Mets Merized Online » Chicago Cubs http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 11 Feb 2016 23:33:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Cubs Could Trade Starlin Castro If They Land Ben Zobrist http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/cubs-could-trade-castro-if-they-land-zobrist-but-no-thanks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/cubs-could-trade-castro-if-they-land-zobrist-but-no-thanks.html/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2015 17:29:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201347 Starlin-Castro-Chicago-Cubs-2

According to a report by Jesse Rogers of ESPN, in the event the Chicago Cubs sign Ben Zobrist, team sources say they will almost certainly end up trading 2B/SS Starlin Castro.

A three-time All Star, Castro had a very pedestrian season in 2015, batting .265 with a .296 on-base and .671 OPS. However, the 25-year old Castro finished strong and posted a ,295 average with a .464 slugging and .783 OPS in the second half.

Castro would most likely cost the Mets a young arm like Zack Wheeler or Steven Matz and I’m not inclined to trade either one of them for Castro, who is too flawed a player for the Mets in my opinion.

I’m not against moving a young cost-controlled pitcher for a difference-maker that could make a significant impact, but Castro is not that kind of player.

The Cubs have had on-again, off-again interest in trading for Mets left-hander Jon Niese and inquired on him as recently as last July. If Niese could headline a deal for Castro, or preferably Javier Baez, I would be tempted to listen. However, no way on Wheeler or Matz.

The Mets have several options they’ll kick the tires on in free agency like Ian DesmondAlexei Ramirez and Asdrubal Cabrera. But my read of the situation is that they don’t want to commit to more than two years on any free agent with top prospects Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario not far away.

Additionally, we already have a Starlin Castro and arguably a better version of him. His name is Wilmer Flores.

In 2015, Flores posted a 95 wRC+ compared to a 80 wRC+ for Castro, and Flores more than doubled his Wins Above Replacement 1.9 to 0.8.

Let Theo peddle Castro somewhere else for a young starting pitcher, he makes little sense for the Mets and offers no upgrade.

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Cubs Award David Wright Third Base As Keepsake Of NLCS Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/cubs-award-david-wright-third-base-as-keepsake-of-nlcs-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/cubs-award-david-wright-third-base-as-keepsake-of-nlcs-win.html/#comments Thu, 22 Oct 2015 20:30:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=197623 david wright

The New York Mets may have beaten up on the Chicago Cubs to secure their first trip to the World Series since 2000, but before the Mets departed for their trip back to New York, the Cubs showed some major class.

Mets third baseman and Captain David Wright was given the actual third base bag that was used in last night’s pennant clinching victory, a very classy gesture from an organization who has endured their fair share of pain for many years.

Third Base

As many Mets fans know, Wright himself has also endured many long and sometimes depressing years waiting fot the Mets to make another postseason appearance.

He’s spent all 12 seasons wearing the orange and blue, and perhaps nobody is more deserving of this trip to the World Series than Wright is.

“It’s been a long road for me personally,” said Wright. “Every day in rehab, I dreamt about this moment. Not just this moment and getting here, but winning it. We’re in the World Series. I can’t believe I’m saying it. I can’t believe it’s here.”

This is just David’s second appearance in the postseason and his first trip to the World Series. The closest he’s ever been prior to this year, was back in 2006 when the Mets lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in game seven of the NLCS. A distant memory for all Mets fans now.

“Everything we’ve been through makes this even more rewarding,” Wright said. “I knew we had a good team in spring training, but you never know how things are going to end up.”

I’d say so far they’ve ended up just fine for Wright and his Mets. They are now four wins away from becoming world champions and kings of the baseball world, something they haven’t done since 1986.

“You’re talking about cementing a place in Mets history and I couldn’t be more proud of that,” Wright concluded. “This isn’t a team, it’s a family.”

Wright will now be able to take a piece of this moment with him for the rest of his life, with the NLCS third base graciously presented to him by the Cubs. A very special gesture indeed.

Photo by Jon Morosi

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Twitter Explodes With Support For The NL Champion Mets! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/twitter-explodes-with-support-for-the-nl-champion-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/twitter-explodes-with-support-for-the-nl-champion-mets.html/#comments Thu, 22 Oct 2015 12:31:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=197594 mets win nlcs

After the New York Mets completed their four game sweep of the Chicago Cubs to become the 2015 National League Champions, celebrities, players, politicians, you name it, exploded with an outpouring of love, pride and support for the Amazins as they head to their first World Series in 15 years.

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THE METS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/the-mets-are-going-to-the-world-series.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/the-mets-are-going-to-the-world-series.html/#comments Thu, 22 Oct 2015 03:48:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=197497 David  Wright

The New York Mets defeated the Chicago Cubs by a score of 8-3 tonight at Wrigley Field. With the victory, the Mets have won the National League pennant, and will advance to the World Series for the first time since 2000.

This year has certainly had its ups and downs. The eleven game winning streak to begin the year, the struggles before the all-star break, Wilmer Flores‘ tears to being a hero, the addition of Yoenis Cespedes, overtaking the Nationals for first place, and clinching their first division title since 2006, then the emotional victory against the Dodgers after Ruben Tejada broke his leg on a late slide from Chase Utley, it seemed like this was a team of destiny.

With the win over the Cubs, the Mets now have one more hill to climb, but with what they’ve shown thus far, I think this team is going all the way. You gotta believe!

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Offense:

The Mets got to Cubs’ starter Jason Hammel early, as they put up a four spot in the first inning on the strength of back-to-back home runs from Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud.

In the second inning, the Mets tacked on two more runs on a double from Lucas Duda, who accumulated five RBI’s on the game.

Cubs’ starter Jason Hammel lasted just 1.1 innings, as he was tagged for five runs on four hits, while striking out two and walking one.

The Mets would keep a 6-1 lead until the eighth inning, when Daniel Murphy made history, as he homered in his sixth consecutive postseason game, a major league record.

That Murphy, who is just so hot right now, continued his impressive showing in appropriate fashion tonight, going 4-for-5, and effectively putting the nail in the coffin for the Cubs’ season.

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Pitching:

Long Island native Steven Matz got the start for the Mets, and though he didn’t pitch bad, he lasted only 4.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits, while striking out four and walking two.

Bartolo Colon and Addison Reed combined to pitch 2.1 scoreless innings, before handing the ball off to Tyler Clippard for the eighth.

Clippard had a bit of a shaky performance, allowing a two run home run to Kris Bryant to trim the Mets lead to 8-3 at the time, but was able to gut his way through the inning without throwing any more gas on the fire.

Jeurys Familia, the go-to guy all season, closed the game out for the Mets in a non-save situation, which was followed by a huge celebration on the field!

mets win nlcs

On deck:

The Mets will begin the World Series starting Tuesday night away against the American League champion, who is still to be determined.

What an incredible season! Four more wins, Mets fans! We can do this!

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Harvey Shines As Mets Beat Cubs 4-2 To Take 1-0 Series Lead! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/harvey-shines-as-mets-beat-cubs-4-2-to-take-1-0-series-lead.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/harvey-shines-as-mets-beat-cubs-4-2-to-take-1-0-series-lead.html/#comments Sun, 18 Oct 2015 03:17:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196986 daniel murphy travis darnaud

The New York Mets defeated the Chicago Cubs tonight at an electric Citi Field by a score of 4-2, and in the process take an early 1-0 lead in the NLCS.

Offense:

Mr. Clutch – Daniel Murphy – continued his hot hitting as he blasted his fourth home run of the postseason off of Jon Lester, a solo shot in the first inning to give the Mets an early 1-0.

After the Cubs had tied the game in the fifth, the Mets answered right back in the bottom half of the frame as Curtis Granderson drove in Juan Lagares on a single to center.

In the sixth inning, Travis d’Arnaud extended the Mets lead to 3-1 by hitting a no doubt home run to dead central.

Curtis Granderson then drove in his seventh run of the postseason and second of the night on a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

This would prove to be a valuable insurance run, as the Mets would complete the win, by a score of 4-2.

matt harvey nlcs roar

Pitching:

Matt Harvey brought his A-game to the ballpark this evening at Citi Field, in a nice bounce back performance from his start against the Dodgers on Monday.

The Dark Knight went 7.2 innings, allowing only two runs on four hits, while striking out nine and walking two.

Jeurys Familia then came in for a four out save, after pitching on only one day’s rest after recording a six out save Thursday. Regardless, Familia was able to shut down the Cubs and seal the win for the Mets as they take a 1-0 lead in the series.

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On deck:

The Mets will look to take game two of the series tomorrow night, as Jake Arrieta (22-6, 1.77 ERA) takes on Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 8:00 PM.

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Collins: Syndergaard Will Start Game 2, DeGrom Goes Game 3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/collins-syndergaard-will-start-game-2-degrom-goes-game-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/collins-syndergaard-will-start-game-2-degrom-goes-game-3.html/#comments Sat, 17 Oct 2015 21:23:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196869 noah syndergaard

Terry Collins told reporters this afternoon that Noah Syndergaard will start Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday.

“Well, Noah came in today, and I ran by all the scenarios that certainly we have had with all of these young pitchers this season, and that is, Okay, you’re at 187 innings for the year, how are you feeling?”

“He said, “I’m feeling great. I feel great. I’m not stiff. I’m not sore.” And I said, “Well, then you’ve got tomorrow.”

Collins explained how important it was to him for Syndergaard to pitch on Sunday rather than Steven Matz.

“I mean, I love these young pitchers. They’re going to be so good. We just thought if you had to sit down right now with what we’ve seen in the last month of the season, and that’s as far back as I’m going to go, if you had to put the four guys that were in the rotation right now, it would go basically deGrom, Harvey and Syndergaard at the top.”

“No disrespect to Steven, but he just hasn’t pitched a lot. We want him to start, so we put him in the bullpen tonight. Hopefully get him an inning here in the next couple days, but he’ll pitch Game 4.”

“We like the matchups, and tomorrow night and tonight. This is just like the Dodgers, we’ve got two of the best in the game we’ve got to face. So we kind of like the matchups.”

Matz, of course, is your Game 4 starter.

October 16

Earlier today I was curious as to why a decision had yet to be made on who would start Game 2  of the National League Championship Series opposite Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta.

It turns out the reason, as explained by Terry Collins, is that Noah Syndergaard ended up throwing over 100 pitches warming up before entering the game in relief at Dodger Stadium on Thursday and tossing 17 more pitches in an electric seventh inning. As a result he is feeling sore today.

“I’m certainly well aware I got him up four times last night. You can almost say he got ready four times. That could have almost been five innings of work, because I knew he threw over 100 pitches warming up. So if he’s still tender tomorrow, he’s probably not going to be the Game 2 guy. So that’s why I said I don’t have one at the moment.”

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, if Steven Matz were to pitch Game 2 instead of Syndergaard, then that would push him to Game 4. That would result in Syndergaard making just one start in the NLCS while Matz would make two – Games 2 and 6

Matt Harvey figures to start Games 1 and 5, while Jacob deGrom figures to start Games 3 and 7.

I love Matz and all, but I sure hope Thor is feeling significantly better tomorrow and that he can make that Game 2 start.

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NLCS Preview: Mets with 45.72% Chance to Advance http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/nlcs-preview-mets-with-45-72-chance-to-advance.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/nlcs-preview-mets-with-45-72-chance-to-advance.html/#comments Fri, 16 Oct 2015 22:12:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196855 nlds mets win

According to our friends at Number Fire they project that the Mets have a 45.72% chance to beat the Cubs and advance to their first World Series appearance since 2000.

They have the Cubs winning the series in six games games at 16.36%. However, if it goes seven, the Mets would be the favorite.

NL Championship Series

  • New York Mets win in 4: 5.46%
  • New York Mets win in 5: 10.24%
  • New York Mets win in 6: 14.37%
  • New York Mets win in 7: 15.65%
  • New York Mets win series: 45.72% 
  • Chicago Cubs win in 4: 7.93%
  • Chicago Cubs win in 5: 14.83%
  • Chicago Cubs win in 6: 16.36%
  • Chicago Cubs win in 7: 15.16%
  • Chicago Cubs win series: 54.28%  

Additionally, heading into the NLCS, New York is third most likely to win their first World Series since 1986 at 19.74%. Here is how they compare:

Team World Series
Toronto Blue Jays 40.74%
Chicago Cubs 25.68%
New York Mets 19.74%
Kansas City Royals 13.84%

The New York Mets have been beating the odds since day one, and actually I’ve taken a fondness to being the underdog. We are underestimated and to me that’s an advantage.

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Matt Harvey Pitches Game 1, But Game 2 Is Still Undecided http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/matt-harvey-pitches-game-1-but-game-2-is-still-undecided-why.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/matt-harvey-pitches-game-1-but-game-2-is-still-undecided-why.html/#comments Fri, 16 Oct 2015 21:16:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196733 matt harvey

Terry Collins spoke to reporters today at Citi Field, and said he has not yet decided who his Game 2 starter will be.

I really don’t understand what the confusion here is. Noah Syndergaard should start Game 2 and that way Jacob deGrom starts Game 3 in Chicago on regular rest followed by Steven Matz in Game 4. That brings us back to Harvey again in Game 5 on regular rest to close out the Chicago leg of the seven game series.

If the NLCS continues at Citi Field, you have Syndergaard in Game 6 and deGrom pitches in the deciding Game 7 if needed.

This is a no-brainer… So what’s the issue and why is this still being deliberated? What other scenario are they considering and why? Is there something that hasn’t been reported at play here?

October 16

After a thrilling 3-2 victory to beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Thursday night, the New York Mets have advanced to the National League Championship Series to play the Chicago Cubs.

Terry Collins announced that right-hander Matt Harvey will pitch Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Saturday night at Citi Field, and he will be opposed by left-hander Jon Lester for the Cubs in the best of seven series.

nlcsHarvey will be pitching on regular rest, coming off his Game 3 NLDS start in which he allowed three runs in five innings against the Dodgers. He is expected to make two starts in the NLCS.

He told reporters that he’s proud to be pitching in game one, and that for the Mets to be playing the Cubs in historic Wrigley Field will add only to the electricity and excitement.

“It’s a huge honor,” Harvey said. “I am very excited about it. I was a little disappointed in my last start, so getting another chance to go back out there and start us off right is everything I want.”

“Going to Wrigley is always fun, and this will make it even more fun. Citi Field has been rocking — I think it’s going to step the Cubs’ game up even more and we’re ready for it.”

The Cubs swept the Mets in the seven games they played during the regular season, but as I told you prior to the NLDS, you can throw regular season records out the freaking window come playoffs time. It don’t mean shit.

By the way, even Cubs manager Joe Maddon said tonight that he doesn’t recognize the Mets anymore right now. “It’s an entirely different team.”

Onward and upward as a magical season continues. Our New York Mets are one round away from becoming the National League Champs and going to the World Series. Don’t stop believing!

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Strength Of Schedule Has Mets Looking Good For MLB Postseason http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/strength-of-schedule-has-mets-looking-good-for-mlb-postseason.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/strength-of-schedule-has-mets-looking-good-for-mlb-postseason.html/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 13:30:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189461 lucas duda

Being in contention at the start of August is a nice change, and taking sole possession of first place is a significant step in the right direction for the Orange and Blue.

In a decade that has been marred with losses and disappointing finishes – now is the time for the Mets. The team hasn’t been in this position since their last year at Shea is ready for Prime Time and to pounce on the postseason.

The team has a much stronger home record at this point but unfortunately, will be on the road more often before the season is out (as of August 3 – 32 away games, 25 home games). Given that the Mets have MLB Futures priced at +1,000 to win the World Series, they could be a safer bet than some of their other close competitors.

Let’s face it, once the playoffs start, anything can happen. Until then though, most online bookmakers still say the Nationals will have a tight hold on the NL East. I’m not so sure I agree with them after watching the Mets handily sweep them this past weekend. The Nats meet the Mets once more, but also have multiple upcoming dances with the Marlins and Rockies. These meetings are also followed up by dates with the Brewers, Braves and Padres. The Nationals by comparison have themselves a pretty tough schedule.

It is apparent now that the Mets’ focus is on winning the division. The Wild Card is a nice fallback option but it would be no guarantee with the Pirates and Giants and the Cubs all jockeying for position in a race that may not be decided until the final day of the season. Still, the Mets line up nicely there too when you consider their opposition’s schedule.

Let’s start with Pittsburgh; they host the contending Cubs in the first week of August, followed by a series with the LA Dodgers. They then hit the road to take on St. Louis, who has the best home record in the league. The Bucs then follow that trip up, with a stint at Citi against hot-at-home Mets.

The Giants meanwhile have their first nine days of August on the road before returning home to take on the AL West leading Houston Astros, the Washington Nationals, St Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates. They then round out the month with a few more home dates against the Cubs and Cards, before heading to LA to take on the division leading Dodgers.

Finally, the Chicago Cubs are doing everything they can to buck their losing trend. They’ll have the best chance, along with the Mets, at snatching up those two Wild Card berths in the end.

They still have two more series with the Brewers, along with more dates against the Braves, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Tigers in their final two months of work. Of all of the remaining WC contenders, they are facing the most sub .500 clubs.

So while the road may not be that easy for New York the rest of the way, as you can see, it could be a lot worse. Or in other words, forget what FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus say, I love our chances to make the postseason and personally, I think we’ll win the division for this season and the next five after that at the very least. The Mets have arrived and are here to stay.

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Tigers Are Ready To Sell, Mets Could Target Yoenis Cespedes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/tigers-are-ready-to-sell-mets-could-target-yoenis-cespedes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/tigers-are-ready-to-sell-mets-could-target-yoenis-cespedes.html/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 20:45:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=187778 yoenis Cespedes

According to Jayson Stark of ESPN the Detroit Tigers are telling teams that they are going to reboot and are ready to begin selling off pieces.

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski confirmed as much today with MLB.com’s Jason Beck.

That could mean the New York Mets could take another look at outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, whom they’ve had interest in previously.

Obviously a player like Cespedes is going to draw attention from a lot of teams especially with the season he’s having. But if there’s a way to get him on the Mets he’s the one guy that I’ve always believed would be the perfect fit.

July 28

According to most reports, the Detroit Tigers do not appear as though they will be sellers at the deadline, which means outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will not be dealt. (Jayson Stark, ESPN)

That’s too bad as Cespedes was one of the few players MMO has considered to be an ideal fit for the team.

And while in the last 24 hours I’ve seen one site describe Jose Reyes, Carlos Gonzalez and Justin Upton as “perfect fits” here’s a player that actually would have been a perfect fit. I explain my reasons why below.

July 25

Yoenis Cespedes, 29, is enjoying the best season of his career, hitting .289 with a .482 slugging percentage, .797 OPS, 120 wRC+ and  a 118 OPS+ for the Tigers.

Additionally, Cespedes has a league-leading 27 doubles, 13 home runs and 52 RBI for the season.

In addition to his superior offensive skills, Cespedes is among the top defensive outfielders in the game and has a shotgun for an arm.

Since signing his four year, $32 million deal in 2012, Cespedes has averaged 35 doubles, 27 home runs, 100 RBI, 95 runs and 11 stolen bases.

Cespedes would be a nice addition for the Mets and he perfectly fits the team’s need for a middle of the order bat. His presence in the lineup would certainly add the punch the team has lacked.

However, one of the glaring impediments for the Mets would be the approximate $5 million left on his contract for this season.

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Cole Hamels Tosses No-Hitter Against Cubs http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/cole-hamels-tosses-no-hitter-against-cubs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/cole-hamels-tosses-no-hitter-against-cubs.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 23:07:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188185 cole hamels

Cole Hamels made history this afternoon at Wrigley Field, as the ace of the Philadelphia Phillies rotation no-hit the Chicago Cubs.

The lefty, who has come up in many trade rumors and is likely headed out of Philadelphia in the coming week, showed that his arm is a-okay, shutting down the talented, young position players that comprise the Cubs lineup.

The game ended with a long fly ball out to Odubel Herrera, who seemed to lose track of it, but was able to recover and secure the no-hitter.

Herrera, the Rule 5 draft pick, also made an outstanding catch in the eighth inning to preserve Hamels effort.

Hamels threw 129 pitches in his no-hitter, against a Cubs team that hasn’t been no-hit since Sandy Koufax accomplished the feat in 1965, 7,921 games ago.

The eight year veteran and former World Champion will likely be on the move and this very well may have been one of his last starts in a Phillies uniform. With the no-no under his belt, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro will have more leverage trading the lefty after the performance today.

However, even though us Mets fans detest the Phillies, it’s a feel good story for us, as we are trailing the Cubs in the standings for the second wild card spot.

So congratulations, Mr. Hamels, and thank you for helping the Mets out today.

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Breaking Down Bartolo Colon vs. Chicago Cubs http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/breaking-down-bartolo-colon-vs-chicago-cubs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/breaking-down-bartolo-colon-vs-chicago-cubs.html/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 05:38:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=186090 Bartolo, Colon

Stat Line: 7.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 8 SO, 1 BB

Bartolo Colon proved to be the only positive takeaway from last night’s game against the Chicago Cubs.  In this article I will touch on Colon’s sharp two-seam fastball and strong game plan that led to his success against the Cubs lineup.

Two-seam Success

Colon’s two-seam fastball accounted for 62% of his outs during his performance last night.  The difference from last night’s game compared to the last time I saw Colon pitch against the Blue Jays was his ability to keep his elbow above his shoulder during his delivery.  This enabled Colon to keep his hand on top of the baseball which allowed him to drive his two-seam fastball down in the strike zone with sharp 11 to 5 movement.  The 11 to 5 movement forced the Cubs bat paths to come through the strike zone at a steep or poor angle which resulted in either a ground out, pop up or swing and miss.

Game Plan

After I watched Colon pitch the first inning, I wondered if he would ever throw a pitch besides his two-seam fastball.  As it turned out, Colon’s game plan was to rely on his fastball during the first two times through the Cubs batting order but sprinkle in well-timed off-speed pitches through the third time against the Cubs lineup.  This was seen during the sixth inning when Colon induced Dexter Fowler to pop up on a first pitch change up and enticed Anthony Rizzo to strikeout swinging on a perfectly located low and inside slider.  Both hitters so a combined three off-speed pitches out of 16 total pitches between their first two at-bats, with Rizzo being thrown five straight fastballs in the sixth inning at bat before the strikeout slider.

Stat of the night

Last night, Colon threw a fastball on 85.9% of his pitches.

Follow Chris Zaccherio on Twitter @ziography for more Mets pitching insight that goes beyond statistics.

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Collins’ Frustration Boils Over As Mets Offensive Woes Continue http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/collins-frustration-boils-over-as-mets-offensive-woes-continue.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/collins-frustration-boils-over-as-mets-offensive-woes-continue.html/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:34:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185957 terry collins

After last night’s frustrating 1-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs in which the team squandered another excellent pitching performance, this time by Jon Niese, manager Terry Collins lost his cool when asked about losing his fourth straight game to the Cubs this season.

“I don’t give a shit if it’s the Cubs or it’s the New York City College,” Collins said, his face reddening with anger. “We’ve just gotta win tomorrow. We can keep pitching great but we’ve gotta get some offense.”

The Mets have dropped seven straight decisions to the Cubs dating to August 17, 2014 and has lost 10 of its last 12 games to the Cubs.

It’s somewhat ironic that the Mets happen to be playing the one team that could probably give them the offensve player they are starving for in return for the young starting pitcher that Chicago is looking for. So far it’s been offense five, pitching zero.

The Mets seem bent on waiting out the return of injured players to fix this offense. Sandy Alderson says he’s scouring the market for external options and asserts he’s willing to overpay, but then in the same breath says there’s nobody to overpay for.

As for internal options you have outfielder Michael Conforto who the team is unwilling to promote at this time due to readiness concerns, and reportedly you have shortstop Matt Reynolds who continues to hang around in Las Vegas and says he’s been frustrated watching everyone around him make there MLB debuts except for him.

Outside of those three options is really not much Terry Collins can do except to wait it out and hope that somehow a few of his players will step up and emerge as legitimate offensive contributors.

In the meantime the Mets continue to squander one sterling pitching performance after another with little to show for them in the win column.

Last night it was Jon Niese who was victimized by the lack of offense, and in fact he’s pitched solidly over his last three starts and the yet the Mets are 0-3 in those games.

Mets pitching has allowed five runs in its last 51.0 innings pitched for a 0.88 ERA while the team has batted .188 over the last six games.

This is nothing new. It’s been this season’s primary storyline. In fact, if the offense continues in this futility, at the end of the season they could use as their epitaph; “They had the elite pitching, the brand new $5 million dollar scoreboard, and the best summer concerts, but alas they had no bats in their arsenal.”

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Dodgers and Cubs Expressing Interest In Mets’ LHP Jon Niese http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/dodgers-and-cubs-expressing-interest-in-mets-lhp-jon-niese.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/dodgers-and-cubs-expressing-interest-in-mets-lhp-jon-niese.html/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:41:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185703 jon niese

June 29

A couple of days after reporting that the Chicago Cubs had some interest in Jon Niese, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports adds that the Los Angeles Dodgers have also expressed interest in acquiring the Mets lefthander.

Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times wrote last week that Dodgers GM Andrew Friedman and his front office remain focused on bolstering a starting rotation that has lost Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy to season-ending operations.

The Dodgers are said to be interested in pending free agents Johnny Cueto of the Cincinnati Reds and Scott Kazmir of the Oakland Athletics, but Friedman told reporters he recently explored potential deals for pitchers with multiple seasons remaining on their contracts.

One such pitcher is reportedly Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies, who the Dodgers continue to scout. Hamels has three years and $70.5 million remaining on his contract after this season.

It would seem that Niese could be a fallback option in case a deal for Hamels, Cueto and Kazmir fail to materialize.

(Joe D.)

June 27

In a new video on Fox Sports, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Chicago Cubs are somewhat interested in Jon Niese as a potential trade target.

Rosenthal also added, however, that the Cubs will likely have their sights set a little higher. Niese, 28, has a 4.12 ERA in 83 innings this season. Over eight seasons with the Mets, he owns a 3.89 ERA as well as walk and strikeout rates of 2.7 and 7.1.

The big issue, Rosenthal noted, is Niese’s contract. He is making $9 million next season and has a $500,000 buyout or a $10 million option for the season after that. If the Mets want to use Niese in any deal for an upgrade at shortstop, Rosenthal said, Niese would only be part of a package. The Mets would have to add more to a deal.

The Mets and Cubs have been linked in trade rumors for quite a while, but with Niese not having a great season and having significant money left on his contract, the matchup isn’t as obvious as it once might have been.

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Cubs Approached Mets For Starting Pitching http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/cubs-approached-mets-for-starting-pitching.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/cubs-approached-mets-for-starting-pitching.html/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 17:47:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185348 Baez

According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago  Cubs have reached out to the Mets as well as other teams as their year long quest for a cost-controlled starting pitcher wages on.

What’s not clear is if Wittenmyer is referring to the conversation the Mets and Cubs had last offseason or if this is something new.

Considering how the two teams are ideally a solid match, I’m leaning toward Sandy Alderson and Theo Epstein revisiting their past groundwork. A lot has changed in six months.

According to Wittenmyer, shortstop Javier Baez, who recently suffered a broken finger and halted any conversations.

The Mets and Cubs seem locked into the same paradox which has kept them from making a deal in the past.

You have two very stubborn executives who value their assets too highly and are unwilling to bend for the sake of getting something done.

As long as that dynamic continues, my take is the same as it was last September. And that is, move along, nothing to see here.

If there’s a deal to be made for the Mets to address their offensive deficiencies, I don’t believe it will be with the Cubs.

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MMO Game Recap: Cubs 6, Mets 1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-game-recap-cubs-6-mets-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-game-recap-cubs-6-mets-1.html/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 03:32:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181399 noah syndergaard

The New York Mets (20-13) were beaten by the Chicago Cubs (17-15) by a score of 6-1 on Tuesday night.

Pitching:

Noah Syndergaard made his Major League debut tonight, turning in an impressive but uneven start. After striking out Dexter Fowler, the first big league batter he faced, he went 5.1 innings, allowing 3 ER on 6 hits and 4 walks, striking out 6.

Syndergaard threw 103 pitches, only 56 of which were strikes. His fastball fluctuated between 96-98 mph, and hit 99 a few times. His curveball, which ranged from 81-83 mph, was very impressive as well. He also showcased a circle change, 85-87 mph with fantastic movement. Overall, I was impressed by him, however he was all over the place at times. It could of course be nerves, but that remains to be seen.

His third inning should have been 16 pitches shorter, as Kris Bryant hit a ground ball to Daniel Murphy at third who took his time, allowing Bryant to beat out the nonchalant throw. Thor then proceeded to walk the next two batters, then ultimately induced a full-count fly ball to Jorge Soler to end the inning.

Alex Torres continues to have control problems, as after he struck out Addison Russell, he proceeded to walk the next three batters he faced. He then induced a ground ball to Lucas Duda at first off the bat of Miguel Montero which scored a run, and then struck out Jorge Soler to end the inning.

Sean Gilmartin pitched 1 inning, allowing one run on 2 hits, striking out one. Hansel Robles pitched the 8th, also allowing one run on 2 hits. He allowed a home run to mega prospect Kris Bryant.

Offense:

What offense?

The Mets bats remained quiet, as they only mustered 5 hits. Cubs starter Jake Arrieta went 8 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and striking out 10. He walked 2, both drawn by Curtis Granderson.

Daniel Murphy was the only Met to look comfortable at the plate, recording 2 hits. He raised his average to .233 on the season after an abysmal start.

Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, and Ruben Tejada each recorded singles. The lone run scored via a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kevin Plawecki.

Notes:

In 10 of the last 13 games the Mets have scored just 3 runs or less. I don’t need to explain how much that just doesn’t win games. Since April 24th, the Mets have averaged 3 runs a game and posted a .224 average, both are ranked dead last in the NL.

Juan Lagares was not in the starting lineup this evening, as he has a muscle strain under his right arm, which he injured on a diving play last week. It was an amazing play like all his others, but it came at a cost. The MRI showed no structural damage, and he is listed as day-to-day.

Noah Syndergaard showed good stuff, but his debut was spoiled by a 6th inning home run by Met-killer Chris Coghlan. It will be fun to watch him improve this season, hopefully he remains in the rotation.

On Deck:

The Mets will turn to ace Matt Harvey (5-1, 2.72 ERA) to face the Cubs and Jason Hammel (3-1, 3.52 ERA) at Wrigley Field Wednesday at 8:05 pm ET.

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Much Ado About Three-Homer Games At Home http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/featured-post-much-ado-about-three-homer-games-at-home.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/featured-post-much-ado-about-three-homer-games-at-home.html/#comments Sat, 03 Jan 2015 02:16:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137151 gkr gary keith ron sny

“You know, Keith, no Met has ever hit three home runs in a game at home.”

If you’ve watched as many Mets games as I have over the years, then you’ve undoubtedly heard Gary Cohen make this statement whenever a Met has come up to the plate after hitting two home runs in a home game.

It’s true.  Nine Mets players have hit three home runs in a game.  But Jim Hickman, Dave Kingman, Claudell Washington, Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter, Edgardo Alfonzo, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Ike Davis all accomplished their prodigious displays of power on the road.

So naturally I started wondering if the Mets were the only team in baseball to not have a single player hit three home runs in a home game.  My research yielded an interesting answer.

Below is a list of the last players to pull off a “Home Run Hat Trick” for each major league team while wearing their home whites.

Team

Player

Date/Opponent

Arizona Diamondbacks

Jason Kubel

7/21/12 vs. HOU

Atlanta Braves

Mark Teixeira

6/22/08 vs. SEA

Baltimore Orioles

Chris Davis

8/24/12 vs. TOR

Boston Red Sox

Kevin Millar

7/23/04 vs. NYY

Chicago Cubs

Dioner Navarro

5/29/13 vs. CWS

Chicago White Sox

Paul Konerko

7/7/09 vs. CLE

Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto

5/13/12 vs. WAS

Cleveland Indians

Jim Thome

7/6/01 vs. STL

Colorado Rockies

Carlos Gonzalez

5/30/12 vs. HOU

Detroit Tigers

Miguel Cabrera

5/28/10 vs. OAK

Florida/Miami Marlins

Cody Ross

9/11/06 vs. NYM

Houston Astros

Morgan Ensberg

5/15/05 vs. SF

Kansas City Royals

Danny Tartabull

7/6/91 vs. OAK

Los Angeles Angels

Torii Hunter

6/13/09 vs. SD

Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Uribe

9/9/13 vs. ARZ

Milwaukee Brewers

Prince Fielder

9/27/11 vs. PIT

New York Yankees

Curtis Granderson

4/19/12 vs. MIN

Oakland Athletics

Miguel Tejada

6/11/99 vs. LAD

Philadelphia Phillies

Jayson Werth

5/16/08 vs. TOR

Pittsburgh Pirates

Andrew McCutchen

8/1/09 vs. WAS

San Diego Padres

Phil Nevin

10/6/01 vs. COL

San Francisco Giants

Barry Bonds

8/2/94 vs. CIN

Seattle Mariners

Edgar Martinez

5/18/99 vs. MIN

St. Louis Cardinals

Albert Pujols

9/3/06 vs. PIT

Tampa Bay Rays

Evan Longoria

10/3/12 vs. BAL

Texas Rangers

Adrian Beltre

8/22/12 vs. BAL

Toronto Blue Jays

John Buck

4/29/10 vs. OAK

Washington Nationals

Adam Dunn

7/7/10 vs. SD

Editor’s note:  Barry Bonds was the last member of the San Francisco Giants to hit three home runs in a regular season home game, but the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series, which was played in San Francisco.

Did you notice any teams missing in the chart above?  There were two – the Minnesota Twins and the New York Mets.  But prior to 1961, the Minnesota Twins were playing ball as the Washington Senators.  And on August 31, 1956, Jim Lemon became the first and only member of the original Washington Senators to hit three home runs in a home game when he clobbered his triumvirate of taters at Griffith Stadium against the New York Yankees.

With the Senators/Twins franchise having a member in the “three homers at home” club, that leaves the Mets as the only team in the majors without a player who has hit three round-trippers in a single game in his home ballpark.

It’s no wonder Gary Cohen continues to mention that fact ad nauseum in the same way he (and every other Mets broadcaster) used to discuss the Mets’ no-hitter futility before the events of June 1, 2012.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

In honor of the topic at hand, here are some other bits of “three-homer at home” minutiae for you.

  • Two players have hit three homers in a home game on four separate occasions.  Both accomplished their feats for the Chicago Cubs.  Ernie Banks had his three-homer games at Wrigley Field in 1955, 1957, 1962 and 1963, while Sammy Sosa slammed his way to history at the Friendly Confines in 1996, 1998 and twice in 2001.
  • The Brooklyn Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers are the only teams to have three players accomplish the “three-homer at home” feat in the same season.  In 1950, fans at Ebbets Field saw Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and Tommy Brown go deep three times in one game.  Similarly, Miller Park season-ticket holders in 2011 witnessed Corey Hart, Casey McGehee and Prince Fielder circle the bases thrice in the same game.
  • Although no Mets player has ever hit three homers in a game at home, four opposing players had three-homer games against the Mets in New York.  St. Louis’ Stan Musial was the first to do so, smacking three bombs at the Polo Grounds on July 8, 1962.  Dick Allen of the Philadelphia Phillies became the first player to hit three home runs in a game at Shea Stadium on September 29, 1968.  A decade later, Cincinnati’s Pete Rose became the most unlikely candidate to have a three-homer game at Shea when he circled the bases three times on April 29, 1978.  It was the only time Rose hit three home runs in a single game in his 24-year career.  Finally, former Met Dave Kingman launched three long balls at Shea Stadium as a member of the Chicago Cubs on July 28, 1979.
  • No Mets player has ever hit three homers in a home game.  But seven players have hit three blasts in the same game against the Mets in their home ballparks, with one of the seven doing it twice.  Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants victimized the Mets at Candlestick Park in 1963 and 1966.  The next three times a player hit a trio of home runs in a home game against the Mets, those players were wearing Cubs uniforms.  Adolfo Phillips (1967), Billy Williams (1968) and Tuffy Rhodes (1994) gave a total of nine souvenirs to the Bleacher Bums at Wrigley Field, courtesy of various Mets pitchers.  The other three players to hit three homers in a home game against the Mets were Detroit’s Bobby Higginson (1997 at Tiger Stadium), Arizona’s Luis Gonzalez (2004 at Bank One Ballpark) and Florida’s Cody Ross (2006 at Dolphins Stadium).  Ross’ game remains the only time in Marlins history in which one of their own hit three home runs in a game at home.

curtis granderson

Since the Mets came into existence in 1962, there have been 175 instances in which a player hit three home runs in the same regular season game at his home ballpark.  In all 175 instances, the player who circled the bases was wearing a uniform that did not say “Mets” on it.

Curtis Granderson was the last Yankee to accomplish the feat at Yankee Stadium.  Now, of course, Granderson is a member of the Mets. Will he become the first Met to hit three homers in a game at home? Will the shortened fences and new hitting coach Kevin Long lead to some additional long balls for Grandy? Hey, if the Mets could finally pitch a no-hitter, then anything is possible, right?

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Jon Lester Agrees To $155 Million Pact With Cubs http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/jon-lester-agrees-to-155-million-pact-with-cubs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/jon-lester-agrees-to-155-million-pact-with-cubs.html/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:54:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171458 jon lester 2

Free agent Jon Lester has agreed to a $155 million, six-year contract with the Chicago Cubs. The deal contains an option for 2021 that, if it becomes guaranteed, would make the deal worth $170 million over seven seasons.

The $25.8 million average annual value of the deal is the second-highest for a pitcher behind Clayton Kershaw ($30.7 million).

“It’s not often you get to win the lottery, and we won the baseball lottery this year,” new Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Now it’s up to us to put it into effect.”

A three-time All-Star who turns 31 next month, Lester won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox. Now he joins the Cubs as their ace as Chicago seeks to challenge for the division and beyond after five straight losing seasons.

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Bartolo Colon’s Mother Dies From Breast Cancer http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/bartolo-colons-mother-dies-from-breast-cancer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/bartolo-colons-mother-dies-from-breast-cancer.html/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:23:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=163645 bartolo colon

Sad news to report as the team confirms that Bartolo Colon’s mother has died of breast cancer this afternoon in the Dominican Republic.

Adriana Morales, 63, was admitted to the hospital this past weekend, and Bartolo was scratched from his start today so that he could fly to the DR to be with his family.

The Mets will call up Gonzalez Germen from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Colon. The righthanded reliever has a 0.52  ERA over 17.1 innings pitched in Las Vegas, striking out 17 and walking six.

Our prayers are with Bartolo and his family.

10:00 AM

Bartolo Colon has been scratched from Monday afternoon’s start against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Carlos Torres will start for the Mets instead in today’s series finale..

The team announced that Colon’s mother is critically ill and he will be flying home to be with her and his family.

Terry Collins said he hopes to get four to five innings innings out of Torres this afternoon.

The Mets will likely place Colon on the bereavement list so that they can temporarily promote another pitcher from Triple-A while Colon is out.

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MMO Game Recap: Cubs 2, Mets 1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-game-recap-cubs-2-mets-1-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mmo-game-recap-cubs-2-mets-1-2.html/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 20:50:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=163619 rafael montero

The New York Mets (59-66) took on the Chicago Cubs (52-71) this afternoon at Citi Field, for the third game of a four game series. Rafael Montero was looking for his first major league victory, and was opposed by Cubs ace Jake Arrieta.

What you should know:

Rafael Montero pitched the best outing of his young major league career today, as he would go 7.1 innings, allowing one run on five hits, while walking two and striking out six. Montero pitched well enough to earn a win, but was a victim of no offensive support. He would ultimately take a no decision.

Jake Arrieta stymied the Mets over seven innings, as he would allow zero runs on two hits, while walking two and striking out nine, but would also get a no decision after turning it over to the bullpen.

The Cubs would get on the scoreboard first in the fourth inning, as Javier Baez would walk to lead off the inning and would eventually be driven in by Luis Valbuena. This would make it 1-0 Cubs, which the score would stay for a majority of the game.

Through the first seven innings, the Mets had the leadoff runner on base four times, but failed to get a run across.

However, the Mets would tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Ruben Tejada would single up the middle. Eric Young, Jr. pinch ran for Tejada and would reach second on a passed ball. He would be driven in by a Curtis Granderson single, tying the game at one.

The game wouldn’t remain tied for long, as Starlin Castro tucked a solo home run just over the right field fence off of Jennry Mejia in the top of the ninth, which would be the difference maker, as Hector Rondon came on for the Cubs in the bottom half of the inning to shut the door.

On deck:

The Mets take on the Cubs for the final game of the series tomorrow afternoon, as Bartolo Colon (11-10, 3.85 ERA) squares off against Kyle Hendricks (4-1, 1.73 ERA)

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