Mets Merized Online » Pirates Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:46:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How Good Is Mets Pitching Coach Dan Warthen Mon, 01 Feb 2016 16:49:13 +0000 warthen syndergaard

Back in the 90′s when the Atlanta Braves had a historically dominant rotation that included Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz, pitching coach Leo Mazzone was hailed as a genius. When he went to the Baltimore Orioles, not so much.

Rick Peterson was also lauded for his work with an A’s rotation comprised of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito. With the Mets, he was a scapegoat. He was fired in June of 2008 and replaced by Dan Warthen who begins his ninth season as pitching coach of the Mets in 2016.

Now that the Mets have Matt HarveyJacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard, Warthen has finally gained some notoriety. We now hear about the “Warthen Slider.”  As is usually the case, when you are blessed with a trio of young ace caliber pitchers, some fame is going to come your way as a pitching coach. They point to certain things you may have said or done, a tweak perhaps, or maybe just some sage advice that helped make some great pitchers great. Warthen, who has survived two GMs and two managers, is no different. But how good is he really? Perhaps this season, we are about to find out.

This past offseason the Mets traded left-hander Jon Niese to the Pirates in exchange for second baseman Neil Walker. He was once so highly regarded that the team saw fit to give him a five year contract extension that also included two additional team options. Overall, Niese was somewhat disappointing.  He’s had shoulder problems. He was 61-61 with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.361 WHIP. I believe it’s fair to say the Mets expected more and didn’t receive it. Now, Niese is a Pittsburgh Pirate where he is now joined with well-regarded pitching coach Ray Searage.

Searage is fast developing a reputation as a pitching guru. Unlike most pitching coaches, it’s not because of who he has, but what he does with what he has. Here’s an example of some of his success stories:

Francisco Liriano

  • 2012 Twins/White Sox 6-12, 5.34 ERA, 1.468 WHIP
  • 2013-2015 Pirates 35-25, 3.26 ERA, 1.241 WHIP

A.J. Burnett

  • 2011 Yankees, 11-11, 5.15 ERA, 1.434 WHIP
  • 2012-2013 Pirates, 26-21, 3.41 ERA, 1.228 WHIP
  • 2014 Phillies, 8-18, 4.59 ERA, 1.409 WHIP
  • 2015 Pirates, 9-7, 3.18 ERA, 1.360 WHIP

J.A. Happ

  • 2015 Mariners, 4-6, 4.64 ERA, 1.408 WHIP
  • 2015 Pirates, 7-2, 1.85 ERA, 1.026 WHIP

As noted above, Searage’s next project is Niese. He’s coming off of what might be perhaps the worst year of his career where he went 9-10 with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.398 WHIP. Searage has his work cut out for him, especially with a head strong pitcher like Niese. For his part, Niese says he is seeing an opportunity for improvement with a superior Pirates defense. Is the Pirates defense Searage’s equivalent to Warthen’s slider?  Who knows?

At the end of the day, it’s a results based business, and Searage has done something with his pitchers to coax better results than they’ve had elsewhere. If that continues, Niese is about to have the best year of what has so far been a very disappointing career. It’ll be another pitcher that Searage has been able to reach that other pitching coaches couldn’t.

If that’s true, it doesn’t make Warthen a bad pitching coach. Rather, it shows that like those who have come before him, sometimes a pitching coach’s perceived skill and reputation is more closely tied to the skills and talent possessed by his pitching staff.


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Mets Acquire Neil Walker From Pirates For Jon Niese Wed, 09 Dec 2015 20:38:50 +0000 Neil - Walker

The New York Mets today announced the club has acquired second baseman Neil Walker from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for lefthanded pitcher Jon Niese.

Walker, 30, batted .269 (146-543) with 32 doubles, 16 home runs and 71 RBI in 151 games for Pittsburgh in 2015. His 16 home runs were tied for most by a National League second baseman while his .328 on-base percentage was tied for third-best among NL second basemen.

In 2014, Walker earned his first Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger award after hitting a career-high 23 home runs and ranking first among NL second basemen in home runs, slugging percentage (.467) and OPS (.809).

He’s hit at least 16 home runs in each of his last three seasons and has reached double-digit home run totals in each of his six full seasons in the big leagues.

Defensively, Walker owned a .989 fielding percentage at second base in 2015, fifth-best among qualifying National League second basemen. In 2014, Walker had the second-best fielding percentage (.992) for a National League second baseman.

Niese, 29, went 9-10 with a 4.13 ERA (81 earned runs/176.2 innings) in 33 games (29 starts) for the Mets in 2015. For his career in a Mets uniform, Niese was 61-61 in 182 games (177 starts). His 177 career starts are 10th-most in franchise history.

Original Article

The Mets are back in the market for a second baseman after failing to sign Ben Zobrist on Tuesday night. Assistant GM John Ricco brought up two names when discussing potential Plan-B options the team will now consider: Daniel Murphy and Neil Walker.

We’ve exhausted dozens of articles on Murphy and it’s safe to say that most of us know what we can expect from him offensively and defensively. So let’s take a closer look at Neil Walker, who I profiled just last week.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been aggressively shopping Walker as he enters his final year of arbitration. The Bucs have talked to a number of teams already, most recently with the Baltimore Orioles, but according to beat reporter Rob Biertempfel, the Mets have also expressed interest in the Pirates second baseman.

Jon Heyman reported this morning, that the Nationals are also interested in Walker as well as the Mets, so we’re not alone in our interest in him.

Walker, 30, batted .269 with a .328 on-base last season with 32 doubles, 16 home runs and 71 RBI. His 108 wRC+ was a steep drop from the 131 he posted in 2014 and his fWAR shrank from 3.7 to 2.4.

A former first round pick, Walker has regressed a little defensively at second base and had -2 Defensive Runs Saved last season with a -6.4 Ultimate Zone Rating. He’s not terrible, but just a notch below average.

Walker earned $8 million in 2015 and could earn close to $11 million in arbitration this offseason, a sum that is too rich for the Pirates who can turn to Josh Harrison at second base if they deal Walker. He becomes eligible for free agency after the 2016 season.

A fan favorite in Pittsburgh since debuting in 2010, Walker has had a very productive career with the Bucs. Among the 22 second basemen with at least 2,000 plate appearances over the last six seasons, Walker is fifth in homers (93), fifth in RBI (418), and third in slugging (.443).

Walker could make some sense for the Mets as a one-year stopgap until they know for certain that Dilson Herrera is ready. The front office had no problem putting Herrera back on track for another year at Triple-A during their pursuit of Zobrist who was told he’d be primarily a second baseman for the Mets.

The $10-11 million Walker could earn in arbitration is a significantly less than what Daniel Murphy will get annually in free agency, and obviously the former Met will also require a four year commitment.

Offensively, Walker is a tick better than Murphy based on his wOBA, wRC+ and Wins Above Replacement. He’s got a reputation for being a great clubhouse guy and is an intense competitor much like Murphy was.

But another reason why Walker makes more sense than Murphy is actually quite considerable. I’m referring to the draft pick the Mets will get if Murphy signs elsewhere. If the Mets sign Murphy, they lose the pick.

So essentially it boils down to this…

Would you rather have Neil Walker at $10 million for one year and a top draft pick, or Daniel Murphy for four years at $52 million and no draft pick?

Of course it all boils down to what the Mets would have to give up to get Walker. But on the plus side it shouldn’t cost any of our top young arms (Isn’t that refreshing?) and it appears the Pirates are very anxious to unload him and his salary. Walker is not perfect, but for a one-year stopgap he makes a lot of sense.

(Updated 12/9)


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MMO Free Agent Profile: Antonio Bastardo, LHP Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:08:50 +0000 Baltimore+Orioles+v+Pittsburgh+Pirates+PIZTrtKpCGEl

Antonio Bastardo
Position: Relief Pitcher
Bats: Right — Throws: Left
Born: September 21st, 1985 (Age 30)

The Mets need a lefty in the bullpen, that much is certain. Sure they have other needs as well, but with top left-handed sluggers like Freddie Freeman and Bryce Harper in our division, being able to get dangerous hitters like them out is absolutely imperative.

The two highest profile left-handed relievers on the free agent market are Tony Sipp and Antonio Bastardo. Sipp is a very good pitcher, however he has opposite splits and he is more effective against right handed batters. Bastardo, on the other hand, is absolutely a lefty specialist and someone the Mets should be interested in acquiring.

Bastardo had a great year for the Pirates, going 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.134 WHIP and a 10.0 K/9 rate. He appeared in 66 games and pitched 57.1 innings, striking out 64 and walking 26. He did an incredible job as the Bucs’ setup man this season for closer Mark Melancon.

The Pirates used Tony Watson as their lefty specialist last season, but mostly because Bastardo was so good as a crossover reliever. But make no mistake that Bastardo is one of the game’s most filthiest relievers against left-handed batters.

Lefties batted a mere .138 (9-65) against Bastardo in 2015, with one home run and three RBIs (righties batted .207). In his career, lefties have batted .176 against him, so this season was not an outlier. When it comes to relievers on the free agent market, there are no surer bets than Bastardo in terms of getting left-handed sluggers out.

Contract: MLB Trade Rumors projects him to sign a three-year $15 million contract, while FanGraphs projects a two-year deal worth $8 million. With those contracts giving him annual salaries of $5 million and $4 million respectively, he is definitely affordable.

My Recommendation: SIGN HIM! The Mets should absolutely go and sign this guy, I don’t see any real reason not to. The Mets need a lefty specialist and he would perform admirably as one. However, Bastardo is more than just a one trick pony, he can also be used effectively against right-handers, making him a great 7th or 8th inning reliever as well.


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Collins Miffed At Missed Double Play Mon, 17 Aug 2015 14:30:19 +0000 terry collins

Following the Mets 8-1 loss to the Pirates at Citi Field, Terry Collins vocalized his frustration about the Mets’ botched double play during the 7th inning. Bobby Parnell induced a potential double play ball, but his throw sailed into centerfield because Ruben Tejada failed to cover the bag. The miscue opened the floodgates as the Pirates went on to score four runs during the inning.

“The guy who was covering has got to be there,” Collins said. “End of story. I didn’t see the replay. I heard the throw was okay, but we tried to put our guys in defensive positions depending on who’s pitching in the situation, and if you can’t there, you’ve got to move. You’ve got to be able to get there.”

“I’m late to the bag, that’s the only thing,” Tejada said. “Next time I have to play a little closer to the bag. A double play is a double play.” (Maria Guardado,

These are exactly the kind of mistakes the Mets can’t afford to make, especially against playoff caliber teams like the Pirates who will take advantage of them.

This was the second time in a row where a miscue on defense was a crucial turning point in the game. On Saturday, Daniel Murphy made an ill-advised throw to third base instead of taking the easy out at first during a tie game in the 14th inning. As a result of these mistakes, the Mets squandered an excellent opportunity to gain significant ground on Washington, who were swept by the Giants in San Francisco.

“When you go from thinking you’ve got to two to having first and third and none, it’s frustrating,” Murphy said. “That’s a good club over there and they made us pay for it.”

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MMO Game Recap: Pirates 5, Mets 3 (14) Sun, 16 Aug 2015 03:34:38 +0000 jon niese

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

michael Conforto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MMO Game Thread: Pirates vs Mets, 7:10 PM Sat, 15 Aug 2015 19:33:28 +0000 jon niese

The New York Mets (63-53) will try to regroup after a series-opening loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. Jon Niese (7-9, 3.46) will oppose Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton (7-4, 4.48) in a 7:10 PM matchup at Citi Field.

Lucas Duda, who has not played since Monday, is out of the starting lineup for the fifth straight game while he continues to nurse his sore back. Daniel Murphy will play first base in his place.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson           RF
  2. Yoenis Cespedes             CF
  3. Daniel Murphy                 1B
  4. Juan Uribe                        3B
  5. Kelly Johnson                  2B
  6. Travis d’Arnaud                C
  7. Michael Conforto             LF
  8. Ruben Tejada                   SS
  9. Jonathon Niese                P

The Mets lost a tough one last night, but so did the Nationals, so we start today just where we started yesterday with the Mets having a 4.5 game lead in the East.

J.A. Happ provided a strong start for the Pirates and although the Mets were able to push it to extras, Parnell struggled in the top of the 10th, and the Mets’ little comeback in the bottom of the 10th wasn’t enough.

Jon Niese looks to put the Mets back on the right track tonight. On the season he is 7-9 over 22 starts and 135.1 innings with a 3.46 ERA. In his last three starts he has pitched 20.0 innings with a 1.80 ERA while striking out 17.

His start against the Pirates earlier this year was a forgettable one as it came in the midst of that stretch of really ugly starts for Jon. He allowed 4 ER over 4.2 innings. The Pirates have the following numbers against him:

  • Ramirez 6-21, 2B, 2 HR
  • Morse 4-22, 3 2B
  • McCutchen 7-15, 3 2B, HR
  • Walker 2-10
  • Marte 2-10
  • Stewart 1-5

The Mets bats draw Charlie Morton who is 7-4 over 14 starts and 82.1 innings with a 4.48 ERA. Morton is coming off a rough start where he allowed 5 ER over 5.0 innings agianst the Dodgers and only has one good start (7.0 shutout innings) in his last 5 games, all the games he has pitched since the All-Star break.

In that stretch he has tossed 30.1 innings but with a 5.04 ERA. He missed the Mets earlier this year but last year he picked up the loss after pitching 5.1 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Murphy 3-16
  • Uribe 3-13
  • Duda 3-8, 2B
  • Tejada 4-7
  • K Johnson 2-8, 2B
  • Cuddyer 1-3
  • Granderson 0-3
  • Cespedes 1-2, 2B

Lets Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Pirates vs Mets, 7:10 PM Fri, 14 Aug 2015 19:16:59 +0000 bartolo colon

Boasting a 4.5 game lead atop the National League East, the New York Mets now host the Pittsburgh Pirates for a weekend series at Citi Field. Bartolo Colon (10-11, 4.76) opposes left-hander J.A. Happ (0-1, 8.31) in Friday’s 7:10 PM series opener.

The Mets are a season-high 11 games over .500 (63-52) for the first time since after the game on June 27, 2010 (43-32). The last time the club was 12 or more games over .500 was following the final game of the 2008 campaign (89-73).

Since July 24 the Mets have scored an MLB best 5.4 runs per game. They are 45-7 this year when they score four or more runs. The .865 winning percentage is the best in the majors.

Lucas Duda is not in the Mets starting lineup for the fourth game in a row and has been battling a stiff back, Terry Collins said. Michael Cuddyer is starting at first base once again tonight. Duda could be heading to the DL.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares                   CF
  2. Curtis Granderson           RF
  3. Yoenis Cespedes             LF
  4. Juan Uribe                         3B
  5. Daniel Murphy                  2B
  6. Michael Cuddyer              1B
  7. Wilmer Flores                    SS
  8. Anthony Recker                C
  9. Bartolo Colon                    P

The Mets head into a tough series with the Pirates with a 4.5 game lead in the division at Citi Field tonight. The Pirates swept the Mets earlier this season in June during that rough patch the Mets were having, but this squad comes in just narrowly escaping a sweep from the Cardinals. The Mets on the other hand demolished the Rockies in a four game sweep and are now 11 games over .500 for the first time since late June 2010.

Bartolo Colon is 10-11 over 22 starts and 134.1 innings with a 4.76 ERA and a major league leading 157 hits allowed. He’s in the middle of this stretch of good start / bad start and last time out he allowed 4 ER over 6.2 innings, so maybe he’s due for one of his good starts. Two of his last four starts he has allowed 1 ER over 8.0 innings. He missed the Pirates back in June but he did toss 13.1 innings against them last year with a 1-1 record and a 3.38 ERA. The Pirates have the following numbers against Colon:

  • Stewart 5-14, HR
  • Morse 2-14
  • Ramirez 5-12, 2 2B, HR
  • Marte 1-10
  • Alvarez 4-9, 2 2B
  • McCutchen 3-8
  • Walker 2-7, 2B

The Mets will get a look at an old foe in J.A. Happ, making a start on nine days rest. In his first Pirates start he allowed 4 ER over 8 hits and 4.1 innings. With the Mariners this year he had a 4.64 ERA over 21 games, 20 starts and 108.2 innings of work. July was a month he would like to put behind him as he allowed 20 runs, 19 earned in just 23.0 innings of work. He last faced the Mets in 2012 where he allowed 3 ER over 6.1 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers on Happ:

  • Cespedes 3-19, 2B
  • Granderson 3-11, 2B, HR
  • K Johnson 2-10, 2 HR
  • Murphy 2-7, 2B, HR
  • Tejada 0-3
  • Uribe 3-3, HR
  • Duda 0-1

homer the dog

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MMO Game Recap: Pirates 9, Mets 1 Sun, 24 May 2015 21:04:16 +0000 john Mayberry

The Mets (24-21) were swept out of Pittsburgh this afternoon by the Pirates (21-22) by a score of 9-1.

In the series, the Mets were outscored by their opposition 21-4, and struck out 38 times in only 27 innings. It is also the first time since 1969 that three Pirates starters in a row have struck out 10 or more batters in a game.

Jon Niese started the game for the Mets and pitched okay until the fifth inning when he let up a two-run home run to the red hot Andrew McCutchen and an RBI single to Francisco Cervelli.

Niese’s final line has him going 4.2 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, while walking four and striking out six. He falls to 3-5 on the season. Niese has now let up sixteen earned runs in his last three starts.

The Mets were dominated yet again, this time by Francisco Liriano, who struck out 12 batters over six innings, and only allowed one run.

The Mets had opportunities to really break through against the southpaw, including the second inning when there were runners on second and third with no out, and they couldn’t convert, and in the fifth when they had the bases loaded and John Mayberry struck out to end the inning.

The Pirates broke the game wide open in the sixth when Starling Marte hit a three-run home run off of Erik Goeddel.

jon niese

The Bucs tacked on two more runs in the seventh off of Sean Gilmartin with a sacrifice fly from Josh Harrison and a single from Corey Hart that just got beyond Wilmer Flores‘ reach at short.

The last thirteen Mets were retired by Pirates pitching, and just like we’ve seen so much of recently, the Mets were blown out and showed little to no offensive production.

You can make excuses all day for why the Mets are doing poorly, but at the end of the day you have to accept the fact that they just are completely lost up there, and something needs to be done before this team completely free falls.

The Mets will look to get their act together tomorrow afternoon with Bartolo Colon (6-3, 4.85 ERA) taking on Severino Gonzalez (2-1, 7.11 ERA). First pitch is at 1:10 PM.

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Eric Campbell: Soup’s Too Cold Sun, 24 May 2015 13:11:16 +0000 Eric Campbell Strikeout

David Wright has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which varies in its severity. While doctors are hoping it can be alleviated with rest in David’s case, it has also been known to be more severe, as it caused Lenny Dykstra to end his career at the age of 35. Whatever the case may be, oh Captain our Captain will be out for a while longer, leaving the Mets weighing their options at third base.

When Wright went down with his initial hamstring injury, the Mets recalled utility player Eric Campbell to play third base in his absence until he started slumping and was sent back to the minors.

For a while they put Daniel Murphy at third base and Dilson Herrera at second, however once Herrera went down with a broken finger, Campbell was recalled from Triple-A and back at third.

In yesterday’s 8-2 loss to the Pirates, Campbell went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, lowering his batting average on the season to an abysmal .188 with only 1 home run and 7 RBIs.

While his ability to play most every position is valuable (he even learned to catch in spring training), Campbell is not producing enough to be a viable solution at third base in Wright’s absence. Campbell has shown he can hit in a reserve role, but as an everyday player it’s a totally different story and his current 0-for-20 skid is too big to look over.

In 15 games at AAA Las Vegas this season, Campbell slashed .440/.569/.820 with 4 home runs and 13 RBIs. He’s a career .288 hitter in the minors and he hit .263 off the bench last season playing in 85 games, so his .188 average is an outlying data point. Nevertheless, he is not hitting and with the Mets starving for offense, they can’t afford to have him at third base because his defense is not good enough to merit continued playing time.

So what internal options do the Mets have at third base?

  1. Daniel Murphy - It seems like the most logical option, as third base is arguably Murphy’s best position. If Murph moves to third base, middle infield prospect Matt Reynolds could theoretically be called up to play second base. At AAA Las Vegas this season, Reynolds is hitting .282 with 2 home runs and 26 RBIs. He has 46 hits in 41 games to go with 30 runs scored and 7 steals, and is proving the impressive show he put on in spring training was not a fluke. He is playing shortstop but some scouts think he profiles more as a second baseman.
  2. Ruben Tejada or Wilmer Flores - Tejada has already played some third base this season and didn’t look half bad, however with the Mets offense gasping for runs, giving Tejada more playing time would most likely not help the cause. If Wilmer Flores were to move to third base, Tejada would take over at short and the same principle applies.
  3. Michael Cuddyer - Cuddyer has played 174 major league games at third base, accruing a lot of experience. His strong arm would fit well at the hot corner, and would give the Mets an opportunity to bring up a prospect that improves defense in the outfield, where Cuddyer is somewhat of a liability. We signed him to hit and he is starting to do that, and he absolutely has the track record to show he can. His bat needs to stay in the lineup.
  4. Travis d’Arnaud - With Kevin Plawecki impressing a lot of people behind the plate, speculation is rampant about what will happen when d’Arnaud comes back from his finger injury. Because of Travis’ athleticism, some scouts have suggested he could move out of the catcher’s position, and even GM Sandy Alderson mentioned this as an option during Spring Training. Without a timetable for Wright’s return in sight, it could be prudent to have d’Arnaud take some ground balls at third base and see if he’s truly as athletic as everyone seems to think. This would enable the team to keep both d’Arnaud and Plawecki in the lineup to generate some additional offense, which the Mets are currently struggling to do.

The Mets need to score runs, and at least right now, Eric Campbell is not helping. In my opinion, whatever option the Mets pursue, the primary issue that needs to be addressed must be the offense. The Mets currently have a .657 OPS as a team which ranks 29th in baseball.

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MMO Game Recap: Pirates 8, Mets 2 Sat, 23 May 2015 23:04:10 +0000 matt harvey

The Pirates (20-22) defeated the Mets (24-20) by a score of 8-2 on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

This was undoubtedly Matt Harvey‘s worst start of his career. His final line: 4 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, including two wild pitches and two home runs. His ERA not only rose from 1.98 to 2.91, but it was the shortest outing of his career. While he had the heat on his fastball (his fastest pitch was 98 mph), his control was completely lost. Almost all of his breaking pitches merely bled over the plate; and if they DID break, they just bounced in the dirt. It is certainly no cause for concern, but it is a start that Mets fans and Harvey alike would like to forget.

On the flip side, AJ Burnett had himself a fantastic day by comparison. His final line of 7 IP, 5H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K brings his season ERA down to 1.37. This start makes him the first Pirates starter in history to allow two runs or less in each of his first eight starts, which is remarkable considering just how long the Pirates have been around. He even had a fine day at the plate, complete with a sac fly and a single.

kevin plawecki

Harvey Day didn’t start off so hot. Josh Harrison took Harvey’s first pitch into the outfield for a lead off single. After striking out his next batter, things quickly sank as Andrew McCutchen blasted a two run HR, giving the Buccos an early two run lead. It was Harvey’s first HR given up to a righty all year. He would give up another one to Pedro Alvarez in the following inning.

The Mets stayed quiet until the fourth, when Juan Lagares and Lucas Duda whacked back to back singles. Daniel Murphy drove in a run with a groundout, and Wilmer Flores singled to put runners on first and third with one out. However, after being ahead 3-0, Eric Campbell could not draw the walk and grounded into a double play, ending what proved to be the Mets’ biggest chance to get even before the game was blown open.

The Pirates put up a four spot against Harvey in the bottom of the inning, subsequently ending his day. After retiring the first batter, Jung Ho Kang slapped a single up the middle, and was driven in by Pedro Alvarez’s double into the RF corner to stretch the score to 4-1. Harvey then issued a walk, a wild pitch, and then another walk to load the bases. Pitcher AJ Burnett then skied a sac fly to center to make the score 5-1. Josh Harrison then drilled another double down the line to bring two runs in, making the game all but over at 7-1. Harvey struck out his final batter of the day to bring the forgettable inning to the end.

Carlos Torres took over for Harvey in the fifth. He gave up a lead off single to McCutchen, but he was erased on a quirky double play, in which Murphy threw away the ball to first but Duda recovered nicely and threw out Starling Marte as he tried for second. Torres retired his next batter to escape the inning unscathed.

daniel murphy

The Mets got a couple of baserunners in the sixth, as Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch, and Daniel Murphy singled two batters later. Unfortunately, the Mets got nothing out of it as Wilmer Flores hit a come-backer to retire the side.

Jack Leathersich replaced Torres the following inning, and Ruben Tejada came in to play shortstop. After retiring the first two batters, Leathersich gave up back to back hits, but induced a groundout to end the inning.

Hansel Robles replaced Leatherisch in the bottom of the seventh. He gave up a loud double to Andrew McCutchen, who scored later on an Eric Campbell error. Robles would retire the next two batters.

For the Pirates, Antonio Bastardo replaced Burnett to start the eighth. Ruben Tejada smacked a pinch hit HR to lead off, cutting the Pirates’ lead to 8-2. Bastardo, however, retired the next three batters.

Alex Torres replaced Robles in the bottom of the frame. He got three ground ball outs to complete his job. The Mets offense, however, mustered up nothing impressive as Pirates pitcher Radhames Liz, after giving up a lead off single to Daniel Murphy, retired the next three batters to seal the deal on this Saturday afternoon.

What’s Next: Jon Niese opposes fellow southpaw Francisco Liriano as the Mets look to avoid the sweep before returning home. The Mets have scored less than three runs in 19 of their last 25 games; they look to change that tomorrow afternoon.


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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Pirates, 7:05 PM Fri, 22 May 2015 19:38:32 +0000 noah syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 3.18 ERA) will make his third major league start tonight as the New York Mets head to Pittsburgh for a weekend series against the Pirates. Opposing Syndergaard will be Gerrit Cole (5-2, 2.40) in a 7:05 PM matchup at PNC Park.

The Mets are 9-10 this month. New York pitchers are second in the majors with a 2.89 ERA in May, while the Mets offense is hitting .231 this month, the fifth lowest mark in the majors.

Lucas Duda is tied for sixth in the NL with 19 extra-base hits, tied for fifth with 14 doubles and is eighth with a .397 on-base percentage.

John Franco will represent the Mets in the 2015 Hall of Fame Classic in Cooperstown, NY tomorrow. Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers, Tom Glavine, Phil Niekro, Tony Perez, Ozzie Smith and Robin Yount will join Franco and over 30 former players in a seven inning exhibition game at Doubleday Field.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Eric Campbell – 3B
  3. Lucas Duda – 1B
  4. Michael Cuddyer – LF
  5. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  6. Wilmer Flores – SS
  7. Juan Lagares – CF
  8. Kevin Plawecki – C
  9. Noah Syndergaard – RHP

After giving up a ton of runs without scoring much over the two previous games, the Mets were able to win in convincing fashion on Thursday to split the series with the Cardinals. Jacob deGrom provided a classic performance and Lucas Duda smashed two homers posting 4 RBIs to seal the deal.

Noah Syndergaard will be making this third start of the season tonight, so far he is 1-1 over 11.1 innings with a 3.18 ERA while striking out 11 batters. In his last start he pitched 6.0 innings allowing only one earned run and three hits while walking one and striking out five. This being his third start, he has no major league history with anyone on the Pirates roster. Interestingly, due to the construction of the Mets schedule this year, he has only started against teams in the NL Central so far this year.

The Mets bats draw Gerrit Cole who is 5-2 on the season over 8 starts and 48.2 innings with a 2.40 ERA. In the month of May he has been slightly more human with a 1-2 record over 18.0 innings striking out 18 batters with a 3.50 ERA. His one start against the Mets last year wasn’t good as he allowed 5 ER over 7 hits in 4.0 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against Gerrit:

  • Murphy 1-6
  • Duda 1-3
  • Granderson 0-2
  • Tejada 1-2
  • Campbell 1-2, 2B
  • Recker 1-2, 2B

Lets Go Mets!


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Something Fishy Is Going On In Miami Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:34:59 +0000 Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins

While most in baseball still shudder at the thought of that monstrous $325 million deal that Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins, it’s not as outrageous as it seems on the surface when you consider what Miami owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson told Pirates president Frank Coonelly recently.

“They thought it was a great deal. I just couldn’t get my head around the $325 million. They said to me, ‘You don’t understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.’”

What’s going on in Miami lately? When the Marlins promised Stanton that they would continue to build a team around him that was supposed to be a pile of BS intended only to get Stanton to sign on the dotted line, right? Apparently not.

The Marlins have been wheeling and dealing ever since locking in their right fielder and have since added speedster Dee Gordon and some right-handed power in Michael Morse to an already talent laden lineup that potentially looks like this:

  1. Dee Gordon (2B)
  2. Christian Yelich (LF)
  3. Giancarlo Stanton (RF)
  4. Michael Morse (1B)
  5. Casey McGehee (3B)
  6. Marcell Ozuna (CF)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C)
  8. Adeiny Hechavarria (SS)

Apparently they’re still not done as rumors circulate that they are shopping starting pitcher Dan Haren – who they obtained in the Gordon trade – to a West Coast team for another arm to bolster their bullpen.

The Marlins improved by 15 games in 2014 and are hungry for more according to president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

“When you lose 100 games, you’ve got a lot of work to do,”  said. “We made a lot of strides in 2014, but as we’ve said, we still have more to do and further to go, because we still aren’t playing into October, and that’s the ultimate goal. We wanted to continue to build upon the assets that we have.”

“We feel like we’ve got good, young players, and we want to surround them with players who give us the opportunity to win games,” Hill said. “I think we’re on our way into doing that. We’re trying to make our club better and address needs we’ve identified to help us improve.”

The Marlins are how focused on keeping their young core intact and have already reached out to right-hander Jose Fernandez, left fielder Christian Yelich, center fielder Marcell Ozuna and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria about long-term deals.

The Marlins are definitely a team to watch in 2015 as they are now viewed as legitimate contenders for at least a Wild Card. The scary part is that most baseball experts believe that Stanton, Yelich and Ozuna haven’t even scratched the surface of their vast potential.

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Mets Keeping Wild Card In Sight With Sweep Over Rockies Thu, 11 Sep 2014 12:00:47 +0000 jenrry mejia

If you would have told me one month ago that the Mets would play meaningful games in September, I would have laughed it off and then said: “sure, next September.” Now, with 16 games to go, the Mets find themselves just 5 1/2 games out of the second wildcard spot. They trail the Pirates who haven’t exactly shined in the month of September.

Despite a recent 5-game winning streak, the Pirates are 6-5 since the last day of August. While they have the ability to secure the 2nd Wildcard with a solid September, nothing about the Pirates screams playoffs.

The Mets on the other hand have been red hot. They’ve won 8 of their last 10 games and have gotten solid pitching and surprising offense during that stretch. Despite very small odds, the Mets are still alive and are playing meaningful games in September.

“We’ve got to make September mean something” Terry Collins told Mike Puma of The Daily News. “September can be a real long month if we’re not playing for something and we brought it up to the guys that they are not out of the hunt yet, just because they are 10 or 12 or 13 games back in the division, doesn’t mean we’re out of the hunt.”

10 or 12 games might be too much to overcome, but with 16 games to go, 5 1/2 isn’t unheard of. The 2007 Mets had a 7 game lead and wound up losing the division in one of the worst collapses in baseball history. The odds are long but not impossible.

Lucas Duda added that “We have a chance. Everybody in that room thinks we have a chance. If we keep playing well, anything can happen, so be optimistic. Go out there and play hard and see what happens.”

Wednesday night Rafael Montero did his best to keep the Mets playoff hopes alive. He delivered a solid 5 1/3 inning outing, striking out 7. He didn’t allow a hit until the 5th inning.

Montero should get another start at some point this month but for now the Mets turn their attention to the division leading Washington Nationals. They will face stiff pitching with Jordan Zimmerman and Gio Gonzalez making two of the starts in the series. Spirits seem high and it will be interesting to see how this team fights through the remaining three weeks of September.

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Granderson and Niese Clear Waivers Mon, 11 Aug 2014 21:53:41 +0000 curtis granderson

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, left-hander Jon Niese and outfielder Curtis Granderson have both cleared waivers and can now be traded to any team.

However, this doesn’t mean either player should be packing their bags anytime soon. The fact that they cleared waivers means that teams were not interested.

Sometimes you get lucky and an injury can lead a team to reevaluate and try to trade for these players as we saw last year when the Mets traded John Buck and Marlon Byrd to the Pirates for Vic Black and top prospect Dilson Herrera. However, both were also owed very little and had expiring contracts unlike Niese and Granderson.

Most teams will put a dozen or so of their players on revocable waivers to try and gauge whether there’s any interest in the players. If a player is claimed by another team, teams have 48 hours to work out a deal or the player can be pulled back.

There were rumors and speculation that Bartolo Colon would be placed on waivers after the non-waiver deadline, but according to reports that never happened and quite frankly I never expected it to as the Mets could likely get more in the offseason or include him as part of a bigger deal for a bat.

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Di-JEST: With CY Gone Who Will Drop Down The Slack? Sat, 09 Aug 2014 10:52:24 +0000 chris young

Just as we all remember where we were when 2-1/2 Men fired Charlie Sheen or when SUBWAY stopped offering their horseradish sauce dressing, we Mets fans will always remember where we were when we learned that Chris Young was “designated for assignment.”

When good teams lose a player, as the Pirates recently did with Andrew McCutchen, they look around for a player or two to pick up the slack, to try to replace as much of the player’s production as possible.  No one expects Starling Marte to become McCutchen while he’s rehabbing, but for the Pirates to stay relevant Marte will have to be better.  The same can be said of several other Pirates.

So I wonder whether it works the other way?

What we’ll most remember about the Chris Young Experiment (the outfielder one, not the ungodly tall one who is tearing the American League a new one in Seattle) is the feebleness of his outmaking.

Sure he had a load of strikeouts but to me his signature out was the infield popup, sometimes stretched to a can of corn for an outfielder lazily drifting in.   And while the great majority of his hits went to left field, Chris managed to distribute his infield popups all over and in fair and foul territory.

Who is going to replace that?  If manager Terry Collins opts to give Anthony Recker more starts down the stretch then the strikeouts we’ve seen from Young will be covered nicely there.

But those pansy popups may be just irreplaceable.

I admit that this is taking a parting potshot at a fellow who tried hard but just failed miserably.  And had he been making the minimum baseball salary I probably wouldn’t even go there.  But even when he’s released he will be paid his full salary.  Alderson and the Mets gambled $7.25 million on this player.  Even Bernie Madoff would not have paid off on a bet like that.

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Familia Emerging as a Valuable Option in Mets Bullpen Mon, 30 Jun 2014 13:46:09 +0000 jeurys familia

In my recap Saturday, I didn’t do right by Jeurys Familia by simply stating that the big rightly tossed two perfect innings in the Mets 5-3 win over the Pirates. In a word, of better yet two words, Familia was “downright nasty.”

Once regarded as one of the Mets’ top starting pitching prospects, Familia has adapted well in his new role in the bullpen, and with each new appearance the confidence continues to grow.

“If you have confidence in your stuff, you can throw strikes,” Familia told reporters after his stellar outing this weekend.

One of the things that has held Familia back has been the walks. His 96-98 fastball and killer breaking stuff was nasty, no doubt, but commanding his arsenal has been a problem in the past.

Things didn’t exactly start off well for Familia this season who posted a 4.66 ERA and walked six in eight April appearances. But he soon adjusted and got comfortable with his role, and then turned a sharp corner.

“I’m going to tell you, I have been around a lot of young pitchers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that big a step forward,” manager Terry Collins said on Saturday.“

“There was a time in April you wanted to know if he was going to be able to stick here. All he’s done now is put himself in a position where every close game he’s got to be in the game. He’s got to pitch seven, eight or nine in those close games.”

Familia turned in an impressive performance in May, posting a 1.93 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 18 relief appearances while holding the opposition to a .190 batting average. But June would be even better as his 0.69 ERA and .156 opponent batting average would attest.

Coupled with fellow Nasty Boy, closer Jenrry Mejia, the Mets bullpen is now being headlined by two homegrown flame-throwers who have emerged as top-shelf, late-game relievers. And who knows, a year from now they may even be elite. We’ll have to wait and see, but for now you’ve gotta love how these two have developed.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Pirates, 1:35 PM Sun, 29 Jun 2014 16:00:41 +0000 USATSI  bartolo colon

The New York Mets wrap up their four-game series on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 PM at PNC Park.

Bartolo Colon (8-5, 3.67) looks to continue his recent run of success on the mound against Edinson Volquez (5-6, 4.35) in the first official game of the second half of the season.

Colon has been nothing but outstanding in his last seven starts for the Mets.  He is 6-0 with an ERA of 1.58 over that span with opponents hitting .191 against him.  He as 39 strikeouts to nine walks during that time frame.  Since May 17th, Colon has the second-lowest ERA in the major leagues, trailing just Felix Hernandez with his 1.48.

Bartolo has allowed two earned runs or less in seven straight starts which ties the longest streak in his career.  Colon has had 30 starts over the last two seasons in which he allowed two earned runs or fewer which is eighth in the major leagues over that span.  On top of all of that, Colon has gone eight innings in consecutive starts for the second time in two years.  The last time he did that was back in 2003.

The Mets snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday when they defeated the Pirates 5-3.  The Mets are sitting just four wins away from 4,000 in franchise history.  They are 6-4 in their last 10 games, and are 17-11 this season in day games, so it is setting up nicely for win 3,997.

New York was solid on the base path Saturday tying a season-high with five swipes.  It was the 27th time in team history that they recorded at least five steals in a game.  Eric Young Jr led the way stealing three which also tied a career high for him.  It was the second time this season and fourth of his career that he finished with at least three.  With 21 stolen bases on the season, Young Jr is now fourth in the majors.

Ruben Tejada is working on a little bit of a hit streak.  He has at least one hit in seven straight games, and has gone 9-for-25 in that span for an average of .360.  He is hitting .300 over his last 26 games, and with 33 walks he is tied for fourth in the major among shortstops.

Eric Campbell who started at third in place of David Wright, had a career-high three hits including two doubles.  He also recorded his first stolen base of his career.

Travis d’Arnaud has recorded at least one hit in each of the four games since returning from Las Vegas.  He has gone 6-for-16 raising his batting aver over 20 points from .180 to .201

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young Jr – LF
  2. Ruben Tejada – SS
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Curtis Granderson – RF
  5. Lucas Duda – 1B
  6. Eric Campbell – 3B
  7. Juan Lagares – CF
  8. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  9. Bartolo Colon – P

The Mets look to end their four game set with the Pirates today. The Mets were able to pick up the win yesterday, snapping their losing streak and putting themselves into position to split the series today behind Bartolo Colon. Colon is 8-5 over 15 starts this year with a 3.67 ERA over 100.2 innings. In his last six starts he has pitched 43.1 innings with a 5-0 record and a 1.45 ERA. He also pitched once against the Pirates this year where he allowed 5 hits and no runs over 7.1 innings while walking 1 and striking out 9. The Pirates have the following numbers against Colon:

  • Stewart 4-11, HR
  • Snider 3-9
  • McCutchen 3-8
  • Marte 0-7
  • Alvarez 2-6, 2B
  • Martin 1-6, 2B

Volquez is on the bump for the Pirates today. He is 5-6 over 16 games and 15 starts over 89.0 innings with a 4.35 ERA. June has been an up ad down month for Volquez. He started off average, then had his best start of the season allowing no runs over 7, then his worst start of the season allowing 8 runs over 2.1 followed by his longest outing of the year allowing one run over 8. Earlier this year he faced the Mets allowing 2 earned runs over 5.0 innings while walking 5 and striking out 6. The Mets have teh following numbers against him:

  • C Young 2-15, HR
  • Wright 2-13
  • Murphy 4-12, 2B
  • Abreu 3-10, 2B, 3B
  • E Young 4-12, 2 2B
  • Granderson 0-6
  • Tejada 2-7, 2 2B

Lets Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Pirates, 4:05 PM Sat, 28 Jun 2014 16:55:57 +0000 jon niese

The Mets lost in extra innings last night, making three straight losses and putting themselves in a position of needing to win tonight and tomorrow in order to split the series. Jon Niese (4-4, 2.78) opposes right-hander Gerrit Cole (6-3, 3.64) in the 4:05 PM game at PNC Park.

Niese has gone 19 consecutive starts allowing three earned runs or less, the longest current streak in the majors. It is also tied for the fourth-longest streak in team history and longest since Johan Santana went 21 straight starts in 2009. Niese is 6-5 with a 2.85 ERA (39 earned runs/123.1 innings) during this run which dates back to September 13 of last year.

Travis d’Arnaud had a career-high three hits last night and has hit in all four games since he was recalled from Las Vegas (AAA). He is 6-16 (.375) with three RBI during that span and has raised his batting average 21 points from .180 to .201 in those four games.

Josh Edgin has retired all 20 first batters he’s faced this season, a new franchise record. Opponents are hitting .103 (4-39) against Edgin, the lowest mark among qualified major league relievers.

Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Ruben Tejada – SS
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Eric Campbell – 3B
  6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF
  7. Anthony Recker – C
  8. Jon Niese - LHP
  9. Eric Young, Jr. – LF

Jon Niese will take the hill for the Amazin’s and he is 4-4 over 15 starts and 97.0 innings with a 2.78 ERA. In each of his last two starts he has gone 6.0 innings allowing 3 ER, something he hasn’t done since the middle of May where he did that three straight games in a row. Knock on wood, he hasn’t allowed more than 3 ER in any start this season. He faced the Pirates when they were in Queens earlier this year allowing 2 ER over 5.2 innings while walking 2 and striking out 4. The Pirates have the following numbers against him:

  • Sanchez 6-23, 2B, HR
  • Barmes 6-16, 2B, HR
  • Martin 1-10
  • McCutchen 4-10, 2 2B
  • Walker 1-8
  • Harrison 1-6, 2B

Gerrit Cole climbs the mound for the Pirates. On the season he is 6-3 over 12 starts and 76.2 innings with a 3.64 ERA. In his last three starts he has pitched 18.0 innings with a 2-0 record and a 3.00 ERA. He has made one start against the Mets in his career where he allowed 3 ER over 6.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Cole:

  • Murphy 0-3
  • Wright 1-3
  • E Young 1-3
  • Captain Kirk 0-2

Lets Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Pirates, 7:05 PM Fri, 27 Jun 2014 21:00:50 +0000 New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies

The Mets will try to snap their two-game losing streak when they continue their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at PNC Park. Jacob deGrom (1-4, 3.75) opposes right-hander Brandon Cumpton (3-2, 4.93) in a 7:05 PM matchup.

DeGrom won his first major league game in his last start on June 21 at Miami, tossing 7.0 shutout innings, allowing five hits, walking three and striking out seven. He has allowed three runs or less in six of his first eight major league starts.

Lucas Duda has hit a home run in two straight games and is having himself quite a month of June at the plate. The Mets first baseman is hitting .290 (20-69) with nine doubles, five home runs and 15 RBI this month.

Ruben Tejada has hit in five straight games, going 7-17 (.412) with a .500 on-base percentage. Tejada is hitting .305 (25-82) since May 25, a span of 25 games and his 31 walks are the fifth-most in the majors by a shortstop.

Daniel Murphy leads the National League with 95 hits, is ninth in the NL with a .309 road batting average and tied for eighth with 26 multi-hit games. Since 2012, only one player in the National League has more hits than Murphy’s 449, reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen who has 472.

Updated Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Ruben Tejada - SS
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Chris Young – LF
  6. Eric Campbell – 3B
  7. Juan Lagares – CF
  8. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  9. Jacob deGrom – RHP

The Mets dropped the first game of the road trip yesterday to the Pirates, and they start the second game tonight as Jacob deGrom takes the mound against Brandon Cumpton. Jacob is 1-4 over 8 starts this season logging 48.0 innings with a 3.75 ERA. Last start he was coming off of the worst start of his career where he allowed 6 ER over 4.1 innings. He responded to that by pitching 7.0 innings of shutout ball. His third start of his career was against the Pirates where he shut them out for 6.2 innings allowing 5 hits, 5 walks and struck out 4 batters. The Pirates have the following numbers against deGrom:

  • Harrison 0-4
  • Walker 1-3
  • Alvarez 2-3, 2B
  • Davis 0-2
  • Marte 0-2
  • Martin 0-3
  • McCutchen 2-2

Brandon Cumpton is 3-2 on the season also over 8 starts like deGrom pitching 45.2 innings with a 4.93 ERA. Also just like deGrom, he is coming off of 7.0 inning shutout performance. His numbers in June have been much better than previously this season pitching in four starts, 23.1 innings with a 3.09 ERA. He faced the Mets earlier and allowed only two runs, one earned over 6.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Abreu 2-3, 2B
  • Duda 1-3
  • Granderson 0-3
  • Lagaures 1-2
  • Murphy 1-3
  • Wright 0-3

Lets Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Pirates, 7:05 PM Thu, 26 Jun 2014 22:02:23 +0000 juan lagares

The Mets open a four-game series at Pittsburgh, with Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-1, 2.68) opposing right-hander Vance Worley (1-0, 1.98) at 7:05 PM tonight at PNC Park.

New York had its season high-tying three-game winning streak snapped last night. Despite the loss, the Mets have won five of their last seven and are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

In his last start, Dice-K received his first loss since September 2, 2013 in the Mets’ 3-2 defeat to the Marlins on June 20 at Marlins Park. He pitched 5.1 innings allowing one earned run and a season-high six hits while walking one and striking out four.

Prior to tonight’s game, the Mets will activate outfielder Juan Lagares from the 15-Day Disabled List. He was placed on the DL on June 2 with a right intercostal strain. The Mets optioned infielder Wilmer Flores to Las Vegas (AAA) to make room on the roster.

Ruben Tejada has hit in four straight games, going 6-14 (.429) with a .500 on-base percentage. Tejada is hitting .304 (24-79) since May 25, a span of 24 games. His 31 walks are the fifth-most by a shortstop.

The Mets lead the National League and are third in the majors with 283 walks. Oakland is first with 323 walks and Minnesota is second with 284. Curtis Granderson is third in the NL with 47 walks.

Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson - RF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Lucas Duda – 1B
  5. Bobby Abreu – RF
  6. Juan Lagares – CF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Daisuke Matsuzaka – RHP

The Mets look to bounce back from the loss yesterday and get back to the winning track they have been on for the better part of hte last week in Pittsburgh tonight as they take on Ike Davis‘ new squad. Yesterday the Mets had the offense, but not the pitching in a bizarro world game experience. Today Matsuzaka gets the start for the Mets while the bats face in old foe in Vance Worley.

Matsuzaka is 3-1 on the season over 47.0 innings of work with a 2.68 ERA. In his last four outings he has started 3 times, pitched 13.1 innings and a sparkling 1.35 ERA. Daisuke has never faced the Pirates in his career but he has faced a few of the Pirates players while they were with other teams:

  • Snider 1-10
  • Barmes 0-2
  • Sanchez 0-2
  • Martin 1-1, 2B

Vance Worley, who debuted in the majors with Phillies is back to face the Mets with his new team. He has made two starts this year pitching 13.2 innings allowing only 3 ER. He pitched in 10 games, 8 starts against the Mets in his career going 3-4 with a 6.64 ERA. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Murphy 12-17, 2 2B, 3B
  • Tejada 7-18, 2B
  • Wright 6-17, 2B, HR
  • Duda 5-11, 2B, HR
  • Abreu 1-2

Lets Go Mets!

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