Mets Merized Online » Cubs http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 14 Jan 2017 00:40:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Heyman: Fowler’s Camp Seeking $18 Million Annually http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/heyman-fowlers-camp-seeking-18-million-annually.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/heyman-fowlers-camp-seeking-18-million-annually.html/#comments Fri, 02 Dec 2016 01:33:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227387 dexter fowler

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports on Twitter, Dexter Fowler‘s representatives believe the outfielder can land an $18 million annual, multi-year deal.

Heyman names the St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays as potential suitors of Fowler’s talents.

Fowler, 31 on Opening Day, appeared in his first all-star game in 2016, while helping the Cubs take home their first World Series title since 1908.

In 125 games, Fowler hit to a .276/.393/.447 batting line, with 13 homers and 48 RBIs.

Originally acquired by the Cubs in 2015 from the Houston Astros, Fowler rejoined the Cubs on a one-year pact for 2016 for $8 million, and is now looking to capitalize on his all-star season.

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Amazin’ Moments: Benny Slams the Cubs http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/amazin-moments-benny-slams-the-cubs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/amazin-moments-benny-slams-the-cubs.html/#comments Tue, 15 Nov 2016 20:59:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226562 AGBAYANI

Did you ever notice that certain players that have toiled in the minors for a while tend to exhibit surges in production when they finally get a crack at the big time? It’s as if they had those hits stockpiled for the Show and can’t wait to get them out of their systems once fortune and the front office permits. So it seemed to be with Benny Agbayani, a stocky outfielder who physique evoked the same comparisons with a pineapple that were applied to his predecessor as the resident Hawaiian Met, Sid Fernandez. Benny flaunted a somewhat more athletic build however, and for a time looked to be a greater source of batting power than his record on the farm had indicated.

A 30th round draft pick by the Mets in 1993, Agbayani spent the better part of 6 seasons moving up the rungs of the farm system with stops at Pittsfield, St. Lucie, Binghamton and Norfolk before getting a 15 AB cameo with the big club in 1998. However, he failed to make a good enough showing to remain, going 2 for 15, and was returned to AAA where he found himself assigned once again the following season. Never a major power threat, Benny had nonetheless endeared himself to Norfolk manager Bobby Valentine during his tenure there with a combination of hustle and timely hitting. When Bobby V moved up to take the reins of the varsity squad, he lobbied for Benny’s promotion when a wave of outfield malaise necessitated a call up. And so, in May of 1999, Agbayani was given another shot at the majors.

At this point, Benny was a 27 year-old spare part who was generally regarded as a non-prospect by much of the baseball intelligentsia of the time. Prospect or not, he seized the chance afforded by this second go-round and went on a power binge that was so out of character with his past performance that it amazed even him. Inserted into the lineup against the Colorado Rockies (in a weird instance where both starting pitchers that day were named Bobby Jones), Benny collected two hits including his first big league home run. He continued to mash after that, collecting 6 more bombs over the next 2 weeks and an amazing 10 in his first 73 at bats. He reached the All Star break with a total of 11, but came back to earth in the second half of the season and finished the year with 14.

Still, he had put up solid numbers for the year, batting .286 in 276 at bats while knocking in 42 runs with an OPS of .888. More importantly, he had played a not-insignificant role in helping the Mets reach the post-season for the first time in 11 years. He would save his playoff heroics for the following year however, and batted a soft .235 between the Division Series and LCS in ’99 with only 1 RBI.

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The 2000 season began with the Mets facing the Cubs in the Tokyo Dome in the first major league game played on a continent other than North America. Benny hadn’t had a particularly glorious showing in spring training that year and was lower in the club’s pecking order of outfielders. In the opening series, Valentine had opted to go with Jay Payton, Darryl Hamilton, Rickey Henderson, and Derek Bell, the latter coming over in the trade that had netted new rotation ace Mike Hampton. Agbayani was relegated to the bench, the vantage point from which he watched the team drop the first contest by a score of 5-3.

The next day found him there again as the teams took a 1-1 game into extra innings. As the game moved to the top of the 11th inning, the Mets looked for a chance to push the go-ahead run across and avoid a sweep. Cubs reliever Danny Young was brought in to start the inning, the seventh pitcher used by manager Don Baylor that day. After getting two out, he surrendered a single to Mets first baseman Todd Zeile and then issued back-to-back walks to load the bases. The pitcher’s spot in the lineup came up and Valentine tapped Benny as a pinch hitter. After tossing his first pitch to Agbayani wide of the strike zone, Young made his next offering a little too good and Benny promptly knocked it over the center field wall for a grand slam. That shot would prove the decisive blow as Dennis Cook closed out the Cubs in the bottom of the inning for a 5-1 Met victory.

That game marked the initial win in the season that would see the Mets return to the World Series for the first time since the fabled run of 1986. Along the way, Benny would contribute another solid season, hitting a total of 15 HR’s and driving in 60 runs in part-time duty. He continued to shine during the post-season that year, crashing a walk-off 3-run shot off the Giants’ Aaron Fultz to win game 3 of the Divisional Series, and contributed during the subsequent NLCS against the Cardinals and the World Series against the Yankees where he drove in the winning run in the sole Met victory that fall.

After that, alas, the bloom was off the rose as Benny had a somewhat injury-plagued 2001 and saw his numbers dwindle along with his appearances in the lineup. That offseason saw him shipped to the Rockies where he toiled for a time with mediocre results, and then he was briefly with the Red Sox before leaving for the greener pastures of Japan’s Pacific League. There, he found glory with the Chiba Lotte Marines, reuniting with manager Bobby Valentine and helping to win a championship in 2005.

Agbayani may not have been among the greatest of Mets players, but found a measure of glory during his brief tenure that secured him a spot among the most beloved. Aloha, Benny.

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Cubs Are Odds-On Favorites to Repeat, Mets at 12-1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/cubs-are-odds-on-favorites-to-repeat-mets-at-12-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/cubs-are-odds-on-favorites-to-repeat-mets-at-12-1.html/#comments Thu, 03 Nov 2016 18:07:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225792 i-believe-mets-clinch-fans

With the World Series ending early this morning, odds makers wasted no time in putting out the odds to win the 2017 World Series.  The Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas lists the Cubs odds of winning at 3-1. Bovada has the Cubs has the Cubs as +350 to win the 2017 World Series.

The odds makers give the Mets decent odds to win the 2017 World Series. The Westgate Superbook has the Mets at 12-1, and Bovada has the Mets at +1400.

It should be noted that both odds makers believe the Washington Nationals have better odds of winning the 2017 World Series with them listing the Nationals at 10-1 and +1200 respectively.

Bovada also has the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves in the long shot group at +10000 along with the Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks.

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World Series Game 5 Thread: Indians vs Cubs, 8:15 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/world-series-game-5-thread-indians-vs-cubs-815-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/world-series-game-5-thread-indians-vs-cubs-815-pm.html/#comments Sun, 30 Oct 2016 04:11:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225567 636133880332526081-usp-mlb-world-series-cleveland-indians-at-chicago-86342990

With Saturday night’s 7–2 victory at Wrigley Field, the Indians took a commanding three games to one lead in the World Series and moved within one win of the franchise’s first championship since 1948.

Jason Kipnis provided the big blow, a three run homer to ice the game. The Cubs now have their backs to the wall but have their ace Jon Lester taking the mound against Trevor Bauer for the Tribe.

Chicago Cubs Lineup

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Ben Zobrist, LF
  5. Addison Russell, SS
  6. Jason Heyward, RF
  7. Javier Baez, 2B
  8. David Ross, C
  9. Jon Lester, P

Cleveland Indians Lineup

  1. Rajai Davis, CF
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  3. Francisco Lindor, SS
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Carlos Santana, LF
  6. Jose Ramirez, 3B
  7. Brandon Guyer, RF
  8. Roberto Perez, C
  9. Trevor Bauer, P
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Jerry Koosman’s Connection to Both Mets World Series Titles http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/jerry-koosmans-connection-to-both-mets-world-series-titles.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/jerry-koosmans-connection-to-both-mets-world-series-titles.html/#comments Tue, 25 Oct 2016 15:00:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225413  

jerry koosman

With the Cubs facing the daunting task of heading back home down 0-2 in the World Series, Jake Arrieta stepped up and pitched the most important game of his life. Arrieta pitched 5.1 no-hit innings to help the Cubs even the series at 1-1. Arrieta was the first pitcher to carry a no-hitter that deep into the World Series since Jerry Koosman pitched six no-hit innings against the Baltimore Orioles in Game 2 of the 1969 World Series.

Koosman’s performance was much more dominating and important than Arrieta’s. Whereas the Cubs are favored in this year’s World Series, the 1969 were about as big of underdogs as you get. The Orioles lineup featured two Hall of Famers in Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson. They had a rotation featuring Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally, and future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer. This was about as tough a team you could face. This was a team so tough, they beat Tom Seaver 4-1 in Game 1 of the World Series.

With the Game 1 victory, the Orioles appeared as if they were going to steamroll through the Mets much in the same fashion they had done to the Los Angeles Dodgers three years before and would do the following year to the Cincinnati Reds. Koosman’s 8.2 inning. two-hit masterpiece changed all of that. It completely changed the tone of the World Series and the momentum.

While Koosman was not named the MVP of the series, that honor would go to Donn Clendenon, his performance was the most important factor in the Mets changing the script and winning the World Series in five games. In that World Series, Koosman not only established himself as a great Met, he also established himself as the first big game pitcher in the franchise’s history. Without him the Mets never win the 1969 World Series.

1986 mets bw

 

Coincidentally, without Koosman, the Mets also don’t win the 1986 World Series.

On December 8, 1978, the Mets traded Koosman to his hometown Minnesota Twins in exchange for Greg Field and a player to be named later that turned out to be left-handed pitcher Jesse Orosco.

Today is the 30th Anniversary of the Mets winning their second World Series. The Mets would not have been able to win that World Series without Orosco’s three wins in the NLCS. They would not have won without his standing on the mound to close out Game 7.

Neither the 1969 or the 1986 World Series would have been possible without Koosman. With it being the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 World Series victory and with Arrieta’s peformance, we were again reminded of that.

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Let’s Start At The Very Beginning http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/lets-start-at-the-very-beginning.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/lets-start-at-the-very-beginning.html/#comments Sun, 23 Oct 2016 14:54:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225242 hodges-snider-stengel

Every Met fan knows that the 1962 Mets were one of the worst teams in baseball history with a 40-120 record. I recall reading many articles stating that everyone knew the team would be awful and that’s why they hired Casey Stengel to divert attention from the team on the field by charming sportswriters with his unique brand of double talk that came to be known as Stengelese.

BUT as someone who was a teenage baseball fanatic at the time, who devoured all those Baseball Preview magazines as well as the sports pages of New York’s seven daily newspapers, I remember that the pre-season outlook for the inaugural edition of the Mets was not nearly so bleak. Most reporters predicted that the Mets would finish at least 8th in the newly formed 10-team National League, ahead of their fellow expansion team, the Houston Colt .45‘s and the woeful Phillies, who had finished 47-107 in 1961. Some prognosticators were so bold as to forecast a 5th place finish for the new New York team, ahead of the Cubs, Pirates, and Cardinals as well.

Of course, the National League had shortchanged the two new teams in their expansion draft, with Dodgers’ first baseman Gil Hodges probably the most recognizable name to be selected by the Mets, but Team President George Weiss, who was all-business with a track record of nothing but success as Yankee GM set out to bolster his team by making several deals before spring training.

opening-day-mets-1962-polo-grounds-frank-thomas

Of note, slugger Frank Thomas was acquired from the Braves for a player to be named who turned out to be draft pick Gus Bell. Thomas was good for 20 + home runs a year (even without the Polo Grounds’ short left field line to help this right handed pull hitter) and could play outfield, third base, or first, although he was slow-footed and a poor defensive player. Still, he was the cleanup hitter the Mets needed.

Richie Ashburn, a prototype leadoff hitter and quality veteran center fielder was purchased from the Cubs.

Also, the Mets acquired second baseman Charlie Neal from the Dodgers for draft choice Lee Walls and cash. Although Neal had regressed with LA in 1961, the year before he was an All-Star and there was every reason to believe he would be an above-average second baseman.

1962 mets

So, the Mets had added three quality experienced and well-known major league veterans to their regular lineup before they ever took the field. Among the draft picks, young outfielders Joe Christopher and Jim Hickman showed promise and infielders Elio Chacon and Felix Mantilla were competent backups on contending teams, expected to blossom with regular duty.

Pitching looked to be to be a Mets’ weakness, anchored by veteran Dodgers swing man Roger Craig and two touted youngsters, Al Jackson and Jay Hook. Both came from pitching-rich teams, the Pirates and Reds respectively and the feeling was that both were ready for the big leagues with future star potential. Another draft choice, Bob Miller from the Cardinals also seemed promising. But teams can’t succeed with 4-man pitching staffs, so the Mets added veteran free-agents familiar to New York fans like Johnny Antonelli, Clem Labine and Billy Loes as well as young lefty Ken MacKenzie.

1962 mets Gil Hodges 3D

So, while the Mets were no threat to the league’s best, the forecast was for an interesting and somewhat competitive team. Well, they certainly turned out to be interesting, but after getting off to a 0-9 start, it was clear that they wouldn’t be very competitive and changes were in store.

The most obvious shortcoming was the defense. Every player on the team seemed woeful in the field and the few who didn’t quite fit that description would still make the wrong plays at the right time for their opponents to capitalize. The relief pitching was practically non-existent and experienced pros like Hodges and third baseman Don Zimmer were breaking down.

Stengel Casey

If Stengel had any enthusiasm for the team going into the season (although he probably lost it in spring training when he realized he wasn’t managing the Yankees anymore), he soon decided it wasn’t worth it and became a full-time buffoon, napping on the bench during games, and losing interest.

He did manage to continually charm the writers, though, and thus the legend of the 1962 Mets as the most awful but lovable team of all time began.

If you love to read about the nostalgic Mets players and times, please check out my brand new site Mets Memories.

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Trade Bruce For The Right Reasons http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/trade-bruce-for-the-right-reasons.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/trade-bruce-for-the-right-reasons.html/#comments Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:55:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225058 jay bruce

Jon Heyman recently reported that a rival executive thinks the Mets might consider trading Jay Bruce once they pick up his 13 million dollar contract option after the season. This news really isn’t all that shocking. Mets fans have been speculating for months that this might be a possibility depending on the outcome of the Yoenis Cespedes contract situation.

I want to make one thing clear though. A trade of Bruce for a pitcher or position player that improves the major league roster is completely acceptable. A trade of Bruce for a prospect that improves the overall depth in our farm system is also acceptable provided that the Mets make corresponding moves to enhance the quality of the major league roster in significant ways. But the Mets cannot trade Bruce if they are purely being motivated by financial reasons and plan to just hand the job to Michael Conforto.

I refuse to accept the narrative that many fans are citing which is “the Mets can use the Jay Bruce money to pay for Yoenis Cespedes“. The focus of the offseason should be on improving the overall roster relative to last season in an effort to win a championship. I realize every team has payroll limits, but I don’t want those limits to be the running theme that dominates the Mets offseason headlines. And so far, it has already been headline news in the form of the Cespedes opt-out discussion and the Neil Walker qualifying offer debate.

The NLCS matchup should be an eye opener for the Mets. The Cubs and Dodgers have incredibly talented farm systems and had arguably the deepest preseason major league rosters. But it’s no coincidence that they were the highest spending teams in the NL at the end of the season.

MLB: Chicago Cubs-Spring Training Media Day

The Cubs “won” the 2015/16 offseason when they signed Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, and John Lackey and now they have a great chance to win the World Series. When the Cubs retained Dexter Fowler their organization didn’t worry about finding enough playing time for Kyle Schwarber, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, and Jorge Soler. And the Mets shouldn’t worry either if they wind up retaining Bruce and Conforto.

The Dodgers brought in a plethora of starting pitchers Scott Kazmir (3 years $48 million), Kenta Maeda (8 years $25 million), Brett Anderson (accepted $15.8 million qualifying offer) before the season started to replace Zack Greinke, and they certainly made use of their starting pitching depth over the course of the year. They re-signed second basemen Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley and turned the former into a utility player. Despite having the most regular season injuries in recorded baseball history, the Dodgers were able to survive, win the NL West, and make a deep playoff run because of their unrivaled depth.

Spending big money on payroll doesn’t always equate to success in baseball. But in 2016, the NL teams that flexed their financial muscle in the offseason and assembled deep rosters made it to the NLCS. That can’t be ignored.

Please don’t read this post and confuse me for a member of the Jay Bruce fan club. I don’t think Bruce has to be on the 2017 team for the Mets to have success. And I certainly don’t want the Mets to spend money for the sake of spending money or to “make a splash”. But the days of the Mets making a purely financially motivated roster decision should be over.

They appeared to be over last offseason when the Mets raised payroll and retained Cespedes. But the Mets must continue on that track if they want to win it all. Otherwise they will be at a real disadvantage when trying to overtake the Dodgers and Cubs going forward. Because those teams certainly aren’t going to stop spending like big market clubs any time soon.

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If Kyle Schwarber Becomes Available, Mets Should Make Full Pursuit http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/if-kyle-schwarber-becomes-available-mets-should-make-full-pursuit.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/if-kyle-schwarber-becomes-available-mets-should-make-full-pursuit.html/#comments Sat, 15 Oct 2016 11:00:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224780 kyle-schwarber

It’s October, and the Mets aren’t in the playoffs. So since there’s no better news to talk about, it’s time to read about completely hypothetical trade ideas that will probably never happen.

There are no reports that the Cubs are actively looking to trade injured young star Kyle Schwarber, and they opted not to do it at the trade deadline. But it might make sense for the Cubs to trade him, considering that they won 103 games without him this year, and their outfield of Ben Zobrist, Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward isn’t exactly one that’s desperate for a revamp. He’s a natural catcher, but the team has been hesitant to play him behind the plate. He made just 15 starts there in 2015, so they might not have anywhere to play him if they don’t want to put him at catcher.

Schwarber missed all but two games this year due to a knee injury. Last year, he batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 homers and 43 RBIs in 69 games as a rookie. This is someone the Mets could definitely use: A star position player under long-term, affordable team control to compliment the team’s young pitching staff– if it ever comes back.

The Mets should even consider trading one of their young starting pitchers for Schwarber. Someone like a Steven Matz or a Matt Harvey has legitimate ace potential, but has become a little bit more expendable this season after the emergence of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo.

Without Matz, Harvey or another one of those pitchers, the team would still have three young aces, Gsellman, Lugo, Zack Wheeler (if he’s ever healthy again) and maybe even Bartolo Colon if he re-signs. The Mets still have more pitchers than they know what to do with, and Gsellman and Lugo both pitched well enough down the stretch to at least compete for a roster spot.

A straight-up Matz-for-Schwarber trade is something that could make sense for both teams in the long run. The only Cubs starting pitchers that are under team control beyond 2017 are Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks. Single-A RHP Dylan Cease is the team’s only blue-chip pitching prospect on the horizon, but he is likely at least two years away from the Bigs. So they could really use a young starting pitcher, not just for 2017 but for future seasons.

Without most of their young pitchers down the stretch this season, the Mets still had the third-lowest team ERA in the NL this season. However, they scored the fourth-fewest runs in the league. This trade could only bolster the team’s lineup and make them a more complete team. Schwarber could split reps between the outfield spot that will likely be vacant if Yoenis Cespedes leaves, and spend time behind the plate as well.

Theo Epstein is quite possibly the greatest executive in sports history. Maybe he’s too smart to trade Schwarber. Maybe he’s too dumb to not trade for Matz or another one of the Mets’ pitchers. Either way, this would be a great deal for the Mets should it come up.

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Reviewing Preseason Expectations From Alderson and Collins http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/reviewing-preseason-expectations-from-alderson-and-collins.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/reviewing-preseason-expectations-from-alderson-and-collins.html/#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2016 16:00:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224812 Alderson sandy Terry collins

If you haven’t had an opportunity to read Ken Davidoff’s outstanding piece in the New York Post today, you should click the provided link and read it immediately. As Davidoff explained in the introduction, with their approval, he met with Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins in February separately to discuss a myriad of topics regarding where the Mets have been and where they expected the Mets to go.

All three parties agreed this piece would run after the conclusion of the season. Here is a summary of the topics discussed in February and the ensuing answers:

The Mets Status as Contenders

Alderson believed the Mets were not just in a good position to compete this year, but for a longer stretch of time. However, Alderson was mindful that with some poor moves, the Mets could find themselves right back in the rebuilding stages.

Collin was optimistic the talent was there to turn things around, but he admitted the rebuilding process was taxing on everyone. He welcomed the expectations while fearing a Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright, or another injury could derail the entire season.

Cespedes’ Car Collection

Alderson took no issue with it liking it to Jose Canseco‘s crazy car during his time for the Oakland Athletics. Alderson dryly joked how the Polaris Slingshot may be in violation of Cespedes’ contract.

Collins likened the cars to Cespedes’ golfing in that players need an outside interest to help them relax.

The Attention Matt Harvey Gets

Alderson took no issues noting he had players, like Jose Canseco, who were far worse than Matt Harvey. In fact, Alderson noted that by trying to change Harvey, you may change what it is about him that makes him so effective on the mound. As the team had no issues with his effectiveness and competitiveness, there were no issues as far as the team was concerned.

Ultimately, Collins felt treatment of Harvey has been somewhat unfair noting it is his responsibility to weigh the Mets present and Harvey’s future. Collins also noted it was in his best interests to protect Harvey as he is not easy to replace.

The Starting Rotation

Alderson noted that one of the reasons none of the pitchers were traded away is because you simply cannot know which one is going to be the healthy one and which one is going to break down. Alderson also noted the collection of the arms gave the Mets an aura, an intimidation factor, and an identity. Lastly, each night, the Mets gave their fans someone to be excited to go out and see.

There was no Collins response to this question.

The Nationals, Dodgers, and Cubs Offseason

Alderson was impressed with what the Cubs did in the offseason. (Note: the Cubs beat the Mets out in the Ben Zobrist sweepstakes). Alderson also felt that despite the Dodgers missing out on players like Zack Greinke, the team recovered well building a good team. Lastly, he felt the Nationals would benefit from some better health, Dusty Baker, Daniel Murphy, and a better team attitude.

Collins was impressed the Cubs went out and got the players they needed to try to make themselves a team that could beat the Mets in the postseason. Collins believed the Nationals were going to be tough because they added Baker who Collins believed was not only a tremendous manager, but also a huge upgrade over Matt Williams. Collins thought the Nationals were going to be much tougher this season as a result.

Building the Right Postseason Team

Alderson stated that every team has some flaw that could be exposed in a short series noting how the Mets defense was exposed in the 2015 World Series. Alderson noted it’s tough to put together a perfect team. He also noted that while it’s expensive, players may not pan out as you want, and therefore, the flaw may still exist. Ultimately, Alderson noted the teams that typically win series are the ones that played well like the Mets did in the NLDS and the NLCS.

Collins did not answer the question.

Communication with Players

Alderson did not answer the question.

Collins said he has learned that while he believes it is best for the manager to get along with the players without getting too close to them, that doesn’t fit his personality. He has learned from that, and he has had a different approach with the Mets.

Travis d’Arnaud’s Durability

Ultimately, Alderson believes the catching position is a high-risk position, and ironically, some of the injuries Travis d’Arnaud suffered were a result of the plate blocking rules designed to protect catchers. Given the fact that d’Arnaud’s injuries were more contact driven, Alderson was hopeful, but not convinced, there would be no more issues.

Collins did not answer the question.

Overall, based upon the column, it should come as no surprise that both Alderson and Collins had their finger right on the pulse of not just this Mets team, but also their contenders. While the Mets actually faced many of the issues they feared would rear their ugly heads, the Mets persevered and made the postseason.

The Mets have an interesting offseason ahead of them as they try to maintain their status as contenders and not fall back into the rebuilding stages Alderson was so fearful of returning.

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MLB News: D’Backs Fire Stewart and Hale, Weiss Out in Colorado http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/mlb-news-dbacks-fire-stewart-and-hale-weiss-out-in-colorado.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/mlb-news-dbacks-fire-stewart-and-hale-weiss-out-in-colorado.html/#comments Mon, 03 Oct 2016 22:01:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224348 chip-hale-dave-stewart

Some big news coming out of Arizona as the Diamondbacks announced that they have fired GM Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale.

Stewart was responsible for one of the worst trades in recent memory, sending their overall No. 1 pick in 2015, shortstop Dansby Swanson, plus pitching prospect Aaron Blair and outfielder Ender Inciarte to the Atlanta Braves for RHP Shelby Miller.

While all three players the Braves received figure prominently in the clubs future, Miller proved to be a colossal flop, finishing 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA this season which included a demotion to Triple-A.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Colorado Rockies

Also making news, the Colorado Rockies announced that Walt Weiss had stepped down as the club’s manager. Reportedly, Weiss and general manager Jeff Bridich had a less than productive relationship and Weiss was excluded from some key decisions during the final weeks of the season.

It didn’t take the Chicago Whites Sox long to name a replacement after manager Robin Ventura tendered his resignation on Sunday. The team announced that Rick Renteria will take over the reins as White Sox manager. You may recall that Renteria was fired by the Cubs in 2014 after they hired Joe Maddon, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays.

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And finally, an MMO tip of the cap to legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who ended his career of 65+ years in baseball with a touch of class on Sunday. In the final broadcast of his career, Scully signed off by saying:

“You and I have been friends for a long time, but I know in my heart I’ve always needed you more than you’ve ever needed me. And I’ll miss our time together more than I can say.”

Thanks for all the memories, Vin. I’ll miss you too.

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Nationals Clinch NL East Title http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/nationals-clinch-nl-east-title.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/nationals-clinch-nl-east-title.html/#comments Sun, 25 Sep 2016 04:40:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=223711 nationals-clinch-werth

With the Mets’ loss to the Phillies this evening and a win of their own, the Washington Nationals have officially clinched the National League East title, their third in five years.

Washington earned a 6-1 victory over the Pirates tonight, getting big contributions at the plate from Stephen Drew and Jayson Werth while squeezing 5.1 relief innings from Reynaldo Lopez.

Capitalizing on mid-season struggles by the Mets, the division wasn’t much of a race. (In fact, none of the divisions — especially those in the NL — are close right now.)

How’d they do it? An effective combination of strong offense and outstanding pitching. The Nationals currently own a team ERA of 3.44, which is second in baseball only behind the Cubs. Their 718 runs scored were ninth in baseball.

Despite Bryce Harper‘s production dropping off a cliff this season, the Nats’ offense has received much greater contributions than expected from the likes of Daniel Murphy, Wilson Ramos, Trea Turner, and Stephen Drew.

If current standings hold, the Nationals will face off against the Dodgers in the NLDS while the Cubs will face off against the winner of the Wild Card game.

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Yankees Deal Aroldis Chapman to Cubs for Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/yankees-deal-aroldis-chapman-to-cubs-for-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/yankees-deal-aroldis-chapman-to-cubs-for-prospects.html/#comments Mon, 25 Jul 2016 17:52:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218606 aroldis chapman

The crosstown Yankees have fired the opening salvo of trade season, sending Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs, Jon Heyman of FanRagSports reported first on Monday.

The package going to the Yankees consists of top shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, 21 year old outfielder Billy McKinney, swing man Adam Warren, and a player to be named later.

Torres is the clear centerpiece of the deal.  At just 19 years old, the shortstop is ranked as the 15th best prospect in baseball according to ESPN’s Keith Law.  In High-A ball, Torres is also tearing up older competition, slashing  .275/.359/.433 with 9 home runs and 19 stolen bases.

For Chicago, Chapman fills an immediate void in the Cubs’ bullpen, his addition instantly makes them an elite unit.  After serving a 30 game suspension for domestic violence, the hard throwing lefty has been nothing short of exceptional, posting a 2.01 ERA while averaging just under 13 strikeouts per nine innings.

Chapman’s arrival in Chicago certainly changes the tenor of the National League pennant chase.  Teams will have to secure leads early in games to avoid the Cubs’ tandem of Chapman and and the already formidable Hector Rondon.

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3 Up 3 Down: Mets Drop Series to Cubs at Wrigley http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/3-up-3-down-mets-drop-series-to-cubs-at-wrigley.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/3-up-3-down-mets-drop-series-to-cubs-at-wrigley.html/#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2016 16:00:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218194 noah syndergaard

3 Up

 1. Thor Gets Velo Back

The stage was set on Tuesday night with two of the top arms in the league going head to head in the middle game of the series. It was one the Met surely had to have, after dropping the opener on Monday night. Although he struggled at times, Noah Syndergaard lived up to the moment and still managed to throw 5 2/3 innings while only allowing one run on seven hits and eight strikeouts.

It wasn’t his best, but anytime you go into Wrigley against this Cubs lineup and manage to only allow a run, you did your job. Perhaps the best thing to come out of his outing was that his arm did not show to have suffered from any fatigue. Syndergaard touched 100 MPH in the first inning and went on to throw 105 pitches.

2. Backup Comes Through

Rene Rivera was in the middle of just about everything on Tuesday night, some good and some bad. However it was his two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth that scored Neil Walker to give the Mets a 2-1 lead that they would barely hold onto. It was Rivera’s third hit of the night, and most certainly his biggest hit as a Met.

3. July Homer Surge

There wasn’t much offense to be had for the Mets in Chicago these past three days, but one thing is for sure, Wilmer Flores continues to hit, and should be in the lineup more often. In the two games he started this series, Flores collected three hits, including two home runs and three RBI. His seven home runs this month are the most in the majors, yet Wilmer still has a tough time cracking the everyday lineup.

3 Down

 1. Matz Struggles Continue

With his loss on Monday night, Steven Matz is now winless in his last eight starts dating all the way back to June 1. In that stretch he has gone 0-5 with a 5.20 ERA while allowing 57 hits in 45 innings.

Matz’s velocity is fine, and visibly it does not seem as though his bone spurs have been affecting him, but for whatever reason his command is not where it needs to be, especially with his changeup. With a somewhat demoralized pitching staff, Matz is going to need to be better if the Mets want to make a run at the playoffs.

2. Old reliable? 

In the rubber game of the series Wednesday afternoon, the Mets looked to Bartolo Colon to salvage a series win. However, it was not to be. Colon looked flat as did the entire Mets team did from the early going. He allowed two runs in the first inning and then two home runs to Anthony Rizzo. Over 4 1/3 innings Bart allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks. In his last three starts Colon has an ERA of 7.36 and hasn’t gotten past the sixth inning in any of them.

3. Bad Decision Making

I normally don’t have too many qualms when it comes to Mets skipper Terry Collins, but I thought sitting Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Neil Walker, in the rubber game of a big series at Wrigley, was a bit of a head scratcher. You can talk all you want about getting guys rest, especially those who are still nursing injuries (Cespedes), but I’m just not sure why Terry decided to rest all three on what I believe was a very important game.

On top of that the Mets have an off day on Thursday. I’m not sure if those three guys would have made a difference against Hendricks and the Cubs on Wednesday afternoon, but what I do know is that the Mets looked downright sluggish and lifeless from the very start of the game, and apparently so was Terry Collins. His decision to not challenge the play at the plate with Loney was strange, especially with him looking like he may have been safe after watching the replay.

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Syndergaard Effective In First Start After All-Star Break http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/syndergaard-effective-in-first-start-after-all-star-break.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/syndergaard-effective-in-first-start-after-all-star-break.html/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2016 10:00:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218094 noah syndergaard

In his first start after the All-Star break, Noah Syndergaard came through with a gutty performance despite showing a little rust. More importantly, he exhibited no ill effects despite getting 11 days off and leaving his previous outing with an arm fatigue.

He struck out eight batters, allowed seven hits, two walks and one unearned run in 5.2 innings against the Cubs.

“The fatigued arm obviously is gone,” Terry Collins said after the game. “But I’ll tell you what he had to do: He had to work hard. He had to work very, very hard. His command wasn’t like we normally see it. He had to work. And I like it. ”

While Syndergaard didn’t make it past the 6th inning, he threw a total of 105 pitches and told reporters after the game that he got stronger as the night went on. (Adam Rubin, ESPN NY)

This comes as excellent news to Collins and the coaching staff since they were concerned how Syndergaard would pitch deep into the game. Syndergaard left his last start after his velocity dropped when he came out for the 5th inning.

“I think it’s going to be deeper in the game as we saw last time. He was still throwing 98, 97 for four innings last time out and all of a sudden it went away so I think we got a little deeper into the game,” Collins said. and I told Dan today it will be interesting to see after pitch 75 where he’s at and how’s he doing.” (Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News)

In addition to hopefully putting his injury concerns to rest, Syndergaard also reached a career milestone. He struck out his 300th career batter, and he is third fastest among active starters to reach that bark behind only Yu Darvish and Jose Fernandez.

“To be able to compete in games like that when you go out there and you don’t necessarily have your best command, they’re fun to be able to compete in, because it really shows your true colors and your competitiveness,” Syndergaard said. “Overall, it was a great team win.”

It’s truly been a remarkable beginning to Syndergaard’s career. In just two seasons, he’s established himself as a clutch postseason performer, an All-Star and one of the elite starters in the MLB.

In 111 innings pitched this season, he has an excellent 2.43 ERA with 136 strikeouts and nine wins.  Syndergaard will look continue this dominance in the second half as the Mets look to fight for a playoff spot.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Cubs, 7:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-cubs-705-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-cubs-705-pm.html/#comments Mon, 18 Jul 2016 19:44:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217967 steven matz

Monday, July 18, 2016 • 7:05 p.m. (ET)
Wrigley Field • Chicago, IL
LHP Steven Matz (7-5, 3.38) vs. LHP Jon Lester (9-4, 3.01)
SNY • ESPN • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

The Mets started off the second half well with taking 2 of 3 from the Phillies, including yesterday’s dominating 1-hitter from Jacob deGrom. Tonight they travel to Chicago to play their last regular season games against the Cubs.

Last year the Mets went 0-7 against the Cubs in the regular season, but then they swept Chicago in the NLCS and followed that up with a four-game sweep at Citi Field earlier this season. So the Mets are now 8-0 against the Cubs in their last 8 games.

The Mets have recalled outfielder Michael Conforto from Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League and optioned outfielder Brandon Nimmo to Las Vegas (AAA). Conforto hit .344 (21-61) with 15 runs scored, four doubles, two triples, three homers and 15 RBI in 16 games with the 51s.

Mets Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes – 3B
  2. Curtis Granderson – RF
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
  4. Neil Walker – 2B
  5. Wilmer Flores – 1B
  6. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  7. Juan Lagares – CF
  8. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  9. Steven Matz – LHP

Chicago Cubs

  1. Javier Baez – 2B
  2. Kris Bryant – 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  4. W. Contreras – LF
  5. Addison Russell – SS
  6. Matt Szczur – RF
  7. Albert Almora – CF
  8. David Ross – C
  9. Jon Lester – P

Steven Matz will get things started. He’s 7-5 over 16 starts and 96.0 innings with a 3.38 ERA. His last couple of starts have been average as he’s allowed 5 ER over 14.0 innings (3.21 ERA) while striking out 11 and walking 5 against the Marlins and the Nationals, both games where he was the losing pitcher on record. He did face the Cubs earlier this season where he allowed 3 ER over 5.1 innings which included 7 hits, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. The Cubs have the following numbers against Matz:

  • Zobrist 2-6, 2B
  • Baez 2-5, HR
  • Bryant 1-4, HR
  • Rizzo 2-5, 2B
  • Russell 0-1, 2BB
  • Ross 0-1

The Mets will get another look at Jon Lester who is 9-4 this season over 18 starts and 110.2 innings with a 3.01 ERA. Going into the month of July, he had a 2.03 ERA. He then allowed 8 ER over 1.1 innings against the Mets, and followed that up with allowing 5 ER over 3.0 innings against the Pirates. The Mets have the following numbers against Jon Lester:

  • Granderson 15-49, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR
  • Cabrera 7-27, 2 2B
  • Reyes 3-25
  • Cespedes 3-18
  • Loney 4-16, 2B
  • K Johnson 1-15
  • De Aza 4-14, 4 2B
  • Flores 4-10, 2 HR
  • Lagares 4-9, 2 2B
  • Walker 3-10
  • d’Arnaud 2-3, HR
  • Rivera 1-1, HR

Let’s Go Mets!

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2016 MLB All Star Game: Starting Pitchers and Lineups, 8:00 PM on FOX http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/2016-mlb-all-star-game-starting-pitchers-and-lineups-800-pm-on-fox.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/2016-mlb-all-star-game-starting-pitchers-and-lineups-800-pm-on-fox.html/#comments Tue, 12 Jul 2016 14:42:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217468 giancarlo stanton

With Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton winning the 2016 Home Run Derby on Monday at Petco Park, it’s onto the featured attraction where all attention turns to San Diego, California for the 87th annual Midsummer Classic.

Petco Park will host the 2016 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night at 8:00 PM which will air live on FOX and stream on MLB.com.

At stake, the American and National League teams will compete for home-field advantage in the World Series.

terry collins bryce harper

On Monday afternoon, managers Ned Yost and Terry Collins announced their All-Star Game starting pitchers and lineups at a press conference at Petco Park.

American League

  1. 2B Jose Altuve, Astros
  2. CF Mike Trout, Angels
  3. 3B Manny Machado, Orioles
  4. DH David Ortiz, Red Sox
  5. SS Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
  6. 1B Eric Hosmer, Royals
  7. RF Mookie Betts, Red Sox
  8. C Salvador Perez, Royals
  9. LF Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox

Starting Pitcher: LHP Chris Sale, White Sox

National League

  1. 2B Ben Zobrist, Cubs
  2. RF Bryce Harper, Nationals
  3. 3B Kris Bryant, Cubs
  4. DH Wil Myers, Padres
  5. C Buster Posey, Giants
  6. 1B Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
  7. CF Marcell Ozuna, Marlins
  8. LF Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
  9. SS Addison Russell, Cubs

Starting Pitcher: RHP Johnny Cueto, Giants

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MMO Game Thread: Nationals vs Mets, 7:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mmo-game-thread-nationals-vs-mets-710-pm-6.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mmo-game-thread-nationals-vs-mets-710-pm-6.html/#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2016 19:29:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217000 bartolo colon

Thursday, July 7, 2016 • 7:10 p.m.
Citi Field • Flushing, N.Y.
RHP Lucas Giolito (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (7-4, 2.87)
SNY • MLBN • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

The Nationals swept the Mets in DC last week, and the Mets looked primed to spiral out of control with the Cubs coming to town. Since then, the Mets have swept the Cubs and took 2 of 3 from the Marlins, gaining great confidence and making up some ground in the NL Wast race along the way. The Mets and Nationals now play a 4-game set to close out the first half of the season. This is huge.

“Coming into that series without playing well, it was really, really important to have a good series against them, and we did,” Mets manager Terry Collins said yesterday about winning two of three from the Marlins. “Now we’ve got to go against the Nationals, who are going to come in here looking to put some more distance between us. So we’ve got our work cut out for us this weekend.”

The Mets are 8-1 in their last nine home games… Overall, the club is 25-17 at home and have the fifth-best winning percentage (.595) in the NL at home.

The Mets have outscored their opponents, 46-24 over their last seven games, belting 18 home runs, 10 doubles and hitting .300 with a .365 on-base percentage.

Bartolo Colon is 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA (13 earned runs/43.2 innings) in eight starts at Citi Field this year… The Mets are 5-3 in those games.

Terry Collins says Wilmer Flores will be on the bench after his two-homer game, while Jose Reyes starts at third base.

Mets Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes – 3B
  2. Curtis Granderson – RF
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – CF
  4. Neil Walker – 2B
  5. James Loney – 1B
  6. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  7. Brandon Nimmo – LF
  8. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  9. Bartolo Colon – RHP

Nationals Lineup

  1. Ben Revere – CF
  2. Jayson Werth – LF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Bryce Harper – RF
  5. Wilson Ramos – C
  6. Clint Robinson – 1B
  7. Anthony Rendon – 3B
  8. Danny Espinosa – SS
  9. Lucas Giolito – RHP

Bartolo gets the nod for the Amazin’s. He’s 7-4 over 17 games and 16 starts this year pitching 94.0 innings with a 2.87 ERA. Since May 23rd he’s made 8 starts, 46.0 innings and has posted a 1.96 ERA (innings pitched to starts skewed due to his 0.1 inning start due to injury). He pitched back to back starts against DC in May with very different outcomes. First he allowed 3 ER over 5 hits in 4.2 innings, then he allowed 1 ER over 7.0 innings (the start that started his run). The Nationals have the following numbers against Colon:

  • Revere 8-27, 2B
  • Harper 3-16, HR
  • Rendon 6-19, HR
  • Werth 6-13, 2 2B
  • Ramos 2-16, 2B
  • Zimmerman 3-10
  • Murphy 3-9
  • Espinosa 1-8

The Mets draw the phenom prospect, Lucas Giolito, again, for his second major league start. In his only major league start, which happened to be against the Mets, he allowed no runs and 1 hit over 4.0 innings, walking two batters and striking out one. Cespedes picked up one of the walks and Granderson got the other walk and the only hit.

Let’s Go Mets!

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Cespedes’ Home Run Got Mets’ Offense Going http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/cespedes-home-run-got-mets-offense-going.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/cespedes-home-run-got-mets-offense-going.html/#comments Tue, 05 Jul 2016 17:07:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216798 yoenis cespedes 2

The Mets were just swept by the Nationals. A week before they were swept by the lowly Braves. They had lost 11 of their last 17 games and were in a stretch where they had scored only nine runs over their past five games.

Then the Mets came home to Citi Field to host the Chicago Cubs. John Lackey started the series opener and he was dealing, firing 5.1 shutout innings against a lifeless Mets offense that was only able to muster two hits. Then Yoenis Cespedes stepped up to the plate and did this:

 

“I think it woke us up, I really do,” Terry Collins said of Cespedes’ 19th home run.

From that point forward, the Mets have been a different team. The Mets made an improbable comeback in that game scoring three more runs in the seventh inning to beat the Cubs 4-3.

From there, the Mets would sweep the four game set from the Cubs much like they did in last year’s NLCS. They pummeled Jason Hammel like it was Game 4 of the NLCS. They beat reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta. And they scored 14 runs in a game started by the $155 million dollar man Jon Lester.

Overall, the Mets averaged eight runs per game against a Cubs team that leads the National League in Team ERA and Batting Average Against. It was an unexpected and impressive performance. The Mets’ offense transformed from a feckless one to one that could seemingly overcome any obstacle.

We saw that again on Monday. Matt Harvey had a poor start lasting only 3.1 innings and putting the Mets in an early 6-0 hole against a Marlins team that just terrorizes the Mets. Normally, this would have been reason enough for Mets fans to groan and start wondering if this Marlins teams is really better than the Mets. It would normally be cause to question whether the Mets’ offensive barrage of the Cubs was a fluke. It turns out it wasn’t a fluke.

The new Mets offense started chipping away. Travis d’Arnaud hit his first home run of the season in the fourth. Curtis Granderson, back in his familiar leadoff spot for perhaps the last time, followed with a home run of his own in the fifth. Then miracle of miracles, the Mets offense began scoring runs without hitting any more home runs.

In the sixth, d’Arnaud had a bases loaded RBI infield single. Another run scored when Kelly Johnson hit into a double play. There was another rally in the seventh that saw a run score on a James Loney RBI ground out and a Wilmer Flores sacrifice fly. The Mets had gone from a six run deficit to a a tie game heading into the eighth inning.

yoenis cespedes 2

Naturally, Cespedes would be the one to put the Mets ahead for good by hitting a two run double off new Marlins reliever Fernando Rodney who had only allowed one earned run all season until that hit. It was the biggest comeback of the season and fourth largest comeback in Mets history.

Two weeks ago, that rally didn’t seem possible. The Mets’ offense was stagnant and wouldn’t have mustered up much of a fight. However, lately this Mets team has been rejuvenated since that Cespedes’ home run into the Promenade Level – a home run that reached heights no other home run had ever reached at Citi Field.

It was a home run that has helped the Mets reach new heights on this home stand, and hopefully it was a home run that may propel the Mets to even higher heights not seen in 30 years.

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Syndergaard Gets Back On Track With Eight Strikeout Effort http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/syndergaard-gets-back-on-track-with-eight-strikeout-effort.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/syndergaard-gets-back-on-track-with-eight-strikeout-effort.html/#comments Mon, 04 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216710 noah syndergaard back

Coming off a very rough start on June 27th in which the Washington Nationals handled him easily, Noah Syndergaard got back on track in the Mets’ 14-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Syndergaard brought his arsenal on Sunday, throwing seven masterful innings. He allowed just one run on seven hits while walking none and striking out eight Cubbies. He picked up the win, improving his record to 9-3 on the season while his ERA dropped to 2.41 .

“I just felt really calm out there and wasn’t trying to do too much,” Syndergaard said. “The start against the Nationals, I felt really, really strong, and I just kept trying to throw the ball harder and harder as opposed to going out there and pitching.” (NY Post)

noah syndergaard tall

After a rough first inning, Syndergaard went into cruise control. The combination of his fastball and slider was just too much for the Cubs to overcome. For the second consecutive start he was staked to a huge lead, this time though he did not let it get away from him.

“I just try to go out there and pound the strike zone,” Syndergaard said of pitching with a big lead. “It was really fun to see our offense come alive. It makes my job a lot easier. The last thing you want to do when you have a big lead like that is to just start walking guys. I went about my game and pounded the zone.”

Syndergaard pounded the strike zone time and time again, as this was the seventh game this season where he did not walk a batter. The only pitcher who has more starts with no walks allowed is Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw. Not bad company to be in.  His next start will come against the Nationals yet again, as the god of thunder will seek revenge against first-place Washington.

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Wilmer Flores Explodes With Record 6-For-6 Game At The Plate http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/wilmer-flores-explodes-with-record-6-for-6-game-at-the-plate.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/wilmer-flores-explodes-with-record-6-for-6-game-at-the-plate.html/#comments Mon, 04 Jul 2016 11:00:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216705 wilmer Flores

Wilmer Flores had an amazing day at the plate in the Mets’ 14-3 drubbing of the Chicago Cubs as the team completed their four-game sweep. Flores became the second Metropolitan to have six hits in one game, tying the record set by Edgardo Alfonzo on August 30, 1999.

“I’m not going to lie. My sixth at-bat I thought about it,” Flores later said about tying the franchise record. “I didn’t want to face a position player, but he threw one in the middle and I hit it. You go at-bat by at-bat. You start thinking about it when you hit your fifth, or fourth. Your first at-bat you never think that you’re going to get six hits.”

The Mets’ third-baseman demolished Cubs pitching all day in a 6-for-6 effort at the plate. Two home runs, four singles and four RBI encompassed Flores’ big day. He entered the game marred in an 0-for-14 slump in his prior four games. Flores improved his numbers with the one big day, now hitting to a .255/.317/.403 slash with five homers and 18 RBI on the season.

“It’s definitely a good feeling being part of history,” said Flores. “Unbelievable feeling. Six hits, I never thought I was going to get six hits ever.”

With Jose Reyes looming in Binghamton, Flores gave notice to the team that he is not going to go down without a fight. He has no reason to concede the position to the returning Reyes and showed no signs of doing so in Sunday’s win. Manager, Terry Collins knows that Flores is well aware of what is soon to come.

Wilmer, Flores

“Players are not naive. He’s heard, he’s read, he’s been told that Jose Reyes is playing third base and that’s he’s on his way here,” Collins said. “Wilmer, as I have seen from the past in him, [is] saying, ‘You know what? He’s going to have to [take] this job.’ He went out today and had a big day.”

Flores knows that he may be passed over to make way for the aging Reyes.  He is looking to do everything in his power to make that decision for management just a little harder as he put in a career day at the plate. Flores has openly said this season how much easier it is for him to perform when he’s playing everyday, and the struggles that come with being a bench player.

Regardless of the day he had, Reyes is coming. Flores will soon find himself in the super utility role of playing around the infield and filling in for guys here and there. Not an ideal situation for Flores, who will look to continue his recent success as Jose readies himself in Binghamton.

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/wilmer-flores-explodes-with-record-6-for-6-game-at-the-plate.html/feed/ 0 MMO Game Thread: Cubs vs Mets, 1:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mmo-game-thread-cubs-vs-mets-110-pm-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mmo-game-thread-cubs-vs-mets-110-pm-3.html/#comments Sun, 03 Jul 2016 15:23:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216641 noah syndergaard

Sunday, July 3, 2016 • 1:10 p.m.
Citi Field • Flushing, N.Y.
LHP Jon Lester (9-3, 2.03) vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (8-3, 2.49)
SNY • MLBN • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

The Mets go for a 4-game sweep of the Cubs this afternoon at Citi-Field. Yesterday the Mets were able to beat the Cubs 4-3 thanks to a 2-run homer by Neil Walker and a 2-run well-placed bloop by Travis d’Arnaud. The Mets will draw a Jon Lester this afternoon and will counter with young ace Noah Syndergaard.

Mets Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares – CF
  2. Curtis Granderson – RF
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
  4. Neil Walker – 2B
  5. Wilmer Flores – 3B
  6. James Loney – 1B
  7. Matt Reynolds – SS
  8. Rene Rivera – C
  9. Noah Syndergaard – RHP

Cubs Lineup

  1. Ben Zobrist – 2B
  2. Jason Heyward – CF
  3. Kris Bryant – RF
  4. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  5. Willson Contreras – LF
  6. Jeimer Candelario – 3B
  7. Javier Baez – SS
  8. David Ross – C
  9. Jon Lester – LHP

Noah Syndergaard is 8-3 on the year over 16 games and 15 starts with 94.0 innings with a 2.49 ERA. His last start was not good as he allowed 5 ER over 3.0 innings against the Nationals topping off a month where he wasn’t that dominant (outside of one start, which was his best of the season). Noah allowed 3 ER over 5.1 innings against the Cubs during the regular season and allowed only 1 ER over 5.2 innings during the playoffs. The Cubs have the following numbers against Noah:

  • Bryant 4-6, 2B, 3B
  • Coghlan 1-4, HR
  • Montero 0-4, 3 K
  • Rizzo 0-3, 2 BB
  • Heyward 2-3, 2B
  • Zobrist 1-3, 2B
  • Baez 0-2, 2 K

Jon Lester is 9-3 over 16 starts and 106.1 innings with a 2.03 ERA in what is shaping up to be his best season in his career, rivaling 2014. In the month of June he was 4-0 over 44.2 innings with an ERA of 1.41 with 44 K’s. He faced the Mets twice in the regular season last year going 1-0 allowing 3 ER over 13.0 innings. However in the postseason against the Mets he allowed 4 ER over 8 hits in 6.2 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Lester:

  • Granderson 13-47, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR
  • Cabrera 7-27, 2 2B
  • Cespedes 2-16
  • Loney 4-15, 2B
  • K Johnson 1-15
  • De Aza 4-14, 4 2B
  • Flores 2-8, HR
  • Walker 2-8
  • d’Arnaud 2-2, HR

Let’s Go Mets!

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