Mets Merized Online » Stephanie Sheehan http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:00:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 MMO Players of the Week: Duda, Colon and Everybody Else http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-players-of-the-week-duda-colon-and-everybody-else.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-players-of-the-week-duda-colon-and-everybody-else.html/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:11:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164226 The collapse wasn’t as sudden as it has been in the past, but it has finally arrived. Splitting the series with the Cubs was deplorable (especially in the manner the Mets did it in). Splitting the short series with the A’s was expected, but still not acceptable. Nearly getting swept by the Dodgers due to sloppy baseball was just distasteful. When Terry Collins had, after getting embarrassed by the Nationals at home, to win the next 7 of their 8 games, I can imagine that went through one ear and right out the other for the players. While a lot of things have been going wrong for the Mets lately, there are always those few players who will put on a show and stand out in the darkest times: the MMO Players of the Week!

lucas duda

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: LUCAS DUDA

This choice was as easy as counting to five; which, coincidentally, is the number of home runs Lucas Duda crushed this week. 9th best in the MLB with 26 long balls and easily the hottest hitter on the Mets right now, Duda has transformed from a streaky, potential-for-power guy to a premier first baseman right before our eyes. With eight hits and a whopping 11 RBI over the past week, Duda has a team-leading 76 runs batted in on the year (which is good for 19th in the league). The most amazing thing about Duda’s sudden tirade of dominance is that he is not even trying to knock balls out of the park, it just…happens. As the guys in the booth have said many times, the key to Duda’s success is for him to not become home run happy, but to continue to work counts, be selective and be a smart hitter, capitalizing on pitcher mistakes when he can. We already know that choosing Lucas over Ike Davis was the right move, but now more than ever it has become evident that the Mets have unleashed a monster who may not even be close to showing what he can really do when given the right opportunity.

mets win beat phillies

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: EVERY PLAYER FROM SUNDAY’S GAME

I know this is an unorthodox way of giving out the award, but Sunday’s game was no doubt the best the Mets have been in a while and it was quite possibly the only game this week where there were no major screw ups. Everyone was involved in that awesome triple play, Tejada was slick, Campbell made nice plays, Eric Young. made a pretty catch in left… it was a good all around defensive day for the Metsies. The Mets’ defense has been shockingly bad as of late, so it was a real treat to see this defense put on a show in LA. Even if the offense staggers for the last month of the season, I really hope that the defense can at least stay consistent enough to give us SOMETHING to be happy about.

bartolo colon 200 wins

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: BARTOLO COLON

In what many are calling his last start with the Mets, Bartolo Colon gets to finish strong with yet another gem. A true master of his craft, Colon painted the corners, jammed hitters constantly and was able to induce a number of ground balls (which the defense were happy to constantly field for outs). Because of his dominance in his past starts, the Mets could be looking at a pretty decent haul for the veteran right hander if the price is right. Colon has been more than great for us as of late, giving us solid outing after solid outing despite faltering early in the season. Truthfully, we could not ask for anything more of him, considering this team is out of contention and already looking to 2015. He has given all he has and his starts have been thoroughly enjoyable for the last few months. Good luck to him wherever he ends up (if he ends up somewhere else at all)!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Carlos Torres had a good spot start on Monday, striking out the side in the first inning, collecting six punch-outs overall and holding the Cubs scoreless over five innings of work. Jacob deGrom, while faltering in his return from the DL, is nothing to worry about. He not only had great control of his fastball and breaking pitches, but he collected two hits off of LA’s Zack Greinke, one of those hits being mere feet away from an opposite field homer! Juan Lagares continues his defensive rampage and crushed his first home run since May in Saturday’s losing effort. Ruben Tejada was one of the many stars of Sunday’s fun fest, hitting his third home run (when did he even hit those other two?) and making slick defensive plays all around.

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MMO Players of the Week: It’s hard to choose when the Mets lose http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-players-of-the-week-its-hard-to-choose-when-the-mets-lose-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-players-of-the-week-its-hard-to-choose-when-the-mets-lose-2.html/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:00:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=163745 The more that Mets players and coaches talk about a late playoff surge, the sillier and more delusional they sound. As things always seem to do for this team as the home stretch approaches, the Mets are beginning to fall apart at the seams. The offense is futile, the bullpen has been less than great, and the starting pitching has just been average.

Terry Collins continues to stun fans by making his fair share of questionable moves, such as pitching an injured Mejia with a deficit and refusing to move down a slumping Granderson from the top of the order. After getting thoroughly embarrassed by Washington at home for the 13th straight time, Collins made it a point to put it in the past and told his team to win the next 7 of 8 in hopes of approaching the near-impossible mark of .500 (of course, we all know that won’t happen).

However, even when the Mets seem to be at their lowest overall point of the season, that still doesn’t mean that some players have done all they can to bring success to this team. And with that, I present to you the Players of the Week.

daniel murphy lucas duda

OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: DANIEL MURPHY/LUCAS DUDA

It truly is a stretch to even include this category this week (which made it more difficult to even choose a player to put here), but I decided to go with Daniel Murphy for this reason: even though he did not produce any huge runs (the credit there goes to Anthony Recker and Eric Campbell for their respective home runs, but there is no way the honor can be given to either of them), but because he still continues to collect hits despite being marred by a “slump”.

He collected six hits and scored three runs over the past week; and for the Mets, that’s saying a lot. Keep in mind that it is nearly impossible to pick a player for this category during a stretch of historic offensive vain. I could pick out plenty of times over the past week where Murphy failed to produce, but I could do that with every player.

However, I would also like to mention Lucas Duda here instead of the honorable mentions because I believe that while Murphy is our best hitter, Lucas is our most feared. He is fifth in the NL in home runs with 22 and is becoming a smarter and more disciplined hitter at the plate, drawing five walks in the last three games. With all things considered, the category could very well be split between these two players. Who deserves it more?

Lucas  Duda manning first base - Cit Field

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: LUCAS DUDA

This is a category Lucas Duda can stand in on his own. With not many spectacular defensive plays taking place this week (except for Wilmer Flores‘ slick play on Sunday’s bitter loss), the honor goes to Lucas for continuing to show off his vastly improved first base defense. With a subpar middle infield and an aching Wright at third, a vast majority of the plays made by the defense would be lost if Duda did not have an incredible skill for scooping up balls that come up short.

For a guy I honestly thought would not be able to hold his own defensively, Duda has become quite nimble at first baseman. Even if his stretches don’t come close to what Freddie Freeman can do, it’s good enough to suffice for us. Lucas has really embraced the title of everyday first baseman and continues to show that he is more than just an average player.

zack wheeler

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: ZACK WHEELER

I’m going to start this section off by sending my sincere condolences to the Colon family for the unfortunate loss of Bartolo’s mother; it truly is a tragedy to see these things happen to players we have all come to respect.

Now, on a more positive note, Zack Wheeler cops the top honor as pitcher of the week this week for his 6.2 innings of four hit ball on Friday. Thanks to Eric Campbell’s fourth inning home run, Wheeler was given a lead after faltering early and never looked back. Wheeler is starting to blossom to become the pitcher he was scouted to be, using his scorching fastball (topping out at 97) to freeze hitters for the strikeout, paint the corners or make them chase high out of the zone for feeble contact.

His curveball was a work of art, having induced four of the ten strikeouts he recorded and forcing weak contact to get the easy out. One of the most impressive things about Wheeler’s development is his ability to work out of the jams he puts himself in. Wheeler somehow finds a way to erase runners with double plays, strike out three in a row after letting the first two men on or bearing down after letting up two runs to keep his opponent scoreless. There are all things nobody could say about him at the start of the season, but hopefully we can continue to say these things as his career as a Met continues to get better and better.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Bartolo Colon absolutely should have gotten a win on Wednesday… if the team could score more than two runs. A few sac flies ended up hurting Colon in the end, but that does nothing to summarize how his outing went. He struck out eight over seven strong innings, unfortunately faltering late and costing him. He is making a strong run at the waiver deadline and, even with his placement on the bereavement list, could very well be dealt for a contending team in need of pitcher depth by the end of August. After all, those are really the only kinds of trades Sandy has been making as of late with these rental players.

Rafael Montero had his first truly spectacular outing on Sunday, going 7.1 innings and only letting up one run while striking out six. His control was much better, he was much less erratic and everybody could tell that he felt a lot more comfortable on the mound. Unfortunately, a start which would earn almost any pitcher a win (not to mention his first big league win!) ended in dismay as a hurting Jenrry Mejia (why was he pitching in the first place?) let up an opposite field home run to Starlin Castro on the first pitch of the ninth.

Eric Campbell and Anthony Recker deserve another nod for blasting home runs to secure wins for the Mets, even if they did not help at all in any other games. Wilmer Flores is playing solid, and while he is no Ruben Tejada with his glove, he is his own with his bat. Giving him a position to play constantly until the end of the season will be the true measurer of Wilmer’s future at shortstop– and with the Mets.MMO footer

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MMO Players of the Week: Murphy, Granderson, Colon, Oh My! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-players-of-the-week-murphy-granderson-colon-oh-my.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-players-of-the-week-murphy-granderson-colon-oh-my.html/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:22:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=163151 It’s been one of those wacky high and low weeks for the Mets yet again, showing that while the future looks bright, the present is rather bleak. It always seems as if each factor– offense, defense and pitching– seem to work independently. One day the offense will explode… but the defense will falter. The next day the defense is spectacular, but the pitching almost blows it. It’s a vicious cycle that the Mets cannot seem to break out of yet. Unfortunately for us, the Mets showcased this uneven system to us in full force, shrouding some spectacular standout performances with, as Keith Hernandez puts it, bad fundies. However, you cannot be a Mets fan without looking for every possible speck of good, even in the bad times. On that note, I present the MMO Players of the Week!

daniel murphy

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DANIEL MURPHY

After a slow start coming out of the gate after the All-Star Break, our lone representative reminded us why he was chosen in the first place. Daniel Murphy recorded AT LEAST one hit and one RBI in every game, except for the 11-inning win on Saturday. He still stands as the only everyday starter with an average above .300 (.303). With a whopping 8 RBI and 13 hits in 32 at-bats throughout the week, Murph is not only showcasing why he is the best hitter on the team, but is also building a strong case as to why he should be extended in the offseason. His defense vastly improved, his offensive game presently better than even a seven-time All-Star, Murphy could be a very important asset to the team’s success in the near future. However, a popular debate that has been going on for years has more fuel to it than ever: reap the highest benefit you can after a career year and trade him, or use his productivity to help solidify a contending team and extend him?

curtis granderson

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: CURTIS GRANDERSON

Whether he was helping a pal earn his 200th career win or just making your run-of-the-mill impressive catch, Curtis Granderson was flashing the leather all week, reminding us that he can be a force with his glove as well as his bat. While some of these catches came during eventual Met losses, the most notable one of the week was on Friday’s nail biter in Philly, when Granderson made a sliding catch in the 9th with second and third, no outs to prevent the runs from scoring and secure career win number 200 for fan favorite Bartolo Colón. Speaking of which…

bartolo colon

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: BARTOLO COLON

The guy who has the internet buzzing with every at bat, the man with the helmet that probably needs a chin strap, your friend and ours, Bartolo Colon is finally a member of the 200-win club. Keeping his hot streak up (on the mound, that is), Colon went eight strong innings allowing only one run on six hits while fanning six. As always, Colon’s fastball was masterfully controlled and expertly placed, occasionally mixing in the offspeed pitch to generate the swing and miss when needed. Colon has been showcasing his craft at his best lately, whether bidding for a perfect game or a career milestone. We may not be seeing him for very much longer in a Met uniform, but we can enjoy his outings while we can– and his plate appearances.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Grab some refreshments, because this is gonna be a long one: Juan Lagares put on his own show this week, smacking doubles, triples and making his fair share of spectacular plays: nailing Gregor Blanco at the plate on Monday and making a great diving catch on Tuesday that knocked the wind out of him. Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud generated their own offense, hitting back-to-back jacks on Sunday in a game where the offense shined bright. Duda has been piecing together some high quality at bats, showing an aggressive side while also being able to work a count. d’Arnaud’s bat only continues to get better, proving that he can flourish to be the player he was scouted to be. Kirk Nieuwenhuis threw himself a birthday party in center field on Thursday, making two spectacular diving catches that were run saving and loomed large in a tie game that the Mets would eventually give away. Josh Edgin has really improved since last year, striking out five and giving up no runs in his appearances this week. Strong offense… star defense… stellar pitching… why can’t they ever work in harmony?!

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MMO Players of the Week: Past, Present and Future All-Stars http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-players-of-the-week-past-present-and-future-all-stars.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-players-of-the-week-past-present-and-future-all-stars.html/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:21:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=160700 If you told me that the Mets were going to take 3 of 4 from the then first place Braves and follow that up with a sweep of the Marlins at home, I would have called you crazy. Now, I’m starting to wonder if I’m crazy for thinking this team has a shot to make a run for it. The Mets have been unarguably been playing their best ball of the season lately: capitalizing with RISP, attacking during every at bat, getting clutch hits, rallying from behind and holding the opponent to four or less runs each game. If this is the team Sandy Alderson had in mind when he made his bold 90-wins proposal, we can see where he was coming from. While it is a stretch to call this team a 90-win team, if they can break the streak of losing records and abysmal play after the All-Star Break, reaching .500–and even a wild card spot– may not be out of the question. This team has been playing like a true team, but even teams have their standout players: your MMO Players of the Week!

david wright swings

 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: David Wright

At the close of a first half that he can only build up from, David Wright completed the last week before the break with a bang. Going 11-for-25 with two dingers, five walks and seven RBI, Wright collected his 19th four hit game in Friday’s victory, the second most in Mets history behind Jose Reyes‘ 23. Attacking the inside pitch as well as capitalizing on pitcher mistakes, Wright is driving in runs, getting on base and flashing his power, as any captain should be able to do. While only batting .285 on the year and not looking nearly as well as he has in the past, it is not far fetched to say that David will certainly show flashes of his former self come the second half. Aside from the mere numbers on the field, David is also showing confidence in his squad of young players that if they (and he) can keep this type of play up, the Mets can give the division leaders ”a run for their money”.

USATSI daniel murphy

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Daniel Murphy

The defense this week has been consistent at times and dismal at others, but when you turn double plays, make barehanded throws and splay yourself out in the air to prevent a run from scoring in a close game, you have definitely secured your spot as winner of the defensive player of the week. Of course, all of this only applies if your name is Daniel Murphy. Our lone All-Star rep has been slightly lacking at the plate but has certainly made it up with his glove, showing us and the rest of baseball why he truly deserves to wear that red and blue jersey in Minnesota. His newborn son Noah will certainly have a lot to look up to when he gets around to watching highlights of his father on the field!

jake degrom

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Jacob deGrom

It is extremely difficult to pick a pitcher of the week when all of the pitchers have been doing phenomenal, but with two outings totaling 14 IP, 1 ER, 12 hits, 19 punchouts and even his first RBI of the year, Jacob deGrom has absolutely solidified his place within the starting rotation. deGrom is a fan favorite, not only for his luscious hair but for his fantastic four pitch array of a brilliantly located fastball that can top out at 96, a curveball that can make any hitter look foolish, a changeup that has even the best batters fishing and a slider that, while not used often, is still a pitch deGrom can throw for strikes. deGrom was not often included in the conversation of bright young Mets prospects, but if he continues to shock both fans and teams by pitching this way, he may just find himself in a vital part of the Mets’ future.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

STARTING PITCHING: The starting pitching we have seen this week is some of the best all season. With Niese’s sudden DL stint, guys like Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee and even Dice-K have stepped up and made up for his absence. Lately, Wheeler has been pitching like he was promised to, getting out of jams and refurbishing his control. On the flip side lies Dillon Gee, whose simply spectacular first outing since coming off the DL proves to everyone that he is more than the fifth starter everyone is making him out to be.

THE BENCH: The entire Mets bench gets a nod this week. Eric Campbell (with a little help from Chris Young) saved the game on Saturday, capping off a stellar comeback on Saturday that Terry Collins called the biggest win of the year. Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been tearing it up, with three hits and two RBI and limited at bats. In addition, Eric Young Jr made a couple fine plays in the outfield on Tuesday and even notched an RBI. We are all aware of the difficulties of being called off the bench and being expected to kill it each time, but lucky for us that is exactly what the bench has been doing.

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Howie Rose: That’s As Good As It Gets! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/howie-rose-thats-as-good-as-it-gets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/howie-rose-thats-as-good-as-it-gets.html/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:52:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153876 ruben tejada jenrry mejia

In probably one of the most satisfying wins thus far, the Mets, backed by superb pitching and spectacular defense, narrowly shut out the Cardinals, 2-0. While the offense was not overwhelming, they were able to work Cardinals’ starter Tyler Lyons enough to knock in two runs and draw four walks. it was a much needed victory for the Metropolitans, who are experiencing many difficulties winning at home.

Jenrry Mejia put together a spectacular outing, going 6.2 strong innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. His placement and command were exceptional, and his offspeed and breaking pitches were downright nasty. He started off extremely strong, letting up only two hits through the first five innings. When trouble began brewing in the sixth after two walks,

Mejia did a marvelous job pitching his way through the inning to coax the popups and the double plays when needed.

Ruben Tejada had a monster day in the field, making a few gorgeous diving stops and starting two critical double plays including this one in the fifth inning in which he pairs with Daniel Murphy to wow the crowd:

Last night’s win could easily be credited to the admirable defensive display put on by infielders Tejada, Murphy, Josh Satin and David Wright. In the sixth inning, Mejia made sure to give a fist bump to all four of them before departing the mound after Terry Collins replaced him.

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MMO Players of the Week: Three Vets For Military Monday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-players-of-the-week-three-vets-for-military-monday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-players-of-the-week-three-vets-for-military-monday.html/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 19:07:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153795 Mets POTW

Nothing is very new about the New York Mets… it has been another up and down week yet again. From pummeling the Diamondbacks to nearly getting swept by the Braves, the mystery of how the Mets go from performing like All-Stars on the road to playing like a little league team at home will likely remain unsolved for a while. Yet, with a surplus of under-performance comes three players who shine and make the week their own: our MMO Players of the Week!

USATSI_ david wright by brad barr

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DAVID WRIGHT

Oh Captain, my Captain! David Wright is finally starting to look like the David Wright we know and love. Currently riding an 11 game hitting streak, Wright was quite literally all of the Mets offense for the past few days. Not only did he record the only hit in an embarrassing game on Friday night, but he has had back-to-back three hit games and has driven in four of the Mets’ last nine runs in the previous two days; not to mention recording six hits during the series with the DBacks and driving in three runs. Per the Mets, Wright has amassed 18 hitting streaks of 10 or more hits in his career, which is a club record.

Although Curtis Granderson is not providing the protection we thought he would, Wright continues to chip away and get on base any way he can. His hitting streak may be a fairly quiet one, but he is the only one consistently hitting at the moment. Of course, we cannot conclude the offensive portion of this paragraph without giving a hefty shoutout to Bartolo Colon‘s absolutely hilarious at-bat from Saturday night’s game that has screenshots of his flubbing faces swirling around the baseball twitterverse. Here’s to enjoying many more Bartolo (and Wright!) at-bats throughout the season!

USATSI daniel murphy

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DANIEL MURPHY

Make no issue of the paternity leave now! Daniel Murphy has clearly moved past the asinine accusations of “softness” from radio critics and self proclaimed twitter critics alike, putting on a fantastic show in the middle infield this week. He completely stole the show Monday night, making three gorgeous plays all worthy of the highlight reel. He made another beautiful play Wednesday night and has been very consistent in the field all week. Murphy has shaped up to be a wonderful defensive second baseman. For all of his streaky ways, Murph’s range has really improved and will only continue to improve as the season goes on. He is all but guaranteed to turn that double play and is fantastic at executing it. Murphy’s defense is nothing to look past; it is certainly worth appreciating having a defenseman we can trust when it comes to flashing the leather on any type of play.

dillon gee

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: DILLON GEE

Now this is the Gee we have been waiting to see! Dillon Gee put on a spectacular show Wednesday night, tossing seven beautiful innings of three-hit ball. Perhaps the most outstanding aspect of his performance was the fact that he walked no batters at all: a sign of very respectful control. His fastball was very well placed and he hit all of his spots throughout the night, inducing the pop up when he needed it and jamming up hitters whenever he could. His curveball was incredibly accurate, painting the corner various times to freeze hitters.

Gee was in so much control that he did not even allow a hit until the 5th inning. Wondrously, he did not implode in the 6th inning as he so often does, and tossed a mere 72 pitches through seven innings; however Collins, mindful of Gee’s tendency to deteriorate in late innings, rightfully pulled him from the game to end his start on a high note. It would have been interesting if Collins had left him in the game to see if Gee had honed on his pitching late in the game, but with the track record the Mets have with embarrassing ways to lose, Collins made the right choice; even though Valverde gave us a huge scare in the bottom of the 9th!

 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a fantastic night on both sides of the coin his first night back, going 3-for-5 with 3 RBI and a spectacular diving catch. It is great to see that Kirk has worked on his plate presence, honing on his aggressiveness and adding the element of timely hitting. However, with the Mets announcing the promotion of Bobby Abreu, it is likely that either he or Andrew Brown will get the boot and be sent back down to Vegas.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has made for a positive addition to the Mets’ bullpen, tossing three critical scoreless innings while striking out five in the Mets’ extra-inning victory on Easter Sunday. Dice-K is a wonderful addition to the bullpen, proving to be a worthy go-to long reliever and a guy you certainly would not mind using back to back days for a few innings at a time. His role with the team may be changing compared to last year, but the contributions he gives are more revered in the bullpen.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 7, Diamondbacks 3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-diamondbacks-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-7-diamondbacks-3.html/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 05:09:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153340 zack wheeler

The Mets took advantage of the Diamondbacks weak pitching and poor defense to cruise to a refreshing 7-3 win on Monday night at Chase Field.

On the positive side:

Zack Wheeler improved greatly from his last start, surrendering only two runs, six hits, striking out three and even picking off Chris Ownings in the 3rd! Although he walked three batters and was less consistent than we know him to be, his pitches looked a lot more in command than his previous start, particularly his breaking and offspeed pitches. As the game went on, he began to find a great rhythm and his velocity did not dip, which is a very positive thing to see. Carlos Torres also continues his stretch of dominance, coming in to relieve Wheeler in the 7th and only giving up one run on three hits in 2.2 innings of relief.

The offense came alive tonight: David Wright (.231) and Ruben Tejada (.195) both drove in runs on groundouts in the first two innings, and the Captain driving in a run in the 8th as well.

Lucas Duda (.306) undoubtedly had the best night of anyone, going 4-for-5 with four hard hit singles and two RBIs.

Of course, we give credit to Daniel Murphy for performing a fantastic juke move to avoid the tag at the plate to score from second on a Duda single. In addition, Eric Young (.217) continues his on-base frenzy, reaching base three times, stealing a bag and scoring two runs.

On the negative side:

Curtis Granderson took a painful hit to the wrist as he slammed into the fence on a put-out attempt in the first inning. Although he initially had the catch, the ball popped out of his glove and the D’Backs scored their first run. Granderson temporarily stayed in the game, recording a much needed hit in the 5th for an RBI. However, Andrew Brown came in for him in the 6th, as Granderson was diagnosed with a bruised forearm, rib cage and knee. On the topic of injuries, Juan Lagares also came out in the 7th inning with a pulled hamstring.

*** There are no further updates in regards to the severity of the injuries and the possibility of DL stints, but x-rays on Grandy were negative.

lucas duda mets win dugout

There are many good things to take away from this game: there were many positive signs on the offensive side and improvement in the pitching department. Unfortunately, the potential game changing injuries to Granderson and Lagares put a huge damper on an otherwise nice win. The question is: will the Mets ever reach .500? They are 6-7 now so stay tuned and find out!

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MMO Players of the Week: Lagares and Niese Cop Top Honors http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-players-of-the-week-lagares-and-niese-cop-top-honors.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-players-of-the-week-lagares-and-niese-cop-top-honors.html/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:43:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153251 Mets POTW

This week in Mets baseball was just like any other: stagnant offense, average defense and bi-polar pitching. At the close of week two, it became apparent that more than one player was going to have to hit consistently for this team to experience constant success and reach that seemingly astronomical 90-win goal. However, despite the up and down pattern we have been seeing from this team, there are only a very small group of people who have heard cheers and not boos from the fans– our MMO Players of the Week!

USATSI  juan lagares

OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JUAN LAGARES

There was no need to keep these categories separate: Juan Lagares has once again stolen the show. Before I get into him, I would like to give a hefty nod to the Mets who had huge games: Eric Young Jr for his historical night on Tuesday and Anthony Recker and Omar Quintanilla on Saturday night who basically won the game for the Mets; however I could not give them any honors this week on account of they either did not start for the majority of the week or simply did not perform consistently enough to be considered.

Juan Lagares, however, is a completely different story. While he did not have a humongous week, he still not only recorded at least one hit in every game this week, but he still leads the team in RBIs at 7. When you compare his offense from last season into this season, the change is substantial: he is taking a marginally less amount of pitches and is developing an aggressive recognition of the strike zone and certain pitch types– a fantastic example of this was during Saturday night’s extra inning game when Lagares took a pitch that could not have been any closer to the strike zone without being called a strike. On the next pitch, he stroked a single into center field and would come around to score two batters later. His discipline has improved significantly and while in all seriousness it is not likely that he can keep this streak up, it’s refreshing to see that Lagares’ biggest question going into the season, is being thoroughly addressed. He’s learning and improving.

Now, onto the defensive side: the defense this week was just as it has been the last week: relatively consistent, but nothing overwhelming. David Wright has made a few flashy plays, but at this point that barehanded play is routine for him. Quintanilla had a good night on Saturday, but he has only made one start all season. That leaves one player: Juan Lagares. It may seem repetitive, but he is truly worth the recognition he is getting so far. On Wednesday night in Atlanta, Lagares made a beautiful leaping catch to rob Freddie Freeman of an extra base hit. Lagares’ defense has arguably been the most consistent so far this season. Unsurprisingly, this consistency is exactly why he seems to be the most exciting player to watch thus far. He has not just been having one great game a week, or having a night where he makes an array of good plays, but he has been playing all around solid baseball since Opening Day. Like I said last week, it is not at all far fetched to consider Lagares an early contender for the All Star game if he keeps up this level of play.

 USATSI  jon niese

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: JON NIESE

This honor was 100% about to go to Bartolo Colon… until yesterday’s game. With Colon getting absolutely hammered by the Angels and the rest of the starting pitching being relatively weak this week, the honor goes to Jon Niese. Our lone lefty in the rotation tossed a very respectable 7.1 innings, striking out five and only giving up three earned runs, two of them leaving the ballpark (but let’s be honest, which pitcher DIDN’T let up at least one home run this week?).

Early on, his curveball has looked as good at is has ever been and it is wonderful to see him starting to throw it a bit more. When his fastball was working for him, it was a spectacular weapon that even froze some Angel hitters. While he did make some mistakes that seemed costly at the time, it makes me feel so great to say that for once, the Mets offense actually bailed him out. Of course, I have to give a special mention to Bartolo Colon‘s start against the Braves at the beginning of the week, which was absolutely dominant. Shutting out a team with Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman and the red hot Justin Upton is not an easy thing to do, but he did it, not allowing any Brave with the exception of Justin Upton to have a multi-hit game.

We all know what the Mets starters are capable of, and we all know what the offense can do as well… now it is just a matter of putting the pieces together and letting the chemistry unfold. We’ve got 85 wins until we hit 90!

bleed orange & blue  button

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MMO Players of the Week: The Unlikely Heroes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-players-of-the-week-the-unlikely-heroes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-players-of-the-week-the-unlikely-heroes.html/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:00:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152738 Opening week for the New York Mets certainly did not go as planned: bullpen woes, absent offense, game-changing injuries, silly defensive blunders and questionable managerial decisions all contributed to a rather frustrating 2-4 start. As most of the team becomes acclimated to their new teammates, however, some players are taking it upon themselves to rise above expectations early on in the season. To some fans, these early signs of life do not mean much to them, but here at MetsMerized we see differently; we like to call these three players our Players of the Week!

USATSI juan lagares

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JUAN LAGARES

For a guy who was questionable to even make the major league roster, Juan Lagares is certainly the most surprising (and delightful!) person to see take this title in the first week. During the offseason, it was clear that the biggest question mark surrounding the Mets was Lagares’ ability to be a productive offensive force, but with his extraordinary work ethic and determination, he has made major improvements to his game at the plate. So far this season, he has drawn three walks while only striking out four times. While this is only a small sample size, anybody who has been watching the games can see the huge progress Juan has made with his plate discipline; he has been chasing far less pitches and is consistently working the count each at bat; not to mention he has shown early signs of power as well. If he can keep this up in addition to his established astonishing defense, it is not too far fetched to consider Juan a serious contender for the All-Star Team.

eric young jr

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: ERIC YOUNG JR

With all the drama surrounding whether this guy would be an everyday outfielder, the sudden injury to Chris Young thrust Eric Young Jr. into the leadoff and left field spot. He clearly did not do anything at the plate, but he did make some nice grabs in the field. Considering that there were little overwhelming defensive plays this week, EYJ gets the title due to his leaping grab to rob Brandon Phillips of a home run on April 4th, which was undeniably fantastic. EYJ was a pleasant product in the field last season, but his pitiful start and underwhelming arm really highlights his true nature as nothing more than a fourth outfielder. With Chris Young sitting on the DL, though, it is critical that EY keeps the great defense consistent for a few more weeks.

USATSI jenrry mejia Credit Brad Bar

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: JENRRY MEJIA

There is no question now that Jenrry Mejia belongs in this rotation! I had the pleasure of experiencing Mejia’s start in person Friday night and I can sincerely say that a great amount of his off-speed stuff made the Reds hitters look absolutely silly. His slider was a fierce killer and his rising fastball in the misty rain was a harsh combination for any man at the plate. He went six innings strong, letting up a mere 4 hits and 1 run in a lineup featuring a 2-3-4 of Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Although his 5 walks were a blemish that he will continue to hone, his 8 strikeouts were the most he has ever recorded in his young career. With pitchers like Wheeler, who has had exposure to the major league atmosphere, and Syndergaard and Montero not too far from Flushing, Mejia will have some fantastic company in a starting rotation that displays much promise for the Mets’ future.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Anthony Recker is a great guy to have as a backup to d’Arnaud, but nothing says this more than throwing out guys who are really, really fast. Recker is deserving for an honorable mention solely for his on-the-money throw to nail the overhyped rookie Billy Hamilton at second base during Friday’s game. This proved to be a huge moment in the game, as Hamilton being safe would have put the fastest runner in the league in scoring position with only one out.

Dillon Gee also gets a very worthy mention in this category for his very positive starts on Opening Day and Saturday’s come from behind win. Gee seems to be susceptible to the long ball early on, but his pitch count has stayed relatively low in conjunction to the innings he has pitched (averaging more than six so far). The interesting trend of Gee’s ERA climbing as the game goes on has been prominent in enough of his starts to render it logical to remove him after six innings and still considering his day a success. I do not doubt that Gee can work to close out his starts strong, but for now it may be safe to pull him if the strings start to fray late in the game. Otherwise, we can all enjoy watching him pitch gems for the first half of the game– if only the bullpen could hold down the lead for him!

Presented By Diehards

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Featured Post: Examining Sandy’s Off-Season Signings… So Far http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/featured-post-examining-sandys-off-season-signings-so-far.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/featured-post-examining-sandys-off-season-signings-so-far.html/#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2013 16:05:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135341 chris-youngThere was little confidence for Sandy Alderson going into the offseason. The Mets had spent only $8.5 million the last offseason, so going over that total this time around was inevitable; but just how far would they go?

The first issue that was addressed was the outfield problem.  First by signing 30-year old Chris Young to a 1-year, $7 million deal, he showed that he was looking for short-term improvement at little cost, reaching into the heavily stocked outfield FA market and pulling out a guy who could offer better help on defense than on offense; which, when you think about it, is just as prominent an issue as any other. He clearly was not intending to have Young be a full time starter, so Sandy sought out for somebody who could be.

grandersonGiving fans little time to over-analyze and criticize, the Curtis Granderson signing did much to build a foundation under Sandy’s claim of promising to spend this offseason, by giving him a 4-year deal worth $60 million.

Sandy clearly recognized the situation and was ready to break out of his shell to take a gamble on a great defender and a solid hitter, even if he needed a little push to do so. The big question addresses how well his power will translate to Citi Field. This is a fair and arguable concern, but in terms of the overall potential Granderson has, the pros greatly outweighed the cons of the power problem.

The long-term commitment communicates that the Mets are not only sending out messages that they plan to gain relevancy, but that they plan to gain relevancy for a good chunk of seasons to come.

bartolo colonThe most recent big name Sandy went to is 40-year old Bartolo Colon, signing him to a 2 year, $20 million deal. This move has received mixed emotions, as many believe that Colon is too old and too far past his prime (and too fat, as I’ve actually seen some people say) to be a positive impact; much less be deserving of two years and 20 million. However, put several things into consideration. With the kind of market there is right now, it would be virtually impossible to sign a guy like Colon to just a one-year deal (heck, Phil Hughes got three years!).

Of course Colon’s contract is a big inflated, but that is just how the market is going right now. Compared to the deals some other pitchers got, this deal is relatively fair. In addition, it’s obvious the Mets are not looking for a young stud like Price; they are merely looking to fill the void that Harvey is temporarily leaving behind. Last year, he went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA in 30 starts. The previous year, he went 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts. Since 2009, his ERA has been steadily declining. This is exactly what the Mets are looking for, hoping to catch Colon in the midst of a strong finish to a nice career.

monteroVeteran help is not only beneficial to the depth of the rotation itself, but it is vastly important in the affairs that take place off the field. It is no secret that a lot of pressure is mounted on the young pitchers like Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom, and veteran presence can leave a huge impact on relatively young pitchers eager to meet expectations. It was made known that vets like David Wright and Marlon Byrd had a great impact on team chemistry in 2013; and with the addition of many new people and call-ups sure to be made, veterans like Colon could not only offer the young guys pitching help, but help to feel comfortable as well. The quicker those nerves can be rid, the better.

Overall, I am rather impressed with the job Sandy has done. With the excruciatingly ridiculous FA market and the little money he has been asked to deal with, he has made wise choices—so far. In no way does this make him the best GM ever, nor does this give him a free pass from criticism. But I think it is wise to take a step back, see how the roster has improved, and hit the backspace button on that frustrated, all-caps message you’ve been planning to tweet him. Until the 2014 season pans out, this offseason is well on its way to being a reasonably successful one.

Presented By Diehards

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Free Agent Profile: Roy Halladay, RHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/free-agent-profile-roy-halladay-rhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/free-agent-profile-roy-halladay-rhp.html/#comments Sun, 17 Nov 2013 13:00:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133098 roy halladay

The offseason started off with much talk about which promised veteran pitcher the Mets would bring in, however several recent comments made by Alderson and the Wilpons suggest that a starting pitcher is the least of their top priorities. Nonetheless, it is still a very essential aspect of how the eventual Opening Day roster will be shaped. There were early speculations surrounding Tim Lincecum (before he resigned with SF, of course), Ubaldo Jimenez, Dan Haren and even Ervin Santana. But what about Roy Halladay?

Coming off shoulder surgery, Halladay went 4-5 with an unappetizing 6.82 ERA and 36 walks in only 62 IP last year. While it was upsetting to watch an 8-time All Star and a 2-time Cy Young award winner throw a fastball in the 80s, his short 2013 performance renders rather insignificant when factoring in the benefits. With a repertoire of a distinct 2-seam sinking fastball, a wicked curve, a cut fastball and even recently-added split-change strikeout pitch still makes him a viable threat to any hitter.

Halladay’s ability to not only produce ground balls in tough spots but to strike out hitters as well will be essential to the Mets, who are looking for serviceable guy they can count on to almost guarantee the bullpen a good days rest; he has led the league in IP 4 times and CG 7 times. While these may be the taglines of Roy Halladay’s past, it is not to say that he can still pitch near the level he once could. After all, he is well-known for rendering complete focus on his starts and letting nothing divert him. Even if he does not have the ability he once used to, the veteran presence he brings to the clubhouse will be a spectacular help to the surplus of young pitching making their debuts in 2014.

A 14 year veteran, Halladay is clearly approaching the end of his career; which not only makes him a cheap option ($4-5M with incentives at the most), but he will most likely be seeking a one year deal, while other FA pitchers are looking for multiple years. Of course it is a risk to pursue a pitcher who recently had surgery, but who knows what a full offseason of rest and spring training will bring back? The potential of what he could bring far outweigh the cons of failure. His status of a hard working, reliable guy who can go deep into games and give you innings fits the bill for a team who are looking to temporarily replace an injured guy who used to do just that.

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MMO Players of the Week: Expect the Unexpected http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-players-of-the-week-expect-the-unexpected.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-players-of-the-week-expect-the-unexpected.html/#comments Mon, 30 Sep 2013 19:37:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130459 This week in Mets baseball was the last week of Mets baseball, and if you were on the “lose for the protected pick” train, you got your wish. The Mets made the last week of the 2013 season a pretty fun one, taking 2/3 from the Reds and spoiling all of their hopes for a division title. Then, to secure that draft pick!, they lost 3/4 to the Brewers, with their only win coming on none other than Mike Piazza Day. As the 2013 season came to a close, it began to hit us hard that this team as we know it is about to drastically change… for the better. But that will not stop us from honoring the lucky three that deserve to be honored: MMO’s last but not least Players of the Week for 2013.

eric young

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: ERIC YOUNG JR

It was almost a dead tie between Daniel Murphy and Eric Young, until the last game of the season rolled around. As I sat in my seat, looking around, taking in as much as I possibly could, something flashed before my eyes. No, it wasn’t a memory; it was Eric Young Jr, stealing second AND third. I watched in awe as Wright looped a ball to shallow right and EYJ tagged. I stood up as he somehow, miraculously, slid under the tag of Lucroy to score the game’s first run. Who knew that 8 innings later, he would hit a dribbler by the mound to score the eventual winning run. This week, Eric collected eight hits and drove in three in a final attempt to prove to this club why he belongs. We know that EY is not the most intimidating person at the plate, but what earns him this OPOTW title is his baserunning. He swiped six bags to not only help the Mets win a couple games, but to win himself the NL stolen base crown. The Mets have expressed great interest in bringing back EY next year as a fourth outfielder/bench player, which is totally the right move. This guy plays with heart, humility and passion; in other words, he plays the game how everybody else should. He can be a spark plug off the bench, which, if you’re looking to use somebody off the bench, is exactly what you need. He is willing to play, so let’s give him his chance.

juan lagares

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JUAN LAGARES

There isn’t much more to say than, “Jeez, is he paying her to choose him?” As said many times before, Juan Lagares has done more than enough to prove himself worthy of a roster spot in 2014. This week, he added three more outfield assists to bring his total to 14; a Mets rookie record. To make this even more spectacular, all three of the assists came from throwing runners out at home. He even had a little bit of fun by tweeting out this picture:

We already know what to expect from Lagares defensively: spectacular plays, incredible range, and a cannon arm. It is hard to find any places where he needs improvement, but of course there is some with a rookie. His arm is still a little wild, and he has made the occasional error by trying to throw guys out at third when it was too risky to try. These are all things that are easy to fix; and with Lagares’ work ethic and tendency to have defense come to him naturally, it should not take long for him to learn. And that is a huge positive.

daisuke matsuzaka

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: DAISUKE MATSUZAKA

I cannot believe that it has come down to this… In an unexpected rubber match, Daisuke Matsuzaka out dueled Mat Latos of the Reds to distinguish all hopes of a Reds division title. He tossed 7 2/3 scoreless, yielding only four hits and striking out six en route to his third (and final) victory as a Met. His breaking pitches were placed well and his offspeed stuff fooled the Reds hitters badly. When he was in a jam, he was able to pitch to induce the double play or the out he needed. It was the unanticipated gem of the week; not only was it funny to watch Dice-K dominate a postseason contender, but it was one of the many hilarious ways the Mets trolled us before the season ended. I mean, come on, who DIDN’T see it coming?

frank francisco closer

HONORABLE MENTION: FRANK FRANCISCO

Just for fun: Frank Francisco ended the 2013 Mets season in a fashion that only Frank Francisco could do… by retiring the Reds down in order. Wait, what? Yeah, you read that right: he sent the Reds down 1-2-3 and even made it fun by striking out the last two batters. It was probably one of the the trolliest things that happened all of 2013, considering that nobody even expected Frank Franc to come back in a Mets uniform for the rest of the year. I know for a fact that I went ballistic when Frank Franc finished off the final batter of 2013 on a called strike three. It will definitely be one of the things I look back on in five years with my buddies and go “Man, can you believe that?” Well, ya gotta believe!

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MMO Players of the Week: The Final Auditions http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-players-of-the-week-the-final-auditions.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-players-of-the-week-the-final-auditions.html/#comments Mon, 23 Sep 2013 13:20:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129841 Mets POTW

This week in Mets baseball: not too shabby! Barely scraping out a win with 4 runs in the 9th, the Mets avoided what would have been a sweep against San Francisco to start the week. Determined to end divisional play on a positive note, they promptly swept the Phillies in three games (thanks in part to the rain) to regain the slightest lead for third place. As the season dwindles down to its final days, it is the final chance for every player to give the Mets organization a reason why he should be on the Opening Day roster in 2014. The players who give the most production not only rank the highest with the Mets, but they also rank high on the highest on the Players of the Week list!

daniel murphy scores

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DANIEL MURPHY

Daniel Murphy may be one of the most interesting cases this offseason, but while he is still here, he’s giving it everything he’s got. He collected eight hits and three RBI while scoring six runs, raising his RBI total to a career high 73, his home run total to 12 and his total runs scored to 91. Many fans have expressed desire to trade Murphy to make room for Flores, who is supposed to have the better bat. I for one am not opposed to the idea of keeping Murphy around for a little longer while Flores still tries to figure himself out. His ankle injury had really put him back, and attempting to slate him as the every day second baseman may be risky without a solid backup or potential replacement (Justin Turner would be the only other option, but he is not an every day player). Murphy has come a very long way with the glove and has a fantastic work ethic that could really improve his streaky hitting tendencies. Of course, his .318 OBP is below par, but seeing the ball better to draw more walks is something that can be worked on. He is not the biggest power hitter but he can hit one out from time to time and it is not a huge concern; his .729 is about league average. The most important thing for Murphy to focus on in the offseason? Work on that pitch recognition. Not only will it help him draw more walks and get on base more, but it will help him avoid his long slumps that tend to happen. Murphy could be a .300 hitter if he improves his all around game at the plate.

eric young jr

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: ERIC YOUNG JR

Time for a change of pace… The speedster, Eric Young Jr. played a very constant left field all week, topping it all off with a fantastic, full out, diving grab on Sunday to retire the leadoff man in the 8th inning. Young may not have the best arm, but his speed, attitude and his tendency for those nice diving grabs will most likely land him a roster spot in 2014 as a 4th outfielder. The Mets and Sandy Alderson have already expressed much delight in Young Jr’s game, so his potential return it is not much of a controversial subject. He would be cheap to bring back and he would actually be a very nice 4th OF to have. He would also make for a very good pinch runner in late and tight situations, as not only his speed but his smart baserunning could change the game in a flash. His tendency to make the clutch diving catch is also not a bad thing to bring back either.

jon niese(1)

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: JON NIESE

Another stellar start for the lefty Jon Niese! Despite taking the loss (because his darn team could only muster a run behind him), he went 7 innings, striking out four while only walking two on seven hits. His cutter looked as good as it has all year, expertly painting the outside corner against righties. His kept his fastball high and kept his curveball, for the most part, low. He has been using the curveball a little more than in previous starts, but he should be using it much more often. Once he can master his cutter and learn to consistently place it, I believe he will start experimenting with the curveball more. It is a wonderful put-away pitch that can really freeze a hitter if located perfectly. Niese’s status as the lone lefty on the staff is of great importance, and there is no doubt that he can become a solid starter for this staff. If he can minimize the injuries and work hard on consistency, the Niese we saw on Thursday can be the Niese we see almost every day.

latroy hawkins

HONORABLE MENTION: LATROY HAWKINS

Congrats to LaTroy Hawkins who notched his 100th career save on Sunday! Ever since Parnell hit the DL, LaTroy has really stepped up and made the closer role his own. He has now thrown 12 straight scoreless innings and is 12-for-15 in save situations. He has conveyed much desire to return to pitching in 2014, whether it be for the Mets or not. Raise your hand if you would like to see Hawkins return to the Mets bullpen in 2014!

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MMO Players of the Week: Deja-Vu All Over Again http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-players-of-the-week-deja-vu-all-over-again.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-players-of-the-week-deja-vu-all-over-again.html/#comments Mon, 16 Sep 2013 18:20:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129368 Mets POTW

I don’t think I could pinpoint another week in the 2013 season where the offense was more flat than it was this past week. The Mets were blanked three times this week, and were on the verge of getting blanked for a fourth if it weren’t for Travis d’Arnaud in the 12th inning.The lineup is essentially filled with rookies and fill ins, so the inept offense is not too big of a shock; but that does not make it any less frustrating. At this point in the season, it would actually mean more to lose games than to win them, but of course the team cannot have that mindset; and we cannot have that mindset on this post. Here are your three players of the week (spoiler: they might look familiar)!

lucas duda

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: LUCAS DUDA

It is incredibly difficult to choose a player for this category when the team only scored a combined 13 runs on the week. It also makes it more difficult to try and add variety. Lucas Duda had a much better week this week than last week, collecting six hits and walking three times. His biggest blow came on Friday night, blasting a 2-2 hanging slider deep into the night to give the Mets the lead and the eventual win. Duda is doing a very pleasant job holding his own at first base, where he will remain for the rest of the season. In the offseason, the Mets have more important issues to address than first base, so seeing Duda standing by that bag on Opening Day 2014 is not a very far-fetched idea, nor is it a bad one. He has the power to compensate for a corner position, and his comfort at first is obviously directly related to his confidence and production at the plate. With Ike Davis‘s future still a huge question mark, these last few weeks will be an important few for Duda, who is trying to prove he can be a viable first baseman for a team that hopes to be within contention next season.

matt den dekker

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: MATT DEN DEKKER

Oh gosh, not this again! It seems as if you play center field, you’re probably going to be a player of the week. Matt den Dekker once again looked spectacular in center field, making each and every play that comes his way. His future as a potential fourth outfielder seems almost inevitable, seeing that the Mets are most likely going to go after one or two corner outfielders and Lagares has done more than enough to deserve a spot in center. However, even though I wholeheartedly agree with the den Dekker in center-Lagares in right thing they are currently doing, Lagares has looked uncomfortable in right as of late and it may be a good idea to get den Dekker some experience playing a corner spot. If he were to be a bench player, he would have to be able to have the flexibility to be inserted into any spot and still have confidence in him being there. I wouldn’t mind trying to run den Dekker in right and move Lagares back to center for a few days, just to see how Matt could play the field there.

dillon gee

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: DILLON GEE

We’ve all heard this one before. Dillon Gee shook off the rust from his shaky start on the 10th and came back to hurl 7 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out eight and only walking two on six hits. Though the Marlins were getting hits off of him, they were not hard hits; they were lucky hits that were able to find the holes and gaps. His fastball was well placed, his change up was downright nasty and his curveball was wonderful. I cannot express enough the importance of location for a pitcher, and Gee has all but perfected this. All pitchers make mistakes, but more often than not, Gee hits his spots, is able to throw his breaking pitches in the dirt for a good put-away pitch and his off-speed stuff can really make a hitter look silly.

daisuke matsuzaka

HONORABLE MENTION: DICE-K MATSUZAKA

Maybe it’s not a fluke? Daisuke Matsuzaka once again gave another quality start, going seven strong, two-hit innings and winning his first game as a Met. His curveball was absolutely wonderful and his off-speed was well placed to induce pop ups and ground balls. I’m tellin’ ya, when he works faster, he works better. The game was only 2 hours and 47 minutes long; it used to take that much time just to get through four innings!

I realize this is almost a carbon copy of last week’s post, but bear with me here, it’s hard to choose different players when nobody else is really doing much!

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MMO Players of the Week: 3D Edition – Duda, den Dekker and Dillon http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-players-of-the-week-3d-edition-duda-den-dekker-and-dillon.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-players-of-the-week-3d-edition-duda-den-dekker-and-dillon.html/#comments Tue, 10 Sep 2013 18:05:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128879 Mets POTW

Last week in Mets baseball: not very good. The week began and ended with Dice-K on the mound; one start being horrendous and one being pleasantly surprising. The team went a dismal 2-4 this week, scoring a combined total of 18 runs. The offense was, once again, asleep; making the absence of David Wright sting more and more as the days go on. Along with the inability to capitalize with RISP, the pitching wasn’t stellar either. Mix very little offense with bad pitching and you get a recipe for disaster: namely 3 blowout losses in 6 games. Even in a week where almost nothing went right, there were– as always!– three standout players, who we like to call the Players of the Week!

lucas-duda

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: LUCAS DUDA

With Ike Davis out for the year, Lucas Duda is getting the perfect opportunity to showcase his ability to play first; and he’s giving us reasons to believe. He was the Mets most prominent offensive force, collecting 4 walks, 6 hits and driving in 2 runs. With the absence of Ike, Duda has been thrust into the cleanup spot and will most likely stay there each time he plays. While this seems like the obvious choice given his power when he connects, I do not believe that this should be the case. Duda is an interesting case: he definitely has the power to be a cleanup hitter, but he walks much too often. Interestingly enough, in my mind I tend to profile Duda as a number 2 hitter: he gets on base and can work a count to allow the leadoff hitter to swipe a bag. More than often, when he connects, he usually hits a double. Given the situation that EYJ gets on base to lead off the game, that puts two runners in scoring position with 0 outs; a situation the number three hitter (who would have to be Daniel Murphy if Duda takes his spot) would thrive in. Despite the Mets seeming inability to drive in runs, putting Duda in the 2-hole may increase their probability just a little bit more.

young den dekker lagares

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: MATT DEN DEKKER

Center fielder? Check. Rookie? Check. Is his name Juan Lagares? Nope! The spotlight is on Matt den Dekker now, the 26 year old who is pretty much living up to his reputation. Juan Lagares has already set the bar so high that den Dekker could not possibly perform above it. However, he is holding his own and confirming his stature as a very, very good defensive outfielder. While his steps look a little choppy and he does not get as good of a jump as Lagares (you will see me compare the two a lot), he is fantastic at tracking down the ball and getting to it in time. I feel completely comfortable with den Dekker in center, and, given more playing time, his ability to read the ball will only continue to get better– and right now it is pretty good!

dillon gee

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: DILLON GEE

The only starting pitcher to record a win this week, Dillon Gee continues his amazing streak of dominance. He pitched 7 dazzling innings of 4 hit ball, striking out 5 and holding the hot Braves’ offense to only one run (he even helped his own cause with an RBI single!). A huge reason for Gee’s success has a lot to do with his location. Knowing he can’t blow the Braves away with a fastball, he expertly locates it either by painting the outside corner, inducing a flailing swing and a weak grounder, or by pounding hitters inside, jamming them and producing an easy pop up. When he goes to his breaking stuff, he throws his curve outside in the dirt, using it as a put-away pitch and making sure not to leave it over the plate much at all. His slider runs away from lefties, inducing weak contact as well. The key word in all of this is “weak contact”: since Gee is not a strikeout pitcher per se, he cannot afford to give up a lot of hard hit balls. He’s doing exactly what he needs to be doing, and it’s clearly a method that can work consistently.

HONORABLE MENTION

-Daisuke Matsuzaka– wait, what? No, you read that right. Despite his awful, awful start on Monday, maybe his worst all year, he follows it up with a rather stellar start on Sunday, not giving up a run and striking out 6 over 5.2 innings of work. He only allowed 1 hit through 5 2/3 before exiting after two singles and a walk to load the bases. His breaking stuff was very well located and he elevated his fastball very well. Let is also be noted that the less time he took, the better he pitched. Let’s all treasure this moment for as long as it lasts; who knows if it will ever happen again!

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Players of the Week: Murphy Cops NL Honors, Lagares and Gee Get Some Love Too http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/players-of-the-week-murphy-cops-nl-honors-lagares-and-gee-get-some-love-too.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/players-of-the-week-murphy-cops-nl-honors-lagares-and-gee-get-some-love-too.html/#comments Mon, 02 Sep 2013 21:50:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128405 Just wanted to update this post and say that Daniel Murphy has been named National League Player of the Week for the period ending September 1.

Congrats to Murph and nice job by Steph for making a great call!

Mets POTW

There were close games, there were blowouts. There was dominant pitching, there was offensive outbursts. This week in Mets baseball was mostly 50/50, splitting the series from the lowly Phillies and taking 2/3 from the recently surging Nationals. If you take away the game that Dice-K Matsuzaka pitched, Mets starters combined for an impressive 2.20 ERA in the past week; not to mention they finally got some run support! The offense scored 11 runs twice in three days and a total of 38 runs overall. This is a pleasant sign from a starting lineup lacking its star hitter and consisting mainly of rookies and bench players. Choosing three standout players in a stretch of play like this is tough, but not impossible. Here are your Players of the Week!

daniel murphy

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: DANIEL MURPHY

The Murphster is on another unique hot streak. The second base slugger is 12-21 with 6 RBI and 7 runs in his last 5 games; which includes going 4-5 with 2 RBI in Thursday’s 11-2 whooping of the Phillies, going 2-4 and scoring 2 of the 3 runs in Friday’s 3-2 win over the Nationals, going 3-5 with 2 RBI in Saturday’s win and going 2-5 with 2 RBI in Sunday’s late 6-5 loss to the Nats. With David Wright‘s return date still up in the air and Marlon Byrd having flown off to Pittsburgh, Murphy’s bat is the one that needs to stay consistent in order for this team to produce a decent amount of runs. Batting in the 2 hole, getting on base and moving the leadoff man over is crucial, even without a true 3 hitter hitting behind him. In another perspective, with John Buck and Marlon Byrd gone, a lot of veteran presence has been lost. It would be so important to the young hitters if Murphy took it upon himself to act as a guide to them; to lead by example. He could offer a lot of valuable advice on how to handle and break out of a slump.

juan lagares

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JUAN LAGARES

How predictable is this becoming? The young outfielder took on a new role in right field with the call up of Matt den Dekker; and he couldn’t have looked more comfortable. He notched his NL leading 12th outfield assist on Saturday, throwing a perfect relay to Murphy to tag out Bryce Harper at third. The most mind-blowing thing about Lagares is that he has only played 95 games at the ML level and he is already leading the NL in OF assists; not to mention he spent a good chunk of that time platooning with Rick Ankiel and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. You could put a blindfold on this kid and he could still run down the ball as perfect as anyone. Juan Lagares has given Mets fans every reason to believe that he has many Gold Gloves waiting for him in the future.

dillon gee

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: DILLON GEE

Dillon Gee‘s resurgence has been nothing short of spectacular. Not only is his win-loss record over .500 (10-9), he is third in the NL with a 2.48 ERA since May 30th. He tossed 7 2/3 innings of dazzling ball on Friday, coaxing 14 ground ball outs. He got into a jam in the 8th inning, giving up a solo homer to Steve Lombardozzi and back to back singles with two outs before handing the ball over to Scott Rice for the last out. He is 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA this season against Washington and starting to solidify his spot in the future rotation. Gee’s status as a middle of the rotation guy while we wait for AAA arms like Montero and deGrom to come up is incredibly important for the organization, especially with Matt Harvey‘s incredibly questionable future. Gee needs to pitch like he has been since the end of May for the entire 2014 season. He doesn’t need to throw 99 or rack up 10 K’s a game to be dominant, and he’s done nothing but prove that to everybody each time he takes the mound.

HONORABLE MENTION

Just when you think Jon Niese couldn’t top his last outing, he goes ahead and 3 hits the Phillies. Niese hurled his second career shutout on Tuesday, walking one and striking out 5 on 113 pitches. His cutter was expertly located it to produce groundouts, flyouts and strikeouts. This feat would have certainly given him the pitcher of the week honors, but unfortunately he got tattooed for 10 hits on Sunday. If there’s one thing to nitpick about Niese, it’s the minimal use of his curveball. He’s shown the ability to throw it for strikes and getting hitters to chase it, yet he seems to have grown in love with the cutter. There isn’t a problem with him using a pitch he obviously feels very comfortable throwing, but admittedly, it would be nice to see him use the pitch that got him into the major leagues more often. I’m a sucker for a good curveball!

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MMO Players of the Week: Two Lefties and a Byrd http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/mmo-players-of-the-week-two-lefties-and-a-byrd.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/mmo-players-of-the-week-two-lefties-and-a-byrd.html/#comments Mon, 26 Aug 2013 14:36:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=127869 Mets POTW

This week in Mets baseball started out fairly well. Despite dropping the last two games of a four game set in San Diego, the Mets made the most of their make up game in Minnesota with a 6-1 win and, the following day, put up a performance that seemed to be a promising sign: scoring four unanswered runs off of Brandon Beachy, one of the Braves’ most promising young pitching arms. Unfortunately, the Mets’ bats suddenly went to sleep (as they usually end up doing), scoring a combined total of only five runs in their next four games combined. Of course, as always, in the midst of a 4-game losing streak and the roller-coaster going down again, there were definitely some very bright spots — or, as we like to call it on this blog– the Players of the Week!

marlon byrd

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: MARLON BYRD

The word is RBIs. Not only did Marlon Byrd match his career high home run total of 20 on Monday, he broke his personal record, blasting a very crucial two run shot in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the Braves. In addition, he drove in the only Met run in Friday’s loss to the Tigers. His unappealing line of .267/.267/.615 for the week is a very rude example of just how dismal the Mets offense can get at times; but while the Mets as a whole may be having an ugly year at the plate, Marlon is just the opposite. Batting .285 with a career high 21 homers so far, Marlon is making a very strong case for NL Comeback Player of the Year. He’s 9th in the league in home runs, 6th in SLG (!!!), 10th in RBIs and 14th in OPS. Nobody would have ever guessed! When the bats are awake, Marlon’s is the loudest; he continues to play strong and consistent. So strong, in fact, that some people have even suggested bringing him back next year!

ike davis

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: IKE DAVIS

Not Juan Lagares this time! While the search party is still out looking for Ike Davis‘s power at the plate, he is distracting us from all that by flashing the leather. Two sparkling plays on Monday– including a very pretty double play in which he tagged first base and slung the ball over to second, getting the force out on Mauer before the runner at third crossed home plate. Consistent work with the glove throughout the week shows that you don’t need to be a human highlight reel to be an elite defender; or earn the DPOTW honors.

jon niese

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: JON NIESE

Ignore the fact that Jon Niese drilled Jason Heyward in the jaw and you’ve got a spectacular outing. He may have gotten Harvey’d (meaning getting no run support), but that did nothing to stop him from tossing 7 strong innings of 5 hit ball. Despite his rough 6th inning, he came back for the 7th, working around a lead off walk and a single by grounding out BJ Upton and striking out the final two batters to escape a bases loaded jam, putting the capper on a 9 strikeout performance. As the only left hander in the rotation, it is crucial for Niese to be giving us these kinds of outings each time around; especially with a bullpen that has been struggling the past week or so. If he continues to perform like this every start, it will give us Mets fans very good hope for a guy we hope to see as a strong middle of the rotation guy for years to come.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Zack Wheeler is really starting to pick up the pace. With his innings limit looming, Wheeler is giving it everything he’s got. He went 6 2/3 innings, having departed with the bases loaded and ultimately getting charged with 3 earned runs when Carlos Torres gave up a 3 run double to Andrelton Simmons. His fastball command is obviously still shaky, but he is beginning to locating it in very good spots (such as throwing it inside to tie up hitters and throwing it out of the zone to make hitters chase); which is a vast improvement from previous starts. He is getting more confident in his breaking and off speed pitches, throwing his sharp slider for strikes and getting hitters to chase change-ups. Zack is really emerging as a potential ace, a 1-A to Harvey, and could very well be the number two starter in the rotation next year.

I discussed before how human highlight reels may not get a player the DPOTW all the time, but it IS good enough to get Eric Young Jr into the honorable mentions. His two great diving plays (one on Tuesday and one on Friday) continue to remind us of that spark that he gives us in left that Duda never did. Believe me, I appreciate Duda just as much as the next guy, but the reality is that the balls that EYJ are getting to would have never been caught by Duda. I probably repeat this statement every week, but having EY in left is just an immense joy to watch each and every day.

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MMO Players of the Week: Speed Kills… And So Do 3-RBI Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/mmo-players-of-the-week-speed-kills-and-so-do-3-rbi-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/mmo-players-of-the-week-speed-kills-and-so-do-3-rbi-games.html/#comments Mon, 12 Aug 2013 14:12:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126978 Mets POTW

Things are starting to look bright. Despite David Wright landing on the DL and speculations about him not coming back for the season, the Mets seem to be doing just fine without him. Completing a sweep of the Rockies (who had won 8 straight against the Mets at Citi Field prior) and taking 2/3 from the fading Diamondbacks was a pleasure to watch. Dominant pitching matched with timely hitting, aggressive baserunning and great defensive plays were what gave the Mets a string of wins in the past week. Of course, you can’t win 5 of 6 without having a few standout performances. Here are your Players of the Week!

wilmer flores mets

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: WILMER FLORES

Well, we all wanted him here, and we couldn’t have asked for more. Although the rookie only batted .261 in his first week (with 6 hits in 23 AB), almost all of his 6 hits came at the opportune moment. Having been greeted with the bases loaded 3 times, he was able to be productive with it almost every time: a three run double in Wednesday’s win against the Rockies, a two run single in Saturday’s win against the Diamondbacks, an RBI groundout in Friday’s loss and a popout in Sunday’s win. In addition to coming up with the bases loaded, he was also at the plate with RISP seven different times, though he only notched one RBI in those situations. If he continues to get opportunities like this as he adjusts to major league pitching, we could start to see his total of 8 RBI climb higher and higher. And if all of this isn’t enough, he has some power too. Flores smacked his first career home run in Sunday’s win… to the opposite field. Showing the ability to go oppo against ML pitching this early is a huge bonus (granted, he homered off of Heath Bell). He’s the third Met to have 8+ RBI in his first 5 games with the team and has already had two 3 RBI games, which says a lot about his straightforward ability to drive in runs. Even if he’s not too flashy with the leather, he’s up here to drive in runs– which is exactly what he’s doing.

eric young jr

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: ERIC YOUNG JR

Speed kills, on the basepaths AND in the outfield. It’s not a stretch to say Eric Young single-handedly won the opener of the series against his former team on Tuesday. Not only did his hustle around the bases score the go ahead run, his amazing diving play with the bases loaded in the 6th inning saved what could have been two runs for the Rockies. Throughout the next 5 games, he played a consistent left field, using his speed to catch up to balls and not making any mistakes. The Mets haven’t had too many dazzling plays in the field lately, but EY’s game saving catch from Tuesday night was definitely enough to win him the DPOTW title.

matt harvey

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: MATT HARVEY

His speed kills in a totally different way. The Rockies had no answers for Matt Harvey as he hurled 6 strikeouts on 106 pitches for his first career complete game shutout. (Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: Only 6 K’s?) He yielded just 4 hits and was able to bounce back from getting struck in the knee with a comebacker in the 9th to complete his shutout. The most amazing part about Harvey getting hit in the knee was that on the next pitch, his 101st, he threw a fastball at 96 MPH. He doesn’t lose velocity as he goes deeper into games. Another amazing thing: The Mets actually scored a decent amount of runs for him: 5 (backed by a Wilmer Flores 3 run double), but this time (of all times!) he didn’t even need it. Previous to this start, he had taken a no hitter into the 7th inning twice, struck out double digit batters six times, and carried a one hitter into the 9th, only to end up with a no decision in an extra inning victory. He had never pitched a shutout. He may not have struck out 12, or given up less than two hits, but he was as dominant as ever. This start could definitely rank as one of his best all year. Oh yeah, and did I mention he didn’t walk anybody?

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Ike Davis is finally starting to show signs of life. Batting an astonishing .583 with 6 hits and 4 doubles, Ike is showing patience at the plate and not lunging at the ball as Keith pointed out to us in the booth. Another sign of his plate discipline can be shown with a mind-blowing .762 OBP; the partial result of 9 walks. He is no longer swinging at pitches out of the zone, and somehow pitchers have not seemed to get the memo on that yet. In the booth, Keith has mentioned dozens of times that pitchers are still fearful of his power and are pitching around him; but I respectfully disagree. Ike hasn’t hit a home run since July 26th. Prior to his demotion, Ike was swinging at what seemed to be every single pitch out of the zone; pitchers are merely trying to get him to chase. Once pitchers start to realize that he isn’t going to take a loose cut at a breaking ball in the dirt, they’ll start challenging him in the zone, and that crazy OBP will come down to earth.

Pedro Feliciano has been wonderful since he came back from injury; so wonderful that he has yet to allow a hit. Although he has faced a small amount of batters, he has come in during big situations and is able to get the job done. If he can keep that up, he will be a great guy we can rely on when we’re looking for that one important out.

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MMO Players Of The Week: I’m with 28, 12 and 58 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mmo-players-of-the-week-im-with-28-12-and-58.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/mmo-players-of-the-week-im-with-28-12-and-58.html/#comments Mon, 29 Jul 2013 14:43:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126006 Another week, another heartbreaker. After taking two of three from the Phillies, all looked bright as the Mets looked to use their (then) strong offense against the Braves and a struggling Nationals team; it was an incredible opportunity to gain some ground and, with the way the Nats and Phillies have been playing, move up one or two spots in the standings. But, as we have all learned by now, the Mets love to tease. Splitting the series with the Braves was a mediocre result, considering the way Monday’s game went. Losing 3/4 to the Nationals, however, was downright frustrating, especially after putting a smackdown on the Nats in the first game of the doubleheader. Anyhow, this post is not for voicing my dismay. I’m here to give you the positives of the week, and that is just what I am going to do. Here are your 3 Mets Players of the Week!

daniel murphy

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Daniel Murphy. Number 28 singled in both Monday and Tuesday’s game, with a single in the 3rd, going 1-3 with a walk and 1-4. On Wednesday, he scored the teams’ only 2 runs, finishing Los Mets night with two doubles, 2 RBI and a walk. He continued to show signs of a hot streak by going 3-5 with 2 singles, a double and an RBI on Thursday night’s win. And then came Friday. The slugger had a career day by going 4-5 (2 homers and 2 singles) with 5 RBI. It was the icing on the cake in an astounding 11-0 shutout victory. The following days he cooled down a bit, going 2-4 with a walk in part II of the doubleheader, 1-4 on Saturday and 0-4 on Sunday. Regardless, it’s critical for Murphy to start heating up again, especially batting in the 2 hole with David Wright behind him. Murph may be a streaky hitter, but when he is hot, he is HOT.

Juan Lagares

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Honestly, how can I NOT choose Juan Lagares again? This kid does it all. As Ron Darling has pointed out multiple times on the broadcast, the jumps he gets on each ball is incredible. Those kind of reads just cannot be taught. It seems like every ball hit into the gap is going to drop until Lagares suddenly rushes in and makes a sinking liner look like a routine play. David Wright did have a few sparkling plays in the hot corner, and Quintanilla and Murphy made their fair share of pretty plays, but Lagares once again stole the show with his superb defense. He is one of the biggest reasons to keep watching the Mets for the rest of the season.

jenrry mejia

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: We’ve got another young stud to look forward to: Jenrry Mejia. After the failed bullpen experiment, we finally got a glimpse at what Mejia can blossom to become. His changeup was wicked, his slider had incredible movement and he could reach 95 on his fastball. He hurled 7.0 scoreless innings, giving up 7 hits, striking out 7 and walking 0. With Zack Wheeler getting accustomed to the bigs, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero on the rise and Matt Harvey already being quick to prove himself as one of the best in the game, the Mets’ plethora of young pitching is an exciting thing to think about for years to come; especially for a franchise who has a reputation for harvesting incredible young pitching. This team is putting a lot of hopes on the future, and from what we can see of it now, it’s not hard to see why.

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These Mets Could Fight Their Way Out Of Mediocrity http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/these-mets-could-fight-their-way-out-of-mediocrity.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/these-mets-could-fight-their-way-out-of-mediocrity.html/#comments Sat, 20 Jul 2013 14:00:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=125389 ya gotta believe

Stephanie was in an optimistic mood after last night’s game, believe it or not, and it wasn’t due to the post-game Nas concert… This is her first full-length piece that isn’t a Player of the Week, enjoy her collection of thoughts after the game and play nice in the comments… (Satish R.)

Jeremy Hefner has never fared well against the Phillies. It’s just one of those weird baseball things, but the stats actually back it up, too. But bare me with here and do a little speculating. There’s no arguing that Hefner just didn’t have his best stuff last night, and that happens to even the best of pitchers. But say that after he came out of the game, Burke doesn’t give up the Michael Young homer. Let’s say he was able to retire him, and the next two batters as he did, and the score would be 8-0. Maybe that somehow compels Terry not to replace him with Edgin, and the Chase Utley homer never happens — so the score stays at 8-0. I know I sound completely irrational, but hang with me for a little bit. Now, that all being said, perhaps the Mets offense was able to do exactly what it did tonight. The David Wright ninth inning home run would have capped off a brilliant comeback, and all of a sudden people are chirping about how much fight this team has.

But since those home runs did happen, and the score was 13-8 in all actuality after 9 instead of 8-8, the Mets were instead tabbed as teases and the losers who always put together late efforts that amounted to too little, too late. Instead of tweeting “LOLMets” and letting my mood drop, I sat back and thought about this. The fact that our Mets, who struggle so badly scoring at home, were able to pull together 8 runs, is a very good sign — especially when we take note of the guys who were getting hits. Ike Davis went 2-for-4, John Buck went 2-for-5 and Juan Lagares went 2-3 after coming in as a pinch hitter. Small sample size? Obviously, but these are the guys that we need to see start hitting, and it needs to start somewhere.

The amazing thing, and somewhat disappointing simultaneously, is that eight runs might have been enough to take a win during any other Hefner start — or rather, any other start recently for that matter. Harvey can only dream of his team pulling together run support like that! If the Mets want to get to .500, offense is crucial. They’ve already gotten everything they could have asked for out of their starting pitching. Mix what you saw tonight from the offense plus what you’ve been seeing from the starting pitching and you see a team very capable of fighting their way back to .500 — maybe even beyond. I know that the Mets aren’t going to start averaging eight runs a game or something outlandish like that, but they have the potential to start producing. Don’t let one bad start by Hefner — which, for all intents and purposes, he was probably due for — change your perception of what he’s given to the team the eight or so starts before last night. He’ll most definitely pull himself together and give you the kind of effort he has been for the past month in his next outing, which is all you could possibly ask from him.

My point, though? Last night’s game was actually a POSITIVE sign. Not trying to beat a dead horse here, but the fight in this team IS real, and it is so important! Being in an 11-0 hole and coming back to score eight runs shows incredible determination. They were well aware of their position, but not one player hung their head and said “Why bother? It’s over.” They racked up hits, got on base and were one Josh Satin swing away from being right back in the game.

That’s the kind of play that the Mets could give you this second half — and that’s what could allow them to hit .500 again. The ol’ Yogi Berra “It ain’t over till it’s over” line is what the Mets need to live by, and they need to stop at nothing to let people know that. Last year, it seemed like they had all given up by August, but not this year. By August, you could see a team busting its butt every game to climb back to .500. Call me crazy, call me unreasonable, call me delusional. All I’m saying is that the Mets have been playing very good ball as of late, and take away one bad starting pitching performance from a guy who has NEVER faired out well against the Phillies and you’ve got something here.

I never like to throw in the towel. Ya gotta believe!

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