Mets Merized Online » miami marlins Mon, 20 Feb 2017 05:56:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Jeffrey Loria Has “Handshake Agreement” To Sell Marlins Thu, 09 Feb 2017 17:48:23 +0000 MLB: Houston Astros at Miami Marlins

Mike Ozanian of Forbes reported Thursday that two anonymous sources told him that Miami Marlins president David Sampson said the organization has a $1.6 billion “handshake agreement” to sell the team. It obviously sounds like a lot of ‘he said, she said’, but if the dollar amount is correct, that would be a significant profit for Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria who paid $158 million for the team in 2002.

The team has had five winning seasons, one playoff appearance, no division titles, and one World Series victory since Loria bought the team. Under his ownership, the team moved into Marlins Park in 2012 which cost taxpayers $639 million.

While the organization attempted to make the team an instant competitor in 2012 by spending $194 million on contracts for Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell, and Greg Dobbs as well as trading for Wade LeBlanc, Jake Jefferies, and Carlos Zambrano, the team ended up finishing 69-93 and in last place in the National League East.

Attendance has been poor since the move aside from 2012. That season they drew 2,219,444 people to the stadium after their busy offseason. The year after they drew 1,586,322 people. That big drop was expected after breaking up a large chunk of their team. Even after finishing 79-82 in 2016, (their best record since the move) they drew their second smallest crowd since 2012 with 1,712,417 people in attendance.

The two anonymous sources did not reveal the name of the potential buyer, but they did say he is a real estate developer in New York City. His net worth in tied up in real estate so he does not have the cash to buy the team. Instead he would be taking on a lot of debt in order to purchase the Marlins.

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Jose Reyes Offers Value This Year… And Next Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:54:32 +0000 jose reyes

When the Mets decided to bring shortstop Jose Reyes back into the fray, after he elected free agency and departed after the 2011 season, walking away the as batting champ, many were split on how much the 33-year-old had left in him. After all, Reyes had been routinely injured after he signed his six-year, $106 million contract with the Miami Marlins along with his time spent in Toronto and Colorado.

And then of course, Reyes was charged with domestic violence against his wife Katherine last October in Maui, something that has become a horrendous trend in athletics in recent years. But the charges were later dropped by the authorities, due to Reyes’ wife’s refusal to speak with prosecutors. Major League Baseball on the other hand stepped in with their new policy on domestic violence, one that was put in place in the summer of 2015, and suspended Reyes for the first 51 games of the 2016 season.

When Reyes was reinstated by the Colorado Rockies at the end of May, it seemed to be a forgone conclusion that the Rockies wanted no part of Reyes on their roster. That’s when the Mets made the decision for a homecoming, bringing back a fan favorite that had been with the organization since he was a teenager. Sometimes, there really is no place like home.

It appears that Reyes is not taking his second chance for granted with the Mets, flashing his trademark smile on a nightly basis, celebrating in fashion as he did so many times with teammates during his first tenure, and bringing an intensity and energy that was desperately missing from this year’s squad.

With another three hits in last night’s 7-4 win against the St. Louis Cardinals, Reyes continues to rake since being reinstated from the disabled list. Since August 13, Reyes has gone 15-for-42 (.357), with nine runs, five walks, four R.B.I., and three stolen bases. Reyes has raised his OBP to a respectable .336, and now has an OPS over .800. In his 10 games played in August, Reyes has multi-hit games in four of them, and has almost as many walks (5), as he does strikeouts (6).

“He’s still electric on the bases and loves to play and really brings that energy that we need, especially this time of year when fatigue is starting to be a factor,” manager Terry Collins said. “His energy and the fact he’s missed so much this year, I still think he’s got plenty to offer.”

Having Reyes at the top of the lineup finally gives the Mets a real leadoff hitter, something they sorely missed this season after Curtis Granderson had one of his finer years in 2015, posting a 5.1 WAR according to FanGraphs, only to regress this year in that role. While Reyes has seen his OBP hover near the .320 mark the last three seasons, he was routinely in the .350′s during his career with the Mets, and now seems to be getting on base more regularly than in recent memory.

And his patience at the plate is showing, evident by his base-on-ball percentage of 7.6%, up 2.6% from 2015, and 1.8% from 2014. And in the short time Reyes has been back with the Mets, he’s posted a near 1.0 WAR, meaning over a full 162-game season he’d be near a 6.0 WAR player if keeping on his current path.

That type of player is routinely making tens of millions of dollars a season, yet Reyes is only making the pro-rated major league minimum since the Rockies are on the hook for the remainder of his salary through 2018. Reyes had a stretch from 2006-08 where he was routinely near a 6.0 WAR player, and then again in his walk year of 2011. Since his departure from the Mets, he never registered higher than a 4.0 WAR, his first season in Miami in 2012.

jose reyes homer

And of course, one would be remiss not to mention the speed element of his game, an intriguing attribute considering David Wright was leading the team with three stolen bases for a majority of the year. In 26 games, Reyes has six swipes, which averaged over a full season would give him around 40 stolen bases, which means more runners in scoring position which could lead to more runs and wins. Of course, with what’s been a recurring theme this year for this lineup, the Mets would need to put up much better numbers with RISP to score those extra runners, but I digress.

The point is, Reyes offers a skill set that is extremely beneficial to this team, and at a fraction of the cost. Since the Rockies are on the hook for more than $38 million for his remaining salary, the Mets are paying only the pro-rated portion of the major league minimum this season, and have a team option on him for the league minimum in 2017 as well. This gives the Mets an opportunity to assess how he looks this season, with eyes toward 2017 and what he can offer them then as well.

Perhaps he’ll be a backup infielder in similar fashion as Wilmer Flores, except not playing first base. Or maybe the Mets turn to him to man third on a full-time basis depending on the health of Wright? Or he takes over second base if they don’t re-sign Neil Walker in the offseason. At the very least, Reyes offers a solid platoon/bench player, who switch hits, generates runs with his speed, and gets on base, all for the major league minimum.

Terry Collins has been impressed with Reyes so far, and what’s he’s accomplished in the short amount of time he’s been back with the orange and blue.

“He’s become huge, and we’ve seen why,” Collins continued. “This guy creates runs when he gets on base and that is something we’ve needed, and I still think against right-handed pitching, [Curtis] Granderson is the perfect guy to hit behind him.” (NY Post)

Getting second chances doesn’t always happen, or always go as planned. But clearly Reyes is making the most of his, and looks to do so for the club who first gave him a chance at baseball, and has his eyes on helping his club make a late season push into the playoffs. If Reyes can continue to turn back the clock and give the fans more Reyes circa the mid 2000s, then this could turn out to be one of Sandy Alderson’s best moves yet. As the R&B group Peaches & Herb sang in their 1978 hit, “reunited and it feels so good.” That’s the sense so far in the Reyes/Mets reunion.

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MMO Players Of The Week: Reyes and Robles Make the Grade Mon, 25 Jul 2016 16:00:53 +0000 MMO PLAYER OF THE WEEK

The New York Mets faced a nine game road trip to open the second half of their season following the All-Star break, starting with three games in Philadelphia, followed by three in Chicago, and then three in Miami. The Mets took the first series two games to one against the Phillies, dropped the Cubs series, and won two out of three against the Marlins to take their third series out of four against their NL East foe. They still remain a half game back in the Wild Card and second place in the NL East.

For the week of July 18-24, the Mets split the six games played against the Cubs and Marlins. They finally return home for a nine-game home stand, plus two more games against the New York Yankees in the Bronx. The trade deadline also looms as August 1 inches closer and closer, as fans wait with bated breath to see if Sandy Alderson and Co. can bring in some last minute additions (bullpen, starter, bench/role player) to hopefully propel them to another big second half like they had last season.

As we anxiously check MLB Trade Rumors and other various sites for news and notes on any potential trades, here are MMO’s Players of the Week for July 18-24.

jose reyes


Jose, Jose, Jose! Jose Reyes gets the nod for Offensive Player of the Week as he sparked a charge atop the lineup, going 7 for 26 with four runs scored, two triples, a double, two RBI, and a stolen base. Since his return to the Mets, Reyes has recorded at least one hit in 11 of 15 games played, and reached base safely in 13 of them.

Reyes’ biggest contribution came in Friday’s 5-3 win against the Marlins in Miami. Reyes opened the game with a double on a 0-1 fastball from LHP Adam Conley. Reyes then promptly stole third while Yoenis Cespedes was up at bat, his third steal of the season. Reyes then trotted home easily when Cespedes hit a sac fly to center, giving the Mets an early 1-0 lead.

In the fourth, Reyes drove in Travis d’Arnaud with an RBI single, giving starter Logan Verrett a 2-0 lead. And just like deja vu, Reyes opened the seventh with a leadoff single, and moved to third on a Granderson single to center. On the first pitch of his at bat, Cespedes hit a towering fly ball to left-center field off reliever David Phelps, once again plating Reyes and giving the Mets a 3-2 lead after the Marlins tied the game in the sixth on a two-run homer off the bat of Christian Yelich.

After the game, Verrett summed up Reyes’ contributions best: ”He’s like a can of Red Bull bottled up into a human being,” starting pitcher Logan Verrett said. “That’s something that we were lacking. He brings that energy to the field every single day.”

Reyes has been a big boost for this Mets team that was lacking speed and at times energy, something Reyes has more of than most players combined, and has been a solid pickup for them. With a low risk high reward feel to the signing, he certainly seems to be getting back into a groove with the team he grew up with, something that can’t be discounted and just goes to show how a change of scenery is sometimes for the best.

hansel robles


Hansel Robles has evolved into Terry Collins‘ trusted seventh inning reliever, compiling another strong week in three appearances. Robles tossed 4.2 innings, giving up two hits, no runs or walks, while striking out four. His season totals are excellent as well, now with a record of 5-3 with a 2.61 ERA, seven holds, all while averaging close to 11 strikeouts per nine innings.

With the game tied at one during Tuesday night’s 2-1 win against the Cubs, Robles came on in the seventh to replace Jerry Blevins, and was entrusted to keep the game tied. Robles had the heart of the order to deal with in Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. Robles induced a ground ball out from Baez, followed by a fly-out to left from La Stella. Bryant singled to left on a 0-2 fastball, but Robles zeroed in and promptly struck out Rizzo on three fastballs to end the inning. Robles worked a scoreless eighth, retiring Ben Zobrist, Wilson Contreras, and Jason Heyward on nine pitches.

The Mets would go on to take the lead in the ninth, calling upon Jeurys Familia to close out the game and give Robles his fourth win of the season.

Robles was tasked with holding another tied game on Friday night against the Marlins, coming in to relieve Verrett in the bottom of the sixth after Yelich tied the game at two. Robles gave up a hard single to Giancarlo Stanton on a 3-2 fastball to left, however, Stanton was trying to take second on the strong arm of Cespedes, who didn’t appear to realize Stanton was trying to advance. As Cespedes tossed the ball back into Neil Walker at second, Walker spun around and tagged Stanton for the second out. Marcell Ozuna lined out to Reyes at third to end the inning, and Robles worked a clean 1-2-3 seventh, as the Mets regained the lead in the seventh. Robles picked up his second win in four days, and his fifth of the season.

With Robles appearing in Sunday’s series win against the Marlins for his 42nd appearance, he’s on pace to bypass last year’s mark of 57, and is just 5.2 innings away from tying his total last season of 54. The back end of the bullpen with Robles, Addison Reed, and Familia is one of the strongest in baseball, and has been a joy to watch after years of not having a shutdown pen. The Mets team bullpen ERA ranks 5th in baseball at 3.14, 4th in FIP at 3.59, 6th in holds with 56, and 7th best K/9 at 9.35 as of Sunday night.

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MMO Players of the Week: Grandy & deGrom Each Poised For Big Second Half Tue, 12 Jul 2016 13:00:10 +0000 MMO PLAYER OF THE WEEK

As the week before the All-Star break wrapped up, the New York Mets were looking to close the gap between the division leading Washington Nationals, as they came in to Queens for a four game set. While the Mets came back to beat the Nationals 9-7 in Thursday night’s opener, the Mets would eventually lose the next three games, and the series.

Old friend Daniel Murphy continued to absolutely kill the Mets, essentially acting as a one man wrecking crew these past four games. Murphy went 7 for 17, with 10 R.B.I., four runs scored, two doubles, and three home runs. Murphy seems to enjoy sticking it to his old club, as he’s putting up M.V.P. numbers against the Mets alone, not to mention the league.

With the Mets going 3-4 from July 4 to July 10, they now sit at 47-41, tied with the Miami Marlins, and six games back of the Nationals in the NL East. They’ll look to get back on track starting Friday with a three game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. But until then, here are your Players of the Week before we head into the All Star break.

curtis granderson


Curtis Granderson is MMO’s Offensive Player of the Week, after he went 8 for 25 with three runs scored, three doubles, one home run, three runs batted in, six walks, and an OPS of 1.012. Since coming back from dealing with a right calf strain, Granderson has been hitting at a much better clip, while also getting on base several times a game, including four multi-hit games in the last eight.

Granderson was in the middle of the action during Thursday’s win against the Nationals, going 3 for 4 with two runs scored, two doubles, and two walks. His double off Lucas Giolito in the fourth inning led to the Mets tying the game at 4, as the ensuing batter, Yoenis Cespedes, knocked Granderson in with a double of his own to tie the score.

With the return of Jose Reyes, Granderson has batted in the two hole this past week, and with great results. Having a guy like Granderson batting second with his .341 lifetime OBP will only help lengthen the lineup out, and give Grandy more opportunities to drive in runs. Granderson did a noble job out of the lead-off spot last year, but I like him batting second for his patience at the plate, and ability to get on base, setting up potential big innings for the meat of the order.

jacob degrom


Jacob deGrom had a strong outing on Wednesday against the Miami Marlins, pitching seven innings of two run ball, allowing six hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. With the win, deGrom improved to 5-4 on the year, and now sports a 2.61 E.R.A., good for 8th in baseball as of Sunday night.

DeGrom got into some trouble in the top of the first Wednesday, as he loaded the bases and needed 26 pitches to work out of a scoreless first. From there, the only two blemishes on the day for deGrom were two solo homers off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton, one in the fourth, and one in the sixth. DeGrom threw 117 pitches on the day, a season high for the 28-year-old right hander.

DeGrom has looked a lot sharper his last three outings, combining to go 20 innings allowing 16 hits, three runs, four walks, while striking out 20. He’s also seen an increase in his velocity, averaging 94.89 on his four-seamer compared to 93.41 in April this year.

Despite not having the same velocity as he did during last year’s All-Star season, deGrom has learned to use what he has, and has learned to locate more, and use all of his pitches to get out of trouble.

“I had to pitch a little more this first half, verses last year when I had overpowering stuff,” deGrom said. “You can get away with more mistakes when you’re throwing harder. A mistake over the zone might not get hit as hard. You might blow it by somebody. I’ve really had to pitch, locate, and use all my pitches.”

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MMO Players Of The Week: Two Great Alderson Trades Tue, 07 Jun 2016 01:36:02 +0000 Another tough week came and went for the New York Mets, as the team went 3-3 between Sunday May 29th and Saturday June 4th. In that time, the Mets lost the weekend series to the Los Angeles Dodgers at home, and lost the series against the Chicago White Sox also at home. The Mets righted the ship in Miami, winning the first two games against the Marlins on Friday and Saturday.

The offense was struggling early in the week, as they only scored a total of eight runs combined in their rubber game against the Dodgers and their three game set against the White Sox. Since taking their talents to South Beach, the Mets have scored a combined 12 runs on Friday and Saturday, getting another brilliant performance from Noah Syndergaard, who improved to 6-2 on the year, with a 1.91 earned run average, and a 0.96 WHIP.

After recapping the games from last week, two players stood out prominently in their roles they played to help the Mets inch back closer to first place in the National League East.

neil walker james loney


For the second straight week second baseman Neil Walker claims MMO’s Offensive Player of the Week. Walker put together some great at-bats, collecting a hit in every game and reaching base multiple times in four of the six games. Overall, Walker went 8-for-21 at the plate (.381) with two home runs, three runs batted in, four runs scored, and five walks. He only struck out three times during the six games played last week.

Walker has been such a steady, reliable presence for the Mets all season, being a consistent force for the Mets in the middle of their lineup. Walker had one of only four hits LHP Clayton Kershaw gave up in last Sunday’s game, working a full count before doubling to left field. He also was responsible for the lone run the Mets had in Monday’s Memorial Day game, crushing a 1-0 fastball off of LHP Jose Quintana to left-center, making a winner out of Matt Harvey who tossed seven shutout innings.

The homer off Quintana came as Walker was batting right-handed. Walker has been phenomenal as a right-handed batter this year, something that has eluded him much of his career. Before Sunday’s day game, Walker boasted a line of .341/.396/.727 as a right-handed batter, good for a 1.123 OPS with five of his 13 home runs to date coming from that side of the plate.

addison reed


While there were a few options to choose from for MMO’s Pitcher of the Week, including another strong performance from Syndergaard and a resurgent outing from Harvey against the White Sox. However, I chose setup man Addison Reed as the Pitcher of the Week, who appeared in five of the Mets six games from May 29th the June 4th.

Reed threw five innings in total, allowing two hits, one walk, and striking out seven batters. He also picked up three holds during that stretch, and now has 12 on the season, good for 6th among qualifying relievers heading into Sunday’s matinee against the Marlins.

With the Mets up 4-2 heading into the eighth inning against the Marlins on Friday night, Reed entered the game facing the heart of the Marlins’ lineup. He promptly struck out Martin Prado on four pitches, gave up a single to Christian Yelich, and then struck out Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton on called strikes. It was the tenth time this year that Reed has struck out multiple batters in an inning.

Reed has been the Mets best bullpen option this year, sporting a 1.75 earned run average and minuscule 0.94 WHIP, the best among all Met relievers thus far. His FIP actually has Reed pitching better than his ERA suggests, currently at 1.68, good for eighth place among active relievers before Sunday’s game.

This trade keeps looking better and better for GM Sandy Alderson, who brought Reed over to the Mets at the end of August for minor league pitchers Miller Diaz and Matt Koch.

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Miami Heat: Matt Harvey’s 98 MPH Fastball Not Enough To Beat Fiery Jose Fernandez Mon, 06 Jun 2016 11:00:38 +0000 matt harvey 2

On a day when the Dark Knight displayed his former 98 mph fastball, he was out-dueled in the Miami sun by his counterpart, Jose Fernandez, who matched his career high 14 strikeouts en route to a 1-0 masterpiece over the Mets.

A resurgent Matt Harvey kept his cronies in the game for seven strong innings, but they didn’t uphold their end of the bargain with bats so silent you could hear a pin drop in the Marlins ballpark. Harvey averaged a season high 95.6 MPH on his fastball.

And although the offense of yesterday’s game was lost, the positive piece of Harvey’s cryptic pitching puzzle hopefully has been found.

The wrapped too tight right-hander gave up a run in the pesky 5th inning that has previously haunted him, but Harvey rebounded nicely after that with two scoreless innings to wrap up a very impressive start.

Not to take away from Fernandez’s dominance as the Marlin’s ace was undeniably better, but Harvey could have come away with a win if his mates could have delivered even one timely hit – especially when they had runners at first and third in the 7th.

The two Tommy John repaired pitching arms scattered nine hits between them, giving a ringing endorsement to the surgeons who gave them new life on the mound.

In light of this disappointing defeat, Terry Collins has to be over the moon at Harvey’s consecutive two game turnaround, extending his scoreless inning streak to 12, giving up only one run over his last 14.

“I think it’s going to ease Matt’s mind most of all, and that’s the one that counts,”  Collins said about Harvey’s performance. “He felt good about what he did today, how he got through it. Kept the damage down and pitched great. It’s one of those games where a great pitching matchup, head-to-head, and that’s exactly what you’d expect, a 1-0 game.”

Harvey, while pleased with his performance of late, is being especially cautious of any premature champagne popping celebration.

“It’s still two starts,” Harvey said. “Obviously, the massive struggles that happened before, the only thing you want to think of is not letting that creep back in. Today was, you could say, a second step from the last start. Obviously, going deep into the game and feeling pretty good, it’s a positive.”

Positive indeed, for a guy who a couple of weeks ago couldn’t pitch his way out of a paper bag, or deter the demons of the diamond from messing with his mentally and mechanically challenged head.

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The Z Files: Logan Verrett Scouting Report Thu, 14 Apr 2016 17:00:07 +0000 Logan, Verrett

Stat Line:  6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 6 SO, 2 BB

In the New York Mets 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins, Logan Verrett showed why he would be in the starting rotation for twenty-nine of thirty Major League teams.  Verrett attacks opposing lineups differently than our big three power pitches, looking to induce poor contact early in at-bats rather than inducing a high whiff/miss and strikeout rates.

Logan Verrett continues showing more than scouts prepared us for, exhibiting an above average breaking ball while keeping four pitches low in the strike zone.


Verrett’s breaking ball (slider and curveball) is a viable MLB strikeout pitch, inducing a strong 16.6% whiff/miss rate (swing and miss rate).  His breaking ball, particularly his slider, shows sharp, late, downward movement and has enough velocity to deceive the hitter into thinking the pitch is a four-seam fastball.  The reason behind defining it as a breaking ball is because it’s tough to decipher the difference between his slider and curveball.

Verrett’s four-seam fastball sits 90 to 93 mph while his two-seam fastball, also referred to as a sinker, dials in at 88 to 92 mph.  At times, Verrett’s two-seam fastball/sinker seemed to move 6 to 10 inches with sharp 10 to 5 downward movement (think of 10 to 5 on a clock).  Although he didn’t show consistent fastball command on the corners of home plate, Verrett kept his pitches between ankle and thigh high.

Staying low in the strike zone with two pitches having sharp downward movement makes it nearly impossible for opposing hitters to lift the baseball for hard hits and extra base hits.

Verrett’s Four Keys to Success

Verrett has to focus on four aspects of pitching to be successful with a fastball/sinker primarily sitting 88 to 92 mph:

  1. Command fastball low in the strike zone because any misses in the strike zone will be hit hard.
  2. Rely more on a two-seam fastball/sinker with downward movement rather than straighter four-seam fastballs further reducing hard contact and naturally helps keep the ball down.
  3. Throw many off-speed pitches (45%-50% of total pitches) making his fastballs appear harder than reality.
  4. Throw at least 70% to 75% first pitch strikes otherwise Verrett will be forced to throw predictable fastballs to climb back even in counts.

Verrett commanded his fastball thigh-high or below on 46% of fastballs but excluding the five intentionally thrown high four-seam fastballs the percentage moves to a respectable 52%.  However, Verrett only threw 34.1% two-seam fastballs/sinkers, another reason his “fastball low in the strike zone” percentage wasn’t higher.  Verrett threw 51.7% off-speed pitches at an outstanding 70.4% strike rate.  Lastly, Verrett threw 77.2% first pitch strikes.  Three out of four isn’t bad for his first spot start of the 2016 season.

Cause for Concern

Verrett showed a stronger out pitch than scouts reported but didn’t exhibit fastball command on each corner of home plate needed for a pitcher throwing in the low 90’s.  In fact, he threw 27 of his 85 pitches (31%) on in inner half of home plate or inside to hitters but only eight of those were commanded well on the inside corner.  Understandably, Verrett lives on the outside corner but must learn to throw inside with a purpose and control.  Lacking control and a presence on the inside corner allows MLB hitters to feel comfortable in the batter’s box and the ability to look for predictable outside pitches.  When a MLB hitter is able to predict or feel comfortable guessing a certain pitch type or pitch location, the more aggressive and confident their swings become.  This makes Verrett vulnerable to higher homerun, hard contact and walk rates.

Stat of the Night

Verrett threw 51.7% off-speed pitches at an outstanding 70.4% strike rate.

Thanks to Brooks Baseball PitchFX tool for pitching statistics.

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


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The Z Files: Three Takeaways From Mets 2-1 Loss To Marlins Wed, 13 Apr 2016 13:21:58 +0000 terry collins

Noah Syndergaard dominated Miami Marlins hitters during the New York Mets 2-1 loss.  Syndergaard has 14.54 strikeouts per nine innings 1.38 walks per nine innings through two starts this season.

Noah Syndergaard:  (ND) 7.0 IP, 1 R, 7 H, 12 SO, 1 BB

Syndergaard’s fastballs and sinkers were 99 mph bullets.  His 92 mph slider (Yes, 92.7 mph average with slider) and curveball broke so sharp and south they knocked out the devil.  Let’s not forget his 90 mph changeup producing a 36.4% whiff/miss rate.  His mechanics appeared fluid with great rhythm.  He jumped ahead of hitters with a solid 70% first pitch strike rate and stayed ahead, getting to a three ball count only twice, both against Giancarlo Stanton.  Simply, Syndergaard is electrifying and attacking hitters fearlessly.

Regarding the one run allowed, credit aggressive Marlins hitters their second time through their lineup, swinging and making contact with Syndergaard’s first pitch.  The Marlins intelligently realized the further in the count hitting against Syndergaard, the more guessing they would do resulting in a far greater chance of becoming overwhelmed by Syndergaard’s dynamic repertoire of pitches.

Jim Henderson:  0.1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 SO, 2 BB

In previous outings, Jim Henderson was effectively wild, throwing first pitch strikes and inducing hitters to chase fastballs later in at-bats.  Henderson threw first pitch strikes against two of the four Marlins faced but got behind in the count against all of them.  Couple the average command with a sixteen pitch at-bat from Dee Gordon and two 3-2 count walks from Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton and what’s left is a tough situation for Jerry Blevins to deal with.

Henderson’s stat line looks worse than his performance.  Every reliever has tough outings were a key pitch or two don’t go their way and their stat line looks tremendously worse.  Henderson shows nice arm-side run on this 95 mph fastball, hiding the baseball from hitters very well.  Henderson will bounce back successfully

Yoenis Cespedes Seeing the Baseball Well

Yoenis Cespedes showed three traits of a great hitter during his three at-bats:

  1. Swinging aggressively at all three fastball’s thrown in the strike zone while taking all four fastball’s thrown outside the strike zone for a called ball.
  2. Did not swing or chase any pitch out of the strike zone.
  3. Ability hitting an off-speed pitch behind in the count with power (see third inning at-bat behind 1-2, Cespedes hit what would have been a home run into the second deck if not for the extreme wind blowing in from left field. ).

Stats of the Night

  1. Syndergaard’s ERA is 0.69 despite a .370 batting average with balls in play (BABIP), exceptionally higher than the MLB average at approximately .300 and his .279 in 2015.
  2. Syndergaard’s twenty-six whiff’s/misses (26.26% whiff/miss rate) induced is a Mets single game record.

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

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The Z Files: The Reason Steven Matz Struggled Against the Marlins Tue, 12 Apr 2016 16:52:21 +0000 steven matz

Steven Matz’ season debut quickly went south, giving up seven earned runs in the second inning in route to a 10-3 New York Mets loss against the Miami Marlins.  Matz exhibited one mechanic flaw leading to his lack of command, particularly in two-strike counts, resulting in the Marlins second inning carousel around the bases.

Steven Matz (L, 0-1) 1.2 IP, 7 R, 6 H, 1 SO, 2 BB

Arrows were pointing up after watching a one, two, three first inning with fastball velocity at 95 mph, culminating in striking out one of Major League Baseball’s best power hitters, Giancarlo Stanton.

Unfortunately, Matz started the second inning breaking one of the cardinal rules of pitching, walking leadoff man Martin Prado.  When a leadoff hitter makes it to first base, he scores approximately 35% of the time.  Making matters worse, Matz walked the following batter Chris Johnson.  Five of the next seven batters grinded out hits, including a Giancarlo Stanton man-bomb home run to left field, knocking Matz out of the game.

The frustrating aspect for Matz and Mets fans alike was during all three Marlins RBI single at-bats, Matz was ahead in the count 1-2 or 2-2.  Matz proceeded throwing hanging curveball after hanging curveball.  Even in Marcel Ozuna’s pop-out, both two strike pitches were hanging curveballs which thankfully Ozuna missed (Side note: Ozuna can’t hit an outside pitch….at all).  Obviously, Matz objective was not to hang curveballs or throw hittable two-strike pitches.  The reason lies in Matz release point.

Simply, Matz throwing arm lagged behind his body forcing his release point to be late, rushed and higher than normal as opposed to his normal release point out in front of his body.  This results in an inability for Matz throwing fingers to stay on top of the baseball.

Matz, and every other Major League pitcher, needs his fingers on top of the baseball at release, allowing his fingers to stay on top of the seams on the baseball.  This allows his fingers to manipulate the spin of the baseball at release, whether ripping down on the seams for a four-seam fastball or getting over the top of the baseball throwing a curveball.

Consequently, Matz fingers come around the seams of the baseball instead of over the seams of the baseball when throwing his curveball, resulting in a weak spin rate and a floating or hanging curveball.  Additionally, fastballs tend to sail high and towards the throwing arm side (up and to the left for Matz) out of the strike zone as seen in four straight fastballs during Prado’s leadoff walk.

Why Matz arm lagged is a separate question I couldn’t unveil through the TV broadcast.  Originally, Matz appeared throwing across his body, meaning his stride/planting leg lands too far left towards first base, blocking off his arm from releasing the baseball out in front of his body.  But this was not the case as Matz was landing with good alignment towards home plate.  Other reasons could include rushing his motion or opening his front shoulder and glove hand too soon but I didn’t see those either.

Whatever the reason, pitching on ten days rest is very difficult, especially for a starting pitcher in a rhythm and routine created during spring training.  Do not put too much stress in the results of this start.

Stat of the Night

The New York Mets have the worst team batting average (.185) and OPS (On-base percentage plus slugging percentage, .529) in Major League Baseball thus far this season.

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


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Fear The Fish? Fri, 26 Feb 2016 19:14:33 +0000 Maybe it’s an East-Coast bias or the fact that we view everything with an orange and blue tint, but despite a pitching staff considered one of the best in the league there are as many pundits picking the Mets to repeat as division champs as there are picking them to miss the postseason.

USA Today’s Gage Lacques has the defending National League champions finishing a game out of the final wildcard spot behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Big League Stew’s Mike Oz says Fangraphs estimates they’ll be in a three-way tie for that final playoff spot with the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Washington Nationals v Miami MarlinsBleacher Report’s Danny Knobler takes it one step further, predicting the Mets will miss the playoffs entirely because the Miami Marlins will do what many observers thought they would achieve last year and make the postseason.

This would clearly throw cold water on the budding Nats-Mets rivalry, one that I think is a media-driven creation – somewhat similar to the Mets-Phillies rivalry that doesn’t exist. I hate the Phillies, like most Met fans, but there’s no real reason for that hate.

Any Met fan has good reason to hate the Marlins. Just go back a decade to 2007 when Tom Glavine took the mound with a chance to return to the postseason. Adam Rubin, then with the Daily News, reported how the left-hander was rocked in the first inning to complete an epic collapse that saw them slip from first after owning a seven game lead with 17 games left.

Yes, the Phillies won the division that year. Yes, they won their last seven games against the Mets that year. But if the Mets win Game 162, they’re in the playoffs and the Marlins made sure they weren’t. They followed up the following year, closing Shea Stadium and knocking the Mets out of the playoffs again.

Those are the roots of a true rivalry, one that has history behind it. Despite only being in existence since 1993, the Mets have never been that much better than the Fish. Since 2005, the Amazins’ have a 106-96 advantage with a 31-26 record in September. So despite the fact the team from Florida during that time has only finished over .500 just three times and the closest they’ve sniffed the playoffs was a 2nd place finish six game back in 2009, the team we root for hasn’t been dominant against a bottom-feeder.

jose fernandezI haven’t even mentioned the return of Jose Fernandez for a full season, a healthy Giancarlo Stanton joining Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna in the outfield and last year’s batting average champion Dee Gordon at the top of the lineup.

Wei-Yin Chen has a career 3.72 ERA, a career WHIP of 1.252 and finished 2015 with a 3.8 WAR. Tom Koehler is a solid No. 3 starter and A.J. Ramos saved 32 games last year with a 2.30 ERA.

Point is, while both the Phillies and the Braves are ‘rebuilding’, the Marlins plan to be competitive. The Mets have often labored against them, the two teams always play tough against each other. We will end August and start September hosting the Fish. They’ll also end the season with a six-game road trip that starts with three in Miami.

IMO, the Mets will need to dominate the bottom of the division and consistently take two of three from the Nationals since they’re more than likely to play even with the Fish. And since history isn’t on their side, let’s hope there’s not too much at stake when they board the plane to MIA this September.

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Pitching Analysis of Jon Niese’s Effectively Wild Night vs. Miami Marlins Wed, 05 Aug 2015 15:39:40 +0000 jon niese

Stat Line:  7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 6 SO, 1 BB

Jon Niese dominated a weak Miami Marlins lineup to gain his first win since July 12th.  Niese showed more than commanding his fastball, throwing five different pitches for strikes.

This article explains Niese’s ability to baffle Marlins hitters by utilizing various pitch movements and keen pitch selection.

Effectively Wild

Niese exhibited erratic command, completely missing and perfectly hitting targets all night.  The unpredictability of pitch speed and location make it difficult for the hitter to comfortably guess or look for the right pitch to drive.  When a pitcher is successful with this blue print it is commonly referred to as being “effectively wild”.

Niese being effectively wild correlates with three positive attributes:

  1. Keeping all pitches low in the strike zone, regardless of hitting the catchers target or not.  This translated to a 64.7% groundball rate last night.
  2. Throwing a full repertoire of pitches (four or more different pitches) with very tight spin, making it difficult for the opposing hitters to pick up or decipher the pitch as it comes to them.  Niese threw five pitches at more than a 10% usage rate (Four-seam fastball 13%, two-seam fastball 32%, changeup 18%, curveball 14%, and cutter 21%).  This constant variation in pitches forces the hitters to begin guessing the speed, location and movement.  With all those different components at work in the hitters mind, it causes more hesitant swings translating to weak contact.
  3. Pitch selection.  Simply, Niese not only kept the Marlins hitters off balance by consistently mixing up his pitches but also set up hitters for poor contact and strikeouts.  This was best seen during Christian Yelich’s sixth inning at-bat.  Niese recognized Yelich leaning over plate with his front shoulder.  To combat this, Niese threw a four-seam fastball up at Yelich’s shoulder to brush him off the plate followed by an 89 mph fastball located on the outside corner to strikeout him out looking.  There is nothing special about two consecutive 89 mph fastball.  However, there is value in setting the tone up and in with a fastball and changing the hitter’s eye level to set up the eventual strikeout pitch.

Additionally, Niese’s curveball and changeup showed especially tight spin producing noticeably sharper downward movement than previous starts.

Looking Forward

Next probably start comes Monday August 10th at Citi Field against the Colorado Rockies.  Over Niese’s last six starts this season, he’s pitched to a 2.58 ERA with a 59.1% ground ball rate.

Stat of the Night

Although Niese exhibited a full repertoire of pitches, he still commanded his cutter at an 85.7% strike rate.

Thanks to @BrooksBaseball and @FanGraphs for statistics.

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

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Projecting the NL East: Where Do Mets Finish? Thu, 25 Dec 2014 22:25:42 +0000 lucas duda david wright daniel murphy

Using the latest 2015 FanGraphs projections, David Schoenfield of analyzes the NL East which has the Washington Nationals winning the division with an 88-74 record and a +61 run differential. FG projects the New York Mets and the revamped Miami Marlins to both finish in second place but with only 79 wins, mirroring what the Mets did last season.

Nationals: The Nationals will be the big favorite in a division without an obvious No. 2 team — the only team in the division, in fact, projected to finish above .500. Notice, however, that the projection system at FanGraphs doesn’t see the Nationals as a 95-win team. Yes, projection systems tend to forecast regression for good teams and improvement for bad teams; even so, the 88-win forecast suggests the Nationals shouldn’t be considered locks for the division.

Marlins: A lineup with the most feared hitter in the National League, two young outfielders in Yelich and Ozuna who were worth a combined 8.0 WAR in 2014 and should improve in 2015, a speedy leadoff hitter in Gordon who helps solve the team’s second-base issues and more depth on the bench now. The Marlins are a young team with a few vets sprinkled in. Young teams tend to improve. They have an MVP candidate in Stanton. They have speed at the top of the lineup. They’ll be in full beast mode with Morse bringing added enthusiasm. The division could be weak outside of the Nationals. Jeffrey Loria has a plan, and it just may work.

Mets: The Mets signed Michael Cuddyer in a controversial move that cost them their first-round pick, and we know they’re on the search for a shortstop but may have to settle for in-house candidate Wilmer Flores. The offense was middle-of-the-pack in 2014, but the best bet for improvement won’t necessarily be Cuddyer or at shortstop, but better years from David Wright and a breakout season from catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Factor in 30-plus home runs again from Lucas Duda and 40 from Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson, and the Mets’ offense could be above-average. Killer rotation, solid offense and the best defensive center fielder on the planet in Juan Lagares. There’s a lot to like here.

Schoenfield adds that the Mets could snap their six-year losing streak in 2015. Incidentally, the Braves and Phillies look to be battling it out for last place.

First, what do you think of the projections? Second, how many games will the Mets win in 2015?

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 9, Marlins 1 (Hail Flores!) Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:22:07 +0000 wilmer flores

What a game for Wilmer Flores who continues to crush it at the plate as the Mets trounced the Miami Marlins by a score of 9-1 tonight at Citi Field.

Flores blasted a pair of homers and drove a double to the wall in a huge 3-for-4 night with three runs scored and six RBIs. Wow, imagine if Terry Collins didn’t have him sitting on the bench for so many weeks? This was the second time Flores had a six-RBI game this season, the last time a Met did that was Carlos Delgado in 2008.

Flores is now 8-for-15 with two doubles, one triple, three homers and 10 RBIs in his past four games.

Kudos to Bobby Ojeda for saying that everybody was wrong about Flores’ defense saying, “this kid is solid.” I have no idea what all the detractors (AKA baseball people) were looking at, how could they be so off base about him?

I’m so glad I was on Flores from the start, I’d hate to be one of those people having to do a complete 180. :-) God I love this game…

And lets not forget the job Bartolo Colon did on the mound. Was he dominating? Absolutely not. But somehow the big guy managed to limit the Marlins to one run despite allowing 12 hits. Only two Mets have given up one or fewer runs on 12 or more hits in a start: Bobby Jones and Jason Isringhausen. Colon walked none and struck out 7 tonight in 7.2 innings of work.

Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada had a pair of hits each, and Curtis Granderson had a three hit game although for the life of me I don’t know he did it.

The one negative tonight was seeing Juan Lagares leave the game with a hyper-extended elbow after a nice play and nailing the runner on second. Hopefully it’s not very serious.

Hey, I love it when the Mets win a laugher – yes even in a meaningless September.

The Mets will try to take the series when the Marlins send Henderson Alvarez to the mound to face Dillon Gee for the Mets in the deciding rubber game.

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MMO Game Recap: Marlins 6, Mets 5 Tue, 16 Sep 2014 02:47:00 +0000 MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Mets

The Mets (72-79) were defeated by the Miami Marlins (73-76) tonight at Citi Field by a score of 6-5.

What you should know:

Jacob deGrom was fantastic again this evening, as he struck out the first eight batters to greet him to start the game, tying a major league record that was originally set by Jim Deshaies of the Houston Astros in 1986. DeGrom would strike out 13 batters altogether, while allowing three runs on six hits over a span of seven innings, and unfortunately taking a no decision.

Wilmer Flores got the Mets on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the first inning as he laced a double to left center field to score Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda.

The score remained 2-0 until the top of the seventh when former Met Jordany Valdespin singled to shallow left field to score Justin Bour and Adeiny Hechavarria.

Valdespin would subsequently score later in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Reed Johnson.

Miami didn’t hold the lead for long as the Mets took the lead in the bottom of the frame. Daniel Murphy singled home a run, followed by a broken bat double to left field from Travis d’Arnaud. Curtis Granderson later walked with the bases loaded to force in a run to put the Mets on top 5-3.

Jeurys Familia came on in the top of the eighth and was ineffective, as he was charged with three runs, putting the Marlins back on top.

The Marlins would hold this lead and seal the win, beating the Mets 6-5.

Player of the Game:

Despite losing, the game ball still goes to Jacob deGrom, who struck out thirteen batters, and most certainly deserved a win.

On deck:

The Mets take on the Marlins again tomorrow night, with Bartolo Colon (13-12, 4.14 ERA) taking on Nathan Eovaldi (6-11, 4.29 ERA)

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Marlins 3 Thu, 04 Sep 2014 02:33:08 +0000 jacob degrom

The Mets (66-74) defeated the Miami Marlins (67-71) tonight by a score of 4-3

What you should know:

Casey McGehee opened up the scoring for Miami in the bottom of the third inning on an infield single that deflected off Jacob deGrom‘s glove to score Christian Yelich.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis gave the Mets the lead in the top of the fourth as he launched his third home run of the year, a two-run shot to right field.

Jacob deGrom pitched six innings for New York, allowing just the one run, on six hits while walking two and striking out six. Though he labored through a lot of pitches, he was in line for the win, however, Miami tied the game up in the bottom of the seventh on a Christian Yelich RBI single, giving deGrom a no decision.

travis d'arnaud

The Mets took the lead 4-2 in the top of the eighth, on a Travis d’Arnaud double to score Matt den Dekker, and a RBI groundout from Dilson Herrera to score Lucas Duda.

Giancarlo Stanton hit his third home run of the series, and 36th of the year in the bottom of the eighth off Carlos Torres to pull the Marlins within one run.

Jenrry Mejia shut the door for the Mets in the bottom of the ninth, earning his 23rd save of the season.

Player of the Game: Jacob deGrom

deGrom pitched six quality innings, and despite taking a no decision, pitched well enough to earn a win.

On deck:

The Mets open up a three game weekend series against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark Friday night with Bartolo Colon (12-11, 4.01 ERA) taking on Alfredo Simon (13-9, 3.28 ERA).

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 8, Marlins 6 Wed, 03 Sep 2014 02:49:41 +0000 juan lagaresThe Mets (65-74) beat the Miami Marlins (67-70) tonight by a score of 8-6.

What You Should Know

Juan Lagares was the man tonight. He turned in the first 4-hit effort of his short major league career and scored 3 runs along the way out of the leadoff spot.

Jon Niese turned in a less than impressive outing but was able to muscle through 6 innings of work despite not having his best stuff. He improves to 8-10 as the offense picked him up. His final line includes 10 hits, 6 earned runs and just 4 strikeouts. Niese’s counterpart Brad Penny lasted just 3 innings.

wilmer floresDavid Wright and Travis d’Arnaud each contributed three hit games as they both try to end the season strong. Two of Wright’s hits were doubles, his first extra-base hits since Aug. 7th.

Carlos Torres, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia each worked a scoreless inning, giving up just a single hit over that span. Mejia struck out two of the three batters he faced in dominating fashion.

Every Mets starter (including Niese!) had a hit except Dilson Herrera and Curtis Granderson.

Two games down in Miami. 29 runs scored. So far, the Mets and Marlins have scored a combined 29 runs in this series.

On deck:

The Mets look to take the series tomorrow night with Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.94 ERA) squaring off against Tom Koehler (9-9, 3.79 ERA)

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Dilson Herrera Homers and Triples As Impressive Debut Continues Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:25:45 +0000 dilson herrera homers

Second baseman Dilson Herrera had a big day at the plate on Monday against the Miami Marlins. Herrera blasted a solo home run, his first, against Henderson Alvarez in the third. Then he lined a two-run triple against Sam Dyson in the sixth.

Herrera, 20, did commit two errors, giving him three in four games.

It would be an understatement for me to sit here and say there were tons of things to look forward to at this point in the Mets season. Although on Thursday night, when I learned that Herrera was being promoted, I was as excited as I’d ever been all season.

Herrera as everyone around in the Mets community knows by now, was having tremendous success in the minor leagues this season.  Playing the first part of the season in St. Lucie, Herrera was hitting .307 before being promoted to Double-A Binghamton.  There was no slowing down at the higher level, in fact he was enjoying more success, and power, which earned him the opportunity to skip Las Vegas and slip into the Mets lineup.

I was elated when the starting lineup was posted on Friday, and I saw Herrera was penciled into the number seven spot.

It is hard for any of us to imagine what it would be like as a 20-year old, to make your major league debut at home.  Herrera’s first career at-bat showed a little bit of how he was feeling as he offered on the first pitch he saw, grounding into an inning-ending double play.  From there you could tell he might be settling in a bit.  Although he ended the night 0-for-3, the best thing about baseball is you get to go out and do it all again tomorrow.

Saturday, Herrera looked a bit more comfortable at the plate.  Making decent contact in his first at-bat, then drawing a walk in his second, we certainly baby steps to what was to come.  Dilson picked up his first major league hit in the bottom of the seventh inning, splitting the left side of the infield making its way to left.  At first I thought that the Mets, who were down 6-0 at the time, would scratch their first run across, then I saw it was Lucas Duda running.  Dilson’s first career RBI would have to wait.  The proverbial monkey was off his back.

In the series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, Herrera made his final at-bat of the game count.  It wouldn’t be until the top of the ninth that we found out just how important it was.  With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Dilson, who already scored his first major league run earlier in the day, took a pitch from Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus and hit it up the middle scoring Kirk Nieuwenhuis from third.  At the time the Mets were up 5-4, so Herrera’s first major league RBI gave them a enormous insurance run that they ending up needing.  Our beloved Mets escaped with a 6-5 win.

Monday’s 2-for-4 performance speaks for itself.  His first career home run off Henderson Alvarez, and his first career triple have left me eager with anticipation about what more there is to come from this exciting young player.

For those of you that missed it, or if you just want to admire it again, here’s a video of Herrera’s home run. Enjoy.


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MMO Game Recap: Marlins 9, Mets 6 Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:38:29 +0000 dilson herrera hr

The Mets (64-74) lost to the Miami Marlins (67-69) this afternoon by a score of 9-6.

What you should know:

Giancarlo Stanton got the Marlins on the board first this afternoon as he rocketed his 34th home run of the year over the left field fence to give the Marlins an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Marcell Ozuna hit a triple to center field in the bottom of the second to score Garrett Jones putting the Marlins up by two.

The Mets answered back with four runs of their own in the top of third. Dilson Herrera hit his first major league home run, a solo shot to left field to lead off the inning. Wilmer Flores hit a single next, and Zack Wheeler attempted to move him over with a sacrifice bunt. Henderson Alvarez chose to throw the ball to second but was too late and everyone was safe. After Juan Lagares hit into a fielder’s choice, Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases.

david wright

David Wright came to the plate and hit a line drive up the middle that would lead to three runs scoring after center fielder Marcell Ozuna airmailed the ball into the Marlins dugout, giving the Mets a 4-2 lead.

Henderson Alvarez left the game after this play with a strained oblique. He went 2.1 innings, and allowed four runs on three hits, while striking out one and walking one. He was replaced by Brad Hand.

The Marlins threatened in the bottom of the third inning, but the Mets got out of it unscathed as Zack Wheeler struck out Marcell Ozuna to end the inning.

Wheeler almost got through the fifth inning and looked like he was in line for a win despite his high pitch count, but after a David Wright error to prolong the inning, Casey McGehee knocked in a run with a double, and Garrett Jones drove in a run of his own with a single, the Marlins effectively ended Zack’s day. Wheeler pitched 4.2 innings, and allowed five runs (two earned) on five hits, while striking out eight and walking two. He took a no decision for the afternoon.

Buddy Carlyle came on to close out the fifth, and allowed the inherited runner to score, but managed to get out of the inning as Travis d’Arnaud caught Marcell Ozuna stealing.

In the top of the sixth inning, Brad Hand allowed a single to Travis d’Arnaud and a walk to Matt den Dekker. Sam Dyson was brought into the game to replace him, and promptly gave up a two run triple to Dilson Herrera to put the Mets up 6-5.

Adeiny Hechavarria dropped down a bunt in the bottom of the sixth, and ended up reaching second as Dilson Herrera threw the ball out of play. After a Jordany Valdespin walk to follow, Christian Yelich tied the game up for Miami again as he singled up the middle. The Mets got out of the inning as they turned a 6-4-3 double play.

Jeurys Familia come on to pitch the eighth, and after committing three errors in the frame, three runs came across giving the Marlins a 9-6 lead.

Steve Cishek closed the door for Miami in the top of the ninth, setting the Mets down 1,2,3 and earning his 32nd save of the year.

The Mets committed six errors this afternoon, one shy of their club record, in what was one of the sloppiest games played by both sides in a long time.

On deck:

The Mets look to even up the series tomorrow night with Jon Niese (7-10, 3.48 ERA) squaring off against Brad Penny (1-0, 5.40 ERA)

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Giancarlo Stanton: Five Months Doesn’t Change Five Years Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:56:42 +0000 Giancarlo-Stanton-Marlins1

Last week when I floated that Giancarlo Stanton is not a sure bet to sign an extension with the Miami Marlins and could still become available, I got an earful from a contingent who said, “he’s not going anywhere.”

Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, shared an exchange with Stanton, who was asked if the recent uptrend of the team made him more apt to signing an extension.

He raised his eyes and said, “Five months doesn’t change five years.”

Stanton, 24, who can be a free agent in two years, is looking like the odds on favorite to become the National League’s MVP. He is batting .299/.407/.564 with 28 doubles, 33 home runs and 97 RBI with 84 runs scored and ten stolen bases.

There has been buzz that the Marlins would pull all the stops to sign Stanton to a long-term contract, but Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports remains steadfast that the Marlins will not be able to afford him.

“I’m not taking it back — I still don’t think Stanton will sign long term with the Marlins, and I don’t think owner Jeffrey Loria will cough up the necessary $200 million-plus to make such a deal happen.”

Stanton loves Miami, but doesn’t trust the Marlins ownership. He does not want to make a longterm commitment to a team he believes could make him waste the best years of his career for an ownership who is not committed to winning.

“We’re definitely in a positive direction. But we have a month to go to make the playoffs. There’s still a long ways to go to be in the same conversation with the best of the best,” he said. “I’m hungry for that.”

I think the Marlins are wasting their time trying to sign Stanton to an extension. As much as money he wants to be a part of a winning culture and a perennial playoff contender.

The Marlins will ultimately trade Stanton, if not this offseason then certainly by the next one.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the Mets could jump in and land him. Stanton has seen the Mets up close and personal these last five years and like all players knows full well that the Mets have their own set of financial issues.

Additionally, who actually believes the Mets are capable of committing $60-65 million a year to three players? They are hard-pressed to even afford Daniel Murphy at $8 million and are now desperate to move Bartolo Colon just to get some financial breathing room from an already bottom-five payroll.

The Mets definitely have the prospects to get Stanton, but unfortunately they lack the commitment, the creativity, and the dollars to make it happen.

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Mets and DeGrom Facing A Looming Innings Cap Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 Jacob deGrom

Prior to Tuesday nights game in Seattle, Jacob deGrom had won two straight decisions both pitching into the seventh inning and both wins were of the lopsided nature, as the Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves 8-3 and Miami Marlins 9-1. Not much effort was needed from the young rookie, even though he would pitch masterfully in both.

Tuesday’s game against Seattle was a bit different, in the sense that it was a very close game throughout the contest and deGrom was facing a Mariners team that put up 14 hits against the Mets pitching staff the previous night. They would manage only five hits against deGrom, with Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia doing their part to shut the door on a well earned victory.

DeGrom pitched effortlessly in his start, tossing 107 pitches, mixing things up, and even getting the mighty Robinson Cano to strike out twice on a pair of 85 and 86 MPH change-ups. Keeping the hitters off balance for deGrom seemed like an easy task.

What was more impressive to me was the fact that even though the Mets only managed to score two runs for him, he did his part and kept the Mariners in check for another stellar seventh inning performance. His only blemish on the night was when he gave up a run in the fifth. A Willie Bloomquist single, followed by a Dustin Ackley double would be the only run that he would give up.

Three straight decisions with a win and three straight games in which he has pitched remarkably well. DeGrom has tossed 21 innings in that span while allowing just two earned runs to cross the plate, and striking out 26 batters.

So far this season, he has logged 119.0 innings between Triple-A Las Vegas and the Mets. The organization is planning to 185 total innings this season, meaning he has about 65 innings left or roughly 10 starts.

“As we all know, fatigue is what leads to injuries,” Terry Collins said Tuesday while discussing his plan for the young righty. “We don’t need to have another Matt Harvey on our hands.”

There had been earlier talk of shifting deGrom to the bullpen at some point this season to conserve some innings that way, but the Mets wouldn’t dare pull their most consistent pitcher now and especially with Collins chasing relevancy in the standings.

They could run his string out and then shut him down in September when he’ll likely hit his limit, essentially ending his season three weeks early. But not really, as that’s when the minor league season would have ended anyway. With the rosters expanding, the Mets won’t have any shortage of arms to replace him at that time.

Having him skip a start or two could keep him going down to the wire.

It’s a great problem to have, and speaks volumes about how much of an impact deGrom has made since joining the big-league team.

While the Mets decide how they’ll play this, I intend to keep enjoying watching deGrom pitch every chance I get.

(Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/GETTY IMAGES)

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 9 , Marlins 1 Sun, 13 Jul 2014 20:58:49 +0000 jacob degrom

The very hot New York Mets (45-50) were looking for the series sweep against the Miami Marlins (44-50) this afternoon at Citi Field, with Jacob deGrom facing off against Brad Hand.

What you should know:

Jacob deGrom was impressive yet again for New York, as he would pitch seven strong innings, allowing only one run on five hits, while walking two and striking out eight.

Brad Hand would last only four innings for Miami as he would allow three runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out only one.

chris young

Chris Young would drive in the first run for New York in the bottom of the second inning with a sacrifice fly to center to score Lucas Duda.

The Marlins would get on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth on a Marcell Ozuna infield single that would score Casey McGehee.

The game wouldn’t stay tied for long, as Jacob deGrom helped his own cause and earning his first career RBI, driving a ball up the middle to score Chris Young.

Later in the inning, Curtis Granderson would hit a ground rule double to shallow left field to score deGrom, making it 3-1 Mets.

The Mets would add on to their lead in the bottom of the fifth as Juan Lagares hit a deep fly ball to center field that would score David Wright.

David Wright would drive in a run of his own in the bottom of the sixth as he drove in Curtis Granderson with a double to left field, making it 5-1 New York.

The Mets would then blow the game open in the bottom of the eighth, as David Wright walked with the bases loaded, and Lucas Duda, Chris Young and Anthony Recker each drove in a run, putting the nail in the coffin, and now making it 9-1 Mets.

The Mets are now 25-23 at home on the season, have won 8 of their last 10 games, and won each series on the homestand leading into the All-Star break. They are also now in sole possession of third place in the National League Eastern Division with the win over Miami today.

Buddy Carlyle came on the in the top of the ninth, setting down the Marlins 1, 2, 3.

Final score: Mets 9, Marlins 1

Winning pitcher: Jacob deGrom (3-5)
Losing pitcher: Brad Hand (0-2)

Player of the Game:

Today’s Player of the Game goes to New York Mets’ starting pitcher Jacob deGrom would put in another solid outing today, striking out eight Marlins hitters over seven innings and only allowing one run (and driving in one of his own!) And earning the win. deGrom has done nothing but impress since he has come up in May. I look forward to seeing what Jacob can do the second half of the campaign.

juan lagares


Everything is clicking for the Mets right now. It’s a shame that we have to go into the All-Star break at this point after winning eight of our last ten games. The team is having fun right now and it’s showing, as their pitching has stayed fantastic and the offense is firing from all cylinders. Though they have four days off before their series in San Diego starting on Friday, let’s hope the momentum carries into the second half. The feeling in the clubhouse right now is great, and it looks like everything is coming together. The Mets are only 6.5 games back, and no one is running away with the division. As long as we take it game by game and keep producing, who knows what can happen? Let’s go Mets and let’s keep on keeping on!

On another note, great luck to Daniel Murphy who will be representing the Mets for the National League this Tuesday night in Minnesota!!

On deck:

The Mets have off the next four days due to the All-Star break, but will get back into action Friday night in San Diego with Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.99 ERA) slated to pitch for the Amazin’s.

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