Mets Merized Online » MMO http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 29 Jan 2016 06:18:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.12 Mets and Yoenis Cespedes Agree To Three-Year, $75 Million Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-and-yoenis-cespedes-agree-to-three-year-75-million-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-and-yoenis-cespedes-agree-to-three-year-75-million-deal.html/#comments Sat, 23 Jan 2016 10:48:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204743 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.

Yoenis-Cespedes

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!

ya gotta belive gfx mr. met footer

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Our MMO Comment Guidelines http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/our-mmo-comment-guidelines.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/our-mmo-comment-guidelines.html/#comments Sat, 02 Jan 2016 16:26:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203404 comments

Our goal at MMO is to raise the level of discourse in the comment threads by eliminating inappropriate language and insults, and encouraging a lively and healthy discussion about the New York Mets or baseball in general.

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That’s something we hate to do, but sometimes it’s necessary to preserve the positive experience we try to maintain for tens of thousands of our readers.

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Are Mets Punished In Trades Because Of Their Top Young Pitchers? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/are-mets-punished-in-trades-because-of-their-top-young-pitchers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/are-mets-punished-in-trades-because-of-their-top-young-pitchers.html/#comments Tue, 29 Dec 2015 10:59:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203247 Matz Syndergaard deGrom

The Mets’ young core is giving the fans hope for a sustained run of success. But the mere presence of these budding superstars, in a bizarre way, holds them back as they try to supplement this core. Every team wants to break up our top young rotation.

Other teams ignore our silver, simply because they see we also have gold. Then they accept offers of silver, even bronze, elsewhere

This has bothered me for a long time, and the feeling resurfaced today. By now, you’ve probably heard that superstar closer Aroldis Chapman is coming to New York.

Yes, THAT Aroldis Chapman. The Cuban lefty whose 105 MPH missile makes the Mets’ young “fireballers” look like they’re lobbing water balloons.

But not THAT New York baseball team. Aroldis Chapman is not coming to Queens, where he’d fill what might be the Mets’ biggest hole: an elite relief pitcher to pair with Jeurys Familia in the bullpen. Chapman will not be giving the Mets a multi-headed bullpen monster like the one the Royals showed off en route to their recent World Series title at our expense; he’ll be adding to the one the Yankees have already built across town. Chapman, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller (it sure looks like we should have signed him last winter) will give the Yankees a trio of nearly unhittable arms out of the pen. The Yankees won’t have to worry when one of those guys needs a day off. If they can get the ball to their bullpen with a lead, even if they can’t get it straight to the closer, the Yanks will be just fine.

The Mets could have used an elite reliever, and Aroldis Chapman fits that bill. Furthermore, he doesn’t come attached with a long-term commitment— while most teams would rather acquire a guy under “control,” the Mets appear to almost exclusively want guys on one-year deals, which is why they’ll happily shell out over $22 Million to Addison Reed, Jerry Blevins, Alejandro De Aza and Bartolo Colon in 2016 but have balked at multi-year deals for the likes of Darren O’Day, Ryan Madson and Joakim Soria in the bullpen or Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, and Gerardo Parra in the outfield. Chapman, like most players the Mets have brought in, is a free agent after the season.

The Yankees got Chapman while managing to hold on to all of their top prospects. The names you may have heard— Judge, Bird, Mateo, Severino— are all staying put. The Yankees gave up their #6 and #10 prospects, along with two guys outside their top 30.

The Mets reportedly discussed Chapman at the trade deadline, so he was surely at least on their radar at some point. If the Yankees took a guy who had been on the Mets’ list, it wouldn’t be the first time. Look at Starlin Castro, who was connected to the Mets for a couple years in rumors and hypothetical mutually beneficial trade scenarios. The Mets were starting at a steep price tag of at least one of their young aces (Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey) and potentially more. The Yankees got him for a pretty good 28 year-old pitcher with little upside. A similar outcome took place with Didi Gregorius: the Mets balked at the high price tag, but the Yankees scored a discount by landing Didi in a three-team trade that cost them a 26 year-old with a 3.80 ERA.

For the Mets, a comparable Chapman package to the one the Mets gave up would be: Matt Reynolds, Wuilmer Becerra, Akeel Morris and Max Wotell. I have been generous, even, listing a probably-more-valuable package to account for my admittedly lacking knowledge of the details of the Yankees’ farm system. What I am quite confident of, however, is the likelihood that if the Mets engaged the Reds in trade talks— even after the legal troubles I will address at the end of this article— the players being floated about would have been the young aces and guys like Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario and Dom Smith, rather than guys like Reynolds and Morris (he of the 67.50 MLB ERA).

The Mets have a set of absolute gems at the top of their trade-value pyramid. They have a billion-dollar rotation making peanuts (in addition to Michael Conforto). Is there a drop-off after that? Sure, how could there not be, with such amazing young talent at the front of the pack? But the continued pattern— at least one that certainly appears to be the case when we hear about guys other teams are asking for in talks with us, then see the guys they ultimately accept from other squads— appears to indicate that Sandy Alderson’s fellow GMs are expecting him to give a ton simply because he has a ton to give, and are turning up their noses at some very solid alternatives to the untouchable— deservedly so— pieces. The Yankees can trade guys of value on par with Nimmo or even Reynolds and Morris because they don’t have guys like Syndergaard.

What still remains odd, then, is the quality of the players the Yankees gave up relative to their OWN system. It is somewhat understandable that a team might accept Judge from the Yankees when they’d want Thor from the Mets— the Yankees don’t have a guy like Thor to give. But, unlike in negotiations with the Mets, teams appear to be willing to take packages of lesser minor-leaguers when the Yankees hold firm on keeping their own top guys. And if anything, it should be the other way around. The Mets’ 11th-best prospect is probably a good amount better than the Yankees’ 6th-best guy, but Brian Cashman is having a much easier time getting teams to give up great players than Sandy Alderson, despite having inferior chips to trade.

Now, I am not praising Cashman at Sandy’s expense. I happen to think Cashman is a mediocre GM blessed with an aggressive and extremely wealthy ownership group. Sandy has made his share of terrific trades, such as the Beltran-Wheeler deal or the Dickey-Syndergaard/d’Arnaud/Bucerra pillaging. The swap of Marlon Byrd for Dilson Herrera should pay off soon. But what do these deals have in common? Sandy is getting prospects for established MLB studs, and is fortunately (but to his credit) hitting on these prospects rather than getting a haul of busts. That’s all good and well, but the Mets are at the point where they should put a twist on that model, and see if they can move prospects for elite MLB talent— without emptying out the farm system. The Yankees have routinely swung such trades, and while I’m never shy to criticize the Mets’ front office, it seems like much of the issue lies with the attitudes of the people across the table from Sandy when he and his counterparts sit down to negotiate.

I would be remiss in not acknowledging Aroldis Chapman’s current legal troubles. These troubles certainly hurt his trade value, because he could get suspended— and they hurt his value in the eyes of many fans who are put off by his possible character issues. But it seems unlikely he’d get a massive suspension (if he did, the Yankees might get another year of him due to service time rules, if not, they’ll get a draft pick if they want to let him walk after the season). So the Yankees will have a superstar for nearly the entire season and the postseason, and it doesn’t seem like they gave up much to get him— certainly not as much as the package the Mets would have needed to send to Cincinnati to get the same player.

While these situations are all unique (the Didi deal was a three-teamer, and Chapman’s situation is certainly cloudy) and trading is not based on a mathematical “value” rating like you might see in a video game, it doesn’t seem like the Mets are being given fair treatment when they attempt to play the trade market. As players shed the “prospect” label— Harvey and deGrom already have, the other starters will soon— other teams may stop trying to steal our aces at a “prospect” price and begin to appreciate the considerable value of the next tier— Nimmo, Smith and the like— of top Met prospects when the Mets show up to hammer out a trade.

But the irrational negotiating stance our fellow teams appear to be taking with us is as frustrating as any internal payroll gripe.

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Merry Christmas From Everyone At MMO! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/merry-christmas-from-everyone-at-mmo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/merry-christmas-from-everyone-at-mmo.html/#comments Thu, 24 Dec 2015 11:25:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203146 happy-new-year-2015-merry-christmas-2015

I wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of you for helping us to maintain such a vibrant and interactive community on MMO. Since day one, our goal has always been to create a Fan Site that truly represented a broad section of the fan base where all opinions had value. A site where a diversity of expression was encouraged and provided a forum that was inviting to young and old, male and female, optimists and pessimists.

Thanks to the thousands of you who visit this site each day, we have succeeded, and together we’ve created something truly special here at MMO.

I derive so much pleasure from writing about the team and sharing my thoughts each day, but it’s nothing compared to the enjoyment I get from interacting with all of you on our comment threads and experiencing all your passion for the team first hand.

I’ve often referred to all of you as part of my amazing extended family and I truly mean that.

Whether you write for MMO, engage in the comments, submit an occasional Fan Shot, or just come over to read our articles and the threads, this site wouldn’t be what it is without all of your tremendous and active participation.

Thank you, and a very Merry Christmas to all of you. May the joy and spirit of the holidays give you and your families happiness at this time of the year.

Finally, a special word of gratitude and appreciation to all the brave men and women who have served our country and continue to serve with distinction and honor. We salute your dedication, your commitment and your courage. We remember all of you on this special day and wish you peace, health and happiness.

merry christmas

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Mets’ Latest Move Is Frustrating, Because Of What It Isn’t http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mets-latest-move-is-frustrating-because-of-what-it-isnt.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mets-latest-move-is-frustrating-because-of-what-it-isnt.html/#comments Tue, 22 Dec 2015 20:29:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203008 aza

Alejandro De Aza is a step forward, but not if he’s the end of the road

The Mets signed Alejandro De Aza to a 1-year, $5.75 M deal today.

When the news first broke, reactions were positive. De Aza is by no means a great player, but he is decent, and a solid upgrade over Kirk Nieuwenhuis (his four memorable home runs aside) in the 5th outfielder slot. With that need filled, the Mets were clear to address the two big concerns they have remaining: a center fielder (with a bat)  and a setup man.

It was a nice move. Some people wondered aloud, though— isn’t $4.5M a bit much for a 5th outfielder, especially for a team with a constrained budget?

And then further reports began to come out, reports saying that De Aza WAS that center fielder, the guy who will play against righties (read: most games) in a not-so-even platoon with Juan Lagares. Reports that this likely ends the Mets’ quest for outfielders.

That’s it. That’s the Mets’ move. Not the stat-geek’s darling Jason Heyward or the relatively young slugger Justin Upton. Not Yoenis Cespedes, the hitter the Mets waited years to get in their lineup and were rewarded beyond their wildest dreams when they made the move.

We braced for that. We saw Heyward sign with the Cubs, but not before the Cubs had signed Mets target Ben Zobrist and added John Lackey and Adam Warren to a rotation suddenly strong enough to make even the most confident of Mets fans— the ones who viewed four games in October as more predictive of the future than the 162 before that— wonder whether the teams’ next meeting will play out like the 7-0 Cubs sweep in the summer or the 4-0 Met triumph under the lights of October.

We heard Cespedes was unlikely to come back. Some of us talked ourselves into the idea that we didn’t want him back. A couple fans probably let one kicked fly ball during the World Series turn them against the man who got us there (unless you think that was Daniel Murphy, who will also be playing elsewhere). People complained about streakiness, or flukey contract years, but at the end of the day, nobody doubted that Cespedes was the scariest bat the Mets had employed since Carlos Delgado.

So we complained about the glove. Nevermind that Cespedes has the best arm in baseball and terrific speed. Forget that he won a Gold Glove in the outfield this past season. He couldn’t play center field and he couldn’t learn it— his arms and legs are blessed with that which can’t be taught, but nevermind that.

With our heads held high and our resolve as strong as ever, we prepared for Gerardo Parra (not a centerfielder himself, but competent, and cheaper) or Denard Span— (injury prone and currently injured, but catalytic, and again, cheaper). We weren’t going to get a big slugger, but we were going to get a real center fielder, who wouldn’t break the budget, and who wouldn’t be an automatic out against righties.

And now we see that we have settled for Alejandro De Aza. He doesn’t give us the bat Cespedes brings, the guy who changes the lineup regardless of whether he has it that day, and wins games when he does. The guy who gives you a team that doesn’t need to hope three of its 6-12 hits come in the same inning in order to score a run. But Cespedes wasn’t a center fielder.

Here’s the thing: Alejandro De Aza isn’t a center fielder. He played one game there last year and 16 in 2014. He isn’t good there when he does play— he’s not a good outfielder in general. And unlike Cespedes, he lacks the physical tools that the advanced metrics can’t argue with. Cespedes, Conforto and Granderson is a better defensive alignment than De Aza, Conforto and Granderson. Granderson could probably manage center just as well as De Aza, giving us our choice of slugging outfielders to fill that last corner spot. The Mets know this. Signing De Aza is a concession to the reality: We can’t afford Cespedes, or Upton.

Alejandro De Aza is a decent player and he’s better than one of the outfielders the Mets had last year. With that in mind, he makes the Mets better. But, as is often the case with our decent signings, this move seems to have lowered the ceiling on this team. If Cespedes is out the window, if Parra and Span are out the window, if the plan is to rely on several decent pieces to make up for our big slugger—God forbid we keep the slugger AND add some decent pieces— well, I’m not sure where that leaves us.

We hit the lottery with this rotation. It might cost a billion dollars to sign these pitchers in free agency. We have a window to win a World Series in front of us. If not for a cruel twist of fates— four losses in a best-of-four series in games where we brought Jeurys Familia in with a lead, after three months of undefeated baseball when we gave the ball to #27— we’d be going for a repeat right now.

But the window means nothing if we don’t take advantage. The Cubs have a similar window because of their young hitters, and they’re doing what needs to be done to make the offense (and defense) even scarier while making their relatively weak rotation a force as well. The Mets, supposedly swimming in playoff revenue, handed a gift with the retirement of Michael Cuddyer, and fresh off of weeks of seeing fans flock to the building they said they would spend to put a winner inside of if fans came to see those winners play, could have kept pace (no, we weren’t ahead) this winter. We could have signed a big bat and put him in the outfield, letting the fly balls work themselves out, UZR be damned. We could have signed a top reliever or two, building a bridge to our elite closer and putting out the fire we spent all of October playing with before falling in November to a Kansas City team that had enough reliable bullpen arms to go 9, or 12, or 14 innings many times over.

Sure, maybe Zobrist didn’t make sense. That’s a move you make when you’re the Cubs or the Yankees, with all the money in the world. The guy who isn’t elite, but makes a good team even better— a good team that can afford to pay top-dollar for that extra win or two that makes all the difference.

We know why the Mets don’t have as much money as the Yankees. But the Mets might have more than they do now if they spent responsibly with the money they did have. They came dangerously close to signing Zobrist to a deal that would have seriously limited the budget while not adding all that much to the team. They’ll pay Bartolo Colon, De Aza, Jerry Blevins, and Addison Reed about $24 Million this year, and while those are all one-year deals, that’s $24 Million the owners won’t have when they wake up on the first day of the offseason next year, so it’s nothing to spit at. The $5.5 M given to Reed is perhaps the most frustrating, with elite setup men having signed deals worth “only” $8M per season this month.

And while these relatively low-commitment contracts should leave room for a setup man at least, filling the second-biggest hole on the team, all the setup men have signed deals already. The only solution appears to be a trade for a guy like Jake McGee.

Now, I am a huge fan of Juan Lagares. I would rather have had Juan play every day than sign De Aza, and I am hopeful that he can get back to being an elite fielder (he wasn’t last year) who makes anything he does at the plate just added gravy— and I think his production at the plate will indeed improve. A full season of Michael Conforto will be a big boost as well. Curtis Granderson might regress a bit, but he certainly should get the job done (although his struggles against lefties had me wondering whether there wasn’t room— at least against some pitchers— for Cespedes in the corner, after all). David Wright should provide more than he did last season. Travis d’Arnaud can’t possibly keep suffering freak injuries. Neil Walker, Wilmer Flores, Asdrubal Cabrera and Ruben Tejada give us four solid middle infielders to pick and choose from (but I’d rather quality over quantity). The likes of Danny Muno won’t be getting at-bats in 2016. Depth won’t be a concern.

But did the Mets do enough to take advantage of their pitching-based window? One big concern is the pitchers themselves. Harvey drama aside (Matt, not Steve), the Mets had good health from The Dark Knight, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard. Will we get that again in 2016? It’s not a given. Zack Wheeler will bolster the rotation further, but he won’t arrive until July at the earliest, and he might not get fully back into form for some time after that. Steven Matz needs to stay healthy and prove he’s more than a five-inning guy, but he’s certainly on his way to being the best fifth starter of all time. It’s a great pitching foundation, but it has its risks, its (minor) holes, and it’s not all that deep after several trades of guys like Jon Niese and even Michael Fulmer.

We can take the Royals’ approach. Not much spending. No major sluggers. But the Royals have speed, elite defense, and a lockdown bullpen. Lorenzo Cain finished 3rd in MVP voting, so it’s a stretch to say they don’t have star power.

The Mets’ pitching isn’t enough for them to sit back and coast to a World Series championship. They need a bullpen and, most importantly, they need hitting. And it seems all but certain now that their best hitter— the best hitter they’ve had in a long, long time— will be playing elsewhere in 2016.

Is Alejandro De Aza enough to fill that void? Because he’ll be the one flanked by Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson on Opening Day against the team we just watched celebrate on our field.

There might be more to come. There should— SHOULD— be some payroll flexibility left. Heck, I still have a dream— a complete pipe dream— that Cespedes ends up here. And as we saw last year, impact players can be acquired mid-season to support a playoff push. Maybe De Aza DOES end up being used as a top-notch fifth outfielder. Reports aren’t too promising, but I won’t rule the Mets out just yet. With this team, new developments seem to come out of left field.

But if what we have seen so far is indeed the bulk of the Mets’ effort to return to— and win— the World Series, it makes for quite a letdown.

The championship isn’t won in December. But let’s hope the Mets surprise us (and the reporters, and the “sources,”) by making some moves that make them a more dangerous team when the games begin. Ya Gotta Believe, but ya gotta act, too. Tug’s crew didn’t win the World Series, did they?

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MMO Comment Guidelines http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-comment-guidelines-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-comment-guidelines-3.html/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:29:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201008 Our goal at MMO is to raise the level of discourse in the comment threads by eliminating inappropriate language and insults, and encouraging a lively and healthy discussion about the New York Mets or baseball in general.

Unfortunately, in the last few days we needed to part company with a few users who ignored several warnings by us to reign in their inappropriate behavior.

That’s something we hate to do, but sometimes it’s necessary to preserve the positive experience we try to maintain for tens of thousands of our readers.

We are averaging over 4,000 comments a day in November and we ask you to help us keep our threads positive and constructive.

Please follow these simple guidelines:

1. You are all welcome to leave comments and join in or start a debate on anything we post on this site. We offer three options for your convenience, use your Facebook or Twitter account, or register with Disqus.

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3. We don’t require that you stay on topic. You can shift the conversation to another Mets or MLB topic if you want to discuss something we haven’t yet posted about.

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vader civil comments

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The 2015 Mets: A Journey To Remember http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/the-2015-mets-a-journey-to-remember.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/the-2015-mets-a-journey-to-remember.html/#comments Sat, 21 Nov 2015 16:48:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200648 mets win nlcs

Mets fan Drew Palazzo wrote in to MMO this morning to share his thrilling tribute video dedicated to the 2015 Mets.

He writes:

“Looking back on 2015, I personally believe that the New York Mets proved to us that a story doesn’t necessarily require a happy ending in order to be truly memorable. The season ended up being all about the journey, an exhilarating one that we’ll never forget! ”

Enjoy the show…

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Maximize Your Postseason Experience At Citi Field With Verizon, Win Harvey Signed Baseball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/maximize-your-postseason-experience-at-citi-field-with-verizon-win-harvey-signed-baseball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/maximize-your-postseason-experience-at-citi-field-with-verizon-win-harvey-signed-baseball.html/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2015 12:00:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=198154 citi field world series

MMO and Verizon are continuing their partnership as the Mets return home to try and win their first World Series since 1986. As this monumental series continues in Queens, Verizon would like people to keep in mind some tips to maximize their enjoyment at Citi Field this weekend.

Also, look out for a tweet from the MMO Twitter account today regarding a Matt Harvey signed baseball giveaway. All those who retweet the giveaway tweet will be entered to win the signed Harvey baseball. The contest will end at first pitch Friday night (approximately 8pm ET) and the winner will be announced the following day. We thank Verizon for the opportunity to give back to our readers!

Share updates in real time with your family and friends.

Love what you just saw? Tweet it, upload a picture of it and tell your friends. There is no such thing as oversharing when it comes to the championship.

Ensure your connection is strong.

Verizon has increased capacity at Citi Field by adding more sites and allocating more spectrum to LTE so customers should experience a fast and reliable connection during the series. Fans can also leverage Verizon’s free Wi-Fi in the stadium.

Keep your selfie game on point.

Lose the selfie sticks out of respect for your fellow fans, but gain more “likes” with selfies that don’t just highlight your face, but include the field green and scoreboard in the background. If you’re taking the subway, snap a shot getting off the 7 train to capture the energy of the crowd before the first pitch.

For the full statement from Verizon, please click here.

Thanks for entering the giveaway and LETS GO METS!

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MMO Game Recap: Mets Advance To NLCS With 3-2 Win Over Dodgers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mets-advance-to-nlcs-with-3-2-win-over-dodgers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mets-advance-to-nlcs-with-3-2-win-over-dodgers.html/#comments Fri, 16 Oct 2015 04:01:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196683 mets beat dodgers

They broke our legs. We broke their hearts.

The Mets emerged with a gutty win in a winner-take-all Game 5 against the Dodgers on Thursday night in Los Angeles, earning themselves a date with the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS.

Jacob deGrom got the ball with the season on the line and battled through six innings to earn the win. Jacob allowed two runs on six hits and three walks, striking out seven.

The Mets faced a tall task in the form of Cy Young contender Zack Greinke. But in the top of the first, the Mets struck to grab an early lead. Curtis Granderson reached on an infield hit to lead off the ballgame (with a little help from a video review) and Daniel Murphy drove Granderson by hitting one to the wall in left-center for a double, taking third on an error.

But with one out and a runner on third, Greinke rebounded to strike out Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda, and the Mets were forced to settle for a single run. The Dodgers pounced on the opportunity to seize momentum, scoring two runs on four hits in the bottom of the inning against deGrom’s incredibly flat pitches.

Jacob continued to struggle in the next couple innings, but managed to work out of jams in the second and third innings to keep the Mets in the game.

Zack Greinke was 19-0 this season when given a lead. Was.

Murphy led off the top of the fourth with a single before Cespedes flied out. With one out, Duda worked a walk, and with the Dodger infield asleep and still in the shift, Murphy broke for third and reached easily as Duda ambled to first, somehow giving the Mets runners on the corners with one out. Travis d’Arnaud hit a fairly deep fly ball to right field, and Andre Ethier made the decision to catch it in foul territory, allowing Murphy to score the tying run.

After being taken off the hook, deGrom continued to be somewhat shaky, but fought his way through the middle innings despite some sloppy defensive plays. In the top of the sixth, Murphy came up big once again, pulling Greinke’s fastball over the right-field wall to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.

Given the lead once again, deGrom did his part in the bottom of the sixth with his first perfect inning of the night. Noah Syndergaard threw a scoreless inning in relief to get New York through the seventh, and Jeurys Familia stepped up with two perfect frames to close things out, retiring Chase Utley and four other Dodgers before striking out Howie Kendrick to send the Mets to the National League Championship Series.

degrom game 5

This is unbelievable. There is still work to be done (the magic number is at 8), but I could not be prouder of this team. They deserve it and so do we as fans.

deGrom came out flat tonight out of the gate. It was ugly. But he kept the Mets in the game the whole way, coming up with the big pitches and big strikeouts when needed. There was practically no margin for error against Greinke, and deGrom slipped, but he hung on and gave the Mets six innings of two-run ball, which gave the Mets a chance.

It was huge for the Mets to get on the board so early and make it clear that Zack Greinke was not invincible. But Cespedes’ approach with one out and a guy on third was dreadful, as he swung for the fences when all he needed to do was put the ball in play. For a few innings, it seemed like that might haunt them.

But this team is different. We’ve seen it all year long and we saw it tonight. Daniel Murphy came up absolutely huge in this one and was the unquestioned MVP of this series. Tim Teufel probably saw his career flash before his eyes when he looked up and saw Murphy barreling towards him after that walk, but it was the right move and a move the Mets needed. Gutsy baserunning can swing a playoff game. See Damon, Johnny.

I’m stunned that Ethier chose to catch that ball in foul territory knowing that the tying run would score if he did so.

Syndergaard looked great out of the pen. It’s scary what he could do as a reliever, not needing to hold anything back. But his true value is as a starter, of course, and that might be why Terry pulled him after just one inning. Collins trusted Familia to finish the job and keep Syndergaard fresh enough to pitch game one or two against Chicago. Jeurys was more than game, and I’m glad it was him getting to celebrate on the mound after the final out, after the incredible job he’s done this year filling in for (and far surpassing) He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

The Cubs are a good, scary, dangerous team. But that will be talked about in the coming days. There are 4 teams left. We’re one of them. Bring it on.

Up Next: The Mets will host game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Cubs on Saturday night at Citi Field. Matt Harvey will face Jon Lester at 7:30 PM.

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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 3, Mets 1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mmo-game-recap-nationals-3-mets-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mmo-game-recap-nationals-3-mets-1.html/#comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:11:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195391 noah syndergaard

The Mets (89-71) continued their recent slide, dropping their fourth straight in a 3-1 loss to the Nationals (82-78) in the first game of Saturday’s Citi Field doubleheader.

Noah Syndergaard pitched for the Mets and was terrific. Thor struck out 10 in seven innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk, also hitting a batter.

The Mets struggled against Gio Gonzalez as their offensive woes continued. Washington took a 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh on a monstrous solo shot from Clint Robinson.

The Mets got that run right back against the Washington bullpen. A walk from Lucas Duda and singles from Ruben Tejada and Juan Lagares tied up the game.

The Nationals went back in front in the top of the eighth against Addison Reed. Anthony Rendon drew a one-out walk with some help from a questionable call on a 2-2 pitch (it appeared that the pitch was a strike, and that the hitter went around). The next batter hit a grounder right to Daniel Murphy, who bobbled it before throwing to Tejada covering second for the out. Tejada had plenty of time to make the relay, but his throw went awry, and the Mets missed out on an inning-ending double-play. Bryce Harper made Reed pay, crushing a two-run shot to give the Nats a lead of 3-1, which would become the final score.

juan lagares

Well, that wasn’t good. The Mets no longer control their destiny when it comes to getting Home-Field Advantage in the NLDS. The Dodgers’ magic number is 2, and each team has 2 games left. The Mets need one win and two Dodgers losses, or two wins and one Dodgers loss.

Syndergaard looked great. If he pitches like that, the Mets have a chance to beat whoever the Dodgers throw at them.

The bullpen didn’t look so good between Reed in the eighth and Jon Niese in the ninth. Reed got squeezed by the ump and betrayed by his defense, but he’ll have to get the big hitters out in the playoffs, and he certainly didn’t get it done against Harper (regardless of whether Harper should have gotten a chance to hit there). With Tyler Clippard‘s recent struggles, Hansel Robles‘ recent struggles, and the woes of the rest of the pen, and the likely unavailability of Steven Matz, I’m a bit concerned.

I’m also worried that Murphy’s frequent desire to “do too much” will hurt him when he finds himself in the playoff spotlight. He handles pressure well at the plate, but not in the field. That being said, that failed double-play was on Tejada as well.

I will never agree with the rule that botched double-plays cannot cause runs to be scored as “unearned.”

Although the offense was bad and has been bad for some time now, it was nice to see the Mets bounce right back after giving up that first run. This team is resilient.

Home-Field Advantage might not be extremely important (I’ll have a post coming up about that), but I’d like to get it. Let’s see if the Mets can bounce back in a few hours, and get some help from the Padres against the Dodgers.

Up Next: The Mets will play the nightcap of their doubleheader with the Nationals at 7:10 PM/ Matt Harvey (13-7, 2.80 ERA) will face Max Scherzer (13-12, 2.91 ERA) at Citi Field.

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MMO Game Recap: Phillies 3, Mets 0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mmo-game-recap-phillies-3-mets-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mmo-game-recap-phillies-3-mets-0.html/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 18:45:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195221 sean gilmartin

Take a page out of Terry Collins’ book, and don’t put too much stock in this game.

The Mets (89-70) were swept by the Phillies (62-97), losing 3-0 on Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia.

Sean Gilmartin pitched for the Mets and was pretty good, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in five innings, striking out three.

Jerad Eickhoff held the Mets at bay all afternoon, striking out 10 and allowing just four hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings.

Gilmartin began the day with three hitless frames, but with two out in the bottom of the fourth, Jeff Francoeur doubled and Darin Ruf homered to put the Phillies up 2-0.

The Mets, using their JV squad, made hardly any noise in this one. Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a nice day with three hits including two doubles, but the “lineup” struggled for the most part. The Mets got two men on in the seventh, but Eickhoff escaped the jam to keep the visitors off the board.

Tim Stauffer pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the Mets, but Dario Alvarez gave up a solo shot to Andres Blanco in the bottom of the eighth to make it 3-0. Alvarez bounced back to get two outs before Jeurys Familia came in and struck out the lone hitter he faced.

The Mets did nothing against the Philadelphia bullpen, and the Phillies wrapped up the sweep with ease.

kirk nieuwenhuis

Well, not an ideal start to “October Baseball” for the Mets. But they’ve clinched, so these games don’t matter too much. It would be nice to get home-field, and it would be nice to get 90 wins, so hopefully they bounce back against the Nationals this weekend at home and win two of three.

The Mets didn’t really play to win this series, for whatever reason. So their struggles aren’t something to be too worried about. Yes, Eric Campbell is a bad hitter, but Eric Campbell is also a guy who will be sitting and watching come Playoff Time.

Gilmartin gave us a nice effort today and has done everything the team has asked of him all year. Nice work once again from the Rule 5 Pick.

Eickhoff has been fantastic lately, so it’s not like the Mets got shutout by a nobody— or, at least, a talentless nobody.

Hopefully the Nationals don’t play dirty this weekend, and hopefully there are no accidental mishaps either. We’ve come so far, we deserve some health in these final 3 games.

Up Next: The Mets will kick off their series with the Nationals on Friday night at Citi Field. Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.34 ERA) will face Gio Gonzalez (11-8, 3.93 ERA).

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Mets Beat Reds 6-4, Magic Number Down To 3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-beat-reds-6-4-magic-number-down-to-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-beat-reds-6-4-magic-number-down-to-3.html/#comments Fri, 25 Sep 2015 02:45:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194572 new steven matz

The Mets (86-67) grabbed a 6-4 road win over the Reds (63-89) on Thursday night in Cincinnati.

Steven Matz pitched for the Mets and was okay. The rookie gave up 3 runs on 10 hits in 5.2 innings, striking out 8 and walking none.

The Reds took an early lead, stringing together three consecutive singles in the bottom of the first, including an RBI single form Brandon Phillips.

The Mets got to Reds pitcher Josh Smith in the top of the third.. After Steven Matz hustled to take advantage of a lazy play from Eugenio Suarez at short and reach with an infield hit, he advanced to second on a sharp grounder from Curtis Granderson and scored on a double by David Wright. A single from Daniel Murphy moved The Captain to third, and he scored on a sacrifice fly from Yoenis Cespedes to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. The Mets added another run an on RBI double from Lucas Duda.

Matz settled in for a couple innings, but the Reds once again solved the hard-throwing lefty and started stringing hits together. The Cincy got a run back in the bottom of the fifth on another base-hit from Phillips, and tied it in the next inning when Adam Duvall hit a ball to third that took a tough hop and deflected up and over David Wright for what was ruled an RBI single. That would be the last batter Matz would face; Erik Goeddel came in and struck out one hitter (which was enough to “earn” him the win).

The Mets took the lead right back in the top of the seventh. A single from Granderson and a triple by Murphy put the visitors up 4-3, and Cespedes’ rope up the middle brought Murph home to add an insurance run. The Mets would tack on one more with Lucas Duda’s second RBI double of the night.

After Addison Reed pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh, the Reds cut it to two with Jay Bruce‘s solo shot off of Hansel Robles. But Jeurys Familia shut the door in the ninth for his 42nd save of the year, bringing him within one of the franchise record set by Armando Benitez in 2001.

The Nationals lost tonight, so the Mets’ magic number is 3.

daniel murphy

This was a win the Mets really needed (albeit not from a standings standpoint). People have been talking about them “backing in” to the playoffs. They need a nice run to give them some momentum heading into their all-but-inevitable series with the Dodgers, especially since there’s still a decent chance they can grab home-field advantage for that matchup.

Matz was getting slapped around tonight, with the Reds hitting single after single. But he avoided the big blow, and his control was solid. He really hasn’t had his best stuff from the look of things, which is what makes his strong results so encouraging.

Still, he hasn’t done enough to lock up a spot in the playoff rotation. The Mets have Matt Harvey and, despite some recent struggles, Jacob deGrom should be reliable as well (although he could really use a couple good starts to finish the regular season). The rest of the pitchers are less reliable. Can Matz and Syndergaard be counted on to give the team their best in October? Can Colon pitch against out-of-division teams? Will we get Good Jon Niese or Bad Jon Niese?

The bullpen is more of a concern. They did pretty well tonight, although Robles struggled again, giving up the homer. If Robles, Clippard, Reed, and Familia can take care of business in the playoffs, the Mets become a very, very hard team to beat.

And, of course, there’s the offense. They’ve been a bit quiet lately, but they had a solid showing tonight, and they weren’t dependent on the long-ball. Definitely a good sign.

Cespedes is picking it back up after his mini-slump. Murphy and The Captain are hitting well, and Duda is rounding into form. Watch out, Clayton. Good night, Washington.

Up Next: The Mets will continue their series with the Reds on Friday night in Cincinnati. Noah Syndergaard (8-7, 3.39 ERA) will face Anthony DeSclafani (9-11, 3.79 ERA) at 7:10 PM.

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-beat-reds-6-4-magic-number-down-to-3.html/feed/ 0 MMO Game Recap: Yankees 5, Mets 0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-game-recap-yankees-5-mets-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-game-recap-yankees-5-mets-0.html/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2015 20:27:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194053 noah yndergaard terry collins

The Mets (84-64) fell to the Yankees (81-66) by a score of 5-0 on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.

Noah Syndergaard pitched for the Mets and was shaky, allowing five runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking none.

Carlos Beltran got the Yankees on the board early against his former team. After leadoff singles from Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner to start the game, Beltran crushed an 0-2 fastball out to right field to put the Yanks up 3-0. Syndergaard settled in and cruised for a few innings, but after working around a leadoff triple in the fifth, Thor allowed a two-run shot to Brian McCann that put the “visitors” ahead 5-0.

The Mets managed nothing against Michael Piñeda and the Yankees bullpen. Their only major threat came in the sixth, when they got the first two men on and, after a Yoenis Cespedes strikeout, loaded the bases with one away. But David Wright and Juan Uribe (pinch-hitting for Lucas Duda in what was a questionable move) whiffed as well, and the Mets went quietly from then on.

Sean Gillmartin threw two scoreless innings in relief and Bobby Parnell added a scoreless frame as well, but the Yankees bullpen was overpowering, striking out eight Mets (including seven in a row) after Pine Tar Boy departed with one out in the sixth, and the Bronx Bombers coasted to a 5-0 victory, evening up the series at one apiece.

noah syndergaard

Well, that wasn’t very entertaining. The Mets were down 3-0 before many of the fans had found their seats, and they didn’t really get back in it after that.

Syndergaard pitched well for the most part after the early mistakes, but all in all it wasn’t a great start. Still, he showed off some filthy stuff, including a nice hard slider. Noah got some help from Michael Conforto, who made a terrific diving catch in the third inning.

Cespedes hasn’t gotten a hit since GETTING hit on Tuesday. Lucas Duda had an HBP-induced slump earlier this year as well. I wonder if Alex Torres‘ “hat guy” does uniforms as well.

Nice work today from Gilmartin and Parnell. We can’t use our big guns every day.

At least it was Beltran who beat us, not A-Rod.

Seeing the Yankees bring in their closer up 5-0 in the ninth is a pleasant reminder that, for the first time in human history, the Yankees need these games infinitely more than we do. But it’d be nice to take the series.

Up next: The Mets will host the Yankees in the rubber game of their series on Sunday night at Citi Field. Matt Harvey (12-7, 2.88 ERA) will face CC Sabathia (4-9, 4.93 ERA) at 8:10 PM on ESPN.

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Mets Equal 2014 Win Total With 7-2 Win Over Braves http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-equal-2014-win-total-with-7-2-win-over-braves.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-equal-2014-win-total-with-7-2-win-over-braves.html/#comments Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:00:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193229 Juan uribe

The Mets (79-61) beat the Braves (56-85) by a score of 7-2 on Thursday night in Atlanta, matching their win total from last season with 22 games still to play.

Bartolo Colon had a strong game for the Mets, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and a walk in 6.2 innings, striking out 2. Bartolo’s scoreless inning streak was snapped at 31, an MLB record for a pitcher over the age of 42 (he had been tied with Cy Young and Warren Spahn).

After a two-hour, twenty-minute rain delay, the Mets took a while to get going against Braves ace Shelby Miller, but they broke through in the top of the fourth. Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson singled before both coming home on a double by Kevin Plawecki that put New York up 2-0. The lead grew to 3 when Colon helped his own cause with an RBI single.

Uribe added an RBI single in the top of the seventh that put the visitors up 4-0, but the Braves got themselves back in the game following the Stretch. Nick Swisher hit a leadoff single and scored on a triple from Jace Peterson that snapped Colon’s streak, before Andrelton Simmons cut the gap to 2 with a base-hit. Colon settled down to get the next two hitters before being pulled for Dario Alvarez, who got four outs in a perfect relief appearance.

The Mets got one of those runs back in the top of the eighth on an RBI groundout from Plawecki, and put the game away in the top of the ninth on a two-run double by Uribe. Addison Reed closed things out in the ninth to seal a Met victory and give New York a 7.5 game lead in the NL East— its largest lead since 2006.

bartolo colon

Bartolo truly is an ageless wonder. We didn’t get any behind-the-back defensive gems in this one, but any time you see Bart get an RBI hit and break a record held by Cy Young and Warren Spahn (CY YOUNG AND WARREN SPAHN!), it’s a pretty good day.

Plawecki had three RBIs tonight. He’s had a rough year at the plate, but anything he can provide when asked to spell d’Arnaud is a bonus for this team, and, of course, for his value.

The Cespedes trade will get all the love, but boy, that Uribe/Johnson deal looks amazing right now.

I would have liked to see Bobby Parnell pitch that ninth inning. Why waste Reed when you have a perfect opportunity to get Bobby some work in a low-leverage situation? Being the guy out there on the mound during the postgame handshake line might give Parnell the confidence boost he so desperately needs.

No home runs in this one, just some well-timed hits, several walks, and a good approach against a very good pitcher. It’s nice to see the offense put up big numbers even when the ball isn’t flying over the wall left and right.

The Magic Number is 16. Tick-Tock, Bryce.

Up Next: Steven Matz (2-0, 1.89 ERA) will face Matt Wisler (5-6, 5.8a ERA) when the Mets take on the Braves in Atlanta on Saturday at 7:35 PM

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Mets Erase Early Hole To Complete Sweep With 9-5 Win In Extras http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-erase-early-hole-to-complete-sweep-with-9-5-win-in-extras.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-erase-early-hole-to-complete-sweep-with-9-5-win-in-extras.html/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 04:24:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=191668 Cespedes Granderson

The Mets (71-56) beat the Phillies (50-78) by a score of 9-5 in 13 innings on Thursday night in Philadelphia, completing a four-game sweep of their formerly formidable rivals and extending their winning streak to seven.

Jon Niese struggled on the mound for the Mets, although all of the damage came in one inning. Niese allowed five runs on five walks and five hits in six innings of work.

After the Mets left the bases loaded in the top of the second against Aaron Harang, the Phils scored five in the bottom of the third, on a 2-run single from Jeff Francoeur, an RBI groundout by Aaron Altherr, and a two-run shot off the bat of Darin Ruf.

The Mets got two of those runs back in the next inning, when David Wright singled and Travis d’Arnaud hit the Mets’ franchise-record-breaking 41st home run of the month. Michael Conforto followed with a double, but the Mets, who struggled mightily with runners in scoring position, could not bring him home.

The Mets evened it up in the top of the fifth, with some more help from the long-ball. Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff single, and Yoenis Cespedes (PAY THE MAN!) uncorked a two-run blast to cut the gap to 5-4. With two outs, Kelly Johnson went deep to tie the ballgame.

The Mets squandered many opportunities in the late innings, but Niese settled in, and after his departure, the bullpen shut down the Phillies, with Logan Verrett, Hansel Robles, Sean Gilmartin, and Carlos Torres doing the honors. The Mets escaped defeat in the tenth when Dominic Brown’s would-be walk-off home run hooked just foul. Moments later, the Mets turned in the Play of the Year, when Carlos Torres kicked a sharp grounder into the hole, where Daniel Murphy changed direction, dived to snare it, fired the throw to Torres covering the bag to nab Francoeur at first (words don’t come close to doing it justice… here it is)

Batting for himself in the top of the 13th inning, Carlos Torres hit a leadoff single, and Granderson followed with another base-hit. Cespedes flew out, but Daniel Murphy hit a two-run double and took third on a throwing error. Wright then reached second on another throwing error as Murphy came to make it 8-5, and the Captain scored on an RBI single from Conforto. Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning to seal the 9-5 victory.

wright d'Arnaud

This team is HOT. Even their nail-biters end up being near-blowouts. They don’t quit, either. And if they keep hitting Home Runs like this, no deficit will be too large to overcome.

Niese did a solid job of bouncing back, and the bullpen was marvelous tonight.

The Phillies are bad. So were the Rockies. But make no mistake… these Mets are GOOD.

Up Next: The Mets will host the Red Sox on Friday night at Citi Field. Matt Harvey (11-7, 2.57 ERA) will face Henry Owens (2-1, 4.50 ERA) at 7:10 PM.

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-erase-early-hole-to-complete-sweep-with-9-5-win-in-extras.html/feed/ 0 MMO Game Recap: Pirates 5, Mets 3 (14) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mmo-game-recap-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mmo-game-recap-3.html/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 03:34:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=190491 jon niese

The Mets (63-54) fell to the Pirates (68-46) by a score of 5-3 in 14 innings on Saturday night.

Jon Niese turned in a decent outing for the Mets, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings, striking out 5.

The Mets were bitten by the long ball in the first inning for the third straight game. After a questionable call by Bob Davidson behind the plate put Andrew McCutchen on first with a two-out walk, Aramis Ramirez sent Niese’s next pitch over the wall to put the Pirates up 2-0. Gregory Polanco extended Pittsburgh’s lead in the third inning with a solo shot that put the visitors up 3-0.

The Mets failed to do anything against Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton early in the game. But after Carlos Torres worked a scoreless top of the seventh in relief of Niese, the Mets came roaring back after the stretch to get their starter off the hook. Juan Uribe led off the frame with a solo shot, and after a throwing error by Aramis Ramirez put Travis d’Arnaud on base with one out, Michael Conforto rocketed one over the wall in right to tie the game at three and send Morton to the showers.

After Tyler Clippard worked through the top of the eighth, Jeurys Familia put up a zero in the ninth with some major help from Yoenis Cespedes. Sean Rodriguez hit one into the gap for an extra-base hit, but when the ball took an odd bounce, he turned for third and was gunned down by an absolute missile from Cespedes.

The game headed to extras, where Hansel Robles pitched three strong innings out of the bullpen for the Mets. The Mets got the winning run in scoring position in the bottom of the 12th when Lucas Duda worked a pinch-hit walk and Ruben Tejada singled, but Wilmer Flores struck out to extend the ballgame.

Sean Gilmartin pitched a scoreless frame in the 13th, but the Pirates got to him in the 14th to win the game. A leadoff double by Francisco Cervelli put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Starling Marte grounded one to Daniel Murphy, who made a poor decision and tried to get the lead runner rather than taking the sure out at first, and instead got nothing. Chris Stewart lined a single into center to put the Pirates up 4-3, and with runners still on the corners, Rodriguez popped one over the drawn-in infield to make it 5-3. Gilmartin got out of the inning thanks to a double-play on a popped-up bunt attempt and a runner caught stealing, but the damage had been done.

Kelly Johnson doubled with one out in the bottom of the 14th against Pirates closer Mark Melancon, but Travis d’Arnaud and Anthony Recker‘s well-hit drives both found the glove of Andrew McCutchen, and the Pirates escaped with an extra-inning victory for the second straight night, allowing Ne-Yo to finally take the stage for his postgame concert.

michael Conforto

For the most part, the Mets offense has quieted down lately. But the resilience is still there, as shown by their comeback in the seventh inning— a combined effort from veteran Juan Uribe and rookie Michael Conforto. Conforto hasn’t been putting up great numbers, but he’s shown a good eye and has been hitting the ball quite hard, which is all you can ask for. As for Uribe, I’m not sure how he’s successful— he pulls out on every swing, and it seems like he’d never get a hit if pitchers just stuck with off-speed pitches on the outside part of the plate. But he seems to make it work.

Niese wasn’t great tonight, but he kept the Mets in the game, as he has done in nearly every single start the last few months. However, the Mets can’t keep giving up all these first inning runs. It cost them a game back in Tampa, and it’s definitely been an issue the last three games here at home.

The bullpen did a solid job, taking over in the 7th and keeping the Pirates off the board until the 14th inning. Robles in particular was terrific. At some point, the offense has to pick up the relievers and put the ballgame away.

Murphy hasn’t made many mistakes over the last few months, but his gaffe tonight was boneheaded to say the least. The Mets probably weren’t putting up a zero in that inning anyway, but he certainly didn’t help the cause (of course, the issue was that he was trying far too hard to keep that go-ahead run off the board).

Cespedes has been hitting well, and we finally saw that arm tonight. He’s a terrific ballplayer, and it’s frustrating that—while I won’t waste too many words on it tonight— we almost certainly won’t see him in a Met uniform next year. Let’s try to enjoy him while he’s here, but we can’t get too attached.

Bob Davison was a huge detriment to this game. A home plate umpire’s presence should never be as noticeable as it was tonight. I don’t think anybody in either dugout was happy with him in this (extended) contest.

It’s a frustrating loss, but not an infuriating loss. The Mets have hung with one of the better teams in the league the last two nights, and while moral victories don’t count in the standings, their small cushion in the NL East allows one to avoid living and dying with each game. In the long run, however, the Mets will need to win these games more often than not. And they’ll certainly need to avoid the sweep with their ace on the hill next game.

Up Next: The Mets will wrap up their series with the Pirates on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. Matt Harvey (11-7, 2.61 ERA) will face Jeff Locke (6-7, 4.43 ERA) at 1:10 PM.

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Featured Post: What Does It Say About An Organization When… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/featured-post-what-does-it-say-about-an-organization-when.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/featured-post-what-does-it-say-about-an-organization-when.html/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 13:00:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189113 You know there’s something about the last few days that’s been overlooked and needs to be said. One of the things we pride ourselves on MMO is to always strive to be original and out-of-the-box. This is one of those kinds of posts.

wilmer flores

What does it say about an organization when a player starts crying uncontrollably while on the field, after learning he’s been traded to another team?

“When I came up to hit I heard everybody cheering. I said, ‘Why?’ There’s no reason. Then I realized I was traded. I was so sad. I wanted to be with the Mets forever, and all my teammates here. That’s why I became so emotional.”

gomezoh

What does it say about an organization when a player from another team learns he’s just been traded to you, and he gets excited, ecstatic, and then starts tweeting selfies of himself showing how happy he is?

zw

What does it say about an organization when a player who’s out for the season, calls his general manager and pleads with him not to trade him because he wants to win a championship with the rest of his teammates?

“I intended to reach out to Zack but actually Zack reached out to me… He really expressed his desire to remain a Met, his excitement for being part of the organization and being part of what is happening here.”

MLB: All Star Game-Home Run Derby

What does it say about an organization when a player who was just traded for the fourth time in two seasons tweets out, “Guess who’s joining the New York Mets, This guy!” and then starts raving about the Mets pitching and their chances to go all the way?

You know for years I’ve heard many people say, why would any player ever want to play for the New York Mets if given the choice?

I’ve also heard, why would any free agent ever want to sign to play for the New York Mets unless they were being grossly overpaid?

It seems to me that there’s been a seismic shift in how the Mets are now viewed throughout the game of baseball.

Sure there’s still the few knuckleheads out there like Jon Heyman who thought that it would be funny to make jokes at Wilmer Flores’s expense the other day.

But like former Met Paul Lo Duca snapped back, “Who cares what Jon Heyman thinks, the guy’s never even worn a jockstrap.”

Anyway, I just thought it would be cool to consider how much things have changed around Flushing even with the sleaze bags we have for owners . Because it certainly seems to me that playing for the New York Mets is suddenly now the IN-THING… And I for one am very happy about that.

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Alderson Has Rekindled Talks With Brewers For Ramirez and Segura http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/alderson-has-recently-discussed-ramirez-and-segura-with-brewers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/alderson-has-recently-discussed-ramirez-and-segura-with-brewers.html/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:46:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=186575 aramis ramirez

Just when I thought all the Aramis Ramirez talk had come to a merciful end, there’s this:

The Mets and Brewers have recently had trade talks in which both third baseman Aramis Ramirez and shortstop Jean Segura were discussed, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Ramirez, 37, is owed roughly $7 million for the rest of this season, and is hitting .236 with a .280 OBP, 10 home runs, 39 RBI and a -.03 WAR for the Brewers.

Segura, 25, is under team control for three more years and is hitting .267 with a .299 OBP, three home runs, 24 RBI and a 0.0 WAR for the season.

Both players are hardly the kind of upgrades the team would need to boost the team’s offense, and some might say they are not upgrades at all.

Alderson has said that he will overpay if he has to to get the right player he feels the team needs.

July 9

Mike Puma of the New York Post spoke to Sandy Alderson about how the trade market is evolving and the possibility of trading for a hitter.

The Mets general manager said that the trade market is just beginning to reveal itself and if you haven’t noticed, Sandy is right. In the last 5-6 days, names have begun to emerge and so have some of the buyers and sellers.

Ben Zobrist has been the player most widely connected to the Mets. They’ve made no secret of the fact that they love him as a player and because of the versatility he could afford them. The problem is with the A’s back in the hunt he appears to be off the table now. Apparently Sandy Alderson was willing to overpay for him.

Josh Reddick is another Oakland player who could be available. The word is that the Angels are trying hard to get him but so far the A’s aren’t budging.

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulis is on the hunt for starting pitching and help in the bullpen. He could move the both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Each of them are signed through the end of this season and have options for 2016. (MLB Trade Rumors)

The San Diego Padres could make outfielder Justin Upton available and some believe Will Venable could be moving as well. Obviously it will take a lot to land Upton, and Venable may not be enough to make a difference for the Mets. But with the Padres falling out of it both could be easy to snag for whoever wants them.

We wrote about Yasiel Puig falling out of favor with the Dodgers on Monday and while he would certainly fit the bill for the Mets, given his extremely high upside and team friendly contract. However, the Mets may not have the stomach to part with the young power arm it would take to land him.

We’ve beaten all the Aramis Ramirez rumors to death on MMO, and it’s quite clear that the Mets are not interested . If they were, he would’ve been in Flushing long ago given how desperate the Brewers are to move him for a song. Another player Milwaukee could move is outfielder Gerardo Parra, whose .840 OPS against RHP might be super appealing to the Mets.

One name that comes up a lot is Brock Holt of the Boston Red Sox. He’s a very versatile player who hits well against righties. I’d say he’s kind of a  Ben Zobrist-Lite without the track record.

These are just a few of the players creating some buzz around the league as we get closer to the July 31 trade deadline. You can expect a few more names to emerge over the All-Star break when many general managers will be on their phones texting and calling each other to feel the market out and potentially build foundations for a deal..

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Mets-Reds Matchup Suspended At 1-1 After Six Innings http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mets-reds-matchup-suspended-at-1-1-after-six-innings.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mets-reds-matchup-suspended-at-1-1-after-six-innings.html/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 23:23:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185691 mets rain delay tarp

Saturday’s Mets-Reds game was suspended due to rain after six innings with the teams tied at 1. The teams will resume play tomorrow at 1:10 PM and finish the first game, before playing their scheduled game. The Steve Miller Band concert, scheduled for Saturday, will be held after the second game on Sunday.

Matt Harvey pitched well for the Mets, going six innings and allowing one run on five hits (it should have been no runs on four hits), striking out three and walking two.

The Mets had Reds starter Michael Lorenzen on the ropes early and often, but failed to do much damage, wasting doubles in three separate innings and leaving the bases loaded in another. Their lone run came on a solo shot from Curtis Granderson in the third.

Granderson Curtis

Granderson, however, failed to make a fairly easy catch in the fifth inning (the play was unfairly scored as a double), and the Reds ultimately tied the game on an RBI double by Brandon Phillips.

Harvey was done for the day regardless of the weather, having been pulled for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. Carlos Torres was introduced as the new pitcher before the game was called, so he will have to throw at least one pitch when the game resumes. The action picks up again tomorrow at 1:10 PM.

After the suspended game is done, Steven Matz (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his MLB debut and face Josh Smith (0-0, 12.00 ERA). Good Luck, Steven!

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MMO Game Recap: Brewers 3, Mets 2 (.500 Baseball) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mmo-game-recap-brewers-3-mets-2-500-baseball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mmo-game-recap-brewers-3-mets-2-500-baseball.html/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 03:25:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185371 lucas duda

The Mets (36-36) fell 3-2 to the Brewers (26-46) on Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

Jon Niese pitched pretty well for the Mets, skating around eight hits, three walks and a hit batsman to throw six innings of two-run ball, striking out three.

The Brewers scored a run in the bottom of the first with a string of two-out hits, but the Mets evened it against Mike Fiers in the top of the third on Curtis Granderson‘s solo shot. New York took the lead in the fourth when Wilmer Flores walked, moved to second on a groundout, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Kevin Plawecki‘s sacrifice fly.

Milwaukee tied it up in the bottom of the sixth with some help from Dilson Herrera, who couldn’t make a clean play on a throw from Kevin Plawecki which would have easily gotten a stealing Gerardo Parra (who later scored).

Hansel Robles came in for Niese to start the seventh and struck out Ryan Braun, before walking Carlos Gomez and being replaced by Sean Gilmartin. The lefty allowed a double down the left-field line to Adam Lind. As Gomez headed to third, the ball bounced off the left-field wall and straight through Michael Cuddyer‘s legs, allowing Gomez to score what would ultimately be the game-winning run.

Bobby Parnell pitched 1.1 strong innings for the Mets, but the team could not rally and dropped its sixth straight, falling to the .500 mark on the season.

I’m not going to dive too deeply into this dreadful loss, but it really feels like the 2009-2014 Mets are back in full force. This team has lost as many games as it has won, and needs to get back to playing April baseball— not just “pretty good” baseball— if they want to even entertain thoughts of playing in October. And with their best hitters dropping like flies— Travis d’Arnaud is the latest key hitter who looks like he might be out for awhile— it might be time to really turn our thoughts to 2016.

I will say one thing about the disaster in the outfield… that ball rolled pretty slowly to the wall, then seemed to take a much harder bounce than it should have. The play wasn’t as pathetic on Cuddyer’s part as it looked. But it sure was bad, and it sure was frustrating.

Tomorrow’s game is an absolute must-win. This team cannot fall under 500 and hope to maintain the respectability it gained early in the year, no matter how close they are to first place in their weak division.

Up Next: The Mets will continue their series with the Brewers on Wednesday night. Bartolo Colon (9-5, 4.81 ERA) will face Jimmy Nelson (3-8, 4.64 ERA) at 8:10 PM.

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