Mets Merized Online » Atlanta Braves http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:30:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Do the Mets Have Room for Kelly Johnson? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/do-the-mets-have-room-for-kelly-johnson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/do-the-mets-have-room-for-kelly-johnson.html/#comments Sat, 24 Dec 2016 11:00:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228401 kelly Johnson

For the second consecutive season in 2016, the New York Mets traded for Kelly Johnson when they were in need of a super utility type player. As Johnson remains on the open market, it is worth wondering if the team yet again may have a need for the versatile player.

Jonson has always seemed to be a clutch player while with the Mets, delivering some key hits to propel the team to victory. He has the ability to play multiple positions and is a useful player in many ways. For the first time though in what seems awhile, the team’s current depth in the infield and outfield may negate their need to bring him back.

Johnson again split time between the Mets and Atlanta Braves in 2016. His production with the Mets far outweighed his production with the Braves as he hit to a .268/.328/.459 batting line to go along with nine homers and 24 RBI while appearing in 82 games.

In his 49 games with the Braves last season, Johnson hit a disappointing .215/.273/.289 with just one homer and 10 RBI. KJ just seems to turn it on a bit more when playing in New York and has been a welcomed addition over the last two seasons.

If and when the Mets trade Jay Bruce, there is the possibility for Johnson to be a fifth outfielder as he has the ability to play the corners. Kelly played nine games in left field last season and is an adequate enough fielder to play the position if needed.

In the infield, Johnson again would provide depth to a plethora of players who are either coming off surgery or typically deal with nagging injuries during a long 162-game season. David Wright, Lucas Duda, Neil Walker and Wilmer Flores are all coming off surgery as they enter 2017.

Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes also tend to deal with injuries during the course of a season. Johnson would be sure to get some playing time in the event that some of these players are unable to make it through a whole year or land on the DL.

Johnson is the type of player that can provide a great spark off the bench and has shown his ability to do so in key spots numerous times over the last two seasons. He will not cost a lot to bring back and a player of his caliber is always worth having around. Worse comes to worse, the Mets could always just trade for him for the third consecutive season near the trading deadline….

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MLB News: Braves Sign First Baseman Sean Rodriguez http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mlb-news-braves-sign-first-baseman-sean-rodriguez.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mlb-news-braves-sign-first-baseman-sean-rodriguez.html/#comments Fri, 25 Nov 2016 13:30:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227036 usa-today-8820448-0

(Photo Courtesy of Ron Chenoy – USA Today)

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Atlanta Braves have signed former Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman, Sean Rodriguez. The deal is for two years at $11 million per Rosenthal and is pending a physical.

Rodriguez, 31, is coming off a fine season for Pittsburgh, hitting to a .270/.349/.510 batting line with 18 homers and 56 RBI. All of this production was over the course of just 300 at-bats, and was a career year for Rodriguez..

The Atlanta Braves continue to beef up their team, looking to build off of a strong second half in the 2016  season.

Earlier this month, Atlanta signed a pair of former Mets to boost their rotation, adding veteran right-handers Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey via free agency.

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mlb-news-braves-sign-first-baseman-sean-rodriguez.html/feed/ 0 Braves, “Game Ender” Inciarte Sweep Mets With 4-3 Heartbreaker http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/braves-game-ender-inciarte-sweep-mets-with-4-3-heartbreaker.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/braves-game-ender-inciarte-sweep-mets-with-4-3-heartbreaker.html/#comments Thu, 22 Sep 2016 02:45:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=223471 Bartolo, Colon

The New York Mets (80-72) were defeated by the Atlanta Braves (61-91) by a score of 4-3 Wednesday night at Citi Field in heartbreaking fashion. The Cardinals lost as well, so the Mets and St. Louis are currently tied for the second wildcard spot. At the time this article was written, the San Francisco Giants (80-71) were losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 in the 1st inning.

Pitching:

Bartolo Colon started for the Mets and was brilliantly sexy through the first six innings. However, former Met Anthony Recker took him deep in the 7th for a two-run home run for the only blemish on Colon’s line. He ended up pitching 6.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6 and walking none.

Addison Reed came in to preserve the Mets lead in the 7th with two outs and a runner on first. He struck out the batter to end the inning. He stayed in for the 8th and allowed a baserunner when Ender Inciarte reached on a tough error by James Loney at first. Adonis Garcia then flew out, before Terry brought in the lefty to face Freddie Freeman.

That lefty’s name is Josh Smoker who jammed Freeman, however he got it to the outfield putting runners on first and second with one out, still 3-2 Mets.

Jeurys Familia came in with one out in the 8th to go for the 5-out save. While Matt Kemp was at the plate, Enciarte and Freeman pulled off a double steal to put runners on second and third still with one out. Kemp worked the count to 3-2 and still fouled off a few good pitches before he lofted a ball out to Yoenis Cespedes in left field. Enciarte tagged up from third, however Cespedes’ throw was offline just enough for the run to score and tie the game.

Familia stayed in for the 9th with the game tied and quickly allowed a base hit to Jace Peterson. Dansby Swanson then bunted him over to second, accounting for the first out of the inning. Pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio then singled to left, putting runners on first and third. Ender Inciarte then nubbed one towards second base, hit much too softly to turn a double play. He was thrown out at first, however unfortunately the run scored to give the Braves a 4-3 lead. Ty Kelly then ended the inning by making a phenomenal bare-handed play on a gingerly-hit ball off the bat of Adonis Garcia.

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Offense:

Jose Reyes walked to lead off the game, then Asdrubal Cabrera really got the show rolling with a two-run blast to right field to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, Rene Rivera crushed a solo shot to left-center field over the great wall of Flushing.

T.J. Rivera continues to hit with two more singles tonight.

With one out in the 8th, Yoenis Cespedes tried to make up for his errant throw in the top of the inning with a long fly ball to left. Matt Kemp jumped at the fence but it went in and out of his glove, leaving Cespedes with a double. The ball might have hit the orange line if not for Kemp, but I guess the world will never know if he robbed a home run or not. Curtis Granderson was then walked intentionally.

T.J. Rivera came up with runners on first and second with one out. While he was up, Yo and Grandy pulled off a double steal. The Braves did it in the top of the inning, but the Mets did it better.

Rivera unfortunately struck out. With Kelly Johnson coming up, the Braves brought in the lefty. Terry countered with Eric Campbell. The Braves walked him intentionally to load the bases with James Loney on deck. Terry then pinch hit for Loney with Kevin Plawecki for a more favorable matchup. Unfortunately, favorability is not a guarantee, as he struck out to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded and the game tied going to the 9th.

Down 4-3 in the 9th, the Mets needed to put something together against closer Jim Johnson to avoid getting swept by the Braves for the second series at Citi Field in a row. Brandon Nimmo led off with a “17-hop base hit” (Gary) up the middle. Pinch-hitter Jay Bruce quickly fell behind 0-2, and despite working the count back to 2-2, he struck out on a nice changeup. With the lefty Lucas Duda available, Terry opted to go with Travis d’Arnaud who had yet to chalk up an RBI in September. Travis worked the count full, and with Nimmo running of the payoff pitch, d’Arnaud walked.

Asdrubal Cabrera strolled to the dish with runners on first and second, one out. Johnson got ahead of him 0-2 and induced a flyout to left, not nearly deep enough to move the runners up. So – two runners on, two outs, Mets down a run…

And Yoenis Cespedes coming up. For the second night in a row, it was Cespedes vs. Johnson. Last night he struck out, but this time he socked one to deep center field. It would have cleared the fence, if not for Ender Inciarte who ran a long way, and with a perfectly-timed jump, robbed Cespedes of a game-winning three-run home run for the final out of the night. It clearly would have gone over the fence, Yo and the Mets were truly robbed.

yoenis-cespedes

Notes:

Verizon Trivia Question: Who was the catcher for Bartolo Colon‘s first career start?

Freddie Freeman increased his hitting streak to an impressive 25 games.

I disagree wholeheartedly with Terry Collins‘ decision to remove Addison Reed in the 8th inning. I understand where he’s coming from bringing in the lefty to face Freeman, however Reed has held lefties to a .196 BA this season. Further, he is the set up man. The 8th inning is his job. If he does his job, which he has done beautifully this year, Jeurys Familia would come in for only a three-out save rather than five.

Ender Inciarte is a jerk.

Steven Matz will be starting Friday for the Mets, so… That’s good.

The Mets now have ten games remaining in the season, seven of which are against the Phillies.

Verizon Trivia Answer: Sandy Alomar Jr. (April 4th, 1997)

On Deck:

Thursday night at 7:10 PM, the Mets will send Seth Lugo (4-2, 2.35 ERA) to face off against the Phillies’ Adam Morgan (2-10, 5.57 ERA) at Citi Field.

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Mets Rally Late But Fall To Braves 5-4 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-rally-late-but-fall-to-braves-5-4.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-rally-late-but-fall-to-braves-5-4.html/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2016 02:40:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=223397 robert-gsellman-2

The Mets (80-71) were defeated by the cellar dwelling Atlanta Braves (60-91) yet again by a score of 5-4 tonight at Citi Field.

Pitching:

Robert Gsellman toed the rubber for the Mets tonight, and pitched well, going 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while walking two and striking out six.

In the first inning, Gsellman let up a double with one out to put the Braves in an immediate scoring position, but the righty struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

After a painless second, Gsellman put a pair of runners on in the third, but rolled a double play to get out of the jam.

Gsellman pitched a clean fourth and fifth, but ran into trouble in the sixth and was pulled from the game after allowing the Braves to tie it up.

Josh Smoker came on with the bases juiced and walked Nick Markakis to force in a run. It would be the only batter he faced, as Fernando Salas was brought in to relieve Smoker.

Salas ended the threat in the sixth, but the Braves extended the lead to 5-1 on a three-run shot from Adonis Garcia off Jerry Blevins in the seventh.

asdrubal-cabrera

Offense:

The Mets were stymied by the Braves yet again. The lone run came on an RBI double from Asdrubal Cabrera in the third.

With the Mets in the hole 5-1 in the eighth, Curtis Granderson doubled in a run to make it 5-2.

T.J. Rivera then hit a sacrifice fly, and Eric Campbell pinch hitting got the Mets within a run, but Travis d’Arnaud ended the threat with a ground out. Huge moment in this inning was Jay Bruce being pinch hit for by the 40th man on the roster in Campbell. That had to make Bruce feel about two feet tall.

On deck:

Bartolo Colon (14-7, 3.14 ERA) and the Mets look to salvage the final game of the series tomorrow night, and will take on Ryan Weber (1-1, 5.46 ERA). First pitch is at 7:10 PM.

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Offense Explodes As Mets Pummel Braves 10-3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/offense-explodes-as-mets-pummel-braves-10-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/offense-explodes-as-mets-pummel-braves-10-3.html/#comments Sun, 11 Sep 2016 21:07:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=222672 seth lugo

The New York Mets (76-67) defeated the Atlanta Braves (55-88) by a score of 10-3 at Citi Field Sunday afternoon. The Mets will temporarily tie the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot.  The outcome of that game is yet to be decided.

Pitching:

Seth Lugo was on the mound for the Mets today and he was very effective once again.  Lugo went seven innings giving up one run while walking one and striking out five.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Seth Lugo ran into a bit of trouble.  Adonis Garcia doubled to start things off for the Braves.  Freddie Freeman, Matt Kemp, and Nick Markakis would all follow with singles to bring in a run and keep the bases loaded with nobody out.

Lugo would bear down though and get Anthony Recker to pop out and Dansby Swanson to ground into a double play to get out of the inning only allowing one run.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Brandon Snyder hit a solo home run to cut the score to 10-2.  That would be it for any damage against Lugo on the day.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Sean Gilmartin came in for the Mets in mop-up duty and was able to pitch a scoreless inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Logan Verrett came in to try to close out the game for the Mets and he was terrible.

Verrett gave up a double, a walk, and two singles before finally being removed in favor of Josh Edgin.  Edgin was able to get out of the jam and secure the win for the Mets

yoenis cespedes

Offense: 

The Mets got things started right away today in the top of the first inning.  With one out, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a triple on a ball that was deflected off right fielder Nick Markakis.  Cabrera would come home on a ground out from Yoenis Cespedes making the score 1-0.

In the top of the third inning, Seth Lugo got on base by coaxing a walk with one out.  Jose Reyes then singled to right field to put runners on first and second base.

Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a single as well to load the bases for Yoenis Cespedes.   Cespedes took full advantage by crushing a grand slam, his 30th home run of the year, making the score 5-0.

In the top of the fourth inning, James Loney tacked on by hitting his 7th home run of the year making the score 6-0.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Mets offense got right back to it.  Asdrubal Cabrera lead-off the inning with a single.  Yoenis Cespedes followed with a walk to put two runners on for the Mets.

After Curtis Granderson grounded into a force out, Kelly Johnson singled to right field to bring home Cabrera and make the score 7-1.  Alejandro De Aza followed with a single of his own making the score 8-1.

The Mets weren’t done yet as James Loney doubled on a line drive to right field to make the score 9-1.  Jed Bradley intentionally walked Rene Rivera to get to Seth Lugo but Lugo was able to hit a long sacrifice fly to bring home Alejandro De Aza and make the score 10-1.

Notes:

Wilmer Flores was out of the lineup today as he was sore from the collision at home plate last night.

This was the final game the Mets will ever play at Turner Field.

Gavin Cecchini made his debut, a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth and struck out.

JZ Player of the game: Yoenis Cespedes.  Lugo was a worthy candidate once again but Cespedes drove in 5 runs today.

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their first game of a three-game set with the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park tomorrow evening. The game has a start time of 7:05 PM.  Rafael Montero (0-0, 4.63 ERA), will look to keep the Mets rolling.  The Washington Nationals starting pitcher has yet to be announced.

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Mets Winning Streak Snapped As They Fall to Braves 4-3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-winning-streak-snapped-as-they-fall-to-braves-4-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-winning-streak-snapped-as-they-fall-to-braves-4-3.html/#comments Sun, 11 Sep 2016 03:19:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=222621 bartolo

The New York Mets (75-67) were defeated by the Atlanta Braves (55-87) by a score of 4-3 at Turner Field Saturday evening. With a Cardinals win, the Mets fall a half-game behind the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot. 

Pitching:

Bartolo Colon was on the hill for the Mets tonight and he pitched a good game. Colon was a little up and down but ultimately gave the team what they needed.  Colon went six innings giving up three runs while walking one and striking out two.

In the bottom of the first inning, Ender Inciarte started the Braves off with a double.  After an Adonis Garcia walk, Freddie Freeman grounded into a force out that moved Inciarte to third. Matt Kemp then hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the early run and cut the Mets lead to 2-1.

In the top of the fourth inning, Nick Markakis tacked on with a solo home run to tie the game at two runs apiece. Matt Kemp was able to do the same in the bottom of the sixth to knot the game once again 3-3.

Fernando Salas and Addison Reed were each able to pitch scoreless innings in the 7th and 8th innings.

Hansel Robles and Jerry Blevins combined to pitch a scoreless inning in the bottom of the ninth.

Erik Goeddel came on for the Mets in the bottom of the tenth and he was very shaky.  Dansby Swanson lead off the inning with a single to center field.  Goeddel then threw a wild pitch to put Swanson on second.  A.J. Pierzynski was next and he hit a single just passed Asdrubal Cabrera to put runners on the corners with no out. Goeddel and Josh Smoker were able to get two straight outs but Adonis Garcia was able to squeak one through the infield to win the game for the Braves.

cespedes

Offense: 

In the top of the first inning, the Mets put two runs on the board without recording a hit. The Mets were able to capitalize on two fielding errors from the Braves.

In the top of the fifth inning, Yoenis Cespedes broke a 2-2 tie by belting his 29th home run of the to left-center field.

In the top of the eighth inning with two out, the Braves foolishly kept a left-handed pitcher in to face Wilmer Flores. Flores crushed a double off the top of the wall to make things interesting for the Mets. T.J. Rivera was called in to pinch hit and laced a single into right field in what should have brought in the go-ahead run.

Flores was thrown out at home colliding with A.J. Pierzynski on a headfirst slide. Flores was shaken up and had to leave the game. It was a very questionable move leaving Flores in to run so late in the game with an expanded bench.

Notes:

The Mets snapped a six-game winning streak with the loss.

Jacob deGrom threw 10 pitches off the mound in Atlanta today, deGrom said, “I want to be out there”.

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their third game of a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field tomorrow afternoon. The game has a start time of 1:35 PM.  Seth Lugo (3-2, 2.38 ERA), will look to take the series for the Mets against Williams Perez (2-2, 5.47 ERA).

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Mets’ Late Rally Keys Comeback Victory Over Braves http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-late-rally-keys-comeback-victory-over-braves.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/mets-late-rally-keys-comeback-victory-over-braves.html/#comments Sat, 10 Sep 2016 10:00:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=222577 robert gsellman

The New York Mets (75-66) defeated the Atlanta Braves (54-87) by a score of 6-4 at Turner Field Friday evening. With the win, the Mets will stay a half a game ahead of the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot and have a chance at overtaking the Giants for the first wild card spot.  The Giants are currently losing to the Diamondbacks in Arizona. 

Pitching:

Robert Gsellman took the hill for the Mets tonight and it wasn’t his best effort.  Everything started off fairly well for Gsellman tonight.  Through four innings Gsellman had given up only one run and seemed to be able to navigate in and out of some trouble.  Overall, Gsellman went five innings giving up four runs while walking two and striking out six.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, everything seemed to fall apart for Gsellman. Dansby Swanson singled on a ground ball to second baseman Wilmer Flores to lead off the inning.  Julio Teheran followed with a sacrifice bunt to move Swanson to second.

After Ender Inciarte grounded out but successfully moved Swanson to third, Gsellman appeared like he might get out of the jam.  Instead, Adonis Garcia cashed in by hitting a single to centerfield to make the score 2-0.  The Braves weren’t done yet.  Freddie Freeman singled, Matt Kemp walked, and Nick Markakis also singled making the score 4-0 before Gsellman was finally able to get out of the inning.

Jim Henderson took the hill and struggled in the sixth.  Henderson has not been good since returning to the big club.  Luckily, Josh Smoker was able to bail him out and the two were able to pitch a scoreless inning.

Hansel Robles and Addison Reed were able to come in and pitch scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings.

Jeurys Familia came on in the ninth to shut the door and worked around a lead-off double to record his major league-leading 48th save.

curtis Granderson

Offense: 

The Mets continue to struggle against Julio Teheran.  Teheran baffled the Mets for the first four innings running his scoreless pitched innings streak against the Mets up to 29 innings.

In the top of the sixth inning with two out, Yoenis Cespedes was able to single on a ball that was deflected off Teheran.  Curtis Granderson followed by blasting his 26th home run of the year.  The home run finally put an end to Teheran’s streak and cut the lead in half 4-2.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Mets offense came to life.  Alejandro De Aza lead-off the inning with a pinch-hit walk to get things started. Jose Reyes followed by reaching on a fielding error by Dansby Swanson to put runners on first and second.  After an Asdrubal Cabrera walk to load the bases, Yoenis Cespedes was able to hit a long sacrifice out to cut the lead to 4-3 and move everyone up.  Curtis Granderson followed by lacing a single to Ender Inciarte to tie the game and move Cabrera to third.

Kelly Johnson then came in off the bench and hit a clutch double to give the Mets the lead and move Granderson to third.  After Jay Bruce was intentionally walked to load the bases, Mauricio Cabrera plunked Michael Conforto to bring in another run and make the score 6-4.

alejandro de aza

Notes:

The Mets have now won 6 straight and 15 of their last 19 games

Curtis Granderson has now hit a home run in four straight games.

Lucas Duda will take live batting practice on Saturday in Port St. Lucie for the first time since his most recent setback with a stress fracture in his back.

Steven Matz will look to throw off a mound tomorrow for the first time since landing on the disabled list on August 15th.

Jacob deGrom has resumed throwing from flat ground

JZ Player of the game: Curtis Granderson. Granderson was 2-2 with 2 walks,  a home run, and three RBIs tonight.  Granderson now has 12 RBIs in his last 27 at-bats.

asdrubal cabrera

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their second game of a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field tomorrow night. The game has a start time of 7:10 PM.  Bartolo Colon (13-7, 3.22 ERA), will look to keep the Mets rolling against John Gant (1-3, 4.70 ERA).

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MMO Players Of The Week: Only The Loney & Robles Is More http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-players-of-the-week-only-the-loney-robles-is-more.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-players-of-the-week-only-the-loney-robles-is-more.html/#comments Tue, 28 Jun 2016 11:00:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216024 MMO PLAYER OF THE WEEK

The New York Mets opened up the week of June 19-25th with a crushing loss at the hands of Julio Teheran, who one-hit the Mets in a complete game shutout, winning 6-0. The Mets were swept by the Braves in that weekend series, scoring a total of only four runs at home. They dropped to six games back of the division leading Washington Nationals, and needed to put together some series wins and take advantage of the Nationals seven game losing streak (stretching from June 18th to June 25th).

The World Series Champion Kansas City Royals were next up; making a quick two-game stop at Citi Field. The Mets were able to take both games midweek, getting tremendous bullpen help in Tuesday’s win after Bartolo Colon was forced to leave the game in the first inning after second baseman Whit Merrifield ripped a liner off of Colon’s right thumb.

The next night Noah Syndergaard toed the rubber, and delivered a mediocre start compared to some of the gems he’s tossed, pitching six innings while giving up three runs. The bullpen was once again superb, and infielder Matt Reynolds hit his first major league home run, and the Mets held on to a 4-3 win.

The Mets also saw the return of catcher Travis d’Arnaud, whose been on the disabled list since April 25th due to a strained rotator cuff. He got his first hit in Friday night’s game, while driving in three runs. The team also made several roster moves on Saturday, demoting left-fielder Michael Conforto to Triple A Las Vegas, while calling up top prospect Brandon Nimmo to take his spot.

Conforto had been struggling mightily the past eight weeks, and over his last 30 games put up a slash line of .135/.210/.292 with 31 strikeouts. The team also announced the signing of former Met shortstop Jose Reyes to a minor league contract, hoping he could provide the team a spark at the top of the lineup, while infusing some speed into the team who’s second to last in stolen bases in baseball (14).

For the week, the Mets went 4-2, and now sit three games back of the Nationals heading into their three game set in D.C. It’s sure to be a huge series which could ultimately make or break this team heading into the first week of July. For now though, here are your Players of the Week, brought to you by MMO.

james loney hr

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JAMES LONEY

The offensive player of the week goes to first baseman James Loney, who had a strong week both at the plate and in the field. Loney went 7-for-21 with a home run, double, three runs scored, four R.B.I. and two walks at the plate. Loney registered a hit in every game except the Sunday one-hit gem by Teheran, and has posted a strong season line of .302/.362/.453 after Sunday’s loss to the Braves.

He’s also contributed some fine defense at first, making some long stretches from the first base bag and scooping up some errant throws, including the last out of Friday night’s win when Jace Peterson struck out on a pitch that went past d’Arnaud. As Peterson was racing to the bag in the bottom of the ninth, d’Arnaud raced near the backstop to secure the ball, toss it to Loney at first who had to stretch to his right and keep his foot planted on the bag. The play would be challenged by the Braves, but held up in the Mets favor, and for their 8-6 victory.

Loney also launched his second home run on the year in Friday’s win, crushing a hanging breaking ball off RHP Aaron Blair into the Braves’ bullpen in right, giving the Mets an 8-0 lead in the top of the fifth. Those runs would end up being the winning runs, as the Braves made a valiant comeback in the bottom of the fifth, scoring six runs off of Steven Matz.

Loney has been a solid addition to this team, especially considering the injury to Lucas Duda and the news earlier this week that he has yet to begin any baseball related activities, and being limited to riding the exercise bike. Loney has given the Mets a legitimate hitter and a much better option than the likes of Eric Campbell, who posted a wRC+ of 45 in 30 games, compared to Loney who in 23 games has a 127 wRC+, along with less strikeouts and an almost 100 point difference in on base percentage.

hansel robles

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: HANSEL ROBLES

Hansel Robles earns the nod for pitcher of the week, after delivering a brilliant performance against the Royals after Colon left in the first inning due to injury. Robles limited the Royals to one run on five hits, with one walk and six strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings pitched, earning his first win of 2016. Robles flashed a great slider that night, with four of his six strikeouts coming via the slider, and got lots of swing and misses while mixing in his mid-nineties fastball. The 3 2/3 innings pitched were a career high for Robles, along with the six strikeouts.

Robles was also called upon in Friday’s game with the Braves, coming in after Steven Matz gave up six runs in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on first and second and one out, Robles was able to get out of trouble by getting Jeff Francoeur to fly out to right, and then striking out Nick Markakis on four pitches. Robles would end up tossing 2 2/3 innings, allowing no runs and no hits, while striking out two, earning his second win in a matter of three days.

Robles has been strong in June, throwing 13 1/3 innings while giving up only three earned runs, striking out 17 batters and not allowing a home run this month. He’s lowered his season E.R.A. from 3.52 at the end of May, to 2.97. He’s been a solid arm for the Mets out of the pen, a good sight considering Jim Henderson‘s D.L. stint, and Antonio Bastardo struggling in his last 15 games to the tune of a 9.00 E.R.A. and a 2.00 WHIP.

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Bartolo Colon Thumbs His Way Through Seven Solid Innings http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/bartolo-colon-thumbs-his-way-through-seven-solid-innings.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/bartolo-colon-thumbs-his-way-through-seven-solid-innings.html/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:55:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216065 bartolo colon 2

Now that the diamond dust of Michael Conforto’s demotion, Jose Reyes’ resigning, Logan Verrett, Sean Gilmartin and Brandon Nimmo being recalled from Las Vegas has settled, it’s still much ado about nothing with the Mets starting line-up.

NY prospect Brandon Nimmo’s 0-4 major league debut was not one that dreams are made of, as he got a taste of the meal Conforto dined on during his roller-coaster stay in the “show.”

“I’m sure the first-game jitters were huge for him,” manager Terry Collins said. “We’ve got to get him calmed down because he’s going to a bigger series here in 24 hours.”

A day after Jacob deGrom had the dubious honor of pitching a gem of a no-decision without any input from his offense, Bartolo Colon got the same cold shoulders, as the Mets lost to the basement dwelling Braves 5-2.

Colon’s one run to Freddie Freeman was his only flaw, and it’s a shame that the 43 year old couldn’t cash in a win on an impressive seven-inning outing that was his for the taking. This was his first start since taking a line drive off his thumb and giving everyone a scare.

“At no point throughout the game did the thumb bother me, thank god,” Colon said through an interpreter. “I’m able to squeeze the ball without any issues.”

Colon has really ramped up his performance of late and owns a 1.80 ERA over his last seven starts.

 Braves right-hander Bud Norris has made the best of his move from the bullpen back to the staring rotation where he is 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA in his last five starts.  He raised Colon’s seven strong innings by not surrendering a single run, allowing 4 hits, striking out 8.

The Mets, rotating their batting order more than a team of volleyball players, are lucky that the team they are chasing are 1-7 in their last eight games.  But believing they’re going to bank on the misfortune of Dusty Baker’s boys is a risky venture.

This same old same old silence in the batter’s box does not bode well with a three game series in our Nation’s capital, followed by four against the Cubs, three with the Marlins, and another plateful of the Nationals prior to the All Star break.

Noah Syndergaard takes the mound on Monday bringing triple digit heat along with a 2-0 record and 1.33 ERA in his last four career starts against the Nats.

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Mets Offense Stifled Again, Braves Take Finale 5-2 To Earn Series Split http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mets-offense-stifled-again-braves-take-finale-5-2-to-earn-series-split.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mets-offense-stifled-again-braves-take-finale-5-2-to-earn-series-split.html/#comments Sun, 26 Jun 2016 20:36:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216010 bartolo colon

The New York Mets (40-34) were defeated by the Atlanta Braves (26-49) by a score of 5-2 at Turner Field Sunday afternoon.  With the loss the Mets will temporarily fall 2.5 games back of the Washington Nationals.

Pitching:

Bartolo Colon was on the mound today and the wily vet was very good.  Colon went seven innings giving up one run, while walking one, and striking out two.

In the top of the first inning, after Colon quickly retired the first two batters, Mets killer Freddie Freeman jacked a home run to left center field.  That would be all for any damage against Colon today.

Antonio Bastardo came on in the eighth inning and he was awful.  Bastardo gave up two hits, a walk, a run, and a balk before being pulled from the game without recording an out.

Logan Verrett came in and tried to clean up the mess and failed.  Verrett immediately gave up a three run home run to Adonis Garcia to give the Braves a 5-0 lead and put the game out of reach.

freddie freeman

Offense: 

Bud Norris was on his game today and he shut the Mets offense completely down.  Norris was able to pitch seven shutout innings for the Braves giving up only four hits.

After Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless eighth, Alexi Ogando came in to try and shut the door in the ninth.

Matt Reynolds led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on an error.  Yoenis Cespedes grounded out but Reynolds came home giving the Mets their first run of the day. The Mets still weren’t done trying to make a rally.  Neil Walker followed with a double.  After James Loney popped out, Wilmer Flores followed with an RBI single cutting the lead to 5-2.  Brandon Nimmo struck out to end the threat.

terry collins dan warthen tim teufel

Notes:

Brandon Nimmo made his debut today and went 0-4 with one strikeout.

Jose Reyes made his debut with the Brooklyn Cyclones this afternoon.

On Deck: 

The Mets are on deck with the Nats!  They will play their first game of a three game series with the Washington Nationals tomorrow night at Nationals Park. The game has a start time of 7:05 PM.  Noah Syndergaard (8-2, 2.08 ERA) will look to get the Mets off on the right foot against their division nemesis.  The opposing pitcher has not yet been officially announced.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets Hang On In Wild One To Beat Braves 8-6 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-hang-on-in-wild-one-to-beat-braves-8-6.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-hang-on-in-wild-one-to-beat-braves-8-6.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 03:04:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215859 james loney hr

The New York Mets (39-33) defeated the Atlanta Braves (25-48) by a score of 8-6 at Turner Field Friday evening.

Offense: 

Aaron Blair wasn’t very good tonight and the Mets took advantage.

The Mets got things started in the top of the second inning.  Neil Walker started the inning off with a sharp single into center field.  After James Loney was hit with a pitch, Wilmer Flores crushed a ground rule double into the gap to plate Loney.  After a Michael Conforto strikeout, Travis d’Arnaud grounded out but it would plate Loney giving the Mets the early 2-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth inning, Neil Walker lead off with a single into right field.  James Loney, who has been raging hot lately, followed with a double moving Walker to third.  After Wilmer Flores grounded out sharply and Aaron Blair intentionally walked Conforto to load the bases, Travis d’Arnaud made him pay with a 2 RBI single to right field.  Steven Matz would follow with a well-timed sacrifice fly giving the Mets the 5-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Mets got right back at it.  Asdrubal Cabrera kicked off the inning with a walk.  After a Yoenis Cespedes line out, Neil Walker singled on a line drive to left field.  James Loney was next and he crushed a home run over the center field wall giving the Mets an 8-0 lead.

steven matz atl

Pitching:

Steven Matz was on the hill for the Mets tonight and he was on cruise control for the first four innings.  Matz allowed only one hit through the first four but man oh man did the wheels fall off in the fifth.

Jeff Francoeur lead off the fifth inning with a double into the gap. Nick Markakis followed with a double of his own on a play in which Cespedes lost the ball in the lights and let the ball drop right next to him.  Adonis Garcia followed with a double.  Tyler Flowers followed with a single.  After a groundout from Erick Aybar, Brandon Snyder hit a three run home run.  Jace Peterson singled.  Ender Inciarte singled. Freddie Freeman singled.

Whew.  Finally, Matz was mercilessly removed from the game in what was a complete meltdown.   Six runs would come in for the Braves in the fifth inning.  All in all, Matz pitched 4.1 innings, allowing 6 earned runs, walking none, and striking out none.

Matz was shown rubbing his elbow before the fifth inning started so it might be something to monitor.

Hansel Robles came in to clean up Matz’s mess in the fifth and he quickly got himself out of the never ending inning.

Robles would again come in for the sixth and seventh innings and would pitch a 1, 2, 3 inning both times.  Robles has been an absolute life saver lately retiring eight in a row tonight.

Antonio Bastardo would came in for the Mets in the eighth.  After retiring the first two batters, Bastardo gave up a double to Nick Markakis.  Terry Collins went straight to his closer and Jeurys Familia recorded the quick final out of the inning.

Familia came back in for the ninth and got himself into a little bit of trouble.  With two runners on and no out, Familia was able to get Chase d’Arnaud to hit into a double play.  With two out, Familia was able to strikeout Jace Peterson to record his 25th save of the season.  Familia is 25 for 25 in save opportunities in 2016.

travis darnaud

Notes:

Jose Reyes is about to clear waivers and is allowed to sign with any team tomorrow at 1:00 PM.  It is being widely reported Reyes is set to join the team that birthed him.

Yoenis Cespedes turned his ankle on a pick off play tonight.  Cespedes was able to tape up the ankle and stay in the game.

James Loney made two incredible scoops at first base.  Combined with his offense, he was the MVP tonight.  Hansel Robles gets honorable mention in my book.

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their third game of a four game series with the Atlanta Braves tomorrow night at Turner Field. The game has a start time of 7:15 PM.  Jacob deGrom (3-4, 2.96 ERA) will look to keep the Mets going against righty Julio Teheran (3-7 2.66 ERA). Teheran is coming off a complete game, one hit shutout against the Mets his last time out.

METSMERIZED NIGHT LG

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MMO Players Of The Week: Two Potential All-Stars http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-players-of-the-week-two-potential-all-stars.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-players-of-the-week-two-potential-all-stars.html/#comments Mon, 20 Jun 2016 17:00:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215291 MMO PLAYER OF THE WEEK

It’s difficult to write a Players of the Week after such a rough showing this weekend. But the Mets did have a pair of deserving standout players.

With the way the pitching lined up, many fans and writers had the Mets sweeping the Braves this weekend, however it was the Braves that essentially knocked the Mets around like they were sparring in the ring, and swept the Mets. The Braves outscored the Mets 15-4 in the three game set, and also out-hit them 29-14. But hey, at least fans were treated to a nice Andy Grammer post-game concert after Saturday’s debacle.

The Mets have a much tougher schedule on the horizon, including two against the suddenly hot Kansas City Royals on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs in the last week of June. The calendar is turning fast, and the Mets need to turn this slump around if they want any chance at keeping pace with the surging Nationals heading into the later months of summer.

While the play this past week left many fans feeling queasy or reaching for a bottle of Tums, there were a few standout performances to highlight.

yoenis cespedes

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: YOENIS CESPEDES

Yoenis Cespedes gets the nod for Offensive Player of the Week, after he went 7-for-20 with four walks, four runs batted in, four runs scored, and a home run. La Potencia now has 17 home runs on the year in 63 games, on-par with his pace from last season where in 57 games he hit 17 bombs. His production has been stellar, with a slash line of .280/.352/.564, 17 home runs, and 43 runs batted in. He’s currently tied for fourth in the National League with Rockies’ shortstop Trevor Story in home runs, and should be a starting outfielder in this year’s All Star Game in San Diego.

Cespedes provided an early run for the Mets in Saturday’s contest, where in the bottom of the third against Braves RHP Aaron Blair, Cespedes blasted a 2-1 hanging curve into the left-center field seats to give the Mets an early 1-0 lead. Alas, the Mets would end up losing the game, as they did all their scoring the the third and fourth innings and allowed the Braves to chip away late in the game.

But a solid takeaway is that Cespedes continues to rake, and has but up almost identical numbers to what he posted in the 57 games he played in 2015 with the team.

noah syndergaard 2

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: NOAH SYNDERGAARD

Noah Syndergaard was the easy choice for MMO Pitcher of the Week. His sparkling outing against a tough lineup in the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday June 15th was absolutely brilliant. Syndergaard pitched into the ninth with an 11-0 lead, and was looking to pitch his first complete game, and complete game shutout.

Unfortunately neither happened, as Syndergaard gave up a leadoff double to John Jaso in the top of the ninth. Gregory Polanco grounded out to Thor, which moved Jaso over to third. Manager Terry Collins seemed to be taking the ninth one batter at time with Syndergaard, who gave up another double to David Freese, with Jaso scoring the Pirates first run of the night. At that point, Syndergaard had thrown 115 pitches, a season high for the six-foot-six right-hander. He left to a standing ovation from the Citi faithful and watched as Jeurys Familia came in to get the final two outs of the game.

His final line on the night was 8 1/3 innings, five hits, two runs, one earned, no walks, while striking out 11, his fourth double-digit strikeout performance this year. Syndergaard also recorded his 100th strikeout on the season that night, and became the fastest Met pitcher to reach that mark in team history in 80 1/3 innings, previously held by Pedro Martinez who did it in 86 innings.

I was in attendance that night, sitting in section 126 down the third base line. Even sitting a distance away from the batter’s box, I could still hear the “thwap” the ball was making when it hit Rene Rivera’s mitt. Syndergaard was absolutely dominating and locating his fastball perfectly that night. In fact, his average fastball that night according to ESPN, was 99 mph, and had his second-highest miss rate (39.7) on the season.

On the year, Syndergaard has posted a 7-2 record, with a 1.91 earned run average, 0.96 WHIP, and 106 strikeouts in 85 innings pitched. Syndergaard should be joining Cespedes to San Diego to compete in his first All Star Game, something that Syndergaard himself set as a goal.

“It was a goal of mine this year. I watched Jacob (deGrom) last year and I thought that was pretty cool, so I want to go,” Syndergaard said earlier this month. “I am not above dropping some hints. I’ll start sucking up (to Warthen and Collins) a little bit. I might mention, ‘Hey the All-Star Game is coming pretty soon, you guys know any reason I shouldn’t make plans?’ Just to let them know.”

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Anger & Frustration: Braves Shut Down Mets 6-0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/anger-frustration-braves-shut-down-mets-6-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/anger-frustration-braves-shut-down-mets-6-0.html/#comments Sun, 19 Jun 2016 20:03:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215356 jacob degrom

The New York Mets (36-32) were defeated by the Atlanta Braves (23-46) by a score of 6-0 this afternoon at Citi Field. With the loss, the Braves completed the sweep of the Mets, and have now won five in a row.

Pitching:

Jacob deGrom toed the rubber for the Mets this afternoon on his 28th birthday. Unfortunately, the righty did not have his best stuff, but still managed to trudge his way through six innings, allowing three runs on five hits, while striking out six and walking one.

DeGrom has now gone nine starts without a win, and though he did not have his A-game today, still kept the Mets in the game but was the recipient of yet another non-existent offensive showing.

The erratic Antonio Bastardo relieved deGrom in the seventh inning, and as one could expect, was ineffective yet again. Allowing two runs on two hits, including allowing a run to score via a balk. Bastardo’s ERA now stands at 4.66 for the campaign.

Hansel Robles then pitched the eighth, and despite striking out three batters in the inning, also allowed the Braves to increase their lead to 6-0.

Robles went back out for the ninth, and miraculously got through the inning without allowing another run.

ender inciarte

Offense: 

I wish I had something to put in this category, but there’s only so much you can elaborate upon when the Mets string together a total of one hit.

Julio Teheran carved the Mets hitters up like a Thanksgiving turkey today, allowing just the one hit, and striking out seven while not walking a batter, and throwing a complete game shutout.

Thoughts:

The Mets scored four runs this series. Four runs. Against one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball. The Braves came into Citi Field this weekend and completely silenced the Mets offense, sweeping us on our own turf. There’s two words I can use to describe the results of this series: Pathetic and Inexcusable.

You have NO EXCUSE when a team that you should easily sweep comes in and humiliates you IN FRONT OF YOUR OWN FANS. A change needs to be made. The Mets are slipping further and further out of contention in the National League East, and if the Nationals win today, the Mets will be seven games out. Seven.

I’m going to compare the Mets to the team that just swept them today, the Atlanta Braves. The Braves look like a brand new team than the one we saw several weeks ago under the reigns of Fredi Gonzalez. Since Brian Snitker has taken over as the manager of the Braves, they have looked rejuvenated and confident.

I think that Terry Collins is as much to blame for this mess the Mets are in as anybody. Despite the fact that he abuses his bullpen, and that Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia‘s arms are going to fall off by the time September comes, his in game decisions are head scratching worthy and laughable.

You want to ignite a spark in this team? A managerial change seems necessary. This isn’t just a recent problem, and you can blame it on the injuries all you want. But this has been a constant problem with the Mets offense as long as Collins has run this team. The team can’t get anything going at the plate, and it’s very concerning. It’s June, let’s turn this around now. Before it’s too late.

On deck:

The Mets are off tomorrow, but take on the Royals for a quick two game series starting Tuesday. Noah Syndergaard (7-2, 1.91 ERA) gets the ball for the opener, and will be opposed by Ian Kennedy (5-5, 4.17 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.

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John Gant Suffocates Mets Offense, Braves Take Opener 5-1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/john-gant-suffocates-mets-offense-braves-take-opener-5-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/john-gant-suffocates-mets-offense-braves-take-opener-5-1.html/#comments Sat, 18 Jun 2016 02:47:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215186 matt harvey 3

The New York Mets (36-30) were defeated by the Atlanta Braves (21-46) by a score of 5-1 at Citi Field Friday evening.

Pitching:

Matt Harvey was not at his best tonight.  After three sterling starts, Harvey struggled, especially putting innings away with two out.  All in all, Harvey went six innings giving up four runs, walking two, and striking out five.

In the top of the fifth inning with the score still only 3-1, Harvey walked the leadoff hitter Mallex Smith.  After getting Ender Inciarte to pop up to third baseman Kelly Johnson, Mallex Smith stole second base.  Harvey faced what was seemingly the biggest threat in the Braves lineup in Freddie Freeman and struck him out to give the Mets their second out.  With only an out left to get out of the inning, Nick Markakis laced a single into right field to give the Braves their fourth run of the game.

Antonio Bastardo came in to pitch the seventh inning and although he worked himself into and out of trouble he was able to pitch a scoreless inning.

Erik Goeddel was called on to pitch the eighth and he wasn’t very good.  Goeddel walked Travis’s brother Chase d’Arnaud to lead off the inning.  After getting A.J. Pierzynski to ground out, Erick Aybar smacked a single on a line drive to Yoenis Cespedes.  Cespedes bobbled the ball and d’Arnaud was able to come around and score easily giving the Braves their fifth run of the game.  Cespedes received an error on the play.  Jerry Blevins came on and cleaned up the mess to get out of the inning.

Jerry Blevins and Hansel Robles were able to combine to pitch a scoreless ninth.

john gant

Offense: 

Former Mets farmhand John Gant, who was making just his second big league start, was on the mound for the Braves tonight and he was fantastic.  Gant recorded two outs in the seventh inning before departing only giving up two hits and one run.  He frustrated the Mets offense all night.

In the first inning Curtis Granderson lead off the game with a double on a line drive to right field that went all the way to the wall.  Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a groundout that was able to move Granderson over to third.  Yoenis Cespedes was able to follow with a groundout of his own and Curtis Granderson broke for the plate on contact.  Granderson scored easily. This would be the Mets only run of the game.

The Mets did make things interesting in the bottom of the seventh once Gant was out of the game.  The Mets were able to load the bases with two outs however Wilmer Flores, who was called in to pinch hit, struck out on three pitches to end the threat.

Notes:

After leaving the game yesterday getting beamed in the wrist, Wilmer Flores was able to pinch hit tonight.

Travis d’Arnuad was sent to Las Vegas.  D’Arnaud was expected to DH for the 51s tonight but catch Saturday and Sunday’s games.  TDA should be activated with the big club early next week.

On Deck: 

The Mets will play their second game of a three game series with the Atlanta Braves tomorrow evening at Citi Field. The game has a start time of 8:15 PM.  Steven Matz (7-3, 2.71 ERA) will look to get the Mets back on track against righty Aaron Blair (0-4 7.59 ERA).

METSMERIZED NIGHT LG

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Braves Deal Kelly Johnson Back To Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/source-braves-deal-kelly-johnson-back-to-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/source-braves-deal-kelly-johnson-back-to-mets.html/#comments Wed, 08 Jun 2016 16:04:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=214386 kelly Johnson

According to MLB Network citing sources, it looks like the New York Mets have swung a deal with the Atlanta Braves for utility infielder and outfielder Kelly Johnson.

The Mets are reportedly sending pitching prospect Akeel Morris to the Braves in exchange for Johnson. Additionally, the Mets are getting cash back in the deal.

Johnson, 34, was batting .215 with a .526 OPS in 132 plate appearances with the Braves. He batted .250 for the Mets last season in 49 games.

Akeel Morris struck out 27 batters over his last 18.2 innings and has held opponents to a .169 average in that span. Walks still an issue though.

It’s expected that Ty Kelly will be optioned back to Triple-A Las Vegas.

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Chopped: Braves Fire Manager Fredi Gonzalez http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/braves-fire-manager-fredi-gonzalez.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/braves-fire-manager-fredi-gonzalez.html/#comments Tue, 17 May 2016 15:37:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=212131 fredi gonzalez

According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Atlanta Braves have fired manager Fredi Gonzalez this morning.

The Braves were mired in one of the worst half-seasons in the franchise’s 140-year history last year, and that was followed by its worst-ever start to a season. They have the worst record in the majors at 7-28.

An official announcement is expected later today.

Gonzalez, 52, was in his sixth season as Braves manager after replacing his mentor, Bobby Cox, when the legendary Braves manager retired after the 2010 season. He is the first Braves manager fired since Russ Nixon was dumped in June 1990 and replaced by Cox.

Zach Klein of ABC TV in Atlanta, reports that an MLB Source says Triple-A manager Brian Snitker will replace Gonzalez.

 

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The Z Files: How Steven Matz Dominated the Atlanta Braves http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/the-z-files-how-steven-matz-dominated-the-atlanta-braves.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/the-z-files-how-steven-matz-dominated-the-atlanta-braves.html/#comments Thu, 05 May 2016 17:00:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=211151 steven matz

The New York Mets made a cool, rainy day look beautiful, hitting four home runs en route to a 8-0 shellacking of the last place Atlanta Braves.  The Mets hit more home runs during this series than the Braves have all season.

Steven Matz fell short of his first complete game shutout, dominating Braves hitters with his fastball all day.

Steven Matz (W, 4-1) 7.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 8 SO, 0 BB

Matz showed the blueprint on pitching against a poor hitting team.  Attack!  Attack!  Attack!  Simply, Matz continually attacked the strike zone, particularly with fastballs, allowing the Braves Four-A (AAAA) hitters to get themselves out, with quite a few strikeouts along the way.

Here are three stats highlighting Matz’s presence in the strike zone:

  1. Matz threw first pitch strikes to 19 of the 26 Braves batters faced, an above average 73% first pitch strike rate
  2. Matz threw 78 of his 106 pitches for strikes, an above average overall strike rate of 73%
  3. Matz got to only one three ball count out of the 26 Braves batters faced.  Tyler Flowers made it to a full 3-2 count during the fifth inning, eventually striking out on a called strike three.

Let’s focus on number one, the importance of first pitch strikes.  The main reason first pitch strikes are important is summed up in one statistic.  Braves hitters are batting .418 in 1-0 counts compared to an abominable .282 batting average in 0-1 counts.

Some analyst will de-emphasize the importance of first pitch strikes, stating one pitch in the at-bat doesn’t define the outcome of an at-bat and will show some teams do not have as drastic batting splits as the Braves example above.

These analyst miss the understanding each pitch sets up the next pitch.  Getting ahead 0-1 allows the pitcher freedom to throw more off-speed pitches or throw a fastball an inch or two off the outside corner in hopes it’s either incorrectly called a strike or the hitter chases the pitch out of the strike zone.  Pitchers at a 1-0 count are forced to attack the strike zone because no pitcher ever wants to get to a 2-0 count.  Ever.  Currently, there are twelve MLB teams with slugging percentages over .700 in 2-0 counts.  For a point of comparison, Chris Carter leads the MLB in overall slugging percentage at .681.

Additionally, getting to 0-1 rather than 1-0, puts the pitcher ahead in the count and closer to a strikeout than a walk.  This season, Braves hitters are batting .297 when ahead in the count (1-0, 2-0, 2-1 etc.) but a mere .164 when behind in the count (0-1, 0-2, 1-2 etc.).

Matz One Negative

Simply, Matz left some of his off-speed pitches up in the strike zone, around belt-high.  These pitches, particularly his changeup, will be exploited against better hitting teams.

Stats of the Night

Last night, the Mets led MLB in hard contact percentage at 59.1%.

Currently this season, Michael Conforto leads MLB in hard contact percentage at 50.8%.  Who’s second?  David Wright at 49.0%

Follow Chris Zaccherio on Twitter @ziography for more Mets insight going beyond statistics.

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3 Up 3 Down: Colon and Matz Help Mets Win 6th Consecutive Series http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/3-up-3-down-colon-and-matz-help-mets-win-6th-consecutive-series.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/3-up-3-down-colon-and-matz-help-mets-win-6th-consecutive-series.html/#comments Thu, 05 May 2016 16:00:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=211102 bartolo colob

3 Up

1. Brilliant Bart

Coming off a shaky start against the Cincinnati Reds, Bartolo Colon was dazzling against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night. Colon allowed seven hits, struck out seven, and didn’t allow a walk in eight innings pitched. The win was his 220th of his career, moving him past Pedro Martinez for second-most all-time by a Dominican-born pitcher. Colon retired 16 of the last 17 batters that he faced, and is the first Mets starting pitcher to go into the eigth inning this season. He’s now 9-2 lifetime against the Braves, with an ERA of 2.44 ERA.

2. Meet the Matz

Two days after Bartolo Colon made it into the eighth inning on Monday night, Steven Matz was able to do the same in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon. Matz was again brilliant, going 7 2/3 scoreless innings allowing just two hits and striking out eight batters. Since his miserable first start of the season, Matz has been nearly flawless, winning four straight decisions and lowering his ERA to 3.86.

3. The Dude Abides

We all know that when Lucas Duda starts to hit home runs, they tend to come in bunches. They certainly did this series, as he went on to hit three, including two in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon. Duda went 3 for 10 in the series with those three home runs and four RBI. On the year Duda is hitting .258 with seven HR and 18 RBI. When Duda gets hot, he really gets hot, and has the capability to carry a team when he does.

*Duda’s three home runs were just three of the seven total that the Mets hit this series against the Atlanta Braves. The Mets now have 40 home runs as a team, which is tied for the Major League lead.

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3 Down

1. Harvey Takes Step Back

After winning his last two outings, Harvey struggled on Tuesday night against a weak Atlanta Braves lineup. His final line would produce wins on most occasions, but with the Mets offense only able to manage just one hit, Harvey was simply just not good enough. He allowed three runs in the fifth inning after pitching four scoreless. His three runs allowed in the fifth increased his season ERA to 6.00 in that inning. In the sixth inning this season, his ERA has ballooned all the way up to 20.25. Harvey is now 2-4 on the season with a 4.76 ERA, and quickly starting to look like the Mets third or fourth best starter.

2. One Hit

For whatever reason the Mets just cannot figure out Braves right-hander Matt Wisler. The Mets could only manage one hit against him in eight innings on Tuesday night, the lone hit being a one-out single in the fifth from Asdrubal Cabrera. Wisler is now 3-1 with an ERA of 1.55 in four starts against the Mets. They did hit some balls hard, but unfortunately they were right at Braves fielders. It was the seventh time in history that the Mets were one-hit by a Braves pitcher.

3. K-Plaw Has Struggled

In five games since Travis d’Arnaud has been placed on the disabled list, Kevin Plawecki has started all five games and has hit .200 with a .368 OBP, with no extra base hits. On the season Plawecki is batting just .176 with two RBI. Most believe that Plawecki could become a solid major league hitter, but even Terry Collins is starting to lose his patience. After the game on Tuesday night, Collins said, “I don’t mean to put pressure on him, but he’s got to start getting some hits.” Terry is right, he does, especially because of d’Arnaud’s recent history of injuries. Plawecki was 0 for 4 with two walks in his two starts against the Braves this series.

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The Z Files: A Closer Look At Matt Harvey’s Loss To Braves http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/the-z-files-a-closer-look-at-matt-harveys-loss-to-the-braves.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/the-z-files-a-closer-look-at-matt-harveys-loss-to-the-braves.html/#comments Wed, 04 May 2016 15:34:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=211083 matt harvey dugout

The New York Mets hitters amassed only a single hit in their 3-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves.  As noted below, there is little to worry about with the Mets batting lineup but the same cannot be said for Matt Harvey.

Matt Harvey (L, 2-4) 3 R, 8 H, 4 SO, 2 BB

There were two main reasons Harvey was successful last season:

  1. His ability to throw a strike in any count, especially behind in the count, with any of his four pitches in his repertoire
  2. His ability to throw a fastball with at an average 95.9 mph

Both allow Harvey the leniency to fall behind in the count and still create outs, even strikeouts because hitters can’t predict which pitch is going to be thrown to them.  Additionally, opposing hitters can’t wait for 96 mph fastballs because they are extremely difficult to hit well even when a hitter knows a fastball is coming.

Last night, Harvey threw a solid 68% of his pitches for strikes yesterday and threw a decent 66% first pitch strikes.  However, Harvey struggled throwing off-speed pitches for strikes (63% strike rate) especially when behind in the count.  Harvey found himself behind in two-ball counts during 11 of the 27 Braves batters faced (40% of batters faced).  Both Mallex Smith’s home run and A.J. Pierzynski’s RBI double came behind in the count 2-1 and 2-0 respectively.

Harvey’s inability to throw off-speed pitches for strikes when behind in the count forced him into throwing predictable fastballs.

Last season, even when Harvey’s off-speed pitches weren’t finding the strike zone, he was able to amp his fastball velocity up to 97 or 98 mph to “blow” his fastball past opposing hitters.  Last night, Harvey’s average fastball velocity registered at 93.8 mph, maxing out just above 95 mph.  My friends always ask me, how can a small two miles per hour difference is fastball greatly effect a pitchers outcome?

Any professional or even collegiate hitters can tell you that after the 94 or 95 mph threshold, each mph after that is significantly harder than the previous mph.  In simple terms, seeing a 96 mph is noticeably different than seeing a 95 mph fastball, seeing 97 mph fastball is noticeably different than seeing 96 mph fastball and so on and so forth.  Conversely, seeing a 93 mph fastball isn’t that much different than a 92 mph fastball.

Last night was a cool, rainy evening early in the season, making it difficult to command off-speed pitches and throwing his max fastball velocity but something to pay attention to.

Stat of the Night

Based on FanGraphs team statistics from all of last night’s Major League games, the Mets had the fifth highest hard contact percentage at 45.5% coupled with by far the lowest BABIP (batting average with balls in play) at .045.  Additionally, the Mets struck out only five times and had the second highest contact percentage in MLB last night at 88.9%.  This proves Mets hitters had bad luck at the plate last night.

Follow Chris Zaccherio on Twitter @ziography for more Mets insight going beyond statistics.

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Bartolo Colon Pulls Off A Milestone On Monday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/bartolo-colon-pulls-off-a-milestone-on-monday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/bartolo-colon-pulls-off-a-milestone-on-monday.html/#comments Tue, 03 May 2016 14:24:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=210997 bartolo colob

USA Today Sports/Photo by Anthony Gruppuso

With the scent of Sunday’s winning streak coming to an end still fresh in the Citi Field air, Mets elder statesman Bartolo Colon reached into his bag of tricks to pull off a milestone on Monday.

Pitching 8 innings of shutout ball, Colon captured his 220th career victory surpassing fellow countryman Pedro Martinez to garner sole possession of second place on Major League Baseball’s all time win list for pitchers who hail from the Dominican Republic.

It seems inconceivable that Colon could catch Juan Marichal, who’s 23 in his way of tying the record, but who would have thought that this roly poly right hander would still be mowing them down at the age of 42?

The silent bats that couldn’t save Syndergaard from his only loss of the season, bellowed loudly in the bottom of the first.

David Wright’s Louisville Slugger sent a solo shot to left; Yoenis Cespedes crushed a 411 ft. two run blast to center, then Lucas Duda came home all by his lonesome with a dinger into the right field seats.

The soon to be 43 year old was masterful on the mound using his varied fastball to get out of trouble spots with men in scoring position, incurring the longest outing of a Mets starter this year.

The 8.0 innings were the most by a Mets starter this season, and it was Colon’s second start this year where he did not permit a walk. He had 15 such starts in 2015 to lead the majors.

Colon, who is also pretty crafty at the plate, hooked a sharp shot foul down the left field line – just shy of a potential double.

Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, fresh up from Triple-A, took a beating from Mets batters in the first, an unfortunate outing for the 24 year-old righty, who returned to the bigs after life threatening blood clots almost ended his career last season.

Foltynewicz settled down, but with two on and two out and Cespedes due up, he was pulled for relief, which the Braves received, too little, too late.

Matt Harvey, coming off consecutive wins, will face fellow righty, Matt Wisler who’s gunning for his first win against 2 losses, hoping to repeat his major league debut defeat of the Mets of last June.

Mets Diamond Dust

The Mets have now scored in the first inning in 11 of their last 16 games (20 runs total) and have scored first overall in 15 of their last 18 games. New York is now 14-3 when they score first, including 6-1 at home.

The Mets hit three home runs last night and now have 34 long balls in their last 16 games. They lead the majors in home runs since April 15.

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MMO Game Recap: Colon Shines In 4-1 Victory Over Braves http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/mmo-game-recap-colon-shines-in-4-1-victory-over-braves.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/mmo-game-recap-colon-shines-in-4-1-victory-over-braves.html/#comments Tue, 03 May 2016 05:10:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=210983 bartolo colob

The New York Mets (16-8) defeated the Atlanta Braves (6-19) by a score of 4-1 in the first game of the three game set. With the win, Bartolo Colon passed Pedro Martinez for the second place in wins by a Dominican pitcher with the 220th victory of his career.

Pitching:

The man. The myth. The legend. Big sexy himself, Bartolo Colon (2-1, 2.56 ERA) pitched eight masterful scoreless innings for New York. He allowed seven hits, while walking none. Big Sexy struck out seven batters on the night, in a vintage performance.

Jeurys Familia took the ninth for the Mets in a non-save situation. La Familia allowed two hits while giving up one run before retiring former Met, Kelly Johnson, to end the ballgame. Jeurys struck out one in his appearance.

yoenis cespedes michael conforto

Batting:

The offense came out with a bang in this game, putting up a four spot in the bottom of the first inning. It was homers galore for the Metropolitans as David Wright got it going with a solo shot off Braves rookie, Mike Foltynewicz, to start the early scoring barrage. Michael Conforto followed suit with a single, and was driven in on a Yoenis Cespedes bomb, his eighth of the season. What fun would it have been without another back to back attack? Lucas Duda would not be outdone by Cespedes, smacking his fifth of the year out of the park. That “Duda smash” staked the Mets to a 4-0 lead.

The scoring in the first would be all that they would need and all that they would end up producing on the night.

lucas duda asdrubal cabrera

Notes:

Tonight’s win marked the Mets’ fourth consecutive win in as many games against Atlanta in 2016.

With a win tomorrow night, the Mets can clinch their sixth consecutive series win.

On Deck:

The Mets go for the series win tomorrow as RHP Matt Harvey (2-3, 4.76 ERA) looks to continue his upward trend against the Atlanta Braves. The Dark Knight will be opposed by RHP Matt Wisler (0-2, 4.26 ERA).

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