Mets Merized Online » Tommy Rothman Fri, 28 Nov 2014 15:41:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MMO Mailbag: Boston’s Mookie Betts Instead Of Yoenis Cespedes? Fri, 10 Oct 2014 11:00:03 +0000 mookie betts aaa

Gabriel asks…

What would it take to acquire Mookie Betts from Boston? I like the idea of getting him much more than the Mets going for Yoenis Cespedes. For a kid his size (5’9″, 155 lbs), there’s a lot of power there while he has room to fill out, and he would fill a need for the Mets out of the leadoff spot.

Tommy replies…

Betts is a very solid prospect, although not an elite prospect. He plays second base, although the Red Sox have tried turning him into an outfielder to accommodate Dustin Pedroia. Betts was called up in June and hit .291/.368/.444 with 5 homers in 52 games.

What would it take for the Mets to get him? I’m not sure. Probably a nice pitching prospect, or maybe a “real” pitcher. I’m not sure if Jon Niese would be too much. Probably not. Rafael Montero plus another good but lesser prospect might do it. But these days, hitters and hitting prospects, are very expensive in trades, which is why we have been hearing about the Mets needing to give up multiple premium prospects for shortstop prospects who aren’t all that impressive… So I’m inclined to say Mookie would be expensive, too expensive for him to be worth it.

But more importantly, I don’t think it’s a move the Mets should make. They have Murphy. They have Flores. They have Herrera. If they’re going to be dealing pitching (which is the likely outcome in such a trade), they should be filling holes, not adding to their cluster at 2nd base. I don’t think Betts is the guy. If we’re trading our pitching prospects and our pitchers, we should be bringing in established bats.

Cespedes, on the other hand, brings big power and gives us a solid player in left field, which is something we do not have right now. He only has 1 year on his contract, which makes it a risky trade, but also makes him cheaper to acquire. And once the Wilpons bring in a guy like that, you can bet the pressure will be on to pony up and keep him around if he performs.

I suppose if the Mets wanted to get fancy, they could swap 2B for 2B, since Murphy makes much more than Betts and every dollar matters in terms of patching up this team’s holes, but I’m not sure that works for either team… again, the Red Sox are completely set at 2B themselves.

These two teams match up in some areas, but both teams have a logjam at 2nd base, so neither team is well-suited to clear up the other club’s logjam.

ask mmo 2

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 2, Astros 1 Sun, 28 Sep 2014 03:14:46 +0000 Lucas Duda reacts after hitting a walk-off home run in the 9th inning. Photo credit: Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

The Mets (78-83) beat the Astros (70-91) by a score of 2-1 on Saturday night at Citi Field.

Rafael Montero got the start for the Mets and pitched well, giving up 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks in 5.1 innings, striking out 6 and throwing 91 pitches. Montero will finish his debut campaign with a 4.06 ERA in 44.1 innings pitched. Rafa will still be eligible for “Rookie Status” in the 2015 season. Also, if he’s good, we’re totally calling him Rafa. ¡Vamos Rafa!

The Mets struggled on offense for most of the game, tallying just 2 hits and a walk through the first 8 innings against Houston starter Samuel Deduno and the Astros’ relievers. New York almost scratched out a run in the bottom of the 2nd, when a 2-out error (which should have been scored a hit for Wilmer Flores) and a walk put a couple men on for Ruben Tejada. Ruben hit one up the middle which was knocked down just past the edge of the infield by a diving Marwin Gonzalez, who had no chance to get Tejada at first. However, with an 0-for-ever Rafael Montero “looming” on deck, Flores decided to push the envelope and break for the plate. Gonzalez popped up and fired home, beating Wilmer to the plate by a mile to end the inning.

Montero worked around a 1-out double in the next half-inning from his counterpart Deduno, which was ironically the Houston starter’s first career hit. Montero again got himself into trouble in the top of the 4th when a hit and a pair of 2-out walks loaded the bases, but the 23 year-old fanned Jake Marisnick to escape the jam.

The Astros finally broke through for the game’s first run in the top of the sixth. After Dexter Fowler‘s slow roller down the third-base line disappointed Daniel Murphy by staying fair, Jason Castro hit a double to the wall in right-field which allowed Fowler— who had been running on the pitch— to practically jog home. The double ended Montero’s outing and season, as Terry Collins brought in Buddy Carlyle to limit the damage to one run. Carlyle gave up a base-hit to Gonzalez, but Castro held up at third, and would be stranded there as Carlyle got Matt Dominguez to line out to Flores before Marisnick once again whiffed to end a scoring threat.

Matt den Dekker doubled with 1-out in the bottom of the sixth against Jake Buchanan and moved to third on a ground-out from Eric Young, prompting Houston skipper Tom Lawless (which would totally be my prison name) to bring in reliever Kevin Chapman to face Daniel Murphy. Murphy hit one towards the right side which seemed destined to tie the game, but a diving Chris Carter snared it and flipped it to first to retire the side and keep the Mets off the board.

After Carlyle got the side in order for an easy top of the 7th, Jeurys Familia worked a perfect inning of his own in the top of the 8th. Jenrry Mejia came in for the top of the 9th and went untouched as well, capping off a solid group effort from the Mets’ bullpen.

Jose Veras did his job and got the ball to Tony Sipp, who was tasked with preserving a 1-run lead in the bottom of the 9th. Sipp got Eric Campbell to fly out, but then surrendered a triple to Young to put the tying run 90 feet away. After Daniel Murphy’s soft floater to left field failed to travel far enough to give Young a chance to come home, Lucas Duda stepped to the plate with the Mets  down to their final out. Duda got ahold of Sipp’s 1-0 fastball and sent a screaming liner off the foul pole in right, giving the Mets a 2-1 victory with his 29th home run of the season.

 rafael montero

Well, it might have been meaningless, but that sure was a fun ending. 1 out away from losing, the Mets got a homer from their biggest slugger and snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat. And maybe it wasn’t so meaningless. The victory keeps the Mets ahead of the Marlins and tied with the Braves (against whom they won the season series) for 2nd place in the NL East and the 7th best record in the National League. We’re technically hurting our draft pick, but we won’t have a protected pick, and we’re not going to be signing a “Qualified” free agent anyway, so that’s not too important. Finishing 2nd would be nice, given that very few have viewed the Mets as being better than the Braves in the last few years.

Montero had a nice ending to what was a decent— albeit slightly disappointing– introduction to the Major Leagues. He’ll still be considered a Rookie next season, so to say he was a “complete bust of a rookie” would be false in more ways than one. Whether he will be groomed as a starter for a bit down in Triple-A, join the Major League bullpen, or be moved in a trade remains to be seen, but Rafael definitely showed some potential, which is all that is fair to ask from a 23 year-old.

Duda got to 29, and he has a chance to make it a round 30 in the season finale tomorrow. I’m really hoping he gets there just for entertainment’s sake, but of course, it’s just one home run either way.

I don’t have a problem with what Flores did. You have the pitcher on deck. You’ve already gotten set to charge home with the expectation that the ball is headed through the hole. Runs have been hard to come by. The shortstop needs to have the presence of mind to make the throw quickly, and the throw needs to be on target. The catcher needs to catch the ball perfectly. Heck, with this new rule about blocking the plate, you might get a run even if everything goes wrong. It was frustrating, but it was a justifiable decision given the context. That being said… boy, Flores and Tejada are SLOW.

lucas duda calebration

This was my last recap in my first full season at MMO. It’s been great writing for you guys this year and I can’t wait to get started with some offseason articles, including—what else?— season recap pieces.

Up Next: The Mets will wrap up their season on Sunday afternoon against Houston. Bartolo Colon (14-13, 4.08 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets, while Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.78 ERA) will pitch for Houston.

Hopefully we finish strong tomorrow. LGM!

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 14, Reds 5 Sat, 06 Sep 2014 03:55:29 +0000 Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.50.49 PM dilson herrera

The Mets (67-74) crushed the Reds (66-75) by a score of 14-5 on Friday night in Cincinnati.

Bartolo Colon got the start for the Mets and pitched well, going 7 innings and giving up 2 runs on 7 hits and a walk, striking out 2 and throwing 85 pitches. Bartolo didn’t have his best stuff (not that his best stuff is that electric), but got the big outs when he needed them.

The Mets got on the board quickly, striking against Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon in the top of the first. Matt den Dekker worked a walk, took third on a base hit by David Wright (who then stole second), and scored on a single from Travis d’Arnaud. Curtis Granderson doubled to drive in Wright and make it 2-0 Mets, although the Mets missed a chance to do some massive early damage when Dilson Herrera flew out with 2 men in scoring position to end the inning.

Todd Frazier lined one into left-center with 1 out in the bottom of the first, but Juan Lagares made a great play to cut it off before it went into the gap, and Frazier, who was foolish enough to challenge Juan’s arm, was gunned down trying to stretch a single into a double. The next batter, Devin Mesoraco, hit one over the left-field wall for a solo shot (which would have been a 2-run shot if not for Lagares) to cut the Mets’ lead to 2-1.

Wilmer Flores led off the top of the 2nd with a double, and Bartolo Colon grounded one to shortstop Ramon Santiago who decided to go to third with the ball. Flores was called out, but after video review, it was determined that he had avoided the tag, and the Mets had men on the corners with no outs. Lagares grounded one to Frazier, who fired it home to nab Flores for the 1st out as Colon moved to 2nd. After den Dekker whiffed, Wright singled to load the bases (Colon held up at third, leaving unanswered the question of how large of a lane a catcher would be required to give on a play at the plate involving Bartolo). Lucas Duda then walked to force in Bartolo, who barely crossed the plate in time to beat the first pitch to the next batter (Travis d’Arnaud, who grounded out to end the inning).

After Herrera was unable to reel in a tough blooper hit well over his head by Brandon Phillips, Brayan Pena singled to put runners on first and 3rd as Phillips ran freely on Granderson’s weak arm to take the extra base. Jason Bourgeois grounded one back to Colon, who misplayed the ball. Bourgeois scored on the error as Phillips came in to score (they called it an earned run, which was probably the wrong decision, but you can’t really complain when the error was made by the pitcher). After a line-out and a sacrifice bunt, Colon escaped further damage by retiring Billy Hamilton to strand 2 men in scoring position.

Herrera singled in the top of the 3rd and advanced to 2nd when Frazier threw the ball away, but the Mets were unable to get him in. Frazier singled in the bottom of the frame, but then made yet another blunder, breaking for 2nd with Colon still on the mound. Colon stepped off, wheeled around, and fired to the bag to get Frazier and end the inning.

Lagares led off the top of the 4th with a single and moved to 2nd on a groundout by MDD. After Wright struck out, Simon intentionally walked Duda to pitch to d’Arnaud, who made him pay. Travis busted one (pun sarcastically and gloatingly intended) into the left-field seats to put New York up 6-2.

JJ Hoover came in to relieve Simon and pitch the top of the 5th for Cincy, but didn’t end up providing much relief, serving up a meatball to Wilmer Flores, who crushed it out to left for his 3rd homer of the season.

Ryan Dennick came out to the mound for the Reds to try his hand in the top of the 6th, and made a terrific play to retire den Dekker on a bunt attempt before allowing a single to Wright. Duda popped out, and d’Arnaud lined a single into center, bringing Granderson to the plate with 2 men on and 2 out. Curtis got a pitch to hit on 3-1 and got all of hit, sending it over the wall in right for his 17th dinger of the year. Herrera singled for his 2nd hit of the game, but Flores flew out against Logan Ondrusek to end the inning.

Colon cruised through the bottom of the 6th and led off the top of the 7th at the plate, striking out against Ondrusek (remarkably his first strikeout of the game, in his 4th at-bat). Ondrusek then retired Lagares before walking den Dekker, who scored when Wright doubled for his 4th hit of the ballgame to make it 11-2 Mets.

Dilson Herrera led off the top of the 8th in style against Daniel Corcino, lining one into the stands in left field for his 2nd career home run and his 3rd hit of the game.

Buddy Carlyle came in for Colon to pitch the bottom of the 8th and was greeted rudely by Frazier, who hit a home run over the fence in center, just out of Juan’s reach.

After pinch-hitter Josh Satin was drilled by Corcino to start the top of the 9th, Duda got ahold of one and crushed it to center for his 27th home run of the campaign, putting New York up 14-3. The Mets got a couple more baserunners when Juan Centeno got a pinch-hit single and Herrera walked, but did not add any more runs to their season-high tally of 14.

Erik Goeddel (I don’t know who that is either) came in to pitch the bottom of the 9th for the Mets and was a bit shaky. Chris Heisey led off the frame with a pinch-hit single. After Bourgeois lined out to center, Santiago singled on a blooper which Dilson should have caught, putting runners on 1st and 2nd. A wild pitch (which should have been scored a passed ball against Centeno) moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd, and Jack Hannahan brought them both in with a single to make the score 14-5 New York.However, Goeddel bounced back and fanned Hamilton for his first career strikeout, before getting Frazier to pop out to end the ballgame.

curtis granderson lucas duda

Well, that was fun. Granderson homered, Dilson Homered, Travis homered, Wilmer homered, Duda homered, Wright was great, Colon was good AND SCORED A RUN, and Lagares did something cool. A pretty solid all-around game if you ask me!

Seriously, the Mets would be more fun to watch, and in my opinion, better, if they played in a hitter-friendly park (or maybe even a neutral one). The Mets’ pitching is better than their hitting. So if their home ballpark is going to give a handicap to one group, shouldn’t that group be the offense?

Dilson is doing pretty well for himself considering he’s just 20 years old. He needs to become more polished in the field, and he’s not a finished product at the plate, but there have been some encouraging signs from him so far. Should the Mets try to find both him and Murphy a spot in the lineup next year? Should they trade Murphy (it better be for a good hitter)? Should they let Dilson hone his skills for a bit in Triple A? Should they put Dilson in a package for an established, game-changing bat? I’m not sure, and the Mets will have to deal with these questions in the offseason. But it’s hard to complain about the “Dilson Experiment” so far.

Wright has been picking things up of late, and had 4  hits tonight. According to Gary Cohen, he has never had 5 hits in a game, despite reaching 4 on 20 different occasions. With that being the case, I would have liked to see Terry Collins leave David in there for his 5th at-bat. Milestones aside, David should not be taken out of a game in which he is playing well, especially given that he needs to finish the season strong (if for nothing more than the organization’s peace of mind).

Lucas is closing in on 30, and it’d be nice to see him get to that benchmark. He’s done nearly all of it against righties. Given his struggles against lefties, should the Mets try to find a righty to platoon with him next year, or should they let him try to figure it out and keep him in the lineup (and presumably in rhythm every day? I’d lean towards the latter, especially since there aren’t many quality right-handed 1st basemen available (and we have Eric Campbell).

The Mets are swinging the bats well lately. Hopefully they keep it up as we head into the home stretch of the 2014 season.

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MMO Exclusive: Dillon Gee Discusses Pitching, Outfield Defense, Having A Solid Bullpen Mon, 25 Aug 2014 19:28:19 +0000 dillon gee

A couple weeks ago, I reached out to Mets pitcher Dillon Gee for an interview, and Dillon was kind enough to let me do an online Q&A with him. Gee had the 7th-lowest ERA in baseball from the end of May 2013 to the time at which he was placed on the DL in May 2014. The righty missed a couple months, but is now back in action and starting to round back into form. Check out what Dillon had to say!

Tommy Rothman, MetsMerized Online: How did you get started playing baseball? What made you fall in love with the game?

Dillon Gee, New York Mets: I have an older brother that played, and I just always wanted to do whatever he did. Not sure [if it was] one thing that made me fall in love, [I] just have always loved playing!!

Tommy: What’s it like to be a member of the New York Mets?

Dillon: It’s awesome. The Mets are a great organization and treat you like family. The future is bright here.

Tommy: You got off to a nice start as a Met, but in July of 2012 a season-ending, career-threatening and potentially life-threatening blood clot was discovered in your right shoulder. What were the 9 months between your diagnosis and your return to the MLB like? Baseball is obviously such a huge part of your life; how did it feel not knowing for sure whether you would ever throw another pitch? Please tell us a bit about that period in your life.

Dillon: It’s a scary feeling not knowing how you will bounce back from an injury. Especially one as weird as that was. But instead of fretting about it, I decided all I could control was my attitude about it and how hard I would work to come back strong. Everything else just happens.

Tommy: Fortunately, you were able to return to the mound for the 2013 season. However, you struggled early in the year and as the month of May drew to a close with Zack Wheeler‘s MLB debut, there was a lot of speculation about whether your spot in the rotation was secure. On May 30th, in Yankee Stadium (the last place a pitcher wants to be), you threw a gem, and since that point, there is no way around it: you have statistically been one of the very best pitchers in baseball. What do you think was responsible for the turnaround? Is there something you started doing differently? Or was it just a matter of needing some time to regain your form after the surgery?

Dillon: I think it took me a while to find myself after being out so long. That night in Yankee Stadium I was aggressive and challenged hitters with all my pitches. That’s my game, and even though I still forget that sometimes, I have maintained that for the most part during that good stretch.

Tommy: What’s your gameday routine like, when you are the starting pitcher that day? Walk us through a “#GeeDay”.

Dillon: Wake up and have some breakfast. Go walk around and get the body going for an hour or so. Then maybe take a little nap before lunch. Head to the park about 3-3:30. Try and relax and really not think about much. PB&J at 5 then start getting ready about 5:45. Head out to the bullpen at 6:35.

Tommy: Let’s talk about the Captain. David Wright may not be having an “amazing” season so far, but most hitters in baseball would still gladly take the numbers he has right now. When David is raking, his contributions are obvious. But of course, David has responsibilities other than driving in runs. What kind of impact does he have on the rest of the team, apart from his tangible production?

Dillon: David does a great job of leading by example. He shows people what it’s like to prepare like a professional.

Tommy: MLB Pitchers don’t tend to do very well at the plate. But in the National League, they make you guys hit anyway. With the exception of bunting practice, do you spend any time practicing what to do with the bat in your hands? Or do you just go out there and try to get the bat on the ball, and keep all of your focus on what you do on the mound?

Dillon: We try to take BP when we are at home the days you’re not pitching. But it’s still tough to get ready for live big league pitching. Hitting against live pitching once every five days is very hard.

Tommy: Another thing pitchers tend to have trouble with is throwing to the bases when a ball is put in play. Obviously, your career depends on your ability to throw a ball at high speeds and with a lot of movement into a very small “strike zone”, and most pitchers don’t have a problem with this. But when asked to make the more relaxed throw to a bigger target at 1st base (or any other base), pitchers often struggle. Why is that? Is it just psychological?

Dillon: I think sometimes guys are just used to throwing at 90-100% down the mound. All [of a] sudden you get a comebacker and just need to toss it, [we] ease up and arm angles change. You see the same thing with intentional base on balls. A lot is mental too. If you mess one up, then the next time, that’s what you think about.

Tommy: A lot of fans don’t understand the role of coaches in baseball. For instance, some people might wonder how Dan Warthen can give advice to a pitcher who is already at the top of his profession. Granted, Warthen was a major league pitcher for couple years, but he was no Johan Santana, or Matt Harvey, or Dillon Gee. Can you explain to us how the coaching staff works with the players and how they aid in your development?

Dillon: They have been around the game a long time and know pitching. It’s also nice to have another set of eyes on you all the time that may be able to pick up subtle changes that you might not feel or realize. They also help with scouting reports, teaching how to read swings, etc. There is a lot of knowledge they have from just being around the game for a long time.

Tommy: From a pitcher’s perspective, how has it been working with Travis d’Arnaud over the past year? People talk endlessly about his hot and cold streaks at the plate, but how is his relationship with you and the other pitchers as a battery-mate?

Dillon: Travis is great to work with. He takes his job behind the plate seriously and has done a great job learning the staff. He does a great job receiving the ball too.

Tommy: In the past, outfield defense and mobility has been a problem. But this year, with guys like Curtis Granderson, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt den Dekker, Chris Young, and especially Juan Lagares, the Mets have had some very athletic gloves out there patrolling the gaps. Heck, even Bobby Abreu ran into the wall to catch one a couple weeks back. How important is it for you on the mound to know those guys have your back if one of your pitches gets a bit too much of the plate? Also, does Juan have superpowers? Asking for a friend.

Dillon: I don’t think Lagares has superpowers [Editor's note: I think Dillon was fibbing here. -Tommy] but sometimes it seems so. It is great knowing guys are out there who can all run down some fly balls.

Tommy: When a starter gives up a late home run, everybody says he was left in too long. When the reliever gives up a big hit, everybody says the starter should have been left in. But hindsight is 20-20. How does fatigue impact a starting pitcher over the course of a game? Can you feel it setting in gradually from the first pitch onward? Or do you just hit a “wall” at some point, where your body tells you you’re almost out of gas?

Dillon: You know, I think it gradually sets in, and before you know it, your release point starts to falter and you lose command. But the only way to get better at pitching [while] tired late in a game is to be out there doing it more often. You’re right though. Someone is always going to point fingers when it doesn’t work out. There is no clear-cut answer.

Tommy: You’re only 28, but after Bartolo Colon, you’re the oldest guy on the staff. When you first came up, guys like Johan Santana were presumably there to offer some guidance. Do you feel some responsibility, now, to be a mentor to guys like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero, and the other young pitchers in the organization?

Dillon: I feel a responsibility to offer help [to those guys] if they want it. I don’t like to act like I have it all figured out, cause I don’t. We are all continuing to learn in this game.

Tommy: Coming into this season, a lot of people saw the bullpen as a question mark. However, the relievers have been one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2014 campaign. Does it help you when you’re out there on the mound to know that you don’t necessarily need to go 7 or 8?

Dillon: It’s great knowing you have a bullpen out there that can get you out of a jam. But as a starter, I always want to go as deep into the game as possible.

Tommy: You’re now a veteran who has had a good amount of recent success. So what’s the next step? What specific parts of your arsenal have you been working on, as you try to keep improving and maintain that success?

Dillon: It’s an ongoing process to just keep getting better all around. Sometimes we get into bad habits and struggle for a bit. It’s about trying to right the ship as quickly as possible, and keep the down spells few and far between. Being consistent is the goal, and that’s not always easy to do.

Tommy: What advice do you have for young athletes?

Dillon: Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do something. Dream it and believe it. I was told by many I would never pitch in the big leagues. Well those people haven’t said much lately. Find what motivates you.

Tommy: You’ve recently been working on a campaign to ‘K Cancer’. Can you just explain a bit about that to our readers?

Dillon: I was approached by the Jason Motte Foundation to help with the “K Cancer” campaign. I was able to choose the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a charity to receive some of the proceeds. That meant a lot to me, because that hits close to home for my family. I also think the shirts are awesome.

*End of Interview*

Thanks to Dillon for taking some time out of his busy day to answer some questions for me. Dillon will be taking the hill tonight against the A’s in Oakland.

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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 4, Mets 1 Fri, 15 Aug 2014 02:50:16 +0000 Photo Credit: Frank Franklin  II, AP

Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II, AP

The Mets (57-65) lost to the Nationals (66-53) by a score of 4-1 on Thursday night at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee got the start for the Mets and was decent, but got punished for his mistakes. Gee left one out over the plate to Adam LaRoche in the 1st and had a pitch cut out into the middle of the plate against Bryce Harper in the 4th, and both National Sluggers took him deep for a 2-run shot. Dillon finished with 4 runs allowed on 4 hits and 4 walks in 6 innings, striking out 3 and throwing 93 pitches.

The Nats got out to an early lead on LaRoche’s 2-run shot in the opening frame. David Wright singled against Washington’s Stephen Strasburg in the bottom of the 1st to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, but the Mets could make nothing out of it.

After Harper’s 2-run blast in the top of the 4th, Daniel Murphy led off the bottom of the inning with a single, reaching 2nd when Ian Desmond threw the ball away. Wright struck out, but with Lucas Duda at the plate, Murphy swiped 3rd to put himself 90 feet away. Duda cracked one deep to center, but Denard Span had just enough room to flag it down and Duda was left with an RBI sacrifice fly instead of his 22nd homer of the season.

That 4-1 score would hold for the rest of the night. Eric Young doubled and Curtis Granderson walked to lead off the bottom of the 6th, but Strasburg escaped with the help of a double-play.

Josh Edgin got himself into trouble in the top of the 7th, but Carlos Torres came in and struck out Desmond to bail the lefty out. Torres also tossed a scoreless top of the 8th. Welcome back, Carlos?

Jenrry Mejia came in and worked a 1-2-3 top of the 9th, and the Mets came up looking for a last-minute rally. Murphy and Wright both got out, and Lucas Duda came to the plate. Rafael Soriano pulled a slider too far down and in, and the ball landed right by Duda’s feet, before bouncing off to the other side of the plate, making it appear as if Duda had been hit by the pitch. Duda waited for two seconds, then decided to act as if he had gotten hit. It’s safe to say that Lucas won’t be nominated for any Tony Awards after that performance. Terry came out to challenge, and the umps went to review the play, but after a (surprisingly long) review, the ump upheld his original ruling that the ball had not hit Duda. A few pitches later, Lucas grounded out to end the ballgame, and the Nationals finished off their sweep of the Mets in New York.

Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II, AP

So, about this new commissioner fellow… how about he makes it so we never have to play the Nationals again? That series was deflating, and the Nats have now won 11 in a row at Citi Field (and most of the games we’ve played in Washington, too).

I don’t get how that ball bounced the way it did if it didn’t hit Lucas Duda. But, knowing fully well the ball didn’t hit him, and that replay wouldn’t show that the ball hit him, it was kind of immoral of him to let Terry challenge it, no? I’m tempted to say he should have been ejected for such behavior. But we were 2 strikes away from the end of the game, so that kind of punishment would make the one Ray Rice got look like a life sentence.

Gee could have gone more than 6, as his pitch count wasn’t that high when Terry pulled the plug. Other than the homers, Gee was pretty solid, and it looks like he’s getting his form back after a very solid start his last time out.

Mejia and Torres, two seemingly wounded warriors, were both solid tonight, which is another positive sign. Also, while we’re talking about our relievers, did you guys know Buddy Carlyle has the best ERA in baseball? I was at the game last night and they said it over the PA system… I can’t wrap my head around that. Buddy Carlyle, ERA King.

Up Next: The Mets will kick off a 4 game set with the Cubs tomorrow. Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.53 ERA) will face Travis Wood (7-9, 4.86 ERA) at 7:10 PM in New York.


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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 7, Mets 1 Wed, 13 Aug 2014 02:54:33 +0000 Photo Credit: Bill Kostroun, AP

Photo Credit: Bill Kostroun, AP

The Nationals (64-53) beat the Mets (57-63) by a score of 7-1 on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

Rafael Montero got the start for the Mets in his return to the Majors and pitched decently, but had his outing ruined by the long-ball. Washington took Montero deep three times, including twice in the 6th inning, and the rookie departed with no outs in the 6th having allowed 5 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in 5-plus innings in which he struck out 4 and threw 101 pitches.

Ian Desmond walked to lead off the top of the 2nd against Rafael, and while Gary Cohen was wrapping up a sentence about Bryce Harper hitting an opposite-field, game-winning, 2-run home-run against the Mets last week, Harper drilled another opposite-field, 2-run home-run, giving Doug Fister all the support he would need.

Fister dominated the Mets’ offense once again, and while they looked a bit better than they did in the previous matchup, they still never really got it going with the bats.

The game was delayed by rain for a short time in the 3rd inning.

Montero settled in for a few innings, keeping the Mets in the ballgame while they tried to solve Fister. However, things fell apart in the top of the 6th. Anthony Rendon hit a solo shot to left to start the inning. After Adam LaRoche walked, Dan Warthen went out for a mound visit and–presumably–told Montero to serve up a 2-run shot to Ian Desmond. Montero obliged, hanging a slider to the Washington shortstop, who parked it into the seats to send Rafael to the showers. Carlos Torres game in to relieve Montero and retired Harper before surrendering a base-hit to Wilson Ramos and then allowing Michael Taylor to get his first home run in his MLB debut. Torres bounced back and got the next 2 hitters, but not before the Nats had opened up a 7-0 lead.

The Mets started getting some guys on base in the later innings, but didn’t score until they loaded the bases with no outs in the 8th, and managed to cash in 1 run (O, how they spoil us!) on a sacrifice fly from pinch-hitter Eric Campbell.

Buddy Carlyle and Dana Eveland kept the Nationals at bay in the final 2 innings, but there would be no heroic rally tonight, and the Nationals came away with yet another victory over the Mets.

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac, Getty Image

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac, Getty Image

Montero wasn’t terrible tonight, but Harper got a good swing on a pitch low-and-away, and then Rafael hung a couple sliders in the 6th. He wasn’t too wild, and he seemed to respond well to the rain delay. I said it with d’Arnaud, I said it with Wheeler, I’ll say it with Montero. If you try to make a final verdict on a prospect based on their first couple of months in the Majors, well… I’m glad you’re not in the Mets’ front office.

But speaking of the Mets’ front office, where the heck were they when the Tigers were trading Fister. That guy is a stud, and the Nationals basically got him for nothing. There seem to be several trades a year where a team gets a solid deal and you have to ask yourself, “what is Sandy doing in his office all day long?” I know, I know, he’s on the phone with Kyle Farnsworth. But where is his assistant???

Every ball the Nationals got some decent wood on seemed to carry and carry until it went over the fence. Every time the Mets made some pretty nice contact and sent one to a gap or a wall, it seemed to hang up and wait for Harper, Span, or Taylor to jog under it. I guess it wasn’t our day.

Apparently, the Mets have the lowest Runs Scored total in the MLB since the All-Star Break. They’ve won a decent amount of games since the break, so I’m surprised by that number. But it really stinks when you consider that we were red-hot coming into the break and then had to take nearly a week off. Sigh…

Well, Terry. You did it. You done gone and killed that poor boy Carlos Torres. Seriously, Terry’s overuse of Torres has to be the explanation for this. Torres was great for us last year and for the first half of this year. Then, he takes a few days off, comes back, and hasn’t pitched well since. Did he complain of arm fatigue, leading to the rest? That might be a sign of an injury, which would explain why he has forgotten to pitch… Come back to us, Torres. We need your rubber arm.

David Wright had 2 more hits today and is on an 11-game hitting streak. The Captain’s dedicated critics will be sorry to hear this, but it is my duty to report the facts. Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores each had 2 hits as well. It might have been a decent game, had we not lost 7-1…

Every time we play the Nationals, they seem to open up a Home Run Derby on us. Hopefully Bartolo can keep runners off base and, um, stomach a few solo shots while keeping us in the game tomorrow.

Up Next: The Mets will look for redemption tomorrow against the Nationals at Citi Field. New York’s Bartolo Colon (11-9, 3.97 ERA) will face Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.06 ERA) at 7:10 PM.



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MMO Game Recap: Phillies 7, Mets 6 Sun, 10 Aug 2014 21:22:51 +0000 Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies

The Mets (56-62) lost to the Phillies (53-65) by a score of 7-6 in walk-off fashion on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

The Mets scored 6 runs in the first 5 innings to jump out to a 6-1 lead. David Wright drove in an unearned run with a base-hit in the 1st. In the 2nd, Daniel Murphy drove in a run on a sacrifice fly which became a double-play when Wilmer Flores was caught trying to sneak to 3rd base. Juan Lagares drove in a pair with a triple in the 3rd, before Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud went back-to-back with a couple solo shots in the 5th.

Zack Wheeler did a pretty good job with the Philadelphia lineup, but gave up a solo shot to Chase Utley in the 1st and a 2-run double to Domonic Brown in the 6th. Wheeler finished his outing with 3 runs allowed on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5 and throwing 112 pitches.

Vic Black came in for the 7th and got 2 quick outs, but when Wilmer Flores failed to make a play on a grounder from Ben Revere, the inning was prolonged and the Phillies ended up scoring 2 runs on a Chase Utley triple to cut the Met lead to 6-5. Josh Edgin came in to strike out Ryan Howard with the tying run 90 feet away (despite Howard being given the call on an 0-2 pitch down the middle). Edgin came back out for the 8th and struck out the side, sending the teams to the 9th with the Mets up 6-5.

Jenrry Mejia came in to pitch the bottom of the 9th, looking to close things out for the Mets. Cody Asche led off by hitting a hard shot down the 1st-base line for a double. It was unclear whether the ball was fair or foul, but Terry Collins could not challenge the call with replay because the play was right in front of the umpire (don’t worry, I don’t understand this rule either). Asche came in to score when Marlon Byrd lined a base-hit up the middle, and the game was tied at 6.

"Ball 3"

“Ball 3″

Mejia bounced back and struck out Revere, and Jimmy Rollins‘ hard shot into right field found Granderson’s glove for the 2nd out. With 2 outs and Utley at the plate, Byrd broke for 2nd on Mejia’s 2-2 pitch. The pitch was practically down the middle for strike 3 (see the picture), but d’Arnaud caught the ball and came up throwing in an attempt to nab Byrd, which might have distracted the home-plate umpire from… you know… doing his job. The pitch was ruled a ball, and Byrd made it in to 2nd base safely. With the count full and 1st base now vacant, Terry Collins decided to have Mejia throw an intentional ball to Utley to bring Ryan Howard to the plate. Mejia got ahead of Howard 1-2, but after missing with a couple pitches, served up a hanging slider to Howard, who smacked it into right field for the game-winner.

zack wheeler

Well, that was infuriating. Wheeler did pretty well, although his pitch counts still get too high, too quickly. Black was victimized by Flores’ misplay (which should have been ruled an error), and Mejia just didn’t have it in the 9th (although the game would have gone to extras if not for the umpire). We had no business losing that game.

Mejia has been HORRIBLE lately, and he’s pitching hurt. I will say it again: I do not believe for one second that this is a coincidence. The Mets need to give him a break, and maybe put him on the DL. If he pitches hurt, he’ll change his mechanics, and he’ll be terrible. And he’ll probably injure his arm while trying to compensate for his injured leg, or back, or whatever it is right now.

I don’t like the intentional ball to Utley with a 3-2 count. Even if you don’t want to give him anything to hit, why not just throw him a breaking ball off the plate and hope he chases (no pun intended)?

On the bright side, the offense was pretty good today. d’Arnaud has had a great series, Wright is really getting it together (2 more hits today, 9 game hitting streak), Duda went yard, Lagares got himself a triple, and Granderson reached base 4 times. When the Mets score 6 runs, they’re usually going to win. So it stinks that they didn’t today…

Let’s bounce back and get the series win tomorrow.

Up Next: The Mets will wrap up their 4-game set with the Phillies in a Monday matinee at Citizens Bank Park. Jon Niese (5-8, 3.51 ERA) will face David Buchanan (6-5, 4.39 ERA).

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 2, Phillies 1 Sun, 10 Aug 2014 04:19:29 +0000 dillon gee

The Mets (56-61) beat the Phillies (52-65) by a score of 2-1 on Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Dillon Gee got the start for the Mets and was very solid, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks in 7 innings, striking out 4. Dillon tossed 109 pitches to get through his outing.

Both offenses got off to slow starts in this game, and there were no real scoring threats through the first few innings. Marlon Byrd hit a deep drive to center in the bottom of the 2nd against Gee, but Juan Lagares was there as usual to make the catch.  Lagares was drilled in the shoulder by Phillies starter Cole Hamels to give the Mets their first baserunner leading off the top of the 3rd, but was erased when Wilmer Flores hit into a double-play.

The Mets got their first hit of the game when Curtis Granderson led off the top of the 4th by bunting away from the shift (the 2nd time he has done so in the past few days). After Daniel Murphy traded places with Grandy on a Fielder’s Choice, David Wright walked, putting runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. However, Murphy was caught trying to steal 3rd for the 2nd out, and Eric Campbell lined out to Byrd to end the threat.

New York broke through against Hamels in the top of the 5th. After Duda singled to lead off the inning and moved to 2nd when a ball got by Carlos Ruiz behind the plate, Travis d’Arnaud walked to bring Lagares to the plate. Juan blooped one into left that  fell in front of Domonic Brown (who would have caught it if he had been Juan Lagares) for a single, but Duda held up at 3rd, bringing Flores to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. Flores hit a hard shot to the left side, but a diving Cody Asche knocked it down at 3rd base and fired to 2nd to get the 1st out. Duda came in with the game’s first run, but Asche had cost Flores a base hit and an extra RBI. After Gee popped one up while trying to bunt with men on the corners for the 2nd out, Granderson lined out to left to end the inning as Hamels escaped from the jam with just 1 run on the ledger.

The Mets got a couple more baserunners in the top of the 6th when Wright walked and Campbell singled with 1 out, but a pretty hard-hit one-hopper from Duda found a glove and turned into an inning-ending double-play. Another runner was left in scoring position in the top of the 7th after the Mets could not cash in on Lagares’ 1-out double.

Gee came out for the bottom of the 7th and got the first 2 hitters to pop-out to Duda in foul territory, but Carlos Ruiz crushed a solo shot to left to tie it up at 1-1. Dillon bounced back to retire Grady Sizemore and finish a strong outing.

Jake Diekman and Jonathan Papelbon came out of the bullpen for Philadelphia and stifled the Mets for a couple innings, while Josh Edgin and Vic Black held down the fort for New York. The teams headed to extras with the score still even at 1-1.

The Mets couldn’t put anything together against Ken Giles in the top of the 10th. But after Dana Eveland retired the Phillies 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame, New York’s offense put something together in the top of the 11th. Granderson led off against Antonio Bastardo and looped a base hit into center to get things started. After Daniel Murphy flew out, Wright singled into left field, and Granderson went 1st-to-3rd on the play to put men on the corners with 1 out. After Campbell walked, Duda came through with a base-hit into right field to plate Grandy with the go-ahead run. Justin De Fratus came in and induced a pop-out from d’Arnaud before striking out Lagares to end the threat, but the damage had been done.

Jeurys Familia came in to pitch the bottom of the 11th, looking to close things out for the Mets. Familia retired Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, but Ryan Howard singled and Marlon Byrd walked, bringing Brown to the plate with the tying run on 2nd and the winning run on 1st. Familia got Brown to ground one out to Flores, who fired it over to Duda at first to seal the victory for New York.

Photo Credit: Rich Schultz, Getty Images

Gee looked good tonight, which was encouraging to see as he seeks to settle back into the groove he was in before he got hurt. The Phillies have always dominated Gee, but that wasn’t the case tonight. Great start from Dillon, now hopefully we can get Jon Niese going…

Familia made things a bit tense at the end, but he got it done. Jenrry Mejia was out tonight after pitching 2 straight games with a sore calf. It looks like Mejia’s suffered a couple tweaks lately (it looked like something was wrong against the Braves in that game he lost, but that might have been the calf), and if he is hurt, the Mets should rest him so he doesn’t end up changing his mechanics and hurting his elbow. Still, it was nice to see Familia step in tonight. Black, Edgin, and Eveland all pitched effectively as well. Remember Jose Valverde?

We left way too many runners stranded tonight. But Duda got a big hit in the 11th, so we escaped with a win anyway. Still, it’d be nice to see the Mets improve their situational hitting a bit. The one semi-frustrating play I really can’t complain about is Flores’ “ground-out” in the 5th. Not only did a run score on the play, but that was an absolute shot which would have driven in at least 2 if not for Asche’s amazing diving play to keep the ball in the infield.

Um, so how does it work with these Unwritten Rules, again? When Hamels hit Lagares, my gut reaction was that we should drill Hamels in the face. I know, I know… that’s totally not what should happen and I might need an intervention for my obsession with Juan Lagares, and Atlanta’s Chris Johnson will probably show up at my doorstep with a pitchfork tonight for misinterpreting the Unwritten Rules of Baseball… but do we only retaliate if David gets hit? Is that how it works? And who would we hit? Utley or Rollins? Howard is pretty washed up, and there’s nothing that could happen to Grady Sizemore that hasn’t already. Byrd is a former Met. You know what, I’ll pick Rollins. But I’m getting off-topic…

Wright got on base 3 times tonight and made a heads-up play by letting Ben Revere‘s bunt roll foul. He might be starting to emerge from his slump. At the very least, he’s no longer ice-cold. Hopefully the Captain can really get it going.

Flores showed on a couple different plays that he is not a natural shortstop, but his defense doesn’t look atrocious out there, and when you consider the fact that Flores has more upside and a better bat than Ruben Tejada, and factor in that Tejada’s defense has regressed since his days as the backup for You-Know-Who, I think it’s a good thing that the Mets plan on giving Flores more playing time as the season winds down. And he did NOT make an error on the last play of the game with the tying run in scoring position. Looks like the “Most Clutch Shortstop in New York” trophy might be changing hands!

By my count, that’s 12 strikeouts in this series for Mets Pitching. OK, I didn’t count, I checked the box scores. But still, that’s at least 12% off on tickets for the next homestand. Hopefully Zack Wheeler can really tack on to that number tomorrow, although I guess it’s more important that he get some first-pitch outs and keep his pitch count down for once. Also, the Mets should do this more often. How about 4% off every time somebody hits a home run during a series? Or 2% every time they work a walk during a series? Switch it up a little! Those seats won’t fill themselves…

Vic Black retired Marlon Byrd in the 9th. In case you forgot, they were traded for each other. Game, Set, Match: Sandy Alderson.

Nice win tonight. Beating the Phillies is fun. Seeing their dynasty crumble is delightful. Let’s get another W tomorrow.

Up Next: The Mets will look to continue their recent dominance in games played at Citizens Bank Park when they play the Phillies on Sunday afternoon. Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.48 ERA) will face Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.74 ERA) at 1:35 PM in Philadelphia.


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MMO Game Recap: Mets 6, Nationals 1 Wed, 06 Aug 2014 02:54:29 +0000 zack wheeler

The Mets (54-59) beat the Nationals (60-51) by a score of 6-1 on Tuesday night in Washington.

Zack Wheeler got the start for the Mets and was inefficient, but managed to get the job done. Zack went 6.2 innings, striking out 5 and allowing just 1 run despite surrendering 7 hits, 4 walks, and a wild pitch. Wheeler tossed 109 pitches (66 for strikes) and is now 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last 7 starts.

The Mets got on the board quickly against Gio Gonzalez, when Daniel Murphy hit a triple in the top of the 1st and scored on a base-hit from David Wright. New York struck again in the next inning, when Travis d’Arnaud doubled, moved to 3rd on a groundout, and scored on a bloop single from Wheeler.

Wheeler got into some trouble in the bottom of the 2nd, walking 2 batters to start the frame and walking a 3rd after striking out Bryce Harper for the 1st out. With the bases loaded, Wheeler let a pitch get away from him, and Adam LaRoche came in to score on the wild pitch while the other runners moved to 2nd and 3rd. Jose Lobaton hit a grounder to the left side that seemed certain to erase the Mets’ lead, but the ball struck baserunner Asdrubal Cabrera, erasing him from the basepaths for the 2nd out and forcing Ian Desmond to hold at 3rd. Wheeler then got his opposite number, Gonzalez, to fly out to end the inning. Wheeler then gave up a pair of singles to start the bottom of the 3rd, but got Jayson Werth to hit into a double-play to help him escape the jam unscathed.

Werth doubled to lead off the bottom of the 6th, and when LaRoche singled through the hole on the left side, Jayson decided to round 3rd and charge home, looking to score the tying run. Eric Campbell, getting a rare start in left field, came up with the ball and fired towards the plate. A perfect one-hopper ended up right in the mitt of d’Arnaud, who slapped the tag on Werth for the 1st out. Wheeler retired the next 2 hitters to hold on to his 2-1 lead as the teams headed into the 7th.

The Mets added some major insurance in the top of the 7th. After Chris Young worked a 9-pitch walk against Gonzalez, Ruben Tejada singled on a ball which deflected off of a diving Anthony Rendon. With Wheeler coming up to bunt, Drew Storen was brought in to replace Gonzalez. Wheeler laid down a perfect bunt, moving the runners to 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, and Storen pegged Juan Lagares to load the bases. Murphy plated a pair with a hard shot under Asdrubal Cabrera’s glove at 2nd (which was scored a hit, but should have been an error). After Wright struck out on a very questionable check-swing call, Duda drove in Juan with a bloop single, making it 5-1 New York. Curtis Granderson came in to pinch-hit for Campbell, but lined out to Werth to end the frame.

Wheeler gave up a pair of singles to start the bottom of the 7th, but got another timely double-play, putting a runner on 3rd with 2 outs. Terry Collins elected to pull Wheeler and bring in Josh Edgin to face Denard Span. Span hit a sinking liner to center field, but Juan Lagares made a fantastic diving catch to end the inning (Lagares appeared to be in pain after the play, but ended up staying in the game).

Blake Treinen came in for Washington and hit d’Arnaud to start the top of the 8th. Chris Young then got a base-hit to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs, and after Tejada lined out, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, back from the minor leagues, hit a screaming liner which hit off of the pitcher and went into center for a base-hit, scoring TDA to put the Mets up 6-1 and moving CY to 3rd. Lagares came up and lined one to Werth, who caught it and fired home to nab Young for an inning-ending double-play.

Jeurys Familia came in to pitch the bottom of the 8th and worked around a 2-out double from LaRoche to put up a scoreless inning. Dana Eveland came in for the 9th and worked a 1-2-3 inning to give the Mets the victory.

daniel murphy

Wheeler has been putting up some solid outings lately, but he really has to work on keeping his pitch counts under control. Still, it’s nice to see Zack keep on rolling. He’s been making big pitches when he’s needed to over the past couple months.

Granderson is really in a slump, and the numbers are ugly. But he bounced back after a slump to start the season, and I think he’ll get back on track before too long.

Chris Young is like the opposite of Juan Lagares, who always does something to help us win. Even when CY gets on base a couple times, he manages to do something wrong. Today, it was getting thrown out at home. I guess it could have been worse. Also, I feel like he hits one hard shot that goes foul down the left-field line every game. Maybe he should wait on the ball a bit more… Or we could cut him. That works too.

Murphy is hitting again, and Wright looks to be slowly-but-surely breaking out of his slump. Lagares is also swinging the bat well lately, and when you factor in the offense we’re getting from TDA and Duda, our lineup isn’t looking so bad these days. The Giants’ pitchers gave us some problems last series, so it was nice to see the Mets get off to a good start on offense in their series against the Nats.

Getting to and over 500 is a much more realistic goal, but if the Mets want to even entertain the thought of putting themselves in the playoff hunt, they need to win games like this against divisional opponents. Hopefully they can build on this win and make a dent in the standings.

Up Next: The Mets will continue their series with the Nationals on Wednesday night in Washington. Jon Niese (5-7, 3.24 ERA) will face Doug Fister (10-3, 2.68 ERA) at 7:05 PM.


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MMO Game Recap: Giants 5, Mets 1 Sat, 02 Aug 2014 02:10:51 +0000 Photo Credit: Mike Stobe, Getty Images

Photo Credit: Mike Stobe, Getty Images

The Mets (52-57) lost to the Giants (59-50) by a score of 5-1 on Friday night at Citi Field.

Jon Niese got the start for the Mets and was… strange. Niese went the first 6 innings without allowing an earned run, but trailed 2-0 for most of that time due to his own error. Niese ended up allowing 5 runs (3 earned) on 9 hits in 8+ innings, walking none and striking out 4. Jon threw just 87 pitches (68 for strikes) before being pulled with a man on 1st and no outs in the 9th.

San Francisco took an extremely aggressive against Niese in this game. Meanwhile, Ryan Vogelsong dominated New York’s hitters all night long. This all added up to a very, very quick game.

Niese allowed 2 unearned runs in the top of the 2nd, but the blame was his nonetheless. After Juan Perez doubled to lead off the inning, Gregor Blanco hit one back up the middle to Niese, who snatched it up and wheeled around towards 2nd, where Perez had wandered too far off the bag and was now a sitting duck on the basepaths. However, Niese’s throw hit the dirt before it got anywhere near Ruben Tejada‘s glove, and Ruben couldn’t recover the short-hop. Everybody was safe, and the Giants now had men on 1st and 2nd with nobody out. Vogelsong bunted both runners over, and Brandon Crawford drove Perez in with a single up the middle while moving Blanco over to 3rd. Blanco scored on an RBI groundout from Hunter Pence, before Niese retired Matt Duffy to limit the damage. All of this, by the way, took 10 pitches.

The Mets took awhile to get their first baserunner, and when Curtis Granderson finally reached with a walk to lead off the bottom of the 4th, he was immediately erased on a double-play. New York didn’t find the hit column until Juan Lagares singled up the middle to lead off the 6th. With Juan on 1st and nobody out, Ruben Tejada hit what seemed like a certain double-play ball out to Pablo Sandoval at 3rd. However, the Panda bobbled it, and lost the play at 2nd, where Lagares slid in safely. Sandoval recovered and whipped it to first to nail Tejada by a half-step for the 1st out. Jon Niese came up and hit a pretty hard liner to first, but it was right at Michael Morse, who snagged it and threw to 2nd to double up Lagares and end the inning.

Niese got Blanco to hit another ball back to the mound to lead off the 7th and, this time, made the throw to first for the out. However, things started to fall apart for Jon after that play. Niese allowed a triple to Crawford and plunked his opposite number, Vogelsong. Pence added a triple of his own to put the Giants up 4-0, and scored on Matt Duffy’s first Major-League hit, a single into left field. Niese retired Buster Posey and Sandoval to end the inning, but the Giants had opened up a 5-0 lead.

The Mets finally put up a tally in the bottom of the 8th when Lucas Duda parked one over the wall in left field for his 20th home run of the season.

Niese came out to pitch the top of the 9th, but after Crawford led off with a single, Terry Collins pulled the lefty and brought in Vic Black. Vic got a double-play out of a failed sacrifice bunt and got through the inning, but the Mets were unable to rally against Vogelsong in the bottom of the 9th, and San Francisco came away with a victory in the 1st game of the series.

Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II, AP

Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II, AP

Well, that was fast.

The Giants came out swinging against Niese and it worked pretty well for them. It will be interesting to see the approach taken by both Niese and the opposition in his next start.

Unofficial stat of the day: Duda hasn’t had a game without a home run since I was 5.

I don’t get why pitchers so often fail to make the throw to first base. It cost Niese dearly tonight, as those 2 unearned runs would be all Vogelsong needed.

Speaking of Vogelsong, he looked pretty hittable. We just didn’t hit him, much like Kyle Kendrick through the first few innings of our last game. I’m pretty sure we hit about 6 pop-ups in the first few innings. That won’t cut it.

This game was pretty bland, and for us at least, it was a bit depressing. Let’s hope the team bounces back tomorrow.

Up Next: The Mets will look to even up their series with the Giants on Saturday night at Citi Field. Jacob deGrom (5-5, 2.79 ERA) will face Jake Peavy (1-10, 4.71 ERA Total, 0-1, 4.50 ERA in 1 start with Giants) at 7:10 PM.

duda unleashed

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 11, Phillies 2 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:59:05 +0000 Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

The Mets (52-56) crushed the Phillies (47-61) on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field, beating Philadelphia 11-2.

Zack Wheeler took the mound for the Mets and was once again solid, albeit inefficient. Wheeler went 6.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4 and throwing 112 pitches. Zack is now 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in his last 6 starts.

Wheeler worked in and out of trouble for the first few innings, running up his pitch count but keeping the Phillies off the board despite getting into a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 2nd. The Mets got some baserunners against Kyle Kendrick, but he too kept the scoreboard clean, with some help from Ben Revere‘s glove. Revere made a diving play on Curtis Granderson in the 1st, a few running catches in the gaps, made a nice play to cut a ball off before it got to the wall on a base-hit, and robbed Lucas Duda of a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the 4th.

The Phillies broke through in the top of the 5th, when Ben Revere led off the inning with a cheap double and scored on a double from Ryan Howard. However, the Mets answered in the bottom of the frame. Juan Lagares and Ruben Tejada led off the inning with a pair of singles, and Zack Wheeler laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Granderson walked to load the bases, bringing Daniel Murphy to the plate. A wild pitch by Kendrick brought Lagares home and moved the other runners to 2nd and 3rd, and Murphy brought both of them, and himself, home by smacking one over the wall in left field to put the Mets up 4-1.

Jimmy Rollins led off the top of the 7th with a solo shot to make it 4-2 New York, but Wheeler got the next 2 batters to fly out to Chris Young in left field. Terry Collins pulled Zack and brought in Dana Eveland to face Chase Utley, but Eveland walked the Philadelphia 2nd baseman on 4 pitches. After Utley stole 2nd and then moved to 3rd on a passed ball, Eveland plunked Howard to put runners on the corners and send Terry back out to the mound for another pitching change. Collins brought in Jeurys Familia, who got Marlon Byrd to ground out on 1 pitch to retire the site.

The Mets broke the game wide open in the bottom of the 7th against Mario Hollands. Granderson led off with a ground-rule double before Murphy grounded one to 3rd for the 1st out. Hollands intentionally walked lefty-killer David Wright to pitch to Lucas Duda, but Duda made him pay by lining a base-hit to score Grandy and move David to 2nd. Justin De Fratus came in to pitch to Travis d’Arnaud, and TDA lined a double (which could have been ruled a single and an error) into left to score Wright and move Duda to 3rd. Chris Young hit a slow roller between 1st base and the pitcher’s mound, and as Duda came in to score, De Fratus misplayed the ball, allowing CY to reach base while d’Arnaud moved to 3rd. Juan Lagares struck out, but despite Familia being on-deck, De Fratus decided not to walk Tejada, who lined one into left for a base-hit to score Travis and move Young to 2nd. Familia then made the decision to pitch to Tejada a moot point by lacing one to left for a base-hit of his own, bringing CY home to make it 9-2 Mets.

After Familia worked a perfect top of the 8th, the Mets poured it on a bit more in the bottom of the inning. Murphy singled, and with 1 out, Duda hit one into the Pepsi Porch (just out of the reach of Ben Revere) for his 19th homer of the season, putting the Mets up 11-2.

Carlos Torres looked wild and hittable in the 9th after a rare couple of days off, but kept the Phillies off the board and put the finishing touches on a blowout victory, giving the Mets another series win at home.

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

Wheeler was pretty solid today, but he really has to keep his pitch count down. For a while, it looked like he might not be able to even make it through 5 innings, even though the Phillies had yet to score. He finally found the strike zone (and, ironically, gave up a couple runs) in the middle innings, but you’d like to see him get ahead in the count more consistently early in games. Still, this was another strong outing for Zack as he continues to turn the corner and become what the Mets hoped he would become when they traded for him 3 years ago.

Familia has been great this year, and was strong on the mound once again today, but I’d be lying if I said I expected him to smoke one through the hole and drive in a run when he came to the plate. Apparently he’s 2-for-2 this year, though, so maybe we should try to get him in the lineup…

As I said last week, Murphy’s slumps don’t tend to last very long. Of course, I jinxed him into a slump when I wrote that, but, true to form, he broke out of it pretty quickly and has been raking lately.  Duda is red-hot, and should have had 2 homers today (and 20 on the year). Alas, Ben Revere was too good out in center (and in left-center, and in right-center, and beyond the fence), so Lucas will have to settle for 1. A microphone picked up on a player (or a fan) yelling “We got the Hulk!” after his blast in the 9th. If Lucas keeps smashing, that name might stick. Travis d’Arnaud continued to hit well, Lagares had some hits, and Teajda continued to own the Phillies’ pitching. This was a solid day for the bats all-around.

That being said, scoring 0 runs one game and 11 runs the next will only get you 1 win, even if it still adds up as 11 runs over 2 games in Sandy’s “run differential” column. I’d trade the blowouts for consistency. 5 runs in one game and 6 in the next is much better than 0 and 11.

It’s always nice to win a series, especially against the Phillies. The Mets have now won 4 series in a row at Citi Field. Let’s see if they can make it 5.

Up Next: The Mets will have the day off on Thursday before opening up a 4-game set against the Giants on Friday Night at Citi Field. Jon Niese (5-6, 3.23 ERA) will face Ryan Vogelsong (5-8, 3.94 ERA) at 7:10 PM.

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MMO Game Recap: Phillies 6, Mets 0 Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:54:21 +0000

The Mets (51-56) were shutout by the Phillies (47-60) on Tuesday night, losing 6-0 at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee got the start for the Mets and was pretty solid, but his final line won’t reflect that. Dillon was charged with 5 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in 6.2 innings in which he struck out 2 batters and threw 102 pitches.

Cole Hamels was, for a change, very good against the Mets in this game. Cole tossed 8 shutout innings and retired the final 13 men he faced. In fact, Hamels now has 2 solid outings against us this year.

Gee was cruising through the first few innings and got 2 strikes on Jimmy Rollins with 2 outs in the top of the 3rd, but then left one out over the plate and Rollins lined it into the Mo’s Zone to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Dillon again got 2 strikes with 2 outs in the top of the 4th, but surrendered another solo shot to the mangled remains of what used to be Grady Sizemore.

Gee got out of a jam in the 5th and breezed through the 6th, but the doors came off in the top of the 7th. Domonic Brown hit a leadoff single and, after Cody Asche flew out, advanced to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt from Hamels. With 2 strikes and 2 outs on the light-hitting Ben Revere, Gee ran a pitch a bit too far inside and nicked the Philadelphia leadoff man on the uniform, putting runners on 1st and 2nd. A miscommunication between Dillon and Travis d’Arnaud led to a wild pitch, moving the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Gee feel behind 2-0 before getting a curve over for a strike to make it 2-1. Dillon appeared to get another curve over, but home plate umpire Jordan Baker squeezed him and the count moved to 3-1. With an open base, Gee wasn’t going to take any chances, and he threw a junky pitch to Rollins to put him on first and go after Chase Utley with the bases loaded and 2 outs.

Terry Collins, however, had other plans. Terry pulled Gee to bring in lefty Josh Edgin to face Utley with the game on the line. Once again, a Met pitcher got 2 strikes on a Philadelphia hitter with 2 outs. But after Utley fouled off a couple pitches, the All-Star 2nd baseman launched one into the Pepsi Porch for a grand slam, blowing the game wide open.

The Mets scattered some early singles against Hamels and even got a double from David Wright, but they could never get a hit at the right time and were unable to break through against the lefty. Ken Giles came in to put the final touches on Philadelphia’s victory and finish off a game in which the Mets never really got started.

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

NEW RULE PROPOSAL: Once there are 2 outs, you only need 2 strikes for a strikeout. Anybody?

I’ve always underrated Cole Hamels, because I basically only see him when he faces the Mets, and we usually rock him. But he was dominant tonight, and I can see why he’s considered one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Josh Edgin, you quite literally have ONE job: Get the lefties. You have to get the out there against Utley. But that didn’t happen tonight, not that it would have necessarily made a difference, the way Hamels mowed through our lineup. That being said, Gee should have finished that inning off before Utley came up. You can’t hit a guy like Ben Revere with 2 outs and 2 strikes.

3 of the 4 runs that scored on Utley’s grand slam were charged to Gee, turning what could have been a 7 inning, 2 run showing into a 6.2 inning, 5 run mess. Still, Gee was much better tonight than he was in his previous 2 starts out of the break, so hopefully he’s finding his groove again after a lot of missed time.

Terry Collins will get blasted for pulling Gee, but that’s largely due to the fact that the guy who came in to replace him surrendered a grand slam. Hindsight is 20-20. I’m not sure it was such a bad move at the time. Edgin has been good against the lefties this year, and Gee was stumbling a bit. Gee also tends to tire more quickly than most pitchers, and hadn’t thrown more than 100 pitches in over 2 months. So maybe pulling Dillon after 102 pitches was the right move. But Gee had been having a solid night in general, and you can make the argument that Terry should have let him try to finish the inning off.

Home plate umpire Jordan Baker was lousy tonight. He’s not the reason that we lost, but he was incredibly inconsistent and looked unconfident when making his calls. Come to think of it, his lack of confidence in his own umpiring probably means he is self-aware…

Eric Campbell had 2 hits tonight. Duda has been raking and should definitely stay in the lineup, but Terry should try to get Soup some at-bats whenever he can.

We’ve been hitting well at home lately, but the bats were silent tonight. Hopefully they can get it going early in the afternoon tomorrow and take the rubber game.

Up Next: The Mets will look to secure a series win over the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon in a weekday matinee at Citi Field. Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.64 ERA) will face Kyle Kendrick (5-10, 4.87 ERA) at 12:10 PM.

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MMO Game Recap: Brewers 5, Mets 2 Sun, 27 Jul 2014 03:03:44 +0000 Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 10.56.54 PM

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Phelps, AP

The Mets (49-55) lost to the Brewers (59-46) by a score of 5-2 on Saturday night at Miller Park.

Jon Niese got the start for the Mets and was pretty good, but not great. Niese allowed 3 runs in 5 innings on 5 hits, 2 walks, and a wild pitch, striking out 4 and throwing 89 pitches.

The Mets scored first in the top of the third when Curtis Granderson doubled and, after a walk from David Wright, scored on a single from Lucas Duda. A wild pitch by Wily Peralta put runners on 2nd and 3rd with just 1 out, giving the Mets a chance to tack on to their 1-0 lead. However, Travis d’Arnaud‘s fly ball to right was not deep enough to score Wright, and Chris Young grounded out to end the inning.

New York scored again in the top of the 5th thanks to a solo shot from Grandy, but Niese began to unravel in the bottom of the frame. Jon allowed a leadoff hit to Mark Reynolds, who switched places with Jean Segura on a fielder’s choice. Segura then stole 2nd, moved to 3rd on a fly ball, and scored on a wild pitch. With 2 out and nobody on, Carlos Gomez singled and came all the way around from 1st to score on a double by Ryan Braun. Braun scored on a base-hit from Jonathan Lucroy, and Milwaukee suddenly had a 3-2 lead.

With Chris Young on 2nd and 2 outs, Terry Collins brought in Bobby Abreu to pinch-hit for Niese, ending the southpaw’s evening. However, when Milwaukee brought in Zach Duke to play the matchup, Terry called Abreu back (I wonder why we always burn our bench so quickly) and sent up Eric Campbell to hit instead. There would be no Soup for Terry in this ballgame, as Campbell whiffed on a 2-2 pitch to end the threat.

It was a day ending in “Y”, so Terry decided to call on Carlos “Were you really surprised to see me?” Torres to pitch the 6th (and more, of course). Torres got 2 quick outs, but surrendered a solo shot to Reynolds to stretch the Brewers’ advantage to 4-2.

Chris Young doubled for the 2nd time in the game (!!!!) with 2 outs in the 8th, but Wilmer Flores was unable to drive him in, surely costing him a chance to escape the bench again over the next week. Torres gave up another insurance run on an RBI double by Khris Davis, who went to 3rd on the throw. Davis appeared to score on an infield hit from Reynolds, but after video review, Reynolds was called out and the 2 teams headed to the 9th with Milwaukee up 5-2.

Francisco Rodriguez came in to seek redemption in the 9th, and much to the relief of his in-laws, K-Rod retired the side smoothly, with an Eric Young double the only blemish. The Mets are now 4-5 on their road trip.

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Photo Credit: Jeffrey Phelps, AP

The Mets’ starters have been turning in some 5-and-out starts lately, and I don’t like it. Torres had to pitch 3 innings today. He’ll probably be unavailable tomorrow. Of course, he’ll still probably pitch…

Niese was decent, but was a little wild all night long and it ended up hurting him, in the form of walks, wild pitches, and a few hangers. Hopefully he gets his command back soon.

Chris Young had 2 doubles tonight. I won’t get my hopes up for a turnaround, but I still think he is worth a roster spot, at least over somebody like Abreu, who can’t run or field, and isn’t really hitting much anymore, either.

Grandy and Daniel Murphy also put in some nice work at the plate. Unfortunately, New York just couldn’t get many big hits with runners in scoring position tonight. Hopefully the impending return to Citi Field helps the offense out. (I can’t believe I just wrote that).

Only one more game on the road trip. Let’s try to finish the series and the trip with an even record before heading home. I’ll probably try to catch a few games on the homestand before I head off to college, so hopefully the Mets bring their bats to Queens.

Up Next: The Mets will look to earn a split with the Brewers on Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee. Jacob deGrom (4-5, 3.01 ERA) will face Jimmy Nelson (1-1, 5.06 ERA) at 2:10 PM.


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MMO Game Recap: Brewers 9, Mets 1 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 03:13:06 +0000 brewers mets

The Mets (48-54) were crushed by the Brewers (58-45) on Thursday night in Milwaukee, losing 9-1 at Miller Park.

Dillon Gee got the start for the Mets and struggled for the 2nd time in a row. Gee allowed 6 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings, striking out 6 and throwing 91 pitches.

Milwaukee struck first with a solo shot from Jonathan Lucroy in the bottom of the opening frame against Gee, and kept piling it on after that. Jean Segura hit a 2-run triple after Gee issued a pair of walks in the bottom of the 2nd, and scored on a base hit from former Met Carlos Gomez, who would steal 2nd and come in to score on a single from Lucroy to make it 5-0 Brewers. Milwaukee would push the lead to 6th in the bottom of the 3rd thanks to 1-out doubles by Rickie Weeks and Khris Davis, before Gee finally settled in and put up 2 perfect innings to make it through 5.

Meanwhile, the Mets could muster nothing against Matt Garza. Wilmer Flores, making his return from the minor leagues, knocked a single in the 3rd inning, but that would stand as New York’s only hit for much of the night.

Terry Collins elected to pinch-hit for Gee in the top of the 6th, and sent in Daisuke Matsuzaka to pitch the bottom of the inning. Davis greeted Dice-K with a shot over the wall in left-center, but Matsuzaka bounced back to get through the rest of the inning.

The Mets got on the board in the top of the 7th when Lucas Duda hit a solo shot to center, but that was all their offense would provide on the night.

Matsuzaka came back out for the bottom of the 7th and, with Gomez on first, served up a fat one to Ryan Braun, who injected it deep into the second deck to make it 9-1 Milwaukee. That would become the final score, as a rally was not in the cards for the Mets.

 lucas duda

Duda’s having a nice season, and went yard again tonight. However, I’m pretty sure he would have drawn less criticism from the Mets e-fanbase had he struck out in the 7th, rather than hitting a solo shot with a 7-run deficit. Whatever…

In Gee’s last start, he got off to a rocky beginning, settled down to get through the 4th and 5th innings, and was pulled for a mediocre pinch-hitter with nobody on base in the top of the 6th. In the bottom of the 6th, the man brought in to relieve Gee gave up a long-ball to the first batter. That happens to be exactly what happened tonight, as well. Terry used to pull Dillon too late in close games. Now he’s pulling him too early in blowouts. Gee hasn’t pitched much the last few months. Let him build his arm strength back up by staying in the game, especially once he starts to find his groove. Please, Terry… I beg you.

Our offense has scored 15 runs in the 7 games since the All-Star Break, after a red-hot stretch at Citi Field before the vacation. It’s a bit frustrating, since things are usually the other way around, but I guess I’d rather have them hit like a competent team at home, in front of the fans. Ideally, we could be decent in all stadiums, though…

This game will probably hurt the ol’ run differential, huh, Sandy? Let’s get it back tomorrow.

Up next: The Mets will look to even their series with the Brewers on Friday night in Milwaukee. Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.78 ERA) will face Yovani Gallardo (5-5, 3.79 ERA) at 8:10 PM.

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Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images


The Mets (47-53) beat the Mariners (53-47) by a score of 3-1 on Tuesday night in Seattle.

Jacob deGrom took the ball for New York and deGrominated the opposition once again, tossing 7 strong innings of 1-run ball, allowing just 5 hits and striking out 7 while walking only 1. The rookie threw 107 pitches, only 29 of which missed the zone. deGrom improved to 4-5 with the Win, lowering his ERA to 3.01.

deGrom looked like he might be in a bit of trouble in the bottom of the 1st inning when he allowed James Jones to get in scoring position with the heart of the Mariners’ order coming up, but Jacob struck out Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager to end the threat.

The Mets got on the board against Erasmo Ramirez in the top of the 2nd. After Bobby Abreu went the other way for a base hit to lead off the inning, Travis d’Arnaud hit a sinking liner to center field. After being robbed of a homer on Monday night, TDA apparently had the sports gods with him tonight. A diving Jones failed to reach the ball, which rolled all the way to the track, allowing Travis to pull into 3rd with his first career triple as Abreu came home. Kirk Nieuwenhuis whiffed for the first out, and after Juan Lagares fell behind 0-2, it looked like the Mets might end up squandering a great chance to put up a crooked number. However, Lagares somehow worked a walk, and Tejada singled d’Arnaud home to put New York up 2-0.

As deGrom and Ramirez settled in and cruised through the next few innings, the action stalled for a bit. However, Seattle broke through against Jacob in the bottom of the 5th when Willie Bloomquist singled and scored on a double by Dustin Ackley, who advanced to 3rd on an error by Daniel Murphy. deGrom was once again under duress with the tying run just 90 feet away, but he calmly retired both Mike Zunino and Endy Chavez (yes, that Endy Chavez) to get out of the jam.

The Mets missed a chance to tack on some insurance in the top of the 6th when Kirk and Juan struck out with 2 runners on base, but deGrom didn’t need any more support, as he rolled through the next couple frames and got through 7 without much trouble.

The Mets got themselves a bit of breathing room in the top of the 8th when Lucas Duda hit an absolute shot over the wall in right against Tom Wilhelmsen. Jeurys Familia came in to pitch the bottom of the 8th and was greeted with a deep drive from Endy. Lagares (aka “Endy 2.0″) calmly drifted back and made a terrific play on the ball, without ever making it seem like there was any cause for concern. Familia retired the side in order and turned the ball over to Jenrry Mejia, who locked up the save and sealed the win for deGrom.

GIF Credit: @MetsKevin11

GIF Credit: @MetsKevin11

I love Mejia’s energy. And he’s pitching well, too. I  heard somebody refer to him as “King Jenrry the 9th”. I say we go for the traditional Shakespeare formatting and make “Jenrry IX” our closer’s new official nickname. And how good has Familia been? I hadn’t really been looking at his stats much, but wow… he’s near the top of the league in appearances and he has his ERA under 2. Fantastic. I’ve always said the Mets needed power arms, electric arms, young, fiery arms, at the back of their bullpen.  It’s really nice to see Mejia, Familia, and the other guys doing their thing these days.

deGrom has just been amazing. He throws strikes, he keeps his composure, and he’s apparently pretty hard to hit. Just like I’m not willing to drop the “bust” label on top prospects who struggle for a few months, I’m not willing to declare middling prospects who get off to hot starts “stars”. Still, it looks like Jacob has what it takes, so let’s see if he can keep performing. He’s certainly making the Rookie of the Year race interesting.

Duda’s homer was the Mets’ first since the All-Star break. They had really been slugging during the final 2 weeks before the break, so hopefully they can get their power back. Also, have you guys ever heard Duda’s voice? He could definitely make the All-Star team for “Guys whose voices don’t match their appearances at all”. He sounds like a bookish schoolboy. But if he keeps hitting baseballs 440 feet, it doesn’t matter.

Lagares’ catch was great. But he acted like he was catching a pop fly. And the fact that it was Endy who had hit the ball added a nice bit of irony to the play. That was definitely one of the highlights of the night.

Kirk has slowed down. He can field, he can run, and he has a bit of pop, but I’m still not sold at all on his ability to make consistent contact. Murphy is also in a slump, but he knows how to hit, so I think he’ll pick it up soon.

I hope I never have to watch Bobby Abreu “sprint” from first to home on a triple ever again. It was painful. I wasn’t even sure he’d make it.

Nice win to earn a split. Let’s take the rubber game tomorrow.

Up Next: The Mets will look to secure a series win over the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon at SAFECO Field. Bartolo Colon (8-8, 4.12 ERA) will face Taijuan Walker (1-1, 3.60 ERA) at 3:40 PM.

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MMO First Half Report Cards: No Straight A’s, But Plenty Of High Marks Sun, 20 Jul 2014 12:00:55 +0000 mets - logo

With the All-Star Break behind us, we’re officially into the 2nd half of the 2014 MLB season. Over the break, I opened up a roundtable and invited some other MMO writers to chime in with their grades. How did the Mets do on their first-term report card? Keep reading to find out!


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Lucas Duda, 1B: Duda won the 1st base competition over Ike Davis, leading to the trade of the latter to the Pirates. Lucas has been hitting pretty well, getting on base at a nice clip, and has shown off his power this season. He also plays a capable 1st base, a far cry from the debilitating defense we saw from him in the outfield earlier in his career. – Tommy R.

Daniel Murphy, 2B: Murphy has been the Mets’ most consistent hitter this season. His hot streaks last for weeks and his cold “streaks” only seem to plague him for a couple games. His defense is better than it used to be, but the slip-ups still come a bit too often, and he doesn’t hit for much power either. Overall, however, it has been a very nice season for Murphy. - Tommy R .

Ruben Tejada, SS: Tejada got off to a slow start this season after having a miserable 2013. However, Tejada has turned it on as of late, and is starting to look like 2011-2012 Ruben Tejada again. – Rob P.

david wright swings

David Wright, 3B: David hasn’t played up to his usual standards so far this season, but then again, those standards are very high. Wright has had a pretty solid last year, and 95% of the league would gladly take the numbers he has at this point. He is starting to pick it up a bit lately, and the power seems to be returning, so while it’s disappointing not to be getting an “A+” season out of the captain thus far, David probably deserves a bit more credit than he’s been getting. – Tommy R.

Travis d’Arnaud, C: As Rob’s grade reflects, it has been a tale of two seasons thus far for TDA.  However, the first stretch, the part where he struggled mightily, took place over a much larger number of games than his hot streak has. Travis has really picked it up since getting demoted and recalled, and he’s starting to show why he has been traded for 2 different Cy Young winners. I always said it was foolish to give up on Travis, or any big prospect, so early. He’s starting to make me look right. But a few good weeks can’t fully erase his dreadful start, so it’s hard for me to give Travis a very good grade. – Tommy R.

Anthony Recker, C: Recker is a fine backup catcher, but that’s all he will ever be. He will park a few over the wall and isn’t a defensive liability. I expect him to perform about the same as he did in the second half that he did in the first. – Rob P.

Eric Campbell, 1B: Campbell has been a pleasant surprise for the Mets this year. He always seems to perform when we need him to, whether it be the occasional start or coming off the bench. Gotta love Soup! - Rob P.

Wilmer Flores, SS: The kid is so young, and Terry Collins has used him about as often as he has rested Carlos Torres. We have seen his offensive skill set so far in the minors, but it hasn’t translated to the majors. Maybe he hasn’t been challenged a lot defensively but I haven’t seen a crazy awful fielder like scouts have said. Yes he doesn’t have much range and will take some improvement. But Murph has come a long way and I would argue that Flores looks less clumsy in the field then Murph. - Avery D.


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Curtis Granderson, RF: Grandy got off to a miserable start this season and Jason Bay-related nightmares haunted all of our dreams for about a month and a half. In May, Curtis started picking it up, making solid contact, showing better pitch selection, and driving the ball with authority. But games in April count too, and Curtis still falls into occasional slumps. A “B” is all I’m giving him for now, but I expect him to outperform that grade going forward. – Tommy R.

Juan Lagares, CF: Anybody who has read my recaps and articles this year knows I love to sing Lagares’ praises. Lagares has solid speed and a golden glove (I fully expect to be able to write “golden” with a capital “G” at year’s end). When he isn’t hitting, he is still a guy you can run out there. Fortunately, the bat hasn’t been a problem this year. He came out of the gate red-hot before landing on the DL, then returned and started hitting again before suffering another injury. Juan is back once more, and while he is no longer red-hot with the bat, it looks like he has developed into a pretty good hitter who will have his ups and downs at the plate. And as long as he keeps up the excellent work in center, I can live with that. – Tommy R.

Eric Young, LF: Yes, Young is fast. Yes, he is the reigning Stolen Base Champion. Yes, he makes the occasional outstanding catch in the outfield. He’s also hitting an underwhelming .236/.316/.310. I’m sure he will be dangled to other teams at the trade deadline, if not, he needs to be a fourth outfielder/pinch runner for us off the bench going forward. – Rob P.

Chris Young, LF:  Don’t worry Chris, I won’t be too hard on you. You won’t get an “F” from me. Instead, I will blame the front office. We all knew that your best years were behind you and the Mets put you in a position where you would be demanded to perform in a starting role. I’m sorry Chris. You seem like a great guy. – Avery D.

That 7.5 million dollar contract is looking like more and more of a mistake as each day passes. Young has hit the occasional home run for us in the first half, but he’s hovered around the Mendoza line all year and has a .287 OBP. I don’t see him getting traded at the deadline because no one will want to take on that ridiculous contract. It’s not worth keeping him on the bench for that kind of money either. There’s nothing Young does that Kirk Nieuwenhuis can’t do, and do much better. – Rob P.

The fact that you’re not Nelson Cruz will always hang like an albatross around your neck, in my eyes. Sorry, Chris. – Tommy R.

Bobby Abreu, RF: -Not much to say about Abreu, he’s been good enough for us at his age, and is a fourth/fifth outfielder at this point. Don’t see him being any better in the second half than he was in the first, and that’s not a terrible thing. – Rob P.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF: Kirk has been solid for the Mets this year, but because he has spent so little time on the Major League club, it’s hard for me to give him a grade in the “A” range. Still he has a great glove, nice speed, and a decent bat with some pop. He could run away with the 3rd outfield job in the 2nd half. – Tommy R.


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Jon Niese: Niese has been fantastic this year, and if not for a brief stint on the DL, I would give him an “A” and argue that he deserved a spot on the All-Star team. Jon has really stepped up in Matt Harvey’s absence, and will hopefully anchor the rotation for the rest of the way. – Tommy R.

Dillon Gee: Gee was off to a great start to the year after a strong campaign last season, but missed 2 months with what originally was expected to be a 2 week injury. Dillon’s work on the mound has been worthy of at least an “A-”, but he hasn’t spent enough time on the mound to garner that high of a grade, in my opinion. Anyway, now that he is back, he gives the Mets another solid arm at the top of their rotation. – Tommy R.

zack wheeler

Zack Wheeler: Matt Harvey spoiled us last year, so a lot of us were really looking for Wheeler to come out and dominate the league this season. That hasn’t happened, but Zack has still been pretty good. When he is getting ahead in the count, he is fantastic. When he falls behind the opposing hitters, he gets himself into trouble. Wheeler has the stuff to be a great pitcher, so the only question is his command. It looks like he’s starting to figure it out, so let’s see if he can bump this grade up before year’s end. – Tommy R.

Bartolo Colon: Bartolo’s win-loss record is hampered by the fact that he is a Met, and his ERA is hampered by the fact that, despite being pretty solid nearly every time he takes the mound, he has had a few absolutely horrendous starts that really put a blemish on his stat line. Still, Bartolo has given us several good starts, a lot of innings, and, of course, a ton of laughs. The Mets will likely receive many offers for the big fella as the trade deadline approaches, so he might not be here in a couple weeks. Still, Colon has been pretty solid, albeit not great; a classic “B” performance in my book. – Tommy R.

Jacob deGrom: DeGrom has been maybe the single most pleasant surprise for the Mets in the 2014 season. Jacob’s 3-5 record doesn’t do him any justice, as he should have several more wins, but has been a victim of poor offense. In 10 of his 12 starts, deGrom has allowed 3 or fewer runs, and is pitching to a 3.18 ERA on the season. deGrom will most likely remain the rotation when Niese returns from the disabled list, so I’m excited to see what Jacob can do from here on out. – Rob P.

Daisuke Matsuzaka:  Dice-K, you haven’t been spectacular. But you do everything and anything the Mets ask of you. You go to AAA, you come out of the pen, you close games, you start games. Not to mention, you stay healthy. No complaints here. - Avery D.


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Carlos Torres: Torres has done everything we have asked of him this year. He owns a 4-4 record and 2.88 ERA over a span of 43 games. Torres is the kind of guy every team needs and has been quality for us since he joined us last season. I hope Terry doesn’t blow his arm out, however. - Rob P.

Jenrry Mejia: Our starter-turned-closer Mejia has learned to enjoy his new role on the Mets and has been a nice replacement to the injured Bobby Parnell. Mejia has ten saves in twelve chances, and will look to add on to his success as our closer in the second half. – Rob P.

Jeurys Familia: I’ll take Familia’s 2.06 ERA any day of the week. He still lacks control at times, but he’s still so young and will only get better over time. – Rob P.

Vic Black: Black had the set-up role locked up going into 2014 and pitched himself out of a spot on the roster during the spring. Since being called up, however, Vic has been solid, and his strong performance, along with that of Dilson Herrera in the minors, makes the Marlon Byrd trade look better and better each day. If Black can keep working on his control, he can be a major piece in this bullpen. – Tommy R.

Josh Edgin: Coming into the year, I thought Josh Edgin was a bum. But it’s hard to argue with a 1.76 ERA, and Josh has performed to this high standard equally well against both lefties and righties. However, Terry Collins still mostly uses him as a LOOGY, and Edgin averages far less than an inning per outing, so I can’t put him in the “A” range just yet. – Tommy R.

Gonzalez Germen: Germen had an absolutely ridiculous start to the season, but then started to struggle, got hurt, and was ineffective upon his return. Gonzalez is now in the minors, and might not be back too soon. – Tommy R.

Dana Eveland:  The second lefty out of the ‘pen has also been good for us so far. I’ll take his 2.63 ERA. He’s only pitched in 13 games so far, so let’s see what he’s got when being exposed a bit more. – Rob P.


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Terry Collins, Manager: I’m not a big fan of Collins. I don’t particularly like how he manages the team during games. But you can only pin so much on a manager, and the team seems to play hard for him, if not always well. – Tommy R.

Sandy Alderson, General Manager: So how exactly do we grade the GM during the season? By looking at how his acquisitions have fared? Does the performance of a prospect he acquired back in 2011 have an impact on his grade in 2014? I’m not exactly sure. Anyway, I’m not a huge Alderson fan, as I think he lets far too many opportunities go by the wayside, but most of his moves (at least the ones that aren’t “flyers”) seem good, and it’s not like the Wilpons have given him the appropriate resources, so it’s hard to grade him too harshly. Alderson gets a C for his seemingly passive approach, but to give him a lower mark would be unjust, in my opinion. – Tommy R.

The Wilpons, Owners: Many Mets fans think that the team’s struggles begin and end with the Wilpon Family. My brother, who doesn’t watch baseball, noted how much of a shame it is that the Wilpons are in enough of a financial bind that they are unable to spend freely on the team, but aren’t in enough of a pinch that they have to sell the team. Sometimes, it feels like we are in limbo… permanent limbo. Still, teams have won with payrolls equal to or lower than the one the Mets currently have, so giving the Owners an “F” because the team doesn’t win very much isn’t something I’m prepared to do. They won’t earn anything much higher though, at least not out of me. – Tommy R.


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Offense: Our offense has been middle-of-the-pack in terms of getting on base and scoring runs. But beware: those numbers are skewed by the occasional huge game at the plate. There have been far too many games where the bats have been completely impotent and the valiant efforts of our pitchers have gone to waste. Consistency is a must at the plate, and while the offense has been better of late, it hasn’t been consistent enough this season to earn a very high grade. – Tommy R.

Starting Pitching: We all knew that our rotation would be our main strength going into the season, and there have been no surprises on that part. Niese has been great, Gee has been great when healthy, deGrom has been great, Colon has been pretty steady, and Wheeler looks like he’s going to really turn a corner before too long. Matsuzaka has been solid when called into duty. I miss Harvey, and I hope Noah Syndergaard can pick it up in AAA and get his electric arm up to Flushing before too long, but I have no real complaints about the pitching thus far. – Tommy R.

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Bullpen: Our bullpen looked weak coming into the year and things got even worse when Bobby Parnell’s season ended after just 1 game. However, Torres and the young guys like Mejia, Familia, Edgin, and Black have really stepped up to make this bullpen respectable, albeit still a bit more shaky than you’d like. Good teams usually need good bullpens, and while our pen isn’t great, it’s not the main culprit for our sub-500 record. – Tommy R.

Bench: The bench has been pretty disappointing in general this season, although some of the reserves have had their moments. Eric Campbell’s efforts salvage this unit from the “D” range. – Tommy R.

Defense: The defense has been decent, but nothing more. We have some solid speed in the outfield, which helps keep the number of extra-base hits down, but the fundamentals haven’t been pretty. How many times have our infielders failed to turn an easy double-play? I don’t even want to know the answer to that. – Tommy R.

Overall: The Mets have been alright this year. Alright, but not good. Mediocre, you could say. However, they are red-hot right now, and are slowly climbing back into the picture. If they can keep it up, maybe they can make this an exciting season. If not, it’s not like we have been trained to expect more, lately…

There have been some ups and downs this season. Let’s hope the Mets can make this a special year as we head into the second half! - Tommy R.

ya gotta belive gfx mr. met

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MMO Game Recap: Padres 6, Mets 0 Sun, 20 Jul 2014 04:00:54 +0000 Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 11.58.06 PM

The Mets (46-51) lost to the Padres (42-55) by a score of 6-0 on Saturday night in San Diego.

Dillon Gee got the start for the Mets and struggled, allowing 4 (3 earned) runs on 5 hits in 5 innings. Gee struck out 8 and walked none, but a pair of solo home runs and an error ended up hurting him.

The Padres got on the board first in the bottom of the 2nd when Yasmani Grandal led off the frame with a shot over the wall in right-center. Gee gave up another leadoff hit, this time a single, in the bottom of the 3rd, but a nice play by David Wright to nab the lead runner on a sacrifice bunt attempt seemed to give Gee a chance to settle down. However, the Padres got two more quick hits and a pair of runs against Dillon, thanks in part to an errant throw to third base by Kirk Nieuwenhuis. San Diego got to Gee again in the bottom of the 4th, thanks to a leadoff homer from Will Venable.

The Mets went hitless against Tyson Ross for the first 4 innings, and Travis d’Arnaud was lucky to break it up leading off the top of the 5th. TDA hit a slow dribbler up the 3rd base line, and Headley elected to let it roll, hoping it would go foul. The ball, however, ended up bouncing off of the bag, and Travis was on with a cheap single. The Mets would not make anything of the lucky break, however, as d’Arnaud was erased on a double-pkay.

Gee settled in a bit and ended up striking out 5 of the final 6 batters he faced, but Terry Collins pulled him in the top of the 6th after 80 pitches for pinch-hitter Eric Young. Young worked a walk, but was caught stealing on the next pitch and the Mets once again did not score.

Carlos Torres came in to replace Gee and pitch the bottom of the 6th, was greeted with a home run by Seth Smith, San Diego’s 3rd leadoff shot of the ballgame.

The Mets threatened to break through in the top of the 7th, against Ross. A single from Lucas Duda and a walk drawn by Kirk put men on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. Juan Lagares lined a single into right field, but with 2 outs and a 5-run deficit, Tim Teufel decided to play it safe and held Duda up at 3rd. Ruben Tejada came up to the plate with the bases loaded, but Ross struck him out to end the threat.

After Torres pitched a scoreless bottom of the 7th, the Mets got a runner in scoring position in the top of the 8th when Daniel Murphy hit a hard shot to the wall in right which bounced off of a lunging Venable’s glove and was scored a double. However, Murphy would not come in to score, as David Wright flew out to end the inning.

The Padres got one more insurance run in the bottom of the 8th against Josh Edgin. Headley led off with a liner down the left-field line, and Kirk was unable to throw him out at 2nd due to a bit of a bobble as he tried to pick up the ball. Headley advanced to 3rd on a sacrifice fly which sent Lagares to the wall, and scored on a passed ball by d’Arnaud.

The Mets got a baserunner in the top of the 9th against Blaine Boyer when d’Arnaud lined a hard shot which went under the glove of Chris Nelson at 2nd for an error, but were unable to muster a rally and succumbed to the shutout.

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It’s not the reason we lost tonight, but the Mets made several mistakes in the field tonight, and they really have to focus on tightening up their defense. When the game is closer, bad defense will stick out like a sore thumb.

Gee didn’t really have his best stuff tonight. Still, I would have liked to see him stay in the game longer for a few reasons. First of all, why pinch-hit so early with nobody on and a 4-run deficit, especially when the guy you’re bringing in is barely hitting 230? Granted, Young did work a pinch-hit walk, but he was immediately thrown out trying to steal 2nd, so… Gee could have made an out just as easily. More importantly, however, Gee hasn’t gotten much work lately. He missed nearly 2 months with an injury. He made 1 start after returning from the DL and then had another layoff due to the All-Star Break. Now, he comes back, pitching for the 1st time in 10 days and the 2nd time in 2 months, and he only gets to throw 80 pitches? He’s not going to build his arm strength back up by sitting in the dugout, Terry.

The offense never got it going tonight, as Tyson Ross stymied the Mets’ bats all night long. When we finally got the bases loaded in the top of the 7th, it was with 2 outs and our number 8 hitter at the plate. Sigh…

The guy the Padres put in to pitch the top of the 9th looked a lot like Justin Turner, if Turner had a beard. I better not be the only person who noticed this. Come to think of it, Turner did have a beard for awhile. Justin? Is that you?

A pretty bleak game, overall. The Mets never seemed to be “in it”. Hopefully they’ll bounce back tomorrow.

Also, stay tuned for our MMO 1st Half Grades, which will go up tomorrow at noon!

Up Next: The Mets will try to take the rubber game of their series with the Padres tomorrow at 4:10 PM. Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.90 ERA) will face Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1, 1.35 ERA) at PETCO Park.

]]> 0 MMO Game Recap: Mets 5, Marlins 4 Sat, 12 Jul 2014 23:35:05 +0000 mets win

The Mets (44-50) beat the Marlins (44-49) by a score of 5-4 on Saturday evening at Citi Field.

Daisuke Matsuzaka got the start for the Mets and was solid, although the defense behind him was rather poor. Dice-K was charged with 4 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks, striking out 10 in 6 innings of work.

Miami got on the board first in the top of the third. After a double, a sacrifice bunt, and a walk put runners on the corners with 1 out, Donovan Solano hit a grounder to David Wright at 3rd. David picked up his glove a bit too early, and an inning-ending double-play turned into a run for the Fish.

The Marlins tacked on another run in the top of the 5th, when Christian Yelich hit a shot over the wall in right-center.

The Mets’ bats took awhile to get going against Tom Koehler. However, Travis d’Arnaud led off the bottom of the 5th with a base hit up the middle for New York’s first hit of the ballgame. Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed him up with a double off the left field wall which was misplayed by Yelich, and the Mets had the tying runs in scoring position with no outs. Juan Lagares got the first run in with an RBI groundout as Kirk moved to third, and with 1 out and the tying run 90 feet away, Terry decided to push the envelope and have Ruben Tejada lay down a suicide squeeze. The bunt was perfect, Kirk came in to score, and the game was square at 2.

Miami took the lead right back in the top of the 6th against Matsuzaka. After Casey McGehee worked a 1-out walk and moved to 2nd on a passed ball, Garrett Jones doubled on a ball that fell just out of the reach of Lagares to make it 3-2 Marlins. Marcell Ozuna was up next and hit a line drive right at Granderson, but Granderson broke in and the ball went over his head, putting Ozuna on 2nd and bringing in another run to put Miami up 4-2. Dice-K got a pair of strikeouts to escape the jam without further harm and finish his work for the day, but it appeared that the damage had been done.

Wright and d’Arnaud each drew walks in the bottom of the 6th to put the tying runs on base, but Kirk was unable to get the runners home. Reliever Carlos Torres worked a flawless top of the 7th and the two teams headed into the 7th-inning Stretch with the Marlins still up 4-2.

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Lagares grounded out to start the bottom of the 7th, but Tejada worked a walk, and Terry Collins sent the embattled Chris Young up to the plate to hit for Matsuzaka. Mike Redmond pulled his starter Koehler and Bryan Morris came in to face CY, and in the plot twist to end all plot twists, Chris smacked a 2-run homer over the left-field wall to even the game up at 4-all.

Vic Black came in to replace Torres and pitch the top of the 8th, and got himself into a jam, putting runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. Adeiny Hechavarria came to the plate and lined one that seemed destined for the gap in right-center, but Daniel Murphy made an incredible leaping grab to end the inning and save at least 1 run.

The Mets made 2 quick outs in the bottom of the 8th, but d’Arnaud hit a 2-out double against Mike Dunn to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Terry brought in Eric Campbell to pinch-hit for Kirk, and Soup answered the call, lining a 3-2 pitch into center to bring home TDA and give the Mets a 5-4 lead.

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Jenrry Mejia came in to close things out for the Mets and worked a 1-2-3 top of the 9th, giving the Mets their 6th win in the last 7 games.

Dice-K’s line isn’t too pretty, but he was victimized by some sloppy defense and actually did quite well today. He has stepped up in every role Terry Collins has asked him to fill this season.

Guys, we’re winning games! Finishing games with more runs than the other team! What is going on here? It isn’t every day that the Mets erase a deficit during a game— let alone doing it twice— but this is a different team we’ve been seeing lately, so I’m not sure how surprised I am that we got it done today. However, I am quite shocked that Chris Young was the guy who stepped up. You can’t predict ball, I guess…

Traivs d’Arnaud has looked so good at the plate since being called up, and he kept on rolling today, busting up Koehler’s no-hitter in the 5th, and getting a huge 2-out double in the 8th to set up the game-winning hit.

Speaking of the game-winning hit, how awesome has it been to watch Campbell? A guy comes in with no expectations and nobody can get him out… let’s hope it lasts.

I love the suicide squeeze play. If you get the bunt down, the run is almost guaranteed to score. With the pitcher on deck, it makes all the sense in the world (Dice-K most likely won’t be getting that run in, so you have to take some chances with your number 8 hitter at the plate).

This was a great win, and the Mets have some nice momentum. Hopefully they can finish up a sweep tomorrow and head into the break on a very, very positive note.

Up Next: The Mets will go for a sweep of the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. Jacob deGrom (2-5, 3.38 ERA) will face Brad Hand (0-1, 5.09 ERA) at 1:10 PM.

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MMO Game Recap: Braves 3, Mets 1 Fri, 11 Jul 2014 02:33:12 +0000 Freddie - Freeman  Travis - d'Arnaud

The Mets (42-50) lost to the Braves (50-42) by a score of 3-1 on Thursday night at Citi Field as Atlanta salvaged the final game of a four-game series.

Bartolo Colon got the start for the Mets and struggled out of the gate, but settled in before long and ended up turning in 8 innings of work, allowing 3 runs on 10 hits while striking out 7 and walking none.

The Braves got to Colon in the first inning, which has been the norm for teams facing Bartolo this season. After Andrelton Simmons singled, Freddie Freeman doubled him in and came in to score on a base hit by Jason Heyward.

Colon gave up 2 more hits to start the top of the 2nd, but was gifted a double-play thanks to a missed bunt and some overzealous baserunning.

The Mets snapped former Met Aaron Harang‘s streak of 8 2/3 hitless innings against New York in the top of the 2nd, when Juan Lagares doubled off the wall with 2 outs. Ruben Tejada came to the plate as the 7th hitter in the lineup, but with the pitcher Colon batting 8th tonight, Harang could afford to pitch around Tejada. Ruben walked, and Colon struck out to end the inning and strand Juan.

The Braves got another pair of hits to lead off the 3rd, and although Colon got Heyward to ground into a double-play, Simmons was able to score on the play and put Atlanta up 3-0.

The Mets got on the board in the bottom of the third. After Eric Young singled and stole 2nd, Daniel Murphy walked, and David Wright singled into left field to cut the Braves’ lead to 3-1 and put the tying runs on base. However, Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud were unable to get the job done, and Harang escaped further trouble.

Colon surrendered 2 more hits in the top of the 4th, but got out of the jam and settled into a groove after that. The Mets made things difficult in the 5th, but d’Arnaud was unable to come through with the bases loaded. The next few innings went by without much action.

The Mets tried to rally in the bottom of the 8th, but with 2 on and 2 out, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez brought in closer Craig Kimbrel to go for a four-out save. Kimbrel fanned pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis and retired the side in order in the 9th to wrap up the win for Atlanta.

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At one point in the game, Bartolo Colon outran Jason Heyward. In my humble opinion, the Braves should have been forced to forfeit the game when that happened. Alas, the umps decided to let the game play out…

Colon looked miserable at the start of the game, but found a way to turn in a very solid outing. There is a very good chance he will be traded at the end of the month, and games like this certainly won’t hurt his trade value.

The offense had been firing on all cylinders lately, but came out flat in this one. Hopefully the bats pick it back up tomorrow.

We all wanted the sweep, but you can’t complain about taking 3 of 4 from the Braves. Now we have to get a series win against Miami and maintain some positive momentum.

Up Next: The Mets will begin a 3-game set with the Marlins tomorrow night at Citi Field. Zack Wheeler (4-8, 4.07 ERA) will face Henderson Alvarez (6-3, 2.27 ERA) at 7:10 PM.

]]> 0 MMO Game Recap: Mets 8, Braves 3 Wed, 09 Jul 2014 03:30:25 +0000 jacob degrom

The Mets (41-49) beat the Braves (49-41) by a score of 8-3 on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

Jacob deGrom got the start for the Mets and was fantastic. By the way, if nobody has coined the term “deGromination” yet, I’m totally going to do that. The rookie went 7 scoreless innings, giving up 7 hits, walking none, and fanning 11.

The Mets rocked Julio Teheran early and often. Curtis Granderson got things started by leading off the bottom of the 1st with his 14th home run of the season. New York struck again in the bottom of the 2nd, when singles by deGrom (who does it all) and Grandy set the table for Daniel Murphy, who doubled home both runners. Murphy came in to score on David Wright‘s RBI single, and it was 4-0 Mets after 2. The Mets got to Teheran one more time in the bottom of the 3rd, when Travis d’Arnaud singled and later scored on a base hit by Eric Young.

The Mets tacked on some insurance against David Hale in the bottom of the 6th. Murphy doubled for a 2nd time, and Duda doubled on a ball which was misplayed by BJ Upton, who is basically the Braves’ slightly less terrible, but much more expensive version of Chris Young. Murphy came in to score and put the Mets up 6-0.

The Mets got yet another run in the next inning against David Carpenter. After d’Arnaud and Ruben Tejada singled to start the inning, Kirk Nieuwenhuis smacked a pinch-hit double to right to chase home Travis and make it 7-0 Mets.

Buddy Carlyle came in to replace deGrom in the top of the 8th and struck out 2 batters while giving up a walk and a single. Terry Collins decided to pull Buddy so he could bring in the lefty to face Jason Heyward with a 7 run lead (?!?!?!??!), and Dana Eveland trotted in from the bullpen. Heyward singled up the middle and Andrelton Simmons put the brakes on at third, but when Juan Lagares got lazy in center, Simmons changed his mind and charged home to score the Braves’ first run.

The Mets got that run back in the 8th, when Duda doubled past the shift and Lagares poked a double of his own down the line to chase Lucas home.

Eveland ran into some trouble in the top of the 9th and was pulled up 8-1 with the bases loaded and 1 out. Terry brought in Jeurys Familia, who gave up a 2-run single to Freddie Freeman but eventually wrapped up an 8-3 victory for New York.

The win was the 4,000th in Mets history.

curtis granderson jacob degrom

deGrom was great tonight. He’s been great since we called him up. He throws strikes and he doesn’t seem to lose his head in big spots. I like this guy. And he can also hit…

Ahhh, hitting. Isn’t baseball much more fun to watch when your team scores runs? The Mets’ bats have come alive lately, and they’re starting to hit for some power, too. Duda is hitting, Grandy is hitting, Wright is hitting, Murphy is hitting, even Tejada is hitting.

And Travis d’Arnaud has been hitting, ever since he was back up from the minors. As I’ve said all along, you can’t declare somebody a bust and a bum after 4 months in the Majors. He was a top prospect, and he was traded for 2 Cy Young winners, for a reason. He’s starting to show why. He has potential, and he’s starting to produce. His throwing hasn’t been great lately, but I’d rather have a Mike Piazza than a Jose Molina.

Terry, please stop trying to use every reliever in every game. Tonight’s game was a blowout. If tomorrow’s is close, you’ll regret having let the relievers play hot potato with the baseball in this one.

I’m not sure whether I have a strong opinion on the pitcher batting 8th. It seems like it helps our offense, but it might just be a coincidence. I’ll have to look into that a bit more…

The Mets are 8 games out now, and with 2 more games against the Braves, they can make up some more ground if they keep playing well. I’ll be going to Citi Field to catch the game for the first time in awhile, so I’ll be checking if our newfound offensive prowess was simply a figment of my television’s imagination…


Nice win. Let’s keep it up.

Up Next: The Mets will continue their series with the Braves on Wednesday night at Citi Field. Dillon Gee (3-1, 2.73 ERA) will make his return from the Disabled List, and he will face Ervin Santana (7-5, 3.93 ERA). Game time is 7:10 PM.

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