Mets Merized Online » Nationals http://metsmerizedonline.com Mon, 01 Feb 2016 23:26:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.12 No Ugly Ducklings In This Mets Rotation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/no-ugly-ducklings-in-this-mets-rotation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/no-ugly-ducklings-in-this-mets-rotation.html/#comments Thu, 28 Jan 2016 15:37:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205191 Munster85

I remember watching the Munsters when I was a kid and even then I didn’t understand the whole Marilyn Munster thing. In what world was she more attractive than Lily? I mean I understand Lily is undead and all, but come on. Sometimes I’d see Al Lewis (sad that he passed) sweeping the sidewalk on Bleecker St. and I always wanted to ask him about his car, but I didn’t want to be annoying.

Anyway as anyone who has ever gone out with good looking people can tell you, it’s tough being the ugly step-cousin … In some ways you’re better off finding odd and repulsive friends so you can come off as “normal,” not that I would know.

A unique reversal of this chemistry is precisely what is plaguing the Mets rotation this winter (in terms of of forecasts). Too many Marilyns and not enough monsters. The ugly stepsisters are as gorgeous as Cinderella. Who has the best breaking pitch? Who can throw the hardest fastball? Who has the best hair? Where do you even start?

The Mets rotation is a victim of it’s own remarkably deep make-up – any one of them would feature prominently on 9 out of 10 teams in the league, yet on the Mets they all play second fiddle, to each other. Maybe it’s because they hit the scene at the same time, I don’t know, but you can’t really say deGrom is in Harvey’s shadow or vise versa and I think Thor will slot in soon if he hasn’t already. So how do you look at the Cubs’ or Nationals’ rotations and manage to rank them above the Mets? That’s just crazy talk.

Carson Cistulli had this to say in the preface to his ZIPS 2016 projection:

Much of what Muhammad Ali said regarding his own self applies also to the pitchers at the top of the Mets’ rotation: the triumvirate of Jacob deGromMatt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard are each some combination of young, handsome, and fast. With regard to the possibility that any of them might be beat, it certainly exists, but not in great volume. Among the 17 clubs for whom projections have now been released, the forecasted WAR for the threesome is surpassed (it would appear) only by the Cubs’ top three pitchers — although the third member of the group (John Lackey) receives a lesser projection than the Mets No. 3, Syndergaard.

I don’t think the Cubs rotation beats the Mets, we need only look at the NLCS to see why. The Nats are the real threat. ZIPS manages to project Strasburg, the presumed Nat #2 starter, above deGrom — on FIP and zWAR — which which I find tough to swallow. Stephen Strasburg hasn’t had a sub-3 era since 2010, since before his TJ surgery, yet Steamer thinks he’ll have a 2.94 era in 2016 while deGrom (who has a career 2.61 ERA mind you) is projected at 3.17? Is ZIPS a Bernie Madoff victim or something? 84 wins Steamer? I think you’ve blanched the arugula quite enough! Why, it’s enough to make Bartolo Colon eat salad.

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The other issue is depth. Labeling a pitcher a “#1” or a “#2” is nice when you are comparing aces across teams, but on the field the reality is that your #1 is the guy who is pitching that day. If your goal is to convince me that Doug Fister and Tanner Roark are better than Steven Matz and Colon/Wheeler? Fister had a 4.19 era last year and Steamer thinks that will only go up, while Steamer also thinks Matz’s 2.27 era will rise to 3.59 even though he has never had an above 3.00 era at any level (the one exception is his 4.91 era for 3.2 innings rehabbing in A+ last year which I wouldn’t count), no, really.

Matz may regress given his 3.56 xFIP and 2.46 WHIP, but so far he’s been lights out and he can hit. I also remember with Matz that quite a few grounders found holes but there wasn’t much in terms of hard contact with a 21.2% hard hit ball rate (Max Scherzer comes in at 27.7%) which would have been tied for best in the league with Dallas Keuchel if Matz had enough innings … And Matz was gassed when came back from the injury, losing command after 5 innings or so, but they pushed him. So yeah, Matz might regress some, but the hometown kid could just as easily get better.

Anyway I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, especially if they make predictions for a living or live in Washington and have like access to nuclear codes or zip codes or whatever … but I don’t think the Nats eclipse the Mets in their starting pitching, and honestly, I think it’s because the situation is unprecedented. I can’t remember when a team had this many ace level pitchers in the same clubhouse.

We all know about athletes who played under someone’s shadow, Pippen and Jordan, Koosman and Seaver, A-Rod and Ramiro Pena … but with this Mets rotation their collective shadow is such that they become sort of interchangeable and they get overlooked. They all have this nasty slider, they all throw hard, they all hit and field, and they all order the stuffed mushrooms and linguini white clam sauce at Don Peppe’s, they’re like clones. If you’re playing the Mets you figure you’re going to see beau-coup pitching — so adjust your fantasy rosters!

It’s only slightly outrageous to say that there are five pitchers on the Mets who could potentially win a Cy Young over the course of their careers, five. When has that ever been the case? The 97 Braves? The 2014 Nationals? The 2011 Phillies?

Look, I know calling Matz and Wheeler potential “Cy Youngs” is a stretch, but the stuff is there, and who were the 4th and 5th starters on those other great rotations? Worley? Haren? Ryu? It’s tough to find a starting 5 that match up in terms of raw talent and sheer potential. The only one I can think of is the 1988 Mets because of Cone.

It’s early. This pitching rotation is just starting out … they have a NLCS title and a ROY between them. If they can stay healthy and together, this is going to be fun to watch.

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How Much Did Cespedes Leave On Table To Stay With The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/how-much-did-cespedes-leave-on-table-to-stay-with-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/how-much-did-cespedes-leave-on-table-to-stay-with-the-mets.html/#comments Wed, 27 Jan 2016 18:30:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205165 Cespedes Yoenis

Disclaimer: This is my last post about Cespedes, I promise (probably). Also, I love Cespedes. Pointing out that he didn’t take a discount is not in any way a “knock” on him… I just want to correct a misconception.

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The public perception is that by taking the Mets three year, $75 million deal, free agent slugger Yoenis Cespedes gave the Mets a “discount” or was charitable to stay. Although, yes, it is true that Cespedes is taking a smaller overall financial guarantee to stay with the Mets, it turns out that the Mets offer to Cespedes was by far the most financially lucrative for him. In turning down the Nationals deferral-laden deal, Cespedes didn’t give up much and kept the rights to all of his upside.

The Value of the Nationals Reported Offer

The Nationals offer to Cespedes was reported to have been for five years and $110 million. The catch, however, is that it contained no opt-out and significant deferrals. We can only speculate as to what “significant deferrals” means, so let’s do so below.

The Nationals recently signed Max Scherzer to a seven year, $210 million deal with deferrals. In reality, Scherzer will be paid $15 million per year from 2015 to 2028, a span of fourteen seasons. According to the MLPBA, that reduced the net present value of the Scherzer contract to $191.4 million, a reduction of $20 million from the overall dollar figure.

The MLBPA used a discount rate of a little less than 2%, but their purposes (payroll tax, etc.) are slightly different than ours, so we will use a slightly more realistic discount rate. For many years, people have used 7% as the standard rate of return in the market, and that might be the rate of return the Nationals are getting on their invested money right now. However, it is fair to assume that Cespedes’s people would have him invested in something safer, so we’ll calculate his discount rate at 4.5%.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the NPV of Cespedes’s contracts in the following three scenarios: 1) no money deferred, 2) some money deferred, and 3) identical to Scherzer deal.

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Note: any tax benefits which might come as a non-resident of DC or NY will likely not apply as Cespedes (unlike Scherzer) will not be able to “retire or Florida or Texas” because he will still be an active player when this contract expires.

Note: It was reported late last night that Peter Gammons said the NPV of the Nationals’ offer was $77 million, which is just about impossible unless the deferrals were worse than Scherzer’s or if a highly unrealistic discount rate was used.

The Value of Cespedes’s Contract with the Mets 

Already, the Mets offer to Cespedes looks much more generous. There are two scenarios that can take place between Cespedes and the Mets. Either he opts-out, earning approximately $27.5 million this season, or he does not opt-out, in which case the NPV of the contract offered to him is around $72 million (remember, this deal is also front-loaded and only extends for three years).

The worst-case for Cespedes is that he performs poorly in 2016 and does not opt-out (the idea being that if he is good, he will opt-out in favor of a huge contract) so we’ll compare the Nationals deal to this scenario.

Note: It was reported that the Nationals deal may also have included an opt-out. In either case, the Mets deal with opt-out would have paid him more prior to the opt-out than the Nationals deal would have, so in any case, the Mets deal would be superior. 

Outfielders Can Have a Big Paydays at Age 33

The year is 2018 and Yoenis Cespedes has just completed his deal with the Mets. Depending on the numbers, the Mets deal was somewhere between $15 to $25 million less lucrative than the Nationals offer, so in that sense, Cespedes is “betting on himself.” But when you break down the details, it turns out he’s making an extremely safe bet.

In this reasonable worst case scenario, Cespedes is a free agent again before the 2019 season, hitting free agency again two years earlier and two years younger than he would have with the Nationals. Cespedes will only be 33 years old at that point, an age where players can still receive lucrative multi-year deals.

Here are some “outfielders” who hit free agency at age 32+ over the last three seasons: Ben Zobrist ($56M), Nick Markakis ($44M),Hanley Ramirez ($88M), Jacoby Ellsbury ($153M), Shin-Soo Choo ($130M), Curtis Granderson ($60M), Carlos Beltran($45M), Michael Bourn ($48M), Josh Hamilton ($125M). This list includes some players substantially older than Cespedes, and omits a few who spend most of their time DHing (like Nelson Cruz). If you can still play, you will get paid.

Even The Reasonable Worst-Case Scenario is Better for Cespedes

What is the reasonable worst-case scenario for Cespedes? Perhaps he goes back to being a 3 WAR player in 2016 (instead of the 6.7 WAR player he was in 2015) and he has problems with injury and declines a little earlier or more drastically than someone of his unusual physical talents. Perhaps Cespedes is a shadow of himself and is only expected to produce around 2 WAR in 2019.

ces-compssThere are other worst-case scenarios than this, of course. Cespedes could be hit by a meteor, or have a 99%-ile worst outcome. But Cespedes is a professional baseball player, and a good one at that, and it’s unlikely that he’ll be so much a shell of himself in three years as to be out of baseball. To the right, you’ll see a list of players since 1970 comparable to Cespedes (Between 14.8 and 16.5 WAR in their age 26-29 seasons; baserunning value > 0; OBP less than .350).

By and large, these guys aged well. The other comparables list I made for Cespedes (OBP less than .330, Defensive WAR > 0 ) was also incredibly favorable, including only Curtis GrandersonAndre DawsonAdam Jones, and Carl Crawford.

In any event, assuming Cespedes is a 2 WAR player in 2019 means that a reasonable contract estimate would be similar to the one Beltran signed in 2014 at age 36, or like Markakis signed in 2015 (although even this diminished version of Cespedes is better than both).

Fangraphs generally estimates that the price of a win on the free agent market ($/WAR) will increase by about 5% per year. Therefore, if it is around $8 million per win this offseason, it’ll be somewhere in the neighborhood of $9.3 million per win in 2019. If Cespedes were to take a two year contract in 2019, at current $/WAR levels at that time, and be paid like a 2 WAR player, he ought to receive somewhere in the neighborhood of two years and $36 million.

The net present value of that would be $30.9 million in today’s dollars,bringing the value of this scenario for Cespedes — the reasonable worst-case scenario — to $102.8 million over five years. This is more money than he would have received with the Nationals offer.

The Most Likely Outcome is that the Mets Contract is by Far the Best

In just about every other scenario, Cespedes does much better than if he had accepted a five year contract with the Nationals for only $110 million (with money deferred). If he’s still a good player at age 33, he may lock in one more big pay day, a la Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury who both received $150+ million. Or, most likely, Cespedes will opt-out after just one season with the Mets and receive his huge payday next offseason. You can weight those outcomes any way you like, and in just about every scenario, the Mets offer to Cespedes was objectively the best one.

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Let’s say in the opt-out scenario he gets a contract like Shin-Soo Choo ($150 million), in the 3-4 WAR scenario he gets a contract like Hanley Ramirez ($88 million), in the 1.5-2.5 WAR scenario he gets a contract like Nick Markakis ($44 million) and if he’s out of baseball he gets nothing. This weighted outcome is worth $125.7 million, not including the $27.5 million he’d earn from the Mets in 2016, bringing his grand total to $153.2 million, almost double of the Nationals five-year guarantee. Even if you were to weight everything pessimistically (say, for instance, that he were to only opt-out half the time and be a bad player a third of the time) his weighted outcomes would still add up to $133.3 million.

The worst thing that could happen to Cespedes is that his contract with the Mets is his last one. But in accepting the Mets deal, he’s only giving up $15 to $25 million in net present value in order to retain the right to bet on himself getting a big payday — or even a moderate one — in the future. In fact, signing a five year deal with the Nationals might have been the worst thing for a guy like Cespedes to do. Even though the Nationals were guaranteeing Cespedes $110 million, he was selling 100% of his upside and pretty much guaranteeing that he won’t get another crack at free agency in the future. And he was right, financially, to reject that deal.

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Mets Closing In On Three-Year Deal With Cespedes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-closing-in-on-three-year-deal-with-cespedes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-closing-in-on-three-year-deal-with-cespedes.html/#comments Sat, 23 Jan 2016 04:00:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204667 yoenis cespedes

Latest update, 11 p.m.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is now reporting that the Mets and Yoenis Cespedes are “closing in” on a deal

According to Rosenthal, the deal will be in the range of three years and $70 million with an opt-out after year one.

10 p.m. update:

According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the infamous “mystery team” has reappeared. As Heyman reports, the Mets and Nationals are not the only teams still in play for Cespedes.

The Angels, White Sox, and Braves have been linked to Cespedes in the past. The Astros have as well, but MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart says they are not one of the “mystery teams.”

This is far from over.

Afternoon Update

Here’s the latest on what is becoming an intriguing ever-evolving news cycle on the Yoenis Cespedes front. Let’s cut straight to the chase.

As you know, the Mets and Roc Nation are currently engaged in negotiations this morning and afternoon after learning that Cespedes strongly desires to remain with the Mets. Two sources said the Cuban slugger is “torn” between choosing the Nationals and their five-year, $100 million deal or the Mets and a three year deal.

Buster Olney of ESPN then heard that Cespedes and the Mets are discussing a three-year deal with an opt-out clause after the first year. Interesting in that it would allow Cespedes to become a free agent again next season when the market for outfielders will not be as robust as it was this Winter. It also keeps the Mets from tying Cespedes up longterm.

However, John Harper of the Daily News is reporting that the Mets are even considering increasing their offer to more than three years.

It’s all pointing to a desire from both sides to be reunited again which makes the odds of that happening very good.

By the way, how do you think the Nationals feel that they have a five year offer to Cespedes and that they’re being left hanging because Yo loves the Mets so much he might be willing to leave two years and $40 million or more on the table?

It says a lot about Nats, but it also says a lot more about the Mets. We are a team on the rise that everyone wants to play for. We’ve been seeing this all Winter long. Flushing has become a hot spot destination and the Mets are back in fashion.

Original AM Report

If you thought this Yoenis Cespedes drama was closing in on the final act with the Cuban slugger taking his notable talents to the Washington Nationals…. Think again.

According to a report by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, two sources with knowledge of what Cespedes is thinking say he prefers to stay with the Mets.

The Nationals do in fact have a five year offer to Cespedes according to multiple sources, with the value being north of $100 million according to Jon Heyman.

However, Cespedes is torn between taking the Nationals’ five-year offer or going back to the team he loved playing for on a three year deal or less.

Rosenthal adds that the lead agent for Cespedes, CAA’s Brodie Van Wagenen, remains in touch with the Mets, and the two sides are scheduled to speak again on Friday.

Meanwhile Mets manager Terry Collins continued to push his feelings on the matter. “He works very hard to be a good teammate,” Collins said. “His pre-game routine is off the charts . . . off the charts. He has things that he does right before a game in the batting cage . . . When he walks on to that field, he’s legit.”

As you know, the Mets have yet to make a formal offer, but all that could change on Friday when the two sides meet again, perhaps in a last ditch effort to keep Cespedes in Flushing.

Mets fans torched the team on Thursday on social media, slamming ownership and the front office for failing to keep to their promise to spend this offseason after record attendance, revenues, viewership and profits. And while payroll has gone up about $10 million to $115 million – many feel that is nowhere near enough for a team in the game’s biggest market and coming off a gut-wrenching World Series loss. And they’re right.

While things got heated on Twitter – so much so that it picked up national attention – one ultra popular Mets Blogger chose to berate the fan base and suggested they go root for another team if they were unhappy with ownership and their handling of the team. That was a big mistake and eventually he was forced to duck for cover and delete all his tweets while all hell broke loose against him.

Here’s the question. Let’s say the report is true and the Nationals do indeed have a five-year, $100 million dollar on the table, should the Mets stick to their guns and hold fast to that three-year, $60 million stance?

Or should they just concede the fourth and fifth years, or perhaps raise the three-year offer to let’s say $75 million? Would that work?

Bottom Line… This is far from over. For a very welcomed change, the game’s best players actually want to play for the Mets – and that’s awesome to see. If Cespedes listens to his heart, the Mets could have him signed, sealed and delivered by the end of this weekend. How huge would that be?!?!

Site Note: I apologize for my lack of posts, but the truth is I’m dealing with some heavy duty health issues and I’m confined to the hospital. The only time I have to myself is during light’s out when I can get on my phone and write something late at night – assuming I have the energy. I miss you guys. Thanks for understanding.

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Featured Article: FanGraphs Projects 84 Win Season For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/featured-article-fangraphs-projects-84-win-season-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/featured-article-fangraphs-projects-84-win-season-for-mets.html/#comments Thu, 21 Jan 2016 19:23:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204152 darnaud conforto

FanGraphs posted their preseason projections for the 2016 season on Tuesday, and surprisingly they have the New York Mets projected for an 84-78 record.

The Chicago Cubs tops the National League with 95 wins, followed by the Dodgers with 90, Nationals with 88, and the Giants with 86. The Mets are tied with the Cardinals and Pirates with 84.

I was curious as to what led to such a low win projection and took a closer look. It’s certainly not the pitching which they project at 3.89 Runs Allowed or the 4th best mark in MLB. That’s actually up a little from 2015, when the Mets allowed 3.78 runs per game.

If you’re wondering why the lower projection on pitching, Dan Szymborski explains that it’s the bullpen, which even with Jeurys Familia combine for only a 2.0 WAR – one of the lowest totals in MLB. Adding another dependable arm or two would certainly improve things, he adds.

On the flip side, it’s the offense where the Mets really lose some major ground. They have us scoring just 4.04 Runs Per Game which ranks as the 26th lowest in MLB. Not good. It’s actually a little lower than 2015 when the Mets scored 4.22 runs per game thanks to an incredible August and September when they led the NL in runs scored after ranking dead last from April through July.

FanGraphs also released Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections for 2016 which you can check out here.

The first thing that jumps out at you is how their computer generated projection has Michael Conforto as the Mets’ most productive player with a .255 average and .786 OPS to go with 32 doubles, 26 home runs and 86 RBI. Those are some nice numbers right there.

They also included Yoenis Cespedes in the Mets’ projection, mostly to display the disparity between his WAR total and Conforto. Here’s what they say:

“The gap between Cespedes’s forecasted win total and Michael Conforto‘s second-best mark is equivalent to the gap between Conforto’s mark and the average of the club’s 11th- and 12th-best hitter projections. In other words: for whatever Cespedes’s flaws, his strengths appear capable of compensating for them at the moment.”

I currently view the Mets as a 92 win team and I’m not buying into the idea that the Nationals will outproduce them or win more games. It’s true that the Mets don’t have that one 6-WAR player on offense, but they do have a lineup packed with a bunch of 3-4 WAR players and I believe the significance of that is lost in these preseason projection models.

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Cespedes: Round Peg, Square Hole http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/cespedes-round-peg-square-hole.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/cespedes-round-peg-square-hole.html/#comments Thu, 21 Jan 2016 17:30:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204627 yoenis cespedes

If the Nationals are really honest with themselves, they will admit that Yoenis Cespedes is for them exactly as Sandy Alderson described him for the Mets – a round peg in a square hole.

To be sure, a round peg can actually fit into a square hole.  But it requires coming to terms – sooner or later – with the reality that it is not the fit designed for the opening.

If you believe the latest reports, the Nationals have injected fresh drama into a pursuit already surrounded by drama, putting pressure on the Mets with an offer that, at a minimum, will likely force the Mets to spend more to retain Cespedes.

Signing Cespedes has obvious benefits, but would also make the Mets less flexible and diminish their defense going forward with him in CF.  But in a market that values sizzle as much as steak, having our best regular season hitter, Cespedes, follow our best post-season hitter, Daniel Murphy, to our chief divisional rival, would generate a PR nightmare.  The amount of html that would be spilled in re-vilifying the Wilpons is almost incalculable.

This is not to say the Mets should simply give Cespedes whatever he wants.  Because the fit is not any better for them than it is for the Nats.  Signing Cespedes would essentially signal the end of Juan Lagares and the all-world defense he displayed in ‘13 and ‘14 (though not in ‘15).  It would significantly degrade the most important defensive position on a team loaded with flyball pitchers.  And it would also mean our best young hitter Michael Conforto would again be relegated to the bench against lefties.

But, come on.  Why would the Nationals, fresh off the acquisition of a player, Ben Revere, who offers catalytic potential at the top of the lineup much like Denard Span, suddenly change their mind and decide to overturn that new lineup construction almost immediately in favor of a lineup with the round peg, Cespedes, jammed into their square hole, CF.   This would either reduce Revere’s role or force him to be traded and/or put Jayson Werth on the bench and/or move Harper to CF, or teach Cespedes RF…you get the idea.  And Cespedes is not exactly the first guy that comes to mind to fix a broken clubhouse that still includes a pitcher who tried to choke the team’s beloved superstar.

Cespedes has been on the market all winter.  If the Nats really wanted him, they could easily have tendered an offer, or at least have been involved in discussions with his agent ROC Nation, before now.

But no, it appears the Nats may be so intent on keeping Cespedes away from the Mets that they are willing to sign him for who knows how long.

Remember, they were in on the bidding for Jason Heyward, which means they were prepared to spend well over $100 million.  Would they not spend in that range to steal a right handed complement to their left-swinging superstar Bryce Harper from the grips of the team that crushed them last season?

I certainly hope this concern over the Nats’ do-anything-to-keep-Cespedes-away-from-the-Mets calculation is overblown.  That the Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo will be as level-headed as Sandy Alderson in refusing to break the bank for a round peg to fit into their particular square hole.  But I say all this to prepare you for the now live possibility of Cespedes becoming an enemy combatant.

Maybe, as I suspect, the Cespedes/Murphy ship has sailed.  2015 was a mountaintop experience that can not be recreated, because much like 1969, it came out of nowhere.  So perhaps, in the end, allowing the Nationals to steal this guy out of tactical revenge, for whatever short term sizzle it might represent, could overcook their steak in the long run.

We can only hope so.

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Comparing Neil Walker and Daniel Murphy Projections http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/comparing-neil-walker-and-daniel-murphy-projections.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/comparing-neil-walker-and-daniel-murphy-projections.html/#comments Fri, 15 Jan 2016 16:03:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204193 walker neil

Like most people, I like to look at all the preseason projections at this time of the year as we get ready for a new season of baseball, and of course I’m particularly interested in how all these projection models view the Mets.

While much attention has been made about the recently released projected standings by FanGraphs that has the Mets winning just 84 games, not at lot of attention has been paid to the different drivers to that calculation. While I spotted a few very conservative player projections, one thing that jumps out is that they were not too kind on the Mets’ trade of Jon Niese for Neil Walker.

Let’s start at the switch from Daniel Murphy to Walker. Last season, Murphy slashed at .281/.322/.449 and that’s very comparable to his career line of .288/.331/.424. He’s played most of his career with Citi Field as his home park. Murphy worked with hitting coach Kevin Long and saw some increased power. His replacement, Walker, is projected to hit .258/.329/.427 in 2016. Essentially, FanGraphs views Walker as a downgrade offensively from Murphy at second base.

As we know, the side effect of the Walker trade was Murphy signing with the Washington Nationals. Now that he’s away from Citi Field, FanGraphs projects him to hit .308/.351/.440 this year. Effectively, Murphy is taking the place of Ian Desmond because Danny Espinosa is moving from second to short.

You could argue that Murphy’s projected 2.3 WAR isn’t that much better than Walker’s 2.2 WAR, but it becomes a little more lopsided when you consider the Mets had to give up Jon Niese to replace Murphy. Niese was a big trade chip who had a reasonable, team friendly contract with team options for $10 and $11 million respectively in 2017 and 2018.

For his career, Niese has a 3.91 ERA, 3.84 FIP, and a 7.0 K/9. A good comp to Niese which underscores his value is Wei-Yin Chen, who has a career 3.72 ERA, 4.14 FIP, and a 7.0 K/9. Both are left-handed. Both put up similar stats. Niese is 29, and Chen is 30.

Chen just received a five-year, $80 million deal. Niese makes $9 million this year. If he gets injured, a team can walk away. If Niese is good, a team has him on a two year, $20 million deal. Niese’s production and his contract carry a lot of value.

So in a a nutshell, FanGraphs does not view Walker as an upgrade at second base and that there was a high price to pay for him. Meanwhile the Nationals scooped up Murphy who they say is a significant upgrade that made Washington markedly better. They project the Mets for 84 wins and the Nationals for 88. Of course, these projections are not at all expected to be predictive, but good food for thought.

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Mets’ Hardest Throwing Rotation Ranked MLB’s Best http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-hardest-throwing-rotation-ranked-mlbs-best.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-hardest-throwing-rotation-ranked-mlbs-best.html/#comments Mon, 11 Jan 2016 21:59:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203569 degrom harvey syndergaard

We wanted to update this article with a quote by ESPN’s Buster Olney who ranked the Mets rotation as the best in baseball today.

“Of the National League’s top five hardest-throwing starters with at least 140 big league innings in 2015, the Mets have three of them: Noah Syndergaard, whose fastball averaged 97.1 mph; Matt Harvey at 95.9 mph; and Jacob deGrom at 95 mph. No. 4 starter Steven Matz, who has less time in the majors and is the least developed of the New York starters, generally checks in at 94-96 mph as well.”

Olney also points out that Zack Wheeler was MLB’s fifth-hardest throwing starter in 2014, and is expected back mid-season.

“They’re all young, could be together for at least three more seasons and seemingly have a chance to be remembered as one of the best rotations of this generation. The Mets have the best rotation in baseball now, and there really isn’t a close second.”

No argument from us, Buster…

Original Post – January 5

Despite the Mets’ tremendous postseason run, I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers and writers are still reluctant to call their rotation the best in the majors. Instead teams like the Cubs and Nationals are edging them out in preseason rankings, but are they really any better?

One of these rankings is from Victor Barbosa of Cheatsheet.com. He put the Mets at number two overall, and surprisingly ranked the Nationals as number one. Barbosa believed that their excellent duo of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, in addition to their solid depth, made them the best staff in baseball.

While they are clearly a talented group, it’s one that falls short of the Mets. It’s important to note that in spite of Scherzer’s excellence, he stumbled in the team’s biggest game of the season against the Mets in early September. He allowed five runs and three home runs during that outing, which all but ended the Nationals’ postseason hopes. Strasburg also struggled to find consistency all year as he was limited to only 127 innings pitched due to injury.

But that’s not what truly sets the Mets apart from their division foes. Not only do the Mets have two elite pitchers like the Nationals do, they have five pitchers who can perform like number ones.

Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler are all extremely talented and can dominate the opposition whenever they get the ball. No other team has this amount of firepower in their rotation, and the back-end of Washington’s rotation with Joe Ross, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark isn’t nearly as gifted.

This is the main reason why the Mets out-pitched them all year long in 2015, New York’s starters finished fourth in the MLB in ERA, third in WHIP and first in Strikeout to Walk Ratio. Meanwhile, Washington ended up seventh, fifth and second in these same categories.

The best part about these numbers is that they will be even stronger in 2016. The Mets no longer have to worry about strict innings limits for Harvey and deGrom. They will both be able to pitch over 200 innings without fear, and Syndergaard and Matz will also be starting in the majors for the entire season.

Essentially, they will be replacing the 36 mediocre starts from Jon Niese and Dillon Gee with two of the best young pitchers in baseball. Syndergaard posted an outstanding 3.24 ERA, 3.25 FIP and 10 K/9 in 24 starts last year, and Matz had a solid  2.27 ERA, 3.61 FIP and 8.6 K/9 in six outings.

This kind of impact is arguably even better than what the Giants got by signing Johnny Cueto and the Cubs got with John Lackey. Having these two pitchers for the full year improves the staff significantly from where it was a year ago.

And don’t forget there’s Bartolo Colon, who won 14 games with a 4.16 ERA and 3.84 FIP last season as the team’s fifth starter. He will reprise the same role this season until Wheeler returns.  At one point, Wheeler was considered to be the best Mets’ prospect of them all, and seemed poised for a breakout campaign before Tommy John surgery derailed his season.

It’s frustrating to see the Mets’ rotation not get the respect it deserves.They are incredibly talented, and will be the best staff in the league this year and beyond.

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Braves Agree To One-Year Deal With Kelly Johnson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/braves-agree-to-one-year-deal-with-kelly-johnson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/braves-agree-to-one-year-deal-with-kelly-johnson.html/#comments Wed, 06 Jan 2016 20:01:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203639 kelly Johnson

The Atlanta Braves have agreed to a one-year deal with veteran utility infielder and outfielder Kelly Johnson, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com. The deal is pending a physical.

Jon Heyman reports that the contract is worth $2 million dollars with the potential for $1.25 million more in incentives.

Johnson, 34, split last season between the Braves and Mets, batting .265/.314/.435 with 11 doubles, 14 home runs and 47 RBI in 335 plate appearances. He played all four infield positions in 2015 as well as left and right field.

Before they signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, the Mets were very interested in bringing back one of Johnson or Juan Uribe. But with Wilmer Flores sliding into the utility infielder role, interest in Johnson and Uribe evaporated.

Johnson returns to the team that drafted him in 2000 for the third time. In addition to the Braves and Mets, Johnson has also had stints with the Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles in his 10 year MLB career.

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Zobrist Turned Down More Money From Nationals and Giants http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/zobrist-turned-down-more-money-from-nationals-and-giants.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/zobrist-turned-down-more-money-from-nationals-and-giants.html/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2015 18:08:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202115 Zobrist ben

James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that Ben Zobrist turned down more money from the Nationals and Giants in order to sign with the Cubs. The Giants and Nationals each offered $60 million over four years, but Zobrist decided to sign with Chicago for $56 million over four years.

Zobrist turned down the Nationals offer because he didn’t feel as comfortable in Washington’s clubhouse. He felt Chicago was a much better fit since he will play for a contending team and will reunite with his former manager Joe Maddon.

The Mets reportedly made a three year offer, but said they would be willing to offer four years. Now with Zobrist off the market, both the Mets and Nationals will turn to plan B and will look at options such as Neil Walker and Daniel Murphy.

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Hot Stove: Tigers Agree To Deal With RHP Jordan Zimmermann http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/hot-stove-tigers-agree-to-deal-with-rhp-jordan-zimmermann.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/hot-stove-tigers-agree-to-deal-with-rhp-jordan-zimmermann.html/#comments Sun, 29 Nov 2015 17:26:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201198 Jordan - Zimmermann

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Detroit Tigers have agreed to a deal with free agent RHP Jordan Zimmermann.

The former Washington Nationals rotation mainstay will receive a five year deal worth $110 million dollars.

Zimmermann, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA and 1.205 WHIP in 33 starts for the Nats this season, with 164 strikeouts and 39 walks in 201.2 innings. He has a career 70-50 record with a 3.32 ERA and 1.159 WHIP.

He is the Nationals’ all-time leader in wins, innings, strikeouts and games started. He is also one of four pitchers to work at least 190 innings and make 32 starts in each of the past four seasons.

Because Zimmermann rejected a qualifying offer from the Nationals, the Tigers will forfeit a draft pick to sign him. However, the Tigers have a protected first round pick so it will only cost them their second round selection. He’ll join a rotation that already includes Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez.

Photo credit: USA Today Sports Images

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MMO Game Thread: Nationals vs Mets, 3:10 PM – This Is It! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mmo-game-thread-nationals-vs-mets-310-pm-this-is-it.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mmo-game-thread-nationals-vs-mets-310-pm-this-is-it.html/#comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 16:24:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195442 jacob deGrom

Losers of five straight games, the New York Mets will try to end the regular season on a high note this afternoon when they take on the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.60) will have his final regular-season tune-up with an abbreviated start against Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (4-7, 4.63) at 3:10 PM.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. David Wright – 3B
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Yoenis Cespedes – CF
  5. Lucas Duda – 1B
  6. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  7. Michael Conforto – LF
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jacob deGrom – RHP

Jacob deGrom gets the start for the Mets a day after learning that he’s starting the first game of the NLDS.  He’s 14-8 over 29 starts with a 2.60 ERA over 187.0 innings. He had a bounce back start his last time out pitching 6.0 innings with 9 K’s. He is 2-2 over 5 games against the Nationals logging 30.1 innings with a 3.26 ERA over 34 K’s. The Nationals have the following numbers against Jacob:

  • Harper 7-16, 2 2B, HR
  • Desmond 5-16, HR
  • Ramos 3-14, 2B, HR
  • Werth 1-10
  • Escobar 5-10, 2B
  • Rendon 0-8
  • Zimmerman 3-8, HR

Tanner Roark gets the start for the Nationals, making his 12th start of the year. Over his 39 games he has pitched 105.0 innings with a 4.63 ERA. He made only starts in September logging 25.2 innings over 5 starts with a 4.91 ERA and 0-3 record. He has logged 5.1 innings against the Mets this year allowing 4 runs. The Mets have the following numbers against Roark:

  • Murphy 4-17, 2B
  • Duda 4-15, 2B
  • Granderson 4-13, 3 2B
  • E Young 4-13, 2B
  • Lagares 2-11, 2B
  • Recker 4-6, 2B, HR

Let’s Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Nationals vs Mets, 7:10 PM, Game 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mmo-game-thread-nationals-vs-mets-710-pm-game-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/mmo-game-thread-nationals-vs-mets-710-pm-game-2.html/#comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 22:05:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195364 matt harvey 7.2

After being washed out on Friday, the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals will play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1:10 PM at Citi Field. The second game is scheduled to begin at 7:10 PM.

RHP Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.34) will take the mound for the Mets in Game 1 and he will oppose LHP Gio Gonzalez (11-8, 3.93) for the Nationals.

RHP Matt Harvey (13-7, 2.80) will take the mound for the Mets in Game 2 and he will oppose RHP Max Scherzer (13-12, 2.91) for the Nationals.

Mets 7:10 PM Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Ruben Tejada – SS
  3. Michael Conforto – LF
  4. Michael Cuddyer – 1B
  5. Kelly Johnson – 3B
  6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF
  7. Kevin Plawecki – C
  8. Dilson Herrera – 2B
  9. Matt Harvey – RHP

Harvey is 13-7 over 28 games and 183.1 innings of work with a 2.80 ERA. In his last two starts he has tossed 11.2 innings allowing only 2 ER. He shocked everyone last Saturday on clinching day where he pitched into the 7th inning with 6 strikeouts saying that he wants to pitch. He’s 2-1 over 5 starts against the Nationals this year posting a 2.73 ERA over 33.0 innings. The Nationals have the following numbers against him:

  • Desmond 6-22, 2B, HR
  • Harper 0-20, 7 K
  • Werth 4-19, 2B
  • Zimmerman 4-17, 2B, HR
  • Escobar 5-15
  • Taylor 4-15, 2B
  • Rendon 4-13
  • Robinson 3-8, 2B
  • Uggla 2-7
  • Ramos 3-9, 2B
  • Lobaton 1-7

Max Scherzer is 13-12 over 32 starts this year and 219.2 innings with a 2.19 ERA. This month he has been all over the place. He has two great starts going 8 innings allowing 1 run or less, two good starts allowing a total of 4 ER over 13.0 innings and two poor starts allowing 9 runs over 12.2 innings. He’s 0-2 over 3 starts against the Mets allowing 9 runs, 6 earned over 20.2 innings (two great starts, one poor one). The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Granderson 7-22, 3 2B, HR
  • Cuddyer 6-24, 2B, 2 HR
  • K Johnson 5-20, 2 2B, HR
  • Murphy 3-17
  • Cespedes 7-14, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR
  • Uribe 4-16, 2 2B
  • Flores 0-10
  • Wright 0-9

Let’s Go Mets!

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Tonight’s Mets vs Nationals Game Postponed, Doubleheader Saturday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/tonights-mets-vs-nationals-game-postponed-doubleheader-saturday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/tonights-mets-vs-nationals-game-postponed-doubleheader-saturday.html/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 20:15:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195266 26_padresmetsrain.w560.h375

Tonight’s game between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals has been postponed due to rain. The two teams will play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday.

The team announced that Noah Syndergaard will start the first game at 1:10 PM while Matt Harvey will pitch game two at 7:10 PM.

Sandy Alderson told reporters that if all three games are unable to be played this weekend, it’s unclear whether the Mets would have to play Monday to decide home field advantage for the NLDS against the Dodgers.

The Mets will allow fans holding a paid ticket for tonight’s game marked “Friday, October 2, 2015 – Game 79”, who do not use their ticket for admission to Saturday afternoon’s game to redeem their unused ticket for a complimentary ticket to any April 2016 home game excluding Opening Day, subject to availability.

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Magic Number 5: Nationals Are Done, Williams Is Done, Mets On Verge Of Clinching Division http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/magic-number-5-nationals-are-done-williams-is-done-mets-on-verge-of-clinching-division.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/magic-number-5-nationals-are-done-williams-is-done-mets-on-verge-of-clinching-division.html/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 13:21:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194417 jonathon papelbon

Things could be worse… You could be the Houston Astros… Or the Washington Nationals. Like I tweeted out last night, I don’t care if we back in or if we bash down the front door, last night the Nationals lost and despite our listless play of late, the Mets magic number is down to five with ten games left to play.

Last night was a crushing blow for the Nationals when Manny Machado hit a two-run homer off Max Scherzer with two outs in the seventh inning and the Baltimore Orioles rallied to beat then 4-3.

Washington’s frustration was on full display when Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon twice threw up and in to Machado in the ninth, plunking the Orioles third baseman with his second pitch.

Home plate umpire Mark Ripperger immediately ejected Papelbon, prompting both benches to empty but no fists were thrown.

Like I’ve been saying for months now, the Washington Nationals are done. The Mets might be playing tight, as Terry Collins said on Tuesday, but the Nationals are doing much, much worse.

So despite a disappointing 3-6 homestand for the Mets, who have lost six of their past eight games, the Mets maintain their 6.5 game lead and it’s only a matter of days until they clinch the NL East title.

“It’s always good when that magic number shrinks,” captain David Wright said when told the Nationals lost. “Ultimately we’d like to play better and have that magic number shrink because we’re winning, and not have to have it shrink because they’re losing.” (ESPN New York)

“I think this is our first losing homestand all year. We’ve played well at home. Lately we’ve played really well on the road. So hopefully we continue to be those road warriors.”

As usual, Wright keeps saying the right things and of course he’s right. The Mets have been a juggernaut on the road since the additions of Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, and the promotion of Michael Conforto.

Additionally, we head to Cincinnati with our young guns Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom ready to go in a four-game series with the Reds.

“It’s a poor homestand, but we’ve got some of those young horses going in Cincinnati,” Wright said. “So, hopefully, we can go win a series and get that much closer.”

Meanwhile, it sounds like the end is near for Nationals manager Matt Williams. During a local radio interview on Wednesday, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was asked whether Matt Williams will remain the team’s manager next season.

“Well, we’re going to certainly evaluate everything that went right and went wrong this season, after the season… We’re going to let the chips fall where they may.”

Yikes… the former Manager of the Year has been a train wreck this year, guiding the odds-on favorite to win the World Series to a disappointing 78-73 record.

So if you’re mad as hell about the New York Mets these last few days, you can take solace in the fact that things could be much worse than having a 6.5 game lead with 10 left to play.

I say the Mets clinch Sunday at Great American Ball Park.

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Mets Set Rotation For Their Division Title Push http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-set-rotation-for-their-division-title-push.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-set-rotation-for-their-division-title-push.html/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 15:01:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194313 degrom matz harvey

One step closer. Despite the Mets having lost five of their last seven games, including last night’s 6-2 loss against the Atlanta Braves, they are now one game closer to clinching the division. Their magic number was trimmed to six games with the Washington Nationals losing 4-1 to the Baltimore Orioles. Thanks, O’s…

In the eyes of the Mets players, they have to look at it the same way. One step closer. Sure, it would be nice to gather some momentum at the end of the season before the playoffs, but the fact of the matter is, the Mets will not blow this lead. Let’s do a little math here.

The Mets have exactly 11 games left in their season. They have one more game against the Braves and will then head to Cincinnati and Philly before finishing up at home against the Nationals. If the Mets go just 4-7, the Nationals would have to finish 11-1 in their last 12 games to catch the Mets. For all you pessimists out there, I’m sorry, it’s just not happening.

The Mets WILL get some momentum though and I give Terry Collins some credit for how he has lined up his rotation for the rest of the season. After Bartolo Colon pitches in tonight’s series finale against the Braves, the rest of the remaining ten games stack up like this:

Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark

Thursday: Steven Matz

Friday: Noah Syndergaard

Saturday: Matt Harvey

Sunday: Jacob deGrom

Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park

Tuesday: Jon Niese

Wednesday: Bartolo Colon

Thursday: Steven Matz

Washington Nationals at Citi Field

Friday: Noah Syndergaard

Saturday: Matt Harvey

Sunday: Jacob deGrom

In other words, Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard and Matz will pitch eight of the last 10 games to close out the season.

There’s no doubt that the Mets have been playing poorly these last eight days. They even have had some moments that give you flashbacks of pre-trade-deadline Mets. This however is a different team. It’s a team that is hungry for it’s first division title in nine years. It’s a team that has completely taken the city, and all of baseball by storm. They are as resilient as can be and have battled adversity all season long.

Let me remind you that at this time last year the Mets were 76-81 and 16.5 games back of the Nationals. Today, the Mets are currently 85-66 and hold a 6.5 game lead over those same Nationals with just 11 games to play. I think just about anybody would have signed up for that.

Get ready Dodgers, because here we come…

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Love Potion No. 9, Mets Magic Number Drops As Marlins Defeat Nats 6-4 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/love-potion-no-9-mets-magic-number-drops-as-marlins-defeat-nats-6-4.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/love-potion-no-9-mets-magic-number-drops-as-marlins-defeat-nats-6-4.html/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 02:53:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193903 bryce Harper

The Miami Marlins are quickly becoming the grinches of September, stealing wins against teams who need them desperately. After the Marlins outplayed the New York Mets in Flushing, they traveled to Washington D.C. to take on the Nationals.

The pesky Marlins defeated the Nationals by a score of 6-4 tonight which puts the Nats a full 8 games behind the first place Mets in the NL East with 16 games to play.

“Panic City” may just be able to breathe a little easier tonight after all the commotion and worrying you’ve seen around the Mets Blogosphere and Twitter in the last 48 hours.

The Mets magic number now drops to single digits at nine which essentially means any combination of Mets wins or Nationals losses that add up to the number 9 will clinch the NL East title for the Mets.

Or in other words, if the Mets go 7-9 the rest of the season, the Nationals would still be eliminated if they go 14-2.

Bring on the Yankees!

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Home-Field Advantage Here We Come! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/home-field-advantage-here-we-come.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/home-field-advantage-here-we-come.html/#comments Mon, 14 Sep 2015 18:34:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193465 fans crowd shot Citi Field

Kevin Kernan of the NY Post, points out that the next challenge for the New York Mets is to gain home-field advantage in the NLDS matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Manager Terry Collins is fully aware and said he knows how vital it is for the Mets to grab home field.

“There’s no question that is on our scope,’’ Collins told Kernan.

“Friday night, after the Cespedes home run, we saw that the Nationals had just lost and I saw the Dodgers were losing 10-0, I said ‘Let’s get Familia in this game, we’re going to win this game and not only pick up a game on the Nationals, but a game on the Dodgers, too,’ ’’ Collins said.

With the Mets record at 82-61, and the Dodgers at 82-60, the Amazins are now just one half game behind L.A. for home field advantage.

Should the season end at a draw, the Mets own the tie-breaker against the Dodgers for taking four of seven in the season series between the two teams.

With the Washington Nationals practically dead and buried, the next thing on the agenda is for the Mets to lock this home-field advantage up.

Facing Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw is going to be a difficult enough challenge for the Mets without having to face them at Dodgers Stadium. We gotta do this!

Can you imagine what it will be like at Citi Field in a charged-up playoff atmosphere with throngs of energized fans on their feet cheering, screaming and rooting for the Mets during those first two games of the NLDS? Wow, goosebumps!

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MMO Original: It’s A Brave New World http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-original-its-a-brave-new-world.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-original-its-a-brave-new-world.html/#comments Fri, 11 Sep 2015 16:29:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193195 fredi gonzalez

Mr. North Jersey writes…

I was listening to the game on WOR last night, when legendary broadcaster Howie Rose began telling a story about how when Terry Collins arrived in Washington on Monday he was left a note from Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez who had just gotten swept by the Nationals.

The note simply said, “Sorry.”

Braves wanting to help the Mets bury the Nationals?. :-)

Joe D. writes…

What kind of a Mets world is it when you wake up to comments from various Atlanta Braves players, executives, managers and coaches having nothing but nice things to say about our New York Mets?

Already this season I’ve read or heard positive or glowing comments from John Schuerholz, Freddie Freeman, Roger McDowell, and now this interesting gesture from Fredi Gonzalez. For the longest time I’ve considered the Braves to be our mortal enemy and our biggest NL East rival over the past two decades. Turner Field has been a house of horrors for us.

But clearly the landscape regarding our rivalry has changed. It appears public enemy number one is now the Washington Nationals. Perhaps it’s because of how brash, arrogant, and unwavering they have been regarding their dominance in the National League.

And while they have a unanimous MVP candidate in Bryce Harper, he’s not winning any popularity contests with opposing teams and fans. He’s the player that everyone loves to hate, especially among Mets fans.

You may also remember back in July, when Hall of Famer John Smoltz said the Mets rotation has more talent than the illustrious Atlanta Braves rotation that included himself and fellow Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. That rotation is considered by many to be the best in baseball’s modern era.

“They’re way better,” Smoltz told the Daily News. “They’ve got more talent than we could ever have.”

Wow, Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine combined to win seven National League Cy Young Awards while with the Braves so to hear him speak so glowingly about our rotation speaks volumes.

And all this love from the Braves doesn’t end there. Even notorious Mets killer and one of the most vilified baseball rivals Flushing ever had was spotted on Twitter saying this:

It’s going to take some time before I can wrap my head around all of this. But for now the Washington Nationals have easily displaced the Atlanta Braves as the team I love to hate. We’ll just leave it at that for now.  :-)

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Comeback Kids: Mets Ready To Fight Until The Very Last Out http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/comeback-kids-mets-ready-to-fight-until-the-very-last-out.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/comeback-kids-mets-ready-to-fight-until-the-very-last-out.html/#comments Thu, 10 Sep 2015 13:37:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193031 kelly johnson mets win

“We’re in an enviable position” - Kelly Johnson

They certainly are. Something special is going on in Queens. These Mets refuse to ever roll over and die when down by any amount. Who would think that for the third consecutive game against the team chasing them for the National League East pennant that they would come back in such stunning fashion and win the way that they did?  That’s 35 comeback wins for the Amazins now. Tremendous.

Well, at this point the team, the fans and the media are all believing in the Mets now. This team seems as close to unstoppable right now as possible, coming off a sweep of the Nats, and fortifying themselves with a seven game lead atop their division with bluster, resiliency and bravado.

Even talk of that 2007 collapse has faded, well almost. But team captain David Wright said he’s sick and tired of hearing about it.

“I’m not sure why we’re even talking about this. I think it’s just me left who was there,” said Wright who went onto explaining the incredibly stark differences between that team and this one. Or basically the same things our own Joe D. wrote about point by point last month.

“We didn’t have this type of staff, how deep this staff is,” Wright continued.  ”On top of that you sprinkle in the offense we have here, and it just seems like this is a more consistent team and a team that those arms we’re running out there, you feel like you have a pretty good chance to win on a nightly basis.”

Yoenis Cespedes continues to carry this team on his back, and it seems no matter when the moment comes for him to shine he pulls through and always in a big way. Cespedes has become the bat this team deserved. The team seems to feed off his energy and are always expecting something big when he steps to the plate, including Yoenis himself.

“We never give up. We’re ready to fight until the very last out,” a charged up Cespedes said while speaking to the media after last night’s 5-3 sweep of Washington. Cespedes has been the lightning rod that has energized this team in such a immensely dramatic way that there are no words to describe it. You just watch him and you’re in awe.

“You see it this series,” David Wright said. “He’s been a big-time run producer for us. It seems like those big situations find him, and more often than not he comes through. Extra-base hits. Home runs. The speed. It just seems like he’s got a very complete game.”

These Mets are here to stay. There’s an energy now that has been missing for a decade. The perfect mix of veterans and rookies all working together towards their playoff run. The team camaraderie, the fan base, the national attention is all there. This team is no joke and is ready to take the next step and manager Terry Collins has no intention of letting up.

“We can’t let down now,” manager Terry Collins said after Wednesday’s win. “We put ourselves in a good spot and have to keep moving.”

As the Mets roll into Atlanta, there are 23 games left to play for both the Metropolitans and the Nationals. If the Mets just go 12-11 the rest of the way, the Nats would need to go 19-4 just to tie them. New York controls their own destiny at this point, and they seem primed to take the wheel and ride straight to the National League Division Series. These are not the “same old Mets.”

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Nationals, 7:05 PM (Kill Shot!) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-705-pm-kill-shot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-705-pm-kill-shot.html/#comments Wed, 09 Sep 2015 19:45:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=192997 jacob deGrom

Funeral services for the Washington Nationals will be held… Wait, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself. But according to most Washington Nationals beat writers the Nats look done.

Jacob deGrom (12-7, 2.40 ERA) takes the mound tonight with the Mets looking to close out a three-game sweep and kill Washington’s playoff hopes. Right-hander Stephen Strasburg (8-6, 4.35) will try to stop the unstoppable Mets at 7:05 PM at Nationals Park.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Yoenis Cespedes – CF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. David Wright – 3B
  5. Lucas Duda – 1B
  6. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  7. Michael Conforto – LF
  8. Wilmer Flores – SS
  9. Jacob deGrom – RHP

Last night was a wild ride for the Mets. The Nationals jumped out to an early lead and the Mets were able to scratch a run back and thus the game was 3-1 Nationals heading into the 6th. Then defensive miscues and Harvey not being able to stop the bleeding led to the Nationals taking a 7-1 lead. But the Mets stunned everyone with a dramatic 8-7 comeback victory. Now the Mets have the opportunity to create a worst case scenario for the Nationals if they complete a sweep tonight.

Jacob deGrom is 12-7 over 26 games and 169.0 innings with a 2.40 ERA this season. His last two starts have been average to good as he allowed 2 ER over 6.0 innings and then 3 ER over 6.0 innings.

This will be his fifth start against the Nationals. In his season debut he allowed 2 ER over 6.0 innings. Then he imploded allowing 5 ER over 5.0 innings at the end of April. In July he allowed 2 ER over 6.0 innings and did the same thing again in August. The Nationals have the following numbers against deGrom:

  • Harper 5-13, 2B
  • Desmond 4-13, HR
  • Escobar 5-10, 2B
  • Ramos 3-11, 2B
  • Werth 1-8
  • Zimmerman 3-8, HR
  • Taylor 0-8, 4 K
  • Rendon 0-6
  • Espinosa 0-5

Stephen Strasburg will try to help the Nationals avoid the sweep tonight. He’s 8-6 over 18 starts and 91.0 innings this year with a 4.35 ERA. He’s coming off of his roughest start since returning from the DL where he allowed 4 ER over 4.0 innings. In his 5 starts since returning he’s 3-1 over 30.0 innings with a 2.70 ERA and 35 strikeouts, so he has been a different pitcher this past month.

Before hitting the DL, he faced the Mets twice. He allowed 3 ER over 5.1 innings to start the season and then later allowed 2 ER over 5.1 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Stephen:

  • Wright 6-19
  • Murphy 4-16
  • Cuddyer 5-15
  • Duda 2-9, HR
  • Granderson 2-10
  • Tejada 2-13
  • Uribe 2-10
  • Flores 2-7, 2B

Let’s Go Mets!

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