Mets Merized Online » Adam Wainwright Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:50:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Explode For 10 Runs; Take 2 of 3 From Cards Fri, 26 Aug 2016 02:47:28 +0000 seth lugo

The New York Mets (64-63) defeated the St. Louis Cardinals (67-59) by a score of 10-6 tonight at Busch Stadium. With the victory, the Mets pull within 3.5 games of the second wild card spot.


Seth Lugo toed the rubber for the Amazin’s tonight, and out-dueled Adam Wainwright, pitching five innings of scoreless ball, allowing just two hits and zero runs, while walking three and striking out five. Unfortunately, he left the game with a cramp in his right calf.

Jim Henderson pitched the sixth inning in relief of Lugo and served up a two-run jack to Brandon Moss to trim the lead to 7-2 at the time.

Jerry Blevins pitched a clean seventh, but Brandon Moss was back at it again in the eighth as he took Josh Smoker deep to account for the only runs of the ball game on the Red Birds side up until this point.

Smoker was replaced by Addison Reed in the eighth without recording an out. Reed gave up a run to cut the lead in half to 8-4, but escaped the inning.

Sean Gilmartin pitched the ninth and let up a pair of homers to Jedd Gyorko and Stephen Piscotty, but the Mets hung on to win 10-6.

alejandro de aza


The Mets exploded for ten runs tonight, five of which came off the bat of Alejandro De Aza, which was more than his first two months as a Met combined.

Wilmer Flores got the Mets on the board first with a sacrifice fly in the second, and then the aforementioned De Aza drove in a pair with a shot up the middle in the fourth to make it 3-0 Mets at the time.

In the fifth, Flores reached on an error, which scored a run to make it 4-0 Mets, and then De Aza broke the game wide open with a three-run bomb, his fifth of the campaign.

In the eighth, Asdrubal Cabrera tacked on another run for the Mets with single to center. And Rene Rivera singled in two more runs in the ninth to give the Mets 10 runs on the night!

On deck:

The Mets open up a weekend series with the Phillies tomorrow night at Citi Field, with Bartolo Colon (11-7, 3.36 ERA) taking on Adam Morgan (1-7, 6.21 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.

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Familia’s Saves Streak Ends With Heartbreak Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:01:35 +0000 familia darnaud

For the second straight day the Mets grabbed the elusive RISP brass ring, only to have it fall on the carousal floor Wednesday night after the Cardinals rallied for two runs in their 5-4 win.

Jeurys Familia stepped onto the mound in the top of the 9th holding a one run lead in his trusty right hand, and did what he hadn’t done in 52 consecutive outings.  Blow a save.  In fact the Mets were 48-0 when leading after 8 innings.

The prolific closing act of this offensively struggling team flirted with danger one time too many when he issued a one out walk to the pesky Jedd Gyorko, the guy that hurt the Mets with a two-run homer in the first game of their double-header on Monday.

Yadier Molina, who broke New York’s heart during Game 7 of the NLCS nearly a decade ago, delivered a game tying RBI double, then Kolten Wong brought him home with the streak-ending dagger double to left field.

“I just tried to get a ground ball,” Familia said of his pitch to Molina. “I left it a little bit in the middle and he had a good swing.”

Fair to say that Yadier is still public enemy number one in Flushing.

The Mets drew first blood in the top of the 2nd with a double to left by James Loney and an RBI single by Neil Walker’s recently awoken bat.

Logan Verrett couldn’t close the door with two outs in the bottom of the inning, surrendering back-to-back deuces to Matt Holliday and Matt Adams giving St Louis a 3-1 lead.

But then in the In the 7th, it seemed like the makings of a modest two game winning streak was on the menu when consecutive singles by Travis d’Arnaud and Alejandro De Aza, a wild pitch by Adam Wainwright and a two-run shot by Yoenis Cespedes gave the Mets a one run lead.

Addison Reed retired the side in order in the 8th, setting the stage for Familia’s 53rd save which never came to fruition.

“You know it’s eventually gonna happen,” Wilmer Flores said of Familia’s inability to come through. “Nobody’s perfect. He made a pitch Molina was ready for. Some hitters would try to pull that ball. Molina didn’t.”

The loss meant the Mets still haven’t won consecutive games for nearly three weeks.

“It’s definitely a tough one to swallow since we came back,” Wilmer Flores said of his teammate Familia. “What can you do? We’re still right there. And we still believe in him.”

“Nobody’s perfect. He made a pitch Molina was ready for. Some hitters would try to pull that ball. Molina didn’t.”

The collateral damage that was done tonight put the Mets 5.5 back of the Nationals and in 4th position of a wild card spot, a half game behind the Cardinals, and 1.5 away from the Marlins and the surging LA Dodgers. It’s suddenly getting pretty crowded around here.

Regardless of the result, kudos to Familia for an incredible record-setting run. His 52 consecutive saves in the regular season dating back to August 1, 2015, is the third-longest streak in major league history. And his 36 consecutive saves to open this season are a Mets franchise record. Shake it off, big guy.

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Have The Mets Been A Victim Of Bad Luck? Thu, 16 Jul 2015 15:25:07 +0000 BN-david wright

Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal argues that injuries aren’t an excuse for the team’s performance this season. While the Mets have suffered an immense amount of injuries to key players, Costa explains that it doesn’t all come down to misfortune or bad luck.

“The notion is as convenient as it is misleading. The next team behind the Mets on the DL days leaderboard: the Los Angeles Dodgers, with 802, a first-place team with a strong chance of making the postseason. In terms of trips to the DL, the Mets rank fifth in the majors with 16. The team just ahead of them: the Washington Nationals, with 17, a first-place team with a strong chance of making the postseason.”

“Every year, there are teams who suffer injuries that exceed the league average and surpass their expectations. Some of those injuries sideline star players. The best organizations have the talent, depth and will to overcome them. The Mets are not one of these.”

Another strong example of a team overcoming injuries is the St, Louis Cardinals, who have the best record in the league. They lost their ace pitcher Adam Wainwright in addition to players like Matt Holliday, Matt Adams and Jon Jay.

As Costa mentions in his article, the main issue points to the front office and ownership. They have not surrounded the team with enough quality depth to overcome these losses like the Dodgers, Nationals and Cardinals have been able to do.

One example that speaks volumes is team’s inability to find a competent replacement for Wright. With his absence, Mets’ third basemen are hitting just .246 with four home runs. Their combined OPS of .676 ranks last in the National League.

In a year that the team set such high expectations for themselves, injuries and misfortune shouldn’t be used as excuses. Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons need to take full responsibility if the team fails to reach its desired goals.

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World Series Game Thread: Giants vs Royals, 8:07 PM Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:00:54 +0000 Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of CBS

Game 1

San Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 8:07 PM, FOX

Madison Bumgarner (2-1, 1.42 ERA, 31.2 IP) vs. James Shields (1-0, 5.63 ERA, 16 IP)

The World Series kicks off tonight at 8:07 PM in Kansas City, Missouri. Madison Bumgarner will face off against “Big Game” James Shields. These two pitchers have been going in different directions during the postseason. While Bumgarner has set the standard for dominance in the postseason, Shields has struggled mightily.

Bumgarner set an all-time playoff record by throwing 26 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings on the road and was named the NLCS MVP. He has been nothing short of brilliant, throwing nearly double the number of innings compared to any other pitcher this postseason. The Cardinals Adam Wainwright threw the second most innings with 16, 15.2 less than Bumgarner.

Sheilds hasn’t had nearly the same postseason. Known for pitching in big spots, he’s come up short for the Royals in multiple situations and will now pitch for the second time in the World Series. He started game two of the 2008 World Series against the Phillies, picking up the win.

28 years, 11 months and 25 days after the last World Series game at Kaufman Stadium, the Royals will try to continue their incredible run through October while the Giants look to win their third World Series in five years.mmo footer

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Another Mets Conundrum: Cautious To A Fault Mon, 16 Jun 2014 14:57:19 +0000 I can’t vouch for the veracity of this, but on Sunday night I heard that the Mets have played 22 different series so far this season, and somehow they’ve managed to avoid facing the opposing team’s ace pitcher in 16 of those series. If that’s true, I guess things could be somewhat worse than they are right now. But who knows?

It does appear we’ll miss Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright as we get set to play a three game series tonight in St. Louis. He’s going to have his turn skipped due to a bout of tendinitis.

“We’re not going to get Wainwright, although Martinez isn’t a party,” Terry Collins said, referring to tonight’s starter Carlos Martinez who’ll be making his second career start. The 22-year old righty was ranked the 31st best prospect by Baseball America for 2014.

The Mets took two games against the Padres this weekend and improved their record to 30-38, eight games under .500.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets

I read that Sandy Alderson met with season ticket holders on Friday and touched on a few things while fielding a few questions from what I’m told was a very serious and concerned group.

Among them were two questions regarding payroll. The first question was dodged by the Mets GM, who said he would not answer questions about increasing payroll until after the season. “That’s something we deal with when this season is over.”

The second question was about increasing payroll if the Mets were in the hunt for a wild card. “If we’re in a position that we’re competing,” Alderson said, “that we’re vying for a wild-card spot or a division championship on July 31, I think we have the capacity to make a move.”

He thinks?

Are you familiar with the old adage; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is too weak? In the Mets’ case it’s the wallet that is too weak. And that’s unfortunate.

“I really do believe that we are close. So let’s focus on what we have between now and the trade deadline. Let’s see where we are.”

Close to what? The post season? Really? Okay, let’s roll with that…

Newsday’s David Lennon wrote recently that when it comes to the trade deadline, the Mets have become adept at a vicious cycle of trading away its most talented players, conserving dollars, collecting prospects and sitting home in October.

One thing that has yet to be proven by this front office is their willingness to trade for very productive major league players – rather than the usual – trading them away.

Let’s assume Alderson is right. Let’s assume the Mets are right there – “close” as the GM attests – to a post season berth. Let’s further assume that the Mets still have the same problems on offense. Does Alderson have the wherewithal to trade the one surplus the team seemingly has, it’s young pitching?

When Alderson was asked about trading pitching for what the Mets lack – namely power bats – he responded:

“One of the problems of trading pitching, regardless of how much you have, is that you can never have enough,” Alderson said. “There are a couple of things that make me cautious. You’re never quite sure who is going to succeed and who’s not, who’s going to get injured and who’s not. To some extent, there’s safety in numbers.”

Sounds like a very gun-shy approach. It seems that the Mets are now cautious to a fault. They lack confidence in their own ability to determine which pitchers they should move and which should be off limits, and in the meantime David Wright continues to get older.

Where is the decisiveness one looks for in leadership?

I’m not asking that the front office be fearless, I know better than to expect that from this bunch. But what is the benefit of arguably having four general managers steering the ship if we are to perpetually remain adrift?

If four years is not enough time to at the bare minimum chart a course to a winning season, how many more years do you require?

Perhaps the best moment of the Q&A session came when one ticket holder asked for assurance that the team will hang onto Daniel Murphy. To which the response was more dodging.

“At this point, do what I do: Ignore Twitter and try to ignore the blogosphere and have a beer when you go home tonight.”

If this Q&A was conducted between another GM and another group of season ticket holders from some other team, I gotta admit I’d be rolling on the floor laughing… But it’s not.

Fred, Jeff… You want to weigh in here?

Note from Joe D:

It feels good to be back even if it’s only on a limited basis. I want to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers and well wishes over the past week and a half. I have no doubt that it gave me the emotional boost I needed to pull through. It’s going to take a few weeks for me to ease back into the type of pace you’re accustomed to from me. But as you all saw, MMO has a superb team of writers who rose to the occasion and showcased their own unique talents. I’d like to thank both them and you for keeping MMO going while I was out and while I’m still on the mend. Words alone do not suffice. Thank you all so much.

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MMO Game Thread: Cardinals vs Mets, 7:10 PM (SNY) Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:14:02 +0000 USATSI  jon niese

The 10-10 Mets look to get back up over .500 as they they  continue their series against the Cardinals tonight at Citi Field. Jon Niese (0-2, 2.84 ERA) opposes right-hander Michael Wacha (2-1, 1.73) in what should be a solid 7:10 PM matchup.

Jon Niese is 0-2 with a 2.84 ERA since returning from the Disabled List on April 6. There are only three pitchers in the  majors with a better ERA that haven’t earned a victory yet (minimum three starts): A.J. Burnett, Jeff Samardzija and Josh Beckett.

Over the last eight games, the starters have posted a 1.98 ERA (11 earned runs/50.0 innings). The starters have compiled 13 quality starts this year, tied for the fourth-most in the majors.

At the conclusion of this series the Mets will have played 22 games. New York will have faced three separate teams that went to the postseason in 2013 and a combined 12 games vs. those squads.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be batting leadoff and playing centerfield tonight.

Starting Lineup

  1. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF
  2. Curtis Granderson – RF
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  5. Chris Young – LF
  6. Lucas Duda – 1B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jon Niese – RHP

Game Preview

The Mets dropped the second game of the series last night, but to be fair Adam Wainwright was full-Wainwright last night. Anyway, the Mets get to put last night behind them as they take on Wacha tonight with an opportunity to guarantee a series split with a win. On the hill for the Mets will be Jon Niese.

Niese has not won a start this season but over his first three starts he has a 2.84 ERA over 19.0 innings while walking 5 and striking out 16. Last year he made one start against the Cards where he pitched 7.1 innings allowing 6 hits and 2 runs while walking 2 and striking out 3. The Cards have the following numbers against the Mets:

  • Molina 3-11
  • Holliday 2-10
  • Jay 3-8, 2B
  • Craig 1-5, 2B
  • Ellis 4-6
  • Carpenter 1-3, 2B

Wacha will be making start #5 tonight. On the season he is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA over 4 starts and 26.0 innings with 3 walks and 25 strikeouts. His last two starts are a little more human as he has allowed 6 runs, 4 earned over 13.1 innings with a 2.71 ERA. Last year he picked up the win against the Mets pitching 6.0 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 earned runs while walking 3 and striking out 4. The Mets have the following numbers against Wacha:

  • Duda 0-2
  • Murphy 1-3
  • Quintanilla 1-3, HR
  • Wright 0-2
  • Nieuwenhuis 0-2

Lets Go Mets!

homer the dog

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MMO Game Recap: Cardinals 3, Mets 0 Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:43:37 +0000 dillon gee

Once again, the Mets got stellar starting pitching, and once again, the bullpen was solid with the exception of Jose Valverde, but unfortunately, as has happened far too often this early season, once again, the Mets bats fell silent. The Cardinals got a brilliant pitching performance by Adam Wainwright, who was forced to leave the game after seven innings due to an apparent knee injury, and beat the Mets 3-0.

With the loss, the Mets fall back to .500 at 10-10. They wasted a strong outing by Dillon Gee who pitched six innings of two run baseball. Curtis Granderson seems incapable of breaking out of his current slump, going 0-3, and extending his hitless streak to 22 straight at-bats. David Wright had a rare 0-4 night, breaking his 12-game hitting streak. The Mets and Cards will go back at it tomorrow night with Jon Niese facing Michael Wacha.

Mets Cards 4.22 WE

Key Play

It was a little too reminiscent of 2006. In a strange coincidence of characters and theatrics, Adam Wainwright had a curveball hit for what looked like a game-tying home run untll Matt Holiday stole it from the top of the wall. Of course, it was nowhere close to as spectacular as Endy Chavez play.

Holliday Robs HR

Starter Focus

Dillon Gee

It took 95 pitches for Gee to reach six innings of work. He allowed only two runs on six hits, struck out four, and walked two. He got lots of swings on his breaking pitches, but only one swing-and-miss on the curveball. The key was 17 of 25 batters he threw first pitch strikes.

Gee 4.22

Adam Wainwright

Wainwright was sharp through seven innings before landing awkwardly while running towards first base, forcing him out of the game. He only needed 79 pitches to retire the Mets with ease, allowing only four baserunners.

Wainwright 4.22

Win Probability Chart courtesy of FanGraphs. Detailed pitching data courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Game Thread: Cardinals vs Mets, 7:10 PM Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:50:24 +0000 USATSI dillon gee

After moving back above .500 with a win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night, the Mets tackle them again tonight at Citi Field. Cards ace Adam Wainwright opposes Dillon Gee in a  7:10 PM start as the 4-game series continues.

Dillon Gee picked up his first win of the season in last start against Arizona, pitching 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, walking none and fanning three. He has tossed 6.0 or more innings in 24 of his last 26 starts dating back to May 30 of last year, going 15-11 with a 2.86 ERA.

Daniel Murphy swiped third base in the sixth inning last night, his 25th consecutive stolen base, dating to June 9, 2013. It is the third longest streak of consecutive steals in franchise history. Howard Johnson went 26 straight in 1989 and Kevin McReynolds swiped 33 straight from 1987 to 1989.

David Wright has eight RBI in his last eight games, including two multi-RBI games during that run and at least one RBI in three straight contests. He Extended his hitting streak to 12 games going 1-4 last night and is hitting .370 (20-54) during this span.

New York’s bullpen has tossed 10.1 scoreless innings over its last two games. Carlos Torres is 2-0 with one save, 15 strikeouts and a 0.79 ERA (one earned run /11.1 innings) in his last eight outings.

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young Jr., lf
  2. Curtis Granderson, rf
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Daniel Murphy, 2b
  5. Chris Young, cf
  6. Lucas Duda, 1b
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, c
  8. Omar Quintanilla, ss
  9. Dillon Gee, rhp

Game Preview

The Mets have a winning record! Last night, the Mets beat the Cardinals in a shutout win as they moved one game above .500. Now the Mets will have to face the heart of the St. Louis starting rotation for the next three days, so the order is tougher, but the Mets will be up to the challenge. Today Dillon Gee gets the start as he matches up with Adam Wainwright.

Dillon Gee is 1-0 on the season over 4 starts with a 3.71 ERA and 26.2 innings of work. His FIP this season is 5.03 as he has walked 7 and struck out 17. His last start against the Diamondbacks was by far his best of the season as he shutout them out over 7.0 innings while allowing only 3 hits, no walks and 3 strikeouts. Last year he was 1-1 over 10.2 innings and two starts with a 5.06 ERA while allowing 15 hits, 7 runs, 6 earned, 5 walks and 12 strikeouts. The Cards have the following numbers against Gee:

  • Holliday 2-12, 2 2B
  • Molina 3-12, 2 2B
  • Craig 4-8, HR
  • Jay 2-7
  • Carpenter 2-4, 3 BB
  • Ellis 0-3

The Mets match up against their long time foe in Adam Wainwright who is off to another great start this year where he has gone 3-1 over 4 starts with a 1.80 ERA, 2.28 FIP and 30.0 innings of work allowing 9 walks and striking out 32. Two starts ago were rougher Adam as he allowed 4 ER over 7.0 IP, but last time out he threw a complete game shutout. Against the Mets last year he pitched 13.0 innings over two starts with a 2.08 ERA. The Mets have the following numbers against Wainwright:

  • Wright 5-15, 2 2B
  • C Young 2-12
  • Duda 2-8, 2B, HR
  • Murphy 6-11, 2 2B, 3B
  • Quintanilla 4-12, 2 2B
  • Granderson 1-5

Lets Go Mets!

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Flashback: Beltran Will Go Into The Hall Of Fame As A… Sat, 07 Dec 2013 03:50:31 +0000 I’m sure you all remember the fantastic job Jacob Resnick did when while in the SNY booth with Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling, he famously called a dramatic first-pitch, solo home run hit by Jose Reyes.

Jacob was the Mets Kidcaster in 2011 when he made his memorable, emphatic call, “It’s gone!”

These days, Jacob is one the many featured writers on MMO. In honor of Carlos Beltran returning to New York, albeit our crosstown rivals, here’s a piece he wrote last Summer on which hat Beltran will wear when he’s eventually enshrined in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. Enjoy this MMO Flashback from July 29, 2013.


I find it impossible to read an article about Carlos Beltran without there being some mention of “the curveball” or Adam Wainwright. That of course refers to Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS where, with the bases loaded and the winning run on first base with two outs in the ninth, Beltran stared a curveball from Adam Wainwright all the way into the glove of Yadier Molina, thus ending the series.

I also find it appalling that many choose this one playoff at-bat to define Beltran’s career. Do they forget that Beltran owns the highest career OPS in Major League Baseball post season history? Or that he is a career 11/11 in stolen base attempts during games in October?

Enough about the post season. Beltran’s career batting average at .283 is higher than that of Hall of Famers Willie Stargell and Larry Doby. His career OPS surpasses that of George Brett and Al Kaline. If his eight All Star nominations (equivalent to the number reached by Andre Dawson, Darryl Strawberry, and Chipper Jones) and his eight 100 RBI seasons aren’t Hall of Fame worthy, well, he’s sixth in WAR among active players, and he’s only 36.

He still has maybe three more decent years before he decides to hang up the spikes. And according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that’s exactly how many more years Beltran actually wants to play. So let’s say Beltran gets into the Hall of Fame. What team’s cap should he wear? Which team deserves it? Let’s find out.

Beltran has played for five teams. The Royals, the Astros, the Mets, the Giants, and he currently wears the uniform of the Cardinals. We can eliminate two of those right away. Beltran played in Houston for all of three months, so bye bye ‘Stros. Beltran was traded to the Giants at the deadline in 2011 for Zack Wheeler and ended up playing in San Francisco for 44 games so no love in the Bay Area when the Hall of Fame comes knocking.

That leaves us with Kansas City, New York, and St. Louis. Beltran played for the Royals and Mets for six and a half seasons each, and he’s currently in his second year with the Cardinals. So let’s say Beltran plays his three more years with the Cardinals, and makes two more All Star teams. 10 selections sure isn’t bad. With that being said, the Cardinals do have to go, only because five years loses to six and a half in the end. Why do years matter? Well, look at history. Gary Carter went in to the Hall of Fame as an Expo because he played more years there than he did in New York despite having some of his greatest seasons in the Big Apple.

So we’re down to two. The Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets. Let’s take a look at what Beltran did in a Royals uniform. Despite only receiving one All Star spot in his tenure, the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year hit .287 with 123 HR while he was there. He lost his starting center field job in 2000 to Johnny Damon but got his job, and his Rookie of the Year form, back in 2001 when he hit .306 and recorded 101 RBI. Beltran went on to hit over .300 once more during his time in Kansas City. All in all, a solid career in the state of Missouri.

And now for an analysis of his Mets career. In his six and a half years in New York, Beltran hit .280 with 559 RBI and 149 HR. Not to mention his two years with ten or more assists. He was named to the NL All Star squad six times and racked up three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers for his mantle. His time with the Mets was shortened by injury, hitting only 17 HR from 2009-2010, but despite this still managed to play at least 60 games in every year. Beltran recorded 100 stolen bases and managed to get caught only 16 times. He finished with an above average OPS at .869 and his SLG was an even .500. A brilliant career in New York that is unfortunately overshadowed by one pitch.

So now the decision. Beltran stole 164 bases and hit .287 with the Royals, but hit 149 HR and drove in 559 runs with the Mets. He posted a 129 OPS+ with the Amazins and a 111+ OPS with KC. Beltran also posted a 31.1 WAR with the Mets, and 24.6 with the Royals. He can’t go into the Hall with two hats, so….

mets cap hat blue

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Mets Offseason ’13-’14: Anything Beats The Bargain Bin Wed, 06 Nov 2013 17:46:51 +0000 Citi Filed and Homerun Apple Beautiful Citi Field - Photo by Clayton Collier

Photo By Clayton Collier

The Mets can spend this offseason.

That has been the overall message conveyed for the past several months, however will they spend and to what degree remains the begging question.

The “Red Sox Model” has been mentioned a great deal, meaning the Amazin’s would avoid the top-tier free agents, instead finding the Shane Victorinos and Mike Napolis on the market and signing them to lesser deals. Staying true to the theme of this mid-level shopping method, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors listed Curtis Granderson, Stephen Drew, Bronson Arroyo and Roy Halladay among those headed to Flushing in his pre-winter predictions; all possibilities.

Those of a more optimistic and perhaps unrealistic nature float names such as Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo around. New York has been reported to have significant interest in the latter of those two, although as has been a consistent theme for the Aldersonian era of Mets baseball, the price tag is likely too rich for their orange-and-blue blood.


Then there are those in the mindset of’s Anthony DiComo, who in responding to a question for his regular Mets Inbox segment, lists David Murphy, Nate McLouth or even Carlos Beltran as the type of players that fans should come to expect to see considered this offseason, although Beltran would command a substantially larger contract.

But whether it’s Ellsbury or McLouth, Adam Wainwright or Jason Hammel; anything is better than the bargain-bin raiding we have witnessed out of Sandy Alderson and the Mets over the past three winters.

The plan called for severe cutting of payroll while replenishing the farm system. That is understandable; rebuild, reload and in the meantime get by with the most cost-effective free agents until the Zack Wheelers and Wilmer Flores‘ are ready to make an impact.

Now that the youth movement is in full swing, the time has come for the acquisition of some real, substantial talent; not a D.J. Carrasco, Ronny Cedeno, or Collin Cowgill, but actual major league players with the capability of being difference-makers.

latroy hawkins 2

The front office did a nice job bringing in LaTroy Hawkins and catching lightning in a bottle with Marlon Byrd last season, but if this team is legitimately looking to contend, there needs to be more than one or two solid pick-ups.

In the winter of 2011, super-agent Scott Boras stated that the Mets are typically in the “steak section” however are now found in the “fruits and nuts category” in reference to their offseason spending habits. The Amazin’s remain far from the ‘steak section’, but that doesn’t mean they are picking through pistachios either.

The Mets have the money to spend significantly, and if they are looking to put their long-followed plan into action, the time to spend is now. Whether that means a top-flight free agent or a lesser-known name; anything beats the stopgap, bargain bin, fruits-and-nuts acquisitions that have entered the mix since the rebuilding process began on October 29th, 2010.

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MLB Announces Finalists For Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year Awards Wed, 06 Nov 2013 02:14:28 +0000 The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) just announced the top three finalists for American League and National League Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, and Most Valuable Player awards.

jose fernandez

National League Rookie of the Year

Jose Fernandez, SP, Marlins
Shelby Miller, SP, Cardinals
Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers

American League Rookie of the Year

Chris Archer, SP, Rays
Jose Iglesias, SS, Tigers
Wil Myers, OF, Rays

fredi gonzalez

National League Manager of the Year

Fredi Gonzalez, Braves
Clint Hurdle, Pirates
Don Mattingly, Dodgers

American League Manager of the Year

John Farrell, Red Sox
Terry Francona, Indians
Bob Melvin, Athletics


National League Cy Young Award

Jose Fernandez, Marlins
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals

American League Cy Young Award

Yu Darvish, Rangers
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
Max Scherzer, Tigers

andrew mccutchen

National League MVP

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates
Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals

American League MVP

Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Tigers
Mike Trout, OF, Angels
Chris Davis, 1B, Orioles

No Mets were nominated for awards…

The official winners will be announced next week and rolled out according to the following schedule:

  • Monday, November 11 – Rookie of the Year Awards
  • Tuesday, November 12 – Manager of the Year Awards
  • Wednesday, November 13 – Cy Young Awards
  • Thursday, November 14 – Most Valuable Player Awards
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Happy Haunting, Mets Fans! Thu, 31 Oct 2013 04:18:40 +0000

The New York Mets have provided their fans with plenty of frights and terrifying moments over their 52 year history. Some of those moments still raise the hairs on the backs of our necks whenever we think about them.

If we were to compile some of them and put them into some sort of order, which would you rank number one?

I would imagine the Midnight Massacre would still rank pretty high on the list even after three-plus decades. But there have been some recent events that still remain bone-chilling to say the least, like that Adam Wainwright curveball for example, or even that dropped popup from Luis Castillo

Well as we prepare to don our costumes for those Halloween parties, or go trick or treating, or just make some popcorn and settle in to watch some spooky horror flicks, here’s to all those terrifying Mets memories. :-)

We wish all of our readers a very Happy Halloween.

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Mets Made The Right Call Passing On Abreu Sat, 19 Oct 2013 23:41:57 +0000 JoseAbreuWBC

Several people I spoke with and greatly respect said they were disappointed the Mets didn’t make a run at Cuban free-agent first baseman Jose Abreu, who signed a six-year, $68-million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

Considering the success of Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes and the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, all of a sudden tapping the Cuban market is the hot thing. But sometimes teams can get burned touching hot objects.

Abreu, 26, last played on an international stage during the World Baseball Classic this spring and batted .360 with three homers and nine RBI. Prior to that, he batted .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBI in 63 games in the 2010-11 season, but sustained a shoulder injury. The previous season, he batted .399 with 30 home runs and 76 RBI.

No doubt, impressive numbers, but the obvious question is: How good was the competition? Justin VerlanderAdam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw don’t pitch in Cuba.

The eye-popping number for Abreu isn’t his power against questionable competition, but the $68 million, which is very real money.

That is a lot of money on a question, albeit an important one for the 2014 Mets. They already have two first basemen in Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, but both have greatly under-produced and the Mets aren’t happy with either.

We know very little about Abreu as a player against quality competition, but there are many questions when deciding to go the international route. Mainly, do the Mets want to sink $68 million in a player they know precious little about?

After freeing themselves under Sandy Alderson of the contracts of Oliver PerezLuis CastilloFrancisco RodriguezJohan Santana and Jason Bay (there’s still some deferred money there), the last thing the Mets want to do is sink money in another long-term deal, especially with the possible results so precarious.

Maybe Abreu will pan out for the White Sox. If so, good for them. But, the last thing the Mets need is another long-term headache.

The Mets were wise to sit this one out.

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Featured Post: Harvey Was Not The Hero We Deserved, But The One We Needed Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:09:01 +0000 MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets

Matt Harvey is going to miss a significant amount of time; not much else is known at this moment.

What has been well-documented however, is just how much of an impact the Dark Knight of Gotham has had on the New York Mets organization and their fans alike.

The mood surrounding this franchise has plunged further and further into disappointment, animosity and frustration ever since Adam Wainwright‘s infamous breaking ball struck the black leather of Yadier Molina‘s mitt. After back-to-back September collapses and pair of sub-par seasons, a change in management brought hope of brighter days, however the immediate years following only became more gut-wrenching. Since Sandy Alderson took over following the 2010 season, fans have had to endure the departures of Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and R.A. Dickey to name a few; all on the premise of a brighter tomorrow through the procuring of young talent at the expense of the performance at the major league level.

the future

The 2013 season has marked the infusion of those farmhands that have been so long awaited. Zack Wheeler is proving his 2011 acquisition to be worth while. The Amazin’s are already enjoying the fruits of their labor from the Dickey deal with Travis d’Arnaud behind the dish. Following years of development and growth since their mid-teens, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores have finally made it to the show. All have been encouraging and enormously exciting to watch, but all pale in comparison to the energy generated by the emergence of Matt Harvey.

In his first full season–sans their ailing, aged ace in Johan Santana–Harvey exploded out of the gate, quickly gaining national attention. By the third week of April, contests in which he started became not a Mets game, but ‘Harvey Day’. Fans amassed in the stands of Citi Field to see the most exciting young pitcher in Queens since 1984, just to get a glimpse of his increasingly legendary “stuff”. By May, the 24-year old flamethrower was plastered on the cover of Sports Illustrated, the first time a player in orange-and-blue had received such an esteem in nearly five years.

From then on it just got better; Harvey could not be stopped. Anytime he went to the mound, a no-hitter was more than possible, three times becoming probable with bids into the seventh inning. Eventually it all came to a pinnacle when Bruce Bochy named the Mets’ ace to the incredibly rare honor of starting the All-Star Game at his home ballpark, going on to put up two goose eggs for the National League including three strikeouts, one of which being the reigning Triple-Crown Winner.

harvey wrightSince the mid-summer classic,  the master “plan” of the future has become the present with the arrival of the organization’s top prospects converging on Roosevelt Avenue. ESPN has tagged the Mets as the team of the future in New York; baseball media hubs across the country have begun to recognize the Amazin’s as a club on the rise and no longer in the doldrums of mediocrity.

All was going so well until yesterday when a sobering MRI revealed the ulnar collateral ligament of Harvey lying in his right elbow with a partial tear, crushing many with the very real possibility of the Mets being without one of the game’s best hurlers until 2015.

Until Harvey returns, his absence will be felt in the worst of ways; but his effect on this entire franchise will remain. He has turned another year of “punting” into a season of new beginnings. His performance along with his demeanor has single-handedly altered the culture surrounding the Mets from the second fiddle team of New York to the club to watch out for. The fanbase has wholly changed from beleaguered to stimulated; apathetic to optimistic.

The Mets had to have this year. They desperately needed a season that portrayed direction rather than a ship lost at sea. Matt Harvey has given the Mets that; he has granted them a new look and a new hope, and will return.

The Dark Knight will rise once again. When, we don’t know just yet; but whether that is in one month or twelve, the 2013 season will go down as the year that the corner has officially been turned in Gotham, and that is largely in part to Harvey; and nothing can take that away.

For he truly is the hero not that we deserved, but the one that we needed.

the dark knight matt-harvey

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Beltran’s Cooperstown Headgear Sun, 21 Jul 2013 13:21:11 +0000 MLB: SEP 22 Mets v MarlinsI find it impossible to read an article or a forum about Carlos Beltran without there being some mention of “the curveball” or Adam Wainwright. That of course refers to Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS where, with the bases loaded and the winning run on first base with two outs in the ninth, Beltran stared a curveball from Adam Wainwright all the way into the glove of Yadier Molina, thus ending the series. I also find it appalling that many choose this one playoff at-bat to define Beltran’s career. Do they forget that Beltran owns the highest career OPS in Major League Baseball postseason history? Or that he is a career 11/11 in stolen base attempts during games in October? Enough about the postseason. Beltran’s career batting average at .283 is higher than that of Hall of Famers Willie Stargell and Larry Doby. His career OPS surpasses that of George Brett and Al Kaline. If his eight All Star nominations (equivalent to the number reached by Andre Dawson, Darryl Strawberry, and Chipper Jones) and his eight 100 RBI seasons aren’t Hall of Fame worthy, well, he’s sixth in WAR among active players, and he’s only 36! He still has maybe three more decent years before he decides to hang up the spikes. And according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that’s exactly how many more years Beltran actually wants to play. So let’s say Beltran gets into the Hall of Fame. What team’s cap should he wear? Which team deserves it? Let’s find out.

Beltran has played for five teams. The Royals, the Astros, the Mets, the Giants, and he currently wears the uniform of the Cardinals. We can eliminate two of those right away. Beltran played in Houston for all of three months, so bye bye ‘Stros. Beltran was traded to the Giants at the deadline in 2011 for Zack Wheeler and ended up playing in San Francisco for 44 games so no love in the Bay Area when the Hall of Fame comes knocking.

beltran royalsThat leaves us with Kansas City, New York, and St. Louis. Beltran played for the Royals and Mets for six and a half seasons each, and he’s currently in his second year with the Cardinals. So say Beltran plays his three more years with the Cardinals, and makes two more All Star teams. 10 selections sure isn’t bad. With that being said, the Cardinals do have to go, only because five years loses to six and a half in the end. Why do years matter? Well, look at history. Gary Carter went in to the Hall of Fame as an Expo because he played more years (12) than he did in New York (5) despite having some of his greatest seasons in the Big Apple.

So we’re down to two. The Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets. Let’s take a look at what Beltran did in a Royals uniform. Despite only receiving one All Star spot in his tenure, the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year hit .287 with 123 HR while he was there. He lost his starting center field job in 2000 to Johnny Damon but got his job, and his Rookie of the Year form, back in 2001 when he hit .306 and recorded 101 RBI. Beltran went on to hit over .300 once more in his time in Kansas City. All in all, a solid career in the state of Missouri.

And now for an analysis of his Mets career. In his six and a half years in New York, Beltran hit .280 with 559 RBI and 149 HR. Not to mention his two years with ten or more assists. He was named to the NL All Star squad six times and racked up three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers for his mantle. His time with the Mets was shortened by injury, hitting only 17 HR from 2009-2010, but despite this still managed to play at least 60 games in every year. Beltran recorded 100 stolen bases and managed to get caught only 16 times. He finished with an above average OPS at .869 and his SLG was an even .500. A brilliant career in New York that is unfortunately overshadowed by one pitch.

So now the decision. Beltran stole 164 bases and hit .287 with the Royals, but hit 149 HR and drove in 559 runs with the Mets. He can’t be in the Hall with two hats, so he must wear…that of the New York Mets.

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Fortuitous Fred, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Shake Shack At Citi Field Thu, 18 Jul 2013 16:48:35 +0000 IMG_6600

An MMO Fan Shot by Costa Michalakis

Tuesday night’s game at Citi Field marked the first time the New York Mets organization has hosted the Midsummer Classic in nearly 50 years.  The last one was at Shea in it’s inaugural season of 1964.

While this year’s game couldn’t match the on-field drama of that contest which ended when the Phillies’ Johnny Callison hit a walk-off homerun (long before anyone ever used the word “walk-off”) to give the NL a 7-4 victory it did provide plenty of theater in a karmic sense.

Granted the American League’s 3-0 blanking of the National League broke a three game losing streak for the AL in the Classic and awarded them home-field advantage in the World Series, the game was relatively uneventful as far as All Star games go.  The NL managed only 3 hits in the game and the AL scored their runs on a sacrifice fly, fielder’s choice and a ball that was misplayed by Domonic Brown on Jason Kipnis’s double into the left field corner in the top of the 8th.  Not exactly thrilling stuff.

Until the bottom of the 8th ….

You knew something was amiss when the AL players were late to take the field to start the inning.  Then Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” (haven’t heard the argument about it being Billy Wagner’s song in quite some time) began to blare out of the Citi Field speakers and something that’s been more automatic than anything in professional sports over the last 17 years (or maybe all time for that matter) happened. That’s when the revered Mariano Rivera trotted out to the mound to take the ball for the 8th inning. The only thing strange about this scene was that Mo was coming out to pitch the 8th and not close the game in the ninth. AL manager Jim Leyland later explained that he did this because he wanted to make sure Rivera had a chance to pitch with the lead.

Mariano received a long-standing ovation as both teams and the largest crowd ever at Citi Field showered him with well-deserved applause.

Mo then proceeded to steal the show by pitching a 1-2-3 inning and taking home MVP honors for the game in the process. The first time ever that a reliever has won the award and maybe the only honor that had eluded living legend to this point in his incomparable career.

The fact that a Yankee immortal stole the show at this year’s game takes on a special significance when you consider it was supposed to be a turning point for the Mets franchise, a symbol of things turning around after a miserable 5 year stretch. Rivera dominated in the house we were forced to build for Fred Wilpon, stealing the spotlight from Fred’s most cherished new asset (Matt Harvey) who started the game for the NL.

The irony could not have been greater but having been a die-hard and long-suffering Mets fan for 36 years I assure you, ain’t a damn thing changed.  What happened in the game on Tuesday was a microcosm of the Mets existence. No matter what we do, the Yankees are right there to eclipse any of our accomplishments, no matter how small.  We are forever the red-headed stepchild in orange in blue.

So while I’m sure it was a huge victory in the coffers, I think it ultimately reestablished the pecking order in NY baseball. I hope Fred Wilpon and the rest of Mets ownership grabbed plenty of napkins while they were picking up their fine Japanese cuisine over at Daruma of Tokyo, because they certainly had a lot of egg on their face by the end of the game.

At this point you might be confused.  If this guy is a Mets fan why does he get such pleasure and sound so giddy about the Mets getting overshadowed on a night that was supposed to be their own?

First off Rivera is one of the few athletes that genuinely transcends allegiance to any team.  His graciousness and humility while abusing hitters over the years has made him nearly impossible to hate.  Even in a rivalry with as much bad blood historically as Mets/Yankees you can’t help but be inspired by his greatness.  The second reason is much more complicated and to really understand it you have to be well acquainted with my tempestuous relationship with the Mets.

For some deranged reason, I just can’t quit them.

I promised myself I wouldn’t watch the All Star game this year because of my contempt for all things Wilpon. There’s no way I could bring myself to contribute to all the pat-on-the-back bullshit going on in the weeks and days leading up to the game.

But as much as I dislike the Wilpons, I LOVE baseball.

As the game approached, I paced back and forth in my living room gripped by temptation.  “Ok, maybe I’ll peek in for the first few innings to watch my boy Matt Harvey pitch, but I’ll do it defiantly, silently protesting every pitch and I’ll obviously turn it off after Harvey exits the game.”

But there I was at 11 pm EST glued to the TV when the Rivera farewell tour took over the game.

I know, “old habits die hard”, “can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em” and all that other bullshit….

I must be a glutton for punishment, a 9-inning masochist of sorts because I just couldn’t look away and I have to admit, part of me actually enjoyed it.  Any joy I derived from it was strictly because it meant that Fred Wilpon’s Amazin’ high came to an abrupt end.  Even if it was only for a moment, you know the thought of a Yankee legend stealing the spotlight on HIS night, in his precious monolith to Ebbets Field had to twist his balls a bit.

I sound sick right?  I sound sick?

It wasn’t always a poisonous relationship.

To really grasp why my bitterness and disappointment goes so deep when it comes to the Mets, it’s imperative I chronicle my love affair with the team over 36 years.

Like any REAL love affair, the highs have been spectacular but quickly followed by deep periods of melancholy and nostalgia.  They’ve left me with plenty of psychic scars, but I keep coming back for more.

When it’s good, there’s nothing else like it.

I started following the Mets and could name every single player in the team photo by the time I was 4. This was mostly due to my older brother’s fanaticism, but it was my father who was the first true Mets fan in my family.

He followed the path of countless Dodgers fans after Walter O’ Malley packed up and moved the team to LA and decided to take up with the city’s newest franchise in 1962.  Even though the team’s roster that inaugural season was composed of other teams castoffs, the Mets represented a fresh start for my father, something original to counteract that business as usual approach favored by that team in the Bronx.

The Yankees were steeped in old-school tradition and the players were such fixtures, such deities in cleats that they didn’t even need names on the back of their uniforms.

Once they stepped out on the field everyone immediately knew Whitey, Yogi, The Mick and Maris, and could trace a clear line between them and the immortals of the past that wore those pinstriped uniforms.

The Mets were the renegade AFL to the Yankees’ Establishment NFL, the Afros, dunks & multicolored balls used in the ABA as opposed to the crew cuts, layups and boring, brown, leather balls used in the NBA.

They were trying to claim their little corner of the NY baseball universe left vacant when the Dodgers and Giants bailed for Cali’ in ’57.  The city was left a one-team town, but for many of New York’s diehard baseball fans the thought of rooting for the Yankees was abhorrent.

1962 mets

The Mets stumbled and bumbled their way into baseball existence.  It was hard to imagine that anyone would ever come to refer to “Marvelous” Marv Throneberry as #2 or Richie Ashburn as #1, there were no Ruths or Gehrigs or Riveras in this crew.

In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that the players on the 1962 Mets would have preferred their names weren’t on the backs of their uniforms so they could have remained anonymous on their way to amassing 120 losses (still an MLB record).

Despite the atrocious product on the field, for my father and the rest of a huge immigrant population planting their roots in Brooklyn, the Mets were a scrappy upstart, his mirror image and he would be there from their inception, the chance to be part of something from the ground up.

What else could someone new to this great country and city ask for? He would never become a Yankee fan. It was too easy.

For all of these people that were struggling to make ends meet in their new surroundings, they needed a team that could share appreciate their daily grind.  It was of great comfort to have a group of players who reflected their growing pains & struggles with language, customs and homesickness on the base paths and in the batter’s box.

His boss at the machine shop took him to his first game Dodger’s game at Ebbets Field in1952 and he was totally hooked. Baseball was his introduction into any sort of neighborhood or community in America, a way to assimilate with his buddies at work and fit into his new country.

The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son and my big brother saw that firsthand being a devotee of the late 70’s Mets. He had to navigate the hopelessness of the squads with Joe Torre as a player/coach (this was 20 years before Torre would reinvent himself in NY as the beloved skipper who would guide the Yankee dynasty to 4 World Series titles in 5 years) when the only reason to stay tuned was to find out whether or not Dave ‘King Kong’ Kingman would hit a 500 ft home run or whiff for the 200th time. For all you New Jacks, Kingman was Ike Davis before Ike was swimming in his daddy’s nuts.

Sure, there were some great moments sprinkled in (Seaver & ‘the Amazins’ shocking the world in ’69 by taking home the franchise’s 1st World Series, that 82 win 1973 ‘Gotta Believe’ bunch that would upset the pre-Big Red Machine Reds on their surprise run to the World Series only to come up short in 7 games to the Oakland) but not much else to cheer for over the first 20 plus seasons of the Mets existence. Because there was no ‘wild card’ in those days you either won your division over 162 games or you went home.

I caught the tail end of the Pat Zachary and Joel Youngblood teams in the early 80′s. Teams so brutal the only reasons to watch were to see how dirty Mookie’s uniform would be by the end of the game or if you had a thing for those silly little bullpen cars they used to drive the relievers to the mound in.

Things started to change around ’83-’84 when some of those young players you heard about in the minor league system (Straw, Doc) started to show up on the big team and straight up BALL.

frank cashen davey johnson

GM Frank Cashen accelerated the shift to respectability by pulling off a couple of blockbuster trades bagging us two of our hated rivals’ best players and career ‘Met-killers’. That Sammy Hagar-looking backstop from Montreal Gary Carter (RIP Kid) & the smooth-fielding cocaine Keith Hernandez came over & proved to be the final pieces of the puzzle.

I remember being excited about both of these trades, especially the one that landed Hernandez because the Cardinals always seemed to be standing in the way of us finally reaching the mountain top and now we would get an opportunity to stick it to that smug flat-headed prick Whitey Herzog and his pussy style of baseball with Keith at 1st.

Then, in 1986 at the age of nine, I watched the first team I rooted for in any of the four major professional sports and my first true love win a championship.

It was their first World Series title since 1969.  Not only did they win it all after wiping their asses with the rest of the league (winning 108 games during the regular season, still an NL record) but they did it in what is still considered one of the most revered and dramatic comebacks in sports history.

Trailing by two runs and down to their last strike multiple times in Game 6 against Boston they rallied to score 3 in the bottom of the 10th and ruin Bill Buckner’s life in the process.  I was convinced that because the team was stacked with so much young talent (Straw, Doc, Sid, Darling, Nails, Strawberry, Mitchell, etc…) we would contend for another 5-10 years, then Mike Scioscia & Orel Hershiser happened and well….that’s another article. In the 27 years since then…. I have seen exactly ONE title from my 4 teams (that means you Rangers, Knicks & Jets) once again proving that you should never entertain visions of a dynasty because the sports gods are a fickle bunch indeed.

And where does Fred Wilpon fit into this whole story? Let me start off by saying that I would love nothing more than to root for & believe in Fred Wilpon.

He grew up in Bensonhurst Brooklyn and I’m a Bay Ridge kid, he played baseball at Lafayette High School where his best friend and teammate was none other than baseball god Sandy Koufax.

He’s obsessed with the Brooklyn Dodgers (an obsession he admitted went a little overboard after he designed Citi Field to look identical to Ebbets Field and dedicated all of the shrines inside the park to the Dodgers completely ignoring the history of the team that actually plays there) just like my father.

And he’s the principal owner, for better or worse, of my baseball team.

Wilpon is an incredibly savvy, businessman who has accumulated great wealth by building a real estate empire (Sterling Equities) from the ground up.   He is undoubtedly a self-made man and there is a lot to admire about Fred Wilpon & his story. He bought a minority stake in the team in 1980 (owning 1% of the team originally) and watched the team grow from a laughingstock to World Champions.

In that magical year of 1986 him and Nelson Doubleday become equal partners in the organization. Fred Wilpon’s timing was fortuitous as it has been time and time again in his countless successful endeavors.

It was always his dream to own the Mets and despite his enormous wealth he had always portrayed himself as a fan that made good on his lifelong dream, one of us, never as a cut-throat, bottom dollar narcissist who would use any means to get what he wants.

Never until now!

I would never question Mr. Wilpon’s intelligence or business acumen, what I AM questioning is his honesty and integrity.

Maybe I sound naive and I should know better than to make any distinction between the former and the latter. But from the beginning (his purchase in full stake of the team from Doubleday in 2002) Wilpon has been duplicitous in his negotiations and what he sells to his ever-diminishing ticket-buying fan base.

During the tense negotiations between Doubleday and Wilpon over the buyout, MLB commissioner Bud Selig’s preferential treatment and the great pains he would go to protect his old chum Fred Wilpon rear they’re ugly head and prove a foreshadowing of things to come.

In this instance, it was recommended by Selig that Robert Starkey – “an independent appraiser” – valuate what the team was worth hence determining what Wilpon should pay Doubleday for his half of the Mets.  After Starkey’s valuation came back suspiciously low it was discovered by Doubleday that Starkey had in fact previously been under contract to MLB and worked for several franchises including the Milwaukee Brewers, a team owned by? You guessed it, none other than Bud Selig.  So the transaction by which Wilpon attains majority stake of the team is shrouded in nepotism and deceit.  An inauspicious beginning.

If only Mo Vaughn's batting average had been higher than his weight, things could have turned out differently for the 2002 Mets.  Or not.

These affairs went largely unnoticed by Mets’ fans because we were still riding high off the 2000 Subway Series and the fact that our team had just added established superstars Roberto Alomar and Mo Vaughn to Bobby V’s ensemble of feel-good overachievers like Benny Agbayani and Joe McEwing.

The Vaughn and Alomar signings turned out to be unmitigated disasters and the Mets had a couple of down years, but the arrival of homegrown talents like Jose Reyes and David Wright had us dreaming of a parade down the Canyon of Heroes sometime in the not so distant future.

There are phases entered in every man’s life that he can trace back to a single momentum-changing event.

You might not consciously recognize the significance of them when they happen, but years later after all of the debris is swept away you can look back and say with certainty “Yup, that’s when everything started to suck…”.

For the Mets franchise, a moment that will live in infamy is when the unholiest of knee-buckling hooks left the hand of Adam Wainwright and put an end to the 2006 NLCS.

The promise of that season was followed by two historic September collapses in ’07 & ’08 that eventually cost Willie Randolph his job.

Randolph’s firing could not have been more mishandled by the team hierarchy.

Flying the man out to the West Coast and watching his team take two of three games from the Angels only to fire him in the middle of the night and send him back on a plane alone is inexcusable and gross.

GM Omar Minaya caught most of the heat for the bungling of that situation but I think the blame should start right at the top.

To make things even worse, Randolph was treated with this amount of disrespect after he posted the second-best winning percentage by any manager in team history.

But as you’ll see, sometimes the Wilpons reserve the same level of disdain for their employees in uniform as they do for their devoted fans. What was to follow the hatchet job on Willie is where Fred and Jeff Wilpon REALLY lose me.

Since 2008, there has been a steady stream of lies and indignities hurled at Mets fans by ownership. Jason Bay, Oliver Perez, Jerry Manuel – a total shill sellout if there ever was one – that patsy Omar Minaya getting beaten daily like a piñata by fans and media and let’s not forget the Met faithfuls’ favorite scapegoat Luis fucking Castillo.

Granted all of the aforementioned tenures in NY were spotty, some of the venom and vitriol aimed at them should have been saved for the owners and what was to come.

No shitty signings or pennant-costing chokes could have prepared the Mets’ fans for what was to follow.

Late 2008 saw the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme rear it’s grotesque head and dominate the headlines.

A large part of the story, especially here in NY, was Fred Wilpon’s close personal relationship and business dealings with Madoff.

It naturally left us all wondering how things would look when the dust from the fallout had settled.

Fred and his son, COO Jeff Wilpon, jumped right into damage control/spin-doctoring mode by telling anyone and everyone who would listen that the financial hit they were taking at the hands of their pal’s shady antics was totally separate from the Mets and that it in no way would effect the teams’ operations.

He insisted that the estimated $700 million loss he had taken was being greatly exaggerated by the media.  All this was set against the backdrop of the finishing touches being put on ownership’s new $1.6 billion dream stadium which was slated to open the Mets’ 2009 season.  It could not have come at a worse time. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was nice enough to decide that we should foot half the bill for this stadium (approx 800 million) on his way out of office in 2001.

Add to this something so preposterously vindictive and mean-spirited that you would swear it was straight out of the movie Hostel, the naming rights to the stadium were sold to….You guessed it Citibank!!! for a cool 20 million a year over the next 20 years.

It’s a good thing we gave them that loan to get them back on their feet again.

You think Fred Wilpon was worried about having tons of empty seats in Citi Field’s debut season?

You think this worry might have caused him to get out in front of this financial crisis and reassure (lie to) the fans about the team’s ability to hold onto the best players currently on the roster or sign other top free agents to keep the team competitive in the near future?

Wilpons 2

Not only would the 1 billion dollar lawsuit filed against the Wilpons by Irving Picard on behalf of the trustees in the Bernie Madoff case have a great impact on the Mets’ ability to spend, but you started hearing extremely misinformed Mets fans refer to the Wilpons’ “situation” in almost sympathetic hushed tones on sports talk radio.

It was a mass case of Stockholm Syndrome in full effect.

I like to call these fans ‘Wilpon apologists’.  Gibberish like “I know we have to cut payroll because of this Madoff thing but maybe we can sign an outfielder in 2015” became commonplace out of the mouths of these walking dead.

If Fred and Jeff Wilpon knew how tied up with Madoff the teams finances were why did they straight up lie to the fans every chance they got?

Is it a coincidence that they haven’t signed a big name free agent since Johan Santana in February of 2008?

Or that they let Jose Reyes walk without ever making him an offer after he won the franchise’s first batting title?

What about RA Dickey coming off a Cy Young?  Let’s trade him for a young catcher with knee problems and a stud pitcher in Single A ball and sell it to the Mets fans as getting younger and ‘restocking the system’ – code for slashing salary.

The Mets are currently 22nd in salary among the 30 teams in MLB. Their payroll this season is just under 74 million, down from $138 million in 2008 when they were ranked 3rd in MLB.

They have essentially sliced their payroll in half since the Madoff scandal broke in 2008 and Citi Field opened in 2009. The players on the New York Mets make less money than the ones playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins.

Do these moves seem like a gracious way to thank the loyal fans still coming to the games?

The same fans that essentially paid for their state-of-the-art new ballpark are being forced to watch a minor league team while they enjoy their Sausage and Rapini Orecchiette Pasta and a glass of Merlot.

Aaaah, nothing says Americana like a day at the ballpark.

So now that it’s been well established that this business with Bernie did effect their bottom line and they’re possible on the hook for 1 billion dollars they have to consider selling the team right?  Wrong!

To help raise money due to the financial uncertainty caused by this nightmare, the Wilpons were looking to sell minority stakes in the team in 2011.

They found a willing buyer in aggressive, young, hedge-fund manager David Einhorn who was willing to put up $200 million. After Einhorn suggested something as ridiculous as actually being able to exercise an agreed upon option to buy a majority of the team if he wasn’t paid back in full 5-6 years down the line the deal fell through and Einhorn backed out.

Don’t fret though, Uncle Bud is coming to help out his old pal once again.

SAY CHEESE: Looks like Fred and Bud are holding Mr. Met and the rest of the franchise hostage. (Photo by Newsday)

After helping swindle Nelson Doubleday close to 10 years ago, Selig found it in his heart to lend his buddies $25 million to help get them back on their feet, compliments of MLB.

Mr. Selig has shown an unwavering faith in his longtime friend to right the ship and lead the franchise out of these dark days. Why wasn’t this same courtesy extended to Dodger’s owner Frank McCourt? Instead Selig helped him out by nullifying a TV contract McCourt had in place with Fox to broadcast his team’s games, effectively ending any chance McCourt had of holding on to the Dodgers.

The Commissioner then took it a step further by criticizing McCourt in every form of media imaginable for his messy divorce proceedings and ridiculing him for the mismanagement of his team.

The Wilpons have spoken out of both sides of their mouths so many times over the last 5 years that they should seriously consider battling Biz Markie in a beatboxing contest.

It’s become almost impossible to keep track of their disinformation.

They were “blindsided” by what Bernie Madoff was doing? How could a tycoon as brilliant as Fred Wilpon not know what one of his best friends, a man that was like an uncle to his children was doing with billions of dollars, millions of it his own money? If you have even a basic understanding of how a Ponzi Scheme works you know that one this big (estimated at $65 billion) could not possibly be the work of a single person. All of the other guys at the top must be complicit at some level for it to work.

Why would the interest-free $54 million dollar loan the Madoff family gave the Wilpons in 2004 in the form of a “gift” from Madoff’s wife Ruth to help acquire the Mets’ broadcasting rights from Cablevision for their new network SNY raise any red flags for Fred or partner Saul Katz? I think it’s only fair to conclude that because of their friendship Madoff would have given his friend Wilpon a prime seat at the head of the table and that Wilpon probably knew a lot more than he’ll ever let on.

To make sure we know just how “betrayed” and in the dark they were about Madoff’s dealings the Wilpons & Saul Katz got involved in another Ponzi scheme with Samuel Israel III, another crooked hedge fund manager.  In this case they withdrew 30 million dollars from Israel’s hedge fund Bayou just months before it collapsed. They were eventually ordered to pay back $13 million of that money.  So much for lightning never striking the same place twice.

It’s estimated that the Wilpons saw an outlandish 10% return on their investment with Madoff for 15 straight years!  A consistent return of this size is practically unheard of and a titan of business as experienced as Fred Wilpon should have definitely found it a bit fishy.

Turns out the Mets were able to dole out ridiculous contracts like Bobby Bonilla’s because of the can’t miss system they had going with Bernie. Rather than pay Bobby Bo $5.9 million in the final year of his contract they opted to pay him $1.2 million annually from 2011 to 2035, even though he retired back in 2001!!  By agreeing to defer money to players they could invest what they had with Madoff, let him work his magic and then compensate the players from there.

As luck would have it, the trustees in the Madoff case settled for a lot less than the 1 billion they were originally seeking.  In March of 2012, right before the trial was set to begin the Wilpons & Saul Katz agreed to pay the trustees $162 million.  It’s possible that after all is said and done and Irving Picard has recouped as much as he can from other Madoff clients the owners of the Mets will be on the hook for far less than $162 million, they might end up owing nothing at all.

Going on the premise that they had to slash salary so dramatically because of the lawsuit, you would think now that’s it’s settled and they ended up with the most favorable possible outcome imaginable they would sink that reclaimed money back into the team again. Instead the payroll dropped about $20 million from 2012 to 2013.  It doesn’t take an accountant to realize that none of this adds up.

Is it really that far-fetched to think that the Wilpons and Saul Katz ended up making tremendous profits off of Madoff’s scheme while he rots in jail and others involved have lost everything?  Fortuitous Fred strikes again.


Since the stadium opened in 2009, my refusal to go to the-team-blows-and-the-owner-is-stealing-my-money-but-they-have-a-Shake-Shack-Field!!! has led to me being chided by some of my closest friends.

I’ve heard an endless stream of preposterous shit like “don’t be a front-runner” or “you’ll go back when the team is good again”, but what they don’t realize is that my love for team or uniform has never wavered because of the record.

If that were the case I would have jumped ship a LONG time ago.

I stay away because it’s the only way I can make my displeasure known.  Sure, I still have cable and I watch games here and there on SNY so I guess the Wilpons still get my money. But I don’t ride the 7 train or sit in traffic for two hours anymore and I sure as fuck don’t spend $100 on parking and concessions, not to mention the price of tickets.  I haven’t bought any Mets merchandise since I bought a David Wright jersey when he first came up in 2005.

Some might think I’m absurd or that I should be worrying about things bigger than baseball but that’s precisely what I’m trying to say.

This is no longer about baseball to me.

It’s about the Wilpons with an assist from the powers that be at MLB, a.k.a., Bud Selig, the Pontius Pilate of sports commissioners (see his nauseating hypocrisy as he sits up on his pedestal and brings down the gavel on players abusing PEDS in the ‘steroid era’ that him and the owners made money hand over fist in), spinning bullshit to the fans for the last 5-10 years.

For me, Mets ownership, Bud Selig and MLB’s treatment of the Mets fans emulates how shitty we’re being treated by our bosses and elected officials everyday.

The greed and lying has grown to such audacious levels that it’s not enough to shake us down for our hard-earned money anymore, they have to embarrass us in a public forum while doing it.

The media must also bear some of the blame for not holding Wilpon & Selig’s feet to the fire, they’re more interested in A-Rod.

Who has greater power and the ability to affect more people in a negative way, Bud Selig? Fred Wilpon or A-Rod?

The answer is pretty obvious yet we spend all of our time criticizing the egomaniac ballplayer’s every move.  If Alex Rodriguez wants to risk his own life to break the home run record that’s his business, it doesn’t mean a thing to me.

These other men have been and continue to lie to us on a colossal scale and we willingly give them our time and money.  They insult our intelligence and from the looks of it they have every reason to.

Not only has Selig put his damage-control-handling android Sandy Alderson in place to feed us bullshit once a week on TV, in the papers and on the radio (this cyborg has perfected the art of talking loud and at length and saying absolutely nothing).

But he makes it his mission to personally soothe us about his homeboy Fred Wilpon’s ability to restore our franchise to it’s glory days.  He’s probably right about that too because every time Fred Wilpon has found himself in a mess due to his hubris and avarice, he finds a way to make us pay for his way out of it.

Before the 2013 season started the Mets hierarchy provided the fans at Citi Field with another great amenity.  We no longer have to look for an Amway office before getting to the game.  An Amway office has opened in ballpark just a few feet from the bullpen gate.  For those that don’t know, Amway is a company that’s been synonymous with pyramid schemes for years. Nobody in Mets upper management thought this was in poor taste in light of recent developments?  It’s become like the movie Brazil, absurd beyond comprehension.

I really hope everyone enjoyed the Midsummer Classic this year at Citi Field, I know I did.

While the game was dull compared to slugfests of the past, it was a gripping game in a karmic sense. A vague sense of penance hangs in the air, even if undetected by most Mets fans.

But enough of the negativity, it was also a reminder to the hardcore Mets fans, the ones whose unyielding passion for the team kept them buying tickets, merchandise, etc through thick and thin that the days of the Mets operating like a small market team playing in the biggest city in the world are almost over.

To all of these fans, the ones who took every last put-down in stride and looked past every falsehood they were fed, Fred, Jeff and Saul would like to personally thank you and reward your faith by cutting season ticket holders a break on their ticket prices until their team contends again…oh wait….

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Costa Michalakis. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 18,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Hey Met Fans… Check This Out… Mon, 08 Jul 2013 23:15:33 +0000 I was over at FanGraphs curious to see what Jeremy Hefner‘s WAR (Wins Above Replacement) was for the season for another post I’m working on. While I was there I checked to see who the National League leaders in WAR were.

What a nice surprise…

  1. Carlos Gomez, Brewers – 5.0

  2. David Wright, Mets – 4.5

  3. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals – 4.4

  4. Matt Harvey, Mets – 4.3

  5. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies – 4.1

What is fascinating to me about that is that three of the top four National League players in the game today were drafted/signed by the New York Mets and developed in their farm system.

That’s a nice feather in the cap for our Amazins….

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Hefner Constantly Making Adjustments To Maintain His Edge Sun, 07 Jul 2013 14:20:19 +0000 jeremy hefner

It was Jeremy Hefner‘s turn to have a Sunday round with Steve Serby of the New York Post. As is usually the case, Serby did a nice job of revealing a side of Hefner we hadn’t known on a variety of topics ranging from the two times he was drafted by the Mets and didn’t sign, to how he would pitch Babe Ruth. The following four questions I found to be most compelling.

Q: What drives you?

A: I really love the game. I want people back home, people in Queens, kids in Queens, to look at me as an example of someone who does it right. … I just try to use my platform for the goodness of the game … that there are good people that play the game, too.

Q: So you’re resilient.

A: I have to be, ’cause I’m not Matt Harvey, or Adam Wainwright, you know. Those guys that just have the stuff to get people out even on the bad days. So I have to prepare, I have to tweak, I have to do all those things to keep an edge, because the league’s always gonna catch up to you, and so you’ve gotta keep making adjustments back at ’em.

Q: Describe your mound temperament.

A: Much like we’re talking right now, just very relaxed. I’m probably more competitive off the field than I am on the field, playing board games or video games or whatever the case may be. I try to keep an even keel. … Every once in a while I will get a little riled up. Sometimes that helps me focus on what I need to be doing and not getting distracted by other things.

Q: Would you compare yourself to anyone?

A: I’d say Adam Wainwright, because that’s someone that I looked up to whenever I was in college. He’s a guy that I’ve tried to repeat mechanically. … He’s had very good success. And I told Adam whenever we were in St. Louis that I appreciated how he goes about his business So that’s someone that I try to kinda model myself around.

You can read the full interview here.

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Baseball’s All-Time Underachievers: 2006-2008 Mets? Fri, 28 Jun 2013 17:23:22 +0000 2006 mets

Ken Davidoff of the NY Post ranked his Top 5 All-Time MLB Underachievers and listed the 2006-2008 Mets second behind the 1980s Expos.

About why he chose the Mets, he writes:

2000s Mets. Carlos Beltran would be a Hall of Famer if he retired today. David Wright is on a Cooperstown track. Carlos Delgado probably will miss out, but he has 473 homers on his resume. Jose Reyes will go down as one of the most dynamic, if health-challenged players of his time.

And yet even with these four for 2006 through 2008, with varying contributions from future Hall of Famers Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez and then two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, the Mets managed one playoff appearance, 2006, that is remembered most for its jaw-dropping conclusion and then blew postseason appearances by losing their final games in both 2007 and 2008. They just never had the roster depth to supplement the stars.

The Mets rank very high because that, unlike some of the teams further down on this list, the Beltran-Delgado-Reyes-Wright run is recalled with pretty much zero positivity. The exceptions being Adam Wainwright, Jimmy Rollins and Wes Helms.

The only player that remains from that 2006 NL East championship team is David Wright, who signed an eight-year extension with the Mets worth $142 million this past offseason.

There was no doubt some heartbreak and disappointment during those years, but lets not pretend it wasn’t also the most exciting run of Mets baseball in a quarter-century.

Second worst underachievers in baseball history?

I doubt it.


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2013 All Star Game: Give Matt Harvey The Damn Ball Tue, 25 Jun 2013 18:02:19 +0000 matt harvey

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York wrote what I felt was one of the strongest arguments in making the case for Matt Harvey starting the All Star Game for the National League.

He first compares Harvey, who he calls the NL’s Justin Verlander, to last season’s NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey:

Through 16 starts, Harvey is 7-1 with a 2.05 ERA, 121 strikeouts, a 0.882 WHIP, 4 homers allowed and a .188 opponent batting average.

Through 16 starts a season ago en route to the NL Cy Young Award, R.A. Dickey was 12-1 with a 2.15 ERA, 116 strikeouts, 0.885 WHIP, 9 homers allowed and a .190 opponent batting average.

So, other than the out-of-his-control win criteria, Harvey is better than last year’s Cy Young winner in every one of those statistical categories at the same point in the season.

Another great point he makes regarding his lack of pitching wins is this:

OK, Harvey is not the NL wins leader. That distinction is shared by Adam WainwrightJordan Zimmermann and Lance Lynn with 10 apiece. And Harvey is not the ERA leader — not yet, anyway. Right now Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke (2.01) edges Harvey by four-hundredths of a point. (A more reasonable scoring decision at Wrigley Field earlier this season would have tipped that in Harvey’s favor.) Regardless, how about what Harvey means to the Mets? They have a .625 winning percentage in his starts and .357 winning percentage otherwise.

For those of you requiring additional reasons, Harvey leads the NL in opponents’ OPS (.491) and well-hit average (.086), according to ESPN Stats & Information. He also is the league leader in strikeouts (121) and WHIP (0.88).

In terms of WAR, which measures a player’s contribution to winning, Harvey also is at the head of the NL class. He owns a league-leading 4.2 WAR, topping runner-up Cliff Lee (4.1),Clayton Kershaw (4.0), Wainwright (3.8) and any other NL All-Star starter contender.

I knew about most of the statistics Rubin cited, but had no idea his WAR was that high which is pretty amazing to me. He concludes by saying that Bruce Bochy has to give Harvey the damn ball because he represents the host team.

He really does a great job of covering all the bases here… Read the full article

the heat is on

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Mets Waste A Gem By Harvey In 2-1 Loss To Cards Thu, 13 Jun 2013 20:42:58 +0000 matt harveyWell, this is sort of becoming the norm now, isn’t it? You can almost predict exactly what’s going to happen. Matt Harvey goes out, pitches his heart out, and somehow gets cheated out of a win. As much as we all hoped for that streak to break today, the Mets offense was not up to the task of handling Adam Wainwright. The Mets were shut down through the first seven innings by Wainwright, only posing a threat in the fourth with two outs. Lucas Duda, however, flew out to end the threat.

Matt Harvey, predictably so, was incredible again. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball while striking out seven batters. His only real show of weakness was in the third, when he allowed a two-out triple to Matt Carpenter, who lined one just out of the reach of a diving Marlon Byrd. LaTroy Hawkins did Harvey no favors either, as he allowed an RBI single to Allen Craig in the eighth to widen the margin to 2-0. The run was charged to Scott Rice, who left a runner on base when he was removed in favor of Hawkins.

That became a huge issue for the Mets, as Byrd tried to make up for earlier by slamming a solo home run in the ninth, but it was a case of too little, too late. John Buck was left stranded on second by Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Josh Satin.

Thus. Matt Harvey was saddled with the loss and his record fell to 5 – 1 with eight no-decisions. …Eight.

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