Mets Merized Online » Nationals Sat, 14 Jan 2017 00:40:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MMO Mailbag: NL East Shortstops of the Future Sun, 01 Jan 2017 14:30:53 +0000 amed-rosario-mlb-photo

Mitch asks…

Once the Mets finally promote Amed Rosario, how do you think all the NL East shortstops will rank let’s say in 2019? There seems to be a lot of great ones in the division.

Jacob replies…

You’re 100% right, the NL East is stacked with potential All-Stars at the shortstop position. Let’s look at them all.

I will try to not let personal beliefs get in the way here, because as a Mets fan who has seen him play many times (in Brooklyn, Binghamton, and minor league Spring Training) it is difficult to not get ahead of yourself when talking about Amed Rosario.

The 21-year-old has already put together an impressive resume, which includes a 2016 Futures Game selection, two mid-season All-Star nods, and being named the 11th best prospect in baseball by The organization is absolutely enamored with Rosario, so much so that he has leapfrogged Gavin Cecchini as the shortstop of the future, even though Cecchini has already made his major league debut.

In Washington, Nationals fans were given a strong sample size of Trea Turner in 2016, as the 23-year-old racked up a .342/.370/.567 line, while hitting 13 home runs and stealing 33 bases in 73 games. Turner finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting to Corey Seager.

Turner primarily spent the 2016 season manning center field for the Nationals, but the team’s recent acquisition of Adam Eaton will send Turner back to his natural position, with Bryce Harper and the contract of Jayson Werth occupying the other outfield spots. Turner is positioned to be a very good player for a very long time, making GM Mike Rizzo’s trade for him in December of 2014 look better by the day.


Dansby Swanson is at the center of Atlanta’s attempt to rebuild their ball club as they move into SunTrust Park in 2017. Swanson, 23 by Opening Day, is currently known as they player who was selected with the first pick of the 2015 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, then subsequently traded to the Braves in the infamous Shelby Miller deal. Swanson, however, has the potential to be known for much more.

The former Vanderbilt Commodore showcases a stellar bat and above-average glove, which will likely force fellow Braves prospect Ozzie Albies to slide over to second base, not the other way around. Swanson hit .302 in 145 at bats after he was promoted to the major leagues in August last season.

The jury is still out on Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford, who is ranked as the number two prospect in baseball by, but struggled after his promotion to Triple-A Lehigh. He is known more for his glove than his bat, but Crawford has yet to put together one – full – standout season at the plate. However, the Phillies have to love his career rate stats of 13% for strikeouts and walks. The Phillies can’t commit to Freddy Galvis and his .241 career batting average forever, so it’s only a matter of time before Crawford makes his debut.

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This leads us to the Miami Marlins, who don’t house any fancy names in their minor league system. Their top prospect at the position is J.T. Riddle, who spent most of 2016 in Double-A, and was added to the 40-man roster in November. The 25-year-old from the University of Kentucky has a .274 batting average through four minor league seasons.The Marlins don’t appear to be moving on from Adeiny Hechavarria anytime soon, although his statistics should suggest otherwise. This makes it unlikely for a Marlin to make any noise from the position in the foreseeable future.

So there you have it. If I had to put those players into a ranking for the 2019 season, I’d likely go Turner, Rosario, Swanson, Crawford, and whoever the Marlins decide to trot out there, which I will fittingly label as MIA.

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Good Fundies Episode 29: This is Not a Blog (with Dan Szymborski) Fri, 16 Dec 2016 22:03:34 +0000 santa-syndergaard

Roger and Brian wished each other, as well as the listeners, a very happy holiday season and New Year, before they talked about the recently quiet Mets offseason, as well as the fairly funny (to Mets fans) Winter Meetings the Nationals just had, before admitting that the Nationals still might be the better team.

They then had a long chat with Very Special guest Dan Szymborski of ESPN, who talked about which team is the one to beat in the NL East. He also tells us about the history of ZiPS, why he didn’t name it SiPS, the Baseball Think Factory days, the massive trade value of Ecto Cooler in the school cafeteria, what to expect from Cespedes moving forward, and why Curtis Granderson is like the suit you wore to the high school prom.

Dan also discusses getting dirty looks at Ned Yost media sessions, his feud with Murray Chass, the one player he wished Carl Everett played with, and more if you can believe it.


iTunes  –  Stitcher  –  Twitter

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Are the Nationals Considerably Better Than the Mets Right Now? Mon, 12 Dec 2016 07:30:47 +0000 nationals murphy harper

Mark Simon of ESPN took a look at both the New York Mets and Washington Nationals as currently constructed to see who is currently the better team on paper. The results will not please Mets fans.

Simon goes on to explain that the items left on the Mets to-do list is going to help them little in the grand scheme of things for 2017. He lists the team’s likelihood of dumping an outfielder while just signing a reliever or two to make little difference in how they perform in the upcoming season.

Fangraphs currently projects the Metropolitans to finish six games behind the Nationals while only winning 83 games in the upcoming season. Simon believes that the reasoning for this is that the Nationals are a much more sure thing at this point and time than the Mets.

Citing issues with a young pitching staff coming back from injury, a catcher who can’t get healthy and has seen a recent dip in production when he is. Balky backs and knees to their first baseman, second baseman and shortstop as well as an aging and injury prone Jose Reyes.

Add-in a once thought to be superstar in the making of Michael Conforto who has become a big question mark to many, combined with a captain who has to manage through spinal stenosis on a daily basis and a bullpen that may lose it’s closer for an indefinite amount of time. It could be possible that Simon has a point.

Other than the health of Stephen Strasburg and their current need for a closer, the Nationals are a fairly steady team. The loss of Wilson Ramos of course could possibly hurt them as well but the addition of Adam Eaton is sure to lessen the gap of any offense missed.

Going into 2017 the two beasts of the East are sure to look pretty similar to the two teams we see on paper today. Do you believe Simon has a point in feeling this way, or is his thought process flawed?

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Nationals Discussing Deal For Chris Sale, Other Teams Still In The Mix Tue, 06 Dec 2016 03:00:29 +0000 chris sale

Update, 10:26 p.m.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, other teams are still in the mix for Sale and that no deal is expected tonight. He also reports that the Nationals are refusing to give up Trea Turner in any deal for Sale.

Original Post, 10 p.m.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Nationals have a “legitimate chance” to land White Sox ace Chris Sale and are now “haggling over the final pieces” with Chicago.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds that a rival executive believes the chances are 80/20 that Sale ends up in Washington.

Rosenthal says the deal as of now would send top outfield prospect Victor Robles as well as fireball right-hander Lucas Giolito. They are the two best prospects in the Nationals’ system and Giolito is considered one of the top five prospects in all of baseball.

Sale, meanwhile, is coming off another superb season for Chicago in which he went 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA over 226.2 innings pitched. He posted stellar strikeout (9.3 K/9) and walk (1.8 BB/) rates as well. He has been in the top six in the AL Cy Young Award results each of the past five seasons. Over that span, he’s fourth in Fangraphs pitcher WAR behind only Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, and David Price.

Needless to say, the Nationals would be adding a stud to an already-loaded pitching staff. Washington posted a 3.52 ERA last season, which was second in baseball only to the Cubs. As a staff, they struck out 9.1 batters per nine innings, second only to the Dodgers. Their 2.89 BB/9 rate was ninth in baseball.

Their starting staff was as good as the Mets in just about every metric. Nationals starters owned a combined 3.601 ERA compared to the Mets’ 3.61. They posted a higher strikeout rate (9.25 K/9 vs 8.07) but posted a worse walk rate (2.85 BB/9 vs 8.07). With Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Tanner Roark, this deal could give the Nationals’ staff the edge going into 2017 — at least on paper.

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NL East News: Nationals Acquire Catcher Derek Norris Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:17:01 +0000 usatsi_9539736_154511658_lowres

The Washington Nationals announced that they have traded right-handed pitching prospect Pedro Avila to the San Diego Padres for catcher Derek Norris.

Norris, 27, hit just .186/.255/.328 with 17 doubles, 12 home runs and 42 RBI in 2016 for the Padres.

Norris is a career .223/.309/.380 hitter and fills the Nationals hole at catcher with Wilson Ramos now a free agent.

The right-handed hitter was drafted by the Nationals in 2007, but was traded by Washington to the Oakland Athletics in 2011 along with A.J. Cole, Tommy Milone, and Brad Peacock for Gio Gonzalez.

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Seattle Mariners To Sign LHP Marc Rzepczynski Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:15:00 +0000 marc rzepczynski

According to Ken Rosenthal on Twitter, the Mariners are on the verge of acquiring free agent left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski.

Rzepczynski, 31, has developed a decent reputation as a lefty specialist over the years. In 2016 with the Athletics and Nationals, he went 1-0 with a 2.64 ERA, striking out 46 batters in 47.2 innings.

This directly affects the market for free agent Jerry Blevins, who the Mets have said they would like to bring back. He remains as the best lefty reliever on the free agent market, excluding closer Aroldis Chapman. As of now, the Mets bullpen includes young lefties Josh Smoker and Josh Edgin.

This also affects the Mets’ trade market. The Mariners are in the market for an outfielder and MMO predicts them as a possible landing spot for Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson. With this signing, the Mariners have more than enough bullpen depth to deal from, an area which the Mets would like to improve.

Mariner relievers Nick Vincent and Steve Cishek would both make solid additions to the Mets bullpen, setting up Addison Reed in the 8th and Jeurys Familia in the 9th.

The deal is reportedly for two years and is pending a physical as well as some “last minute details.” This post will be updated when the final terms are reported and the deal is official.

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The Boogeymen of the 2016 Mets Thu, 03 Nov 2016 17:00:46 +0000 madison-bumgarner

With Halloween directly in the rear view mirror, it is  time to look at the real monsters out there; the ghouls/opposing players that haunted the Mets through the 2016 season. While there were many ups and downs this year, I believe we all can agree that we saw enough of these nightmarish beings:

Madison Bumgarner

Before I even get to the Wild Card Game we have to look at how Madison Bumgarner ended the season of Michael Conforto. Yes, this is an exaggeration, but it must be remembered that when the season started, Conforto was exactly the player we were hoping he’d be. He was batting third, primarily against right handed bats, and when April came to a close he was hitting .365 with 18 RBIs.

On May 1st, the Mets were facing the Giants and, of course, Bumgarner. The fans wanted it, Terry Collins wanted it, Conforto wanted it: A start against a top southpaw, giving Michael the chance to show he could produce no matter who was on the mound.

Keith Hernandez had stated countless times that there are some pitchers who could put a batter into a slump, and that certainly rang true that night. Michael’s 0-5 with three strike outs was the beginning of the end for his 2016 season. The rookie who hit 2 homers in a World Series game hit .169 for the month of May and .119 in June. Ouch.

And, great, now I’m having flashbacks to the Wild Card Game. The Mets went in with no plan to work counts or try to get Bumgarner out of the game, letting him throw 21 pitches total in the first three innings. He carried his success from those early innings into a complete game shut out, and the end of the Mets’ 2016 season. The highlight of the playoffs so far was when Bumgarner let up a three run homer to an opposing pitcher, and if we never see him pitch against us in the playoffs again, I won’t complain.

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The Atlanta Braves

Back when the Braves had guys like Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Chipper Jones, it seemed as though they never lost to us in a big game. Now they’re all gone, three of them in the Hall of Fame, one of them on the way. This Braves team has few Hall of Famers, and they finished the year with a 68-93 record, dead last in the National League East and 26 games behind the first place Nationals.

The Mets played 19 games against them in 2016. To quote Keith again, “That’s time to make some hay.” Instead, the Mets went 9-10 against them, including 2-7 at Citi Field. It seemed like everyone had the Braves number in 2016 except the Mets. New York’s final standings, 8 games behind the Nationals, should have been a lot closer had the Mets been able to handle Atlanta like they should have. I don’t expect the same results next year, but it is certainly nice knowing we never have to go near Turner Field again.

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Daniel Murphy

Murph drove us crazy when he played here, but was even worse when he left.

On the Mets, he consistently hit .290 with a dozen or so homers and 40 doubles. However, his botched plays in the field frustrated us, and he baffled everyone on the base paths. “A net negative,” Gary Cohen called him, and despite his historic playoff run, he was shown the door without receiving any kind of long term offer.

And what happens next? Murphy is not just the MVP of the Nationals, he should be the MVP of the National League. A .347 avg, 25 homers, 104 RBIs, and 47 doubles carried the team when guys like Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper slumped.

Oh, but this boogeyman saved his best abuse for us. Not only did he hit in all 18 games against the Mets, he hit .411 with 7 homers and 6 doubles. He drove in 21 runs and scored another 13. The joy he took in beating the Mets time and time again was evident on his face. He was so good that when Jerry Blevins struck him out in a big spot at the end of the season, Dusty Baker said, “They got Murph today. Murph’s gotten them many many many many many, many times.”

There they are, the borderline supernatural creatures that haunted the 2016 Mets. Who will it be in 2017? Christian Yelich? Freddie Freeman? The Nationals? With a healthy pitching staff, Cespedes back in left field and a bounce back year from Conforto, the Mets could be the nightmares for the rest of the National League in 2017.

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Reviewing Preseason Expectations From Alderson and Collins Fri, 14 Oct 2016 16:00:23 +0000 Alderson sandy Terry collins

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

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

The Mets Status as Contenders

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

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

Cespedes’ Car Collection

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

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

The Attention Matt Harvey Gets

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

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

The Starting Rotation

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

There was no Collins response to this question.

The Nationals, Dodgers, and Cubs Offseason

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

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

Building the Right Postseason Team

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

Collins did not answer the question.

Communication with Players

Alderson did not answer the question.

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

Travis d’Arnaud’s Durability

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

Collins did not answer the question.

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

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

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Murph’s 2016 vs. Mets Better Than Any of Chipper’s Years Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:00:18 +0000 chipper jones

Chipper Jones has been the gold standard for “Mets Killers” for almost 20 years. But now, Daniel Murphy is giving him a run for his money.

“Murph” got a hit in all 19 games he played against the Mets this season, as he batted .413/.444/.773 with seven homers and 21 RBI for the Nats this season.

These numbers put many of Chipper’s seasons against the Mets to shame. Jones batted .309/.406/.543 with 49 homers and 159 RBI in 245 career games against the Amazins’. And few of his season stats match what Murphy did this year.

Jones’ career high batting average against the Mets was .408, which he did over 13 games in 1996. Murphy wins in that department– and even more handily when you consider his .413 average came against a far superior Mets team. The 1996 Mets lost 91 games.

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Murphy’s seven home runs against the Mets this season actually ties Chipper’s career high. Jones hit seven homers in 12 games against the Mets in 1999 while he batted .400/.510/1.000(!). There’s a reason why Jones named his son Shea. (For the record, Murphy’s seven homers against the Mets in 2016 are more than he had total in 2011 and 2012.)

The 2016 NL MVP frontrunner also has the RBI advantage. Jones’s career high came in 1999, when he had 16 RBI in 12 games in 1999. If Jones had more divisional matchups, he probably would have shattered this mark. And maybe every other baseball record, given how he always stayed the Mets. Jones also had 16 RBI in 16 games in 2011.

Chipper will always be known as the greatest Met killer in history, and for good reason: He batted over .350 against the team in seven seasons, and 32 homers and 105 RBI career 162 game average against the team. But if Daniel Murphy stays in the division for the foreseeable future, he might have something to say about it. Maybe Murph will end up naming his next child Citi Murphy.

If only he accepted that qualifying offer…

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Gsellman Has Labrum Tear In Non-Pitching Shoulder Wed, 14 Sep 2016 23:55:13 +0000 robert gsellman 2

Robert Gsellman has at least some degree of labrum tear in his non-pitching shoulder, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Team doctors will wait until after the season to determine whether Gsellman will require surgery.

Gsellman has not been swinging the bat at all in Las Vegas or with the Mets, which has made the issue glaring, adds Rubin.

After tossing 5,2 scoreless innings in a non-decision against the Nationals on Wednesday, Gsellman has a 3.08 ERA over five appearances including four starts since being called up.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets @ Nationals, 4:05 PM Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:23:35 +0000 robert gsellman

Wednesday, September 13, 2016 • 4:05 p.m.
Nationals Park • Washington, D.C.
RHP Robert Gsellman (2-1, 3.92) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (14-8, 2.85)
SNY • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

The Mets and Nationals play for the final time this afternoon as the Mets look to stay in the win column after yesterday’s extra inning win. The Mets lost the lead in the ninth but were able to fight back thanks to T.J. Rivera and maintained their possession of the 2nd Wild Card.

Mets Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes – 3B
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
  4. Curtis Granderson – CF
  5. Jay Bruce – RF
  6. T.J. Rivera – 2B
  7. James Loney – 1B
  8. Rene Rivera – C
  9. Robert Gsellman – RHP

Nationals Lineup

  1. Trea Turner – CF
  2. Jayson Werth – LF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Bryce Harper – RF
  5. Anthony Rendon – 3B
  6. Wilson Ramos – C
  7. Ryan Zimmerman – 1B
  8. Danny Espinosa – SS
  9. Tanner Roark – RHP

This afternoon Robert Gsellman gets the start. He’s 2-1 over 4 games and 3 starts and 20.2 innings of work with a 3.92 ERA. He’s coming off of a game where he allowed 4 ER to Atlanta over 5 innings, a game where he was cruising but then unraveled towards the end of his start. His best start this season came against the Nationals where he held them to 1 ER over 6.0 innings. The Nationals have the following numbers against him:

  • Espinosa 0-3
  • Harper 1-1, 2 BB
  • Murphy 1-3
  • Ramos 0-2
  • Rendon 1-2, 2B
  • Turner 0-3
  • Werth 1-3
  • Zimmerman 2-3

The Mets draw Tanner Roark who is 14-8 this year over 186.1 innings with a 2.85 ERA. In his last three starts he has allowed 3 ER over 18.0 innings, the only so-s0 start in that stretch being against the Mets where he allowed 2 ER and 4 hits over 5.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Tanner:

  • Granderson 7-23, 4 2B
  • d’Arnaud 1-13
  • Cespedes 2-11, 2B
  • Bruce 0-8
  • Rivera 4-11, 2B
  • Flores 2-10, 2B
  • Conforto 1-5, 2B
  • Cabrera 1-5, 2B

Let’s Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Mets @ Nationals, 7:05 PM Mon, 12 Sep 2016 19:40:42 +0000 rafael montero

Monday, September 12, 2016 • 7:05 p.m.
Nationals Park • Washington, D.C.
RHP Rafael Montero (0-0, 4.63) vs. RHP Mat Latos (7-2, 4.74)
SNY • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

The Mets offense took off yesterday as the Amazin’s took back the wild card in their last game ever at Turner Field. Now the Mets look to most difficult on paper three games left of their schedule against the Nationals. The offense yesterday was mostly courtesy of Cespedes’ 30th homer of the season, a grand slam, plus the Mets got an outstanding start from Seth Lugo.

Mets Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes – 3B
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
  4. Curtis Granderson – CF
  5. Kelly Johnson – 2B
  6. Jay Bruce – RF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. James Loney – 1B
  9. Rafael Montero – RHP

Nationals Lineup

  1. Trea Turner – CF
  2. Jayson Werth – LF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Bryce Harper – RF
  5. Anthony Rendon – 3B
  6. Wilson Ramos – C
  7. Ryan Zimmerman – 1B
  8. Danny Espinosa – SS
  9. Mat Latos – RHP

Tonight the Mets turn to Rafael Montero to hold it down in DC. He has yet to record a decision in four games and two starts this season with a 4.63 ERA over 11.2 innings with 11 walks and 10 K’s. His last time out he allowed three ER over 4.1 innings with 4 four walks against the Reds, in a game the Mets eventually won 5-3. Against the Nationals last year he allowed one hit and no runs in 2.0 innings of work. The Nationals have the following numbers against Montero:

  • Bryce 1-2, HR
  • Ramos 0-3
  • Rendon 1-3, HR
  • Revere 0-3
  • Taylor 2-3, 2B

Mat Latos signed as a free agent during the 2016 season to the Nationals. Prior to DC, he was 6-2 over 11 starts in 2016 for the White Sox with a 4.62 ERA. With the Nationals, he’s pitched two games in relief, totaling 2.1 innings, allowing two earned runs. He faced the Mets earlier this year as a White Sox where he allowed six runs, four earned, over 7.0 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against Mat:

  • Loney 8-24, 2 2B, 2 HR
  • Reyes 4-15, 2 2B
  • Cabrera 1-13
  • Granderson 3-11, 2B
  • Cespedes 0-8
  • Flores 2-10

Let’s Go Mets!

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Mets Matters: Gsellman Is Fearless, Conforto the Center of Attraction Sun, 04 Sep 2016 14:30:34 +0000 robert gsellman 2

Should the Mets prevail over the pack and clinch a wild-card berth, considerable credit should go to their nondescript spot starters who have combined to keep them afloat while injuries sideline their heralded young arms.

Robert Gsellman is the latest, giving up one run in six innings in the Mets’ 3-1 victory over Washington. It was Gsellman’s second victory. Seth Lugo, Sunday’s starter, has won twice; Gabriel Ynoa has a win; Rafael Montero, Tuesday’s starter in place of Jacob deGrom, threw five scoreless innings to take a no-decision against Miami; and Josh Smoker has a victory in relief.

“The young energy has picked us up a lot,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud said.

To say “pick up” might be an oversimplification. That’s six wins in games they would have been favored to lose, so instead of possibly being below .500, they are now a game behind St. Louis for the second wild card.

It wasn’t as if Gsellman was overpowering. Instead, the Nationals had him reeling a couple of times, but he composed himself to minimize the damage.

Washington had the bases loaded with one out in the first inning, but Gsellman held the Nationals to a sacrifice fly.

“The game could change in the first inning,” Gsellman said. “[I just want to] take a deep breath and don’t try to get too ahead of yourself.’’

Another key moment came in the fourth when the Nationals put the first two runners on, but Gsellman regrouped to get the next three hitters, including fielding Tanner Roark’s bunt to force a runner at third.

“I think it’s a tribute to his make-up,” Collins said. “That [first inning] was a big inning for him by limiting the damage. … I’ve been hearing what kind of stuff he has and we’re seeing it.”

There’s a fearlessness with this young right-hander that has come through in his first two starts.  Gsellman has consistently owned the inside of the plate and last night, he wasn’t afraid to let the meat of the Nationals’ lineup know it. That’s something that will serve him well.

michael conforto

The Mets also received a key defensive play from Michael Conforto when he made a diving catch of Daniel Murphy‘s sinking liner.

Conforto is showing some solid instincts in center field and his play has exceeded expectations thus far.

“For a guy who hasn’t played a lot in center field, that’s taking a huge chance,” Collins said. “That ball bounces by him, it’s an easy triple, if not an inside-the-park home run. It’s a credit to his makeup and the fact he’s not afraid to try to make a big play.”

Conforto also had a solid night at the plate, reaching base four times and settling for a double off the top of the wall in left that would have been a home run in most ballparks.

GRANDERSON COMES THROUGH: If there has been a recurring theme this season it has been the Mets’ inability to hit with RISP, particularly Curtis Granderson, who broke a 1-for-31 slide in that situation with a two-run single in the third.

Even so, one of the Mets’ most head-scratching statistics this season is Granderson’s 22 homers with only 40 RBI.

It’s staggering when you think about it.

INJURY UPDATES: Steven Matz is expected to resume throwing Monday in Port St. Lucie. He’s on the disabled list with an impingement in his shoulder. … Lucas Duda(back) is swinging at soft-toss pitches and could take batting practice by the end of the week. The Mets say he could return this season. … Zack Wheeler has been shut down for the rest of the year with a strained right flexor muscle. … Neil Walker’s microdiscectomy surgery is expected this week.

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MMO Game Thread: Nationals vs Mets, 7:10 PM Sat, 03 Sep 2016 19:17:46 +0000 robert gsellman 2

Saturday, September 3, 2016 • 7:10 p.m.
Citi Field • Flushing, N.Y.
RHP Tanner Roark (14-7, 2.87) vs. RHP Robert Gsellman (1-1, 3.72)
SNY • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

The Mets missed their opportunities last night and dropped their second straight game, and now they need to figure out a way to keep scoring to keep their playoff dreams alive. Robert Gsellman will make the start for the Mets tonight, he is 1-1 over two games and a start with a 3.72 ERA over 9.2 innings of work. In his first start he allowed 7 hits and 4 ER against the Phillies while striking out 5. This will be his first start against the Nationals and first time facing anyone on the Nationals roster in a major league game.

Mets Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes – 3B
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
  4. Curtis Granderson – RF
  5. Wilmer Flores – 2B
  6. Michael Conforto – CF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. James Loney – 1B
  9. Robert Gsellman – RHP

Nationals Lineup

  1. Trea Turner – CF
  2. Jayson Werth – LF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Bryce Harper – RF
  5. Anthony Rendon – 3B
  6. Wilson Ramos – C
  7. Ryan Zimmerman – 1B
  8. Danny Espinosa – SS
  9. Tanner Roark – RHP

Tanner Roark will get the nod for the Nationals today. He is 14-7 over 28 games and 27 starts with a 2.87 ERA over 175.1 innings this year. Roark is is coming off of a start where he held the Phillies scoreless for 7.0 innings after allowing 8 runs, 7 earned, over 11.1 innings. In two games and a start agianst the Mets this year he is 0-1 over 9.1 innings of work allowing 5 hits and 2 runs, only one earned. The Mets have the following numbers against Tanner:

  • Granderson 6-20, 4 2B
  • d’Arnaud 1-11
  • Bruce 0-8
  • Rivera 4-11, 2B
  • Cespedes 1-9, 2B
  • Walker 4-9, 2 2B
  • Flores 2-8, 2B
  • Conforto 0-4
  • K Johnson 0-5

Let’s Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Nationals @ Mets, 7:10 PM Fri, 02 Sep 2016 19:36:31 +0000 noah syndergaard

Friday, September 2, 2016 • 7:10 p.m.
Citi Field • Flushing, N.Y.
RHP AJ Cole (0-1, 4.97) vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (12-7, 2.55)
SNY • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

Even though the Mets dropped the final game of the series, the Mets had a successful four game set with the Marlins, taking 3 of 4, and now they welcome the Nationals to town as the Mets look to continue to chase down a wild card spot to slip into the playoffs.

Mets Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes – 3B
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
  4. Jay Bruce – RF
  5. Wilmer Flores – 1B
  6. Curtis Granderson – CF
  7. Kelly Johnson – 2B
  8. Rene Rivera – C
  9. Noah Syndergaard – RHP

Nationals Lineup

  1. Trea Turner – CF
  2. Jayson Werth – LF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Bryce Harper – RF
  5. Anthony Rendon – 3B
  6. Wilson Ramos – C
  7. Clint Robinson – 1B
  8. Danny Espinosa – SS
  9. A.J. Cole – RHP

Noah Syndergaard will start off the set against the Nationals. He’s 12-7 over 26 games and 25 starts and 155.0 innings with a 2.55 ERA. In his last two starts he has tossed 15.0 innings allowing only 4 hits and 1 ER while striking out 17. In three starts against the Nationals this season he is 1-2 over 3 starts and 14.2 innings with a 4.91 ERA, the Nationals have the following numbers against him:

  • Harper 4-14
  • Rendon 5-13
  • Werth 2-11
  • Revere 4-11
  • Espinosa 2-10
  • Ramos 3-9
  • Robinson 2-6, 2 HR
  • Zimmerman 1-8, 2B
  • Murphy 2-7, 2B

The Mets bats will get a look at A.J. Cole tonight, who is making his 3rd major league start of the season and pitching in his 6th major league game overall in his career. So far this year he has allowed 4 ER over 5 hits in 7.0 innings against Baltimore and the followed that with 3 ER over 4 hits in 5.2 innings against the Rockies. In his first game he walked 2 and struck out 8, in his second game he walked 3 and struck 4. This will be his first time facing the Mets in his career but one Met has seen him before, Kelly Johnson, and he is 1-2 with a double and 2 RBI’s against Cole.

Let’s Go Mets!

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It Is Gut Check Time For The Mets Sat, 30 Jul 2016 11:00:19 +0000 yoenis-cespedes10

The losses are mounting. Runners continue to be stranded. Opportunity after opportunity is being squandered. Slowly the ship is beginning to sink on what was supposed to be a promising season.

After things were looking up for the team, getting back to being just 4.5 games out of first place. The Nationals have taken care of business yet again though and the Mets find themselves 7.5 games back for the division lead.

They once found themselves with a strangle hold on a Wild Card spot, that is no more. They now look up to see a 2.5 game gap separates themselves from a playoff opportunity. The season is no longer young as we quickly approach August. It is time for each and every player on this team to look in the mirror. Second Baseman, Neil Walker believes though that this is not the time to panic.

“The last several days we’ve given ourselves a lot of opportunities and we just haven’t gotten it done,” Walker said. “This is not the time of year to panic. … I’ve played in a wild-card race for the last three years and we’ve gone through the same things in July and August. The thing you can’t do is panic.” (NY Post)

Panic may only create more pressure, this is true. The team is aware where they currently stand. They know just how bad they have been. Yet again yesterday they went hitless with runners in scoring position in Friday night’s loss, going a disappointing 0-for-8. They are now hitting just .202 in such situations this season.

curtis granderson

Manager, Terry Collins believes things are too tight in the clubhouse. His players, thinking too much of what they are doing wrong instead of going out there and getting the job done.

“A lot of things pile up and I said, ‘Look, we need to lighten it up around here,’ ” Collins said. “We’ve still got good players, good pitching. Quit worrying about bad things.”

It is hard not to wonder whether this team lacks a voice in the clubhouse. Captain, David Wright is not there on a regular basis to rally the troops anymore. Walker has seemed to be the voice in most situations like this after a troubling defeat. He though has been on this team for less than one season. Someone needs to step up.

We have been told the “cavalry is here” by Sandy Alderson. No big trades to be made, of course that tune has seemed to change in recent days with the pursuit of Jonathan Lucroy and Jay Bruce. There is no guarantee the Mets get either.

It is time for each and every player on this team to have a gut check. Time is no longer on their side. Sure there is a lot of baseball to be played, but if continuing to play it at this level, the playoffs will soon be a pipe dream.

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]]> 0 So… About Last Night Thu, 28 Jul 2016 11:00:34 +0000 familia darnaud

It was only a matter of time. We knew it would come, we just did not know when. Most felt it would come in a heartbreaking way, when it was really needed. Of course, that is how it happened.

Earlier in the day, both the Nationals and Marlins won their respective games. The pressure was on for New York to keep up with their rivals. The task of defeating the Cardinals was not an easy one but it was in grasp thanks to a Yoenis Cespedes blast which seemed to save the game.

This though would be the night, Jeurys Familia showed us he was human. Manager, Terry Collins, seeming quite somber after the game explained it as such.

“This is a tough one to take,” Collins said. “You come back on Adam Wainwright and have a chance to have a pretty big night and to have your closer, who been lights out, give up two, it’s tougher to take.”

“We were behind the whole game, came back late and suddenly the whole game got set up in our favor to where you’ve got the eighth and ninth inning set up pretty good.” (NY Post)


A tough one to take indeed. The Cards of course are also another team the Mets are fighting for that second Wild Card spot. It was a very inopportune time for the streak to end. How fitting that Yadier Molina would kill it as well. The ghosts of 2006 past had seemed to come back to haunt the Metropolitans.

“I just tried to get a ground ball,” Familia said. “I left it a little bit in the middle and he had a good swing.”

He always seems to get a good swing against the Mets, no matter how much he may age. The team now will have to regroup and fast as they open up a four-game set against the Colorado Rockies this afternoon. They now have a prime opportunity to get back on track against a lesser team.

It was a horrible loss, one that could put a team down. There is no time for sulking though as this team needs to pick themselves up and get right back at it. Its “crunch time” as Collins says.

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Game 2 Recap: Big Sexy Shuts Down Red Birds As Mets Win Nightcap 3-1 Wed, 27 Jul 2016 02:47:35 +0000 bartolo colon

The New York Mets (53-46) defeated the St. Louis Cardinals (53-47) by a score of 3-1 tonight at Citi Field, and in the process, split the doubleheader. With the Nationals losing in Cleveland tonight, the Mets now stand 4.5 games out of first place in the National League East.


Bartolo Colon got the ball for game two of the doubleheader and was splendid, twirling seven strong innings, allowing just one run – a solo home run to Jedd Gyorko in the second – on three hits, and striking out eight.

Addison Reed pitched a scoreless eighth, and Jeurys Familia pitched a fairly painless ninth, allowing just one hit, and recording his 52nd consecutive regular season save, which is best for third all time.

asdrubal cabrera


In the third inning down 1-0, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a double that bounced off the right field wall scoring Alejandro De Aza.

In the fourth inning, the Cardinals conceded a run for two outs as James Loney bounced into a double play. However, this run would prove to be enough for the Mets as they held the lead for the remainder of the game.

In the fifth inning, the aforementioned Cabrera drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 Mets, which would end up being the final score.

On deck:

The Mets will look for the series victory tomorrow against the Cardinals, as Logan Verrett (3-6, 4.14 ERA) takes on Adam Wainwright (9-5, 4.09 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.

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Should the Mets Pursue Drew Storen? Tue, 26 Jul 2016 15:25:27 +0000 drew storen 2

The Blue Jays designated Drew Storen for assignment on Monday, giving them 10 days to trade or release him before he becomes a free agent. The timing is a bit odd as Storen is going to become a free agent on Wednesday, August 3rd, two days after the trade deadline. If the Blue Jays are unable to move him in a deal, there should be plenty of interest in him including the Nationals who have a relationship with Storen. Should the Mets be interested?

There’s a reason Toronto gave up on Storen, who was having a dreadful year.  In 38 appearances, he was 1-3 with a 6.21 ERA and a 1.590 WHIP, easily the worst numbers of his career.

However, during his previous six years with the Nationals, Storen had a 3.02 ERA and a 1.129 WHIP.  These are numbers that should interest any team that is in contention.  In 2014 and 2015, Storen was even better going 4-3 with 40 saves, a 2.26 ERA, and a 1.042 WHIP.  Now that is a difference maker at the back end of the bullpen.

What is even more incredible is how Storen performed before the Nationals made the ill-fated Jonathan Papelbon trade.  In 2014, Storen was 2-1 with 11 saves, a 1.12 ERA, and a 0.976 WHIP.  Before the Papelbon trade, Storen was similarly dominant as the Nationals’ full time closer in 2015 going  1-0 with 29 saves, a 1.73 ERA, and a 1.018 WHIP. Looking over these numbers, there is no reason to believe the Nationals needed to replace Storen as the closer.  Yet, they did, and his career has fallen apart since then.

In Storen’s 20 appearances as Papelbon’s set-up man, he was 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.285 WHIP.  His season would end early as he broke his thumb in frustration after a game in which he allowed a Yoenis Cespedes home run in a loss to the Mets. The Nationals moved Storen in the offseason for Ben Revere, and Storen has been even worse than he was as a set-up man at the end of the 2015 season.

What is interesting is that Storen may not be a headcase that couldn’t handle being demoted to a set-up man by the Nationals and then the Blue Jays.  As it turns out, whether it was the broken thumb or something else, Storen does not have the same stuff.

Storen has lost some velocity off his fastball and his sinker, and he has really not adjusted to the reduced velocity:

2014 -2015 2016
MPH Usage MPH Usage
Fastball 95 34% 93 20%
Sinker 94 20% 92 31%
Change 88 14% 85 14%
Slider 83 32% 82 35%

Storen has lost an MPH or two on each of his pitches, and he is pitching similar to how he has always pitched.  When he was in the mid 90s, it seemed to work well for him.  Now that he is in the low 90s, he is getting hit harder and more frequently.  Across 2014 and 2015, Storen had limited batters to a .217/.257/.295 with 14 doubles and six homers in across Storen’s 123 appearances.  In 2016, batters are hitting .309/.381/.532 with 13 doubles and six homers in his 38 appearances.

Another factor is Storen’s declining production is how left-handed batters have figured him out.  In 2014, lefties hit .253/.274/.319 off of him with three doubles and one home run. Last year, lefties hit .284/.358/.349 with four doubles and one home run off of him.  This year, lefties are teeing off on Storen to the tune of a .375/.485/.661 batting line with seven doubles and three home runs.  Overall, Storen has gone from lefties giving him trouble to him simply not being to get lefties out at all.

Still, Storen can still get righties out. Across his dominant 2014 and 2015 seasons, righties were only hitting .167/.208/.257 with seven doubles and four homers off of him.  This year, even with Storen’s reduced output, he has mostly kept righties in check as they have hit .265/.299/.446 with six doubles and three home runs.  Right there is the hope for him.  If Storen is still able to go out and get righties out, he can in essence be a “ROOGY” in the bullpen to compliment Jerry Blevins.

And who knows?  It’s possible with an adjustment or two, Dan Warthen might be able to get Storen back to his 2014-2015 form.  With that in mind, if the price is right, the Mets should be proactive and try to acquire Storen before the trading deadline.

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Nationals Vow To Win NL East Wed, 13 Jul 2016 16:00:46 +0000 murphy bryce harper

The Washington Nationals have looked unstoppable at times this year. They are not the same team they were in 2015 and have shown no signs of putting the brakes on any time soon. Kevin Kernan of the NY Post spoke with Daniel Murphy, Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer on Tuesday, regarding the current state of their team.

“Ninety games into the season we have put ourselves in a really good position, and we need to just continue to grind out at-bats, continue to get good pitching, give yourself a chance every day,” Murphy said.

They certainly have as they stand alone on top of the National League East with a six game cushion over the New York Mets and Miami Marlins. Last year an obvious lack of chemistry, and an inept manager who could not control the clubhouse led to the downfall of what was supposed to be a World Series contender. Things though have changed under new manager, Dusty Baker.

“It’s just how it is in there, we are a family in there, a group, a unit. I think we do a great job as a whole and if we can just stick together, win, loss or anything like that, then we will be just fine,” Harper said. “We got to just keep going, keep grinding, keep playing the game hard and keep playing the game right.”

You can tell just by watching the team this year, they are completely different. They look like they are having fun and just winning game after game. They are poised for a nice run this year and are well aware of what happened the previous season after a second-half collapse.

“If we start to go in a tailspin, things can get sideways real quick on us,” Scherzer said. “That type of focus for the next two-and-a-half months is critical for our ballclub. We’ve won as a group. We’ve gotten production from all phases, we’ve played great team baseball.”

The Mets have some work to do and find themselves with just six games left against the Nationals. The two teams will match up again in September, a month that is sure to bring some interesting contests with both in the midst of a pennant race. Can the Nationals sustain what they are currently doing, or will they find themselves crashing again when it counts?

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]]> 0 Featured Article: Mets Have Favorable Second-Half Schedule Ahead Wed, 13 Jul 2016 14:00:32 +0000 wilmer flores

The Mets were just a .500 team in the first half of the 2015 season. It wasn’t until the second half of last year that the team transformed itself into the juggernaut that would eventually win the National League pennant and earn a trip to the World Series. This year, the Mets will hope for the same second-half outcome– and they will face a favorable route to doing so. 

The Mets have 74 games after the All-Star break. While only 35 of those games will be played at home, 42 of their games will be played against teams currently at or below .500. This includes 13 games against the Phillies, six against the Braves and Diamondbacks and two inter-league series against the Yankees and Twins.

They only have 14 games against teams currently in playoff spots: A three-game set against the Cubs in July, a four-game series in San Francisco in August and seven games against the Nationals in September. That’s it. 

Conversely, the Nationals will have nine games against playoff teams in their first 15 games after the break alone. They have 24 of those games total and 40 games against teams under.500 in 72 games. They’ll have a much tougher inter-league schedule, with games against the Indians and the Orioles.

Since the establishment of the second Wild Card in 2012, the average number of wins for a second Wild Card team is 90.75. The Mets would need to go 45-33 from here on out to insure that they win 91 games. This schedule definitely does not hurt the Mets’ chances in that respect. And if they were able to win three of four against Washington, they’d only be two games back at the All-Star break with this favorable path ahead.

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