Mets Merized Online » Tommy Rothman Tue, 07 Jul 2015 05:05:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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  

bartolo colon

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.

lucas duda

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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MMO Morning Grind: Finally, A Happy Harvey Day Wed, 17 Jun 2015 12:00:36 +0000 matt harvey

Matt Harvey pitched last night, and the Mets won. Don’t take it for granted.

After winning their ace’s first five starts, the Mets had lost five of the last seven games in which Harvey took the mound, going into last night’s game. Of course, that’s not all Harvey’s fault— on May 18th, his season ERA stood at 1.98 despite the team having dropped two of his last three outings.

But Harvey has certainly turned in a few duds this year, with two different starts in which he allowed seven runs, including his last time out against San Francisco. “Harvey Day” has become a big event as The Dark Knight has risen to glory, but as has been pointed out, the team hasn’t always won despite having their top dog on the hill. And while Harvey has certainly had a good season thus far, he has had some rough patches in his first year back from Tommy John surgery.

Both the Mets and Matt needed a good start last night, and the hard-throwing righty came through with seven scoreless frames in a 3-2 victory.

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The Mets (33-30) fell 5-3 to the Braves (30-32) in 11 innings on Saturday evening at Citi Field.

Jacob deGrom pitched for the Mets and was terrific, giving up just one run on five hits and a walk in seven innings, striking out nine.

DeGrom fanned the first two hitters he faced and seemed primed to start out his day with a zero. But as Gary Cohen began to discuss how careful the Mets had been with Atlanta’s #3 hitter Freddie Freeman in the previous night’s game, Freeman showed everybody why, crushing the first pitch he saw out to the Shea Bridge in right field to stake Braves starter Shelby Miller to a 1-0 lead.

For most of the game, it appeared that the Atlanta ace would make that lead hold up. The Mets got several runners on base, but most of the action came with two outs, and New York, unable to string hits together failed to cash in. The Mets seemed certain to score in the bottom of the sixth when Wilmer Flores tattooed a double that just missed going out of the park, and Darrell Ceciliani followed with a single, but Flores was held up at third, and Miller got out of the jam.

DeGrom settled back in after the homer and kept the Braves off the board from that point, working out of a few tough spots along the way (and helping himself by throwing out a runner at the plate in the third). With a runner on third and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, an exhausted deGrom got some major help from Flores, who made a great play on a ball up the middle and fired to first to retire the side and save a run.

The Mets finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh. Juan Lagares hit a pinch-hit single with one out and moved to third on a double by Curtis Granderson. Travis d’Arnaud drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a single to center, taking second on an error. Miller was pulled for former Met Dana Eveland, who threw a wild pitch that allowed d’Arnaud to reach third and then surrendered a double to Lucas Duda which gave the hosts a 3-1 lead before Nick Masset came in and stopped the bleeding.

With deGrom’s day done, Terry Collins called on Jack Leathersich, who was greeted with a double by Cameron Maybin, who then stole third (a lengthy video review confirmed that he just did beat the tag). But Maybin’s luck ran out on the next play, as he was gunned down at the plate trying to score on a shallow fly ball in foul ground. Ceciliani made a terrific play in left, catching the ball at an awkward angle and making a quick turn to fire the ball to d’Arnaud at the plate. Bobby Parnell came in for his first appearance since Opening Day of 2014, and, after allowing a bloop single, got the third out of the inning.

Hansel Robles came in to pitch the ninth, going for his first career save. Robles allowed a walk and a single to start the inning before fanning a batter for the first out. Robles then got Jace Peterson— who Flores had robbed in the seventh— to hit a far more routine play to the Met shortstop, but Flores bobbled it and was only able to get one out on the play, extending the game. Cameron Maybin then singled to left to score a run and put the tying run on second with two outs.

Alex Torres came in to face Freddie Freeman and got ahead 0-2 on the slugger, but Freeman worked it back to 3-2 (and might have gotten a call on the corner), then singled up the middle to tie the game and take away deGrom’s chance to get a win. After Torres struck out Markakis to end the inning, the Mets came to the plate looking to take a bullpen-proof lead with a walkoff win, but went down in order against Jim Johnson, and the game headed to extra innings.

Carlos Torres and Jason Grilli traded zeroes in the 10th, but Atlanta took the lead for good in the top of the 11th. Simmons led off with a single up the middle, and Juan Uribe lined one that a diving Dilson Herrera deflected but could not reel in, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Peterson laid down a poor bunt which landed just fair in front of Eric Campbell, and Campbell picked it up and fired to first for the out rather than letting it roll foul, putting runners on second and third. With Freeman on deck, Torres had to go after Maybin, who ripped a single to drive home a pair and put the Braves up 5-3.

Williams Perez came in to close things out for the Braves and quickly allowed hits to Ceciliani and Herrera. But John Mayberry‘s liner landed right in the glove of Simmons at short, and Ceciliani was unable to scramble back to the bag in time to avoid the double-play. Lagares then grounded out to end the ballgame.

juan Lagares

That would have been a great win, but after the comeback, the wheels fell off at the very last moment, and it became a pretty bitter loss.

DeGrom has been phenomenal of late, and it was great to see the Mets rally in the seventh to take him off the hook and put him in line for the win. Unfortunately, the bullpen coughed up the lead in the ninth, and so the W-L historians will say Jacob never pitched in this game.

Wilmer botched a double-play ball for the second consecutive game. However, his play in the seventh was terrific, and he’s been much better in the field since the opening weeks of the season. It’s hard to get on him too badly for that mistake, especially when he’s hitting well. But if he turns that double-play instead of mishandling the ball, the game is over right there.

Danny Muno had a bit of rough luck in this game, but he really has not looked good. He made three errors (although one was a throwing error he committed after making a fantastic play to get to the ball in the first place) and went hitless (although he did draw a walk, and was robbed of a hit at one point by Andrelton Simmons). He needs to pick it up if he wants to stay in the Majors. As does Leathersich.

Travis d’Arnaud was hailed as a great defensive catcher as he was coming through the system, but was subpar as a rookie behind the plate. He’s looked much better this season, and that’s crucial. This team can’t afford more bad defense.

Ceciliani came up big today. He was doubled off in the 11th, but that was more due to bad luck than bad judgement. He looks like he could be a solid player off the bench. I just hope the Mets don’t try to get him in the starting lineup, overexpose him, and send him spiraling into the sub-Mendoza abyss with Eric Campbell and former Met Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

There were bright spots in this game defensively for the Mets, but overall, the gloves really let the rest of the team down. Despite what some will tell you, this is not a pathetic team. This team is in first place. But unless the Mets become an offensive dynamo, they won’t win in the long run with such sloppy defense.

The Mets don’t have the deepest bullpen, and with Jeurys Familia getting the day off, that was especially the case today. The Torres’s have been underwhelming, Leathersich is not reliable, Robles is inconsistent, and Erik Goeddel just went on the Disabled List. But with Familia back in the mix, Parnell finally back (it remains to see if he can regain his old form), Vic Black apparently close, and, of course, Jenrry Mejia nearing the end of his 80-game suspension, things should hopefully turn around for the ‘pen before long.

The Mets announcers are always good for a couple good laughs a game. Ron Darling‘s speech in the sixth about how the Mets should send Flores from second on any hit whatsoever was interrupted by a hit on which Wilmer had absolutely no chance of scoring. If Ron were an MMO commenter, the replies to that comment would have come in spades.

That soul-crushing line-drive double-play thing happens to the Mets far too often. Time to see if they can inflict some heartbreak of their own in the rubber game.

Up Next: The Mets will look to win their three-game series with the Braves at 1:10 PM on Sunday Afternoon. Dillon Gee (0-3, 4.50 ERA) will face Mike Foltynewicz (3-2, 3.72 ERA) at Citi Field.

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Buster Posey Talks About Facing Syndergaard, Harvey Wed, 10 Jun 2015 18:37:02 +0000 IMG_5426

I had a chance this afternoon to visit Topps headquarters, where they introduced star Giants catcher Buster Posey.

I also had the chance to ask the 2012 MVP a question, so with last night’s no-hitter having already been discussed, I asked him about Noah Syndergaard, and what it’s like to face a pitcher for the first time.

“It can be challenging. With video, we can watch a little bit of video. But there’s nothing like stepping in the box and having that actual experience to draw from, especially when a guy is throwing 96 to 100, it’s tough to get a feel until you get in the box.”

Another reporter asked Posey about Matt Harvey, who he will face tonight:

“Great pitcher. Great stuff. Competitor, you can always get a sense of the guys that are ultra-competitive on the mound and I think he falls in that category— we have our hands full.”

Of course, most of the topics Buster discussed had nothing to do with the Mets. The event was fantastic and Buster comes across as a kind, humble, humorous man (he found it as funny as everybody else when the first card he pulled out of the pack he opened was PED-suspended Ervin Santana).

He also happens to be a phenomenal baseball player. But for the next two games, I think it’s fair to say we’d all like to see him be a little less happy at the end of the ninth inning than he was last night.

Oh, and here’s a fun anecdote: The Topps guys told all of us to grab a few free packs. The first card in one of the packs I opened? Chris Heston.

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Zero Hits and Three Takeaways From Last Night Wed, 10 Jun 2015 12:00:04 +0000 Curtis, Granderson

In case you missed it (you didn’t), The Mets got no-hit last night.

So, what to make of it?

1. It was only a matter of time.

For all the talk (Until Johan’s Pyrrhic Victory) about how the Mets had never had a no-hitter, I’ve often been shocked that, in nearly 19 years of being alive and 11 years of closely following the Mets, I’ve never seen the team fall on the short side of a no-no. Not anymore, thanks to Chris Heston, a nobody-turned-overnight-star who I shamelessly picked up in my fantasy league last night with the intention of unloading him on some sucker.

We’ve seen the Mets put up some pretty anemic performances at the plate in recent years. And yes, they’ve been close to getting shut out in the hit column before— I had to explain to my friend what a no-hitter was while watching Aaron Harang dominate the Mets into the seventh inning one cold night in April. So it always felt like a matter of time. After six innings, I wasn’t especially worried that this would be the night. After seven, I was almost certain. Weird how these things work. I’m sure Heston wasn’t sure until the final strike of the night— I doubt Johan was either, three years ago.

2. Ugly stats in home losses

The Mets haven’t lost many games at home. This was just their ninth. But when they’ve lost, it’s been bad. I’m going to go ahead and plagiarize the recap Logan Barer posted on MetsMerized Online (a FANTASTIC site, by the way, go check it out) last night:

New York has been held scoreless in five of its nine losses at Citi Field this season.

In New York’s nine home losses this year, the team has scored 12 total runs and hit .158 (45-284).

3. Hard luck for Noah

The Met offense was pathetic last night. But despite scoring four runs against Noah Syndergaard, the Giants hitters weren’t that much better against Thor (they did look better against Dillon Gee). Much of their damage was done with a dink-and-dunk offense, bombarding Noah with infield singles, broken-bat hits, and the like.

Just as Heston wasn’t quite as dominant as his now immortalized stat line suggests, Syndergaard wasn’t as bad as his line conversely.  The Mets weren’t hitting balls hard, and neither were the Giants. The Giants just put them in the right places, and played clean defense to make life easy for their own rookie starter.

Overall, a pretty lousy night to be a Met fan. But hey, they’re still in first place, and something tells me Matt Harvey will be motivated to grab the spotlight back tonight.


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Vic Black Activated From DL and Optioned To Las Vegas Sun, 07 Jun 2015 16:32:24 +0000 vic_black_1280_34sphmp6_e19wpifx

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the Mets activated reliever Vic Black from the disabled list today and simultaneously optioned him to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Black, who began the season on the DL, has missed nearly two months of the season with right shoulder tendinitis.

After a dozen uneven rehab outings,  Black had a 5.73 ERA and clearly needs to still work on some things before he can join the big league bullpen.

June 3

Vic Black continued his rehab last night, tossing a perfect inning for the Binghamton Mets against Trenton. Black reached as high as 96 MPH on the radar gun, although he did get himself into two full-count situations according to Metsmerized’s Michael Mayer.

Black has missed the entire season with a herniated disk in his neck and shoulder problems.

However, according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, Terry Collins said that neither Black nor Bobby Parnell will be rejoining the Mets on their current West Coast trip. Both fireballers will have minor-league eligibility until the middle of the month.

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Morning Grind: Juan’s Cannon Out Of Commission Sat, 06 Jun 2015 12:00:19 +0000 Chicago Cubs v New York Mets

Juan Lagares still has the speed, range, instincts, coordination, and fearlessness that made him a Gold Glover in Center Field last year. But one tool is absent: his arm.

After missing the end of last season with an elbow injury, Juan’s rocket of an arm has ranged from decent to weak over the first two months of the 2015 campaign, and it really looked flat on a sacrifice fly that scored Arizona’s sixth run in the eighth inning last night.

I’m not willing to believe that Juan’s arm is done for good. 26 year-olds don’t suddenly forget how to throw the ball hard. But his cannon is certainly out of commission right now, and it needs repairs. I wondered last night whether he needs Tommy John Surgery— it’s uncommon for a position player, but not unheard of, and based on his play and the comments made by him and his manager this year, Lagares’ elbow injury is clearly something that didn’t just “heal with time”— and it was probably never going to.

Lagares should have gotten his elbow fixed this winter. He didn’t, so it’s useless to play the “shoulda coulda woulda” game— if we did that with the Mets, it’d take hours before we got to Juan’s elbow anyway. But he clearly needs something, be it Tommy John or some other procedure.

Should he get it fixed now? It’s a tough question. The Mets are currently slammed with injuries, and would probably be hesitant to lose Lagares if they could avoid it. Can they avoid it? Lagares is still a big “plus” in center even with his (hopefully) temporarily damaged arm, but, while he has been a bit better at the plate lately, he has mostly been a non-factor at the dish after a strong first couple of weeks.

If there is a risk of further injury, the Mets should of course address the situation now. If not, they might be better off letting Juan play in his compromised state, taking his terrific skills as a ball-hawk in center and hoping he can provide a bit more with the bat (he hasn’t been atrocious). The team is shorthanded as is.

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MMO Game Recap: Diamondbacks 7, Mets 2 Sat, 06 Jun 2015 04:40:33 +0000 Michael, Cuddyer

The Mets (30-26) fell 7-2 to the Diamondbacks (26-28) on Friday night in Arizona.

Jon Niese pitched for the Mets and finally turned in a solid outing, pitching six innings of three-run ball, allowing six hits and walking one while striking out eight.

The Mets grabbed an early lead when Michael Cuddyer took Jeremy Hellickson deep for a solo shot in the top of the second. But Arizona answered back in the bottom of the third, scoring when, with a runner on third, AJ Pollock lined one up the middle which Niese put his glove on but could not reel in.

The Mets took the lead again in the top of the fourth on hits from Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares, and Eric Campbell (Soup’s first in 18 days), but could not capitalize further after grabbing the 2-1 edge.

The Diamondbacks tied it up and then took the lead for good against Niese in the bottom of the sixth. After Pollock doubled, Paul Goldschmidt hit an RBI single to make it 2-2. Yasmany Tomás came up next and hit one to left that took a funny carom in the corner and skittered away from Cuddyer. Cuddyer unleashed an absolute rocket of a throw to the plate, but Goldschmidt slid in just ahead of the tag to give the D-Backs a 3-2 lead.

The Mets failed to respond against Arizona’s bullpen, and the hosts put the game away in the bottom of the eighth. Carlos Torres, pitching his second inning of relief, allowed a triple (Curtis Granderson nearly made an incredible play, but could not finish the catch), a double, and an intentional walk, before Jack Leathersich entered facing a 4-2 deficit and a tough jam. The Diamondbacks pulled off a double-steal to put runners on second and third, and Leathersich issued a walk to load the bases with still nobody out in the inning. Erik Goeddel came in and surrendered a single to Aaron Hill to make it 5-2, and then a sacrifice fly that plated Arizona’s sixth run as Goldschmidt trotted home from third against Lagares’ damaged arm. After a wild pitch made it 7-2, the Mets finally got out of the inning before going quietly into the night (early morning on the East Coast) in the ninth.

 jon Niese

Well, Niese wasn’t terrible. Heck, he was good. That’s good for him. And the team. And his trade value. But it didn’t do us much good tonight.

The bullpen was horrendous in the eighth inning. The Met bullpens of recent years have made a habit of turning small deficits into huge gaps in the late innings, taking away their chance to stage a comeback. They haven’t done it too much this season, but tonight was a harsh example.

I can’t stand the outfield in Arizona’s stadium. It’s too big, and there are so many crazy angles. It’s like the original Citi Field with a swimming pool. Cuddyer got a bad break with that bounce on Tomás’ double. But the throw he made to the plate was incredible, and if he had been able to get to the ball a half-second earlier, he would have nailed Goldschmidt and been credited with one of the best defensive plays of the year. Granderson’s arm has proven to be weak (as has Lagares’, but stay tuned for a post on that early Saturday morning), so I really don’t see why Cuddy isn’t playing Right Field at this point.

Eric Campbell snapped his 28-at-bat hitless streak, but started a different one— his RBI single in the fourth was the team’s final hit of the game.

The Diamondbacks have a lot more firepower in their offense than the Mets. I can deal with that when we’re facing the MLB’s powerhouses, but this is a sub-500 team. It’s frustrating to see them sporting a lineup so much deeper than ours. Goldschmidt is obviously incredible, Tomás can hit… the guy I had no idea about until this series was Pollock, who has looked phenomenal.

The Mets have had some awesome nights at Chase Field. Friday wasn’t one of them.

Up Next: The Mets will continue their series with the Diamondbacks on Saturday night in Arizona. Bartolo Colon (8-3, 4.72 ERA) will face Chase Anderson (1-1, 3.26 ERA) at 10:10 PM.


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Morning Grind: Trade Winds Blowing? Thu, 04 Jun 2015 12:00:27 +0000 sandy-alderson

The MLB Draft is just a few days away, so one might expect front office executives to currently be focusing their attention on the top college and high school players in the nation. But yesterday, the first real trade of the 2015 season went down out West, where Seattle acquired slugger Mark Trumbo from Arizona in a six-player deal.

Is it trade season? It is never too early to make a trade. It is never too late— until July 31, shortly before which there is always a flurry of activity. But teams rarely strike notable deals early in the season, preferring to wait until July or at least June to make moves. Somebody has to break the ice. The Mariners and Diamondbacks broke the ice yesterday, and teams might now feel ready to kick down the door and start patching up the holes they have identified in their organization thus far.

Injuries, poor performances, and pre-existing holes have combined to create some serious needs on the Mets’ roster, especially on offense. This team is in contention, but has been trending down since a red-hot start to the year. If Sandy Alderson & Co. are serious about playing meaningful baseball this fall, the time to act is not July 31. It is now.

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MMO Game Recap: Padres 7, Mets 3 Thu, 04 Jun 2015 04:25:36 +0000 dillon gee

The Mets (29-25) fell 7-3 to the Padres (27-28) on Wednesday night in San Diego.

Dillon Gee fired blanks in his return from the Disabled List, allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk in four innings, striking out one.

The Mets had their chances against James Shields, but didn’t take advantage. After New York squandered a pair of baserunners in the top of the first, San Diego scored a pair in the home half against Gee on a Ruben Tejada error, a walk, a single, a hit batsman, and a sacrifice fly. The Mets again failed to score in the second when Darrell Ceciliani hit a ground-rule double leading off the frame, but was thrown out trying to tag up on the next play.

Gee danced around Tejada’s second error in the third inning, but the Friars got three hits in the fourth to plate a pair and take a 4-0 lead. Three more hits and some sloppy defense (including an error on Gee) led to three more runs in the fifth, and Gee was pulled before getting an out in the inning, ending his streak of 51 straight starts going at least 5 innings.

After Jack Leathersich came in and cleaned up Gee’s mess, the Mets got on the board in the next inning with a double from Ruben Tejada, cutting the Padre lead to 7-1. New York could have made a larger dent in the deficit, but Daniel Murphy hit into a double-play with runners on the corners to shield James from further damage.

Erik Goeddel tossed a scoreless bottom of the sixth, and the Mets clawed back for another run in the top of the seventh on an RBI single from Anthony Recker. But once again, a double-play killed the visitors’ chances of making things close— this time the culprit was the ice-cold Eric Campbell.

Sean Gilmartin cruised through the seventh for the first of his two perfect innings of work, but the Mets once again wasted bullets baserunners in the top of the eighth, forcing them to face superstar closer Craig Kimbrel needing five runs in the ninth.

New York actually made things interesting against Kimbrel. After Kimbrel got two quick outs, Anthony Recker lined one that somehow found its way past an erring Will Middlebrooks, and Kevin Plawecki doubled him home. Curtis Granderson walked, and Ruben Tejada singled to load the bases and bring Lucas Duda to the plate as the tying run. Duda watched two pitches well out of the zone, but Kimbrel got two borderline calls to even the count, and then got Duda to ground out to end the ballgame.

 ruben tejada

Well, that was a lousy game, but it got a bit exciting at the end. I thought the umpire kind of screwed Duda there with those calls on 2-0 and 2-1, and prevented Kimbrel from needing to throw a meatball later in the at-bat. Oh well.

Tejada had a rough day in the field, but he really has been terrific at the plate lately. Who saw that coming?

Gee had some bad luck tonight, but he also looked pretty awful. I’m sure Joe and the rest of his MMO army will have some more fleshed-out thoughts about Gee, the six-man rotation, Matz, etc. coming up for you tomorrow (or later today, if you’re reading this in the morning like a sane person who went to bed before the 27th out), but for now, I’ll say that if the Mets are going to do this, they better be confident they have six pitchers who can (and will) pitch like major leaguers.

This team really has not been good on the road this season. It’s not like they have a raucous crowd which provides a massive home-field advantage, or a team perfectly tailored to their home ballpark. So it’s hard to say why this is the case. But it needs to change.

I’m not sure why, but the Mets have always looked good against Kimbrel. Now if we can hit the many, many far inferior pitchers who throw more than one inning a game, we should be in good shape.

Up Next: The Mets will begin a four-game set against the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Thursday night at Chase Field. Matt Harvey (5-3, 3.11 ERA) will return to the scene of his MLB debut and face Jeremy Hellickson (3-3, 5.08 ERA).



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Morning Grind: ASG Voting Shows Mets’ Lack of Star Power Wed, 03 Jun 2015 13:00:07 +0000 lucas duda

The Mets are hanging tough with the Nationals at the top of the division after two months of play. But unlike the last Mets team to win the NL East (2006), this year’s team doesn’t feature elite position players anywhere on the diamond. It’s not a coincidence that, while the ’06 Mets accounted for half of the National League’s starting lineup in that year’s All-Star game, the second round of balloting returns on Tuesday revealed that the Mets will certainly be absent from the starting nine this time around.

The 2006 Mets sent David Wright, José Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Paul Lo Duca to the game in Pittsburgh, along with pitchers Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez. With one month to go before the ballots close for this year’s game, Wright is the only Met in the top 5 in voting at his position— he would almost certainly miss the game even if he did somehow get voted in. Lucas Duda, who has had a very solid year, isn’t in the conversation. Neither is Wilmer Flores or the red-hot Daniel Murphy, who got off to a slow start this year after being the Mets’ lone representative at the game in 2014.

Every team is guaranteed one All-Star, and the Mets will undoubtedly be sending a pitcher, with at least one of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Jeurys Familia getting the nod. But the fact that a New York team can’t get any of their guys into the ASG discussion is indicative of something that has been the case for a long time: this team doesn’t have stars. Beltran is gone, Reyes is gone, Carlos Delgado is gone, Wright is injured, and attempts to add stars in Free Agency (Curtis Granderson, Jason Bay) have fallen flat.

You don’t need a ton of big names on paper to be a good team— the Royals proved that last October and the Mets have had a nice season thus far with their current roster. But with the possible exception of Duda, the Mets don’t have impact players on offense— guys who can turn the game on its head, guys who strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers, guys who can truly be called “stars.”

The Mets have some trade chips, they have a shot to play postseason baseball, they claim to have some money to spend, they have clear needs, and they have the busiest trade period of the baseball season coming up in about a month. Let’s see if Sandy Alderson makes a move and gets a hitter that Mets fans can flock to the ballpark to see.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 7, Padres 0 Tue, 02 Jun 2015 04:42:29 +0000  deGrom Jacob

The Mets (29-23) beat the Padres (25-28) 7-0 on Monday night in San Diego, moving back into a tie for first place.

The Mets’ bats weren’t scared off by the 10 PM start time, getting off to a fast start in the opener of their West Coast swing. New York plated two in the top of the first when Ruben Tejada doubled, Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores singled, and Will Middlebrooks made a throwing error. After Padres hurler Andrew Cashner struck out the side in the second (he fanned 12 in just 4.2 innings), the Mets threatened but failed to add on in the third (squandering two more hits from Ruben and Murph) and the fourth (squandering a triple from Juan Lagares.

New York provided some breathing room in the fifth, when Tejada singled and Murphy homered to make it 4-0 before a double from Michael Cuddyer, a single and a steal from Darrell Ceciliani, and a base-hit from Juan put the Mets up 6-0 and chased Cashner. The visitors would score one more time in the sixth on a double by Murphy and a single from Flores.

Jacob deGrom, pitching on the third anniversary of Johan Santana‘s no-hitter, turned in a gem. Jacob was perfect through five and was on cruise control all-night. The righty tossed eight scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking none while allowing just two hits. DeGrom appeared to suffer some hip discomfort in the fifth inning, but seemingly shook it off and kept on going. He did not allow a baserunner until the sixth.

Sean Gilmartin, pitching in a 7-0 romp for the second straight time, closed things out easily to snap the Mets’ 7-game losing streak on the road and wrap up deGrom’s sixth win of the campaign.

Murphy Daniel

That was a nice start to the series. An easy, convincing win in which they had the lead from the get-go. The Mets looked bad on the road against Chicago and Pittsburgh, and West Coast trips can be big for a team’s momentum, so it would be big for them to get some wins this week.

DeGrom was absolutely terrific once again. This team has some serious pitching.

The Mets are striking out too much at the plate. But hey, you can’t complain about seven runs. Ruben Tejada has been raking lately, and Daniel Murphy has really turned his season around. Michael Cuddyer is coming around as well, and Juan Lagares had two nice hits today in his quest to escape his slump. Wilmer has been getting things done as well. And this all came without our hottest hitter— Lucas Duda was on the bench tonight. To top things off, Sandy Alderson told me he expects to add another All-Star bat at the deadline, but I think he was referring to the team getting David Wright back.

Speaking of the Captain, he’s expected to visit the team tomorrow as they continue their San Diego set. Let’s see if the team can treat him to another victory.

Up next: The Mets will face the Padres again on Tuesday at 10:10 PM. Noah Syndergaard (2-2, 1.82 ERA) will face Ian Kennedy (2-5, 7.15 ERA) at PETCO Park.

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Morning Grind: Mayberry Has Been A Disaster Mon, 01 Jun 2015 11:00:49 +0000 john mayberry

On the bright side, John Mayberry only struck out once yesterday.

After Mayberry went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .140 in Sunday’s series finale against the Marlins, Joe D asked me to dig up Mayberry’s splits. I did, but quickly found that there’s no way to spin it. Mayberry has been BAD.

mmo feature original footerMayberry has been bad against lefties. He’s been bad against righties. He’s been bad as a starter. He’s been bad off the bench. He’s been bad in the day. He’s been bad at night. He’s been bad at home. He’s been bad on the road. Two of his seven hits have come on the first pitch, so maybe he’s been better (less bad?) when he’s been a bit more aggressive. But overall, this season has been a catastrophe for Mayberry.

So why was Mayberry — signed to provide an offensive boost against southpaws — in the lineup yesterday against the righty David Phelps? Who knows. Maybe Terry Collins had to “get him going.”

Maybe Collins thought Phelps’ finesse style (this is a nice way of saying he can’t throw very hard) would allow Mayberry to catch up to a ball and send it out of the ballpark. Maybe somebody else just needed a day off. But it was certainly a peculiar move, and it clearly didn’t pay off (although Mayberry did make a nice diving catch to rob Dee Gordon of a single early in the game).

What are the Mets to do with Mayberry? He clearly isn’t performing well enough to earn starts. In theory, he should be a serviceable bat against lefties off the bench, but he isn’t performing in that role either.

His value has been reduced further by Lucas Duda‘s success against lefties. Mayberry’s role on the team isn’t too big, but the Mets need all hands on deck, and considering how weak their bench is, Mayberry will have to start carrying his weight at some point. He has to turn it around. And unfortunately, that’s hard to do when you’re usually just sitting on a bench all game — you need to hit to play, but you need to play to hit.

With the Mets ready to implement their innovative four man bench again – actually three in theory because one is the backup catcher – Mayberry is now one third of the Mets offense off the bench.

Mayberry’s struggles are disappointing and a bit surprising considering how good he looked in Spring Training. But hey, so did Chris Young.

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MMO Game Recap: Marlins 9, Mets 5 Sun, 31 May 2015 00:01:28 +0000 hansel robles

The Mets (27-23) fell 9-5 to the Marlins (20-30) on Saturday evening at Citi Field.

Jon Niese pitched for the Mets and continued his string of rough outings. The lefty allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in four innings, striking out three and walking none.

The Mets grabbed an early lead against Tom Koehler in the bottom of the first when the red-hot Lucas Duda hit an RBI double, but after a walk to the next hitter loaded the bases with no outs, New York could not capitalize further.

Miami struck back in the next inning when Donovan Solano doubled in a pair (one of the runs was unearned thanks to a throwing error by Wilmer Flores), and tacked on another run in the top of the third when Giancarlo Stanton went deep. JT Realmuto hit a two-run shot in the top of the fourth to put the Fish up 5-1 and seemingly put the game out of reach.

But the unreliable Mets offense came to play in the bottom of the fifth, scoring four runs to tie up the game. Curtis Granderson hit an RBI single before Ruben Tejada drove in three with a bases-clearing double that made it 5-5.

Erik Goeddel replaced Niese in the top of the fifth and got five outs before departing for Jack Leathersich with two outs and a runner on third in the sixth. The rookie kept the run off the board by striking out Ichiro Suzuki (not a typo).

New York put runners on the corners with one out in the home half of the sixth, but failed to cash in. Miami took the lead for good in the top of the seventh against Hansel Robles. After loading the bases to start the inning, Robles got two big outs, but Christian Yelich knocked in two with a single to give the Marlins a 7-5 advantage.

Alex Torres pitched a scoreless eighth, but allowed back-to-back solo shots in the ninth to Giancarlo Stanton (who hit the longest home run in the history of Citi Field) and Jeff Baker. The Mets could not get anything going at the plate in the final innings, and dropped their second straight to the Marlins.

ruben tejada

Niese is not a bad pitcher. He’s been good the last three seasons, and in 2014 put up a 3.40 ERA with nearly 200 innings and 200 strikeouts. He got off to a pretty solid start this year (although he was often working in and out of trouble while putting up all those scoreless innings). But the wheels have really fallen off lately. He really needs to bounce back in his next start, because Steven Matz is breathing down his neck (not literally, of course. That would show really “bad makeup” on Steven’s part).

Duda is red-hot, and provided another extra-base hit in this game. But the Mets’ failure to score after loading the bases with no outs cost them a chance to really knock Koehler off his feet right out of the gate.

Ruben Tejada showing up on offense is always worthy of a sentence.

Giancarlo Stanton is an absolute monster against the Mets. And against the other 28 teams he faces, but I don’t really care about those.

This homestand got off to a great start with the sweep of the Phillies, but with today’s loss, the Mets clinched a loss in their set with Miami. Let’s see if they can salvage one game tomorrow.

Up Next: The Mets will face the Marlins at 1:10 on Sunday. Bartolo Colon (7-3, 4.82 ERA) will face David Phelps (2-2, 3.56 ERA) at Citi Field.

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