Mets Merized Online » Tommy Rothman Sat, 10 Oct 2015 05:24:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 To Beat The Dodgers, Mets Must Trump A Pair Of Aces Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:00:56 +0000 mlb_greinke_kershaw_576x324

When Joe D messaged the staff with some roundtable questions the other day, the first one on the list asked us what the key was going to be to beating the Dodgers. I responded that the key would be finding a way to win when Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke are on the mound. But the Mets’ performance against those two isn’t simply “something to watch for.”

Finding a way to win games against the Dodgers’ pair of ultra-aces is not simply the key to the series. It is the only way the Mets can win the series. It will be tough.

“I think as deep as we are with our pitching, I don’t think anybody in baseball really has a Kershaw and Greinke,” said team captain David Wright. “We’re going to throw out there some good arms against them, but when you look at the back of the baseball card of those two guys, that’s about as good as it gets.”

The Dodgers are 43-22 when their aces pitch. The Mets will likely see Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in games 1, 2, 4, and 5 against Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, either deGrom or Bartolo Colon, and either deGrom or Syndergaard, in that order. In 30 innings against the two LA aces this season (all in July), the Mets scored three earned runs. And don’t buy the nonsense about Kershaw being unable to pitch in the playoffs. Since came into his own as an ace, he’s had several great playoff starts and two bad ones— or really, two bad innings. That being said, the Mets will bring a better offense to the table than they did in July.

The two pitchers each average seven innings per start, and with what little caution the Dodgers may have displayed in the regular season about to be thrown to the winds, the Mets won’t be able to get to the much-criticized Dodger bullpen— from which manager Don Mattingly may only need to deploy rock-solid closer Kenley Jansen to spell the two aces— unless they can knock Kershaw and Greinke out of the game early. So any way you look at it, the Mets will need to score off of the two superstars, and they’ll need to do it in more than one game.

jacob degrom

How many runs will they need to score? Hopefully not too many. The Mets will be putting some great starters on the mound as well. But there is greater risk of error. DeGrom, Harvey and Syndergaard have not been as good as Kershaw and Greinke (although I’d take Harvey over Greinke). Moreover, Harvey will only pitch once. The Mets might only use the heralded Harvey-deGrom combo twice in the first four games and certainly no more than three times in the series.  Lastly, the Mets starters, especially Syndergaard, are very prone to the long-ball, and a home run with guys on base can be a death blow when facing Kershaw or Greinke. In terms of starting pitching, it’s advantage Dodgers.

matt harvey

And if the Mets’ young aces come up big, and they can match the two LA superstars, how deep in the games can they go? The Mets are certainly careful with their young pitchers, and while the reins will be loosened in the playoffs, they won’t be taken off completely. The Mets’ pitchers might only be able to go 6 or 7 innings if they’re not efficient with their pitches, and the bullpen has been a mixed bag other than Jeurys Familia. Throw in the fact that the Mets are more likely to need to use their non-closer bullpen guys, and the battle on the mound is one that will have me very nervous throughout the series.

mmo feature original footerIf everybody pitches like they are supposed to, the Dodgers will win. But to borrow and censor a phrase from Terry Collins, “Things happen.” Can the Mets make things happen? Can they find a way to scratch a few runs off of the two aces on multiple occasions, and can they make those runs hold up with good defense and pitching from the starters to the bullpen? Maybe. It’s certainly not impossible, but at the same time it’s certainly not going to be easy. And it probably needs to happen early in the series, lest the Mets find themselves down 0-2 by the time they get home.

“We know offensively runs are going to be at a premium, so we have to do a nice job of not giving them extra outs,” Wright said. “Granted, we haven’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard lately, but we’ve shown that we’re capable of winning games offensively. So just stick to the game plan and do what you’re accustomed to, don’t try to go up there and change anything.”

Do or die time for the Amazins.

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Max Scherzer Strikes Out 17, No-Hits Mets 2-0 Sun, 04 Oct 2015 01:33:53 +0000 max scherzer

The New York Mets (89-72) were no-hit by Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer on Saturday night, losing their fifth game in a row in the process by a score of 2-0.

Scherzer dominated the Mets all game long. New York’s only baserunner came in the sixth, when Kevin Plawecki reached on an error by Yunel Escobar. Scherzer struck out 17 batters, including nine in a row. But with two outs in the ninth, Curtis Granderson popped out to preserve Tom Seaver‘s MLB record of 10.

Scherzer’s no-hitter was his second this season, a feat last accomplished in 1973 by Nolan Ryan with the California Angels.

matt harvey

Matt Harvey pitched very, very well for the Mets. Harvey allowed one unearned run in six innings, allowing four hits, striking out 11, and walking none while throwing 73 pitches. However the Mets offense did nothing to support his stellar performance.

The Nationals got an unearned run in the top of the sixth when Michael Taylor reached on an error by Kelly Johnson and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Wilson Ramos. Dan Uggla added an insurance run with a solo shot off of Hansel Robles in the 7th.

Erik Goeddel and Carlos Torres pitched scoreless innings of relief for the Mets.

The Dodgers will host the Mets in the NLDS.

That was awful. But at least that might wake them up. Let’s see if they can at least grab a win tomorrow to avoid heading into the playoffs on a 6-game losing streak, and crack 90 wins while they’re at it.

The offense has been putrid for the most part ever since the middle of September. With nothing but aces in the Mets’ future, it’s going to be hard to change that. Hopefully they can get some timely hits, and hopefully their starting starters can pitch this well in the postseason— and deeper.

On Deck: The Amazins wrap up the series on Sunday with Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.60) on the mound to try and end the regular season on a high note for the Mets. He will oppose Tanner Roark (4-7, 4.63) for the Nationals in a 3:10 PM start.

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]]> 0 MMO Game Recap: Nationals 3, Mets 1 Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:11:34 +0000 noah syndergaard

The Mets (89-71) continued their recent slide, dropping their fourth straight in a 3-1 loss to the Nationals (82-78) in the first game of Saturday’s Citi Field doubleheader.

Noah Syndergaard pitched for the Mets and was terrific. Thor struck out 10 in seven innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk, also hitting a batter.

The Mets struggled against Gio Gonzalez as their offensive woes continued. Washington took a 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh on a monstrous solo shot from Clint Robinson.

The Mets got that run right back against the Washington bullpen. A walk from Lucas Duda and singles from Ruben Tejada and Juan Lagares tied up the game.

The Nationals went back in front in the top of the eighth against Addison Reed. Anthony Rendon drew a one-out walk with some help from a questionable call on a 2-2 pitch (it appeared that the pitch was a strike, and that the hitter went around). The next batter hit a grounder right to Daniel Murphy, who bobbled it before throwing to Tejada covering second for the out. Tejada had plenty of time to make the relay, but his throw went awry, and the Mets missed out on an inning-ending double-play. Bryce Harper made Reed pay, crushing a two-run shot to give the Nats a lead of 3-1, which would become the final score.

juan lagares

Well, that wasn’t good. The Mets no longer control their destiny when it comes to getting Home-Field Advantage in the NLDS. The Dodgers’ magic number is 2, and each team has 2 games left. The Mets need one win and two Dodgers losses, or two wins and one Dodgers loss.

Syndergaard looked great. If he pitches like that, the Mets have a chance to beat whoever the Dodgers throw at them.

The bullpen didn’t look so good between Reed in the eighth and Jon Niese in the ninth. Reed got squeezed by the ump and betrayed by his defense, but he’ll have to get the big hitters out in the playoffs, and he certainly didn’t get it done against Harper (regardless of whether Harper should have gotten a chance to hit there). With Tyler Clippard‘s recent struggles, Hansel Robles‘ recent struggles, and the woes of the rest of the pen, and the likely unavailability of Steven Matz, I’m a bit concerned.

I’m also worried that Murphy’s frequent desire to “do too much” will hurt him when he finds himself in the playoff spotlight. He handles pressure well at the plate, but not in the field. That being said, that failed double-play was on Tejada as well.

I will never agree with the rule that botched double-plays cannot cause runs to be scored as “unearned.”

Although the offense was bad and has been bad for some time now, it was nice to see the Mets bounce right back after giving up that first run. This team is resilient.

Home-Field Advantage might not be extremely important (I’ll have a post coming up about that), but I’d like to get it. Let’s see if the Mets can bounce back in a few hours, and get some help from the Padres against the Dodgers.

Up Next: The Mets will play the nightcap of their doubleheader with the Nationals at 7:10 PM/ Matt Harvey (13-7, 2.80 ERA) will face Max Scherzer (13-12, 2.91 ERA) at Citi Field.

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MMO Game Recap: Phillies 3, Mets 0 Thu, 01 Oct 2015 18:45:09 +0000 sean gilmartin

Take a page out of Terry Collins’ book, and don’t put too much stock in this game.

The Mets (89-70) were swept by the Phillies (62-97), losing 3-0 on Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia.

Sean Gilmartin pitched for the Mets and was pretty good, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in five innings, striking out three.

Jerad Eickhoff held the Mets at bay all afternoon, striking out 10 and allowing just four hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings.

Gilmartin began the day with three hitless frames, but with two out in the bottom of the fourth, Jeff Francoeur doubled and Darin Ruf homered to put the Phillies up 2-0.

The Mets, using their JV squad, made hardly any noise in this one. Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a nice day with three hits including two doubles, but the “lineup” struggled for the most part. The Mets got two men on in the seventh, but Eickhoff escaped the jam to keep the visitors off the board.

Tim Stauffer pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the Mets, but Dario Alvarez gave up a solo shot to Andres Blanco in the bottom of the eighth to make it 3-0. Alvarez bounced back to get two outs before Jeurys Familia came in and struck out the lone hitter he faced.

The Mets did nothing against the Philadelphia bullpen, and the Phillies wrapped up the sweep with ease.

kirk nieuwenhuis

Well, not an ideal start to “October Baseball” for the Mets. But they’ve clinched, so these games don’t matter too much. It would be nice to get home-field, and it would be nice to get 90 wins, so hopefully they bounce back against the Nationals this weekend at home and win two of three.

The Mets didn’t really play to win this series, for whatever reason. So their struggles aren’t something to be too worried about. Yes, Eric Campbell is a bad hitter, but Eric Campbell is also a guy who will be sitting and watching come Playoff Time.

Gilmartin gave us a nice effort today and has done everything the team has asked of him all year. Nice work once again from the Rule 5 Pick.

Eickhoff has been fantastic lately, so it’s not like the Mets got shutout by a nobody— or, at least, a talentless nobody.

Hopefully the Nationals don’t play dirty this weekend, and hopefully there are no accidental mishaps either. We’ve come so far, we deserve some health in these final 3 games.

Up Next: The Mets will kick off their series with the Nationals on Friday night at Citi Field. Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.34 ERA) will face Gio Gonzalez (11-8, 3.93 ERA).

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Mets Beat Reds 6-4, Magic Number Down To 3 Fri, 25 Sep 2015 02:45:54 +0000 new steven matz

The Mets (86-67) grabbed a 6-4 road win over the Reds (63-89) on Thursday night in Cincinnati.

Steven Matz pitched for the Mets and was okay. The rookie gave up 3 runs on 10 hits in 5.2 innings, striking out 8 and walking none.

The Reds took an early lead, stringing together three consecutive singles in the bottom of the first, including an RBI single form Brandon Phillips.

The Mets got to Reds pitcher Josh Smith in the top of the third.. After Steven Matz hustled to take advantage of a lazy play from Eugenio Suarez at short and reach with an infield hit, he advanced to second on a sharp grounder from Curtis Granderson and scored on a double by David Wright. A single from Daniel Murphy moved The Captain to third, and he scored on a sacrifice fly from Yoenis Cespedes to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. The Mets added another run an on RBI double from Lucas Duda.

Matz settled in for a couple innings, but the Reds once again solved the hard-throwing lefty and started stringing hits together. The Cincy got a run back in the bottom of the fifth on another base-hit from Phillips, and tied it in the next inning when Adam Duvall hit a ball to third that took a tough hop and deflected up and over David Wright for what was ruled an RBI single. That would be the last batter Matz would face; Erik Goeddel came in and struck out one hitter (which was enough to “earn” him the win).

The Mets took the lead right back in the top of the seventh. A single from Granderson and a triple by Murphy put the visitors up 4-3, and Cespedes’ rope up the middle brought Murph home to add an insurance run. The Mets would tack on one more with Lucas Duda’s second RBI double of the night.

After Addison Reed pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh, the Reds cut it to two with Jay Bruce‘s solo shot off of Hansel Robles. But Jeurys Familia shut the door in the ninth for his 42nd save of the year, bringing him within one of the franchise record set by Armando Benitez in 2001.

The Nationals lost tonight, so the Mets’ magic number is 3.

daniel murphy

This was a win the Mets really needed (albeit not from a standings standpoint). People have been talking about them “backing in” to the playoffs. They need a nice run to give them some momentum heading into their all-but-inevitable series with the Dodgers, especially since there’s still a decent chance they can grab home-field advantage for that matchup.

Matz was getting slapped around tonight, with the Reds hitting single after single. But he avoided the big blow, and his control was solid. He really hasn’t had his best stuff from the look of things, which is what makes his strong results so encouraging.

Still, he hasn’t done enough to lock up a spot in the playoff rotation. The Mets have Matt Harvey and, despite some recent struggles, Jacob deGrom should be reliable as well (although he could really use a couple good starts to finish the regular season). The rest of the pitchers are less reliable. Can Matz and Syndergaard be counted on to give the team their best in October? Can Colon pitch against out-of-division teams? Will we get Good Jon Niese or Bad Jon Niese?

The bullpen is more of a concern. They did pretty well tonight, although Robles struggled again, giving up the homer. If Robles, Clippard, Reed, and Familia can take care of business in the playoffs, the Mets become a very, very hard team to beat.

And, of course, there’s the offense. They’ve been a bit quiet lately, but they had a solid showing tonight, and they weren’t dependent on the long-ball. Definitely a good sign.

Cespedes is picking it back up after his mini-slump. Murphy and The Captain are hitting well, and Duda is rounding into form. Watch out, Clayton. Good night, Washington.

Up Next: The Mets will continue their series with the Reds on Friday night in Cincinnati. Noah Syndergaard (8-7, 3.39 ERA) will face Anthony DeSclafani (9-11, 3.79 ERA) at 7:10 PM.

]]> 0 MMO Game Recap: Yankees 5, Mets 0 Sat, 19 Sep 2015 20:27:06 +0000 noah yndergaard terry collins

The Mets (84-64) fell to the Yankees (81-66) by a score of 5-0 on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.

Noah Syndergaard pitched for the Mets and was shaky, allowing five runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking none.

Carlos Beltran got the Yankees on the board early against his former team. After leadoff singles from Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner to start the game, Beltran crushed an 0-2 fastball out to right field to put the Yanks up 3-0. Syndergaard settled in and cruised for a few innings, but after working around a leadoff triple in the fifth, Thor allowed a two-run shot to Brian McCann that put the “visitors” ahead 5-0.

The Mets managed nothing against Michael Piñeda and the Yankees bullpen. Their only major threat came in the sixth, when they got the first two men on and, after a Yoenis Cespedes strikeout, loaded the bases with one away. But David Wright and Juan Uribe (pinch-hitting for Lucas Duda in what was a questionable move) whiffed as well, and the Mets went quietly from then on.

Sean Gillmartin threw two scoreless innings in relief and Bobby Parnell added a scoreless frame as well, but the Yankees bullpen was overpowering, striking out eight Mets (including seven in a row) after Pine Tar Boy departed with one out in the sixth, and the Bronx Bombers coasted to a 5-0 victory, evening up the series at one apiece.

noah syndergaard

Well, that wasn’t very entertaining. The Mets were down 3-0 before many of the fans had found their seats, and they didn’t really get back in it after that.

Syndergaard pitched well for the most part after the early mistakes, but all in all it wasn’t a great start. Still, he showed off some filthy stuff, including a nice hard slider. Noah got some help from Michael Conforto, who made a terrific diving catch in the third inning.

Cespedes hasn’t gotten a hit since GETTING hit on Tuesday. Lucas Duda had an HBP-induced slump earlier this year as well. I wonder if Alex Torres‘ “hat guy” does uniforms as well.

Nice work today from Gilmartin and Parnell. We can’t use our big guns every day.

At least it was Beltran who beat us, not A-Rod.

Seeing the Yankees bring in their closer up 5-0 in the ninth is a pleasant reminder that, for the first time in human history, the Yankees need these games infinitely more than we do. But it’d be nice to take the series.

Up next: The Mets will host the Yankees in the rubber game of their series on Sunday night at Citi Field. Matt Harvey (12-7, 2.88 ERA) will face CC Sabathia (4-9, 4.93 ERA) at 8:10 PM on ESPN.

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Mets Equal 2014 Win Total With 7-2 Win Over Braves Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:00:22 +0000 Juan uribe

The Mets (79-61) beat the Braves (56-85) by a score of 7-2 on Thursday night in Atlanta, matching their win total from last season with 22 games still to play.

Bartolo Colon had a strong game for the Mets, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and a walk in 6.2 innings, striking out 2. Bartolo’s scoreless inning streak was snapped at 31, an MLB record for a pitcher over the age of 42 (he had been tied with Cy Young and Warren Spahn).

After a two-hour, twenty-minute rain delay, the Mets took a while to get going against Braves ace Shelby Miller, but they broke through in the top of the fourth. Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson singled before both coming home on a double by Kevin Plawecki that put New York up 2-0. The lead grew to 3 when Colon helped his own cause with an RBI single.

Uribe added an RBI single in the top of the seventh that put the visitors up 4-0, but the Braves got themselves back in the game following the Stretch. Nick Swisher hit a leadoff single and scored on a triple from Jace Peterson that snapped Colon’s streak, before Andrelton Simmons cut the gap to 2 with a base-hit. Colon settled down to get the next two hitters before being pulled for Dario Alvarez, who got four outs in a perfect relief appearance.

The Mets got one of those runs back in the top of the eighth on an RBI groundout from Plawecki, and put the game away in the top of the ninth on a two-run double by Uribe. Addison Reed closed things out in the ninth to seal a Met victory and give New York a 7.5 game lead in the NL East— its largest lead since 2006.

bartolo colon

Bartolo truly is an ageless wonder. We didn’t get any behind-the-back defensive gems in this one, but any time you see Bart get an RBI hit and break a record held by Cy Young and Warren Spahn (CY YOUNG AND WARREN SPAHN!), it’s a pretty good day.

Plawecki had three RBIs tonight. He’s had a rough year at the plate, but anything he can provide when asked to spell d’Arnaud is a bonus for this team, and, of course, for his value.

The Cespedes trade will get all the love, but boy, that Uribe/Johnson deal looks amazing right now.

I would have liked to see Bobby Parnell pitch that ninth inning. Why waste Reed when you have a perfect opportunity to get Bobby some work in a low-leverage situation? Being the guy out there on the mound during the postgame handshake line might give Parnell the confidence boost he so desperately needs.

No home runs in this one, just some well-timed hits, several walks, and a good approach against a very good pitcher. It’s nice to see the offense put up big numbers even when the ball isn’t flying over the wall left and right.

The Magic Number is 16. Tick-Tock, Bryce.

Up Next: Steven Matz (2-0, 1.89 ERA) will face Matt Wisler (5-6, 5.8a ERA) when the Mets take on the Braves in Atlanta on Saturday at 7:35 PM

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MMO Game Recap: Red Sox 3, Mets 1 Sat, 29 Aug 2015 23:24:49 +0000 juan uribe

The Mets (71-58) lost 3-1 to the Red Sox (60-69) on Saturday evening at Citi Field.

Jacob deGrom pitched well for the Mets after a disastrous start his last time out. DeGrom went 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 10.

The Mets got leadoff baserunners in four of the first five innings against Joe Kelly, but failed to cash in. DeGrom held Boston hitless for the first four innings, but Boston got their first hit in the fifth and got on the board in the sixth. Mookie Betts hit a leadoff single and, after a wild pitch, scored on a double by Pablo Sandoval. After moving to third on a sacrifice fly, Sandoval missed an opportunity to score on another wild pitch a few moments later, but eventually came home on an RBI groundout from Brock Holt, whose speed kept Boston out of a double-play after Daniel Murphy passed up a great chance to nab Sandoval at the plate.

Betts hit a solo shot off of Hansel Robles in the top of the seventh to put Boston up 3-0, but New York got the run back in the bottom of the frame when Kelly Johnson singled and scored on a double by Juan Uribe.

Eric O’Flaherty and Bartolo Colon (you read that right) kept the Red Sox off the board in the 8th and 9th out of the pen, but the Mets could not rally against Boston’s bullpen, and dropped their second straight game and their fifth straight at home.

jacob deGrom

DeGrom wasn’t terrific, but he pitched well enough to win and certainly too well to lose (ironically, he didn’t lose when he gave up seven runs in Philly). His strikeout total was impressive, but as we’ve seen before, when pitchers rack up the strikeouts, it often costs them innings, and deGrom found himself unable to go more than six innings with his pitch count up at 109.

The Mets relievers weren’t very impressive today, although the box score will only show one run allowed. O’Flaherty was very shaky (surprise!) and Colon gave up a shot to David Ortiz that very nearly went over the wall (Ortiz should have been out at second after an amazing throw by Yoenis Cespedes, but the umps missed the call, Terry Collins decided not to challenge, and Colon stranded Big Papi to render the play inconsequential). The Mets really do need some help in the bullpen, or at least some improved play from the guys who are already there. UPDATE: The Mets have acquired reliever Addison Reed from Arizona

Is Bartolo Colon now a member of that bullpen? His (potential) playoff roster spot is certainly in jeopardy with Steven Matz coming back, but if Colon can pitch well out of the pen, it would be a big boost for the Mets and would help solve the roster dilemma the team might face with their pitching staff. This is something to watch going forward.

The biggest issue today was obviously the offense. They didn’t come through in the clutch, rarely made solid contact, and let a series of mediocre pitchers limit them to just 1 run. This offense tore it up on the road, in large part via the home run. Let’s get some more of that at home.

Up Next: The Mets will look to salvage the final game of their series with the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. Wade Miley (10-10, 4.51 ERA) will face Noah Syndergaard (8-6, 3.19 ERA) at 1:10 PM.

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]]> 0 Mets Erase Early Hole To Complete Sweep With 9-5 Win In Extras Fri, 28 Aug 2015 04:24:44 +0000 Cespedes Granderson

The Mets (71-56) beat the Phillies (50-78) by a score of 9-5 in 13 innings on Thursday night in Philadelphia, completing a four-game sweep of their formerly formidable rivals and extending their winning streak to seven.

Jon Niese struggled on the mound for the Mets, although all of the damage came in one inning. Niese allowed five runs on five walks and five hits in six innings of work.

After the Mets left the bases loaded in the top of the second against Aaron Harang, the Phils scored five in the bottom of the third, on a 2-run single from Jeff Francoeur, an RBI groundout by Aaron Altherr, and a two-run shot off the bat of Darin Ruf.

The Mets got two of those runs back in the next inning, when David Wright singled and Travis d’Arnaud hit the Mets’ franchise-record-breaking 41st home run of the month. Michael Conforto followed with a double, but the Mets, who struggled mightily with runners in scoring position, could not bring him home.

The Mets evened it up in the top of the fifth, with some more help from the long-ball. Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff single, and Yoenis Cespedes (PAY THE MAN!) uncorked a two-run blast to cut the gap to 5-4. With two outs, Kelly Johnson went deep to tie the ballgame.

The Mets squandered many opportunities in the late innings, but Niese settled in, and after his departure, the bullpen shut down the Phillies, with Logan Verrett, Hansel Robles, Sean Gilmartin, and Carlos Torres doing the honors. The Mets escaped defeat in the tenth when Dominic Brown’s would-be walk-off home run hooked just foul. Moments later, the Mets turned in the Play of the Year, when Carlos Torres kicked a sharp grounder into the hole, where Daniel Murphy changed direction, dived to snare it, fired the throw to Torres covering the bag to nab Francoeur at first (words don’t come close to doing it justice… here it is)

Batting for himself in the top of the 13th inning, Carlos Torres hit a leadoff single, and Granderson followed with another base-hit. Cespedes flew out, but Daniel Murphy hit a two-run double and took third on a throwing error. Wright then reached second on another throwing error as Murphy came to make it 8-5, and the Captain scored on an RBI single from Conforto. Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning to seal the 9-5 victory.

wright d'Arnaud

This team is HOT. Even their nail-biters end up being near-blowouts. They don’t quit, either. And if they keep hitting Home Runs like this, no deficit will be too large to overcome.

Niese did a solid job of bouncing back, and the bullpen was marvelous tonight.

The Phillies are bad. So were the Rockies. But make no mistake… these Mets are GOOD.

Up Next: The Mets will host the Red Sox on Friday night at Citi Field. Matt Harvey (11-7, 2.57 ERA) will face Henry Owens (2-1, 4.50 ERA) at 7:10 PM.

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]]> 0 An Amazin’ Night In Enemy Territory Tue, 25 Aug 2015 14:35:42 +0000 david wright

As I arrived in Philadelphia for my sophomore year at UPenn, the Mets arrived in The City of Brotherly Love for a four-game set against the Phillies. So with Jacob deGrom on the hill for the series opener and David Wright making his long-awaited return to the field, the decision to go to Monday’s game was easier than pulling Eric O’Flaherty against a righty. I was rewarded with the greatest live experience of my life as a Mets fan.

I emerged from the subway station a half-inning late with the group of Mets fans (and fans of other teams masquerading as Mets fans for a night— although one turned on them quickly) I had bought tickets with, and we hustled to get to our seats before Wright’s first at-bat. We watched from the concourse as Ryan Howard put the Phillies up by three— seemingly before deGrom had even finished his warmup pitches. We completed the hike to section 301 just as deGrom was getting out of the inning, with his pitch count soaring his morale noticeably draining. From our seats in the third deck in left field, we had a spectacular view of the 11 home runs that were hit over the course of the game, so we quickly abandoned our original plan to abandon our seats in search of premium seats guarded by inattentive ushers.

Leading off the top of the 2nd was none other than The Captain. We found ourselves in a section with a good amount of Mets fans, and we all stood up to give David a nice hand as he was announced over the loudspeaker. We were hoping for a hit, or at least for an indication that David Wright had not returned only as a shell of his former self. The childish optimists deep inside us would have all loved to see a home run, but recognized that this was a mere pipe dream.

Until it wasn’t. Because David didn’t just hit a homer, he hit a titanic blast into the upper deck, an absolute no-doubter, one that made it loud and clear that this battlestation was fully armed and operational. It seemed like a dream, or a joke. But David had pulled it off, and at that point, most Mets fans in attendance would have been satisfied with their experience regardless of the game’s outcome. The Mets were down 3-1 after Wright crossed the plate, but even on the road, and especially in our section, one looking at the crowd would have thought David had just hit a walk-off blast. The Mets fans were rooting for the Captain and the Team, the Phillies fans were just rooting for the storyline.

Of course, the Mets didn’t exactly seize momentum from that point. Cameron Rupp‘s homer in the second turned the tide back in the home team’s favor and sucked the air out of our section. The Mets got a run back in the next frame on a solo shot from Juan Lagares (my decision to wear my Lagares jersey over my deGrom shirsey certainly paid off), but by the third inning, it was awfully clear that Jacob deGrom, on this night, was not Jacob deGrom. Dominic Brown’s three run shot, punctuated by that unbearable gonging “Liberty Bell” noise the PA system blared as he circled the bases, had all the makings of a dagger, a clear sign that the Phillies were not going to let this game get away.

wilmer flores

But by the end of the next inning, nearly everybody in the ballpark surely must have known the Mets would emerge victorious, even with the Phils still up 7-5. Wright began the frame with a single, and Wilmer Flores lined one just over the wall in the left-field corner. From our vantage point, it was a no-doubter; all of the home runs were, because from the third deck, the altitude and speed at which the baseballs were traveling was exhilaratingly visible from the moment the balls left the bat. Nothing is better than knowing a ball is going to go out of the ballpark, and then getting to watch joyously as it does go out of the ballpark and the runs go on the board.

The next hitter, Travis d’Arnaud, followed suit with a solo shot to cut the gap to 2, and it became a matter of how long the Phillies could hold on before the Mets overtook them. It wasn’t long. An inning later, Flores’ second shot of the night came with two men on, and it was a moonshot, one that sent the plethora of Mets fans in attendance into a frenzy. With the exception of Wright, no other Met could have provided the unwelcome Mets fans with the level of joy than Flores, New York’s latest folk-hero. “MVP” chants and “Wil-mer Flor-es” chants came raining down, as the Mets jumped out to a 1-run lead and never looked back.

Michael Cuddyer followed two batters later with the Mets’ sixth blast of the game, and at that point it truly took on the vibe of a home game. The Phillies fans had been struck dumb, while the rowdy Mets fans, drunk with confidence, had their way with Citizens  Bank Park. Daniel Murphy tacked on a two-run blast in the next inning, and d’Arnaud added a two-run double. As Sean Gilmartin held down the fort in relief of deGrom, the Met fans in the bleachers began doing a “roll call,” and the players obliged their cries for acknowledgement. A bang-bang play at first in which the runner (Ryan Howard) was rounding a base he would not reach in time was the punchline in what had become an absolute laugher, and of course it was none other than the crowd-favorite Flores making the throw from the seat of his pants after an incredible diving knock-down to make the play possible. By the end of the sixth, some of the Phillies fans were laughing along with us, and more than a couple young fans started wondering aloud whether a conversion to the Orange and Blue was the right move for them.

The Mets added another run in the 7th, but didn’t score in the 8th, and as the game’s result became a forgone conclusion (for the second time in the contest), the Mets fans began to tire and grow bored. Yoenis Cespedes ensured that the game would end on a high note, hitting an absolute rocket for the Mets’ franchise-record-breaking eighth home run of the ballgame. Flores nearly brought the house down with a long fly ball, but it landed just foul to avoid becoming his third dinger of the game.

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The Phillies didn’t score once against the often-criticized, short-handed, and, on this night, heavily-burdened Mets bullpen. The Mets pulled away by pouring on the runs, and the sense of superiority us Mets fans (deservedly) felt was tangible at CBP— a far cry from the days of Roy Halladay and Luis Castillo. The Mets were the better team on Monday night, and once they got rolling, they looked like a truly unbeatable bunch, one that— although their matchups will be exponentially tougher— should strike fear into any opponent if (or dare I say, when?) October rolls around.

I have no argument to make today. I have no point to prove or player to exalt or theory to debunk or statistic to shove down anybody’s throat. But last night’s Mets game, despite being played away from the increasingly friendly confines of Citi Field, was the perfect experience, and it’s time to look forward to what will be a hell of a stretch run for a team that has finally restored itself to relevance and respectability, and put itself in a position to make 2015 a truly special season. Here’s to many more jubilant experiences between now and the Mets’ final game— however late we end up being fortunate enough to see that game played.

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Mets Blast Their Way To 14-9 Win At Coors Field Sat, 22 Aug 2015 05:00:32 +0000  

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In the Coorsiest Game Ever Played, The Mets (65-56) outslugged the Rockies (49-71) en route to a 14-9 win in the series opener, stretching their NL East lead to 5 games.

Bartolo Colon struggled on the mound, allowing 7 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks in 3.2 innings, striking out 1 and serving up 3 home runs. Colon was hit on his pitching arm (even the pitchers were hitting Bartolo in this one) while bunting in the 2nd inning, but stayed in the game.

The Mets grabbed an early lead against Jon Gray at Coors Field, getting the better of the rookie who had stifled them in Queens a week earlier. Yoenis Cespedes doubled with 2 out in the top of the first, and Lucas Duda singled him home. Duda would later exit the game due to unknown reasons (stay tuned— UPDATE: Duda’s previously injured back “locked up,” and he may go on the DL).

The Rockies got that run back on a solo shot from Carlos Gonzalez in the bottom of the first that would have done more damage had Colon not picked off Charlie Blackmon (who was ruled safe until the call was overturned after review) following his leadoff single.

The Mets exploded in the top of the second. A single from Kelly Johnson, a walk worked by Michael Conforto, and Gray’s drilling of Bartolo loaded the bases. Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy each drove in a run with singles that moved everybody up a base, before Cespedes unloaded the bases with a grand slam that scraped the top of the high fence in right field and put the Mets up 7-1.

Ben Paulsen homered to make it 7-2 in the bottom of the second, after which Terry Collins and the trainer came out to check on Bartolo’s wrist. Colon stayed in the game, but after barely escaping further damage in the second (a Wilmer Flores error only made his job harder), the big righty gave back two more runs in the third on an RBI double by Nolan Arenado and a single from DJ LeMahieu which brought him home.

Cespedes homered again in the top of the fourth to make it 8-4, but after Blackmon doubled and CarGo walked in the bottom of the frame, Arenado sent a three-run shot over the wall in left with two outs to end Colon’s night.

Sean Gilmartin got the final out in the fourth, but a leadoff single by LeMahieu and a triple from Nick Hundley tied the score at 8 and Colorado found themselves with the go-ahead run 90 feet away with none out in the fifth inning. Gilmartin fanned the next batter for the first out, and then escaped the jam when Kyle Parker flied out and Curtis Granderson gunned down Hundley trying to score (the play was very close and was subjected to a lengthy review, but the umpires confirmed the call for the third out).

After Daniel Murphy walked with one out in the sixth, Cespedes launched his third homer of the game to put the Mets back in front 10-8. Back-to-back solo shots from Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto off of former Met Gonzalez Germen put the visitors up 12-8 in the seventh. Colorado got one run back against Hansel Robles after the Stretch on a double by Arenado, a balk,and an RBI groundout.

Cespedes had a shot at a 4-HR game, but instead poked a single through the hole for his fifth hit of the night leading off the top of the eighth. Cespedes then stole second and scored on a Wilmer Flores double. Tyler Clippard tossed a scoreless eighth, and after Murphy’s ninth-inning sacrifice fly drove in Uribe following his leadoff double, Cespedes finally made an out, rocketing one to the gap in right-center that was flagged down by CarGo.

Jeurys Familia shut the door in the bottom of the ninth to wrap up a 14-9 victory for the Mets.

yoenis Cespedes

Coors Field is a very odd place. No lead is safe. Each run means very little. Fortunately, the Mets made sure to pour it on after blowing their initial lead, and grabbed a victory out West.

How awesome was Cespedes tonight? Allowing him to completely win us over is like letting your kid name an animal you know will only be around for a day, but… Sandy, can we keep him? Please? (Seriously, pay the man.)

I thought it was absolutely huge that Gilmartin (and Granderson) somehow got out of the 5th inning without allowing the Rockies to take the lead despite having a runner on third with no outs. In previous years, the Mets would be the team squandering that opportunity at the plate, not putting out the fire on the other side.

Cespedes was the main story, but d’Arnaud’s homer provided some valuable insurance and should boost his confidence as he looks to re-find his rhythm following his length DL stint, and the ball Conforto hit was an absolute rocket. Nice to see that from our young hitters.

Colon was dreadful tonight. Part of it may have been due to the HBP. The Mets need him to be healthy, and to be acceptably good. His role from here on out is to provide a bunch of palatable innings down the stretch to keep our young pitchers’ arms intact for what has become a temptingly feasible playoff run.

I hate seeing guys like Clippard and Familia (and to a far lesser extent Robles) used when the Mets have pretty comfortable leads. We should be trying to save these guys for when we need a zero late in a close game. Coors Field is obviously a unique ballpark, but if Carlos Torres can’t pitch the ninth with a 5-run lead, he shouldn’t be in the MLB, no matter what stadium he’s pitching in. As Dillon Gee would say: Wasted Bullets.

The news about Duda stinks. Hopefully this back injury doesn’t keep reoccurring for the rest of the season (or worse, beyond). We need his big bat in the lineup down the stretch, but it looks like he’ll miss some time.

It was a bit closer than it seemed like it would be early on, but winning a game in which your 5th starter pitchers (horribly) is always nice. Let’s take the series tomorrow.

Up Next: The Mets will play the Rockies at 8:10 on Saturday night at Coors Field. Jon Niese (7-9, 3.50 ERA) will face Chris Rusin (4-5, 3.99 ERA)

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]]> 0 MMO Game Recap: Pirates 5, Mets 3 (14) Sun, 16 Aug 2015 03:34:38 +0000 jon niese

The Mets (63-54) fell to the Pirates (68-46) by a score of 5-3 in 14 innings on Saturday night.

Jon Niese turned in a decent outing for the Mets, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings, striking out 5.

The Mets were bitten by the long ball in the first inning for the third straight game. After a questionable call by Bob Davidson behind the plate put Andrew McCutchen on first with a two-out walk, Aramis Ramirez sent Niese’s next pitch over the wall to put the Pirates up 2-0. Gregory Polanco extended Pittsburgh’s lead in the third inning with a solo shot that put the visitors up 3-0.

The Mets failed to do anything against Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton early in the game. But after Carlos Torres worked a scoreless top of the seventh in relief of Niese, the Mets came roaring back after the stretch to get their starter off the hook. Juan Uribe led off the frame with a solo shot, and after a throwing error by Aramis Ramirez put Travis d’Arnaud on base with one out, Michael Conforto rocketed one over the wall in right to tie the game at three and send Morton to the showers.

After Tyler Clippard worked through the top of the eighth, Jeurys Familia put up a zero in the ninth with some major help from Yoenis Cespedes. Sean Rodriguez hit one into the gap for an extra-base hit, but when the ball took an odd bounce, he turned for third and was gunned down by an absolute missile from Cespedes.

The game headed to extras, where Hansel Robles pitched three strong innings out of the bullpen for the Mets. The Mets got the winning run in scoring position in the bottom of the 12th when Lucas Duda worked a pinch-hit walk and Ruben Tejada singled, but Wilmer Flores struck out to extend the ballgame.

Sean Gilmartin pitched a scoreless frame in the 13th, but the Pirates got to him in the 14th to win the game. A leadoff double by Francisco Cervelli put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Starling Marte grounded one to Daniel Murphy, who made a poor decision and tried to get the lead runner rather than taking the sure out at first, and instead got nothing. Chris Stewart lined a single into center to put the Pirates up 4-3, and with runners still on the corners, Rodriguez popped one over the drawn-in infield to make it 5-3. Gilmartin got out of the inning thanks to a double-play on a popped-up bunt attempt and a runner caught stealing, but the damage had been done.

Kelly Johnson doubled with one out in the bottom of the 14th against Pirates closer Mark Melancon, but Travis d’Arnaud and Anthony Recker‘s well-hit drives both found the glove of Andrew McCutchen, and the Pirates escaped with an extra-inning victory for the second straight night, allowing Ne-Yo to finally take the stage for his postgame concert.

michael Conforto

For the most part, the Mets offense has quieted down lately. But the resilience is still there, as shown by their comeback in the seventh inning— a combined effort from veteran Juan Uribe and rookie Michael Conforto. Conforto hasn’t been putting up great numbers, but he’s shown a good eye and has been hitting the ball quite hard, which is all you can ask for. As for Uribe, I’m not sure how he’s successful— he pulls out on every swing, and it seems like he’d never get a hit if pitchers just stuck with off-speed pitches on the outside part of the plate. But he seems to make it work.

Niese wasn’t great tonight, but he kept the Mets in the game, as he has done in nearly every single start the last few months. However, the Mets can’t keep giving up all these first inning runs. It cost them a game back in Tampa, and it’s definitely been an issue the last three games here at home.

The bullpen did a solid job, taking over in the 7th and keeping the Pirates off the board until the 14th inning. Robles in particular was terrific. At some point, the offense has to pick up the relievers and put the ballgame away.

Murphy hasn’t made many mistakes over the last few months, but his gaffe tonight was boneheaded to say the least. The Mets probably weren’t putting up a zero in that inning anyway, but he certainly didn’t help the cause (of course, the issue was that he was trying far too hard to keep that go-ahead run off the board).

Cespedes has been hitting well, and we finally saw that arm tonight. He’s a terrific ballplayer, and it’s frustrating that—while I won’t waste too many words on it tonight— we almost certainly won’t see him in a Met uniform next year. Let’s try to enjoy him while he’s here, but we can’t get too attached.

Bob Davison was a huge detriment to this game. A home plate umpire’s presence should never be as noticeable as it was tonight. I don’t think anybody in either dugout was happy with him in this (extended) contest.

It’s a frustrating loss, but not an infuriating loss. The Mets have hung with one of the better teams in the league the last two nights, and while moral victories don’t count in the standings, their small cushion in the NL East allows one to avoid living and dying with each game. In the long run, however, the Mets will need to win these games more often than not. And they’ll certainly need to avoid the sweep with their ace on the hill next game.

Up Next: The Mets will wrap up their series with the Pirates on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. Matt Harvey (11-7, 2.61 ERA) will face Jeff Locke (6-7, 4.43 ERA) at 1:10 PM.

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Which Mets Ace Would Get The Ball In A One-Game Playoff? Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:00:26 +0000 harvey-degrom-2

The Mets have more than their fair share of terrific young pitching, and with Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, they would have pocket aces should they get a chance to play a series in October.

But what if the Mets earn a Wild Card spot, and find themselves in a one-game playoff with a trip to the NLDS on the line? Joe D raised the question, so I’ll attempt to tackle it.

Before doing so, I must state the obvious (but often taken for granted)— both of these pitchers are phenomenal. If the Mets are running either of these guys out there, their chances to win are very good, and life will be very tough for the opposition. If there is a better option, the lesser option is still pretty damn good.

In addition, the Mets might not find themselves faced with a choice. If they end up with a Wild Card spot, they will likely have been fighting for it until the very end, which means they won’t have had a chance to rest their top pitchers at the end of the regular season to prepare them for the playoffs.

New York’s final three games are against the Nationals, so even if they fail to win the division, that might not be confirmed until the season’s final days. If one ace is unable to go, the decision will have been made easy for the Mets.

If deGrom and Harvey both pitch too close to the date of the Wild Card Game (which will likely be almost immediately after game 162), the Mets will have to go with a third option— assuming the strategy of having them split the game on short rest is off the table.

But for the sake of the argument, let’s say both are fully rested and ready to go with a win-or-go-home game against the other NL Wild Card team. Who should get the ball?

The Stats:


DeGrom: 10-6, 2.05 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 127 IP, 9.0 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, 6.3 H/9, 0.6 HR/9 2.56 FIP (19 GS). Team is 12-7 in his starts.

Harvey: 9-7, 3.16 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 125 IP, 8.3 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 7.6 H/9, 1.1 HR/9, 3.69 FIP (19 GS). Team is 11-8 in his starts.


DeGrom: 19-12, 2.39 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 268 IP, 9.1 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 6.9 H/9, 0.5 HR/9, 2.62 FIP (41 GS)

Harvey: 21-17, 2.65 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 363 IP, 9.3 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 7.0 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 2.80 FIP (55 GS)

The Argument for deGrom:

DeGrom has been the better pitcher this season— better than Harvey, and probably better than anybody not named Zack Greinke. DeGrom also has a slight edge in terms of their career numbers. If the game is at Citi Field, deGrom’s 1.59 career ERA at home would only help his case. And Harvey might have more risk. How effective will Harvey still be come October in his first season back from Tommy John Surgery? Harvey has been very prone to the long-ball this year, how do we know it won’t come in a killer spot? Harvey has given up 4+ runs 5 times and 7 runs 2 times— how do we know he won’t pull a Tom Glavine with the season on the line? DeGrom has only allowed 4+ earned runs twice this year, and gives up fewer home runs.

Jacob has been the team’s best pitcher in 2015, so why not run him out there with the 2015 season on the line?

The Argument for Harvey:

Harvey hasn’t been as good as deGrom this season, but he has been good. His ERA is solid but not great— it would be great if not for a few catastrophic games. When he’s on top of his game, he’s better than deGrom, despite what the stats from their respective peaks (2013 for Matt, 2015 for Jacob) might suggest. Harvey’s 2013 FIP shows that he was even more dominant than his ERA would show, while the opposite is true for deGrom. And anybody who saw Matt pitch in 2013 can tell you that when Harvey has his best stuff, he’s the best pitcher East of wherever Clayton Kershaw happens to be at any given time.

Harvey hasn’t lost velocity, and he hasn’t been wild, but he has had struggles with his command in the zone at times since his return, which is why he hasn’t been able to put up the dominant stats we saw two years ago, and which is why he has made mistakes that have ended up in the seats. If Harvey can keep the ball in the park, he’ll win— his ERA in his 9 starts without a HR allowed is 1.35.

DeGrom isn’t without risk. How good will he be as he reaches the end of his first full season? How will he handle the big moment on the mound? Harvey has more of a bulldog mentality, which would likely serve him better with the season on the line (although deGrom certainly didn’t shrink from the spotlight in the All-Star Game).

Matt Harvey is the ace of this staff. For me, “Ace” carries a greater meaning than “best pitcher on the team” (which I think Harvey is, anyway). Unless he’s really struggling heading into the game, I’m giving him the ball when it matters most.


If the Dodgers had one game that determined their fate, they would almost certainly go with Kershaw over Greinke, even though Greinke has been better this year. For the same reason, I would go with Harvey— he’s our guy, and if he brings his best stuff, he’s our best option. That being said, the argument for deGrom is certainly very valid, possibly more so than the case for Harvey. As I said in the beginning, you really can’t go wrong with either pitcher. Harvey has more risk, but you don’t skip over your ace because of what might happen if he doesn’t have his best stuff. Give me Harvey.

Who would YOU start, and why?


Metsmerized, a Fan Site with Pride, Passion and Personality!

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Mets-Reds Matchup Suspended At 1-1 After Six Innings Sat, 27 Jun 2015 23:23:04 +0000 mets rain delay tarp

Saturday’s Mets-Reds game was suspended due to rain after six innings with the teams tied at 1. The teams will resume play tomorrow at 1:10 PM and finish the first game, before playing their scheduled game. The Steve Miller Band concert, scheduled for Saturday, will be held after the second game on Sunday.

Matt Harvey pitched well for the Mets, going six innings and allowing one run on five hits (it should have been no runs on four hits), striking out three and walking two.

The Mets had Reds starter Michael Lorenzen on the ropes early and often, but failed to do much damage, wasting doubles in three separate innings and leaving the bases loaded in another. Their lone run came on a solo shot from Curtis Granderson in the third.

Granderson Curtis

Granderson, however, failed to make a fairly easy catch in the fifth inning (the play was unfairly scored as a double), and the Reds ultimately tied the game on an RBI double by Brandon Phillips.

Harvey was done for the day regardless of the weather, having been pulled for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. Carlos Torres was introduced as the new pitcher before the game was called, so he will have to throw at least one pitch when the game resumes. The action picks up again tomorrow at 1:10 PM.

After the suspended game is done, Steven Matz (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his MLB debut and face Josh Smith (0-0, 12.00 ERA). Good Luck, Steven!

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MMO Game Recap: Brewers 3, Mets 2 (.500 Baseball) Wed, 24 Jun 2015 03:25:44 +0000 lucas duda

The Mets (36-36) fell 3-2 to the Brewers (26-46) on Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

Jon Niese pitched pretty well for the Mets, skating around eight hits, three walks and a hit batsman to throw six innings of two-run ball, striking out three.

The Brewers scored a run in the bottom of the first with a string of two-out hits, but the Mets evened it against Mike Fiers in the top of the third on Curtis Granderson‘s solo shot. New York took the lead in the fourth when Wilmer Flores walked, moved to second on a groundout, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Kevin Plawecki‘s sacrifice fly.

Milwaukee tied it up in the bottom of the sixth with some help from Dilson Herrera, who couldn’t make a clean play on a throw from Kevin Plawecki which would have easily gotten a stealing Gerardo Parra (who later scored).

Hansel Robles came in for Niese to start the seventh and struck out Ryan Braun, before walking Carlos Gomez and being replaced by Sean Gilmartin. The lefty allowed a double down the left-field line to Adam Lind. As Gomez headed to third, the ball bounced off the left-field wall and straight through Michael Cuddyer‘s legs, allowing Gomez to score what would ultimately be the game-winning run.

Bobby Parnell pitched 1.1 strong innings for the Mets, but the team could not rally and dropped its sixth straight, falling to the .500 mark on the season.

I’m not going to dive too deeply into this dreadful loss, but it really feels like the 2009-2014 Mets are back in full force. This team has lost as many games as it has won, and needs to get back to playing April baseball— not just “pretty good” baseball— if they want to even entertain thoughts of playing in October. And with their best hitters dropping like flies— Travis d’Arnaud is the latest key hitter who looks like he might be out for awhile— it might be time to really turn our thoughts to 2016.

I will say one thing about the disaster in the outfield… that ball rolled pretty slowly to the wall, then seemed to take a much harder bounce than it should have. The play wasn’t as pathetic on Cuddyer’s part as it looked. But it sure was bad, and it sure was frustrating.

Tomorrow’s game is an absolute must-win. This team cannot fall under 500 and hope to maintain the respectability it gained early in the year, no matter how close they are to first place in their weak division.

Up Next: The Mets will continue their series with the Brewers on Wednesday night. Bartolo Colon (9-5, 4.81 ERA) will face Jimmy Nelson (3-8, 4.64 ERA) at 8:10 PM.

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Jenrry Mejia Tosses Scoreless Inning As He Nears July Return Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:12:42 +0000 jenrry-mejia

Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia pitched a scoreless inning during a rehab appearance with the GCL Mets on Tuesday.

The one-time Mets closer allowed two hits, walked none and struck out three batters.

Mejia is expected to slot right into a late inning setup role and team officials say he will be activated as soon as he’s eligible on July 7.

As Mejia serves out the remainder of his 80-game MLB-imposed suspension for PEDs, Terry Collins told reporters in Milwaukee he gladly anticipates his return.

“When he comes back, he’ll certainly be at the back end of that bullpen and ready to help out,” Collins said.

Mejia will not be eligible for post season play as per the collective bargaining agreement. But of course the Mets will tackle that problem if and when they make it that far.

June 17

The Mets are 66 games into the season, which means that only 14 games remain on Jenrry Mejia‘s 80-game PED suspension.

Mejia was the Mets’ closer last season and pitched very well, saving 28 games and posting a 2.72 ERA as a reliever. But he lost his claim to the role just before the season opener, when it was announced that he would be banned for the first 80 games of the season and any postseason games the Mets might play.

mmo feature original footerJeurys Familia has stepped into that role and thrived, and as long as he is around, there is no chance Mejia will reclaim his closer status. But Familia having faced a heavy workload, the Mets having shown a commitment to limit the innings of their precious young starters, the unreliability of the Alex/Carlos Torres duo, Bobby Parnell still trying to regain his footing, and injuries to Josh Edgin, Jerry Blevins, Vic Black, Erik Goeddel, Rafael Montero and others, the Mets are severely shorthanded in the bullpen right now.

Mejia was not very good in Spring Training, has had his injury issues, will obviously be rusty, and, of course, must prove that he can get MLB hitters out without cheating. He is no sure thing. But if he can provide the Mets with a live, effective arm to help bridge the gap from the starters to Familia, he will be a huge boon to this team’s chances of playing October baseball (in which he will not participate).

People have seemingly forgotten about Mejia, but he will likely have rejoined the team by the All-Star Break (depending on whether or not and for how long the Mets put him in the minors to help him get back in the groove). He is about to become a factor.

The Mets need help before then, of course. Single-A pitcher Akeel Morris can not be warming up in pen during the ninth inning of one run games if this team is serious about contending. But if the Mets can get some length from their starters and some quality innings from their less prominent relievers over the next couple weeks, Mejia’s return could go a long way towards solving their bullpen— even if Jenrry’s old stomping grounds have been annexed by Familia.

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Morning Grind: Hindsight Is 20/20, But Terry’s Mistake Was Even Clearer Sat, 20 Jun 2015 12:00:08 +0000 terry collins

A move should be judged on whether or not it made sense at the time, not whether or not it worked out in the end.

That’s my philosophy, at least. But it doesn’t matter if you agree… because Terry Collins flunked both tests last night.

After an error (the mistake made by Wilmer Flores, not the one the official scorer made in ruling the play a hit) put runners on first and third with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Mets clinging to a 1-0 lead on Friday night, Terry Collins pulled Jacob deGrom and brought in Sean Gilmartin.

Gilmartin promptly allowed a two-run double to center which would eventually give the Braves the victory (but not before Collins went through two other relievers, including his suddenly-available closer Jeurys Familia, to get through the inning).

You can blame a lot of people for the loss last night. The only man who can not reasonably be held accountable is the only one who was: Jacob deGrom, the game’s “losing pitcher.”

Flores should have gotten an out on the chopper, in which case deGrom could have proceeded with two outs and a runner on third. The Mets should have scored more runs against a guy making his MLB debut and given themselves some margin for error. Gilmartin should have escaped the jam once called upon.

But Terry Collins’ decision to pull deGrom and bring in Gilmartin was the most glaring mistake of all. DeGrom had thrown just 97 pitches—his lowest pitch count in nine starts. DeGrom was just as capable of getting the upcoming left-handed hitters as Gilmartin— deGrom does not struggle against lefties (good pitchers can get any hitters out) and Gilmartin is not especially dominant against lefties himself.

DeGrom had not faltered just before the move— Collins did not pull him after he allowed a leadoff double, so unless Collins wants to teach his pitchers to not let the batters hit the ball towards Flores, there was no performance-based reason to pull Jacob when he did.

The reigning rookie of the year has been throwing a high number of pitches this season, and the Mets might want to consider addressing that at some point in time. But a one-run game with the tying run on third? Collins chose the wrong time.

If you’re going to pull deGrom in that spot, it better be for a guy you’re confident will get the outs. Familia entered with two outs in the eighth, so he certainly should have been able to come in with one out in the eighth (granted, he might not have been warm in time— he probably wasn’t ready when he was brought in either, as he suffered cramps after the inning). But the Mets elected not to use Jeurys.

And if the Mets are going to be settling for 1-3 runs a game, and they’re not going to make a move for a slugger, and the organization wants to protect its young arms, they’d better have a Wade Davis or a Dellin Betances (or maybe even a Jenrry Mejia, which is what an idle Sandy will likely wait two weeks for) to bring in when they decide it’s too early for their closer.

DeGrom was angry after being pulled following Flores’ misplay. He kicked the dugout and slammed his glove in frustration. Then he watched as his team turned a gem and a win into a loss on his 27th birthday. He should be angry.

After the game Collins said he pulled deGrom because it was 90 degrees and he thought he was fatigued. “I just thought it was time,” Collins said.

However deGrom told reporters he was fine and wished he could have remained in the game.

“I felt good. I think he really wanted to go with the matchup there. That’s part of it. He happened to get a hit there. It’s frustrating.”

Frustrating indeed.

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Mets Give Another Sign Gee’s Days Are Numbered Fri, 19 Jun 2015 10:00:04 +0000 dillon gee

The Mets gave away Dillon Gee’s number to Logan Verrett on Thursday, the latest in a series of indications that Sandy Alderson’s endgame is to eventually give away Dillon Gee.

mmo feature original footerGee, who has posted a miserable 5.90 ERA this season, was designated for assignment earlier this week, removing him from the 40-man roster and giving the Mets 10 days to trade him, release him (and pay his full salary), or send him to the minor leagues (with the hopes that the 29 year-old will find his form and enable them to find a taker— or a place for him on the MLB roster).

Rookie Logan Verrett made his Mets debut in Thursday’s 7-1 loss to Toronto and pitched well, tossing two scoreless innings. Verrett’s number? No. 35, the same one Gee wore in Flushing.

Now, the Mets by no means went out of their way to insult Dillon. Verrett wore #35 in the minors, and he requested to wear it upon being called up to the MLB team. But if the Mets planned on keeping Gee in the equation going forward, they certainly could have asked the rookie to pick another number (unlike the Yankees, the Mets still have plenty of jerseys left). Instead they simply obliged Verrett’s request.

Some still might view this as a low blow. Gee certainly didn’t endear himself to the team with his comments about “wasting bullets” in the minors during a rehab stint or his less-metaphorical gun remarks after a team photo in which the organization took a stand against gun violence. In light of this, the Mets were probably less willing to deny Verrett’s request out of respect for Gee than they might have been.

This isn’t like the Mets giving Mike Piazza’s inexplicably-unretired #31 to some mediocre fourth-string catcher. But it’s another strange turn in the increasingly strange and surprisingly unresolved downfall of Dillon Gee.

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MMO Game Recap: Blue Jays 7, Mets 1 Fri, 19 Jun 2015 02:12:09 +0000  

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The Mets (36-32) fell 7-1 to the Blue Jays (36-32) on Thursday night in Toronto.

Bartolo Colon pitched for the Mets and got knocked around, allowing seven runs (six earned, although it should have been less) on nine hits (see above) and a walk in 4.1 innings, striking out four.

RA Dickey, the only other active starting pitcher over the age of 40, opposed Bartolo in the first matchup of 40+ pitchers since 2008 and the first meeting between 40+ Cy Young Winners since 2006. The knuckleballer stifled his former team, allowing just one run three hits in 7.1 innings, striking out seven (although he did walk five).

Dickey was wild, but the Mets failed to make him pay, leaving the bases loaded in the top of the second after three walks, not getting a hit until Juan Lagares‘ double with two outs in the fifth, and not scoring until Lucas Duda hit a solo shot in the seventh.

Toronto got out in front in the bottom of the second when Dilson Herrera‘s error opened the door for Kevin Pillar‘s RBI single.

The Jays did most of their damage in the fourth. With two on and one out, Wilmer Flores failed to make a clean play on a ball he certainly should have had, loading the bases. After one run scored on a fielder’s choice (featuring a great takeout slide by Pillar) that led to the second out, Toronto got RBI hits from José Reyes, Josh Donaldson, and José Bautista to take a 6-0 lead.

Colon allowed a solo shot to Chris Colabello in the fifth inning, and turned the ball over to the bullpen after recording just one out in the frame. Alex Torres (1.2 innings) and Logan Verrett (2 innings) kept Toronto off the board the rest of the way, but the Mets were unable to rally, settling for a split in their four-game, two-country series with the Blue Jays.


Colon did not look sharp at all today. That being said, a few more of those runs should have been unearned thanks to Flores, and this is a tough park to pitch in, especially with that ridiculous artificial turf and that stacked Jays lineup.

The Met offense was pretty quiet all series, and while they squeaked out wins in the two games at home, they had no such luck north of the border.

Verrett looked pretty good. It’s a good thing we got him back after losing him in the Rule 5 Draft. I’m surprised we even left him unprotected in the first place, while giving Akeel Morris (who is clearly not MLB ready) a spot on the 40-man roster.

Flores had made some strides on defense since the first couple weeks of the season, but has looked sloppy the past few games, and his range has looked pretty poor (although again, part of that can be attributed to the fake turf).

It was nice to see Dickey put together a solid outing, even if it came at our expense. I’m not one to keep rooting for players after my favorite team ships them off, but considering how fun Dickey was to watch as a Met, how much we got for him, and the fact that we’ll only see him once in a purple moon, it’s pretty hard to root against him.

It didn’t cost the Mets in this game, but it was once again visible: Juan Lagares’ arm is completely shot— the elbow injury he had late last season did not heal with time. The man needs repairs,  it’s only a question of when he should get them. Does he get a procedure now and miss serious time right in the thick of this hopefully-meaningful campaign, or do the Mets wait until winter and hope it doesn’t cost him part of the 2016 season?

The Mets are in first place and just split four games with the hottest team in the league. This is not a disaster. But we have to get back to our winning ways tomorrow against the Braves.

Up Next: The Mets will travel to Turner Field on Friday night to face the Braves at 7:30 PM. Jacob deGrom (7-4, 2.33 ERA) will pitch for New York. Matt Wisler will make his MLB debut for Atlanta.

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MMO Game Recap: Blue Jays 8, Mets 0 Thu, 18 Jun 2015 02:07:29 +0000 jon niese

The Mets (36-31) fell to the Blue Jays (35-32) by a score of 8-0 on Wednesday night in Toronto.

Jon Niese took the hill for the Mets and pitched well, going seven innings while allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks, striking out six.

Toronto took an early lead they would never relinquish in the bottom of the second, when Kevin Pillar‘s RBI single made Niese pay for a pair of walks.

The Mets had several runners get into scoring position in this one, but failed to capitalize against Drew Hutchison and his relievers. An RBI double in the sixth by Chris Colabello put the Blue Jays up 2-0, and the hosts got a third run against Niese when Pillar hit a solo shot in the seventh.

The game was blown wide open in the bottom of the eighth with Akeel Morris, a Single-A pitcher called up to provide the bullpen with a live arm for a few days, making his MLB debut for the Mets. Morris walked the first two hitters he faced before being victimized by a few soft hits and plays not made behind him in the field. But there was nothing soft about the three-run shot Danny Valencia hit to put the Jays up 8-0 and turn Morris’ debut into an utter “nightmare,” as an equally out-of-place Ron Darling said on the play-by-play broadcast.

Jack Leathersich got the final out in the eighth, before the Mets went down quietly in the ninth to end the ballgame.

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Well, that got ugly late. Morris was here to provide innings in already-decided games, which is what he did tonight (although you could argue the game was within reach until he showed up).

But this game felt like it was over pretty early, because the Mets seemed completely flat on offense. They hit a few doubles, but were taking bad swings all night, even when they got ahead in the count.

Niese pitched a solid game, which is good for him, good for the team, good for the bullpen, and good for his trade value. But the bats— which were pretty good over the homestand— didn’t help him out.

This team needs to be better on the road. There’s nothing more to say about it.

UPDATE: Morris has been sent to Double-A (which is a promotion considering that he came from Single-A). Logan Verrett has been promoted.  

Up Next: The Mets will look to split the road portion of their series with Toronto tomorrow night. Bartolo Colon (9-4, 4.41 ERA) will face RA Dickey (2-6, 5.29 ERA) at 7:10 PM.

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