3 Up, 3 Down: Wheeler Ends Season on High Note

3 UP

1. Wheeler Ends Season on High Note

With Zack Wheeler coming off two injury plagued seasons and with him throwing 182.1 innings this season, the Mets and Wheeler made the smart decision and shut down the right-handed burgeoning ace for the rest of the year.

Before getting shut down, Wheeler picked up one more win with a good effort against the Phillies. The 12 wins this year was a career high. More than the wins, we have seen Wheeler finally become the pitcher we all expected him to be when the Mets acquired him for Carlos Beltran.

We know Jacob deGrom is the Cy Young front-runner, but we should see Wheeler get some votes this year, and who knows? If Wheeler can repeat his performance next year, we may well see him at the forefront of Cy Young contention in 2019.

2. Nimmo Walking Machine

While seemingly unheralded, Brandon Nimmo has drawn at least one walk in his past seven games. With the walks and HBP, Nimmo has an incredible .500 OBP despite hitting just .214 over this stretch. This stretch is indicative of how Nimmo is able to work the strikezone, which is why he has become such a special player.

In fact, Nimmo is arguably the second best offensive player in the National League this season as his 148 wRC+ is second best in the league. That puts him ahead of MVP candidates like Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, and Javier Baez.

If the Mets make the moves they need to make this offseason, do not be surprised to bee Nimmo as an All Star or even as a real MVP candidate next year.

3. That’s For My Friend

After Steven Matz hit a homer in a second straight game, a feat only Tom Seaver and Ron Darling had previously accomplished, he went in the dugout, and he let deGrom know he hit it for him. Matz would also walk the tightrope for five scoreless innings partially aided by an incredible behind-the-back catch. Unfortunately, even with Matz slugging and pitching scoreless innings, the Mets could not saddle Aaron Nola with the loss. Instead, they raised his ERA by a mere two hundredths.

Overall, it seems the Mets are heavily invested in winning deGrom the Cy Young. Even without the run support or the ability to deliver the knockout punch, it seems as if deGrom is going to win the award.

3 DOWN

1. Phillies Own Thor

With Noah Syndergaard‘s four inning effort against the Phillies, he has gone 1-2 with a 5.75 ERA and a 1.967 WHIP. Things are uglier for him at Citizen’s Bank Park where he is 0-2 with a 6.52 ERA and a 1.759 WHIP. Despite the Phillies offense being hapless at times, they have no issue with Syndergaard hitting .326/.414/.523 off of him.

Albeit skewed by his struggles this year, Citizens Bank Park is one of the toughest places to pitch for Syndergaard. At Citizens Bank, Syndergaard is 2-2 with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.310 WHIP. That’s the second highest ERA and WHIP he has at any park he has pitched at least five times in his career. The worst is Nationals Park.

At the moment, the Phillies look to be a team on the rise, and they are going to have a lot of money to spend on offense this offseason meaning things may get worse than better for Syndergaard.

2. Not Drewing Well

Among all the young Mets right-handed relievers, it seemed Drew Smith was the one who was making the case for him to be a part of the 2019 Mets bullpen. That early enthusiasm has since tempered.

With his loss against the Phillies where he allowed three earned and two inherited runners to score in one-third of an inning, his ERA rose from 1.85 to 2.92. When you dig deeper into Smith’s numbers, they don’t look as good as that 2.92 ERA.

The main issue with Smith is he isn’t fooling anyone. Even with his 97 MPH fastball, he can’t blow it by anyone as evidenced by a 5.1 K/9. Opposing batters are hitting .290/.340/.414 off of him. For a pitcher whose calling card was not allowing homers, he has already allowed two homers in his brief Major League career. That is partially why he has a 4.04 FIP.

3. Bruce Not The First Base Solution

With the injuries he has suffered this season, the Mets seem inclined to make Jay Bruce the 2019 starting first baseman. Judging from his numbers at the position, they shouldn’t.

This year, he is hitting .231/.322/.385 when he plays first. In his career, he hits .218/.307/.406 when he plays first. Compare those numbers to his career .247/.318/.466 batting line, and you could logically conclude Bruce is not comfortable a first base, and he carries that discomfort with him to the batter’s box.

If Bruce is going to hit like this, the Mets are in a tough position because Bruce’s days in the outfield probably should be over. Moreoever, he’s blocking Peter Alonso, Dominic Smith, and possibly even Yoenis Cespedes at first. This is a conundrum that needs to be sorted out this offseason.

About John Sheridan 700 Articles
John was raised to be a Mets fan by birth, and now he is raising a Mets fan of his own. He also uses Sabermetrics to either confirm the proverbial eye test or to see if we're seeing things with Mets colored glasses. He looks forward to bringing this perspective to MMO. His work, including the tales of raising his son a Mets fan, can also be seen at MetsDaddy.com.