Mets Merized Online » pitching http://metsmerizedonline.com Mon, 08 Feb 2016 12:00:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Mets & Nationals: Reversal of Fortunes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/mets-nationals-reversal-of-fortunes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/mets-nationals-reversal-of-fortunes.html/#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 12:00:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205871 harper strasburg

Four winters ago, fans of almost any other team had good reason to be envious of the Washington Nationals. They were lucky – blessed, really – that their previous futility had earned them the top slot in the draft in consecutive years that produced once-in-a-generation talents in Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, their window for success was just opening, and they were armed with an aging, deep-pocketed owner intent on winning it all before his demise and willing to spend the bucks to back up his aspirations.

The Mets, on the other hand, were almost unanimously viewed as a poor stepchild, eating the crumbs of talent falling off the big table and beset by Madoff-related financial woes that forced the team to reduce its payroll to mid- and even small market levels.

Fast forward to last winter, when the Nationals, already armed with what most considered one of the top rotations in baseball, sent a shot across the bow by dropping $210 million on the biggest get in the free agent pitching market, Max Scherzer, thus cementing what was thought to be a rotation for the ages.

Meanwhile, the Mets signed…Michael Cuddyer. Enough said about their financial fragility, and the word out on the market that they won’t – or can’t – dish out the bucks.

This is why it’s so remarkable how things have turned so dramatically…for both teams. Call it a true reversal of fortune.

Of course, it started for the Mets with their multiple acquisitions at the trade deadline. Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe, Tyler Clippard et al. did not cost a lot of cash. But we all know how much these judicious investments mattered in the Mets’ run to the World Series. Enough, apparently, to convince the Wilpons to drop three years and $75 million (if he doesn’t opt out) on Mister Cespedes and raise their payroll by some 40% to around $140 million for the 2016 season. Enough, apparently, to sooth the savage beasts known as a fan base deeply angered by the team’s perceived cheapskate owners.

yoenis cespedes

Sandy Alderson put the issue to bed, at least for now, by declaring “if the Cespedes signing says anything, it’s that there are no possibilities that will be dismissed out of hand strictly for financial reasons.”

At the same time, we are realizing the Nationals’ days of wine and roses – their window for winning with their current squad – are closing just as we discover how their own financial competitiveness is now seriously threatened by a scarcity of television revenue, the result of a bitter feud with the Orioles going all the way back to their controversial move to DC.

In fact, we have now learned that a significant factor in Mister Cespedes’ decision to rejoin the Mets is that the Nationals’ offer, reported as $110 million over five years, was less than met the eye. This was because their offer called for substantial backloading, with deferred payments that rendered the Nats’ offer as clearly inferior – $77 million over five years in current value, compared to $75 million over three years from the Mets.

In fact, though we don’t know what other offers might have been made to him, the Nats’ offer was riddled with so much backloading that Cespedes might actually have signed with the Mets without the opt out. We’ll never know.

We have also discovered that the Nats’ rejected offers to Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward – both reported at the time to be larger than what they signed for elsewhere – were both replete with backloading as well.

Add it all up, and what we’ve got is a clear reversal of fortune. The Mets having already won a pennant as their window for success opens, with historically dominant young pitching, an envious clubhouse atmosphere, the prospect of filled coffers in the years ahead, and now the stated ability to draw top talent to what is fast becoming a destination franchise.

Meanwhile, the Nats have failed to win a single playoff series as they near the close of their window, with a team and clubhouse still trying to shake off the demons of an awful season, having lost Cespedes to their biggest rivals, and now plagued by financial woes which may not be Madoff-level, but which have already had a palpable negative effect on the team.

What a difference a year makes!

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Jacob deGrom Just Keeps Getting Better http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/jacob-degrom-just-keeps-getting-better.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/jacob-degrom-just-keeps-getting-better.html/#comments Sat, 06 Feb 2016 15:00:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205785 jacob deGrom

Despite being omitted from MLB Network’s Top 10 Right Now list, RHP Jacob deGrom‘s stock continues to rise, and for great reason. The 27 year-old has been improving since his debut in 2014, and has the chance to prove that he belongs in the top 5 best pitchers in baseball in 2016.

Start with the fact that nearly all his major stats improved from 2014 to 2015. His ERA in 2014 was 2.69 in 22 games pitched. In 8 more starts in 2015, his ERA dropped to 2.54, which was good for 6th in all of baseball. Other numbers that dropped in his favor were WHIP, BAA, and walks. A closer look at his advanced metrics make his 2015 performance look even more impressive though. To begin deGrom had the 6th best strike percentage in MLB, at 68.1%. That’s better than Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Gerrit Cole, and Madison Bumgarner to name a few. He also had the 4th best OPS against him at .574. Again the pitchers he beat out are a who’s who of stars including, Dallas Keuchel, Sonny Gray, David Price, Matt Harvey, and Chris Archer.

An interesting stat I came across was when looking into average fastball speed and average perceived speed. Comparing deGrom to his counterpart Matt Harvey, deGrom’s average pitch speed clocks in at 95.28, compared to Harvey’s at 96.18. However, the average perceived speed of their pitches is higher for deGrom than Harvey. Which probably has to do with how well deGrom hides the ball during his pitching motion, and that his average extension when pitching exceeds Harvey’s as well (6.82 to 6.05). They both are listed at 6’4, but deGrom is a bit lankier than Harvey, which could play a part in the added extension in his motion. He also beats another 6’4 strikeout machine in Clayton Kershaw, in both perceived average speed (96.01 to 93.94) and extension (6.82 to 6.43).

And of course, one would be remiss not to mention his tremendous playoff resume that he accumulated in 2015. His first three outings against the Dodgers and Cubs were absolutely dominant, going 3-0 with 27 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. Despite the loss in Game 2 of the World Series, he had pitched well up until the 5th inning, and the Mets offense only mustered two hits in that game. Needless to say, I imagine most fans would take deGrom’s impressive post-season cumulative stat line over those like Kershaw (2-6 4.59 ERA), Price (2-7 5.12 ERA), and Greinke (3-3 3.55 ERA).

101415-MLB-Zack-Greinke-and-Jacob-deGrom-PI.vadapt.620.high.22

I also wanted to see how some contemporaries of deGrom’s fared from their rookie year to sophomore season. Take a look at some of the numbers:

Kershaw rookie year: 5-5,  4.26 ERA,  1.495 WHIP
Kershaw sophomore year: 8-8,  2.79 ERA,  1.22 WHIP

Bumgarner rookie year: 7-6,  3.00 ERA,  1.306 WHIP
Bumgarner sophomore year: 13-13,  3.21 ERA,  1.212 WHIP

Greinke rookie year: 8-11,  3.97 ERA,  1.166 WHIP
Greinke sophomore year: 5-17,  5.80 ERA,  1.563 WHIP

Now here’s deGrom’s numbers:

Rookie year: 9-6,  2.69 ERA,  1.14 WHIP
Sophomore year: 14-8,  2.54 ERA,  0.98 WHIP

Of course deGrom debuted at 25, a later age then the three examples listed. The point is to illustrate just how dominant deGrom has been to this point in such a short amount of time in the league. And now without any innings limitations lingering over him he could produce even better. Not bad for a guy who was drafted in the 9th round, 272nd overall.

For my money, deGrom would be one of the first players I address with a contract extension. It also is worth noting that he’s represented by CAA Sports, whose other clients include Buster Posey, Matt Cain, Ryan Howard, and Ryan Zimmerman, all of whom signed long term contracts with their respective teams before testing free agency.

With the numbers he’s produced in his first two years in the bigs, deGrom might be in line to challenge for the NL Cy Young Award this season. While he was snubbed by the MLB Network’s “Shredder”, Mets fans will not snub him or his gaudy numbers. If he continues to pitch like this, there’s no doubt the rest of baseball will soon appreciate and marvel at the job he’s done.

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Pitching Inside: The Lost Art That May Never Return http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/pitching-inside-the-lost-art-that-may-never-return.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/pitching-inside-the-lost-art-that-may-never-return.html/#comments Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:00:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205614 zack wheeler whiff

“People have gotten away from that, people are getting soft these days. I don’t care, if somebody is showing me up or throwing at one of our guys, you are going to get something inside to let you know I noticed that.” – Zack Wheeler in his recent New York Post interview.

Remember when the pitchers owned the inside of the plate? Hitters didn’t wear helmets, and it was much easier for a pitcher to intimidate a hitter. The inside half of the plate belonged to the pitcher. If you ventured too far into the pitcher’s territory, you more than likely got a nice clean shave from a pitch that was high and tight, reminding you that you crossed the line.

The pitchers used the inside pitch to keep hitters off balance. Hitters that were overly conscious of an inside pitch blazing in at 95mph were left vulnerable to off speed pitches and pitches on the outside part of the plate. Logically speaking, the pitchers that used the inside part of the plate as part of their strategy seemed to be more successful. Bob Gibson used the inside pitch to intimidate hitters. So did Pedro Martinez. Matt Harvey and Wheeler seem to like it. Heck, even a young Roy Oswalt commented on pitching inside in an early ESPN interview:

“It’s fun to see the fear of the hitter — especially if you’ve got a big-name hitter up there, and you throw inside, you can tell it gets under their skin. They want the ball out over the plate. Especially a young guy like me throwing inside, they don’t like that too much. I believe you have to. If you don’t knock ‘em down once in a while, then they get real comfortable. The biggest key to being successful is throwing balls inside for strikes and balls inside to move their feet. You have to throw a pitch to get them out of their stance.”

I always believed that pitchers chose to shy away from pitching inside because of the steroid era freaks being able to turn on the inside pitch consistently, and park it in the bleacher seats. The hitters began to crowd the plate more and more as advanced equipment came out to protect them — remember Barry Bonds‘ robo-arm guard? The hitters had less fear of getting hit by an inside pitch, and had more ability than ever (due to the enhancements from PEDs) to do more damage with the inside pitch.

But the question is, now that game has been cleaned up from rampant PED use, why haven’t the pitchers taken back the area of the plate that was once rightfully theirs?

Since we are in this golden age of advanced statistics, I wondered if there were any that could show that pitchers are more successful if they don’t pitch inside. If that were the case, it would explain why pitchers have all but abandoned pounding the ball in.

The search didn’t take long. Sure enough, I stumbled on to an incredibly detailed article on Fangraphs which tackled this very topic. In the article, they use statistics to either validate or void some comments that Zack Greinke made about pitching inside. I’m not going to get into great detail here (Read article on Fangraphs), but Greinke basically says while he found that hitters made better contact and hit the ball harder when he stayed away, and hitters tend to get on base more on inside pitches.

The first part of the sentence made perfect sense to me, but the second half was hard to believe.

He goes on to add that even though the hitters tend to hit the outside pitch harder, most hitters don’t have the power to hit a ball over the outfielder’s head to the opposite field. If a guy hits a ball 300 feet in the air, it’s more than likely an out. When he came inside to hitters, they had just enough power to get a squib hit that would often drop in.

Very interesting. But did the stats back up what Grienke was saying?

I have to admit, I was skeptical in thinking the stats would back up all of his claims, but they did. In fact, the hitters had a higher batting average and slugging percentage on inside pitches. That means that not only were they getting on base more successfully, but they weren’t exactly squibs either. The data was so convincing, that they go on further in the article to question why any pitcher would pitch inside anymore.

Well that just busted my bubble. I was hoping that with this dominating Mets staff, where the average pitch speed is something like 94mph on the radar gun, we would see some old school pounding of that inside corner. Now I don’t think it’s such a great idea. Wheeler may have been right about people getting soft on pitching inside, but is more than likely the statistics dictating new pitching strategies as everyone is looking for every advantage in their journey to a World Series title.

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Thoughts On Zack Wheeler and His Evolution http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/thoughts-on-zack-wheeler-and-his-evolution.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/thoughts-on-zack-wheeler-and-his-evolution.html/#comments Tue, 02 Feb 2016 17:49:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205565 zack wheeler

In an exclusive interview with rehabbing Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler, Kevin Kernan of the New York Post covered a variety of issues that go beyond the typical reports we’ve been getting on the former top pitching prospect in baseball.

It’s not the usual mundane “Wheeler feels great” blah, blah, blah, push the “publish” button, mission accomplished type articles, we’ve been seeing with agonizing regularity every week since October. We actually have some substance here so pay attention.

For one, Wheeler is reinventing his throwing mechanics. He has altered his arm angle following his March surgery — just like Jacob deGrom did following his Tommy John surgery back in 2010. And according to Kernan, the hope is that it leads to the same kind of success as it did for deGrom. God willing.

The benefits to this are two-fold. One, it results in more downward movement to his pitches, which could lead to an increased groundball rate – always a good thing. But secondly – and primarily – this new delivery will put less stress on his right elbow.

“I want to stay on top of the ball instead of being on the side of it,’’ Wheeler told Kernan as he demonstrated his revamped delivery. “In the past I was just throwing and saying, ‘Here it is.’ My ball moves a lot, and that’s what got me in trouble.’’

This reminds me of something Buffalo Bisons (remember them) manager Wally Backman once told me about Wheeler after working with him for a couple of months.

“This kid is something special. He’s legit. I can see why the front office went after him. He probably can pitch in the majors right now and be better than half of the pitchers up there. He’s just a thrower right now, but watch out when we learns how to pitch. Watch out when that happens.”

Those words always stuck with me and when Wheeler finally made his major league debut over a year later in Atlanta during that Super Tuesday doubleheader against the Braves, I was drooling at how easily he made quick work of them. Wow, we really have something here, I thought with giddiness.

Reading what Wheeler had to say to Kernan, it sounded to me like he is ready to take that next step from thrower to pitcher which has me pretty stoked and excited.

Mind you, it’s not like there was anything wrong with a pitcher who has posted an 18-16 record with a 3.50 ERA and 271 strikeouts in 285 innings before the age of 24 in the major leagues. There are not too many who can boast that.

But imagine Wheeler with a little less walks and a little less line drives – imagine that. Imagine how much more incredible Zack Wheeler could be.

Taking a page out of their Matt Harvey playbook – that’s the playbook all the other 29 MLB teams are now trying to plagiarize – the Mets have slowed Wheeler down and are shooting for a July comeback, which puts him on the same 15-month rehab as TDK.

When that day finally comes, I urge all of you to sit back and enjoy the show.

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Mets Have Venable And De Aza On Their Radar http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mets-have-venable-and-de-aza-on-their-radar.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mets-have-venable-and-de-aza-on-their-radar.html/#comments Mon, 21 Dec 2015 18:20:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202902 will venable

According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the Mets have left handed outfielders Will Venable and Alejandro De Aza on their radar in addition to Denard Span. Both players are potential options to platoon with Juan Lagares in center field, but Crasnick says the Mets are slow-playing the market.

Venable, 33, batted .244/.320/.350  with six home runs and 16 steals in 349 plate appearances for the Padres and Rangers in 2015. He’s an appealing target for the Mets due to his solid .745 OPS against right handed pitching in his career, and he’s also an asset on defense.. He is capable of playing all three outfield spots, and had a +1 UZR rating this year,

Meanwhile, De Aza posted a .262/.333.422 triple slash line with the Giants, Orioles and Red Sox this year. He crushed seven home runs with a 104 OPS + in 365 plate appearances, and he also hit well against right handed pitching with an .800 OPS.

However,  the 31 year old outfielder has declined defensively in recent years according to advanced metrics. He had a -1.1 UZR rating in 2015, and was also rated negatively the last three seasons.

The Mets appear to be patiently waiting out the market, but both players seem like decent fallback options if they are unable to land a top hitter.  It’s worth noting that Venable has strong ties to the Mets’ Front Office since he played for Sandy Alderson and Paul Depodesta during his time in San Diego.

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Astros Re-Sign Reliever Tony Sipp http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/astros-re-sign-reliever-tony-sipp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/astros-re-sign-reliever-tony-sipp.html/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2015 15:36:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202236 tony-sipp-211dbb559ada997b

According to MLB Network, free agent reliever Tony Sipp will be heading back to Houston and has agreed to a deal with the Astros. No contract details were disclosed, and the deal is pending a physical. I’m sure Johnny-On-The-Spot Heyman will announce details soon.

Update: Ken Rosenthal reports it’s a three-year, $18 million deal.

Sipp has long been an effective major league reliever, pitching for the Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks, before really coming into his own in the last two seasons for the Houston Astros. Pitching since 2009, he has a career 21-16 record with a 3.50 ERA and 1.201 WHIP in 363.0 innings, striking out 392 batters and walking 165 (9.7 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9).

Last season, was by far his best, posting a 3-4 record with a pristine 1.99 ERA and 1.010 WHIP. Sipp exhibited an improved K/9 (10.3) and a much improved BB/9 (2.5) in 54.1 innings, sporting a 2.93 FIP.

Sipp, 32, had been considered a target for the Mets who are seeking to add a setup-type reliever and lefty specialist.

Beat ya! Take that MLBTR…. :)

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Nationals Sign Oliver Perez To Two-Year, $7 Million Contract http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/nationals-sign-oliver-perez-to-two-year-7-million-contract.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/nationals-sign-oliver-perez-to-two-year-7-million-contract.html/#comments Fri, 04 Dec 2015 21:37:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201629 perez_1280_f0uhshel_zyxy1a5s

According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Washington Nationals have signed free agent left-hander Oliver Perez to a two-year deal worth $7 million dollars.

In his career as a starter and a reliever, Perez is 67-83 with a 4.44 ERA in 1,294 innings pitched. He has struck out 1,351 batters and walked 703, good for a career 9.4 K/9 ratio and 4.9 BB/9.

Perez, 34, has tried to resurrect his career as a reliever since being cut by the Mets. In a four-season span out of the bullpen, he has a 3.31 ERA in 182 innings with a 11.1 strikeout rate.

Last season, pitching for the Diamondbacks and Astros, he went 2-4 with a 4.17 ERA in 41 innings, striking out 51 and walking 15. He held left-handed batters to a .185/.235/.283 batting line.

He’s back…

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What Does David Price Contract Mean For Mets Young Rotation? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/what-does-david-price-contract-mean-for-mets-young-rotation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/what-does-david-price-contract-mean-for-mets-young-rotation.html/#comments Wed, 02 Dec 2015 19:39:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201425 harvey degrom syndergaard matz

The Billion Dollar Boys Club?

Not that it would have happened anyway, but Boston’s blockbuster signing of David Price Tuesday means there won’t be a trade of Matt Harvey to the Red Sox for shortstop Xander Bogaerts and outfielder Mookie Betts or Jackie Bradley.

I was onboard for such a deal, and the Price signing only affirmed my reason.

The cost for Price is $217 million over seven years. The key to the deal is Price has an opt-out clause after three years for roughly $90 million. If Price can give the Red Sox a couple of playoff appearances, and perhaps a World Series title, the contract would have been worth it – if they allow him to leave.

The Price contract makes you wonder what it will cost when Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz hit the market. We’re probably looking at over $1 billion dollars in overall contracts. That’s “billion” with a “B”.

The Mets certainly can’t afford to sign all five to mega deals at once, but they can defray some of the cost if they stagger the signings and they trade one or two of theses guys.

If you think $217 million is steep – and it is 2015 – wait until Scott Boras puts Harvey on the market in three years. Assuming Harvey pitches to expectations, Boras’ numbers for Harvey could approach a staggering $300 million.

Figuring the Mets don’t change their financial approach, there’s no way they can afford to keep Harvey and deGrom and Syndergaard.

Their best options are to fill their positional holes by dealing Harvey – who is a goner and we all know it – and offering long-term deals to deGrom and Syndergaard.

Although when asked in September if the Mets planned to discuss extension deals with one or more of their young pitchers, Sandy Alderson said no, he may want to reconsider.

Yeah, I love the potential of the Mets’ young pitching and it would be great if they could keep the core together and fill out the rest of their roster with key free-agent signings. But, that’s not the real world. The real world has the very real, and very likely, chance of Harvey asking for a monster contact the Mets can’t afford.

I know you don’t like to hear this, but the Price signing screams trading Harvey is the thing to do. Perhaps not this offseason and perhaps not next year either, but certainly before the 2018 season.

It also gives one pause to understand how important it is for the Mets to take advantage of this short 3-4 year window that has all five young guns pitching in the same rotation.

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Mets Plan To Tender and Keep Jenrry Mejia http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mets-plan-to-tender-and-keep-jenrry-mejia.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mets-plan-to-tender-and-keep-jenrry-mejia.html/#comments Mon, 30 Nov 2015 22:55:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201266 jenry mejia

Even though reliever Jenrry Mejia was suspended twice for performance enhancing drugs last season – including a current 162 game suspension that’ll continue into the 2016 season – the New York Mets plan to keep the arbitration-eligible Mejia and will not non-tender him at Wednesday’s deadline, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Mejia, 26, is currently pitching for Licey in the Dominican Winter League (4.09 ERA, 33.1 IP), where the Mets have been monitoring him this offseason.

He earned $2.595 million this past season and by rule, arbitration-eligible players must receive at least 80 percent of their previous year’s salary if they are tendered.

That’s a minimum of $2.076 million in Mejia’s case, but he could even receive the identical $2.595 million salary in 2016, depending on how the sides settle or what an arbitrator decides, Rubin explains.

Of course the salary will be prorated due to his suspension which ends on July 29.

Since Mejia is still on the suspended list, the Mets could tender him a contract without using a 40-man roster spot.

Regardless of what transpired, Mejia could still be a valuable asset for the organization, which could come into play at some point next season either as a useful piece in the big-league bullpen or as a trade chip.

While it’s not yet known how much of Mejia’s performance in 2013 (2.46 ERA) and 2014 (3.73 ERA) was performance enhanced, it will only cost the Mets roughly $1.1 million to keep him and see what if anything he can bring to the table.

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MMO Fan Shot: Who Says Cespedes Can’t Hit Good Pitching? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-fan-shot-who-says-cespedes-cant-hit-good-pitching.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-fan-shot-who-says-cespedes-cant-hit-good-pitching.html/#comments Fri, 27 Nov 2015 15:02:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201047 Cespedes Yoenis

An MMO Fan Shot by Peter S.

I have to admit, I can’t believe how many fans are buying into the “Yoenis Cespedes can’t hit good pitching” rhetoric. We are playing right into the Front Office’s hands by believing he is not good and isn’t worth a contract this offseason. Well, I don’t fall into that category. We are letting the Front Office let the best player we’ve ever had (besides Beltran) walk. Ok, Wright in his heyday was better – but you get my point.

So, I decided to do a little bit of research. I didn’t go into OPS as I believe it is not a good stat in small samples as a couple of homeruns can really weigh it in a players favor. Here goes:

The Question:

How would the top nine free agent hitters fare vs the last 10 winners of the Cy Young Award over the previous six seasons from both leagues?

The Cy Young Award Winners:

  1. Jake Arrieta
  2. R.A. Dickey
  3. Felix Hernandez
  4. Zack Greinke
  5. Clayton Kershaw
  6. Dallas Keuchel
  7. Corey Kluber
  8. David Price
  9. Max Scherzer
  10. Justin Verlander

The Top 9 Free Agent Hitters:

Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Daniel Murphy, Chris Davis, Ian Desmond, Alex Gordon and Denard Span

So I pondered…what would these guys do, over 600 at-bats, vs the top pitchers in the game from the last 6 years? I mean, surely, the Cy Young winners is a good and fair barometer, right? So let’s start with the actual AB vs these pitchers:

Cumulative Numbers:
H AB BA HR RBI
Cespedes 41 147 .279 8 20
Upton 23 114 .202 5 13
Heyward 23 86 .267 1 5
Zobrist 40 214 .187 5 15
Murphy 22 74 .297 5 10
Davis 40 153 .261 4 17
Desmond 18 103 .175 3 4
Gordon 52 231 .225 8 25
Span 44 167 .263 1 10

Now, let’s look at each player’s career numbers over 162 games:

Career 162 Game Average:
H AB BA HR RBI
Cespedes 172 634 .271 30 103
Upton 161 592 .272 26 84
Heyward 156 583 .268 19 68
Zobrist 156 588 .265 17 77
Murphy 173 602 .287 11 72
Davis 146 574 .254 37 101
Desmond 160 608 .263 19 75
Gordon 163 605 .269 19 75
Span 187 651 .287 6 57

And finally, what would those guys’ numbers look like if they each faced this group of pitchers over 600 at-bats, to me, the best way to judge what that small sample really means:

Numbers over 600 AB
H AB BA HR RBI
Cespedes 167 600 .279 33 82
Upton 121 600 .202 26 68
Heyward 160 600 .267 7 35
Zobrist 112 600 .187 14 42
Murphy 178 600 .297 41 81
Davis 157 600 .261 16 67
Desmond 105 600 .175 17 23
Gordon 135 600 .225 21 65
Span 158 600 .263 4 36

I never thought I’d see Murphy’s numbers pop out like this, but it shows how well he fares vs good pitching. Of course, that is nowhere near his regular career home run numbers. So perhaps it’s just an outlier.

Cespedes, on the other hand, came in at .279 – 33 – 82 even though all we’ve been hearing is that he cannot hit good pitching. Obviously, these numbers prove otherwise. In fact, these numbers show that just about half of these guys can’t hit good pitching  consistently (Desmond, Zobrist, Gordon & Upton hit .225 or worse). Power wise, Cespedes is ahead of every free agent OF on this list, and well ahead of prodigious home run hitter Chris Davis.

Denard Span, who is reportedly a Met target, had a woeful showing so how is he going to help replace Cespedes? You want Zobrist over Murphy? I hope you see the difference in consistency vs good pitching.

But of course, this is a very small sample, and does not mean anything. But, can we stop saying that Cespedes can’t hit good pitching? Can we please stop talking like Zobrist is the answer? Judging either of these guys based on 150 AB or so makes a lot more sense than judging them based on playoff numbers. But, just in case people are wondering, career numbers for each player in the playoffs:

Postseason Career:
H AB BA HR RBI
Cespedes 26 94 .277 3 14
Upton 11 48 .229 2 4
Heyward 11 53 .208 2 6
Zobrist 34 132 .258 4 9
Murphy 19 58 .328 7 11
Davis 5 24 .208 0 2
Desmond 10 37 .270 0 0
Gordon 24 108 .222 3 17
Span 12 47 .255 0 1

And if you extrapolate their postseason performance over 600 ABs:

Numbers over 600 ABs:
H AB BA HR RBI
Cespedes 166 600 .277 19 89
Upton 138 600 .229 25 50
Heyward 125 600 .208 23 68
Zobrist 155 600 .258 18 41
Murphy 197 600 .328 72 114
Davis 125 600 .208 0 50
Desmond 162 600 .270 0 0
Gordon 133 600 .222 17 94
Span 153 600 .255 0 13

To be fair, Cespedes’ power numbers are cut in a 1/3 off his career, but in terms of batting average, he is right on par with his career numbers. Ben Zobrist can’t shine Murphy’s shoes over 600 playoff AB. Alex Gordon, Mr. “KC Royals approach” – he has a career .222 BA in the playoffs. Not exactly consistent.

And of course, the one guy who will likely get the biggest contract this offseason is Jason Heyward. Please review his numbers above, and think to yourself… Is this guy really getting a better deal than Cespedes? Please, he is not a great player. He is not in Cespedes’ class offensively.

OK, so this argument has major flaws. I get it, there are more overall stats and the old “eye test” to consider. I mean, the NL figured out Cespedes, he can’t possibly make adjustments because he is a head case. I know, I know. He is not worth $20 million a year. I get it. People are scared. Just please, don’t tell me he can’t hit good pitching. It’s just not true. In fact, statistically speaking, he is the second best free agent hitter available vs good pitching. Of course, Sir Murphy is No. 1.

Thanks for giving me a few minutes to vent.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Peter S.. 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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MMO Free Agent Profile: Tony Sipp, LHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-tony-sipp-lhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-tony-sipp-lhp.html/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 17:24:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200950 tony-sipp-211dbb559ada997b

Tony Sipp
Position: Relief Pitcher
Bats: Left — Throws: Left
Born: July 12, 1983 (Age 32)

A I’ve mentioned in many of my recent articles, I believe the most glaring and pressing need for the New York Mets this offseason is bolstering the bullpen – and more specifically – acquiring a left-handed reliever. The two best lefty relievers on the free agent market this Winter are Antonio Bastardo (MMO Profile) and Tony Sipp.

Sipp has long been an effective major league reliever, pitching for the Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks, before really coming into his own in the last two seasons for the Houston Astros. Pitching since 2009, he has a career 21-16 record with a 3.50 ERA and 1.201 WHIP in 363.0 innings, striking out 392 batters and walking 165 (9.7 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9).

Last season, was by far his best, posting a 3-4 record with a pristine 1.99 ERA and 1.010 WHIP. Sipp exhibited an improved K/9 (10.3) and a much improved BB/9 (2.5) in 54.1 innings, sporting a 2.93 FIP.

While he is very effective against left-handed hitters, he is arguably a little better against righties:

RHH: .190/.245/.374,  4 HR, 6 2B, 38 K, 7 BB

LHH: .220/.287/.306 , 1 HR, 5 2B, 24 K, 8 BB

As you can see, left-handed hitters manage to get on base more often, right-handed hitters tend to display a little more power. Basically, Sipp is exceptional and effective against both, making him a nice commodity to have.

Sipp could provide the Mets with the effective reliever they need against lefty batters, while still being very effective against righties. Depending on who else the Mets sign, he could be a solid 7th or 8th inning man in front of closer Jeurys Familia.

Contract: Sipp is projected to fetch a two-year deal for roughly $10 million dollars.

Recommendation: Sign Him. There are other options I think the Mets should pursue before him, such as Antonio Bastardo, however I would be very happy if they acquired Sipp. He is effective against righties, but more importantly, he can get lefties out.

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Bryce Harper Wins NL MVP, Tips His Cap To Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/bryce-harper-wins-nl-mvp-tips-his-cap-to-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/bryce-harper-wins-nl-mvp-tips-his-cap-to-mets.html/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:59:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200491 bryce harper

Bryce Harper was named the National League Most Valuable Player on Thursday night, becoming the youngest unanimous MVP winner in baseball history. Harper, 23, got all 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The Nationals’ three-time All Star led the majors in slugging percentage (.649), OBP (.460), OPS (1.109) and fWAR (9.9) while batting .330 with 42 home runs, 118 runs scored, and 99 RBI.

He was the first player from a Washington franchise to win an MVP — no one on the original or expansion Senators or Nats had ever won it.

Harper had some nice things to say about the Mets after accepting his award.

“I think a lot of people saw what the National League East was about. How much pitching we had, how much competition we had in that aspect with Harvey and deGrom and Syndergaard.  Those three guys were unbelievable this year, so I tip my cap to them and the Mets organization.” (Washington Post)

Last month, Harper also complimented the Mets after winning the NL East saying:

“The Mets had everything going for them. They did a lot of things. That deadline came around and they got Yoenis Cespedes, Tyler Clippard and they built their team. They did a great job this year and they’re doing it. Coming from the East, I hope they win it all ”

Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all… Nah… Who am I kidding. :-)

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Syndergaard Wants To Be A Met For Life http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/syndergaard-wants-to-be-a-met-for-life.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/syndergaard-wants-to-be-a-met-for-life.html/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:00:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200516 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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Michael Cuddyer Says Mets Are Ready For This Moment http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/michael-cuddyer-says-mets-are-ready-for-this-moment.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/michael-cuddyer-says-mets-are-ready-for-this-moment.html/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2015 17:00:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=198404 michael cuddyer

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer spoke to reporters at Citi Field about overcoming being down two games to none and beating the Kansas City Royals. He says Noah Syndergaard is ready for tonight’s challenge and that the team is ready for this moment.

Do you think perhaps the media and the fans are getting too down on the team being down two games to none?

Obviously we would like to not be down 0-2, but we are. We’re not going to give up, obviously. We’re going to continue to battle. Teams have been down 0-2 before and come back. There is a precedent set for that. I believe the last time the Mets won the World Series they were down 0-2 and won, and those were two they lost at home.

We get to come here now, where we’ve played well all year, in front of a fan base that is really excited. I think that’s an understatement. Really excited to have us back out on the field, and we’re really excited to get back out and play in front of them.

You saw these Royals when they were a very bad team, are you impressed at their evolution?

Well, when I was in Minnesota, yeah, we’d seen them obviously a lot. And one thing that they did have as a characteristic of a team is they were always a tough, tough game. I think that relentlessness has stuck with them. They are able to battle, great at-bats, make big pitches when they had to make big pitches and just played good baseball. That characteristic they had, even in those down seasons a few years ago.

Everybody spoke about the Royals’ ability to put the ball in play and how well they hit guys that threw 95-plus. Still, has it surprised you that they’ve lived up to their billing against deGrom, Harvey, Familia?

I think last night was, I mean, a credit to them and a little bit of a surprise. Only to have, I don’t know, what was it three swing-and-misses against Jake the whole game, which obviously is uncharacteristic of a game that Jake pitches. And that’s not to discredit anything Jake did. That’s what their game plan was.

You look at Game 1, and obviously up until the ninth inning, we were winning that game. So the narrative could be totally different. And that’s in any series, that’s in any World Series. When you’ve got two of the best teams in the game playing, games can teeter either way with one play. Obviously Gordon hitting the big home run was the one that teetered in their favor. But, yeah, they’ve put great at-bats together, and hopefully we can now game-plan at our ballpark and change that narrative.

Noah Syndergaard is now tasked with pitching in the biggest game of the year, and he wasn’t even on the roster until May.

The maturity level that he’s been able to go through, I don’t want to say transformation, but the evolution that he’s been able to go through from that first day in Wrigley Field for his debut, up to now has been extremely impressive. Especially for a 22-year-old, to be pitching in games of this magnitude and be able to handle it as well as he is. I think you see now a guy that trusts his stuff, obviously you should when you throw 98, 97, 100 miles an hour, but also the secondary and third pitches as well. He’s not afraid to throw the curveball. He’s not afraid to throw the changeup. Not afraid to throw those in fastball counts, which says a lot about a young flamethrower. We’re really excited to see him on this stage and see him pitch tomorrow night, and very confident to have him out on the mound.

Do you as a veteran tell the young players, it’s not about being down 0-2; it’s all about Game 3?

Yeah, we talked about you have to win four games, no matter what. Doesn’t matter the order you win them in, doesn’t matter if it’s four games in a row, back-to-back, doesn’t matter. You have to win four games. And it starts with winning the first one. Hopefully for us tomorrow it’s winning Game 1.

The one thing about this team, no matter what point you look at in the course of the year, whenever we had the so called must-win situation, that everybody to put labels on games in May and June, whenever we had those games, we went out and we won those games. Whenever we were down 0-2 on a road series, and we really wanted to win that third game to salvage that series, we won that game.

I think all of those series and all of those games hopefully prepared us for the moment that we’re in right now. Obviously games are a much bigger magnitude. I don’t want to downplay the magnitude of the World Series, but at the same time I think those games battle test you for this moment.

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Collins Discusses Mets Struggles, Syndergaard, Lagares, Uribe, Citi Field Impact http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/collins-discusses-mets-struggles-syndergaard-lagares-uribe-citi-field-impact.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/collins-discusses-mets-struggles-syndergaard-lagares-uribe-citi-field-impact.html/#comments Thu, 29 Oct 2015 21:42:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=198401 terry collins

Are Kansas City pitchers really this dominating or is your offense really struggling?

Well, again, in postseason you face good pitching. That’s how the other team gets here. With that good pitching comes some rough at-bats at times. And they have pitched us very, very well. So I see both. The other day I thought in Game 1 we had some very, very good at-bats early and then later on in the game in the extra innings we weren’t quite as patient at times.

Yesterday Johnny was, as we know Johnny can be, he was on and he was making pitches and keeping us off balance and changing speeds and doing all the things that he’s very, very good at. …He pitched an outstanding game. So we’ve got to swing better. We know we’re better offensively; we’ve got to certainly get it going.

Is there a chance Juan Lagares could be the center field for Game 3?

There’s a chance.

Is Juan Uribe basically just a pinch-hitter with no shot at starting a game?

Right now we’re glad to have Juan on the bench, and he poses a nice problem for the opposition manager because he is a guy that we’re going to use off the bench at the moment, barring any other physical problems with the other guys. I like him in that role, I really do. That’s where I think he’s the most dangerous.

Do you think the Royals can be impacted by the Citi Field fans?

Our fans are pretty tough. They’re tough. They’re strong and they’re tough. But I think the impact is going to be on us more than anything. I think that’s where our fan base is so good is that it inspires our guys. So I’m looking at that. I’ve been on the other side of the field, not in the World Series, but I’ve been on the other side of the field in New York City in a big series and it’s hard. It’s tough. We’re glad to be back here.

Conforto is slumping in the postseason.

I’ll tell you, look at him, I know he’s got one hit, but he’s got two or three sacrifice flies, he’s hit the ball hard. In Chicago he hit the ball very hard. And he didn’t have anything to show for it. As we sat down and we looked at the lineup, you’ve got to kind of block out the batting average and take into consideration the quality of at-bats, how they are, and they’ve been pretty good, and that’s why we’ve kept him in there. But we’ve got to start getting some production somewhere, so we’re going to take all those things into consideration.

How different is Syndergaard now as opposed to what you saw for the first time?

Well, I went over to Minor League camp when we got him because we heard so much about him, just to see him throw. I saw him throw a bullpen session the first time I saw him and you saw the real good arm. When he first got here, we saw 96. What he’s doing now, I have never seen that. I’ve never seen 98, 99 and 100. I’ve seen good, good power stuff. But I’ve seen a guy grow and learn how to pitch here, where he will go to his secondary stuff in certain counts.

That’s why, I’m telling you, the discussion — when we won in Chicago, we sat on the plane and his name was mentioned to open up the World Series. That’s how well we think he’s pitching. We’ve got great confidence in him tomorrow night.

Has Noah ramped up his performance because it’s the postseason and the adrenaline is pumping? Do you put much stock into it generally?

I put a lot of stock in it because when you’re playing for championships, you raise your game, and we’ve seen that. It’s like I just said, what this guy did when he pitched in Los Angeles, and what he did when he pitched in Chicago, we didn’t see that during the season.

This guys threw six innings at a hundred miles an hour in Los Angeles. Please show me anybody that’s done that, outside of Nolan, maybe. And that’s where this guy for me has risen to the occasion. Then I asked a 22-year-old to come back in Game 5 and pitch an inning out of the bullpen, which he’s never done in his life, and truly confident that he can do it and he did it.

The Royals have taken contact to a whole new level in the postseason. I don’t think Jacob had a swing and a miss on a fastball. Have you been surprised that they’ve been enable to raise that contact level even more here?

Well, you know, we certainly looked through all the numbers. And we see their approach at home plate, yeah, I can understand why they do that. When they get behind the count, they shorten their swings, they just want to put the ball in play. And it plays in their park, because it is a big park.

So I’m very, very impressed by it, how they do it and how they handle it. Certainly when you string four or five singles together and two or three runs with their pitching, that’s enough to win. So it’s certainly a great trait to have. They’re athletic enough to run the bases. I’m very impressed with the job they’ve done over there, what Ned has done, and they’ve bought into it. That’s one of the keys, to get the players to buy into what you want to do offensively, and those guys have of. They’re tough to pitch against.

We’ve got to make better pitches. You can’t keep throwing the ball — there’s seven inches on each side of the plate, you’ve got to get it to the edges or they’re going to get good hits.

Harvey and deGrom were using more of their plan B stuff, especially early in the game, they weren’t using their power pitches as much. Any thoughts of that?

I’ll take that into consideration.

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Are Mets Starters Out Of Gas? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/are-mets-starters-out-of-gas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/are-mets-starters-out-of-gas.html/#comments Thu, 29 Oct 2015 17:15:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=198318 matt harvey

The first two games of the World Series have not been particularly kind to Mets starting pitching. Both Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, while not terrible by any means, were certainly off their games. This begs the question: has the fatigue of the long season become too much?

In Game 1, Harvey went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits while walking two and striking out two. He ended up getting pulled after just 80 pitches, 53 of which were strikes.

Last night, deGrom, who has had to battle without his best stuff at times recently, struggled even more. He lasted just five frames, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks. He too struck out just a pair of Royals hitters and needed 94 pitches to get through five.

With Harvey especially, perhaps the workload of this season has finally gotten to him.

“I didn’t feel all that great, so I had to mix things up,” Harvey said after Tuesday’s game. “Obviously from the first pitch on, I knew I had to mix things in and try to keep them off balance. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that in the sixth inning. For a good stretch there, I was getting some quick outs but unfortunately I wasn’t able to hold the lead.”

Harvey is now up to 208 innings on the year, not including the 22.2 he tossed in spring training, after not pitching in any live games last year. Scott Boras did have a point — this is pretty unprecedented for a Tommy John Surgery patient.

deGrom was worked even harder this year, throwing 216 innings between the regular season and playoffs, not including one in the All-Star Game and 26 in spring training. Between the minor leagues and Triple-A, deGrom threw 178.2 last year.

This is not to say the Mets should have altered how they used their starters late in the season and early in the playoffs. After all, the NL East race was tight well into September. However, deGrom and Harvey have been inconsistent lately, mostly due to a lack of command. deGrom has walked three twice this postseason. He only did that four times over the course of the entire season.

Maybe they’ve just happened to have a few off days (which pitchers have all the time) and this is just being fueled by the Mets’ inability to score runs or play defense. Either way, it’s a legitimate question to bring up.

To come back and win this series, deGrom and Harvey will both have to leave it all out on the field for one more start. Let’s hope they have something left in them.

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Terry Collins On Being Up 3-0, Making Things Happen, DeGrom Grinding One Out http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/terry-collins-on-being-up-3-0-making-things-happen-degrom-grinding-one-out.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/terry-collins-on-being-up-3-0-making-things-happen-degrom-grinding-one-out.html/#comments Wed, 21 Oct 2015 04:43:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=197360 Cespedes scores

How huge was that stolen base by Cespedes?

“Well, Yoenis Cespedes came in knowing that we had to be a little aggressive on the bases, something we don’t normally do. We’re not that kind of a team. But we told the guys, look, if you get on and you think you can go, go. And Yoenis got a great job, and it just shows you there is not a phase of this game that he can’t do. And that was a big play for us.”

Teams underestimate that you have a pretty good offensive team…

“Today guys were talking about, wow, this is a great — what a great baseball day. You know, we’ve got a pretty good offensive club, especially in hitter’s parks. We’ve shown that all year long. No matter — in Philly, or Cincinnati, Colorado, places that people hit, we hit. Tonight we got some big hits.”

Seemed like there were some similarities for deGrom to his last start vs Los Angeles…

“On Jacob deGrom, in the third inning, I said if we get five out of this guy tonight, we’ll be lucky. Then all of a sudden in the fifth inning, fourth and fifth inning, he started making pitches. So it was a very similar outing he had in Los Angeles. He didn’t have very good stuff early. His command has been off. I don’t know if it’s fatigue this time of year. Again, he’s pitched more than he ever has in his whole life, so that could be the answer.”

daniel murphy

Murphy did it again…

“I’ve watched a lot of baseball over the years. I don’t think I’ve seen anybody put on this kind of a show on this stage like Daniel Murphy has so far. Even the guys in the dugout, they’re baseball guys too and they’re saying the same thing. Question is, ‘who is this guy.’” He’s been unbelievable. Hopefully he just keeps it up for, certainly, a few more games.”

How does it feel being up 3-0 in the series?

“Being up 3-0, we’re very, very fortunate, because the Cubs have played great. They’re playing great, and we’ve got to — we can’t worry about it. We’ve got to come out tomorrow and Steven Matz has got to give us a game. Our bullpen is pretty rested and Steven can get us five or six, you know, we’ve got a lot of answers in the bullpen for any match-ups we need.”

terry collins argue ivy

Explain your argument when the ball skipped past Soler and into the ivy?

“I know the rule. We all know what the rule is. My argument was my runner’s halfway to third base, if not three-quarters of the way to third base. I just ask him if — he said, I can’t do it. That’s just the rule, can’t even challenge it. I wanted him to go to the cameras upstairs. But I knew the rule. It’s just, it kind of sucks when it happens to you.”

What do you do as manager to prevent your players from looking forward to the next series?

“They won’t look forward to it. I can tell you that right now. That clubhouse right now that’s all they’re talking about is tomorrow. They know what they’re facing. We’ve got some experienced guys who have been in playoffs before, and they’re not looking forward, tomorrow we’ve got to get ready to play. As we’re waiting for everybody to come off the field, David and everybody was being interviewed on the field, that was the conversation in the clubhouse, we’ve got to get ready to play tomorrow.”

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Your players took advantage in this game, making something out of nothing. How much do those little plays get magnified?

“Every little play in the series, especially in the postseason, means a lot. I tell you what, my guys are playing hard. I mean, they’re running the bases. That was a big play by David tagging up late when Schwarber was kind of backing up on the ball. Those are the things you’ve got to do right now to take advantage of any little chance you’ve got to try to score runs.”

“You know, Jake — as a matter of fact, I told Dan, I said, boy, Jake has settled down, he’s pitching tremendous right now. But I just said right at this particular time, we’ve got to bring him back in five days. Maybe the rest — keep the pitch count down a little bit, maybe the rest, if we’ve got to go to Game 7, he’ll be ready for it.”

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Fiery DeGrom Is Charged Up And Sets His Sights On Cubs http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/fiery-degrom-is-charged-up-and-sets-his-sights-on-cubs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/fiery-degrom-is-charged-up-and-sets-his-sights-on-cubs.html/#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2015 14:37:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=197260 New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies

Mets ace Jacob deGrom returns to the mound tonight at Wrigley Field for Game 3 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs after taking the first two games of the series in New York.

“I think we have a lot of confidence going into this game,” deGrom said on Monday during his media session. “We matched up well against two great pitchers and we got a chance to take a 3-0 lead tomorrow. The guys are putting up runs for us, and our job is just to keep it close and let them do what they’ve been doing.”

DeGrom was asked if he was concerned about his 6.46 ERA against the Cubs in three career starts against them including two shaky starts this season.

“I haven’t looked back at it too much,” deGrom said. “I know they weren’t very good starts. I’m going to flush that. I know this is the playoffs, so it’s going to be a good start for me.”

“Normally when I look at stuff, I try to look at the good things. When I watch video, I try to watch the good starts so I can see how my mechanics are in those. Every once in a while I’ll look at video starts that I struggled, and sometimes in those there is no mechanical problems, it’s just didn’t have good stuff that day.”

“Hopefully tomorrow I have my best stuff, but if not, I think I’ll be able to keep us in the ballgame.”

After pitching a stellar Game 1 against the Dodgers in the NLDS, deGrom had to battle to get through Game 5. He was asked about that.

“The second game, that one was tough. Didn’t have any fastball command, and I think my curveball was my best pitch. So the second game was definitely a battle. I feel like it was more impressive just because it wasn’t easy. When you have your best stuff, it’s a lot easier to pitch.”

The 2014 Rookie of the Year had an even better performance this season, but hr’s most proud of being in the playoffs and playing in this super-charged environment.

“It’s a lot of fun. That’s what we play for. We play to get this chance, and you never know how many times you’re going to get it. So when you get this chance you want to make the best of it.”

Asked if he’s feeling any fatigue, deGrom said that the adrenaline rush of pitching in the playoffs overcomes any fatigue.

“The adrenaline definitely helps. This is the most I’ve thrown in a year. It’s tough to say if I had this many innings in the regular season how I’d feel. But I think playoff time, the adrenaline definitely kicks in.”

“I think that helps out a lot. It’s easier to stay out there and keep fighting whenever you have that much adrenaline.”

This kid has ice coursing through his veins. Expect total deGromination tonight!

jacob deGrom gnome

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Alderson, Collins, Maddon On Cubs Sweeping Season Series Against Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/alderson-collins-maddon-on-cubs-sweeping-season-series-against-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/alderson-collins-maddon-on-cubs-sweeping-season-series-against-mets.html/#comments Sat, 17 Oct 2015 00:36:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196877 Here’s something I hope you find interesting. During the media sessions at Citi Field on Friday evening, I noticed that Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and Cubs manager Joe Maddon were each asked to respond the Cubs winning the regular season series 7-0 over the Mets, and whether it mattered in the NLCS. Here is what they each had to say:

terry collins

Terry Collins - No, we played good — I think we’re a different team for sure. I think we’re a different team. But they’ve got a good club. They’ve had a good club. They play very well. They played us extremely well. They have for two years.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead. I mean, their team has changed. They’ve got a few new guys, but we’re still going to see Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, who are two very, very good pitchers. We just went through that with the Dodgers, so we’ve got to get ourselves ready, but we’re a different lineup, too. We’re looking forward to it. Again, I think postseason is a whole different game than it is in the regular season, you know, just by the way you work some guys. We’ll hopefully play better than we did during the season.

sandy alderson

Sandy Alderson – Well, I’d say a couple things from our standpoint. In looking at the pitching, I think that our young guys are a little more experienced, a little better command, more confidence. So I think from that standpoint, we’re in a better position.

Offensively it’s a different team. Not totally but significantly. So I don’t think that 0-7 registers much concern on the part of our players, but we certainly have to turn that around. We’d like to be 4-10 at the end of this with the Cubs.

joe+maddon+cubs

Joe Maddon: I really don’t believe it does. The only thing that matters is we know we can beat them. They know they can beat us because based on what they’ve gone through through this particular moment. So I don’t think there is any real weight to be attached to that whatsoever. They’re an entirely different team. We’re pretty different too compared to that particular moment, but they are really different.

Believe me, I don’t even take any — I take zero stock in that whatsoever, honestly. Those are some really close games, too, that we played against them. We won some close games. Things just happened to work in our favor in those moments. Their offense wasn’t nearly what it is right now, so I — I’m not even looking at that as being pertinent.

* * * * * * * *

Well as you can see, all the adults in the room pretty much agreed that both these teams are very different than the ones who last played each other in May and June. Buckle up and get ready for a great and very competitive NL Championship Series.

2015 postseason logo

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Syndergaard Strikes Out Nine In Gutty Performance http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/syndergaard-strikes-out-nine-in-gutty-performance.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/syndergaard-strikes-out-nine-in-gutty-performance.html/#comments Sun, 11 Oct 2015 14:04:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196136 noah syndergaard

What was overshadowed last night at Dodgers Stadium, as the Mets not only lost the game 5-2 , but lost their shortstop Ruben Tejada to a broken leg as well, was a solid pitching performance by starter Noah Syndergaard.

The rookie right-hander pitched well enough to win and literally was off to a blazing start, hitting 100 mph on the radar gun 15 times during the first three innings and striking out six.

However, things began to turn as Thor’s pitch count was rising and he became less efficient. In the 4th inning, Syndergaard was tagged by back-to-back doubles by Justin Turner and Andre Ethier to shrink the Mets lead to 2-1.

But it was the 7th inning that proved critical in the game. Some were surprised to see Syndergaard take the mound with his pitch count already above 100 for the night. After a walk to Enrique Hernandez and a pinch-hit single by Chase Utley it was then that Terry Collins had seen enough.

With the tying and winning runs on base, Bartolo Colon relieved Syndergaard hoping for grounder and a double-play to extinguish the Dodgers threat. Instead chaos ensued when a dirty slide by Utley opened the floodgates and the Dodgers would win the game.

“The biggest thing was getting Syndergaard out” said former Met Justin Turner. “We got him out and got to the bullpen.”

Syndergaard was charged with three runs as a result which marred what was otherwise a solid effort in his postseason debut. Thor went 6.1 innings, allowing 5 hits and striking out 9 batters while walking four.

“It was unfortunate. We battled out there. I established the strike zone early went a little deeper in the counts than I’d like to,” said Syndergaard after the game.

All in all, it was good outing for Syndergaard who was never overwhelmed pitching in the spotlight of such a grand stage. In fact, quite the opposite as we saw the dominant fire-baller burst out of the gate for six innings and oozing with confidence until things took a decidedly ugly turn no-thanks to Utley.

NLDS logo 2015

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