Mets Merized Online Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Minors Recap: Puello’s Homer And Muno Slam Lead Vegas To Crown Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:00:25 +0000 Cesar Puello

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Minor League Notes

  • Daniel Muno hit his 13th home run for a Grand Slam and drove in five runs.
  • Matt Reynolds singled in four at bats and scored two runs and extended his hitting streak to five games.
  • Kevin Plawecki was 2 for 4, scoring two runs, and extending his hitting streak to seven straight games. He is batting .481 (13 for 27) with five multi-hit games in that span.
  • Cesar Puello finished 3 for 3, with two runs scored, two doubles, his fifth home run and drove in two runs.
  • Tomas Nido went 1-for-3 for Brooklyn and now has a healthy 10-game hitting streak.
  • John Mora now has a five-game hitting streak for the Cyclones after going 1-for-2 in Brooklyn’s win over the Yankees.
  • Tyler Moore has now recorded at least one RBI in each of his last four games for Brooklyn.
  • In his final rehab start, Daisuke Matsuzaka went five innings striking out seven, with two hits and two walks.
  • With his 14th save of the season, Shane Bay is now tied for the lead in the New York-Penn League.
  • Yeixon Ruiz RBI on Savannah’s loss to Rome, gives him 12 in his last 10 games.
  • Champ Stuart extended his hit streak to six games after going 1-for-3 Thursday night.

Las Vegas Wins PCL Pacific Southern Division Crown


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Who Are The Top Left-Handed Pitchers After Matz? Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Jeff Roberson Associated Press  steven matz

With a dominating season across two levels of the minors, Steven Matz has clearly established himself as the top left-handed prospect in the Mets organization. Matz owns a 9-8 record and an excellent 2.27 ERA in 22 starts for Double-A Binghamton and Advanced Single-A St.Lucie. He has been so successful this season that many believe that he now ranks inside among the top 100 prospects in the game.

Although the Mets do not have another southpaw who has the ability of Matz, they do have several who can become solid contributors. Here is a breakdown of the top 5 left-handed prospects after Matz.

Blake Taylor
Height/Weight: 6’3, 220
Age: 19

The Mets acquired Taylor as a player to be named later in the Ike Davis trade earlier this season, and he appears to be a nice find for New York. Taylor’s fastball sits in the low 90’s, and he has solid secondary offerings with a good curveball and a newly developed changeup. While Taylor has struggled with a 5.13 ERA in Kingsport, this is mainly due to the fact that he is one of the youngest players in the Appalachian League. As he gets older and gains more experience, he has the talent to emerge into a top prospect for New York.

Jack Leathersich
Height/Weight: 5’11, 200
Age: 24

Leathersich quickly became fan favorite due to his exceptional strikeout rates throughout the minor leagues. Leathersich has struck out 324 batters in 192 career innings, which translates into an incredible 15.2 K/9 However, his stock dropped dramatically after a disastrous stint in Triple-A Las Vegas last season where he posted a 7.76 ERA and 29 walks in 29 innings. Leatherisch still has the potential to become a solid reliever despite these struggles, but he needs to show better results in Triple-A soon in order to live up to his former hype.

Dario Alvarez
Height/Weight: 6’1, 170
Age: 25

Alvarez is one of the biggest surprises in the Mets minors this season with a 1.17 ERA and 14.0 K/9 in 69 innings. While he has pitched mostly against weaker hitters in Single-A ball for the Savannah Sand Gnats, his performance this year has been too good to ignore. Alvarez did not allow a single run in 23 of his 26 appearances while pitching for Savannah. The Mets aggressively promoted Alvarez to Double-A Binghamton recently, and his performance there will be pivotal. If he is able to dominate hitters in the Eastern League, he will be an intriguing option for the Mets bullpen in the near future.

Adrian Almeida
Height/Weight: 6”0’, 150
Age: 19

The Mets signed Almeida as an international free agent out of Venezuela in 2012. While most fans have not heard of Almeida yet , he has shown a lot of promise this season at the rookie level with the Gulf Coast League Mets. In six starts, he has a strong 1.80 ERA and 9.8 K/9. His control has been problematic though with 21 walks in 35 innings, but he is someone fans should monitor as he climbs up the Mets system.

Darin Gorski
Height/Weight 6”4’, 210
Age: 26

Gorski first grabbed the attention of minor league analysts after being named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year in 2011. For the St. Lucie Mets that season, Gorski posted a 11-3 record with an outstanding 2.08 ERA. In the years that followed however, he has not been as successful. He had a mediocre 4.00 ERA in Double-A in 2012, and was demoted from Triple-A early in the season in 2013 after several sub-par outings. While some consider him a non-prospect because of his age and these setbacks, I think he could prove these skeptics wrong. He is a crafty and intelligent pitcher on the mound, and he has rebounded nicely this season back in Double-A with a 2.22 ERA.

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Morning Di-Jest: I Have Questions Fri, 22 Aug 2014 11:30:46 +0000 terry collins

  1. Has Terry Collins gone from using Eric Young Jr. every chance he gets, to using him as little as possible? Don’t get me wrong I think that EY used strictly as a pinch-runner maximizes his only major league skill.
  2. Does Daniel Murphy take the first pitch he sees in the 1st inning every game yet swings at the first pitch in his next at-bat as long as the ball is in the same zip code?
  3. Other than throwing out an occasional base stealer and looking incredibly handsome doing it, does Anthony Recker really merit being on a major league roster?
  4. Am I the only one that thinks Wilmer Flores has a dysfunctional swing?  He’s a big strong kid, but his swing is all arms and there’s virtually no weight shift from the back leg to the front one.
  5. Does Sandy Alderson really think that Collins is doing a good job or does he just not want to pay for another manager while he’s paying this one?
  6. Will we ever see the good David Wright again?  Actually that was a question one of my sons asked me on Sunday. I guessed that he may have some more 20 HR seasons in him but maybe won’t ever reach 25 again.
  7. With Nick Franklin traded and Tulo down with injury are there any other shortstops in the Northern Hemisphere that the Mets can go after? It has amazed me that the focus has been on so few shortstops when almost anyone, but Tejada and Wilmer would be an improvement over Tejada and Wilmer. Personally I’d love Sandy to call Seattle’s Jack Z and ask the price for Brad Miller who is having a horrid season, but was a top prospect less than a year ago
  8. Who blinks when Sandy and Theo go at it?  I suspect Sandy would want one of the Cubs shortstops and maybe something more for Noah Syndergaard, while Theo would want another prospect or two added to Thor for one of his guys.
  9. With the Mets tanking in traditional August/September fashion is the Terry Watch back on?
  10. Why is Matt den Dekker routinely in left field and Curtis Granderson in right field when MDD has the better arm?
  11. Do the Mets prefer playing all these west coast games that start at 10 pm or later Eastern time? While they’re blowing late leads and doing other Metsian things 90+% of the viewing audience is asleep.
  12. Intriguing thought. Had a team claimed Granderson on waivers (he reportedly passed through waivers unclaimed) would the Mets have let him go for nothing just to save the remaining $47 million they owe him? I think they would have.

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Game Thread: Staten Island Yankees vs Brooklyn Cyclones, 7:10 PM Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:44:48 +0000 daisuke matsuzaka

New York Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his final rehab start on Thursday for the Brooklyn Cyclones at MCU Park when the Clones take on the Staten Island Yankees at 7:00 PM. The game will be televised on SNY or you can listen live here.

Matsuzaka, who is 3-3 with a 3.87 ERA this season, last pitched for the Mets on July 24 and was placed on the Disabled List on July 26 with inflammation in his right elbow. Thursday will mark his third rehab start.

michael conforto

Michael Conforto leads the team with a .318 batting average. The 2014 first rounder owns a .417 on-base and is slugging at a .427 clip to begin his pro career. When Conforto scores a run, the Cyclones are 14-2. The first round pick has scored 22 runs in 29 games with Brooklyn this season and has scored six runs in his last four games.

jhoan urena

Third baseman Jhoan Urena is the only player in the New York-Penn League to participate in all 64 games this season. The franchise record for most games in a single season is 74, set by OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis in 2008. Urena is

marcos molina

Marcos Molina, 19, is the ace of the rotation and is 6-2 with a 1.58 ERA in 10 starts and has yet to allow a home run. In 63.2 innings pitched, Molina has struck out 73 while walking 12. At the NYPL All Star Game, manager Tom Gamboa told 

“I just saw recently where he’s the No. 16 prospect in the Mets’ farm system. My answer to that is, if we have 15 players better than him, then the Mets are headed for the World Series in the not-too-distant future because I just see him on the fast track.”

The Cyclones are currently in second place in the McNamara Division with a 35-29 record. They are coming of a 14-2 loss to the Staten Island Yankees.


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Real Deal: Wheeler Has Emerged as a Force in Mets Rotation Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:06:23 +0000 zack wheeler

Zack Wheeler gave up four runs (two earned) over 5 2/3 innings in an 8-5 win over the Athletics on Wednesday. He missed his 10th consecutive quality start by one out. 

Manager Terry Collins pulled Wheeler with two outs in the sixth inning, and the young righthander wasn’t happy about it. After 103 pitches, he was done.

Since he was 3-8 on June 30,  Wheeler has won six straight, going 6-0 with a 2.40 ERA over his last 10 starts.

“You never want to be 3-8,” Wheeler said. “But I try to battle and just give your team a chance to win every time out.“

The six straight wins tie Bartolo Colon for the team high in consecutive victories this season. 

It’s been a breakthrough season for Wheeler and in his last ten starts we’ve seen him dominate at times, but also gut it out when he didn’t have his best stuff. His curve and changeup have become big-time weapons and he’s no longer afraid to use them and throw them for strikes.

In a season where little has gone right, Wheeler has emerged as a clear number two starter and one of the most consistent starters in the National League.

This kid’s the real deal.

Like Bobby Ojeda said, I hope the Mets don’t baby him the rest of the way and instead allow him to grow into the bulldog and innings eater we need him to be.

(Updated by Joe D.)

August 20

At age 24, Zack Wheeler is hitting his stride. It’s tempting to say “finally” when it comes to him, but in reality he’s still a very young pitcher. What makes Wheeler different is his potential.

He was highly sought after from a very young age and it seems like we’ve been watching him for a long time. In reality, he’s only been in the Mets farm system for three years. It definitely seems like longer.

What we are witnessing in 2014 is the birth of a number two starter. While Wheeler may have the potential and skills to be a number one, it’s clear that he doesn’t quite have that bulldog mentality that has pushed Matt Harvey to the front of the Mets rotation. Not yet anyway.

Winning teams need solid arms throughout the rotation and Wheeler is showing us his keen ability to be that number two guy in tandem with Harvey. Some people will look at being a “No. 2″ as a negative. After all, the ace of the staff always gets the spotlight.

But for every Dwight Gooden there has to be a Ron Darling. For every Tom Seaver there’s a Jerry Koosman. Andy Pettitte is an amazing example of a #2. He was never the best pitcher on a team but embraced the role of taking the ball in game two better than anyone.

Over his last nine starts, Wheeler hasn’t lost a game, lowering his ERA along the way from 4.25 to 3.49 and striking out almost a batter per inning over that stretch. He also has gone at least 6.0 innings in every start since his shelling against Oakland on June 25th.

Wheeler still has room to grow. He is only 24 after all. There’s no question that he can grow mentally as a pitcher, learning to fight back and win games when he isn’t quite ‘on.’

If he can push his game, especially from a mental perspective, there’s a chance that he could surpass Harvey. I’ll take the stand that Wheeler will always be the #2 on this staff and that should be perfectly fine with him (and Mets fans). MMO footer

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The Answer Is Contact – Part Deux Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:30:09 +0000 curtis-granderson

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The answer is CONTACT.

We all know the Mets offense has been struggling mightily since the All-Star break. At the break, I wrote how the Mets offense improved as their contact rates improved. As the Mets offense has faltered, guess what? Their contact rates have gone down as well.

It’s no surprise that as their post All-Star offense has faltered, their strikeout rate has gone up. Their best offensive period? When they struck out the least. This isn’t a team that lives or dies by the Home Run. If they did, we could live with the strikeouts. They don’t…. and boy, are the strikeouts killing us.

Runs Per 9 Innings

Average Per Games:
1-25    3.9
26-50   3.8
51-75   3.4
76-85   4.6

Average Per Games:
1-85    3.8
86-95   5.8

Post All-Star Break:
96-128   3.1

Pitches Per Plate Appearances:

Average Per Games:
1-25    3.9
26-50   3.9
51-75   4.0
76-85   3.9
86-95   3.8

Post All-Star Break:
96-128   3.9
122-126   4.0

Over the 5 game stretch from August 14th to August 19th when they managed a total of 19 hits, they took as many pitches per at bat as they did during their worst offensive stretch in the first half.

Plate Appearances Per Nine Innings:

1-25  37.7
26-50  38.4
51-75  37.6
76-85  38.1

Average Games: 1-85  37.9, 86-95  40.1

Post All-Star Break: 96-128  36.1, 122-126  34.1

The lineup has become significantly more stagnant post All-Star Break.

Percentage of plate appearances resulting in strikeouts:

1-25    24.4%
26-50   19.5%
51-75   21.3%
76-85   22.1%

Average games 1-85  21.8%, 86-95  15.1%

Post All-Star Break: 96-128  21.5%, 122-126  23.9%

After the hot stretch heading into the break, their strikeout rate jumped and their run output per nine innings tanked. The more they struck out, the more futile the office became.

Hits Per Nine Innings:

1-25    7.2
26-50   8.9
51-75   7.1
76-85   10.2

Post All-Star Break: 96-128  6.9, 122-126  4.0

Contact Rate versus runs per nine innings:

1-25     66.4% contact vs. 3.9 runs
26-50   72.5% contact vs. 3.8 runs
51-75   67.3% contact vs 3.4 runs
76-85   73.2% contact vs. 4.6 runs
86-95   74.8% contact vs. 5.8 runs

Post All-Star Break:

96-128   71.3% contact vs. 3.1 runs

122-126  65.0% contact vs. 3.3 runs.

Since the All-Star Break, the Mets have 4 or fewer hits in 11 (33%) of their games played. In these 11 games only 68.9% of all at-bats ended in contact and they averaged just 2.2 runs per 9 innings.

The Mets need to stop striking out and just put the ball in play.

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3 Up, 3 Down: Bay Watch Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:25:13 +0000 terry-collins-and-sandy-alderson-watch-bp

The Mets concluded their brief two game set against the Oakland A’s and yet again, walked away with a split.  To quote ACDC’s late Bon Scott, “I’m hot, and when I’m not, I’m cold as ice”.  That pretty much sums up this series, this season and this team.  Below is a 3 up/3 down review of how the Mets performed out in California the last two days.

3 Up

1. Lucas Duda blasted his 23rd bomb of the season dead to center field in yesterday’s matchup.  He is now tied for 4th in the National League in home runs.  Among National League 1st basemen, he is 2nd in homers and 3rd in WAR (3.2).  It’s also noteworthy to mention that as far as flashing the leather goes, Lucas is tied for 2nd, along with Albert Pujols, Justin Morneau and Adrian Gonzalez, in fielding percentage (.997).  While The Hulk has struggled to hit for average in August, he once again proves that slugging at a high rate (.625 in this series) can cure a lot of offensive woes for a struggling lineup.

2. Eric Campbell gets souped to play baseball.  The rookie utility man went 4 for 7 in this series (.572) and he was the first to get the Mets on board during yesterday’s onslaught by launching his third home run on the season to center field.  Campbell has quietly produced at a high rate despite inconsistent playing time, coming up with clutch hits, all while manning several positions defensively around the field.

3. Zack Wheeler bounced back against the A’s.  We all remember the last time Zack faced Oakland on June 25th at Citi Field, turning in arguably the worst performance of his young career.  He gave up 6 hits and 6 earned runs before being pulled with only 2 innings of work.  Wheeler once again showed maturity and grit, despite some borderline comical defense behind him.  This outing, the young gun went 5 2/3 innings and allowed only 2 earned runs (two others were scored on Daniel Murphy’s fielding error on a routine ground ball).  As Anthony DiComo of noted, Wheeler is 6-0 with a 2.12 ERA since June 30th.  The Mets have now won 7 of Zack’s last 10 outings.

3 Down

1. Dillon Gee continues to struggle since returning from the disabled list on July 9th, including Tuesday’s loss, which was his fifth straight.  Gee is by no means overpowering, he relies heavily on his command and his high baseball IQ to maneuver the ball in and off the plate and keep hitters off balance and guessing.  Prior to his DL stint, Gee was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, posting the 4th best ERA among pitchers with at least 175 innings as of May 30th, 2013.  Since his return, he is 1-5 with a 5.06 ERA.

2. Juan Lagares is slumping and he needs to bust out.  The Mets are lethargic in a lot of their decision making, but one thing they are quick to do is bench Lagares when he goes into a minor slump.  He is an unbelievably talented player defensively and has shown such vast improvements offensively from last year.  I fear that one bad streak will land him on the pine and derail his development through the end of the season because Terry Collins feels the need to choose someone else and “get them going”, or whatever generic phrase he uses in lieu of a specific, analytic response.  Lagares went hitless in Tuesday’s loss and didn’t get any at bats on Wednesday, hitting .107 in his last 10 games combined.  Hopefully it’s just a bit of fatigue and the rest will have him back to producing at a respectable clip.

3. Curtis Granderson is equally as responsible as David Wright for this teams power outage.  Granderson hasn’t hit a home run since July 26th and he’s slugging an abysmal .179 in the month of August, producing only 1 double and 0 triples.  He has been given ample opportunities to thrive, even owning the lead-off spot for an extended period of time in order to get his production up, but in reality he was paid to come here and protect Wright in the cleanup spot.  I can appreciate his professionalism, but fans can also appreciate seeing the team’s high rollers put some wood on the ball.


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Colon Was Never Placed On Waivers Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:20:32 +0000 bartolo colon m's

I hate to say I told you so, but much as I speculated on August 1, the Mets never placed Bartolo Colon on waivers as many had considered a foregone conclusion. Joel Sherman of the NY Post confirmed as much.

There were assertions made that Sandy Alderson was willing to give away Colon to any claiming team just to get the salary relief and with no players coming back to the Mets. As I said at the time, that was “preposterous.”

Here is what I wrote back then:

I never believed the Mets were simply going to let Colon go to anyone who would take his salary. I don’t know why everyone was running with that story which I initially called preposterous.

Sandy Alderson would never simply just give the guy away. As I’ve said repeatedly, it would reflect negatively on him as he did quite the sell job on the fan base after signing him and trying to justify that second guaranteed year.

Simply giving him away would also fan the flames that the Mets are STILL in financial distress, something they’ve been trying hard to extinguish.

I’m pretty certain Colon gets moved in the offseason which should be easier to do especially if he finishes the season off healthy and effective. Is it a risk? Of course it is, but Sandy knew that when he gambled on that second year – something no other team in the major leagues was willing to do.

Look, as a couple of my MMO colleagues already argued this month, there’s also nothing wrong with hanging onto Colon. There’s no guarantee that Harvey returns from Tommy John Surgery in his 2013 form. It may take a year to get back to that.

There are also concerns about Jon Niese and Dillon Gee, and quite frankly, if I were in Sandy’s shoes – those are the two I’d be shopping and you’ll likely get a lot more in return.

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The Double Whammy Of Being a Jets and Mets Fan Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:58:01 +0000 rex-ryanLife as a New York Met fan is painful enough, but for Met fans who also pull for the New York Jets, sports allegiance can be a double whammy.

Manish Menta, who covers the Jets for the New York Post wrote an interesting column this week that for this reader drew parallels between management of the Mets and that of the Jets. “Woe is me” for all Met/Jet fans.

The Jet beat reporter builds an argument that Jets General Manager John Idzik has boxed head coach Rex Ryan in a corner through his inability to provide the Jet roster with key personnel at cornerback, a critical area of the field in Ryan’s always inventive defensive schemes.

It was Idzik’s claim “We have no regrets whatsoever” and his and his loyal company man Ryan’s comments that drew eerie parallels with comments Met fans have come to expect from Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins.

Don’t believe me? Take a look.

Idzik also added: : “I don’t think immediate spending translates into winning. I think responsible spending translates into sustainable winning.” Idzik’s, who according to Menta this year fields a roster more than $20 million dollars below the salary cap, could have taken that play directly from Sandy Alderson’s playbook.

terry collins snarkyNow listen to Ryan, every bit as good a company man as Terry Collins. “If you had an uncapped (league) where you could spend like the Yankees…. hey trust me, we’d have an all-star team. Because our owner would say, ‘All right, let’s go for it….’ but there’s fiscal responsibilities.”

“When you’re looking at the big picture it’s not a one-year, one-shot deal. Let’s throw everything into this one year and let’s take every guy we have and mortgage the future. That’s not what this team is about. We want to have sustainable success. It’s about building it the right way, and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”

Wow! Terry and Rex might not look the same. They might not act the same. But, the words coming from their mouths could be interchangeable.

For the Met fan facing their sixth consecutive losing season, the company line, even with a minor league system now flourishing with winning successes, is tired and wearing thin. For the Mets/Jets sports fan the double-talk, is a double whammy almost too painful to take.

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Montero and Germen Likely To Be Demoted To Make Room For Colon and deGrom Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:30:19 +0000 bartolo colon

Adam Rubin surmises that the Mets will likely demote Gonzalez Germen and Rafael Montero when the Mets activate Jacob deGrom on Saturday and Bartolo Colon on Sunday.

There is also the possibility that the Mets could simply find a candidate who they could place on the DL, perhaps Jenrry Mejia who in addition to a knee and hernia issue is now dealing with a sore back.

August 20

Terry Collins told reporters that Bartolo Colon, who is on bereavement leave to mourn the death of his mother, will start for the Mets on Sunday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. After his start, Colon then will return to the Dominican Republic to attend his mother’s funeral.

This sets up the weekend rotation with Jon Niese on Friday, Jacob deGrom on Saturday, and Colon on Sunday.

The Mets will need to make two roster moves before activating deGrom and Colon. They also have Daisuke Matsuzaka nearing a return after his next rehab start.

Finally, the Dodgers have altered their pitching rotation to give Zack Greinke two extra days of rest. Clayton Kershaw, who was originally scheduled to start Friday against the Mets, will instead go Thursday against the San Diego Padres on his normal four days of rest. Big break for the Mets.

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Wright Still Frustrated, Alderson Says He’s Handling It Well Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:23:17 +0000 david wright

David Wright went 0-for-4 in yesterday’s finale against the Athletics, and is just 1-for-17 in his last five games while batting .268 this season.

In an interview with the Rockland Times, Wright said:

“No one is happy with the position we are in” and the team has missed opportunities to win games they should have won, but the team has young players “learning on the job…and that’s the best way to learn.”

Sandy Alderson addressed Wright’s current slump and his overall decline this season, in an interview with flagship stadium WOR.

“First of all, no player is ever going to be at the top of his game consistently throughout a season, or over ‘X’ number of seasons. And part of dealing with the adversity is how it’s handled. David handles it very well. We certainly recognize this is a collective thing.”

Alderson is inferring that the problem is not Wright, but rather the team-wide effect which he believes is impacting Wright’s numbers.

“It’s been pretty much across the board, starting with the top of our lineup all the way through. When you only get three or four hits a night, there’s a collective issue. We’ve got some young players in the lineup who we’ve got to give some time, but I think it’s been a collective thing. I do believe that offensively we will get better. The question is how much better.”

Yes that is the question. It’s been the question for six years now.

August 19

David Wright is mired in another slump as his career worst season continues. The Mets Captain insists it’s not his shoulder.

“The shoulder is not an excuse. Again, when I go tell the manager that I’m good to play, I expect to produce. I’m not thinking about the shoulder. I’m not thinking about bad habits. I’m thinking about going out there and trying to excel and doing what I’m capable of doing, that I’ve proven I can do. When I don’t do that, I’m as frustrated as anybody.”

Wright returned to the lineup on Monday after sitting out a day with a sore shoulder and went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 12 at-bats. Worse yet, were the resounding boos Wright heard in the ninth as he headed back to the dugout.  

“If I’m in the lineup, I expect to produce to a certain standard,” he said. “When I don’t, it’s frustrating.”

You can almost read the tension in every at-bat this season for Wright. Gone is that confident swagger he took to the plate, and in its place is a player searching for answers, swimming in doubt, and fighting to rediscover his former self.

Wright will turn 32 in December and he clearly is in the decline phase of his career. But there seems to be more going on here than just a gradual and typical decline. I am concerned that there’s more to his sore shoulder than he’s letting on. He’s altered his whole approach, has made several mechanical adjustments to his swing, and just last week he admitted that he can’t remember what it feels like to be in a good hitting groove.

I do believe that batting third is also adding undue pressure at a time when he’s battling the burden of a huge contract, playing through various injuries, aches and pains, while also coming to the realization that his skills are now declining.

As the Mets wrap up the final 35 games of what will be a sixth straight losing season, Wright will have all Winter to rest up and hopefully show up next Spring with the confidence we’ve come to expect from him, but more importantly the player the team needs him to be – and that is a reliable top-flight run producer in the middle of the lineup.

Additionally, Wright’s not getting any younger and even he understands that it’s time for Sandy Alderson to deliver on his promise of a better future.

“This offseason is going to be an important one,” Wright told the Daily News. “Because we have gotten to the point where I do think that we’re talking about a piece or two away from being a really, really good team.”

Of course the one or two pieces Wright speaks of will have to be difference makers, and that requires either a huge outlay of money or surrendering some top prospects, neither of which I believe the front office is prepared to do.

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Mets Minors Recap: Herrera Belts Ninth Double-A Home Run Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:00:31 +0000 dilson herrera

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Minor League Notes

  • Daniel Muno enjoyed his second straight game with three hits finishing 3 for 4.
  • Matt Reynolds singled to extend his hitting streak to five games, batting .444 (8 for 18) in that span.
  • Kevin Plawecki singled to extend his hitting streak to six games.
  • Gabriel Ynoa pitched seven innings allowing one run on five hits, while striking out four, picking up his third win and first in over a month for Binghamton.
  • Dilson Herrera belted his ninth home run and went 3-for-4 in Binghamton’s 8-5 win over Erie. Herrera has six hits in his last three games, and has 71 in his 53 games.
  • Another player having continued success at the Double-A level is T.J. Rivera. He also went 3-for-4 on Monday night raising his average to .344. Rivera has seven hits in his last three to one-up Herrera.
  • With his 3-for-4 night, Darrell Ceciliani extended his current hitting streak to nine games.  He has registered at least one hit in 21 of his last 23 games.
  • Matt Koch picked up his eighth win of the season in the 6-2 St. Lucie win. Koch went seven solid which was his longest outing since May 17th.  It was his third time this season notching six punch-outs during his body of work.
  • L.J. Mazzilli posted a 2-for-4 night extending his current hitting streak to seven games.  He has 12 hits during that stretch.
  • Michael Conforto went 2-for-4 on Monday night and has hit safely in five out of his last six games.  He is now batting .318 in his first professional season.
  • Brooklyn’s pitching staff allowed nine walks as a unit in the 14-4 drubbing against the Yankees.
  • Tomas Nido went 1-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to nine games.  He has 14 hits during that time frame. Photo Of The Week

Brooklyn Cyclones Tucker Tharp‘s diving catch was highlighted as a Photo of the Week for August 13, 2014 by MiLB. (Photo Credit: Rick Nelson)

Brooklyn's Tucker tarp


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The Wilmer Flores Experiment Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:00:15 +0000 Wilmer -  Flores

At just 23 years old, it’s hard to imagine giving up on a highly regarded prospect. Still, I believe the time has come for the Mets to move on from Wilmer Flores.

Signed at the ripe old age of 16, Flores has progressed slowly through the Mets farm system, racking up almost 3,000 minor league at bats. Over that time, he’s hit .292 with 77 home runs and 869 hits and slashed at a .292/.334/.440 clip. Unfortunately, it’s starting to feel like those numbers will never be matched in the major leagues. In his limited stint in the majors, Flores is hitting .221/.255/.294 through 73 games over the past two seasons.

I’m not ready to let Flores walk away solely based on numbers. While there are many who rely predominantly on stats, I believe that a balance must exist between the eye test and statistics. The eye test is what is really troubling. Flores looks overmatched in almost every single at bat and it doesn’t seem like he’s evolved in the time we’ve seen him.

There was a specific at-bat against Scott Kazmir on Tuesday in which Flores was swinging for the fences with two strikes. It was the top of the 4th and earlier in the inning, Travis d’Arnaud had a big home run. Seeing that, you could almost tell that Flores was trying to do the same thing. In the Mets booth, Kevin Burkhardt commented that it was a huge swing. What they failed to harp on was the situation. With two strikes, smart hitters don’t try to hit home runs. Flores was demonstrating a lack of baseball smarts.

Some will say that he’s only 23. But the Mets are close to contending. While they might not be there this year, Flores doesn’t seem like he fits into the future. He’s been in the organization for a long time and doesn’t seem to have a position. He came up as a shortstop before moving to third base and eventually second. He played every infield position at some point in his minor league career and didn’t dazzle at any of them. If he’s going to be an average (or below average) fielder, he simply must hit. He hasn’t and that’s the problem.

So what do you do with Flores? My solution is to include him in a trade in the offseason. It lets him get a fresh start with another organization and while he hasn’t been great, there’s still a chance that he can make something of his career. I just don’t believe the Mets are the team he’ll do it with and for that reason it’s time to move on.

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You Gotta Have Heart, And A Little Crazy Helps Too Thu, 21 Aug 2014 12:00:28 +0000 MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets

David Wright is sounding like a desperate man these days. He’s seeing his power numbers evaporate and he’s had to bear another year entrenched in a mediocre lineup on a mediocre team.

He’s got everything a man could wish for. A great apartment, buckets of money, a gorgeous wife and a great job … but his dream of a world series eludes him. David is a good guy, by all accounts he’s liked and respected by just about everyone. He signs autographs, visits children in hospitals, and does his best to put a happy face on a beleaguered franchise.

I’d wager that if David got a visit from “Mr. Applegate” (A.K.A. the Devil) offering to return him to his former slugging form he’d be mightily tempted. The reference is of course to the musical Damn Yankees, where a poor long suffering fan of the Washington Senators is lured into offering up his soul to secure that slugger his team desperately needs. Mr. Applegate turns poor Joe Boyd into Joe Hardy, the power hitter the team requires. David Wright would probably have to leave his wife, sharpen his spikes and charge the mound now and then … I doubt he could continue to be Mr. nice-guy … not with his soul in hock.

I could see the plot of Damn Yankees played out in our own backyard. A young ambitious Fred Wilpon approached by Mr. Applegate (as Bernie Madoff) in the lead up to 1986, promising him untold riches, a World Series and sole ownership of the Mets … for a price of course. After a dark and tense negotiation and a brief moment when it’s almost called off (after Wilpon tries to throw in his first born) it’s done.

Of course things didn’t turn out the way Wilpon wanted … that’s usually how these Faustian things go. In the play, Mr. Applegate was defeated by Joe Boyd’s true love for his wife Meg, but in real life Fred WIlpon’s only true love (the Dodgers) could never love him back, and so he is hung out to dry, bamboozled, hoodwinked … and as soon as the ink dries on the contract the ball gets through Buckner and his fate is sealed.

It’s a cautionary tale. Be careful what you wish for, don’t sell out, never give up on your convictions or your integrity for the sake of worldly success … but those words begin to ring hollow when you’re mired in a historic stretch of offensive futility.

The Mets win when they’re mean, when they’re a nasty dirty bunch of brawlers, when they routinely knock you down and punch you in the face if you make a run at them anywhere near the third base line. The Mets have sold out their roots and heritage by promising to be good. In the immortal words of Patches O’Houlihan, sometimes “You have to get angry, you have to be MEAN!”

But it’s not easy to be mean when you are constantly taking the high road and your captain reminds people of Spongebob’s kinder gentler nephew. You might get into heaven, but you probably won’t win a pennant.

Tom Seaver on many occasions reminisced about his days as a young ballplayer in California and often pointed to his time in the Marine Corps as a turning point. While many athletes in his position would have hesitated to devote that much time from their budding careers to the military, Tom Terrific attributed much of his toughness and strength to his service time, training with an organization designed to destroy and annihilate … an organization designed primarily for killing and maiming.

The venerable Gil Hodges shared this background with Seaver and between the two of them you had a couple of tough S.O.B’s anchoring that 1969 championship team … Then, again in 1986 you had perhaps one of the most sordid and undesirable (albeit talented) collection of deviants you could put into a single uniform take the field in Flushing, and they too proceeded to handily stomp nicer teams across the league.

It’s a cruel irony that in the years since (the Wilpon years), the team has become as straight laced and goody-two-shoes as the Waldo rich kid character in The little Rascals … I remember Darla pining “Oh Waldo!” But Waldo always lost in the end, beaten by low down dirty tricks and sneaky contraptions … a fire engine with a spring loaded boxing mitt or a speed boat with ducks harnessed to a wagon wheel as an engine. The little rascals didn’t fight fair, and they always ended up getting the girl in the end.

These 2014 Mets are nothing like Spanky and Alfalfa and Buckwheat, but they are a lot like other Mets teams of the past 20 years. They play fair, they don’t retaliate, they offer friendly smiles to the other team and routinely exchange pleasantries with opposing first basemen. Prior to Sandy Alderson and the rule changes, they adhered to slot recommendations religiously in the draft, draining their farm of talent at a time when every other big market team was stocking up. You have to go back to Ty Wiggington if you wonder when the last time a Met bowled over a catcher was. It makes one question why this Met organization is so inclined to the high road, the gentler more polite road, the losing road.

I’ll tell you why, it is Fred Wilpon’s penance on this great green earth that he be foiled by the very principles that were routinely urinated on by the 86 squad … Wilpon sold out to a criminal mastermind who orchestrated the financial backing necessary for him to secure ownership, and as punishment the Mets are now doomed, cursed … too nice to win, too gentlemanly to retaliate, too kind to knock a batter down — even when their own nicest of fellows is plunked perilously close to his noggin by a lowly Cubs team with nothing to play for. It’s like the plot of Damned Yankees without the happy ending.

Now I’m not saying Terry Collins should seek out the Devil and make a deal, these things have a way of backfiring, and besides, finding old scratch might not be easy in light of Bud Selig’s imminent retirement … but this too kind to let the other team lose gentleman’s game has no place in Queens. This is New York for crying out loud. Maybe this nauseating institutionalized tenet towards niceness was implemented in response to the ruinous amoral disintegration of their would-be dynasty, but surely, 28 failed seasons later the Wilpons must realize that good guys finish last, right? They must on some level understand that the bad guys won the last time their organization took it all?

Matt Harvey gave us a little taste last year of what it’s like to pour gasoline over a duct-taped opponent and threaten them with a Zippo lighter, while Zack Wheeler is showing signs of breaking this benevolent buffoonery with his fondness for kneecaps … but around the diamond we continue to be hamstrung by a sad and lugubrious shortness of crazy. You gotta have heart as the song goes, you have to have the courage to occasionally go off the high road and do something really really stupid.

Like John Blutarski famously said, “What the f#@& happened to the (Mets) I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you’re gonna let it be the worst. “Ooh, we’re afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble.” Well just kiss my @$ from now on! Not me! I’m not gonna take this. Harper, he’s a dead man! Freddie Freeman, dead! Strasburg … “

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Petey’s Mets Nightmare Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:00:40 +0000 Can Anyone Here Play This Game?

Can Anyone Here Play This Game?

I get up like any other day to get ready for work. As I am making some fresh coffee I flip on ESPN. Hey what the hell is this? There is ‘breaking baseball news’ they say, coming up after the break. So as the commercials play, and the coffee drips, I start to feed the dogs. Then the sports news comes back on.

“Someone has a new manager,” Stewart Scott starts to chirp, “can you guess who?”

Me: ”No, I can’t guess who, moron,” I mutter irritably, “why don’t you cut the crap and just tell me,” I implore the screen. “Geez I haven’t even had my coffee yet and I’m supposed to guess who has a new manager. It won’t be the Mets that’s for sure!”

Stewart: No, It’s not the Mets, care to try another guess?

Me: Oh c’mon!

Stewart: The Cincinnati Reds have decided to go in a different direction as the team this morning has announced they have cut ties with manager Bryan Price after just one year at the helm.

Me: Big deal.

Stewart: But what’s even more interesting is that they have already conducted their search for a successor, and this morning they have announced Price’s replacement as well. The new Reds manager for the 2015 MLB season will be Wally Backman, who finally gets a chance to manage in the majors after being hired and then fired by the Diamondbacks in less than a week, way back in……..

But that was all I remember. The next thing I was aware of was that I was throwing things. Both out the window and at the wall. I remember things smashing and bits of broken glass flying about the room. I was hurling both everyday household items and cherished family possessions without prejudice. I was even throwing left-handed and right-handed at the same time. I didn’t even know I could throw lefty.

And all the while I was cursing in a most vile manner. It didn’t even sound like the voice was coming from me. I screamed insults at the Mets owners, the front office, the field manager, even Mr. Met. But did it make me feel any better? Hell no, this just ain’t right! Wally a Cincinnati Red, are you kidding me!?! He should be manager of the Mets! And I heave an empty wine bottle out the window.

And then….the press conference starts. And there is Wally, one of the few true Mets icons and heroes, and he’s being introduced as manager of the Reds. He’s wearing a red hat and jersey. As a Mets fan, I can’t tell you how bad this makes me feel. And how pissed off. It’s just another slap in the face for being a fan of the Mets.

My eyes comb the room for something else to throw and I spy a 1986 Mets World Champions table lamp over by the open window. Perfect. I pick it up and give it a yank, but the plug doesn’t come out. I pull harder, then really hard. The plug suddenly comes loose and I tumble backwards out the window. As I’m falling my life starts to pass before me. I am still mad at the Mets, but I start to worry about dying too and wondering if it will hurt? And right then, I wake up.

Wow, that was a horrible nightmare! And so real too! I’m glad it was just a bad dream. I flip on the TV.

Stewart: “Someone has a new manager, can you guess who?”

terry collins Mets Spring Training

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 8, Athletics 5 Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:37:49 +0000 lucas duda david wright daniel murphy

The New York Mets (60-68) defeated the Oakland Athletics (74-52) this afternoon at Coliseum by a score of 8-5, splitting the series. Zack Wheeler got the nod for New York and was opposed by Jeff Samardzija.

What you should know:

After Jeff Samardzija set down the first six batters to greet him, he surrendered a solo home run to Eric Campbell to lead off the third inning.

Samardzija would then load the bases with two outs, and throw a wild pitch, allowing Curtis Granderson to score. Lucas Duda then promptly made him pay as he blasted a three-run shot, his 23rd of the season, to dead center making it 5-0 New York.

Oakland got right back into the game in the bottom half of the third. Zack Wheeler walked Eric Sogard with two outs, and it cost him, as Oakland hit back-to-back RBI doubles, making it 5-2.

The Mets tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth with a pair of RBI singles from Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy, which effectively ended Jeff Samardzija’s afternoon. Samardzija went 3.2 innings, and allowed seven runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out three.

Zack Wheeler got into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the fourth, but looked like he was going to get out of it unscathed. However, Daniel Murphy botched a routine ground ball that would have ended the inning, allowing two Oakland runs to score.

Wilmer Flores singled home Lucas Duda in the top of the fifth to make it 8-4 Mets.

Zack Wheeler pitched 5.2 innings this afternoon, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits, while striking out three and walking three.

Vic Black stranded his 23rd consecutive inherited base runner as he induced an inning ending double play, after coming in to relieve Josh Edgin.

After Black loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, Jeurys Familia came in and walked in a run. However, he would set down the next two batters to end the inning.

Familia stayed on for the ninth inning and shut the door, earning his fourth save of the year.

Zack Wheeler earns the win, and is now 6-0 in his last ten starts.

Player of the Game:

Today’s Player of the Game goes to Mets first baseman Lucas Duda, who hit a three-run home run and went 2-4 with a walk on the afternoon.

On deck:

The Mets start a three game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday night at Dodger Stadium with Jonathon Niese (7-8, 3.50 ERA) getting the start for New York and Dan Haren taking the hill for the Dodgers.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets at Athletics, 3:35 PM Wed, 20 Aug 2014 18:02:27 +0000 zack wheelerThis afternoon, the Mets look to salvage a game in their two game series against the Oakland Athletics. The Mets send Zack Wheeler (8-8, 3.49) to the hill against Jeff Samardzija (5-9, 2.96).

In his last start, Wheeler earned his fifth straight win in the Mets’ 3-2 victory against the Cubs on August 15th at Citi Field. In that game, he pitched 6.2 innings, allowed four hits, two earned runs, and four walks, while tying a season-high with 10 strikeouts. It was the third double-digit strikeouts game of Wheeler’s career.

Wheeler has made nine straight starts without a loss (5-0 in decisions). The last Mets pitcher to have such a streak was Matt Harvey, who had a 13-game stretch without a defeat in 2013.

Travis d’Arnaud has four home runs and two doubles over his last 12 games. He has at least one hit in nine of those 12 contests.

Starting Lineup

  1. Granderson-DH
  2. Murphy-4
  3. Wright-5
  4. Duda-3
  5. d’Arnaud-2
  6. den Dekker-8
  7. Flores-6
  8. Nieuwenhuis-9
  9. Young, Jr.-7
  10. Wheeler-1

The Mets play the second game against the Athletics tonight looking to move behind yesterday’s lack of offense. Earlier in the season, the Mets swept a two game set of the Athletics at home, and right now they are at risk of being swept in a two game set against the Athletics on the road. Wheeler gets the nod for the Mets tonight. On the season he is 8-8 over 25 starts and 147.0 innings with a 3.49 ERA.In his last 9 starts he has logged 58.0 innings with 54 K’s and a 2.02 ERA. Earlier this season he faced the Athletics and it was a clunker of a start where he allowed 6 ER over 2.0 innings. The A’s have the following numbers against Wheeler:

  • Crisp 1-2
  • Donaldson 1-2
  • Jaso 1-1
  • Moss 1-2, HR
  • Callaspo 1-1

Jeff Samardzija gets the nod for the Athletics tonight. He is 3-2 over 8 starts with a 3.21 ERA for the Athletics and overall on the season he is 5-9 over 25 starts with a 2.96 ERA. In the month of August he pitched 19.1 innings over three starts with a 3.26 ERA. He hasn’t faced the Mets since 2012 and back then he allowed 12 ER in 11.1 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Jeff:

  • Tejada 4-9, 2B
  • Wright 1-6, 2B
  • Duda 1-5
  • Murphy 3-6, 2B, HR
  • E Young 0-4
  • Granderson 0-1

Lets Go Mets!

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NYPL All-Star Game Ends In A 1-1 Tie Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:00:00 +0000 National Anthem during the 2014 NYPL All-Star Game (Photo by Jim Mancari)

National Anthem during the 2014 NYPL All-Star Game (Photo by Jim Mancari)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – MCU Park in Coney Island had the feel of Miller Park in Milwaukee circa July, 2002.

That’s because this year’s 10th annual New York-Penn League (NYPL) All-Star Game finished in a 1-1 tie – just like the 2002 MLB Midsummer’s Classic.

Six Brooklyn Cyclones played Tuesday night in the All-Star Game, representing the South team. It was the second time the Cyclones hosted the league’s All-Star Game – the first was the first-ever game in 2005 – and the first time the 14 teams in the league were split into North and South teams rather than American versus National League affiliates.

Marcos Molina (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Marcos Molina (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Cyclones’ right-hander Marcos Molina started the game for the South All-Stars and turned in a scoreless opening inning, giving up only a two-out single while striking out two. The 19-year-old is 6-2 in 10 starts this summer and is second in the league with a 1.58 ERA. He leads the NYPL with 73 strikeouts and a 0.83 WHIP.

Molina getting the start marked the sixth time in franchise history that a Cyclone has started the All-Star Game, as well as the third straight. Bobby Parnell started the first-ever NYPL All-Star Game in 2005. Mark Cohoon (2009), Yohan Almonte (2010), Luis Mateo (2012) and Miller Diaz (2013) have all earned starting nods in the game.

The other Cyclones’ starter was 18-year-old shortstop Amed Rosario, who batted second in the lineup for the South. He flew out to right field in the first inning and was robbed of a base hit in his second at-bat in the fourth.

For the year, Rosario is batting .286 with 36 runs scored, 14 extra-base hits and 19 RBI. He currently sits third in the NYPL with 66 hits and is tied for the league-lead with five triples.

Cyclones’ righty Corey Oswalt pitched the top of the fourth inning. He surrendered two hits but was able to escape the jam unscathed. In 10 games this season, he’s 6-1 with a 2.26 ERA – third in the NYPL – and has allowed two runs or less in eight of his nine starts.

Cyclones’ third baseman Jhoan Ureña entered the game in the sixth inning, hitting into a fielder’s choice in his first at-bat and grounding out in his second. He’s the only player in the NYPL to appear in all 63 games, and he leads the league in hits (71) and at-bats (240) and is fifth in RBI (38). At just 19 years old, he became the only player in Cyclones’ franchise history to record three hitting streaks of 10 or more games in the same season.

Cyclones’ right fielder Michael Bernal also entered the game as a reserve. He struck out to end the bottom of the seventh inning. Though he’s third in the NYPL with 77 strikeouts on the season, he’s tied for the Cyclones’ team lead with five home runs and is second on the team with 30 RBI. He also leads the team in stolen bases (10) and outfield assists (eight).

Cyclones’ lefty closer Shane Bay entered with two outs in the top of the ninth inning and needed only one pitch to retire the side. He ranks second in the league with 13 saves and has held his opponents scoreless in 14 of his 17 appearances.

In addition to these six players, the Cyclones’ coaches, including first-year manager Tom Gamboa, served as the active staff for the South team during the game.

Before the game, MCU Park was the site of a celebrity/civil servant softball challenge presented by Mercedes Benz of Brooklyn and the Tic Toc Stop Foundation. The game featured members of the FDNY, NYPD and DSNY alongside stars from the world of sports, television and beyond, including Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton, John Franco, Steve Lavin, Chris Mullin, Rosanna Scotto and the Impractical Jokers.

After the softball game, Esiason, Carton, Franco and Lavin all participated in an on-field ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The Cyclones (35-28) currently hold a full 1.0-game lead in the Wild Card race over the Connecticut Tigers with just 13 games remaining. Brooklyn resumes action Wednesday night to take on the Staten Island Yankees before returning home Thursday.

Click here to view the complete box score from the All-Star Game.

Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton, John Franco and Steve Lavin accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton, John Franco and Steve Lavin accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

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

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

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

daniel murphy lucas duda


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

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

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

Lucas  Duda manning first base - Cit Field


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

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

zack wheeler


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

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

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


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

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

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

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Mets Minors Recap: Whalen Wins Eighth Game, Muno Hits 12th HR Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:08:20 +0000 Marcos Molina

Last Night’s Quick Scores

Minor League Notes

  • Cory Mazzoni won his fourth game for Vegas tossing seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and striking out two.
  • Matt Reynolds was 3 for 5, with two runs scored. He is batting .386 in his last ten game with six multi-hit games in that span.
  • Kevin Plawecki recorded two more singles in five at bats and extended his hitting streak to five games. He is now batting .271 on the season.
  • Daniel Muno, who has not gotten much attention playing in Vegas, hit his 12th home run on the season and finished 3 for 4, with two runs scored and three RBIs.
  • Michael Fulmer making his first start for Binghamton after being promoted from St. Lucie, took the loss, tossing 3.1 innings, allowing six runs on six hits, walking three and striking out one batter.
  • Dilson Herrera was 2 for 4, hitting his 15th double for the B-Mets.
  • Juan Centeno singled to extend his hitting streak to five games and finished 1 for 4.
  • L.J. Mazzilli was 2 for 5, with two runs scored and extended his hitting streak to six games and is hitting .359 in his last ten games.
  • Robert Whalen won his eighth game on the season for Savannah, tossing 5.2 innings, and allowing two earned runs on six hits, walking two and striking out five.
  • Dominic Smith was 2 for 6, and has put together a mini three game streak.
  • Matt Oberste finished 2 for 4, exnteding his hitting streak to four games and has driven in at least one run in each of those games.
  • Yeixon Ruiz hit his fifth home run and drove in three batters and Victor Cruzado hit his seventh homer and drove in four batters.
  • Vicente Lupo singled and extended his hitting streak to four games and is hitting .364 in his last ten games.

NY-Penn 2014 All-Star Game

  • Amed Rosario and Jhoan Urena were both 0 for 2 in the game.
  • Michael Bernal struck out in his only at bat.
  • Marcos Molina started the game and threw one scoreless inning, allowing one hit and striking out two.
  • In relief, Corey Oswalt tossed a scoreless inning, allowing two hits and struck out one batter.
  • Cyclones closer Shane Bay, entered the game in the ninth and got the only batter he faced to pop out to short stop.

(Photo Credit: Ashley Marshall/

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