Mets Merized Online » Noah Syndergaard Sat, 06 Feb 2016 23:29:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Featured Post: Jim Callis Talks Mets Prospects With MMO Sat, 06 Feb 2016 18:35:11 +0000 mets batter silhouette hitter netting

Update: MLB Pipeline released their Top 100 Prospects last night with four Mets on the list: Gavin Cecchini #87, Amed Rosario #79, Dominic Smith #51, and Steven Matz at #15. Full write up to come. 

The following is an interview I conducted with the great Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline who you can follow on Twitter at @JimCallisMLB. Jim was kind enough to answer a number of questions about the Mets minor league system and many of our top prospects and sleepers. Please enjoy.

Mike – Would you say this years rookie class in MLB that included Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard was the best you have ever seen?

Jim – I would say that based on the talent of the rookies and how well so many of them performed in the big leagues. Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, Miguel Sano, Kyle Schwarber and on and on and on.

MikeGavin Cecchini had a breakout season with the bat this year but struggled in the field, is he someone who surprised you this year? Can you see him as an everyday MLB shortstop?

Jim – The Mets have pushed him pretty aggressively, and it seemed like he finally caught his breath in 2015 and started to hit. I think he is an everyday shortstop, though the floor still jumps out at me more than the ceiling. Solid defender, should hit for some average with a little bit of power and a few walks.

Mike – The Mets graduated and traded away a bunch of prospect talent in 2015, where would you rank their current system as a whole?

Jim – Though the system did get thinned out with graduations and trades, there’s still some intriguing talent, particularly with position players like Dominic Smith, Amed Rosario and Cecchini. Technically, Matz still counts as a prospect until he gets another 15 big league innings. I haven’t stacked up all the farm systems against each other yet, but I’d expect that when I do the Mets will fall in the 11-20 range somewhere.


Mike – The R.A. Dickey trades seems to be the gift that keeps on giving with Wuilmer Becerra. Is he close to being a Top 100 prospect?

Jim – He’s not close to being a Top 100 guy yet, but he does have that kind of upside, just needs to polish up his tools. He fits the right field profile nicely. That trade keeps looking better and better for the Mets. Syndergaard alone would have been a sweet return.

Mike – Who is one Mets prospect that we won’t see on any Top 10 lists but you really like?

Jim – The system has lost some of its depth, so I don’t know if I’d say I “really like” anyone outside the consensus Top 10. But I am intrigued by Milton Ramos, who has a chance to be a very good defender. We’ll see how he hits.

Mike – I got to watch Robert Gsellman numerous times this year and was impressed with this ability to stay away from barrel contact despite low strikeout numbers. What do you see his potential as?

Jim – No. 5 starter at best. I’m not a big fan of guys who lack a plus pitch and don’t miss bats. Gsellman deserves credit for succeeding in Double-A but I’m skeptical as to how his stuff will play in the big leagues.


MikeDominic Smith had six home runs this year but led the Florida State League with 33 doubles. Do you think he can be a 15-20 home run guy in the big leagues?

Jim – Definitely. I saw him in the Arizona Fall League and thought he was one of the best hitters there. He has power, you can see it in batting practice, but he’s focusing on developing as a hitter. It’s an easy swing with an up-the-middle approach, and he’ll hit homers as he gets more comfortable and aggressive about turning on pitches.

Mike – Who has a better chance of becoming a MLB starter: Gabriel Ynoa, Seth Lugo, or Mickey Jannis?

Jim – I’ll say Lugo because he misses more bats. Don’t see any of them as big league starters though.

Mike – Is Amed Rosario finally the answer to all the Mets hopes at shortstop?

Jim – Yes. Good defender, plus runner, chance to do some damage offensively once he gets stronger. Cecchini is a safer bet and will get their first but Rosario should be the better player.

MikeLuis Guillorme had an MVP season in the South Atlantic League, any chance he hits enough to be an everyday player?

Jim – Sure. He had an impressive 2015, and while he won’t hit for much power, he makes contact and controls the strike zone. That said, I don’t see him pushing Rosario off shortstop in New York.

Mike – The Mets went heavy on lefty pitchers in the 2015 draft? Which one do you think has the brightest future?

Jim – I like Thomas Szapucki the best, based on reports I heard on him versus Max Wotell, though Wotell went higher and had a better brief pro debut.

Mike – Who has the best raw power in the Mets farm system?

Jim – They don’t have a guy who really jumps out. In terms of usable power, I bet it’s Dominic Smith in the long run.

Great to hear Jim reconfirm what many of us think about Rosario, that he will be the Mets future shortstop and hopefully there for a long-time. As you can tell the Mets have built themselves some serious depth at the shortstop position with talents like Rosario, Cecchini, Ramos, and Guillorme.

That is without mentioning middle infielder Luis Carpio who had a great 2015 season and is jumping up prospect lists. The Mets also spent big on the infield in the 2015 international free agent period getting two of the best shortstop prospects in Gregory Guerrero and Andres Gimenez.

The Mets farm system has certainly taken a hit from graduations and trades but I think the Mets had a very good draft last year while supplementing that with the two talents I mentioned above. They also have a slew of intriguing toolsy young players in the lower levels including Carpio, catcher Ali Sanchez, outfielder Ricardo Cespedes, and pitcher Ronald Guedez.

I want to thank Jim for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. For more on the minors be sure to check out MMO partner site

MLB Pipeline recently released their Top 10 first base prospects with Smith coming in at number three. They also did their Top 10 left-handed pitchers and they had Matz at number three behind Julio Urias and Blake Snell.

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Collins Says Innings Limits Won’t Be An Issue For Starters In 2016 Wed, 20 Jan 2016 17:23:56 +0000 harvey degrom syndergaard matz

According to Terry Collins, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard will all be let loose in 2016 and not have any sort of innings limits.

In an interview with Collins said, “Fortunately, we’re not going to have to worry about innings this year. I think we’re always going to be concerned with workload. These guys are still young and we don’t want them to get hurt.”

“We’re going to be careful in Spring Training, bring them along a little slowly. I’ve done a lot of research of some of these teams in the past that have had young pitchers. One of the things I’ve learned is that you’ve got to be careful early in the year. If you’re planning on having them pitch in October, then they have to be ready.”

Zack Wheeler won’t be ready until June or July, and since he won’t be pitching for the first half of the season, he will most likely not have enough time to reach any sort of innings limit management sets for him.

Says Collins about Wheeler, ”He looks tremendous. He’s in St. Lucie now. He’s throwing. He realizes it’s going to be a couple of months before he’s ready to go. That’s why we got Bartolo Colon back.”

After July, barring any setbacks or injuries, the Mets will have all five of their young arms in the starting rotation together for the very first time.

Collins didn’t mention Steven Matz when discussing the no innings limits. Matz pitched a total of 140 innings between the majors and the minors last season, so they could be a little cautious with him.

“With our pitching staff, if we score a few runs, we’ll have a good chance to win,” Collins concluded. “We were very, very proud of the way our team played last year. We just didn’t finish it off. Hopefully, we’re going to get another chance.”

Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, Wheeler… I can’t wait, what a rotation!

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MMO Fan Shot: A Case For Noah Syndergaard In The Bullpen Wed, 06 Jan 2016 14:00:52 +0000 Syndergaard Noah

It was game five of the 2015 NLDS and the improbable Mets had gone toe to toe with the favored Dodgers in the shadows of LA. And the all-star Jacob deGrom had once again gone round for round with the game’s best, Clayton Kershaw. And deGrom was winning on the cards while the Mets garnered a razor thin one run lead after six.

Unfortunately this was an opportunity the Mets let slip through their hands a few too many times during the regular season. Their bullpen found itself in the bottom half of baseball in 2015 with 21 blown saves. The issues in the pen were well-known to fans and the front office alike, from Bobby Parnell’s batting practice outings to Jenrry Mejia’s double fault in the piss cup. The front office overpaid for the statistically reliable but optically heart-wrenching Tyler Clippard, took a chance on Addison Reed who lost his closing role in the desert, and burned their way through a carousel of inadequate lefty specialists.

The bullpen’s only saving grace was Jeurys Familia and his bionic arm. Perhaps the best closer the team has ever had, with the ability to go 6 outs to boot. But Familia was an island of certainty in an ocean of ineptitude. The towering land mass that was the starting rotation needed a bridge to Familia in this game of paramount importance. And thus they turned to the man who shares a god’s name—the Herculean Noah Syndergaard who stands six feet, seven inches off the ground and unleashes the full power of his otherworldly arsenal with little regard for human life. Thor. Syndergaard turned the Dodgers away with ease in the 7th inning, and the Mets were on their way to the LCS.

With the bullpen once again a burgeoning concern as the Mets approach pitchers and catchers, perhaps they can turn to what worked in Los Angeles for their answer in the bullpen. Perhaps Noah Syndergaard is the man they need to suture the leaky back end. Of course, one could argue with relative ease the case for keeping Syndergaard in the rotation. But here is why they might want to give Syndergaard a look in the pen.

Protect the Arm

Look, the data regarding innings limits and their effectiveness is fuzzy. This article is not meant to debate the merits of limiting a young pitcher’s use. However, Noah Syndergaard’s 2015 workload is worth a look, as regards his health. He went from 133 innings pitched in 2014 to 198.2 innings pitched in 2015. A 65 inning workload bump is virtually unheard of for a young pitcher. This raises not only questions of health but questions of fatigue. Yeah, the Verducci Effect has been more or less debunked. But on a case by case basis, you will find many pitchers adversely affected by large increases in workloads. Generally in MLB, 40 innings is considered a standard workload increase. 68 innings is on the high, high end of the spectrum. It could be worth it to move Syndergaard to the pen as a preventative measure against injury and/or fatigue.

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Length Matters

Adding Syndergaard to the bullpen lengthens the back end substantially. In Syndergaard, you have a setup man who is easily capable of recording 6 outs. Although his LHB splits were not great last season, the Mets can reasonably assume that in a relief role, with his full arsenal and the ability to cut loose, splits will improve against left and right handed batters. Syndergaard removes the Terry Collins reliever shuffle. Put him in attack mode and let him go after Bryce Harper in the 7th or 8th inning, and continue pitching until it is Familia’s turn. With two elite arms each capable of recording 6 outs, the Mets’ other weaknesses in the pen are mitigated as weaker pitchers are reduced to smaller workloads.

A Shutdown Pen

Go through the league and you will count on one hand the number of teams with two pitchers in the pen who can match the caliber of Syndergaard and Familia. Even in their best years, the Mets have lacked a truly shutdown pen—the kind the Kansas City Royals rode to consecutive AL Titles and a World Series banner. What will the win/loss column results reflect if the Mets can reduce their blown saves from 21 to 14, or 21 to 12? The game is shifting and reliance on a solid bullpen is growing. The Mets will still have one of baseball’s best rotations with their top-end talent. Syndergaard gives them the chance to parlay an elite rotation into an elite rotation and a shutdown pen.

Familia Insurance

Familia was an extremely valuable piece in 2015. Some would argue he was the team’s MVP. But is he infallible? In the World Series he showed vulnerability, perhaps fueled by fatigue. Familia has shouldered some of baseball’s biggest relief workloads in the last two seasons. With the addition of the splitter, a notoriously dangerous pitch, to his repertoire, Familia could be teetering on the brink of injury. And if he goes down, the Mets have no one to turn to…unless Syndergaard is also in the pen. With a scorching heater and demoralizing breaking stuff, Syndergaard can transition to the closer role easily. Syndergaard provides all-important depth to the pen to complement depth the Mets have added throughout their bench.


Moving Syndergaard to the bullpen is not a cure-all. It weakens the rotation but substantially strengthens the pen. So we must assess the increased value in the pen compared to the decreased value in the rotation. What has been left unsaid to this point is that moving Noah Syndergaard to the pen does not have to be permanent. With Zack Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia both expected to return midseason, rotation and pen options will increase. Noah Syndergaard can be implemented back into the rotation midseason, if necessary, and he will presumably be well-rested at that point, with far fewer innings under his belt than he would normally have. Syndergaard in the pen allows the Mets a half-season to gauge the abilities of a guy like Reed and the progress of guys like Hansel Robles and Eric Goeddel. Noah Syndergaard’s talents are elite and diverse, and the Mets might have an opportunity to leverage that diversity while they search for answers in their bullpen.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by an MMO reader who wished to remain anonymous. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Met fans who read this site daily.

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Is The Mets’ Rotation Worth A Billion Dollars? Tue, 22 Dec 2015 12:00:13 +0000 harvey degrom syndergaard matz

That’s what Joel Sherman of the NY Post says they are worth in his latest article. He asked a group of six major league executives about how much they would cost if they were available as free agents, and five of them agreed that one billion was a realistic number.

The amount seems ludicrous at first glance, but it’s not when you take a closer look. Sherman points out if Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard all receive $250 million dollar deals, and Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler sign for $150 and $100 million, that adds up to one billion.

These numbers aren’t unrealistic given the expensive deals pitchers are getting this offseason. They are now receiving bigger contracts than ever with David Price getting  $217 million over seven years, and even a mediocre pitcher like Jeff Samardzija still got $90 million despite having a 4.96 ERA.

As one NL head of baseball operations said: “I do think $1 billion is a reasonable estimate. Certainly, their top four [all but Wheeler] would be more appealing than most, if not all, of the pitchers who changed teams this offseason.”

An AL head of pro scouting said: “We could argue specifics on each player, but I would have to think you’d get to a billion one way or another.”

Certainly their youth and upside is what makes them such an extremely valuable group. All of them are under 30, and have the ability to preform like number one starters. As one NL player-personnel head described, the Mets are blessed with  “a unique, amazing rotation.”

With this outstanding group of pitchers, the Mets are clearly in a fantastic position this year and in the near future to dominate in the National League. The only question is can the Mets add the right pieces around them in order to achieve greatness? They came so close to pulling it off last season,  and they will be more determined than ever to make it back to the World Series in 2016.

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Syndergaard Wants To Be A Met For Life Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:00:04 +0000 noah syndergaard

Following his excellent rookie season, Noah Syndergaard reflected on his time with New York and hopes that he could be a Met for life. Syndergaard says that he loves pitching in New York and never wants to leave.

“When I came here for the (2013) Futures Game we went to Times Square and I thought it was amazing. Being from a small-town I’d never seen anything like it and I wanted to come back,” Syndergaard said. “Now, I’ve had a chance to broaden my horizons from Time Square and explore more of the city.” (Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News)

“I love it here,” Syndergaard said by phone Thursday. “I had some time after the season and I wanted to just experience all I could of it. I wanted to do things I couldn’t do in the season and I am having a lot of fun.”

Syndergaard showed that he could handle the pressure of pitching in New York as he pitched brilliantly all season. He posted an impressive 3.24 ERA in 150 innings while striking out 166 batters.

He also thrived on the big stage with a gutsy six inning performance against the Kansas City Royals in Game 3 of the World Series. In 19 overall innings in the  postseason, Syndergaard had a 3.32 ERA and struck out 29 batters.

2015 looks like just the start of a fantastic career for the Mets’ hard throwing right-hander. He has the talent to keep getting even better, and hopefully the Mets can keep him locked up for a long time.

“I want to be a Met for life,” Syndergaard said. “I love it.”



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Thor Looks To Bring The Thunder In Pivotal Game 3 Fri, 30 Oct 2015 15:48:32 +0000 Syndergaard Noah

The Mets turn to their flame-throwing, God of Thunder for Game 3 of the World Series tonight at Citi Field. Noah Syndergaard, 23, becomes the third youngest pitcher to start a World Series game for the Mets behind Dwight Gooden and Gary Gentry.

You would think that with all the weight of an antsy fan base and the pressure of overcoming a two-game hole in the Series, that Syndergaard would be somewhat nervous, but that’s not the case at all.

“Yeah, you can’t be too focused on it’s a World Series game. When I started in L.A. I thought it was going to be a totally and completely different game,” Syndergaard said.

“But in reality it’s the same game, a little louder, a little bit different atmosphere. Travis is still sixty feet, six inches away and you still have to execute every single pitch.”

Just another game he says, but you can’t knock his approach as he has been electric this postseason. So far Thor has tossed 13.0 innings with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.071 WHIP to go with 20 strikeouts.

The Royals is certainly a team who have a knack for not striking out, but Syndergaard is up for that challenge and says he’s sticking with heat.

“I mean, obviously they’re going against us with their strengths and their strength is how aggressive they are. I can’t be too focused on that, because I still have to be able to pitch to my strengths. I was able to watch Matt, deGrom and see how they approach their hitters, and I saw how aggressive they were, and devised a game plan for myself.”

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Tonight is sure to be one heck of a thrilling and nerve-wracking night for Mets fans as we look to pick up the first win of the World Series. And there isn’t another pitcher on this team I would like to see in this spot than Syndergaard.

“That’s my main focus tomorrow night is being able to pitch to my strengths and be able to execute all my pitches and just focus on winning one pitch at a time.”

Something Mets starters have not done yet is pitch to their strengths. They switched things up based on scouting reports on the Royals. However, Noah will look to be in attack mode tonight and unleashing his 100 MPH heat to the plate.

“It’s something else being able to watch Escobar walk up there and swing at the first pitch almost every single game. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I’ll be able to break out tomorrow night. I’m looking forward to it.”

With all the confidence in the world, Syndergaard understands their backs are against the wall and that this is “a must win” ball game for the Mets.

“I mean obviously we didn’t plan to be down 0-2. But coming back home is a big thing for us. Having the Mets faithful behind us and the greatest fans in baseball is nice.”

“Part of the reason our team has had so much success this year is being to handle the resiliency and come together as a team, overcome and win some ballgames.”

It will be fun to watch him out there tonight. First pitch is at 8:07 PM EST as the Mets play their very first World Series game ever at Citi Field. Let’s Go Mets!


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Sights and Images: Mets World Series Bound! Thu, 22 Oct 2015 05:35:58 +0000 david wright

Plenty of Mets Fans on hand for the joyous celebration at Wrigley Field!

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Our friend Joe with one of two excellent graphics that say it all! 

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Somewhere in that pile is Jeurys Familia!

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The Grandy Man Can and Did!

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The Captain let it all out on the field!

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Another great graphic from @GrafixJoker!

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Okay let’s get together for a group shot!

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Jacob deGrom sparking one up for the celebration!

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And what a great looking NLCS MVP Award it is!

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Noah Syndergaard gets drenched is suds!

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Fans Galore to celebrate the team at Wrigley!

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Terry and Murphy admire the NL Presidents Championship Award!


We Are The Champions! I love the sound of that!

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Mets Need To Reward Collins With An Extension Sat, 17 Oct 2015 12:00:15 +0000 terry collins

Terry Collins‘ post NLDS handshake with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was great to see. It was a great example of sportsmanship, especially after a tense, hard-fought series in which one of Collins’ players was lost to injury on an overtly aggressive play. They do it in other sports and I’ve always wondered why it wasn’t done in baseball.

Hopefully, it will become a tradition, like the Mets being a regular guest to the party.

I would like to see the Mets reward Collins with a multi-year extension, not just for what he did this year, but for what he has had to endure in the past. During his tenure, Collins had to manage through injuries; with a lack of talent because management wouldn’t spend; and having been undercut by management. From finding out his general manager had no faith in him in that GM’s biography to the Matt Harvey innings mess, Collins was put on the spot.

Still, through it all, Collins kept his honor and did things the way he believed was right. Night after night, he answered the same questions and rarely did he lose his composure.

Then Thursday night, with the nation watching, Collins managed with his gut and made three gambles, all of which paid off. Collins stuck with starter Jacob deGrom on faith; he went with other starter, Noah Syndergaard, in relief because he bullpen was shaky; and finally, he went with closer Jeurys Familia with a two-inning save.

Collins gambled and won, and now the newcomer to the playoff party gets to advance. The Mets were lucky to have him this year, and they would be wise to reward him. He deserves it.

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Sandy Enjoys The Moment After Game 5 Win Fri, 16 Oct 2015 18:35:32 +0000 sandy alderson

During the post-game celebration last night, Sandy Alderson just tried to enjoy the moment. The Mets GM was soaked by the players with champagne and beer, and he talked about how proud he is of what the team accomplished.

“I just think the team was so resilient. That was true throughout the season, true in the series, true in this game,” Alderson said. “We got down 2-1 in the first and things looked dicey. But Jacob deGrom was amazing, wiggling out of several jams and pitching through the sixth. Noah Syndergaard out of nowhere pitches the seventh. The guy I just told he was a monster, Jeurys Familia, pitches the eighth and ninth.

“I think we did it without a hit with a man in scoring position,” Alderson said. “Amazing. The Dodgers had a lot of chances, but deGrom bore down with men on base. It was an incredible game.” (Peter Botte, NY Daily News)

It’s amazing to think back to earlier in the season when it looked like the Mets would miss the playoffs once again. However, everything changed once players like David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud got healthy and of course Alderson came through during the trading deadline with deals for Yoenis Cespedes and Tyler Clippard. among others.

In a lot of ways, this series was a microcosm of the season. There were plenty of times where everything looked bleak, but the Mets kept fighting and finished out on top due to their great pitching, clutch hitting, and resiliency.

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Fire-Balling Syndergaard Sizzles In First MLB Relief Appearance Fri, 16 Oct 2015 13:31:05 +0000 syndergaard game 5

From the second inning until he actually got into the game, Noah Syndergaard was up and down and warming up for an eternity until his electrifying appearance in the seventh inning. He may have pitched a complete game in the bullpen before ever getting into the actual game. In the biggest spot of his career though, and in an unfamiliar position for himself, he thrived, he impressed, he sparkled.

“I got up four times. I think I did a pretty good job of asking the other relievers how to handle that kind of situation and they gave me some good advice and I was just able to keep the body warm and take it one pitch at a time out there,” Syndergaard said.

The Mets at the time were in desperate need for their young hard-throwing rookie to get them through the heart of the Dodgers order, and he mowed them down with ferocity and with the utmost command and precision.

Manager Terry Collins was hesitant and not sure that Thor would be able to pitch in relief, as he had never been in a position like this before. But a little guidance from pitching coach Dan Warthen led to Syndergaard’s entrance into the ball game.

“There was a point in the game where one of the things Dan said to me, ‘look, the middle of their lineup, we need to have somebody with power to get through that part,” Collins said.

“And I said, do you think the kid can handle it? And he said, ‘by all means’. So he talked me into it. We brought him in the 7th inning, and he was about as good as you can possibly ask for in that spot.”

In his inning, Syndergaard did what he does best, bring the heat. Typically throwing fastballs at 100 MPH, he was able to strike out the side, including Justin Turner, while walking one in the inning. He looked like a true veteran out there, calm, cool and composed in his first MLB relief appearance.

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Collins pulled all the right strings last night, after being cautious earlier in the day of wanting to use Thor in a spot such as he did. This move though is exactly what this team needed to get them to Familia, who was brilliant in his first ever six-out save, as the Mets beat the Dodgers and advanced to the NLCS.

“There were definitely thoughts,” Syndergaard said, about possibly pitching a second inning. However, he added, “I had the utmost confidence in the managerial decision to bring in Familia. He’s the best closer in the game, and he did exactly what we thought he was going to do, and that is shut the door.”

A spectacular and impressive relief performance by Syndergaard, who continues to dazzle and leave fans with their mouths watering in anticipation of how much more dominating he will become as he gains more and more experience.


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We Did It!!! The Mets Stun The Dodgers To Win NLDS!!! Fri, 16 Oct 2015 03:35:27 +0000 mets win nllds

Oh My God… We did it… The New York Mets have stunned the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 3-2 victory to win the National League Division Series with an epic Game 5 showdown at Dodger Stadium. I’m so incredibly proud of this team, they’re so exciting, so amazing, so freaking awesome…

My dear Mets friends, words are not sufficient enough to describe what I’m feeling right now. The emotions are running the full gamut ranging from tears of joy to an exhilarating, heart-racing feeling that has me numb, euphoric, and tingling over. Wow… The New York Mets are going to the National League Championship Series to play the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on Saturday night!

I never doubted them once, and even as Jacob deGrom allowed those two first inning runs I believed we’d find a way to persevere and fight back to win this game. I never felt at any point in this game that we were escaping LA with anything but a thrilling victory.

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What can I say about Daniel Murphy that wasn’t said in a 2,000 word article this morning? How do you put a value on the so many intangibles this man brings to the table? There are great regular season players who squirm in the post season, and then there are warriors like Murphy who take their game to a whole new level and outshines everyone in the dugout on a stage like this. The Dodgers have Justin Turner, we have Daniel Murphy.

Seriously… Was anyone surprised that it was Murphy who hit the tie-breaking home run to give the Mets the lead they would never relinquish? Freaking clutch, unreal how freaking clutch he is. A triple short of hitting for the cycle and what about that stolen base that led to the other run!?!? Unreal, the man is unreal…

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But deGrom, oh what a game by our ace deGrom… In our thread tonight I wrote, “You can only see the true measure of a man when you see how he responds after he falls… How he rises up.” And rise up is exactly what he did. This far, but no farther, he told the Dodgers, who couldn’t plate another run for the final eight innings.

What an incredibly gutsy performance by this young man tonight. Such fight, such moxie, such determination. To watch how he snuffed out four consecutive Dodger threats after that first inning sent chills down my spine. That’s the kind of guy you want by your side on a battle field. He was fearless and ferocious. You make me so proud, Jake.

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And how about the youngster Noah Syndergaard? I thought Terry Collins was insane by letting him warm-up three different times in the game. But the kid takes the mound unfazed by all the drama and pressure of a critical do-or-die game, and breezed through a dominant seventh inning, striking out both Corey Seager and Justin Turner and having them both talking to themselves as they returned to the dugout. Tremendous performance by the rookie righthander who pitched with the poise of a veteran.

In the final act of the evening the Mets turned to closer Jeurys Familia, who has been their savior and MVP out of that bullpen all season long, and of course he pitches the final two innings of the game to earn a six-out save. Game over. Pop the champagne!

Unbelievable and yet very believable… The resiliency, the tremendous spirit, the non-stop fight… I’m literally shaking as I write this. I just want to scream and hug them all. What a feeling… What a night… What a series… What a team… I love you Mets…. I fucking love you… I can’t wait until Saturday, only one hurdle away from the World Series… Bring on the Chicago Cubs.

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NLDS Report: Mattingly Has High Praise For Mets Starting Pitchers Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:33:11 +0000 degrom harvey syndergaard

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly heaped plenty of praise on the Mets young trio of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey before his team’s workout Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.

“Those guys are really good,” said Mattingly, the former Yankees star entering his third straight postseason with the Dodgers. “We’ve been looking at them for the last couple of days and even before that… These are some power arms with secondary pitches. They aren’t just guys going up there and chucking the fastball.” (Peter Botte, Daily News)

“Everybody in the league now throws 96-97-98 (mph). We see it all the time. So that’s not what makes them different. It’s the secondary stuff that makes them really good. They’ve got great arms and they’re in a good position, not only now but for the future, with those type of arms. That’s what you build your team around. So we know we have our hands full, but with that being said, we’ll have a game plan for each guy.”


Conversely, the Mets have been heaping some high praise on the Dodgers’ 1-2 punch of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke and also have a game plan at the ready. 

”We all know that they’re both two of the best pitchers in the game,” Michael Cuddyer said during his media session on Tuesday. ”I think it does help to have faced them before. Whether you win or lose, I don’t think that really plays into it. But the fact that you faced them before, the fact that the guys have had at-bats against them, they know the arm angles, they know what the pitches look like, they know the shapes of the pitches. That all helps.”

“I think as deep as we are with our pitching, I don’t think anybody in baseball really has a Kershaw and Greinke,” David Wright said about the Dodgers’ Dynamic Duo. “We’re going to throw out there some good arms against them, but when you look at the back of the baseball card of those two guys, that’s about as good as it gets.”

But the Mets captain also put out his plan of attack to try and overcome the challenge.

“I think that you can’t go in with the game plan of trying to take as many pitches as possible because, again, you’re not going to have much success. I think your best chance is just going up there being prepared.”

Terry Collins countered that his pitching is pretty good too.

”I think we’re going to do just fine. I think we’re going to be able to go out there and play our game,” Collins said. ”I think you’ve got to like the two guys I’m pitching. I know who we’re facing, and I don’t want to say anything, but they’re facing a couple pretty good guys, too.”

And Yoenis Cespedes, well, he ain’t afraid of anything. He’s like Godzilla out for a stroll in downtown Tokyo.

”While I know that this team has faced these pitchers before, I personally haven’t. But they’re pitchers, just like anyone else. They’re going to throw the same pitches.”

Get ready for some big-time epic pitching duels. This is going to be a lot of fun!


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Mets Lead Playoff Rosters With 16 Homegrown Players Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:00:17 +0000 nl east champions david wright

The New York Mets are heading to the postseason for the first time since 2006 behind a roster that is largely built on homegrown talent. The current roster projection for the Mets includes 16 players that they either drafted or signed as an international free agent. According to the team with the second most homegrown talent is the St. Louis Cardinals who have 14 projected players.  Here is how the current projected playoff roster breaks down.

Homegrown (16)

Free Agent (3)

Trades (6)

The Mets have a built a strong farm system that they are starting to reap the benefits from including the two-headed monster at the top of the rotation in deGrom and Harvey. The bullpen has also seen contributions from players brought up through the Mets systems with the biggest coming from Familia who was arguably the MVP of the team after stepping up and becoming one of the best closers in baseball. They also got a huge boost from their talented rookie Conforto who finished 5th in SLG (.506) among all MLB rookies while playing stellar defense. Then you have Wright, who is the only player still around from the 2006 playoff team and has bounced back from what some thought could be a career ending injury.

Sandy Alderson used players his front office drafted like Fulmer, Meisner, Gant, Whalen and Koch as trade chips at the deadline this year to bolster the roster. Despite the importance of the players that Sandy traded for, the Mets will go into the playoffs with the smallest group (6) of contributors that came via trade. With the most important player Sandy traded for obviously being the mid-season acquisition of Cespedes who jump started what was one of the worst offenses in baseball before the deadline.

The Mets were tied with three teams for the fewest amount of players on the roster to come from free agency with only three. Colon has been the veteran presence on an otherwise very young pitching staff and has 29 games over the life of his contract. Granderson is another guy who you could argue for MVP of the Mets this year, he has been great since molding himself into a leadoff hitter and played a good right field.

Maybe the biggest wild card for the playoffs among the homegrown players is Matz who needs to prove he is healthy on Thursday in the instructional league to be included on the roster and start game four. He has started only six major league games but has been impressive in his short stint going 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA. He does have playoff experience as he threw a one-hitter for the Binghamton Mets in their Eastern League title clinching game.

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Mets Strongly Considering Three-Man Rotation For NLDS Sun, 04 Oct 2015 17:33:27 +0000 degrom harvey syndergaard

It’s quite apparent that the New York Mets want very little to do with giving Bartolo Colon a start in the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Colon has had a solid season, but most of his success has come against below .500 teams.

Even with the strong possibility that Steven Matz could be left off the postseason roster for the first round, the Mets are considering pitching Jacob deGrom on three days rest for Game 4 rather than turn to the veteran Colon. And the concern is valid. Colon has had a solid season, but most of his success has come against below .500 teams.

According to Collins, the team will go with deGrom if they find themselves down 2-1 to the Dodgers after three games.

DeGrom has told the team he would be fine pitching on short rest, and the organization believes they’ve done enough to protect their young pitchers throughout the year that now they can go full throttle with them during the postseason.

If the Mets were to go with a three-man rotation, Noah Syndergaard would be pitching on regular rest as the Game 5 starter at Los Angeles due to the travel day after Game 4.

2015 nldsCollins said the Mets aligned the rotation so that Matt Harvey will go once in the NLDS but twice in the NLCS and World Series if they get that far.

A lot of this still hinges on Steven Matz. The rookie lefthander will throw a bullpen on Tuesday and likely make an instructional league start on Thursday. The hope is that he can throw around 90 pitches and prove he can pitch in Game 4.

J.P. Ricciardi pointed out to Jim Duquette that the Mets have plenty of ways they can play this. “The nice thing we have in place is we do have Niese and we do have Colon to back up if something goes wrong,” Ricciardi said.

“So one, two and three are pretty well set. I think four will be a determining factor as we get into the middle of next week.”

The only thing etched in stone is that Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard will start the first two games in Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday, and that Matt Harvey will start Game 3 at Citi Field on Monday.

The Mets will hold team workouts at Citi Field on Monday and Tuesday, before boarding a flight to Los Angeles on Wednesday for a team workout at Dodger Stadium on Thursday.

The National League Division Series begins on Friday, October 9 with an expected start time of 8:00 PM Eastern Time and 5:00 PM on the West Coast.

Are you ready?

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Todd Frazier Says Mets Are The Team To Beat Mon, 28 Sep 2015 15:53:11 +0000 todd frazier

After getting swept by the Mets over the weekend, Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds says that they should be favorites in the postseason. Frazier says New York’s rotation is the best he’s ever played against, and he compared them to the Braves’ dominating staff during the 1990′s.

“I remember watching the Braves back in the day when I was really little,’’ he said. “I can’t think of four guns who throw in the high 90s with nasty off-speed stuff so I really feel like they are the team to beat.’’

“They’ve got Steven Matz, I don’t know how you can’t start that kid. The other two guns with deGrom and Harvey, geez, it’s lethal.”

“If the Mets bring it like they brought it here, it’s going to be trouble for those other teams.’’ (Kevin Kernan, NY Post)

Frazier faced all four of the Mets’ young stars with Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz taking the hill against the Reds. He finished the series with a .214 average and seemed to have the most trouble against Syndergaard, who struck him out in all three at-bats.

“Noah Syndergaard is the real deal, he’s one of the nastiest guys I’ve faced, he’s No. 1 or No. 2 for sure.”

The Mets’ rotation will a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs, and everyone is starting to take notice. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching them battle it out in October as they have the ability to overpower even the best lineups in the league.

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Niese Heading To Bullpen As Mets Look To Finalize Postseason Rotation Mon, 28 Sep 2015 12:25:09 +0000 jon niese

As the New York Mets contemplate their pitching staff for the NLDS, it looks like lefty starter Jon Niese will be headed to the bullpen for the final week of the regular season as he showcases his ability for a spot on that postseason roster.

Manager Terry Collins told reporters on Sunday, that Niese approached him 10 days ago and asked to pitch out of the bullpen to get more familiar in that role if he can’t start in the playoffs.

So far, the postseason rotation will definitely include Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey, most likely in that order. The fourth starter hasn’t completely been decided of yet, but it’s between rookie Steven Matz and veteran Bartolo Colon according to the Mets manager. That said, most analysts believe Colon will shift to the bullpen and take on a long relief role.

As a result, Niese will not make his scheduled start against the Phillies in Philadelphia. Logan Verrett will start in Niese’s place on Thursday, while Colon and Matz will start against the Phillies on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

Niese could play a huge part in the bullpen since the Mets don’t have a true reliable left-hander out of the pen, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York points out.

Dario Alvarez has a groin injury and according to Collins, has still not resumed throwing in Port St Lucie, Florida.

Eric O’Flaherty has a 13.50 ERA in 16 appearances with the Mets and would unlikely make the postseason roster.

Sean Gilmartin is more of a multi-inning reliever. Lefties have also fared better against Gilmartin, hitting .264, while righties batted .220 vs Gilmartin.

The Mets did have a reliable lefty reliever in Jerry Blevins before he fractured his left forearm off a line drive back in April. However, has yet to throw a major league pitch since April.

Collins praised Niese for being selfless and putting the team first in expressing his willingness to work out of the bullpen.

“The one thing I like about him is that, certainly if they pinch hit, he does have the tools to get righties out, too,” said Collins.

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Collins Says Syndergaard Has Earned Spot On Postseason Rotation Sun, 20 Sep 2015 10:00:51 +0000 noah syndergaard

If your like me and you’ve been wondering lately about things like which four pitchers will makeup the Mets postseason rotation, it looks like beginning to see some clarity on that front.

Despite another so-so start from Noah Syndergaard on Saturday, manager Terry Collins told reporters that his young right-hander has earned a spot on the postseason rotation.

“If we get into the postseason, as I’m sitting here, Noah Syndergaard will be starting one of the first few games,” Collins told reporters when asked if Syndergaard was on the bubble.

Syndergaard was tagged for five runs by the Bronx Bombers, although all the runs scored on a pair of home runs by Carlos Beltran in the first, and a two-run shot by Brian McCann in the sixth.

In his defense, the three run shot by Beltran came on a great pitch, a 100 mph four-seamer most batters would have whiffed on.

“It was all about execution today. I feel like the results didn’t necessarily indicate how well I threw. That was frustrating,” said Syndergaard.

Although he snapped a five-game home-winning streak, Syndergaard recorded eight strikeouts for his second straight start and walked none.

If Syndergaard is in the postseason rotation, that could mean Bartolo Colon heads to the bullpen. Right?


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We Believe In Our Mets, We Believe In Our Young Starting Pitchers Fri, 18 Sep 2015 15:25:52 +0000 matt harvey jacob deGrom

Mike Axisa of CBS Sports listed eight things everyone should know about the Mets vs Yankees Subway Series that begins tonight at Citi Field.

At No. 6 he points out the following about the Mets Starting Rotation, which hasn’t been nearly as dominant as it had been from April through July.

“No team in baseball has as much impressive young pitching as the Mets. Matt HarveyJacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz either are aces right now or project to be shortly. Bartolo Colon and Jonathon Niese are tasked with being the veteran mentors.”

“Despite all those impressive arms, the Mets rotation has been quietly mediocre over the last month. It’s flown under the radar. Their rotation has a 4.54 ERA over the last 30 days, ranking 19th out of the 30 clubs.”

He lists each starters individual numbers over the last 30 days:

  • Colon: 2.70 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 40 innings
  • deGrom: 5.24 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 34 1/3 innings
  • Harvey: 5.60 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 17 2/3 innings
  • Matz: 2.61 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 10 1/3 innings
  • Niese: 8.77 ERA and 1.99 WHIP in 25 2/3 innings
  • Syndergaard: 3.80 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 23 2/3 innings

I do believe that this was to be expected for our younger pitchers, none of whom have ever pitched a full major league season before.

deGrom matz

Part of what we may be seeing here is also the results of a dizzying month in which routines have been completely thrown off, with some instances of not pitching for seven, eight or more days, all in the name of innings caps and limits.

I would imagine that the Mets – and especially pitching coach Dan Warthen - are well aware of this recent down tick in performance. I bet, that this was the impetus for making the decision to pitch everybody on a regular routine for the rest of the regular season but with limited innings in starts for Harvey, and perhaps Syndergaard and deGrom as well. In other words, piggybacking them.

One thing I’m very grateful for is Bartolo Colon and his ability to keep keep giving the team as many quality innings as they need. I only wish we could say the same about Jon Niese who seems to be going in reverse. That’s where Steven Matz comes in.

Much of this has not stung as much and has flown under the radar thanks to an offense that has led the league in runs scored since July 25.

Am I worried about our highly regarded young pitchers right now? No, not really. I’m just as excited and enthusiastic about them now as I was back in April. I’ve seen this before with young starting pitchers and there’s nothing going on here that we need to be alarmed about.

I do believe all of this will right itself perhaps as soon as this weekend, and I fully expect Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard to get their second wind as their competitive instincts and adrenaline take over while the team gets closer and closer to the postseason.

These guys are warriors and are highly conditioned athletes. They live for this. They are in their element. I expect each of them to be as dominating as they were at the beginning of the season and I wouldn’t be shocked if they all turn it up even more in the heat of the playoffs.

So no, I’m not worried. In fact, I am very excited and look forward to the next few weeks of New York Mets baseball! I look forward to watching the team that I love and believe in go as far into the postseason as they possibly can. Lets Go Mets.

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Noah Syndergaard: A Tale of Two Pitchers Fri, 04 Sep 2015 15:15:53 +0000 noah syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard has turned heads for his entire baseball career. Before he came up to the Show, he was known for having outstanding stuff which he could not command. Shades of “Nuke” Laloosh in Bull Durham, he threw hard but had no idea where the ball was going. Not even the mascots were safe. This year, pitching under the lights in New York, he has shown his ability to command his pitches and the numbers show it.

In 20 starts this season, Noah is 8-6 with a 3.31 ERA. In 122 1/3 innings, he has allowed 110 hits and walked only 29, good for a 1.136 WHIP. He has struck out 129 batters to date, coming to a 9.5 K/9 ratio.

What is most interesting about Thor is his home and away splits. He has had 10 starts each at home and on the road and it’s almost as though you’re looking at the numbers of two completely different pitchers.

At home, his BB/9 is a stellar 1.14, while on the road it is a bloated 3.51. In raw numbers that means in 71 innings at home he has walked only 9 batters, while in 51.1 innings on the road, he has walked 20.

The rest of his home/away splits are as follows:

  • Away: 1-5, 4.91 ERA, 51.1 IP, 60 H, 20 BB, 61 K, 1.558 WHIP
  • Home: 7-1, 2.15 ERA, 71 IP, 50 H, 9 BB, 68 K, 0.831 WHIP

There are many reasons as to why this could the case. The coaching staff believed he was warming up too early on the road, so they have been tinkering with his pre-game routine. His last start in Philadelphia was better, earning him his eighth win of the season and his first on the road.

His overall performance, however, was still lacking in some areas. In 5.0 innings, he allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9. Two of those hits were home runs, which accounted for all four runs that day.

That start was better than previous road starts, however it exhibited something that has been a recurring theme for him. In those five innings, Noah threw 96 pitches, which is far too high. This was nothing new, as his start before that in Baltimore exhibited the same numbers, 5 innings 96 pitches. Before that in Tampa Bay, 4 innings 98 pitches. Before that in Washington, 5 innings 98 pitches, and so on and so forth.

Changing his routine may help, but in order to be successful on the road he must get his pitch count down. Doing that means attacking the strike zone and walking less batters, admittedly easier said than done. As I pointed out before, his road BB/9 of 3.51 is far too high.

Everyone knows how good he is at home, but the Thor who pitches at home is the same Thor that pitches on the road. Same fastball, same sweeping curve, same everything. Attack hitters on the road like he does at home, and he would most likely get better results.

noah syndergaard

An interesting situation may arise should the Mets make the playoffs. Considering the Mets also have Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Steven Matz, the rotation could theoretically be configured to make sure Syndergaard’s starts are all at home. If the splits continue to be drastic for the rest of the season, this might be a good option to explore.

Harvey and deGrom are both better at home than on the road, however the difference in numbers are much less staggering. Harvey’s home ERA is 2.26 against a 2.80 on the road, and deGrom’s is 1.57 at home compared to 3.16 on the road. Steven Matz’s sample size is too small to determine, but he fared very well in both his one home start as well as his start in Los Angeles.

Keeping Syndergaard starting at home in the playoffs is definitely an option the Mets office could explore. Whether or not they will discuss it remains to be seen, but let’s focus on making the playoffs first.

Speaking from experience as a high school and college pitcher, I do prefer to pitch at home. I have my routine, more fans are on my side than not, and I’m on a mound I’ve been on many times before. It does have a psychological impact on me, as I’m just more comfortable.

I have talked to many fellow pitchers about it and more often than not, they agree. However, it is my job as the pitcher to give my team just as good a chance to win on the road as I do at home. While I understand that it is “easier” to pitch at home, that is no excuse for lofty road statistics.

Syndergaard may prefer to pitch at home, which is completely reasonable, but he is a professional. I’m sure that he knows that despite preferring to pitch at home he needs to be just as effective on the road. Based on what he’s shown, I believe it is reasonable to expect that to ultimately happen.

There is something we all have to keep in mind. He just turned 23 years old and this is still his rookie season. He has a mere 20 major league starts under his belt.

Most likely, over time his road numbers will continue to improve and more closely mirror the stellar numbers he has at home. His work ethic to date suggests he’ll keep working and getting better, while improving and solidifying his routine as well. When that does happen, look for the Mets to have a third bonafide ace in their elite rotation.


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MMO Game Thread: Red Sox vs Mets, 1:10 PM Sun, 30 Aug 2015 14:46:50 +0000 noah syndergaard

The New York Mets will try to avoid getting swept by the Boston Red Sox this afternoon at Citi Field.

The Mets will send Noah Syndergaard (8-6, 3.19) to the mound on Sunday to oppose Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley (10-10, 4.51) in the series finale. First pitch is at 1:10 PM.

Terry Collins is resting Yoenis Cespedes for the first time since the outfielder joined the Mets on Aug. 1.

David Wright, who rested Saturday while dealing with some shoulder stiffness, returns to the lineup today.

Daniel Murphy is batting in the cleanup spot against the lefthander. He is batting .323 (32-99) with 17 runs scored, 11 doubles, four home runs and 20 RBI in 23 games this month.

Curtis Granderson has reached base safely 10 times in his last three games. He is tied for sixth in the NL in walks (68) and is tied for seventh in the NL with 20 RBI this month.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares – CF
  2. Curtis Granderson – RF
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Daniel Murphy – 1B
  5. Michael Cuddyer – LF
  6. Juan Uribe – 2B
  7. Ruben Tejada – SS
  8. Anthony Recker – C
  9. Noah Syndergaard – RHP

The Mets try to avoid the sweep today as they finish up their set against the Red Sox. After winning 7 games straight, the Mets have dropped two close games in a row to the Red Sox which when coupled yesterday with a Nationals win saw their lead shrink to 5.5 games. The Mets had their chances yesterday but they couldn’t cash them in, hopefully that changes today.

Noah Syndergaard is 8-6 over 19 starts and 115.2 innings with a 3.19 ERA. He hasn’t pitched too deep in his last two starts lasting 5.0 innings in each and allowing a combined 5 ER between the two. His three best starts in his last 6 though all came at home. Syndergaard has never faced the Red Sox and has never faced any of their hitters in a major league game before.

The Mets batters get a look at Wade Miley who is 10-10 over 26 starts and 153.2 innings with a 4.51 ERA. His last four starts have been a sandwich where his two in the middle were quite good and the buns of this sandwich, including his last one, saw him give up 5 ER. The last time he faced the Mets was back in 2013 where he shut the Mets out over 5.2 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Miley:

  • Uribe 5-22, 2 2B
  • Cuddyer 4-17, 2 2B, 3B
  • Murphy 3-9, 2B
  • Wright 2-6
  • Tejada 2-5
  • Lagares 1-3, 2B
  • Harvey 2-2, 2B

Let’s Go Mets!

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