought the conversation of the Amazin’s to an abrupt close.

“That’s all I’ve got to say about ‘69.”

The legend of the 1969 Mets lives on to this day as one of the greatest Cinderella stories in the game’s history, who with the help of a little shoe-polished baseball, were able to put National League baseball in New York back on the map with their first World Series title.

1969 mets

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 8, Astros 3 Sun, 28 Sep 2014 21:19:17 +0000 lucas duda hr 30

Capping off his breakout season, Lucas Duda provided the offense with a four-RBI afternoon as the Mets ended 2014 on a high note Sunday, routing the Astros by a final score of 8-3.

Duda reached a pair of individual milestones in the game, most notably his 30th home run, which came in his final at-bat of the year. Duda also reached 92 runs batted in, both figures the most for a given Mets player since 2012 when Ike Davis had 32 home runs and David Wright had 93 RBIs.

Bartolo Colon went six innings allowing three runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out four, earning his 15th win of the season. It is the eighth time in Colon’s career that he has reached 15 wins or more and the 204th victory of his career.

bobby abreu

Bobby Abreu, who announced his retirement Friday, had a base hit in the fifth inning and was replaced with Eric Young Jr. on the basepaths, walking off to a standing ovation from the 34,897 fans in attendance. Abreu retired with 2,470 career hits, 1,475 walks and 574 doubles in 18 seasons for the Mets, Astros, Phillies, Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers.

The Mets end their season 79-83, their highest win total since 2010 but their sixth straight losing season.

Thank you from all of us here at MMO for reading.

Get ready for what we hope will be a lively offseason!

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Niese Not Worried About Rapid Heart Rate, Wraps Up A Solid Season Sat, 27 Sep 2014 13:42:03 +0000 jon niese

Jon Niese was pulled from his final start of the season Friday night with an elevated heart rate. He exited with one out in the sixth inning, having not allowed a run while throwing just 66 pitches.

Niese has faced this issue in the past, namely on June 3, 2012 at home against the Cardinals and June 25, 2011 in a start against the Rangers at Arlington. Doctors had recommended he undergo an ablation procedure at the time, but was later advised it wasn’t needed.

“They [doctors] said it can come back at any moment, it just happens,” Niese said. “The last time it happened was two years ago. Once every two years I will take. It’s something that can always happen, and if it happened more often I would look to do something.”

Niese wasn’t too worried about it and seemed more interested in discussing his strong outing and his season in general.


“I took a huge step with my changeup this year,” he said. “I figured out how to pitch. Hopefully I can do some things to help my arm strength, and hopefully be able to pitch with my good stuff.”

Niese ends the season with a solid 3.40 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 30 starts for the Mets this year, identical to his 2012 campaign. Despite a lower velocity, he maintained his 6.6 strikeout rate and improved his strikeout-to-walk rate from 3.0 to 2.2.

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MMO Game Recap: Astros 3, Mets 1 Sat, 27 Sep 2014 02:48:41 +0000 terry collins 2

An early exit for a dealing Jon Niese and an unfortunate relief appearance by Carlos Torres coupled with a key error led to a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros in the final series opener of 2014.

Granderson began scoring with a solo shot to right with one out in the fourth, handing the Mets an early lead. The home run was Granderson’s 20th home run of the season, the seventh time he has reached that plateau in his career.

Jon Niese was having one of his better outings on the season before being pulled with one out in the sixth inning with an elevated heart rate. Niese, who has faced similar issues in-game before, threw just 66 pitches and had not allowed a run before exiting. The 27-year-old ends his season with a 3.40 ERA in 30 starts for the Mets this year, identical figures to his 2012 campaign.

Unfortunately for the Mets, Carlos Torres, who came in injury relief, was unable to continue the theme of dominant pitching following Niese’s early departure. With a run already plated on a Jose Altuve RBI single, Chris Carter followed with his 21st double of the season. Fast work from Eric Young Jr. and Wilmer Flores as Anthony Recker dropped the relay throw, allowing Altuve to come home safely and giving the Astros the lead. Carter would score later in the inning on a Matt Dominguez single, making it 3-1.

From there, the Mets offense was unable to rally, losing their 83rd game of the season. The Mets are now 38-41 at home, securing their fourth consecutive losing season when playing at Citi Field.

Rafael Montero will start for the Mets Saturday, taking on Samuel Deduno of Houston at 7:10 p.m.

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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 10, Mets 3 Sun, 14 Sep 2014 03:01:34 +0000 zack wheeler

On a damp evening at Citi Field, Zack Wheeler‘s recent stretch of dominance came to an end as his lack of command coupled with a poor defensive effort resulted in a 10-3 blowout loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday evening.

Bryce Harper sent a fly ball into the Pepsi porch that just barely tucked inside the right-field foul pole after Ian Desmond led off with a walk to put the Nationals up 2-0 in the second.

The same pair would begin the fourth with back-to-back singles. Desmond would score on a pick-off attempt by Travis d’Arnaud that sailed over the glove of Daniel Murphy and into left field, making it a three-run game.

The night just got worse for Wheeler in the fifth inning. Failing to record an out to the three batters he faced, the 24-year-old was relieved by Gonzalez Germen with two on and a run already plated in the inning. Despite the new pitcher, Desmond had the Mets number as he drove a two-run single to center, giving Washington the 6-0 advantage.

Wheeler surrendered six runs, all earned, on seven hits in four plus innings of work while walking two and striking out four, falling to 10-10 on the season.

The Mets responded to the Nats offensive outburst with some well-struck drives of their own. Curtis Granderson ripped a double to lead off the fifth. Wilmer Flores would make it a 6-2 game on a two-run shot to left center, his fourth of the season.

Buddy Carlyle came in to pitch the sixth, falling victim to a sub-par defense behind him. Although Carlyle got a pair of ground balls, three separate errors resulted in the seventh run of the game for the Nationals.

Granderson came on in the sixth with two on and tow out and came through with a base hit that deflected off of first baseman Adam LaRoche to bring the Mets within four at the time.

ian desmond

But Desmond refused to let the Mets come within striking distance, crushing an RBI double off the right centerfield wall in the eighth. He finished the day 3-for-4 with three RBIs, bringing his season total to 86 runs batted in.

In the end the Mets got pasted by the Nationals in what was a sloppy effort that included four errors and poor pitching all the way around.

Lagares had three hits to raise his average to .285. He is hitting .311 (17-49) with seven runs scored, three doubles, five RBI and seven stolen bases in 12 games this month.

Mets 3-4-5 hitters combined to go 0-for-11 and leadoff hitter Eric Young went 0-for-4.

Up Next: Jon Niese (8-10, 3.59) opposes right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (11-5, 2.93) at 1:10 PM on Sunday in the series finale.
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