New York Mets: Only Fitting For A Blowout To End The Wilpon’s Reign

New York Mets, Billy Hamilton

Mediocrity is the first word that comes to mind in the broken marriage between the New York Mets and the Wilpon ownership. Their decisions, hirings, and lousy PR led to the Mets becoming the laughing stock of baseball and the butt of every joke. The Mets 15-5 loss to the Washington Nationals closed an ugly 18 years of Wilpon majority ownership.

Seth Lugo likely made his final start as a Met in which he allowed six runs and did not make it out of the second inning. The lack of quality starting rotation depth put the Mets in a situation where they had to force Lugo to be a starter. Should the Mets fix their pitching rotation, Lugo would play very well in his natural bullpen role.

Early Rout

This game was pretty well decided when the Nats had 11 runs after the third inning concluded. Brad Brach and Steven Matz concluded their poor seasons with poor outings, allowing the Nationals to put the game away. Dellin Betances also continued the trend when he made his second outing off the IL. Jeurys Familia was the only reliever to complete two innings without allowing a run and finished his season with a 3.71 ERA.

The two bright spots came from the bats of Pete Alonso and Guillermo Heredia. Alonso had three hits, including two home runs, to finish up the season on a good note. Heredia had two hits and drove in two runs as he hopes to earn an invite to camp in 2021.

The Mets finished their season at 26-34, tied for last place in the NL East. They fell under the .500 mark seven games into the season and never climbed out of that hole in their disappointing season. Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson inherit a broken organization, filled with potential. With their window to win still wide open, expect the front office to revamp this roster for the 2021 season.

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: Late Mistakes Costly in 5-3 Loss to Phillies

The New York Mets finally got a good outing out of a starting pitcher but it could not mask the fatigue of the bullpen. One run allowed in the seventh and two in the eighth gave the Phillies bullpen enough wiggle room after Jake Arrieta pitched seven strong innings in the Mets 5-3 loss.

Manager Luis Rojas tried to push Jared Hughes through another outing but it did not work out. Over 1.1 innings he allowed three runs, four hits, and walked two. A two-out double led to a Roman Quinn RBI single to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.

In the eighth, Rhys Hoskins’s leadoff walk and a Didi Gregorius single set the table again for the Phillies. The inept Mets defense showed again when J.D. Davis made a poor throw to Dominic Smith on a Jean Segura infield single. The error gave the Phillies a 4-2 lead and an Adam Haseley hit by pitch by Brad Brach made it a 5-2 game.

Arrieta Flashback

Arrieta had an ERA above six heading to his start, but he did not show it against the Mets. He held the Mets to two runs over seven innings and also struck out seven. The two runs came on a Michael Conforto two-run home run in the fifth.

The Mets had an opportunity to tie the game in the eighth. Smith made it a 5-3 game with an RBI single and gave Robinson Cano and Pete Alonso opportunities to hit with runners on first and second with one out.

Cano’s hit a line drive that Hoskins snagged with a dive, preventing it from becoming an extra-base hit. It effectively killed the momentum the Mets had in the eighth. Alonso got to a 3-2 count but popped up a slider from Tommy Hunter to end the rally and continue his hitting struggles with runners in scoring position.

Rick Porcello had a strong start going six innings, allowing three hits, two runs and struck out six. He retired the last 12 batters he faced and gave the Mets exactly what they needed out of him. The Mets did not help themselves out by going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and leaving six on base.

The Mets try to get back into the win column on Saturday by sending Seth Lugo to make the start. He faces Spencer Howard at 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

New York Mets: Bullpen Takes deGrom’s Win in Weird 5-4 Victory

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets needed length out of Jacob deGrom after getting abbreviated starts during their doubleheader loss on Tuesday. deGrom gave them that and much more in his first start in almost a week. He tied a career-high with 14 strikeouts, but a bullpen implosion in the eighth inning prevented him from his third win of the season.

Luckily Wilson Ramos, who was hitting .100 w/RISP, came through to give the Mets the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Brad Brach went nine days without pitching but stayed tough to lock down the Mets victory over the Miami Marlins, 5-4.

The bullpen implosion started in the eighth inning when Justin Wilson allowed three singles to load the bases. He gave way to Edwin Diaz, who gave up a 107-mph single that J.D. Davis could not secure, followed by back to back walks to tie the game.

Diaz left the game with an apparent injury before the game-tying walk, leaving Brach a 2-1 count. Brach finished the at-bat with a walk before getting the game to the ninth inning. He needed help from Jeff McNeil‘s foot to prevent Jonathan Villar from stealing second base to get through the inning.

Clutch Hitting

The Mets were as dreadful on offense as any team could be on Tuesday. They put together a much-improved showing with a 2-for-9 output w/RISP and left seven on base. There was a much more concerted effort to hit the ball to the opposite field, and it was precisely what Wilson Ramos did to give the Mets the lead run.

Robinson Cano helped lead the way with three hits, moving his batting average to .382. Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo also added home runs, both their fifth of the year, as well.

Dominant deGrom

deGrom pitched as well as any pitcher can without recording a no-hitter. The two Marlins hits he allowed were light, and his fastball sat in the 99-100 mph range. It was undoubtedly his best outing of the season and showed what a couple of extra days of rest does for him.

Should the Mets choose not to join other professional sports teams in protest on Thursday, they finish their series with the Marlins. They currently have not named a starter yet, but face rookie Sixto Sanchez at 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

New York Mets: Brad Brach tells his experience with COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered millions of lives in so many ways. Besides the deaths, the lost job positions, the world economy effects, the quarantine, and the change in plans, lots of families have been separated. One of them, albeit briefly, was New York Mets‘ reliever Brad Brach.

When he tested positive for coronavirus, he found himself isolated and recovering in Long Island. His wife was 34 weeks pregnant when she found out that she was positive, as well, and she was in Nashville, Tennessee.

Several weeks passed and the Mets’ righty could only dream about being healthy in time to meet her wife and get to know their twin boys. Thankfully, he tested negative and was able to do just that.

“Thankfully, it was nothing too serious,” Brach said after returning to MLB.com Citi Field on Saturday. “Just really happy and glad to be back. Just glad my wife’s feeling good and the boys are safe, and everybody’s doing all right.”

When Brach underwent intake testing at Citi Field earlier in July, he was feeling some symptoms but figured it was just a cold. Then, he left the park and grabbed some lunch. Upon biting his sandwich, he couldn’t taste it. That’s when he knew he was going to test positive.

The Mets’ reliever had to alter his training routine

He was forced to quarantine in his hotel room in Garden City, keeping his arm in “shape” by throwing a baseball into a tube sock and with a weighted ball bag delivered to him by the New York Mets’ staff. After the days went by, he was able to drive to empty parks to throw a baseball with increased velocity into a fence.

He threw a bullpen session on Saturday at Citi Field with no isses. He is a little behind but should be able to return to the Mets’ active roster in a few days.

Brach will throw another bullpen today, and the idea is to graduate to live batting practice soon.

“More than anything, I was just frustrated because these last four or five months have been like a roller coaster of emotions,” Brach said. “You think the season’s going to be over, then you hear it’s going to start next week, and then you think it’s going to be over again. So when we finally got the word that Spring 2.0 was starting back up, you’re just excited to get back and be around the guys.”

New York Mets: Brad Brach and Jared Hughes Head to Injured List

Brad Brach and Jared Hughes were the last to members of the New York Mets player pool who have not arrived at summer camp yet. With just a few days before the season begins, the Mets put them on the Injured List but did not specify the injury.

The assumption is that both players tested positive for COVID-19. Since teams do not list a reason for COVID related IL stints, the only confirmation will come from the players themselves. Both players did not have any lingering injuries, and if they suffered an injury, like Jacob deGrom, they would have reported that first.

Replacement Options

The Mets looked to have about two extra relievers when camp broke, but now they will have to replace Hughes and Brach as well. Out of the starting pitchers, Walker Lockett or Corey Oswalt likely make the team for starting pitching depth. For the relievers, the Mets can opt for veterans Hunter Strickland or Chasen Shreve. If they wanted to stay within the organization Paul Sewald, Tyler Bashlor, Daniel Zamora are candidates along with top option Drew Smith. 

The options are not limited to the listed names since the Mets added more pitchers to their player pool. deGrom’s health and the length that Brach/Hughes remain on the sidelines.

New York Mets: deGrom Deals With Back Issues, Cano Finally Shows

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets had quite a few headlines from Tuesday. Jacob deGrom left his start with a back issue after one inning and it overshadowed the return of Robinson Cano to summer camp after an eight-day absence.

The first nightmare of summer camp occurred when deGrom surprisingly left the game early. His performance did not indicate any issues, but a grimace for deGrom as he walked off the mound showed something was wrong. It was his second to last start before Opening Day, but the injury changes things around.

All the Mets released a confirmation on deGrom’s injury. He also dealt with similar issues during 2018 Spring Training, but it did not keep him from being ready for Opening Day. Judging from deGrom’s ability to finish the inning, his early exit seemed like a precaution to keep their back-to-back Cy Young winner from causing more damage to his back.

Cano Back in Flushing

While the reasons for Robinson Cano’s absence from summer camp is still a mystery, he returned to camp on Tuesday. Since the Mets’ organizational policy is to keep quiet on player’s absences, the only place to get an answer is from Cano himself. Cano did not speak to the media on his first day back.

Cano’s starting lineup status is still in question for the beginning of the season. Manager Luis Rojas said it all depends on how he progresses in the next week but looks to be in great shape. With an aging veteran like Cano, they know how to get themselves in-game shape better than anyone else. He had a slow start in 2019 and hopes to erase that from Mets fans memories.

Cano’s appearance at camp leaves Brad Brach and Jared Hughes as the final two players who need to report to camp. Rojas had no answer on when to expect them to join the team. Both do not carry the weight of Edwin Diaz or Seth Lugo in the Mets bullpen but are both good enough pitchers where their absence will hurt the team. Their absence opens up opportunities for Drew Smith and Paul Sewald to make the roster.

New York Mets: Cespedes Opening Day Ready, Cano and Brach Still Out

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

We are just one week away from the New York Mets, taking the field for their first exhibition game of summer camp. The Mets are extremely encouraged with the progress of Yoenis Cespedes, but the absence of Robinson Cano and Brad Brach are growing issues for the team.

Cespedes has drawn high praise throughout summer camp, and players compared him to being on the same level he was on in 2015. He proclaimed that he will be ready for Opening Day and will be 100% the Cespedes everyone hopes he can be.

Cespedes has not played in two years but is smashing the ball during intrasquad games at Citi Field. Ideally, Cespedes plays left field more than designated hitter because over his arm and gold glove ability. With his injury history, the Mets will handle Cespedes carefully throughout the 60-game stretch. Not only is he playing for 2020, but the 34-year old is playing to earn a lucrative deal in the offseason.

Cano and Brach Missing in Action

The absence of Robinson Cano and Brad Brach are lingering problems that grow worse for the Mets each day. Neither has attended any workouts and as usual, under the Brodie Van Wagenen regime, their reasons for absence are a secret. We will not hear the reason either until the players themselves release it due to the organization’s policy during this COVID-19 shortened season.

The Mets did have one player test positive before summer camp, but they never confirmed the player. Cano was present during the first couple of days but is a mystery man now. The high priced veteran is the everyday second baseman. Brach has not been present at any workouts, but the Mets hope to see both of them soon.

The Importance of the New York Mets Bullpen in a Short Season

As Major League Baseball continues to juggle the idea of playing baseball again this season, teams are scrambling to get their pitchers ready. The New York Mets will rely heavily on their bullpen through the first month of their season as pitchers get their endurance up to speed.

If there are only two weeks of Spring Training games before the season starts, it is not enough to get a rotation ready. Each starter will get three starts max, which forces the bullpen to throw more innings early in the season. With the way pitchers work today, we will not see them at their peaks for at least 2-3 regular season starts.

Bullpen Importance

The needed relievers make sense as to why a potential 30-man roster is in the works. Anywhere from 1-4 extra relievers are required in order to be competitive during the first part of the season. Late inning relievers like Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances, and Seth Lugo will have their critical roles. Middle relief is where the key outs will be. If starters only go 4-5 innings during the first couple weeks of the season, someone has to bridge the gap.

Brad Brach, Justin Wilson, Jeurys Familia, and potentially Drew Smith are a few middle relievers who will have to finish the work for the starter. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo are the only relievers who can pitch multiple innings due to their starting pitching backgrounds. Most likely, Lugo’s outings come late in games while Gsellman will take most of the multiple innings appearances from innings four through seven.

During 2019, in outings of more than one innings, Gsellman had a 2.18 ERA. It included multiple three-inning outings where he kept teams scoreless and the Mets in the game. When healthy, he can play as big of a role as Lugo, just earlier in the game.

Luckily the Mets employ Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman, two of the most in-shape pitchers throughout baseball. The Mets can be more flexible with how deep each of them pitch, compared to the average pitcher. While deGrom moves in silence without social media, Stroman displays all the works he is putting in for the eventual season. Depth is a key part for any championship team and the Mets can finally say they have it on both sides of the ball.

New York Mets: Porcello Improves in His Second Spring Start

New York Mets, Rick Porcello

Despite the New York Mets dropping to the Miami Marlins 3-1, Rick Porcello looked a lot better during Thursday’s start. The other Mets big league relievers pitched well again while the depth pitchers struggled. The loss moved the Mets to 1-5 and the Marlins to 6-0.

Wins and losses are meaningless during the Spring. The situations for each team also differ for the Mets and Marlins as well. The Mets roster is mostly set for the regular season, while the Marlins have plenty of players trying to latch on to a roster spot. As long as the regulars are playing well, the Mets should not be worried.

Pitching Ups and Downs

Porcello threw up twos across the board. Two innings, two hits, two strikeouts. He worked in and out of trouble in the first inning then pitched a 1-2-3 in his second inning of work. Brad Brach and Robert Gsellman followed to pitch the third and fourth with success. Each threw perfect innings, and both have not allowed run in the Spring. Both Brach and Gsellman are key middle relief pitchers and could earn bigger spots if Edwin Diaz and Dellin Betances are holes in the bullpen.

The minor league depth crew of Corey Oswalt, Stephen Nogosek, and Nick Rumbelow all allowed runs during their outings. While no one from the trio was particularly bad, the minor leaguers who finish off the games have already cost the Mets some games early in the Spring.

Awaken the Polar Bear

Pete Alonso is still shaking the offseason rust but showed signs of life with his double in the first inning. He was hitless in nine at-bats heading into Thursday’s game. The baserunning still needed WD-40 as he was picked off second to conclude the inning.

Michael Conforto is another Met who is trying to find his hitting groove. He went 1-for-2 with a single to improve to 2-for-10 in the Spring.

On Friday, the Mets face Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals for the second time of the Spring. The Mets trot Marcus Stroman out for his second start and first in Port St. Lucie. Stroman allowed one run in 1.2 innings against the Cardinals to open up the Spring.