MLB News: Braves ousted by LA, it’s a Dodger Rays World Series

For the New York Yankees, the season is over, and are looking at how to improve the team for the 2021 season. But MLB is still operating, just a day after the Tampa Bay Rays were victorious over the Houston Astros, the Los Angeles Dodger won a game seven over the Atlanta Braves 4-3, advancing them to the World Series.  For the first time ever the Tampa Bay Rays will meet the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The World Series will have a limited number of fans rooting for their team in the stands.

The Dodgers won the NLDS over the San Diego Padres to advance to the NLCS to take on the Atlanta Braves. With the Dodgers win yesterday, they will face the Tampa Bay Rays, that beat the New York Yankees in the ALCS. The Yankees previous to facing the Rays, had swept the Cleveland Indians in the Wild Card round. For the Rays, it will be the first time since 2008 that they advanced. For Los Angeles, they have not won a World Series since 1988.

The game yesterday, featured two starting pitchers, both under the age of 24. It was the first time two pitchers that young started an NLCS game seven. Ian Anderson was 22 and Dustin May just 23. Los Angeles was down three games to one in the series and came back to tie the series, and force a dramatic game seven. Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts starred in the game. Betts made a wild climb the wall catch to save a run, and Cody Bellinger scored the winning run with his homer in the seventh inning.

Bellinger met Hernandez at home plate and took off for the dugout. In celebration of the go-ahead run, upon returning to the dugout after the 400-foot blast, he gave teammate Kiké Hernandez a forearm bash, after which Bellinger could be seen wincing in pain. He dislocated his shoulder USA Today reports Bellinger quickly went back to the training room to pop the shoulder in place.

Anderson for the Braves went three innings, giving up two earned runs. May only pitched the first inning for the Dodgers, giving up a run. The game featured only 13 hits between the two teams, and only one player got two hits, that was Mookie Betts of the Dodgers. The NLCS MVP was the Dodgers Corey, who hit .310 in the series with five home runs and eleven RBI’s. The Game  7 winner was Julio Urias who pitched the last three innings for the the Dodgers, the losing pitcher was Chris Martin.

The first game of the World Series will be on Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas. Game time will be 8:09 pm EDT. The series will be broadcast on the Fox Network nationwide.  Both of these teams are highly energized after their Championship wins. The Dodgers in game seven, left ten men on base. They will have their hands full with the Rays who are known for manufacturing runs. It should be a very exciting World Series.

New York Mets: Peterson’s 10 Strikeouts Highlight 7-2 Win

New York Mets, David Peterson

After getting three straight starters lasted no more than two innings, David Peterson had the tall task of stopping the slump the New York Mets starting rotation are in. Peterson went far and above the call of duty striking out a career-high 10 Atlanta Braves in the Mets 7-2 victory.

Peterson lived up to his top prospect status in this big start. He held the Braves to one run over the six innings he pitched. His slider was one of the major reasons his strikeouts were up, and it was impressive to see him shut down a lineup that scored 15 runs the previous night.

In the seventh and eighth, Miguel Castro, Jeurys Familia, and Justin Wilson combined to keep the lead into the bottom of the eighth. It allowed them to add some insurance runs late in the game.

Patience is Key

Braves starter Ian Anderson held hitters to a .130 average but allowed ten walks over 21 innings. They paid close attention to their scouting report, drawing three straight walks to begin the bottom of the first. Robinson Cano got the Mets on the board with a two-run single to the opposite field to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead.

The only other run the Mets got off Anderson was an RBI single from Robinson Chirinos in the fourth inning. Depsite Anderson struggles, Atlanta’s bullpen held the Mets silent until Chris Martin entered in the eighth. He allowed back to back home runs to Dominic Smith and Robinson Cano to being the inning. Brandon Nimmo finished it off with a two-run single to extend the Mets lead to 7-2.

It was a win the Mets needed, as all of the games have become must-win games. The rubber game of the series comes down to Kyle Wright and Rick Porcello. The first pitch is at 1:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

New York Mets: Matz Fails in Return to Rotation in 15-2 Loss

The New York Mets were out of options in their starting rotation, so Steven Matz lucked into the start against the Atlanta Braves. Matz’s outing went exactly the way we all expected it to. The Braves treated it like batting practice and gave the same treatment to Franklyn Kilome to put up a 15-2 victory.

The only savior for the Mets would have been a rainout because of the lack of confidence in Matz. It was the same pitcher they had before his IL stint, and he put the Mets in a hole early. Over 2.2 innings pitched, Matz allowed six runs on eight hits, including two more home runs. It was part of the Braves scoring in the first four innings of the game.

Kilome returned to the Mets roster before the game since the Mets needed relief help. He provided relief but did not offer any help in the game. Kilome allowed six runs and another two home run to the Braves offense.

Hughes to the Rescue

Jared Hughes came in for a rare long relief appearance throwing 3.2 innings and allowing three more runs and two more homers. While it was not the best performance, it saved the Mets from overusing their bullpen.

Brad Brach and Todd Frazier (you read that right) were the only pitchers with scoreless appearances. While Brach’s was only a one-out cameo, Frazier hurled a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth. He even got Adam Duvall to strikeout looking on a knuckleball.

On the other side, Max Fried continued his Cy Young campaign. Over five innings, he only had three strikeouts but held the Mets to one run, keeping his ERA under two. Jeff McNeil provided the only offense off Fried with an RBI double in the fifth.

Amed Rosario provided three of the five Mets hits on the night. His sixth-inning single gave the Mets their second and final run of the game.

On Saturday, David Peterson tries to become the first Mets starter to make it to the third inning in three games. He faces Ian Anderson at 7:07 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

New York Mets: d’Arnaud Burns His Former Team in 11-10 Loss

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

Just as once Brodie Van Wagenen move blows up in their face, another comes back to haunt him as Travis d’Arnaud burns the New York Mets as his three-run double and five total RBIs helped the Atlanta Braves come back in an 11-10 Mets loss. For another night, the Mets could not get the big hit they needed as Wilson Ramos struck out with the tying run on second to end the game.

Van Wagenen designated d’Arnaud for assignment way too early in 2019, and it continues to blow up in their face. The Mets bullpen was supposed to be a strength for them, but it is clear they have significant issues to address there. Every reliever they turned to allowed a run, and Dellin Betances and Seth Lugo hurt them the most. Both of them did their best Edwin Diaz impression; they combined for a five-run outing to prevent the Mets from winning once again.

At this point in the season, Jeurys Familia and Drew Smith are the only relievers to pitch with any consistency. It would not be a surprise if Familia got the next opportunity to close for the Mets.

Don’t Forget About Porcello

Rick Porcello is partly responsible for the problem as his four-inning, four-run outing forced manager Luis Rojas to turn to the bullpen early. After the Mets took an 8-2 lead, the bullpen began to falter. The loss is their third straight and drops them to 3-5 on the season.

The Mets offense was not the problem as they scored ten times and homered three times. J.D. Davis, Robinson Cano, and Amed Rosario were responsible for the Mets’ longballs. Cano’s latest hot streak moved him to a .360 average on the season. Andres Gimenez also had an impressive offensive game, providing two hits and great defense at third base.

The Mets hope to break their three-game losing streak as Michael Wacha makes his second start of the season. The Saturday night matchup starts at 7:10 p.m. will be opposed by Touki Toussaint.

New York Mets Series Preview: Atlanta Braves (7/31-8/3)

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets head down south to begin a four-game series with their division rival Atlanta Braves. They fell to 3-4 on the season after dropping two straight tough games against the Boston Red Sox. The Braves opened up the season by taking two out of three from the Mets to start the season.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Friday (7/31) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Rick Porcello (0-1, 27.00 ERA) vs. Sean Newcomb (0-0, 2.70 ERA)

Saturday (8/1) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Michael Wacha (1-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. TBD

Sunday (8/2) @ 1:10 p.m. ET: David Peterson (1-0, 3.18 ERA) vs. Kyle Wright (0-1, 16.88 ERA)

Monday (8/3) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Jacob deGrom (0-0, 1.64 ERA) vs. Mike Soroka (0-0, 1.59 ERA)

The first series between the two teams started terrific for the Mets but concluded in misery as Edwin Diaz, and Rick Porcello headlined their pitching struggles. The Braves pitching kept the Mets bats in check, holding them to only five runs in the entire series.

Fool Me Once Shame on You, Fool Me Twice Shame on Me

Rick Porcello had a very poor Mets debut, allowing seven runs in two innings in a 14-1 loss on national tv. The first game of the series is a rematch of the pitching matchup from the blowout loss, and Porcello hopes to show the Mets he is reliable as their third starter.

David Peterson also gets an opportunity to pitch against a better offense, which is built on power. They are third in home runs but lead the entire major leagues in strikeouts. The swing and miss rate is why deGrom and Matz thrived in their starts.

Mets Problems

The Mets’ biggest issue through the first week of the season is their inability to plate runners in scoring position. They lead the league in strikeouts w/RISP but are one-hit behind the Dodgers the NL hits lead. While their average is not much better than the Mets, they have only struck out eight times in these situations. Emphasis on putting the ball in play will scratch out an extra 1-2 runs per game.

Manager Luis Rojas said Edwin Diaz is “no longer the closer” in every way possible without using those words. Diaz struggled mightily in his outing against the Red Sox. The Mets have plenty of options in the bullpen, and Seth Lugo has to be at the top of the list to close games. In situations where Rojas does not want to bring Lugo in on back-to-backs, Jeurys Familia or Dellin Betances will slide into the role. Diaz will not pitch in the first game of the series, but it will be interesting to see the next situation he pitches in.

Matchups to Lookout For:

Rick Porcello vs. Freddie Freeman: 5-for-11 (.455), RBI, 3 Walks, Strikeout

Sean Newcomb vs. Amed Rosario: 5-for-12 (.412), 2 Doubles, RBI, 3 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Freddie Freeman: 15-for-55 (.273), 2 Doubles, 3 Home Runs, 6 RBI, 8 Walks, 15 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Ozzie Albies: 5-for-34 (.147), Double, RBI, Walk, 7 Strikeouts

Mike Soroka vs. Michael Conforto: 3-for-15 (.200), Walk, Strikeout

New York Mets: Atlanta Braves Ride Offense to Dominating 14-1 Win

New York Mets, Rick Porcello

Edwin Diaz woke up a sleeping giant when he allowed Saturday’s game-tying home run to Marcell Ozuna. The Atlanta Braves carried the momentum from their extra-inning win to steamroll the New York Mets 14-1.

It did not take long for the Braves to spoil Rick Porcello‘s Mets debut. Porcello lived up to his 5.5 ERA from the 2019 season to allow seven runs on seven hits, with three walks and failed to record an out in the third inning before his outing ended. Corey Oswalt replaced him and pitched how you would expect a pitcher with a career ERA over six to pitch.

The Braves jumped all over Oswalt to add three home runs and five more runs to their total. Every player in the Braves starting lineup recorded a hit, and they scored in six of the first seven innings. Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies did the most damage on the day.

Swanson recorded three hits, including a double and home run, while driving in five. Albies also recorded three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs.

Quiet Offense

Braves starter Sean Newcomb gave the Mets every opportunity they could ask to push some runs across. Newcomb struggled to find consistency with any of his pitches but got out of trouble when he needed to. The combination of hitters who are not ready and the hangover of Saturday’s loss created a team that had no energy and was as flat as the cardboard cutouts surrounding the field.

The Mets had at least two runners reach base in each of the first four innings but only scored once. It allowed Newcomb to get through 3.1 innings, only allowing the one run when allowing seven baserunners. Jholuys Chacin shut the Mets down with 3.2 shutout innings in relief of Newcomb, quieting any hopes the Mets had of coming back.

Most concerning for the Mets is only recording five runs over the first three games of the season. Pete Alonso has only recorded one hit and timing looks completely off through his first handful of at-bats. With the Mets starting rotation in shambles, they needed plenty more from their offense to be competitive.

Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo are the only two hitters posing a threat right now. Conforto went 4-for-8 and Nimmo 3-for-10 in the series, both putting together long at-bats in the process.

Early Injury

Eduardo Nunez came in during the blowout and injured himself, trying to leg out a groundball in the 14-1 blowout. He dealt with knee issues over the last two seasons and said he hyperextended his knee. The Mets will evaluate him before Monday’s game, but the Mets also have backup infielders Luis Guillorme and Andres Gimenez on the roster.

Speaking of Monday, the Mets begin a four-game home and home series against the Boston Red Sox. It will be their first interleague matchup of the season and the first time playing in Fenway Park since 2018. Michael Wacha makes his Mets debut and hopes his first start is the complete opposite of Porcello’s. The Red Sox will use Josh Osich as the opener for game one at 7:35 p.m.

 

New York Mets: Diaz Returns to 2019 Form in 5-3 Loss

New York Mets, Edwin Diaz

It seemed like a game straight out of 2019. Edwin Diaz looked all but certain to lock down a save in back to back games, but a Marcell Ozuna solo home run changed things. The New York Mets fell to 1-1 on the season as they could not respond to the three runs the Atlanta Braves scored in the top of the 10th.

Things ran smoothly for 26 outs, but the Mets could not buckle down the 27th. Steven Matz gave the Mets six strong innings, only allowing one run while striking out seven. The bullpen trio of Jeurys Familia, Dellin Betances, and Justin Wilson got the game to the ninth inning. Diaz retired the two and three-hitter, but he could not sneak a fastball past Ozuna. After he deposited the ball over the right-field fence, the flood gates opened.

Extra Innings Rules

Once the Mets could not push across a run in the bottom half of the ninth, the Mets saw new extra-innings rules for the first time. The Braves took full advantage of the runner on second as Dansby Swanson lined a ball up the middle to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. After Ender Inciarte grounded out for the fourth run, Williams Contreras hit his first big league pitch into the right-center field gap to make it a 5-2 game.

Since manager Luis Rojas put in the defensive team when they had the lead, there was a lot less offense than the starting lineup. They managed only to score one run but left the tying run at first base.

Though Diaz smiled through the pain, it did not hide what happened. It was the exact way he blew saves during the 2019 season, where all it took was a home run to blow the game. Rojas voiced his confidence in Diaz saying the ball was coming out of Diaz’s hand well. Though it was a good pitch, the 2019 history is hard to ignore.

Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario recorded five of the eight Mets hits after they were no-hit for the first 4.1 innings. Max Fried was as solid as the Braves could have asked for, giving up only two runs in five innings pitches.

The silver lining for the Mets that Pete Alonso finally recorded a hit after looking completely lost through his first handful of at-bats.

The Mets send Rick Porcello to the mound for Sunday night baseball in hopes of taking two out of three. It will be a 7:08 p.m. start and face off against another lefty, Sean Newcomb.

 

See the New York Mets’ Opening Day lineup: Cespedes is fifth and Cano sixth

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

The New York Mets are set to host the Atlanta Braves in the first series of their MLB season at Citi Field. Play ball is scheduled for this afternoon at 4:05 p.m. ET, and Jacob deGrom will be tasked to keep the Braves offense at bay, squaring off against young phenom Mike Soroka.

Mets manager Luis Rojas has already published the lineup for today’s game. It is as follows:

  • Brandon Nimmo, CF
  • Jeff McNeil, 3B
  • Pete Alonso, 1B
  • Michael Conforto, RF
  • Yoenis Cespedes, DH
  • Robinson Cano, 2B
  • JD Davis, LF
  • Wilson Ramos, C
  • Amed Rosario, SS

The Braves are countering with this lineup:

  • Ronald Acuna Jr, RF
  • Ozzie Albies, 2B
  • Freddie Freeman, 1B
  • Marcell Ozuna, LF
  • Matt Adams, DH
  • Austin Riley, 3B
  • Dansby Swanson, SS
  • Ender Inciarte, CF
  • Alex Jackson, C

The Braves are extremely short in the catcher position, as both Travis D’Arnaud and Tyler Flowers are presenting COVID-19 symptoms even though they tested negative for the disease.

Soroka was a road warrior last season, his rookie year, after having a shiny 1.55 ERA in 16 starts out of his home stadium. He will try to keep up that performance level against a very tough Mets lineup that is virtually at full strength.

The Mets are thin at the rotation, but loaded with bats

The New York Mets, meanwhile, are decimated in their starting rotation. They lost Noah Syndergaard months ago to Tommy John surgery, and Marcus Stroman to a calf issue.

DeGrom will likely be limited to around 85 pitches as a maximum, as he had to deal with a back thing that is now in the rearview mirror.

Yoenis Cespedes will make his first appearance for the Mets since July 2018, after losing the last season while dealing with heels and ankle surgery. He will be the team’s primary designated hitter, but could eventually see some starts in left field as he gets he gets close to 100 percent form.

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets Series Preview

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

Almost four months late, we finally have Opening Day and our first series preview of the year. The New York Mets welcome in the defending NL East champion Atlanta Braves. Both teams start the series shorthanded but important games will finally begin the 60-game sprint of a season.

Pitching Matchups:

Friday, 7/24, 4:10 p.m.: Mike Soroka vs. Jacob deGrom

Saturday, 7/25, 4:10 p.m.: Max Fried vs. Steven Matz

Sunday, 7/26, 7:08 p.m.: Sean Newcomb vs. Rick Porcello

The biggest question the Mets fans had about their lineup was Robinson Cano‘s place in the batting order. Not quite the offensive force he once was, Cano is in the six spot for Opening Day. The lineup looks extremely deep with Wilson Ramos, who hit over .300 w/RISP batting eighth in the order.

The Mets are 38-20 on Opening Day, and deGrom dominates day game with a 1.78 ERA. It at least puts the Mets in an excellent position to take the first game against a team they struggled against in 2019. They were 8-11 against the Braves, and taking the final three games of the season saved the record from plummeting even more.

Shorthanded Squads

The Mets had to flip around their rotation when they learned Marcus Stroman would not pitch the second game of the season. His calf injury is not a huge setback for Stroman but Matz and Porcello as pitching earlier than expected to start the season.

The Braves are extremely shorthanded in the catching department. Tyler Flowers and Travis d’Arnaud are on the IL due to COVID-19 symptoms. While both tested negative, neither traveled to New York with the Braves. Alex Jackson and William Contreras will take their place during the series. They also placed Cole Hamels on the 45-day IL to open up roster spots.

The Braves will also start Austin Riley at third over the injured Johan Camargo. Though both teams are not at full strength, it is finally time for America’s Pastime to return even if it includes empty stadiums.

New York Mets Suffer Another Tough Loss to the Atlanta Braves

The New York Mets had a promising 2-1 lead over the Atlanta Braves in the sixth. Unfortunately, a six run sixth inning for the Braves put the game out of reach for the Mets.

Callaway Loses His Cool

Mickey Callaway had his first managerial ejection as a manager after disputing a non-call when Brandon Nimmo was hit on his elbow. In the same inning Jay Bruce seemed to break out of his funk when he drilled a bases loaded double to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. The Mets hopes were quickly put out when Devin Mesoraco grounded into a double play with runners on second and third to end the inning.

The Braves stormed right back against Zack Wheeler who held them to one run over the first five innings. Freddie Freeman led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to tie the game at two. The six run inning was capped off by a grand slam by Ozzie Albies. The home run came off Paul Sewald but three of those runs were charged to Wheeler. The Mets bullpen continues to show how unreliable they are.

Bounces Going The Braves Way

The Mets came within inches of ending the sixth inning with the game still close. Ender Inciarte blooped a single past Amed Rosario to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. Shortly after, he was handed a gift of a stolen base when Asdrubal Cabrera dropped the ball attempting to tag Inciarte. Both plays would have ended the inning if the out was recorded. These type of situations tend favor good teams like the Braves and hurt struggling teams like the Mets.

Once Inciarte blooped the single over Rosario’s glove, there was a sense of the game being over at that moment. The poor Mets offense continued their historically bad offensive struggles which kills any momentum their pitchers give them. They were set down 1-2-3, five times and managed a measly three hits. The Mets are now 28-35 and have no reason to think they will sniff the .500 mark again this season.

Jacob deGrom will pitch on Wednesday, hoping to get enough runs to finally get a win he deserves. It may be another one of those starts where deGrom needs to throw a shutout to win and even that may not be enough for the Mets ace.