Mets Merized Online » Wilmer Flores http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:19:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Fun With Mets Lineups http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/fun-with-mets-lineups.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/fun-with-mets-lineups.html/#comments Tue, 26 Jan 2016 16:58:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205072 terry collins

It looks like everyone is having a little fun with projected lineups the last few days, so I thought I’d toss my hat into the ring as well.

I took a good look at player splits in designing mine and I also decided to use different variants based on left and right handed pitching.

The numbers in parenthesis reflect each player’s split versus handedness.

vs. Righties

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF (.280/.388/.504)
  2. David Wright, 3B (.270/.364/.383)
  3. Michael Conforto, LF (.275/.341/.531)
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, CF (.310/.338/.571)
  5. Lucas Duda, 1B (.230/.358/.466)
  6. Neil Walker, 2B (.276/.337/.456)
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, C (.253/.319/.438)
  8. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS (.259/.321/.432)

Bench - Juan LagaresAlejandro De Aza, Kevin Plawecki, Ruben Tejada, Wilmer Flores

vs. Lefties

  1. Juan Lagares, CF (.273/.333/.438)
  2. David Wright, 3B (.351/.429/.595)
  3. Lucas Duda, 1B (.285/.333/.545)
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, RF (.223/.297/.439)
  5. Travis d’Arnaud, C (.333/.423/.689)
  6. Wilmer Flores, 2B (.310/.355/.600)
  7. Michael Conforto, LF (small sample)
  8. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS (.281/.300/.425)

Bench - Curtis GrandersonNeil Walker, Alejandro De Aza, Kevin Plawecki, Ruben Tejada

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Wilmer Flores To Play Some First Base During Spring Training http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/wilmer-flores-to-play-some-first-base-during-spring-training.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/wilmer-flores-to-play-some-first-base-during-spring-training.html/#comments Fri, 18 Dec 2015 16:07:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202675 wilmer flores

According to Mets manager Terry Collins, infielder Wilmer Flores could possibly get some playing time at first base during Spring Training because there’s a good chance he’ll be the primary backup to Lucas Duda this season barring any new additions.

“We’re got to give Wilmer a chance to play around the infield a little bit more and put him in some different positions where you can give guys days off,” said Collins. “Wilmer and Ruben are going to give us those opportunities to give guys days off.

The recent acquisitions of second baseman Neil Walker and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera have given Flores an opportunity to become a super utility player of sorts for the Mets who can play all four infield positions.

Flores, 24, batted .263 with a .403 slugging percentage last season, with 22 doubles, 16 home runs and 59 RBI in 510 plate appearances.

He was diagnosed with a fractured left ankle a couple of weeks ago while playing Winter Ball in Venezuela and has been fitted with a walking boot. Assistant general manager John Ricco says he should be ready for spring training.

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Mets Make It Official, Announce Two-Year Deal With Asdrubal Cabrera http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mets-to-sign-asdrubal-cabrera-to-two-year-18-5-million-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/mets-to-sign-asdrubal-cabrera-to-two-year-18-5-million-deal.html/#comments Fri, 11 Dec 2015 22:51:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202192 adrubal cabrera

The Mets have officially announced the completion of their deal with shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera who passed his physical today. The deal is worth $18.5 million over two years and includes a third-year team option for 2018.

Cabrera, 30, can play both shortstop and second base but will likely predominantly play shortstop for the Mets next season and possibly get some reps at third.

He batted .265 with 28 doubles, 15 home runs, and 58 RBIs in 551 plate appearances this year for the Rays and posted a 104 wRC+ and 2.2 WAR in 143 games. He finished the year with a strong second half, batting .328 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI.

As his career .267/.329/.412 triple slash line shows, he provides solid production and power from his position. Since 2011, he’s produced double digit home runs in every season.

A two-time All Star, Cabrera started 136 games at shortstop this season, where he posted a -6.0 UZR and -7 Defensive Runs Saved, almost identical to his 2014 metrics.

Assistant GM John Ricco was very pleased with what they were able to accomplish at the Winter Meetings, pointing to the added depth and flexibility they now have in the infield.

“We think we have some good players. But whether it be through giving them more rest or finding ways to get them at-bats in situations where they’ll thrive, that’s the goal,” Ricco said. “And trying to find pieces that allow us to do that is what we’ve been focused on.”

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Walker and Cabrera Give Mets Excellent Depth and Flexibility http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/walker-and-cabrera-give-mets-excellent-depth-and-flexibility.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/walker-and-cabrera-give-mets-excellent-depth-and-flexibility.html/#comments Fri, 11 Dec 2015 16:17:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202253 asdrubal cabrera

With the Mets looking to add more versatility to their infield, they acquired Neil Walker from Pittsburgh and signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera as a free agent, both of whom are switch-hitters. They provide the Mets with much needed depth and flexibility, and give Terry Collins a lot of creative options to consider.

“That’s what we are doing and we are going to continue to do that. … We are trying to acquire pieces that give us depth,” said assistant GM John Ricco. ”We think we have some good players. Giving them more rest, ways to get them at-bats in situations where they will thrive, that’s the goal.”

One idea is to platoon Walker with Wilmer Flores at second base. Walker, a switch hitter, has a career .801 OPS against right handed pitchers, but only has a .656 OPS against lefties. Meanwhile, Flores crushed lefties with a .955 OPS in 107 plate appearances in 2015.

Walker, who batted .269 with 16 homeruns and 32 doubles this year, can also play third base if David Wright needs time off or goes down due to injury.

Cabrera can also start at both middle infield positions, and gives the Mets insurance in case Ruben Tejada and Flores aren’t ready for opening day. Cabrera batted .265 with 15 homeruns and had a 105 OPS+ in 551 plate appearances for Tampa this season. However, there is some concern that the 30 year old has is declining in the field.

“He’s lost range,” an AL scout said Wednesday night. “Because of that he’s probably a little below average defensively, but overall I’d say he’ll make the plays he’s supposed to make. You could do worse there.” (John Harper NY Daily News)

His numbers have also fallen off since breakout campaign in 2011 when hit hit 25 home runs and had 92 RBI, but he was still a solid player this year with a 2.2 WAR.

It looks like Cabrera and Walker will give the Mets just as much versatility as Ben Zobrist would have, but without the long term commitment. They are good stop gaps for the team until talented young players like  Dilson Herrera and Amed Rosario are ready to take over a full time role in the future.

(Updated 12/11)

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Wilmer Flores Suffered A Fractured Ankle http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/wilmer-flores-suffered-a-fractured-ankle.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/wilmer-flores-suffered-a-fractured-ankle.html/#comments Tue, 08 Dec 2015 22:03:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201705 CVTRFSVWsAAiPex-400x226

Wilmer Flores has been diagnosed with a fractured left ankle and has been fitted with a walking boot, assistant general manager John Ricco told reporters on Tuesday. He says Flores should be ready for spring training.

As first reported by MMO, Flores suffered the injury when he was struck by a pitch while playing winter ball in Venezuela on Nov. 26. After a five-day absence, he returned and tried to play on it, but was eventually shut down.

December 5

According to the Bravos de Margarita, Wilmer Flores is being evaluated for a possible left ankle injury and could miss the rest of the Venezuelan Winter League season. He left last night’s game in the bottom of the first inning after hitting into a double play to end the top half of the frame.

On November 26th, he was hit by a pitch on his left ankle and sat out the next five days before returning to game action on December 2nd. He has gone 4 for 14 with two doubles, a homerun, two RBI, five runs scored, and two walks in five games. He has played the last two games at third base after playing the first three at second.

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Wilmer Flores Homers In Return To Winter Ball Action http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/wilmer-flores-homers-in-return-to-winter-ball-action.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/wilmer-flores-homers-in-return-to-winter-ball-action.html/#comments Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:30:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201486 Photo by Liderendeportes.com

Photo by Liderendeportes.com

Last Thursday Wilmer Flores was hit by a pitch on his left heel and was out of the lineup until last night for the Bravos de Margarita. In game one of Venezuelan League action, Flores played second base and batted fifth. He crushed a solo home run to left field in his first at bat which you can watch here.

He finished the first game going 1 for 3 with the homer and struck out against former Mets farmhand Deolis Guerra. He was part of two double plays turned on defense and fielded the other two ground ball chances he had cleanly.

Flores was at second base again in the second game but was slid up to the cleanup spot in the lineup. He went 0-2 with a walk and is now 2 for 9 in his first three games.

Here is the rest of the Mets players in action last night in winter ball:

Puerto Rican League

Criollos de Caguas

Johnny Monell - 0 for 5, walk, two strikeouts (.319/.417/.486 in 72 at bats).

Arnaldo Berrios - 1 for 6, walk, two runs, three strikeouts (4 for 17 with six walks in 13 games).

Indios de Mayaguez

T.J. Rivera - 0 for 2 with a walk (.361/.425/.500 with five RBI in 36 at bats).

Mexican League

Aguilas de Mexicali

Xorge Carrillo - 0 for 3 with strikeout (.268/.331/.380 in 108 at bats).

Dominican League

Aguilas Cibaenas

Juan Lagares - 0 for 3 with walk and strikeout (3 for 17, two walks, five strikeouts).

Dilson Herrera is playing winter ball in the Colombian League for the Toros de Sincelejo and he hit his first homerun on Tuesday night. He was 5 for 13 with a double and stolen base before the game Tuesday.

Jeremy Hefner is a free agent but was always a well liked Met and last night he made his first pro start since August 6th, 2014. He pitched four scoreless innings for the Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican League. He made his return to the mound last week pitching  1.2 scoreless innings.

The Estrellas de Oriente announced yesterday that new Met Stolmy Pimentel has bicep tendinitis in his throwing arm and could miss the rest of the winter ball season. He was 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 5.2 innings for the Estrellas before the injury.

For more winter league and Mets minor league coverage head over to MetsMinors.net including Gavin Cecchini being ranked 14th on the KATOH Top 100 prospects list which you can read here.

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Cubs Could Trade Starlin Castro If They Land Ben Zobrist http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/cubs-could-trade-castro-if-they-land-zobrist-but-no-thanks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/cubs-could-trade-castro-if-they-land-zobrist-but-no-thanks.html/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2015 17:29:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201347 Starlin-Castro-Chicago-Cubs-2

According to a report by Jesse Rogers of ESPN, in the event the Chicago Cubs sign Ben Zobrist, team sources say they will almost certainly end up trading 2B/SS Starlin Castro.

A three-time All Star, Castro had a very pedestrian season in 2015, batting .265 with a .296 on-base and .671 OPS. However, the 25-year old Castro finished strong and posted a ,295 average with a .464 slugging and .783 OPS in the second half.

Castro would most likely cost the Mets a young arm like Zack Wheeler or Steven Matz and I’m not inclined to trade either one of them for Castro, who is too flawed a player for the Mets in my opinion.

I’m not against moving a young cost-controlled pitcher for a difference-maker that could make a significant impact, but Castro is not that kind of player.

The Cubs have had on-again, off-again interest in trading for Mets left-hander Jon Niese and inquired on him as recently as last July. If Niese could headline a deal for Castro, or preferably Javier Baez, I would be tempted to listen. However, no way on Wheeler or Matz.

The Mets have several options they’ll kick the tires on in free agency like Ian DesmondAlexei Ramirez and Asdrubal Cabrera. But my read of the situation is that they don’t want to commit to more than two years on any free agent with top prospects Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario not far away.

Additionally, we already have a Starlin Castro and arguably a better version of him. His name is Wilmer Flores.

In 2015, Flores posted a 95 wRC+ compared to a 80 wRC+ for Castro, and Flores more than doubled his Wins Above Replacement 1.9 to 0.8.

Let Theo peddle Castro somewhere else for a young starting pitcher, he makes little sense for the Mets and offers no upgrade.

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ICYMI: Juan Lagares Plates Winning Run In Winter Ball Debut http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/icymi-juan-lagares-plates-winning-run-in-winter-ball-debut.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/icymi-juan-lagares-plates-winning-run-in-winter-ball-debut.html/#comments Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:05:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201154  

Photo by laradio247fm.com

Photo by laradio247fm.com

On Friday night, Mets center fielder Juan Lagares made his winter ball debut with the Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican League and what a game he had. He batted third in the lineup while playing the entire game in center field. He is returning to Aguilas for the fifth winter league season, he hit .342/.379/.412 for the them the last time he played in 2013.

Lagares started his night off by walking in the first inning after being down in the count 0-2. He would later come around to score on what is possibly the shortest wild pitch allowing a runner to score from third I have ever seen.

In the third inning Lagares showed off some of his 2014 Gold Glove defense with one of his patented lunging catches which you can watch here. He came up in the bottom of the 8th inning with one out and the go-ahead run on third base capping his great debut with a game-winning RBI line drive single to right field. You can see the hit here.

With the help from Lagares the Aguilas beat the Leones del Escogido by a final score of 3-2, the first time they have beaten them this season. Juan also stole second base after his game-winning hit, he was 1 for 3 with a walk, RBI, run scored, and two strikeouts.

Update on Wilmer Flores: He left his debut game on Thursday for a pinch runner in the 8th inning after getting hit by a pitch in the left heel/ankle area. The Bravos de Margarita said it is minor and he is day-to-day. Flores said this to a local news outlet after the game ”These are things that happen in any league these at the risk of a pitch, but it was nothing serious “.

For more winter ball coverage from last night including Jenrry Mejia’s start and T.J. Rivera’s night at the plate read here. Head over to MetsMinors.net for full winter league coverage.

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Five Takeaways From Mets Game 1 Loss http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/five-takeaways-from-the-mets-game-1-loss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/five-takeaways-from-the-mets-game-1-loss.html/#comments Wed, 28 Oct 2015 15:49:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=198233 The Mets lost last night in what felt like a grueling 14-round prize fight with each team suffering body blows before the Royals delivered the knock out punch against Bartolo Colon. Here are five things you should take away from Game 1:

chris young

1. The Royals bullpen was as good as advertised, allowing only one unearned run in eight innings of work topped off by Game 4 starter Chris Young who now has 15 strikeouts in 11.2 IP this postseason. I said yesterday the key for the Mets to win this series is to get to the Kansas City starting pitchers early before the battle of the pens. This isn’t to disregard the solid effort of the Mets bullpen that gave up only two runs in eight innings, spark-plugged by the birthday boy Jon Niese. I can’t be the only one that is still utterly shocked that Jeurys Familia gave up that home run, last thing I expected last night.

wilmer flores

2. Both defenses made some key misplays last night and a few rally-squashing plays as well. Ultimately two big defensive miscues cost the Mets two runs last night while Eric Hosmers‘ play at first cost the Royals one. The Mets also got a couple of fine plays from Wilmer Flores at shortstop, an absolute gem by Curtis Granderson in right, and a great leaping grab by David Wright. I think the big difference in Game 1 was the defensive play of Mike Moustakas at third for the Royals, who stole two hits and limited the damage on another. New York was also able to take advantage of the shift on numerous occasions, hitting through it and being aggressive on the base paths against it.

juan lagares

3. Juan Lagares showed that he is ready to return to a key role on this team and should be in center field tonight to start the game. He had one of the best at-bats of the entire night against Royals setup man Kelvin Herrera and scored what would have been the winning run if not for Alex Gordon and his heroics. He stole a bag leading up to that run and had a bunt single as well later in the game. You have to wonder what would have happened on that deep fly by Alcides Escobar to the start the bottom of the first if Lagares was patrolling center field.

michael Cuddyer

4. The Mets struggled with runners in scoring position last night going 1 for 10 leaving eleven runners on base. Two of those missed opportunities came on strikeouts from Michael Cuddyer who at this point has become completely useless and Terry Collins needs to stay away from him. Which brings up another curious decision by Collins to bunt Flores in front of Cuddyer, a move I will never understand.

curtis granderson

5. For all the talk about the new additions to the Mets and the streak of Daniel Murphy where the heck would this team be without the play of Granderson. He had just one hit on the night but it was a huge one with a blast to right field giving the Mets a lead in the 5th inning. He also saved the game in the 11th inning with a spectacular catch against Jarrod Dyson that could have ended the game had it gotten past him. While everyone else on the team was chasing stuff all night he worked two of the teams three walks as well. How about that throw on the game-winner too? Obviously didn’t get him but that was possibly the best throw he has had in a Mets uniform.

That was a great game last night that unfortunately didn’t end the way we all hoped, the good news is we have our ace Jacob deGrom going tonight to even out the series.

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Featured Post: No Time For Sorrow, Mets Have A Series To Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/featured-post-no-time-for-sorrow-mets-have-a-series-to-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/featured-post-no-time-for-sorrow-mets-have-a-series-to-win.html/#comments Thu, 15 Oct 2015 18:46:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196502 AP NLDS DODGERS METS BASEBALL S BBN USA NY

When Daniel Murphy came to the plate in the 8th winning as the go-ahead run I thought for sure that he would find a way to get a hit to at least tie the game for the Mets. My heart and stomach dropped when he flied out with the realization that the Mets would have to travel to Los Angeles for Game 5.

After the complete debacle in Game 2 and the dominance by the Mets in Game 3, we end up exactly where most thought with one game to decide the series. Sure there is plenty of reasons to be pessimistic, how dominant Zack Greinke has been this year or how good the Dodgers have been at home in 2015.

This is the 2015 New York Mets though, who have shown complete disregard for heart-breaking losses while coming out the next game in victorious fashion. Why not again on Thursday when they have their ace going on regular rest against a team he completely dominated just four days ago.

Call me crazy but I have all the confidence in the World going into Thursday and it is all because of Jacob deGrom who has already shown the bright lights of the playoffs will have no effect on him. I go back to the All-Star game when deGrom displayed to the world what Mets fans already knew, that he was one of the best pitchers on earth and that no situation was going to shake him. The only other pitcher we should see from the Mets is our shutdown closer Jeurys Familia who the Dodgers haven’t touched yet.

yoenis cespedes travis darnaud

Of course the offense will have to do it’s part as well and as good as Greinke is, the Mets will have their best lineup out with Michael Conforto against a righty. Since getting Yoenis Cespedes at the deadline this offense has been one of the best in baseball and I will put my money on them in the biggest game of the season.

Do I think the Mets will win on Thursday? Of course I do. Do I think it’s possible I have a heart attack before the game is over? Of course I do. You gotta believe in this team that has battled through adversity all season from the Wilmer Flores non-trade to the Matt Harvey hoopla to the job that Sandy Alderson did at the deadline to put the Mets in this position.

This Mets team is going to win, the only question is who is going to be the hero? Will it be David Wright who has waited nine long years to get back here? Will it be Curtis Granderson who has been the Mets best player in the playoffs? Will it be Lucas Duda who is in a slump but could break out at any moment? Or could it be Wilmer Flores who has already been the Mets hero this year before and has the chance again thanks to that dirt-bag Chase Utley?

Let’s win this one for Ruben.

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Wilmer Flores Ready To Go After Battling Strep Throat http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/wilmer-flores-ready-to-go-after-battling-strep-throat.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/wilmer-flores-ready-to-go-after-battling-strep-throat.html/#comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 10:00:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195807 NL East Champions Flores Wilmer

The crazy year that has been the 2015 season for Mets infielder Wilmer Flores took another turn this past week. Flores who sparsely played in the final two weeks of the regular season has been sidelined by strep throat.

“It’s definitely been a different year with everything that happened. I don’t know how to describe it. It was different. I don’t know if it was bad or good. It was just different for me.”

Due to his illness Flores looked a little lighter than normal during the team workouts this week, and afterward he admitted he’d lost 10 pounds during his press conference on Wednesday before the team took off for Los Angeles.

“I feel good. I’m good to go,” Flores said. “Yeah, 10 pounds. It won’t affect me. It’s part of life. There are no excuses.”

Before coming down with strep throat, Wilmer was dealing with back spasms which also kept him from playing regularly during the last two weeks of the season. He struggled at the plate in his last 10 games, going 5-for-25 with 0 HR and 0 RBI’s.

Manager Terry Collins assured everyone on Wednesday that the back is no longer an issue.

“Flores’ back is fine. What’s affected him is the strep throat. This guy lost 10 pounds in five days, so he’s been extremely weak. He’s been eating lately and feels a lot better. He’s just been so sick we couldn’t play him,” Collins said. (New York Post)

The combination of the back spasms and the strep opened the door for backup shortstop Ruben Tejada. During Flores’ absence Tejada put in a solid performance and was able to earn himself a start in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Dodgers. although Collins did advise that if needed Flores would be available off the bench.

“He’ll be fine Friday. They’ve got him on some new medication that’s really cleared up some things health-wise. He’s eating and feeling a lot better. Certainly if we need him Friday, he’ll be available.” Collins said.

2015 was certainly quite a year for Wilmer as he endeared himself not only to New York Mets fans with his display of emotion, but many baseball fans everywhere also became enamored with Flores as we saw during many road games.

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MMO Fan Shot: The Beauty and Magic of Mets Baseball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-fan-shot-the-beauty-and-magic-of-mets-baseball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-fan-shot-the-beauty-and-magic-of-mets-baseball.html/#comments Sat, 26 Sep 2015 15:19:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194715 citi field sunset

An MMO Fan Shot by Andy Love

My heart skips a beat every time I enter a ballpark and see the perfect symmetry of the infield diamond enveloped by the wide swath of green outfield grass.

I love the meandering pace of the game, the sport’s connection to its own and this country’s history, the contrasting forces of power and precision, the strategy and the statistics, and the fact that the game has room not only for the pure athleticism of Yoenis Cespedes but also for the phenomenon that is 42-year old, 285-pound Bartolo Colon.

Baseball is a beautiful game. But, I have to admit, it is a whole lot more beautiful when your team is winning.

You can usually delude yourself through much of a hopeless baseball season that your team can pull it together and make a run for the playoffs down the stretch — especially now that there are two wildcard teams.

Reality doesn’t usually hit until sometime in August. And then, when you finally accept the inevitability of a losing season,  you are stuck watching a team play uninspiring baseball for the last month or so.

All you have to root for is your team spoiling another team’s playoff run, and your focus is on the individual achievements of your favorite players because your team is going nowhere. Much of the luster and lyricism of the game is lost — at least until the spring, when it all begins again.

But, when your team is having a good year, when you get to experience tension-filled, meaningful games in September and anticipate playoff games in October, there is nothing better.

Cespedes Murphy

After seven straight years with a losing record, preceded by two historic collapses, which were themselves preceded by a heartbreaking playoff loss and countless other frustrating seasons, the New York Mets are on the verge of clinching a division title.

They have transformed what looked to be another dismal year of mediocrity into a joyful one filled with magical, unforgettable moments. The Mets are a fun, exciting team with a great core of young players, a fascinating collection of personalities and enough star power to be a post-season force.

Baseball has never seemed more beautiful.

But, the funny thing about winning is that it feels so good you want it to continue. Winning the division — which is so thrilling and worthy of blissful celebration in the moment — suddenly is no longer enough.

Sure, it has been a beautiful September, but what about October?

Well, these are still the Mets. This franchise often finds ingeniously devastating ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Implosion always seems to be just around the corner — and sometimes closer than that.

Will Matt Harvey and his agent-imposed arbitrary innings limit doom the Mets’ chances? Will newly-minted folk hero Wilmer Flores make a critical fielding gaffe?

Will their often erratic relief corps pick the worst time to be erratic? Will manager Terry Collins reprise one (or more) of his baffling in-game strategic missteps?

Who really knows, maybe, just maybe, everything will fall into place.

The Mets have had the feel of a championship team since the surprisingly strong return of Mr. All-Time Met David Wright from a back injury, the revelation of 22-year old Michael Conforto making the jump to the majors from Double A, and most important of all, the acquisition at the trade deadline of La Potencia — the spectacular Yoenis Cespedes.

Maybe the brilliant yet callow pitching staff can harness their unprecedented power. Maybe the back end of the bullpen can consistently shut down the opposition. Maybe other key players like Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy and Travis d’Arnaud will get (or stay) hot.

Maybe a little more magic can be wrung from the likes of Wilmer Flores or Juan Uribe or, dare I say, Michael Cuddyer. Is it possible that the Mets might be embarking on another miracle?

The answer comes from the late, great Joaquin Andujar, who really summed up the beauty of baseball, as he put it, “in one word: you never know.”

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

Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Wilmer Flores Returns To Starting Lineup http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/wilmer-flores-returns-to-starting-lineup.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/wilmer-flores-returns-to-starting-lineup.html/#comments Sat, 26 Sep 2015 14:33:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194669 wilmer flores

Shortstop Wilmer Flores is back in the starting line-up on Saturday and batting in the eighth spot in the order.

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Ruben Tejada who’s been the backup shortstop to Wilmer Flores for most of the season, has started in the last three games because the team want to recharge Flores who has looked tired.

“They all thought Flo was starting to run out of gas a little bit,” Terry Collins told reporters. “So I said, ‘You know what? We’ll play Tejada for a few games and see if we can get Flo’s energy back, because his bat is such a big weapon.”

Flores was one of the team’s hottest hitters in August when hit .347 with a .943 OPS during one 21-game stretch that month. Flores also started almost every day that month and also through mid September.

Tejada is considered the better defender, but Flores has the bigger bat with more power and he has worked hard to improve his defense.

“If he’s tired, he’s not going to hit,” said Collins regarding Flores. “That’s why we’ve got to make sure he does. Right now, we’re going to play Tejada.”

In 12 games over the last 15 days, Tejada is 9-for-25 with two doubles and two RBI, however he went 0-for-4 on Friday night.

Flores, 23, is batting .264 in his first full season, with 22 doubles, 16 home runs and 59 RBIs – including five game-winning RBIs – in 504 plate appearances with a .708 OPS.

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Amazin’ Mets Win One For The Ages http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/amazin-mets-win-one-for-the-ages.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/amazin-mets-win-one-for-the-ages.html/#comments Wed, 09 Sep 2015 12:00:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=192974 Cespedes mets win

Coming into Tuesday nights game, a majority of Mets fans had a feeling that Matt Harvey was going to come out firing against the Washington Nationals in what was going to be the most important game of the year.

How could he not have a Harvey like outing? It seemed fitting after all the media attention he’s received the last several days over the questions surrounding his innings limit and possible (or lack thereof) postseason availability.

Well, Harvey was anything but himself. The Dark Knight was tagged for seven earned runs on eight hits, and it seemed inevitable that the Mets were going to drop this game.

I texted my dad after Michael Taylor‘s inside-the-park grand slam that gave the Nats a commanding 7-1 lead. With my stomach in knots and a hint of worry, I searched for answers that were going to make me feel better and justify the situation.

“It’s going to be really hard coming back tonight” I thought. “If we lose, there’s no way in hell we win the rubber game tomorrow with Washington gaining the edge at home.”

With my face buried in my hands, I prayed to the baseball gods that somehow, some way things were going to be alright.

And suddenly, I felt a ray of hope. David Wright singled to lead off the top of the seventh, and even though the next two batters were retired, I just had this gut feeling that they were going to have a huge inning.

The following batter, Michael Conforto walked. “Okay,” I said out loud “here we go.” Wilmer Flores then followed up with a single to drive in Wright to make it 7-2. “We just have to chip away” I thought. “Step by step.”

The next two batters walked to force in a run, and then the big guy Yoenis Cespedes promptly cut the deficit down to 7-6 with a base clearing double, and at that point it was clear to me that the Mets were going to win this game.

Daniel Murphy walked. David Wright who started the inning walked, which loaded the bases for the Big Lebowski, Lucas Duda. If there’s anyone in that spot that I want at the plate to make a difference, it’s the Dude.

He didn’t quite deliver a grand slam like I had hoped, but he didn’t have to, as he drew the Mets’ sixth walk of the inning to force in the tying run, which is the most in a single inning for any team this year.

Now, it’s a brand new game. With the Nationals as vulnerable as they are right now, and how down and out they and their fan base is, I knew they couldn’t possibly salvage this game.

The next inning, the Nats brought in their closer, Jonathan Papelbon, who the Mets have had a history of success against in the past.

With two outs, Terry Collins pinch hit for Addison Reed who had kept the Nationals at bay in the seventh after the Mets had tied the game, and brought in Kirk Nieuwenhuis to make some magic.

Winning teams always have an unlikely hero. Earlier this year, it was Wilmer Flores who hit a walk-off home run against the Nationals after almost being traded, which proved to be the turning point of the season.

This time, it was Captain Kirk, who has had a roller coaster ride of a campaign. He started off the season going 3-for-39 before being shipped off to the Angels for cash considerations.

Then, the Mets brought him back after claiming him off waivers. He got hot, and hit three homers in one game before getting hurt and missed several weeks before getting a September call-up.

Kirk dug into the box, and crushed a fastball from Papelbon to right center field to give the Mets their first lead of the night. Absolutely amazing.

Jeurys Familia sealed the win for the Mets in the ninth inning, earning his 38th save of the year on a game ending double play.

The fired up Familia fist pumped and let out a huge “WOO!”. That sight combined with Gary Cohen’s call to end the game sent shivers up my spine.

My phone started blowing up with text messages.

“What a damn magic season,” said one of my closest friends.

“Wow! That was as an impressive comeback as you’ll ever see,” my cousin added.

If you didn’t believe in this team by now, this game should change your mind.

LGM.

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Mets Now 6.5 Games Up As They Beat Phillies 9-4 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-now-6-5-games-up-as-they-beat-phillies-9-4.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-now-6-5-games-up-as-they-beat-phillies-9-4.html/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 02:48:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=191560 bartolo colon

The Mets (70-56) defeated the Philadelphia Phillies (50-77) by a score of 9-4 tonight at Citizens Bank Park.

Pitching:

Bartolo Colon got the start for the Amazin’s tonight, and pitched very well, going seven strong innings, allowing zero earned runs on five hits while striking out eight and walking just two.

Eric O’Flaherty relieved Colon in the eighth inning, and let up two singles and gave up a run on a groundout before being removed in favor of Carlos Torres.

Torres faced one batter – Cameron Rupp – who laced a double to center field to plate two runs.

Tyler Clippard who probably thought he’d have the night off, came on to try and stop the bleeding, and despite letting up one more run, was able to escape the inning without letting up further damage.

Clippard then came back on in the ninth, and set the Phillies down 1,2,3 to seal the win for the Mets, and in the process earning his 19th save of the year.

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Offense: 

The Mets jumped out to an early lead once again, as they put up a crooked number in the first inning.

Curtis Granderson reached second base on a fly ball that Phillies’ center field Odubel Herrera to lead off the game. Yoenis Cespedes then singled, and Daniel Murphy grounded out to push in the first run.

Michael Cuddyer then lined a double to left field to make it 2-0.

After Wilmer Flores singled, Michael Conforto drove in the third Mets run of the inning with a single of his own to right field.

In the sixth inning after the first two batters were set down, Michael Conforto hit a double, and was driven in by a liner up the middle from Juan Uribe.

Michael Cuddyer’s hot play continued in the eighth inning, as he blasted a two-run shot to left field, his tenth of the season.

In the ninth inning, after the Phillies made it a ball game in the bottom of the eighth by putting up a four spot, the Mets answered back with three more of their own.

Juan Lagares reached on a fielding error to start the inning, and then scored from first on a double and error off the bat of Curtis Granderson.

Yoenis Cespedes roped a triple to right field to plate another, and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Daniel Murphy, to increase the Mets lead to 9-4, which the score would stay for the remainder of the game.

On deck:

Jon Niese (8-9, 3.80 ERA) will look to lead the Mets to a sweep against the Phillies tomorrow night, and will square off against former Met Aaron Harang (5-14, 4.67 ERA). First pitch is at 7:05 PM.

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It’s Clobbering Time: Wright Returns With A Bang As Mets Explode For 8 Home Runs! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/its-clobbering-time-wright-returns-with-a-bang-as-mets-explode-for-8-home-runs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/its-clobbering-time-wright-returns-with-a-bang-as-mets-explode-for-8-home-runs.html/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:48:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=191380 david wright

The Mets have waited since April to get David Wright back in the lineup, but he quickly made his presence felt last night during his first at-bat.

The Mets captain crushed a mammoth home run against  Phillies’ starter Adam Morgan, and he finished the day going 2-for-5 with a walk and three runs scored.

The home run was a towering shot that landed in the upper deck of Citizens Bank Park and was estimated at 465 feet. It was the first of eight home runs for the Mets, setting a new franchise record.

The Mets got long balls from Wright, Juan LagaresTravis d’ArnaudMichael CuddyerDaniel MurphyYoenis Cespedes, and two from Wilmer Flores. The Mets also set a franchise record with 15 extra-base hits.

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“Offensively, it was awesome to be a part of,” said Wright about the team’s performance. “I can’t remember if I’ve ever been a part of an offensive game like that.”

Wright told reporters that he tried to keep his emotions in check as he prepared for the game.

“When you’re thinking about coming back — and I had a lot of time to think about it — you think of different scenarios,” Wright said.

“You think of your first at-bat and what it’s going to feel like and trying to keep your emotions in check and things like that. It couldn’t have been any better for me, personally, my first at-bat.”

“I had to be careful. I almost pulled a Wilmer Flores out there,” Wright said, alluding when Flores began crying on the field after he thought he was being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Wright now has 20 career homers at Citizens Bank Park, the most of any visiting player since the ballpark opened in 2004.

There was uncertainty about how good he would be once he returned,  but last night he looked like the David Wright of old. If he is able to perform at a high level like he showed yesterday, the Mets will be an even more dangerous team down the stretch in September and perhaps into October.

Welcome back, Captain!

 

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Seventh Heaven: A Mets Win For The Ages http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/seventh-heaven-a-mets-win-for-the-ages.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/seventh-heaven-a-mets-win-for-the-ages.html/#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2015 11:00:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189836 1439005570088

I think it was George Will who once said that people who think baseball is just a game probably think the Grand Canyon is just a hole in Arizona.

When Abner Doubleday invented baseball on some sandlot in Cooperstown, New York over a century ago, I wonder if last night’s game between the Mets and Rays was exactly what he had envisioned? Because I’ve got to tell you, what we saw on Friday night was everything you could ever want in a baseball game. It was a magical evening for the baseball lovers and purists in all of us.

The game had it all. It was poetry in motion. Two teams that fought their hearts out and played with such passion, such bravado, and such fire, it was a shame that one team had to lose this gloriously hard-fought contest.

But that’s the beauty of this pastime… There has to be a winner and a loser. It completes the intricate tapestry that makes up each marvelously unique and individual game. And last night, the New York Mets and the Tampa Bay Rays gave us one for the ages.

With neither side willing to give an inch, it was an incredible display of sheer competition and an epic battle of wills on a scale so grand, that no other sport can ever match it in its intensity, its majesty, and the raw emotions it draws out of all of us – players and fans alike.

And when it was all over and the dust had settled, it was our New York Mets standing tall and relishing yet another indescribable and improbable victory. It was a feast for our eyes and a thrill for our senses that none of us will soon forget.

Our Mets fought valiantly, overcoming deficits in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings and persevering to defeat the Rays 4-3 in what was easily their biggest win of the season as well as the most thrilling.

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“We never gave up,” said Wilmer Flores. “We were down three times, I think, and we just kept pushing. That’s what good teams do.”

There were many heroes for the Mets in this one. You had Juan Uribe and Daniel Murphy who each homered to erase early deficits, Jacob deGrom who battled hard throughout, young Michael Conforto who delivered a clutch RBI double in the ninth to tie it, and of course Wilmer Flores who drove in the game-winner. It epitomized the concept of teamwork in every imaginable and even unimaginable way.

It was high drama from the start and it never let up until the final out of the game. And adding to the excitement was an electrified crowd that were mostly there to cheer the Mets on. It was amazing and at times it felt like the Mets were home at Citi Field.

When the game finally ended, words were insufficient to describe what we just saw and how all of us were feeling. It was wonderful and it was incredible and we all just soaked in. Our Amazin’ Mets had just won their seventh game in a row, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next!

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Mets Top Rays 4-3 In A Thriller For Seventh Straight Win http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-top-rays-4-3-in-seesaw-game-for-seventh-straight-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/mets-top-rays-4-3-in-seesaw-game-for-seventh-straight-win.html/#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2015 02:46:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189818 wilmer flores

The Mets (59-50) defeated the Tampa Bay Rays (54-56) by a score of 4-3 tonight at Tropicana Field.

Jacob deGrom took the mound for the Amazin’s this evening, and though he didn’t have his A-game, he still managed to gut out 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits while not walking a batter and striking out seven.

The two runs against deGrom came off a pair of solo home runs, one from Grady Sizemore in the fourth inning, and the second from James Loney in the seventh which chased deGrom from the game.

The aforementioned Sizemore also contributed a crucial play defensively in the sixth inning, as Wilmer Flores nearly tied the game with a solo home run, but the former all-star was able to bring the ball back and effectively rob Flores of the long ball.

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In the seventh inning, with Tampa Bay leading 1-0, Juan Uribe was finally able to get the Mets on the scoreboard, hitting a no doubter to left field.

After Loney hit his home run in the seventh to give the Rays the lead again, Daniel Murphy answered back with a solo home run of his own in the eighth off of Jake McGee to get the Mets even.

In the eighth inning, Tyler Clippard entered the game after Eric O’Flaherty and Bobby Parnell were able to escape danger in the seventh, and surrendered a home run to Evan Longoria to put Tampa Bay up yet again.

In the ninth inning, Rays’ closer Brad Boxberger came on to shut the door, and immediately allowed Lucas Duda to reach base, after Duda hit a tapper to the third base side which Boxberger threw away attempting to throw Duda out at first.

Duda then advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored two batters later on a double to left center field from Michael Conforto.

The Mets then took the lead – this time for good – on a single to right field from America’s Sweetheart, Wilmer Flores, that scored Conforto.

Jeurys Familia entered the game in the bottom of the ninth, and looked to earn his 30th save of the year, and did just that, despite giving up a lead off single to Asdrubal Cabrera.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time in team history the Mets overcame 3 separate deficits in each of the last 3 innings to win a game.

Thoughts:

What an exciting game! No matter how many times the lead changed hands, I didn’t fret because I just had a feeling that the Mets were going to pull a win out tonight, and what a perfect way to have it happen as Wilmer Flores is responsible for the game winning hit. It’s just poetic justice.

The Mets are red hot right now, and for the first time in a long while, it’s real and it’s amazing to be a Mets fan!

On a side note, with Washington losing tonight against Colorado, the Mets now own a 2.5 lead in the National League Eastern Division!

On deck:

Noah Syndergaard (6-5, 2.66 ERA) gets the ball for the Mets tomorrow night, and takes on Nate Karns (6-5, 3.37 ERA). First pitch is at 6:10 PM.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 2, Nationals 1 #I’mWithWilmer http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-nationals-1-imwithwilmer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-nationals-1-imwithwilmer.html/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 03:36:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189030 wilmer flores

Flores Delivers An Instant Mets Classic!

The Mets (53-50) defeated the Washington Nationals (54-47) by a score of 2-1 in twelve innings tonight at Citi Field

Wilmer Flores, who gained nationwide attention on Wednesday night after he was shown tearing up in the field after he heard that he had been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers (which turned out to be a sham), received four standing ovations from the Citi Field faithful tonight.

The third coming after he drove in the first run of the game for the Mets in the fourth inning, after Juan Uribe and Travis d’Arnaud drew back-to-back walks, but his fourth would be even more incredible, but I will get to that in a minute.

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Cold As Ice!

Matt Harvey was back to his dominant self tonight, as he carried a perfect game into the sixth inning. Working with only the one run lead, he hit a bit of a wall in the eighth inning, after a phantom hit by pitch to Clint Robinson that resulted in a bit of a lengthy replay.

After the hit by pitch, Clint Robinson was pinch run for with Danny Espinosa, who reached second after Anthony Rendon hit a grounder to Juan Uribe at third base, who couldn’t throw Espinosa out at second.

The next batter, Yunel Escobar, singled up the middle to tie the game at one, and forced Terry Collins to turn to Tyler Clippard, who came in to face Jayson Werth. After a thirteen pitch battle, Clippard finally wore Werth down, striking him out to keep the Nats at bay.

Harvey finished the day with nine punch outs, and lowered his ERA to 3.05. Unfortunately, The Dark Knight gets a hard luck no decision.

Clippard returned to the mound for the ninth inning, but after walking two batters, Jeurys Familia entered the game, and set down the final two batters of the inning, and pitched a scoreless tenth in a nice bounce back outing after stumbling out of the gate in the second half of the season so far.

Hansel Robles pitched the eleventh for the Mets, and made a nice play on an infield tapper, as well as striking out Bryce Harper, who got himself tossed from the game after arguing balls and strikes.

Carlos Torres, in his swan song wearing #52 (He will be giving it to Yoenis Cespedes tomorrow), struck out the side in the twelfth inning, and would come away with the victory because….

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Cocked And Loaded!

Wilmer Flores, who has won the affection of all Mets fans, hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the frame, as he becomes the hero of the night, and ends the game in storybook fashion.

Baseball is an incredible game. There is no one you can feel better for right now than Wilmer Flores, who was almost traded just 48 hours ago, wins it for the Mets in what was one of the most important games of the season. It’s poetic justice.

On deck:

Jacob deGrom (10-6, 2.05 ERA) takes on Joe Ross (2-3, 3.03 ERA) tomorrow night, as the Mets look to chip away at the division lead. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.

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MMO Game Recap: Padres 7, Mets 3 (Duda!) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-padres-7-mets-3-duda.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-padres-7-mets-3-duda.html/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 03:17:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188695 bartolo colon

The Mets (52-49) were defeated by the San Diego Padres (48-53) by a score of 7-3 tonight at Citi Field.

Bartolo Colon started for the Mets, and didn’t fare very well to say the least. He lasted just 2.1 innings, allowing six runs on ten hits. He falls to 9-9, as his ERA inflates to 4.96.

Will Venable started the game off with a bunt single, which was followed by two singles from Yangervis Solarte and Matt Kemp which gave the Padres an early 1-0 lead.

The next batter, Justin Upton, hit a sacrifice fly to score Solarte from third. 2-0 Friars.

Colon was able to get Yonder Alonso to fly out, and struck out Jedd Gyorko to end the frame.

In the second inning, Austin Hedges hit a single, and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt from Colon’s opposition, Tyson Ross.

Will Venable then singled to score Hedges from third. Venable then stole second, and scored on a single from Yangervis Solarte to give the Padres a 4-0 lead.

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In the bottom of the second, Lucas Duda hit his first of three home runs of the night, which ties a Mets record for most home runs in a home game, which was set by Kirk Nieuwenhuis earlier this month.

In the top of the third inning, Justin Upton and Yonder Alonso hit back-to-back home runs to start the inning.

After Jedd Gyorko and Austin Hedges singled later in the inning, Colon was chased from the game and was replaced by Alex Torres.

Torres pitched 2.2 innings and walked three and struck out two. He was replaced by Bobby Parnell, who allowed one run on two hits in his one inning pitched.

Sean Gilmartin and Hansel Robles pitched the final three innings for the Mets, and were able to keep the Padres off the board, striking out eight total batters.

Lucas Duda hit his second and third home runs in the sixth and ninth innings, his 17th and 18th of the year. Though he tied a Mets record for home runs in a home game, his feat was overshadowed by Wilmer Flores‘ reaction to believing he was traded.

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With the unconfirmed news of a Carlos Gomez trade, Mets fans gave Wilmer Flores a standing ovation. Flores was obviously very emotional, as he was crying while in the field at shortstop, which is getting a lot of flak on twitter.

I understand that the deal isn’t 100% official, I can sympathize with Wilmer, and felt very, very bad for him. This is the only organization Flores has ever known. Been with the Mets since he was 16. He should have been removed regardless. No need to put him through all that, or risk having him get injured.

I’m sad to see Wilmer go, and his reaction on the field broke my heart, but I wish him all the best in Milwaukee, and I hope Terry explained his logic behind leaving him in, and I hope the captain, David Wright, gave him some insight at well.

On deck:

Unfortunately, the Mets did go on to lose the game, but will look to take the series finale tomorrow afternoon with Jon Niese (5-9, 3.75 ERA) takes on Andrew Cashner (4-10, 3.93 ERA). First pitch is at 12:10 PM.

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