Mets Merized Online » Mets News Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:13:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets and Yoenis Cespedes Agree To Three-Year, $75 Million Deal Sat, 23 Jan 2016 10:48:12 +0000 cespedes yoenis

Mets Reach Deal With Yoenis Cespedes!

Yoenis Cespedes and the New York Mets have agreed to a three-year deal worth $75 million dollars, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The deal includes a provision that Cespedes will be able to opt-out after one year (in which he will make $27.5 M).

The deal also includes a full no-trade clause. MLB Network’s  Jon Heyman followed up Rosenthal with a confirmation that the deal is indeed done. Jim Bowden of ESPN was the first to report that the two sides were making progress.

Cespedes hit .291 with an .870 OPS and 35 home runs in 2015. The Cuban slugger mashed 17 home runs in 57 games after being sent to the Mets at the trade deadline, powering New York past the Washington Nationals to the NL East title en route to a World Series run. Cespedes also won a Gold Glove for his work in Left Field with the Tigers.


Cespedes gets the security of a $75 million guarantee and lands the top annual salary for a hitter this offseason, while getting the chance to opt-out and be a top prize in a weak free agent class next year. In all likelihood, this deal only keeps “Yo” in Queens for one more year, but Cespedes turned down higher offers, including one from the Washington Nationals, to stay with the Mets, the team he wanted to be with all along.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Bringing back Cespedes will likely push the team’s payroll to roughly $140 million dollars and that’s a great sign anyway you look at it. But more importantly, his addition surely makes the Mets the odds-on favorite to win the National League East and arguably the World Series as well. This could potentially be a 96-98 win team this season.

That Cespedes turned down more years and significantly more dollars from the Nationals to return to the Mets makes this so emotionally satisfying as a fan. This has to be quite the gut-punch to the Nats, who have now been spurned by Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Justin Upton, and now Cespedes – even though they had higher offers to them.

You have to admire Cespedes who not only showed himself to be an exceptional talent and impact player, but also that he is a man of integrity as well. He said all along he loved playing for the Mets. He said all along he wanted to return to the Mets. And evidently he meant every single word of it. Amazing. Tons of respect for this man.

What else can I say… I’m absolutely thrilled and overjoyed… A truly fantastic job by the unwavering and always tactical Sandy Alderson for delivering an incredible offseason as the Mets look to defend their NL Championship with gusto and bravado. This is a huge win for the organization and their commitment to winning cannot be understated with this signing. Let’s Go Mets!

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Wright’s Contract Is Insured For 75 Percent Of Total Value Wed, 27 May 2015 03:27:15 +0000 wright david

No word yet on David Wright and what went down in California, but some very important news from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Rosenthal learned from a team source that Wright’s contract is insured for up to 75 percent of the total value.

Once Wright misses 60 days, the Mets would begin to receive 75 percent of the payments due on his contract for as long as he remains out.

This disputes what Adam Rubin tweeted out on Sunday that the Mets did not insure Wright’s contract because they prefer to “self-insure” with what he called a rainy day fund.

Anyway, if Wright’s contract is insured, and I’m thinking that it is, it would not hamstring the team if God forbid the worst case scenario would unfold with Wright’s back issue.

May 26

Mets Captain David Wright is making a cross-country trip to try to fix his ailing back.

The All-Star third baseman will travel to California to see Dr. Michael Watkins and his staff after being diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis last week. According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, David will spend a week with Watkins.

Wright, who dealt with a back fracture in 2011, went on the disabled list with a hamstring issue on April 14. His rehab was halted on May 6 when he began to feel pain in his back, and, after Wright resumed rehab on May 18, he was shut down for another week on Saturday, when the diagnosis was announced.

Spinal Stenosis varies in severity, but at its worst, can be a potentially career-ending condition. Alderson said that surgery has not been discussed as an option so far, and that doctors have indicated that the 32 year-old Wright’s injury should heal with rest.

“We hope that with this week of rest that he will be able to resume his progression,” Alderson said. “This has been a stop-start proposition for us from the beginning.”

The Mets GM hopes to have more clarity in the next couple of days regarding Wright’s status.

“As we continue to have setbacks we have to reassess how to go forward, but I think we’re a handful of days away from hopefully knowing something that will give us a better idea.”

According to Begley’s ESPN NY colleague Adam Rubin, Alderson stated that calling up infield prospect Matt Reynolds at some point in the near future is an option.

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Dilson Herrera Not Close To Returning Mon, 25 May 2015 22:00:19 +0000 dilson herrera

Mets second baseman Dilson Herrera is not close to a return from the disabled list, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Herrera fractured the tip of the middle finger on his right hand during infield drills on May 15th, and Terry Collins told the media Sunday that the 21 year-old remains in a splint, unable to grip a bat or ball.

Herrera, who was called up to play second when the club elected to use Daniel Murphy at third base in place of the injured David Wright, was the youngest position player in the MLB at the time of his arrival on April 30th.

Dilson has been doing infield and baserunning drills in Port St Lucie, but there is no timetable for his return to the big leagues, where he had been hitting .235 with one home run in 10 games this season.

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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 5, Mets 2 Sat, 17 May 2014 03:23:07 +0000 jon niese


The Mets (19-22) fell to the Nationals (22-19) by a score of 5-2 on Friday night in Washington.

Jon Niese got the start for the Mets and struggled, giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks in just four innings pitched, while striking out two.

The Nats jumped on Niese in the first inning. Denard Span led off with a single just past a diving Daniel Murphy, and Anthony Rendon reached on an error by David Wright. Jayson Werth chased home Span with a single and took 2nd on the throw, putting Niese in an early jam. Wilson Ramos drove in Rendon with a sacrifice fly to center, and after an Ian Desmond walk and a Scott Hairston single, the Nats had 2 runs in and the bases loaded with just one out.Niese got Tyler Moore to hit a double-play ball to second, but Murphy bobbled the ball and was only able to get one out, allowing the third run to score.

The Mets caught a break when they nabbed Desmond in a rundown caused by Moore’s baserunning error to get out of the inning, but the 3 runs scored by Washington in the frame were all that Tanner Roark would need.

Washington tacked on 2 more runs against Niese in the bottom of the 4th. Ramos singled, Hairston doubled him home, and Moore brought Hairston in with an RBI single to left to make it 5-0 Nationals.

The Mets made a bit of noise against Roark in the top of the 5th to make things interesting. Lucas Duda led off with a single up the middle and Anthony Recker doubled to left to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. In a stunning turn of events, the Mets actually scored both runners! Ruben Tejada snapped a 22-inning scoreless streak by scoring Duda with a grounder to third. With a runner on 3rd and 1 out, Terry pulled the plug on Niese by sending in Chris Young to hit in his place, but CY popped out to Rendon at 3rd. The next hitter, Eric Young, doubled over Scott Hairston’s head and Juan Lagares was never seen or heard from again on a ball which the former Met misplayed, cutting Washington’s lead to 3. Murphy walked to bring Wright to the plate as the tying run, but the Captain popped out to 2nd to end the scoring threat.

Before long, both teams had gone to their bullpens, and the relievers in this game all got the job done. Carlos Torres threw a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th and tossed another scoreless frame in the 6th. Jose Valverde looked pretty good in his scoreless inning of work (although he was partially bailed out by a pretty nice throw to the plate from EY and a great tag by Recker), and Josh Edgin cruised through the bottom of the 8th. Meanwhile, the Mets were unable to make a dent against Ross Detwiler in the 6th, and Drew Storen worked around a 2-out double from Eric Campbell in the 7th.

The Mets threatened to score in the 8th when a single from Murphy, a fielder’s choice from Granderson, and a walk from Abreu brought Lucas Duda to the plate as the tying run with 2 outs against Tyler Clippard. However, Duda lined out to center to keep Washington’s 3-run lead intact.

The Mets staged a made a valiant comeback effort in the 9th against Rafael Soriano. Soriano looked wild out of the gate and fell behind Anthony Recker. However, despite the situation (down 3, nobody on, nobody out, 9th inning), Recker seemed hell-bent on chasing a homer and before long, the count was full. Recker almost got the homer he was looking for, but his deep drive to center seemed to get knocked down at the warning track and fell into Span’s glvoe for the first out. After a Mets fan briefly delayed the game by running onto the field, Ruben Tejada lined one right to Werth for the 2nd out.

Juan Lagares, who is apparently still on the team, came in to hit for the pitcher and walked on 4 pitches. Eric Young followed Juan up with a walk of his own, and with 2 outs, the Mets had the tying run at the plate in Daniel Murphy. Murphy swung at the first pitch and ripped one to right that looked like it could go out and tie the game. Unfortunately, the Warning-Track Gnomes struck again, and Werth leapt to make the catch at the top of the wall (I don’t think it was going out, but the announcers seemed to), ending the ballgame and handing the Mets their 3rd straight loss.

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Another tough loss for our Mets. After losing 5 straight and 8 of 9, the Mets won 3 in a row, but have now dropped 3 straight. The offense has been bad these past 3 games… and for nearly the entire month of May. The pitching has been decent, but not great. The defense has been average at best. What do you get when you combine decent pitching, poor offense, and average-at-best defense? Losses. Losses as far as the eye can see.

So we’re 3 games under 500 now. It hasn’t been the worst start to the season, especially considering how tough our schedule has been, but I still would have liked to have been at or above 500 at this point.

I don’t get why Lagares doesn’t play. I really don’t. I’m almost sure he’ll be in the lineup on Saturday though. I couldn’t possibly see Terry Collins benching him again.

juan lagares

Wright has fallen into another slump, and while he’s having a pretty nice season, he has fallen short of his lofty standards. I still think he’ll turn it around and find his grove before too long, though. He’s David Wright.

Granderson has had a pretty nice May (he’s hitting around 300), and was great in Yankee Stadium. I hoped that would really get him going, but he has struggled since he left his old stomping grounds after Tuesday’s game. I think a lot of it is in his head, and he’s definitely been better than he was in April, so I’m hopeful for Grandy, as well. He got robbed of a hit today on a fantastic play by Ian Desmond, so it was a bit of an unlucky 0-for-4 for Curtis.

The bullpen has been solid the past 2 nights. I’ve never been an Edgin fan, but he’s looked good. Hopefully he’ll prove me wrong. Familia and Mejia could develop into really solid late-inning relievers if they can locate more consistently, and Torres has impressed me from day 1. There’s hope…

The Mets just don’t look very smart at the plate. I’m not much of a Dave Hudgens fan, and when Keith is talking in the booth, the former Mets star often seems to unintentionally (I think) shine light on many reasons why the Mets could use a new hitting coach. Now that I think about it, Keith wouldn’t be such a bad choice, himself…

Again, this was a tough loss. Let’s see if we can get to Gio tomorrow, for a change.

Up Next: The Mets will look to even their series with the Nationals on Saturday at 4:05 PM in Washington DC. Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.84 ERA) will start for New York, while Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.97 ERA) will start for the Nats.



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MMO Game Recap: Mets 5, Phillies 4 Sun, 11 May 2014 22:18:27 +0000 ruben tejada walkoff

The Mets (17-19) beat the Phillies (17-19) by a score of 5-4 in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, snapping a 5-game losing streak and salvaging the final game of their 3-game series with Philadelphia.

Jon Niese got the start for the Mets and pitched well, going 6 innings and striking out 6 Phillies, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and a walk. Niese was better than the numbers indicated, but would be victimized by some bad luck and some bad defense (more on that in a bit).

The Mets jumped out to a lead in the 1st inning against Cole Hamels. Eric Young led off with a single, stole 2nd, and advanced to 3rd on a bad throw. After Daniel Murphy walked, David Wright singld to left to score EY and put runners on the corners with no outs. However, the Mets would fail to capitalize further on this opportunity. Chris Young struck out, Eric Campbell grounded out to the pitcher, and Juan Lagares whiffed to end the inning.

After the Mets let them off the hook in the bottom of the 1st, the Phillies quickly struck back in the top of the 2nd. Will Nieves and Cody Asche each hit 2-out doubles to tie it up at 1-1.

Niese struck out the side in the top of the 3rd, but the Mets wasted another chance to score in the bottom of the frame. Daniel Murphy doubled down the line in left, but Wright flew out and Chris Young struck out to get Hamels out of the inning.

jon niese

Niese ran into some tough luck in the top of the fourth. Ryan Howard hit a weak grounder to short, which would have been a routine play if the Mets had not had the shift on against the big lefty. Marlon Byrd followed him up with a double to the wall in center, bringing Dominic Brown to the plate with runners on 2nd and 3rd and none out. Brown hit an easy grounder to 1st, and Campbell, after a brief hesitation, decided to gun for the slow-footed Howard at the plate. The throw was well on time, but off line. Anthony Recker caught the ball, but was in bad position, and was unable to put the tag on an inexplicably evasive Ryan Howard, who scored to make it 2-1. Will Nieves hit a soft grounder to short to bring home Byrd and make it 3-1 Phillies, but Niese was able to escape the inning before things got truly out of hand.

The Mets “Mets-d” (is that a verb yet?) away another chance to score in the bottom of the 4th. Eric Campbell led off with a single (his first major league hit) and Lagares singled through the hole at short to put runners on 1st and 2nd with 0 outs. Anthony Recker got ahead on Hamels 3-0, and, with the green light, hit a deep fly ball to left field. However, the ball died just before it got to the wall, in typically agonizing fashion. After Ruben Tejada worked a walk, Jon Niese struck out and Eric Young grounded out to end the inning.

Niese worked in and out of trouble in the 6th to end his afternoon, and the Mets had a chance to get him off the hook in the bottom half. Soup (I may refer to Campbell as Soup once in awhile, so be on your toes) led the inning off with a walk, and with 2 outs, Ruben Tejada doubled into the gap to put runners at 2nd and third. Curtis Granderson pinch-hit for Niese and fulfilled his daily strikeout quota to end the inning.

Daisuke Matsuzaka came in to replace Niese in the top of the 7th and cruised through the inning with a Jimmy Rollins walk as the lone blemish. Eric Young led off the bottom of the 7th with a routine grounder to 3rd, but after Cody Asche took his time (for some reason) it turned into a bang-bang play at the bag with EY flying down the line. Young was called out, but Terry Collins immediately ran out of the dugout to challenge the call. After a lengthy review in which replays showed that Young appeared to be safe, the umps upheld the original call, presumably on the grounds that there was not sufficient evidence to reverse the ruling. The next hitter, Daniel Murphy, hit a ball into the gap in right field which would have probably scored EY, but alas, the Mets would once again come away without a run as Wright struck out and Young flied out to center.

After Matsuzaka worked another hitless inning in the top of the 8th, the Mets threatened again in the bottom of the inning when Recker singled and Tejada walked with 2 outs against Mario Hollands. Terry brought in Travis d’Arnaud (a day after pulling him in a huge spot), who took a called strike three down the middle to send it to the 9th with the Phillies up 3-1.

Jose Valverde came in for the top of the 9th and got 2 quick outs, but then allowed a walk to Jimmy Rollins and a triple to Chase Utley to give Philadelphia a huge insurance run.

daniel murphy eric young

The Mets would make that insurance run one of great significance by rallying in the bottom of the 9th. Eric Young led off against Antonio Bastardo with a double down the left-field line and Daniel Murphy killed the rally made it a 1-run game by hitting a bomb over the wall in right. After Wright struck out, Chris Young snapped an 0-for-18 skid by doubling off the wall in left. Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona), who had started game 1 of the series, came in to face pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu, who lined one to the hole on the right side. A diving Utley put a glove on it, holding CY at 3rd, but was unable to reel it in, and Abreu reached with a single. The next hitter, Lagares, tied it up by hitting a grounder to short which was too slow for the Phillies to turn 2. With the winning run on 2nd, Recker struck out to send the game to extras.

Jeurys Familia worked a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 10th, and the Mets almost won it in the bottom half. Eric Young hit a 2-out single against Jeff Manship and promptly swiped his 2nd bag of the ballgame. After Manship walked Murphy to get to Wright, Manship got the captain to roll one over to short to end the inning.

Familia got 2 quick outs in the top of the 11th, but was pulled after walking Rollins. Scott Rice came in and hit Utley before retiring Reid Brignac to send it to the bottom of the 11th.

Chris Young got the Mets’ turn at-bat started with a single and moved to 2nd on a pinch-hit sac-bunt by Zack Wheeler. Manship walked Lagares to get to Recker, who hit one towards the hole on the left side which seemed destined for the outfield. A diving Brignac pounced on the ball to keep CY from scoring, but was unable to make the play on Recker. With the bases loaded and 1 out, Ruben Tejada lined one into left field to send the Mets home with a win.

ruben tejada

The Mets really needed this win, and they got it, but they made it as hard on themselves as they possibly could. The Mets can’t afford to keep leaving so many guys on base. The Mets have been the victims of some bad luck and bad officiating lately, but their planning and execution have been poor as well. Hopefully the Mets can ride the emotional wave of this victory into the Bronx tomorrow night.

David Wright had an RBI today, but came up empty in some big spots. Still, he has been hitting the ball pretty well recently, and he made a great play in the field in extras to help out Familia, so overall, I’m not worried about our franchise player.

Chris Young struggled early in the game, but he redeemed himself with big hits in the 9th and in the 11th. He also ran into some tough luck in the middle innings when a rocket off of his bat ended up in Dominic Brown’s glove. It was good to see CY snap his skid today; let’s hope he can get some more big hits against the Yankees.

Ruben Tejada had a nice game, especially at the plate. I can’t believe I just wrote that. But anyway, Ruben hit a couple balls hard, had some long at-bats, and, of course, had the game-winner in the 11th. Maybe he felt the heat from Wilmer Flores

Niese has been great this season, and he was solid once again today, despite the fact that his line in the box score will only look decent in the papers tomorrow (if anybody still reads the papers instead of MMO). With the bullpen and offense both performing inconsistently, the Mets need their starting pitching to be as steady as possible.

Familia has looked solid lately, and it looks like getting regular work is working wonders for the hard-throwing righty. Hopefully Terry keeps getting him action, but avoids running him into the ground…

The Mets wasted opportunities all game long, but got the big hits when their backs were against the wall. A win is a win, and we were in desperate need of one, so in the end, the Mets made it a Happy Mother’s Day for all of us.

Up next: The Mets will head to Yankee Stadium to kick off the Subway Series tomorrow night. Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.36 ERA) will face off against Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 4.43 ERA). Gametime is 7:05 PM.

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MMO Morning Grind: Can the Pitchers Start Hitting? Tue, 29 Apr 2014 13:07:48 +0000 Bartolo - Colon

Good morning, Mets fans!

Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have as many hits as the entire Mets pitching staff has in the 2014 MLB season. The Dodgers and Yankees will be entering a bidding war for your services shortly.

Mets pitchers, as Jared Diamond pointed out in his column yesterday, are 0-for-41 on the season, which is the longest hitless streak from a pitching staff to start a season since at least 1974. Because pitchers were much better at hitting back in the day, I would guess that the 2014 Mets actually have the all-time record.

Gonzalez Germen and Carlos Torres are 0-for-1. Zack Wheeler is 0-for-7. Dillon Gee is 0-for-9, Jenrry Mejia is 0-for-12, Jon Niese is 0-for-3, and of course, there’s Bartolo Colon, who is 0-for-8. I’ve always wanted to see Scott Rice bat, but that’s probably a pipe dream unless Terry Collins‘ love for him really gets out of hand.

Anyway, add those all up and you get 0-for-41. Now, it’s not all so bad. Mejia sprints down the line with impressive speed every time he makes contact, which sets an example for the “real” hitters (not that they follow it) and will probably result in an infield hit before too long. Bartolo Colon’s at-bats give the Mets the game’s premier Comedic Reliever. And Jon Niese, who has only had 3 at bats, will probably start cracking a few singles before too long; Jon has always been a fairly decent hitter.

But let’s be serious. So far, It has been painful to watch our pitchers try to hit. The other day, the Mets had runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs and the #7 hitter Anthony Recker at the plate. Recker struck out, and at that point, I think we all knew that the Mets weren’t going to get a run before the end of the inning: #8 hitter Ruben Tejada is an easy out and our pitchers have been automatic outs so far. So when Recker whiffed, I was ready to give up on the inning. Ironically, Dillon Gee worked a walk to load the bases for Eric Young, but EY grounded out to end the inning… a walk is NOT always as good as a hit, guys.

The Mets don’t their pitchers to start hitting .300, or anywhere remotely close. But the occasional hit out of the 9 hole deepens a lineup and makes opposing pitchers really pitch to everybody who comes to the plate, instead of, as Gary Cohen said when Gee stepped to the plate late in Sunday’s game, throwing a couple pitches down the middle and “getting it over with”.

Have a good day, Mets fans. We play in Citizens Bank Park tonight, so if Jon can hit a pop-up: the hitless steak will end emphatically, with a home run.


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MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Marlins 0 Mon, 28 Apr 2014 09:35:39 +0000 dillon gee

The Mets (14-11) defeated the Marlins (11-14) by a score of 4-0 on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee got the start for New York and was outstanding, throwing 8 scoreless innings of 3-hit ball while walking 4 and striking out 6.

The Mets struck first in the bottom of the second, when Tom Koehler walked Daniel Murphy and hit Chris Young to set the table for Lucas Duda. Lucas drove one to left field which bounced high into the stands for a ground-rule double, allowing Murphy to score but forcing Young to remain at 3rd.

Anthony Recker then struck out, and Ruben Tejada hit a blooper about 5 feet beyond the infield which was plucked out of the air. After Dillon Gee worked a walk to load the bases, Eric Young grounded out to end the inning, and the Mets  frustratingly— but predictably—  failed to capitalize on having runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs.

However, the 1 run New York did score in that inning would be all they needed. Gee plowed through the next few innings, escaping a minor jam in the 4th with some help from David Wright‘s glove, and then saw his team provide him with some insurance in the 6th.

Curtis Granderson led off the 6th inning with a walk, and sped around the bases to score from first on David Wright’s double to the wall in left. Murphy grounded out to the right side, moving David to third and leaving Chris Young with the task of hitting a fairly deep fly ball to get the run in.

chris young hr

Chris was more than up to the challenge. After fouling off several pitches and missing a home run by a few inches on a drive down the left field line, CY hit the 11th pitch of the at-bat over the wall in left to give the Mets a 4-0 lead.

The Marlins would threaten to make some noise in the 7th, when Jarrod Saltalamacchia reached first on a botched pop-up and Garrett Jones followed Salty up with a single. Gee managed to escape the inning unscathed, thanks in large part to a double play turned by Tejada and Murphy.

Gee would throw another scoreless frame in the 8th, and Carlos Torres pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning to lock up the series win for New York.

Gee was great today, and, as Gary Cohen always reminds us, he has been one of the best pitchers in the league over the past calendar year. It was great to see Dillon step up and get through some tough situations in the late innings, instead of melting at the end of his outing as he had done earlier in the year. Gee ended up throwing 110 pitches, but with an extra day of rest coming due to the off day tomorrow, he should be completely fine for his next start.

I really liked what I’ve seen from Chris Young so far, both in spring training and in the 2 weeks since he’s returned from the DL. He makes good contact, he has power, he can run and he’s solid in the field. This is looking like a good pickup, so let’s hope CY can stay healthy and keep producing.

Curtis Granderson has looked better of late. He didn’t get a hit today, but he drew a walk and showed some good speed on Wright’s double. He also hit a deep drive to right field in the 7th that looked like it was going out before the wind knocked it down. If Grandy can really get going, it will be a game-changer for our lineup.

The Mets always seem to hit ground-rule doubles with runners on first, and it always ends up costing us. It happened again today… am I the only one who’s noticed this?

I feel like this series should have been a sweep the way these 3 games played out, but we also could have easily lost 2 games, so I’ll definitely take 2 out of 3. The Mets are off to a nice start, and they actually had a winning homestand for once (6-4). Let’s hope the team can keep on rolling.

Up Next: The Mets will have tomorrow off before heading to Philadelphia to begin a 9-game road trip. Jon Niese (1-2, 2.45 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets, while Cole Hamels (0-1, 3.00 ERA) will start for the Phillies.

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MMO Morning Grind: The Meaning of Bobby Abreu Sun, 27 Apr 2014 12:15:42 +0000 bobby abreu

Good morning, Mets fans!

Rough loss last night. I was there to watch my school sing the National Anthem, but left fairly early in the game with my friends (who aren’t Mets fans, so are they really my friends?), in part due to the freezing cold. But I was definitely there for the first inning, when Bobby Abreu cracked a two-run homer to right field.

I like Bobby Abreu. In my recap of Thursday’s game, I wrote about how the Mets need veteran leadership on the bench, “and guys like Rick Ankiel don’t count”.

I really meant that. When the Mets were a solid team they had veterans on board, from Moises Alou, to Cliff Floyd, to Paul Lo Duca, to Marlon Anderson (I’m still not over that BS interference call in Philadelphia), to Jose Valentin, and even to the ancient Julio Franco.

The Mets need guys on the team who have been around the game and seen both the good and the bad. In recent seasons, our bench “hitters” have been Nick Evans, Mike Baxter, Mike Nickeas, and the like.

Bobby Abreu isn’t one of those guys. Bobby Abreu is a former star who adds a meaningful veteran pretense to the club. And here’s the thing: Abreu knows how to hit. You never lose that. He may not have the speed, the reflexes, and the strength he once had, but you never forget how to hit a baseball. Many players with the the raw talent needed to be stars in the league— including a certain first baseman now playing in Pittsburgh— never really learned in the first place.

Abreu has a good eye, the ability to hit to all parts of the field, and he still has a bit of pop as well. He has been making solid contact with the ball, and even if his athleticism has fallen off of a cliff since his days as an All-Star, he can still contribute. The Mets need more guys like Bobby Abreu filling out the edges of their ball club. Sorry, Nick Evans.

Have a great day, Mets fans! Hopefully we can get a win this afternoon and take the series. I’ll be back after the game with the recap!

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MMO Morning Grind: Where Have You Gone, Jeurys Familia? Fri, 25 Apr 2014 11:00:29 +0000 jeurys familia

Good morning, Mets fans!

Nobody has seen or heard from Jeurys Familia in ages. They say that if you listen hard, on certain nights when the moon is full, you can still hear him howling at the night sky. But I’m not buying it.

But seriously, where is Familia? After taking the loss on Opening Day, and struggling in his next outing as well, Familia seemed to find a bit of a rhythm during his next few innings of work. But Jeurys hasn’t pitched in a week and hasn’t taken the mound in a meaningful scenario in 2 weeks.

Familia was great during Spring Training, so it was a bit of a letdown to see him struggle out of the gate once the games started counting. But it’s clear that he has electric stuff and good potential, so despite his rough start, it’s pretty surprising that we haven’t seen him lately, especially given how often we hear about our older relievers needing rest.

Familia shouldn’t be the closer. But he should be pitching. And if Terry Collins doesn’t think he can be safely used in a Major League game, Jeurys should be sent down to the Minor Leagues so that he can join Vic Black in the “Strike Zone Training Program”. There is no way that a young, talented power arm should be wasting away on the bench.

Jeurys Familia should be pitching. Somewhere.

Have a good day, Mets fans! Maybe Familia gets some serious work in tonight if Zack Wheeler gets tossed in the 2nd inning for attempting hide pine tar on his neck, but that seems unlikely…


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MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Cardinals 1 Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:59:14 +0000 curtis granderson

The Mets (12-10) defeated the Cardinals (12-11) by a score of 4-1 on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.

Bartolo Colon took the ball for the Mets and was very solid, holding the Cardinals at bay while his belly rippled in the cool spring breeze. Bartolo held St Louis to 1 run on 4 hits in 7 innings, striking out 8 and walking none.

The game started off slowly, with both pitchers cruising through the first few innings. The action began to pick up in the 5th inning. The Cards struck first in the top of the 5th when Tony Cruz doubled home Kolten Wong. Chris Young answered back by leading off the bottom of the frame with a monster home run to left field, his first as a Met. The next hitter, Bobby Abreu, doubled down the line for his first hit as a Met, but Lance Lynn, who was pretty good for St Louis today, got out of the inning without allowing Abreu to score.

The Mets put up another tally in the next inning, when Eric Young reached on a throwing error and Murphy hit a double which fell just in front of a diving Jon Jay. David Wright was hit by a pitch to put men on 1st and 2nd with none out, but Lynn once again worked his way out of trouble.

The Mets scored again an inning later. Anthony Recker walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a bunt by Ruben Tejada. Curtis Granderson came into the game to pinch hit for Colon and ripped a ball that got past the second baseman and allowed Recker to score. While it could have been ruled an error, the official scorer gave Grandy a hit and an RBI. However, Curtis was thrown out trying to advance to second on the throw home, meaning that he did not score on the ensuing Eric Young triple. Daniel Murphy hit a soft liner to left to score EY and cap the scoring for New York.

Carlos Torres, who seemingly pitches every day for the Mets, came in to start the 8th, and got himself into a jam by issuing 2 walks and only getting 2 outs. Scott Rice, who also seems to take the mound every day, came in and cleaned up Torres’ mess by getting Matt Adams to ground out and end the Cardinal threat.

Daisuke Matsuzaka came in for the 9th, looking for his first MLB Save. Dice-K pitched a 1-2-3 inning to wrap up the win and give the Mets a 3-1 series win over the Cardinals.

Granderson didn’t fail miserably today, and he looked pretty good last night as well. I’m seriously excited about this, guys. Let’s hope that he can gain some confidence and get on a roll… although I don’t get why he wasn’t in the starting lineup today after finally breaking his hitless skid last night.

I don’t know how Colon succeeds. He doesn’t throw hard, he basically only throws one pitch, and hitters know that nearly every pitch is going to be somewhere in the strike zone for them to hit. But anyway, on a sunny, weekday afternoon, I could sit and watch him pitch for hours. It’s quite enchanting…

As I mentioned in today’s Morning Grind, the Mets’ pitching staff has been fantastic lately, and they kept that up in this game, holding St Louis to just 1 run. The Mets hitters are still struggling a bit, but they looked pretty decent today. David Wright has fallen into another mini-slump after putting together a solid week or so, but he’ll most likely break out of it soon enough, and Granderson looks like he could be starting to come around. Chris Young has been impressive since returning from the DL, so hopefully he can stay healthy and keep contributing at the plate.

I like the Bobby Abreu signing. Sure, he’s no longer a star, but the Mets need veteran leadership on their bench, and guys like Rick Ankiel don’t count.

Jeurys Familia doesn’t really pitch anymore… I’d like to see him get some more action, or get sent down to the minors. He has potential, so I don’t want him to waste away on the bench…

Pitcher errors have been an epidemic. Each team had one today, and the Mets have had 4 already this season. If pitchers can throw fireballs into the strike zone, why can’t they make the easier throws to actual, moving people with gloves at the bases? I guess it’s just one of those things where logic doesn’t apply…

The Mets have been winning lately, they’re up over 500, and they look good. It’s been an exciting start to the season against some solid teams. Let’s hope they can keep it up.

Up next: The Mets will kick off a 3-game series against the Marlins on Friday night at Citi Field. Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.63 ERA) will face off against Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 2.66 ERA) at 7:10 PM.


Presented By Diehards

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MMO Morning Grind: Wild Wind Sparks Wild Win, Things Are Looking Up Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:31:50 +0000 ytavis d'arnaud home

Good Morning, Mets fans!

Great win last night. The Mets, despite having had one of the league’s toughest schedules so far, are over 500 and are keeping pace with the fastest starters in the National League.

But they haven’t been hitting lately. The Mets rank poorly in nearly every offensive category (except for strikeouts!). So how have they been winning these games against good teams? Simple: their pitching and defense have carried them.

Mostly the pitching. Over the past 9 games, Mets starters have a 1.91 ERA and 8 quality starts. Over the past 4 games, the entire pitching staff (rotation & bullpen) has a 1.76 ERA. While occasional late-game bullpen shenanigans (mostly from Jose Valverde) have cost us a couple wins and made a few others very stressful, the men on the mound have given the Mets a chance to win nearly every night.

The defense has also had its moments. Sure, you’re probably still thinking about Ruben Tejada‘s botched play in the first inning. But from his point of view, in real time, it was probably hard to tell that Daniel Murphy had caught that ball on a bounce, so, if you allow him the fairly reasonable (but false) assumption that Murphy had caught the ball on the fly, his actions from that point on make sense.

Tejada went to step on the 2nd base bag, realized that wasn’t enough to get an out, and then tried to get a guy in a rundown. He should have ran back to the bag after making the first throw in the rundown, but on most plays, Murphy would have gotten there in time, so… I won’t bash Tejada too badly for that play, or the pop-up which he misplayed (nearly every fly ball gave the fielders trouble tonight with the heavy winds).

Looking at the positives: Ruben was a key part of a great play to save the game in the ninth inning for the Mets. Kirk Nieuwenhuis battled a spiraling wind gust that grabbed hold of a deep fly ball and dropped it to the ground. Kirk then fires a solid cut-off throw to Tejada, who turned and fired a strike to Travis d’Arnaud, who made an excellent diving tag to get the out at the plate.

Ruben also made a few highlight plays in his last game, and has been looking a bit better with the leather lately. Daniel Murphy‘s range has improved a good amount recently, as he continues to really get the hang of the 2nd base position. I also think that Travis d’Arnaud is looking more and more comfortable behind the plate with each passing game.

Trading Ike Davis will hurt our infield defense a bit, but Lucas Duda has been improving at first base, which is by far his best position. In the outfield, Duda and the other plodders of the past have been replaced by quality, speedy defenders, and David Wright is a Gold-Glove caliber third baseman, although I have noticed his range seems to have decreased just a tad this season. All in all, our defense looks solid, despite the occasional frustrating lapse.

The Mets will need to hit if they want to make some real noise in this league. But so far, they are off to a decent start even with many players struggling at the plate. If the hitting can start to trend upward and reach an acceptable level—and i think it will— and the pitching and defense keep excelling, the Mets will be poised to achieve Sandy Alderson’s ultimate goal: “Meaningful Games in September”.

Have a good day, Mets fans! I’ll be back this afternoon with the game recap. Let’s take the series!

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MMO Morning Grind: The Insurance Run Epidemic Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:56:27 +0000 jose valverde

Good morning, Mets fans!

Let me set the scene. The Mets head into an important inning, late in the game. It might even be the 9th. It’s usually the 9th. They’re down by a run, or maybe 2. Whatever the deficit is, it’s usually larger by the time the inning ends.

The Mets hand out so many insurance runs that Mr. Met should probably be replaced by a sassy gecko by the end of the season (No word on whether the sassy gecko has Super-2 status, which would be a game-changer).

Take Opening Day, for example. The Mets allowed the Nationals to take the lead in the 10th, then let Washington tack on a few more runs before getting out of the inning. David Wright hit a 2-run home run in the bottom half of the inning, but thanks to the insurance runs, it didn’t matter.

Or why don’t you take Saturday night’s game, when Jose Valverde ket a 1-run deficit become a 4-run gap, which wasted the impressive rally the Mets would put together against Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the 9th.

Even last night’s game would have looked a bit different if Valverde hadn’t given up a run in the top of the 9th to make it a 3 run game. In a 2-run game, maybe Curtis Bay Granderson is more aggressive with a runner on base once he gets into a hitters’ count. Maybe David Wright and Daniel Murphy take different approaches at the plate.

Whenever the Mets dig themselves into a hole, they  have to try and see if they can pull out one last rally. But when one of their relievers deepens that hole right before the Mets get set to make their final push, it makes the comeback attempts harder (obviously) and can have a demoralizing effect on the hitters. Imagine running out onto the field for the top of the 9th knowing you’ll just need 1 run in the bottom half, but being down 4 runs by the time you get back in the dugout.

Relievers are most often criticized when they blow leads (you have ONE job!), and they take a good amount of heat when they can’t maintain a tie. But when a reliever enters a game with his team trailing by a run or 2, he has to bear down and keep it that way. Keep your team in the game, give your team a chance to win. That’s what you have to do if you’re a reliever, and our bullpen’s current inability to do so has cost us early in the season.

Let’s hope the bullpen can stop handing out insurance runs. Or better yet, let’s hope we can hand our relievers leads, and render this entire discussion moot. A nice, relaxing, blowout victory today would be nice. Have a good day, Mets fans!

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MMO Game Recap: Blue Jays 5, Mets 4 Sat, 29 Mar 2014 03:20:24 +0000 USATSI brad barr travis d'arnaud

The Mets lost 5-4 to the Blue Jays, who got the win in walk-off fashion Friday night in Montreal.

Jenrry Mejia got the start for the Mets and was solid, giving up only 1 run in 4 innings. However, Mejia had to leave the game early with an injury after being struck by a ball.

Carlos Torres pitched well after coming in for Mejia, tossing 2 innings and giving up just 1 run on a sacrifice fly. Gonzalez Germen came in after Torres, and he struggled, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits in just 1 inning of work.

Up next for the Mets was Scott Rice, of course. Rice did his job, retiring a couple batters before turning the ball over to Bobby Parnell.

Parnell looked pretty good closing out the eighth, but struggled with his command in the final inning, and the Blue Jays were ultimately able to capitalize: Jonathan Diaz cracked a walk-off single up the middle with 2 out to send the local fans home happy.

The Mets had a pretty solid day with the bats. Chris Young opened the scoring in the fourth with a two-run double to score David Wright and Curtis Granderson (more of that, please). Daniel Murphy followed up with an RBI double of his own in the next inning. Travis d’Arnaud sent a shot over the left-field wall in the seventh against the team that traded him in 2012 to give the Mets 4 runs on the night.

Our bullpen is a real concern. Torres looks pretty good, and if Parnell can stay healthy, he’ll find his form eventually. But there are just so many question marks in this area of the roster…

Mejia just can’t catch a break. He is always finding some way to get hurt. Daisuke Matsuzaka was probably going to get the 5th starter job anyway, but hopefully Mejia is OK so he can continue to develop. His career has already had so many interruptions…

Chris Young has looked solid this spring. He can field, he can run, and most importantly, he can HIT. The Mets could have a very productive middle of the order.

Hopefully, part of that production will come from Travis d’Arnaud. TDA had a rough start to the spring, but he has hit 3 long balls in the past week. Ignoring that one month last season when John Buck was good, the Mets have basically gotten zero offensive production from their catchers since… well… since the days when they were a winning team. So d’Arnaud could very well be an X-factor going forward.

Tonight’s game felt like a real baseball game. The Mets were playing in a real stadium, with a big crowd, and both teams were playing to win, not to try out minor leaguers with high uniform numbers no names on the backs of their jerseys. We’re almost there, guys…

The Mets will wrap up their preseason tomorrow against the Jays in Montreal before heading to Queens to open their season against Washington on Monday.

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Mets News: Santana, Hawkins, Dice-K and Feliciano Head To Free Agency Thu, 31 Oct 2013 20:53:33 +0000 johan santana no-hitter

In the biggest non-story of the day, the Mets plan to decline the $25 million option on Johan Santana and will pay the $5.5 million buyout instead.

There’s still a chance that they could bring back Santana this winter on a one-year deal, but don’t count on it. It’s most likely that Johan has pitched his final game with the Mets.

He ends his Mets career with a 46-34 record, 3.18 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 109 starts including tossing the first no-hitter in franchise history.

In other news…

The Mets added seven players to the 40-man roster today by activating first baseman Ike Davis and pitchers Josh Edgin, Matt Harvey, Jeremy Hefner, Jenrry Mejia, Bobby Parnell and Scott Rice from the 60-day disabled list.

With pitchers David Aardsma, Tim Byrdak, Pedro Feliciano, Frank Francisco, Aaron Harang, LaTroy Hawkins and Daisuke Matsuzaka all becoming free agents, the 40-Man roster now stands at 35 for the Mets – as they will not be negotiating with any players during their exclusive five-day window.

They’ll use at least two of those spots to protect Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom who must be added to the 40-man roster or the Mets will risk losing them in the Rule 5 Draft.

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No End In Sight, Even As 2013 Comes To A Close Sun, 29 Sep 2013 13:30:31 +0000 whats the planWith Saturday’s loss, the Mets have clinched themselves a protected draft pick. However, it is starting to seem like this will be irrelevant. Reports on Friday indicated that the Mets do not plan on pursuing any of the top free agents, with the possible exception of Shin-Soo Choo, who will likely cost more than what the Mets seem ready to offer.

The Mets were horrible this season, so you don’t need anything but common sense to see that unless things improve significantly, they will be horrible next season as well. But does the Mets’ Front Office have the common sense or wherewithal to stand and deliver? If they do, I would like to see it.

Year after year I have watched this team put up with increasingly unbearable won-loss records while misleading their fans through the media to create an artificial sense of hope, asking us to ignore the crippling nature of their financial problems, and expecting improved results from a “plan” that I don’t believe exists. This was apparent yesterday, when news broke that the Mets plan on giving Terry Collins a contract extension despite the fact that the team’s record has gotten worse during each year of his tenure. It was apparent Friday, when news broke that the Mets do not plan to sign any free agents who would cost them a draft pick— even if their draft pick is protected. It has been apparent since 2009, when the Mets began a string of five straight seasons with fewer than 80 wins— a streak that will carry into and ever-more-possibly through 2014.

There is a reason why a team that won without spending money got a best-selling book and a movie starring Brad Pitt made about them: because it was such a rare occurrence. There is a reason why nobody bats an eye when the Yankees win one of their 27 championships, but everybody goes nuts when the Marlins make big offseason splashes and then finish last: because the teams that spend usually win. Big payrolls do not guarantee wins. Small payrolls do not guarantee losses. But I’d much rather take my chances with Prince Fielder than Brandon Nimmo, and if the Wilpons don’t figure out that most of the other passionate fans who have begun to stay away from Citi Field feel the same way, their revenue will continue to shrink.

In short, the Mets need a change. Bringing in guys like Collin Cowgill and then talking about their “advanced stats” does not constitute change. When you are losing, the only thing that constitutes “change” is winning. To win, you need a good rotation, reliable relievers, tight defense, a lights-out closer, and a mix of consistent contact hitters and dangerous power hitters. You also need health and depth.

If the Mets plan on 2014 being “the year”, they need to make major moves. The team needs to be open to overpay for certain players if that’s what it takes. They also need to be willing to be flexible enough to do what it takes to land star hitters on the trade market. Good players will not fall into their lap. The Mets have to go and get them, or else they can watch the team continue to lose games, attendance and relevancy year after year.

David Wright will be on the team next year. So will Matt Harvey, although he might not throw a pitch all season. Bobby Bonilla will also be on the payroll, and Terry Collins will again be in the dugout, for better or worse. Everybody else is a candidate to be traded or heading to free agency, so take a good long look at everyone you see on the field Sunday, because, if the front office is finally being sincere when they talk about “change”, it might be— it better be— the last time you ever see players like Omar Quintanilla in a Mets uniform.

But I won’t throw out my Mike Baxter jersey just yet, because the team has yet to give me a reason to believe more players like Baxter won’t be in the starting lineup next April.

pinky and brain

Hopefully, underperforming players who don’t belong will be shown the door, and players who do (such as Murphy, Wheeler, d’Arnaud, Niese, and a few others) will be retained. But Alderson & Co. should consider nearly anybody as trade bait if a team with a star caliber performer comes calling. If the Mets want to let Robinson Cano steal $300 million from another team, that’s fine, but they had better invest in several mid-tier free agents to make up for it. We need to have power in the lineup, we need to have guys ready to step in when injuries occur, and we need to have enough depth. The market isn’t ideal, but the answers are there if the Mets are willing to look for them.

The Mets’ season ends today. I have enjoyed writing game recaps for you guys since I joined MMO during the second half, and I look forward to writing articles during the offseason. No matter how frustrating this team can be, I will never desert the Mets and I appreciate all of you who feel the same way. Hopefully we will be seeing more guys like Carlos Gonzalez and fewer guys like Rick Ankiel wearing the Orange & Blue soon. Very soon. But for the meantime, at least we don’t have to worry about bandwagoners.

Let’s Go Mets!

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Mets Fall Short in Gee’s Final Start of the Year Fri, 27 Sep 2013 03:08:43 +0000 david wright

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 10.19.11 PM

The Mets (73-86) lost to the Brewers (72-87) by a score of 4-2 on Thursday night at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee took the ball for the final time this season, and struggled a bit. Dillon gave up 2 walks and 4 singles in the 2nd inning, which allowed Milwaukee to score the only 4 runs they would need. Gee did settle down after that, pitching scoreless ball the rest of the way before departing after the sixth with 4 runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts on his line.

The Mets got a run back in the 3rd, when Eric Young walked, stole 2nd (bringing him to 44 on the season, which ties him for the NL lead), and eventually game around to score on a groundout by Daniel Murphy.

Johnny Hellweg went up and in to the next batter, David Wright, and caught him on the helmet with a fastball. Wright was down for a minute or so, but managed to leave the field on his own power after what seemed to (fortunately) be just a glancing blow.

Both teams had chances throughout the game after that point, but neither team managed to get a run on the board until the 9th. Josh Satin hit a ball out to left field which was deemed a home run after video review (bless the robot umps!). With 2 out, Justin Turner hit a rocket to center that went for a double, bringing Lucas Duda to the plate as the tying run. Lucas, however, was unable to capitalize (sound familiar?), as he went down swinging to end the ballgame.

Dillon Gee had one awful inning, but was solid for his other 5 frames. Gee finishes his 2013 season with a 12-11 record and a 3.62 ERA, with a 1.28 WHIP and 142 strikeouts against 47 walks in 199 innings. Gee was dreadful for the first 2 months, but his start against the Yankees in early June completely changed his season, and from that point on, Gee was one of the best pitchers in baseball, putting up a 2.79 ERA after June 1st. After seeing him go through a major health scare last season, it is a relief to see that Dillon is back on track, and this season he showed that he can be a big part of this rotation going forward (or a nice trade chip, if Sandy Alderson decides to go down that path). Don’t be too surprised if Terry sneaks Gee in for 1 more inning in relief this weekend; 200 innings pitched is a very nice milestone for a pitcher.

David Wright can’t catch a break. Less than a week after returning from a long stint on the DL, David got hit in the head, sending him to the ground and giving everybody watching some major Matt Cain Flashbacks. David appeared to be fine (he did not need help walking off the field), but Terry Collins was absolutely right to take him out of the game; there is no reason to risk anything at this point in the year (or ever, when it comes to head injuries). Wright has only played 2 full seasons in the past 5 years… if the Mets want to contend, they need their best player to be on the field.

Eric Young stole 2 more bases tonight. Young provides great defense in the outfield and incredible speed at the top of the lineup, and has definitely earned himself a spot on the club next year, possibly in a starting role.

Travis d’Arnaud is really starting to put it together. Travis went 2-3 with a walk tonight, and finally has his average up to 200. Travis is now 10 for his last 25 (.286) and continues to boost his OBP by drawing walks thanks to his great plate discipline. I would like to see more of the defense we have heard so much about (seriously… is he an elite defender or not? If he is, it shouldn’t take very long to show up, unless he is just getting comfortable). I would also like to see a bit more power; the Mets need Travis to be a 25-30 HR guy. Still, he is getting on base more and more often as the season winds down, and it is good to see that our best prospect is starting to put it all together.

The biggest negative from tonight? We lost… which is actually a positive. Studies have shown that it is better to have a top-ten draft pick than it is to not have a first-round pick at all.

The Mets have 3 more games left in 2013, and it would be nice to see the younger players continue to develop as the team plays out the string, so we can have more to look forward to heading into 2014, which is such an important year for this franchise.

The Mets will take on the Brewers at 7:10 PM on Friday night. Carlos Torres (4-5, 3.36 ERA) will face off against Yovani Gallardo (11-10, 4.23 ERA) at Citi Field.

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For Better Or Worse, Mets Win 4-2 In Cincy Wed, 25 Sep 2013 05:59:05 +0000 nieselit

The Mets (72-85) beat the Reds (90-68) by a score of 4-2 on Tuesday night at Great American Ballpark.

Jon Niese took the ball for the Mets and was terrific in what may have been his final outing of the year. Niese gave up 8 hits in 7 innings, but only allowed 2 runs and struck out 6 (issuing one free pass to Brandon Phillips).

Each team managed to put together a few hits in the first, but neither team got a run across (thanks in large part to a strike from Juan Lagares in Center to nab Shin-Soo Choo at the plate).

The Mets struck first in the top of the 2nd against Mike Leake, getting a run on an RBI single from Wilfredo Tovar and then 3 more on a 3-run shot by Daniel Murphy (Murph’s 13th, a career high).

Niese would give up 2 runs (both of them coming on RBI groundouts), but the Reds never managed to put together a serious rally and tie the game. Vic Black shut the door in the 9th to earn his first career save, evening the series at 1 apiece.

Tonight was frustrating. Why? Because the Mets won. At this point, wins do nothing to help us… we have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Each win hurts us at this point… the Mets need a protected draft pick, badly. It is important to get rid of any possible excuse for not signing a big free agent this winter.

Yes, ownership & management have told the fans that moves will be made this winter, but those words mean nothing. My biggest knock on the Wilpons (aside from their tight budgets) has always been their atrocious level of communication with the fanbase. The owners seldom speak to the fans and when they do, their words are usually empty promises that are never fulfilled. I do not think that I am alone in saying that finishing with the 11th worst record is much worse than finishing with the 9th worst record if it means that the Mets will once again sit on their hands while the teams around above them improve. Hopefully, the Mets will have a protected draft pick. And if they do not, hopefully they will sign a big free agent or two anyway… Draft picks are not as valuable as proven stars… especially if we waste our draft picks by drafting guys like Brandon Nimmo over José Fernandez…

But hey, the Mets won, so let’s look on the bright side. First of all, Niese was once again fantastic. He has been pitching at such a high level since coming back from the DL; he is yet another reason for Mets fans to feel very good about the rotation going forward… if everybody (or almost everybody) can stay healthy. The best part? Niese is locked in for the foreseeable future thanks to a team-friendly contract extension.

Daniel Murphy has been raking lately. Unless we sign Robinson Cano (spoiler alert: we won’t. He costs money. Our team won’t spend money. Connect the dots), Murphy has to be back next season (and going forward). If things break right for Murph, he could potentially hit .290-.310, with 15-20 homers and 15-20 steals while playing decent defense… not too shabby for somebody playing one of the shallowest positions in the league.

Travis d’Arnaud went hitless today, but he did drive one ball that would have easily gone for extra bases had Shin-Soo Choo not made a nice play to flag it down.

Wilfredo Tovar is racking up the RBIs in a Wilmer Flores-esque manner. Speaking of Wilmer… what the heck happened to him? Is he still a prospect? Is he still on the team? Is he still alive? He has seemingly disappeared off of the face of the earth, which is odd because— even if his ankle is a bit shaky— the Mets should at least be getting him some pinch-hit at-bats in an effort to develop him (and to raise his trade value). But back to Tovar… I am impressed. The bat is seemingly good, and the fielding is definitely very solid. Begone, Quintanilla…

I love seeing Vic Black close out games. LaTroy Hawkins is 40 years old, and Vic Black is a prospect. Why not let the younger player pitch in the bigger role, and find out what he’s got?

David Wright had 2 more hits tonight. Having him in the lineup changes everything… and having another star behind him would change even more…

One more observation: Gary Cohen really brought his A-game tonight. The guys in the booth have been pretty energetic lately… did somebody talk to them and tell them to avoid falling into the end-of-season monotone that befalls most of the play-by-play guys for miserable teams? In a game that it actually would have benefited us to lose, you could almost here Gary jumping up and down in the booth all night long. I like it.

The Mets will attempt to take the rubber game of their series with the Reds tomorrow. Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-3, 5.52 ERA) will take on Greg Reynolds (1-2, 5.55 ERA). Gametime is at 12:35 PM, for some reason…

]]> 0 Mets Edge Phillies 5-4 With Help from Wright & Weather Sun, 22 Sep 2013 03:35:29 +0000 wright murphy

The Mets (70-84) defeated the Phillies (71-83) by a score of 5-4 in a rain-shortened game on Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Dillon Gee got the win, tossing 6+ decent innings (4 runs, 7 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts) before the game was called off in the bottom of the seventh.

The Phillies struck first on a sac fly in the 2nd inning, but the Mets were able to tie it thanks to David Wright‘s 2nd home run in 2 games since returning from a 7-week stint on the disable list.

The Mets got 4 more in the 6th. Daniel Murphy led off with his 12th homer of the year, and Juan Lagares made it 4-1 with a 2-run triple to center. Travis d’Arnaud capped off the big inning with an RBI double off the right field wall.

The Phillies got 3 runs off of Gee in the 6th after Jimmy Rollins drove in 2 with a double and Carlos Ruiz cut the gap to 1 with an RBI groundout, but Mother Nature squashed their momentum, ending the game in the 7th before the Phillies could tie the score.

Another win for the Mets, who have managed to string together a couple victories in a row to move within 1 game of the Phillies for 3rd place. Obviously, this means nothing in the long run (in fact, having a better record hurts us in the draft), but there is something to be said for confidence and bragging rights, and finishing ahead of the Phillies for the first time in 7 years is the least the Mets could do after making us suffer all year.

cbp rain

Fun Fact: Dillon Gee has 3 career complete games, yet he has never thrown 9 innings in a game. He has 2 rain-shortened victories and his other complete game was an 8.1 inning loss earlier this year (remember the Freddie Freeman walkoff?).

Don’t look now, but Travis d’Arnaud is finally starting to put some hits together. Given the fact that our entire future rests on his shoulders, it is a relief to see signs of competence from the promising rookie.

It’s nice to see that David Wright has not let a long layoff prevent him from being the best 3rd baseman in the world. It’s also nice to see Lagares’ bat begin to come around a bit more, because with his fielding and speed, even an average bat would make him a solid Center Fielder.

Overall, it’s important that the Mets continue to get a look at their younger players as they wrap up the season over the next couple weeks. We definitely have some useful pieces on the fold, but the onus is on the front office to turn a nice foundation into a contender with some major moves… soon.

Quick Note: Terry Collins plans to sit Wright on Sunday, play again Monday and Tuesday in Cincinnati and then sit again on Wednesday. Despite homering for a second straight game and having no issues with his right hamstring, Wright said he is not fully back yet.

“I mean, I feel OK. I’ve been lucky getting in some hitters’ counts. But still, defensively, I’m not really reacting the way I want to. It’s going to take more than two games. I feel about how I expected to — a little sore, a little stiff — but for the most part pretty good,” Wright said.

The Mets will look to bring out the brooms tomorrow in Philly. Carlos Torres (3-5, 3.39 ERA) will take on Cliff Lee (14-6, 2.95 ERA) at 1:35 PM.

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Mets Can’t Climb Out of Early Hole, Lose Again in Cleveland 9-4 Sun, 08 Sep 2013 01:51:04 +0000 nieselit


The Mets (63-77) lost to the Indians (76-65) by a score of 9-4 on Saturday Night at Jacobs Field (I won’t call anything about that Cleveland team “Progressive” until they change their logo.)

Jon Niese took the ball for the Mets and was dreadful early, giving up six runs — five were earned, and the unearned run was a result of his own error — in the first two innings. Niese was leaving everything over the plate and was getting hammered.

The Mets got a run in the 2nd on an RBI hit from Matt den Dekker, and after that, Niese settled in a bit, firing four scoreless innings. The Mets made it a ballgame in the 6th, as Justin Turner followed up last night’s homer with a rocket two-bagger to score two, then scoring on Juan Lagares‘ single to make it a two-run game.

The Indians promptly answered and put the game away with an Asdrubal Cabrera 3-run homer in the 7th inning. The Mets failed to put up a fight after that, and feebly went down once again, putting another loss in the books.

The offense wasn’t great tonight, but it showed life in the middle innings after Corey Kluber kept them quiet early. Justin Turner has been hitting the ball very well lately, and Juan Lagares is hot too (in fact, his 12-game hitting streak is the longest for a Mets rookie since José Reyes).

One guy who has NOT he stringbeen hitting the ball well? Travis d’Arnaud, and it’s pretty disappointing. Sure, he’s only been in the Majors for a month, but it’s not as if his problems stem from nerves… he has a big flaw in his swing and this has to be addressed. He hasn’t thrown the ball too well, either. Of course, Travis should get to play in at least 16 of the final 22 games, because the results don’t really matter at this point. Hopefully he can end his year on a positive note, before gearing up for his first full season in 2014.

Speaking of results, at this point, it might help the Mets to lose. “The Plan” is all about flexibility, and it would be frustrating to see the front office handcuffed by an unprotected draft pick once again, especially if it is a matter of one or two wins here and there. Of course, it won’t be surprising if we come up with ANOTHER excuse not to make major moves (Cano is “old”, Ellsbury “isn’t worth it”, and CarGo can’t be acquired due to injuries to what had been a deep stable of pitchers in the organization). But hey, if we’re going to sit on our hands, let’s try to have a different reason for doing so every year, right?

Now for some less pessimistic, cynical analysis… it was really nice to see Niese settle down despite getting off to a start that had Mets fans waiting for Anthony Recker to toe the rubber. Obviously, today was a poor start overall for Jon, but he showed his tough makeup after his rocky start and continues to show that he can be a solid piece of the rotation going forward.

Den Dekker was also very solid, getting 2 hits and an RBI while flashing good speed and making plays look easy in Center. This team isn’t playing for much, but it’s fun to catch a glimpse of players who might be a big piece of the future going forward.

The Mets will try to salvage the final game of their series with the Indians tomorrow. Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-3, 10.95 ERA) will try to finally put together a competent outing against Danny Salazar (1-2, 3.00 ERA) at 1:05 PM.

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Mets News: Injury Updates On Marcum, Niese, Duda and Turner Mon, 08 Jul 2013 15:00:56 +0000 metsnews

While his team boarded a flight to San Francisco for the start of a three game series, pitcher Shaun Marcum boarded another plane bound for St. Louis to be examined for numbness and tingling in his cold right hand. He will be visiting with the same specialist who diagnosed Dillon Gee with a damaged artery in his pitching shoulder and a blood clot. Ultimately it led to season ending surgery for Gee. For now, the plan is to use a four man rotation up to the All Star Break, and if Marcum ends up missing any significant time, Carlos Torres would be the primary replacement.

Meanwhile, lefthander Jon Niese will have an MRI on his left shoulder today, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. This will be his second followup MRI and the Mets are hoping to see some improvement in his partially torn rotator cuff. They are obviously hoping to avoid surgery that would wipe out the rest of this season for Niese and probably a good chunk of 2014 as well. The hope is that this tear can heal and repair itself on it’s own.

Just before the weekend, Terry Collins addressed the media and revealed that both Justin Turner and Lucas Duda have not progressed from their intercostal strains. Both players have been out since mid June and there is currently no timetable set for their return as they both continue their rehab and physical therapy at the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie.

get well soon

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D’Arnaud Sheds The Boot, Should Begin Regular Workouts Now Mon, 10 Jun 2013 16:57:12 +0000 MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Detroit Tigers


Updated by Joe D. 6/10

Adam Rubin reports:

Seven weeks after fracturing his left foot, it looks like Travis d’Arnaud finally can shed the protective boot. Otherwise, this is a very odd tweet …

“I’m all smiles’” he added…

Updated by Satish on 6/3

The Mets official press release stated that d’Arnaud will remain in the boot for a week.

Travis d’Arnaud was seen today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for follow up on his fractured toe. Travis was cleared to begin weight bearing rehabilitation, but will remain in a boot for the next week.

Updated by Joe D. on 6/3

Travis D’Arnaud spoke with the New York Post today and told them that he will find out on Tuesday which workouts he’s permitted to start and was not cleared to remove the boot.

“I’ve got to wear the boot still,” d’Arnaud told The Post, adding that he’s unsure of a timeframe for its removal.

He had hoped to receive clearance to begin working out two weeks ago.

“A couple of weeks ago when I found out it was still broken it was real tough to take,” d’Arnaud said. “But there was nothing I could do except go home and relax and make sure my foot healed, and that’s what I did.”

Original Post 8:50 AM

Mets assistant GM John Ricco spoke to reporters and said that catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud is in New York this morning to be reevaluated by team doctors.

D’Arnaud, who suffered a non-displaced fracture of his first metatarsal in April, is still wearing the protective boot. The goal today is that doctors will find his foot sufficiently healed so that he can stop wearing the boot and head to Port St. Lucie to begin rehabbing.

“He hasn’t been able to run or anything like that, so it would really just be getting back into shape at first.

“He’s been able to do some upper body stuff,” Ricco said. “It’s gonna take time for us to know. We have to see where he is at. First things first. He has to be cleared and then we can get him out on the field to see where he is.”

Last year, D’Arnaud suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in June, and missed the rest of the season. Since then he’s played just 12 Triple-A games in the past calendar year. He was batting .250 before he broke his foot.

GM Sandy Alderson preached caution concerning Travis d’Arnaud on May 22 when he visited Gary Cohen in the SNY broadcast booth. Sandy was concerned that D’Arnaud has played in so few games in the past year due to injuries and said the first priority once D’Arnaud is healthy is getting his body used to playing baseball games again.

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