On Friday night, Aaron Nola was great against the Mets striking out 11 and allowing just one run on three hits in seven dominant innings. It was the type of performance you expect from a Cy Young contender.
Well, the memories from that start were short lived as Jacob deGrom went out the next day and threw a complete game.
In those nine brilliant innings, he allowed no earned runs while striking out nine Phillies in recording his eighth win of the year.
After that start, deGrom leads the National League in ERA (1.71), ERA+ (217), and FIP (2.09).
Overall, as we saw this series, no matter how well the other pitchers in the National League pitch, deGrom is just better.
2. Offense Explodes
In the first game of the five game series, the Mets set team records with 24 runs on 25 hits.
Between that and their prior game against the Orioles, the Mets became the first time in a decade to score 15+ runs in consecutive games.
There were a few reasons for the offensive explosion in those games and the generally good offense the Mets had in the series.
One of the big reasons why is how the double play combination is performing.
In the series, Amed Rosario was 10-for-24 with two doubles, a homer, seven RBI, and a walk as he’s looked more comfortable in the leadoff spot.
Jeff McNeil would be nearly as good going 7-for-19 with two doubles, a triple, and three RBI.
Recently, this Mets team is playing much better baseball, and their double play combination is a big reason why.
3. Little League Classic
In case you haven’t heard, Todd Frazier is from Toms River, New Jersey, and his Little League team won the Little League World Series.
He wasn’t the only Met to play in the Little League World Series. In fact, Michael Conforto is the only player to homer in both the World Series and the Little League World Series.
Seeing the Mets history with the event, it should come as no surprise the team embraced being part of this event.
They appeared in the booth. They met with the different teams to take pictures and give advice. During the game, the fabled four Mets starters sat with the Staten Island Little League team.
It was great to see the Mets embrace the event. They were true ambassadors for the game of baseball, and they made the day for a group of young players who love baseball.
Also, it was a nice touch to see both the Mets and Phillies lineup and shake hands at the end of the game.
1. Oswalt to Bullpen
It’s August 20. The Mets are 15 games under .500, 14 games back in the division, and 13 games back of the Wild Card. With this as the backdrop, the Mets have naturally decided to move Corey Oswalt to the bullpen.
There’s no reason to do this.
Oswalt is not nearing an innings limit. Based on performance, he has shown himself to be one of the Mets best five starters.
Even if you don’t want to go with some sort of hybrid six man rotation, Oswalt needs to be in a rotation somewhere.
He needs to get his starts and innings to improve as a starting pitcher. Moreover, with teams adhere to innings limits principles, you want to see him get near his max set for the 2018 season.
None of this happens with him in the bullpen, which is why, this is a horrible idea.
2. Dom As 26th Man
Because of the unique circumstances presented by the Little League Classic, Major League Baseball allowed the Mets and Phillies to call-up a position player as the 26th man on the roster.
The Mets opted to make Dominic Smith their 26th man, and he took advantage of the opportunity by hitting an RBI double.
Jackson and Bautista are both over 30, impending free agents, and were picked up off the scrap heap.
Smith is a 23 year old former first round pick who the organization needs to make a decision about his future sooner rather then later.
Playing Jackson over Smith was bad enough. Playing Smith and Bautista over Smith while Brandon Nimmo can’t play is even worse.
3. Matz Struggling
After the best post-April stretch we’ve seen from the Mets, the team gave Steven Matz the ball and a three run lead.
Matz would immediately give it back, and he depart the game after throwing 58 pitches over two innings.
Now, the poor start could have been explained by Matz being rusty coming off the disabled list. However, truth is, Matz hasn’t been good for a while now.
Over his previous eight starts, Matz was 2-5 with a 5.95 ERA and a 1.488 WHIP. Batters were teeing off on him hitting .282/.342/.480.
Maybe that stretch was also explained by injuries, which given his injury history, is a whole other problem.