Mets Game Preview (7/31/21) vs. Cincinnati Reds (55-49)

mets, pete alonso

After a disappointing Friday night loss, the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds rematch for a Saturday night matinee from Citi Field. The Mets also have a new member as Javier Baez will be in the lineup and play shortstop for his new team. If the Mets Hall of Fame ceremony does not push the game back, the first pitch will be thrown at 7:10 p.m. ET.

The Mets hope to avoid their first under .500 month this season if they can pick up a victory. No player needs a better ending to their July than Michael Conforto. He batted just .173 with 23 strikeouts and heard the boo-birds after taking the hat-trick in Friday’s loss. If the Mets’ offense ever consistently gets going, they will need his bat to get going. Hopefully, the addition of Baez will inject some life into a team that needs a spark with Francisco Lindor on the IL.

The Reds still feel that they can make a playoff run during the final two months of the season. Joey Votto is looking to make history by homering in his eighth consecutive game, which would make him the eighth person in MLB history to accomplish the feat. He will likely have to do it off a left-handed pitcher, which he has only hit two home runs off of all season.

Pitching Matchup

Rich Hill takes the mound in his second start for the Mets. In his first outing with the Mets, he danced around trouble to pitch five innings and hold the Blue Jays to three runs. Due to the Tampa Bay Rays philosophy, he has only thrown 100 pitches once this season. With the beleaguered Mets pitching staff, they will need Hill to pitch like a conventional starter.

Wade Miley takes the mound for the Reds and has put together a strong 2021 campaign. When he faced the Mets earlier this season, he twirled 6.1 innings, with eight strikeouts, and allowed just two runs. Overall, he has a 2.86 ERA over 18 starts and allowed just eight home runs on the season.

Matchups To Lookout For

Wade Miley vs. Kevin Pillar: 9-for-27 (.333), Double, Home Run, Walk, 6 Strikeouts

Wade Miley vs. James McCann: 5-for-13 (.385), Double, 2 Strikeouts

Rich Hill vs. Joey Votto: 1-for-10 (.100), 3 Walks, 2 Strikeouts

Mets Disappoint in Carrasco’s Debut/Black Jersey Return in 6-2 Loss

The New York Mets supplied plenty of hype going into Friday night’s opener against the Cincinnati Reds. Carlos Carrasco was making his Mets debut, Javier Baez was officially traded to the Mets and it was the return of the black jerseys. Jonathan India could not care less about the energy in the building as he deposited the first pitch of the game over the left field fence.

After India’s leadoff bomb, the Mets responded with a first inning run and loaded the bases with no outs against Sonny Gray. Michael Conforto struck out and Jonathan Villar grounded into an inning ending double play to let Gray off the ropes. Gray ended up settling in for six terrific innings, allowing just the first inning run and striking out seven. As Gray settled in, he began a streak of 15 consecutuve retired hitters which lasted through the eighth inning.

Carrasco’s Debut

Carrasco also rebounded after India’s homer to allow just one run over four innings with four strikeouts. The Reds took advantage of the Mets bullpen by getting at least one run off all three relievers. Their onslaught included a Joey Votto homer for the seventh consecutive game and India’s second home run of the night.

In the ninth, the Mets were down by five but ended up getting the tying run on the on deck circle. Unfortunately, Amir Garrett struckout James McCann to end the game and the two out rally. Conforto’s 0-for-4 and three strikeout game dropped his average below .200 and the fans let him know how they felt. As the game continued, the boos and jeers grew louder towards Conforto, who embodied the struggles of the Mets offense.

Baez makes his Mets debut for Saturday’s game as the Mets hope to avoid a three game losing streak. Rich Hill takes the mound against Wade Miley in the middle game of the series. The first pitch from Citi Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, but the Mets Hall of Fame ceremony may push the game back.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Clint Frazier colorfully denies trade rumors

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

It was a weekend filled with trade rumors for the New York Yankees, some more possible than others. Most of these involve the Cincinnati Red’s, Luis Castillo. One Yankee, Clint Frazier, was mentioned being traded for the Red’s pitcher. Very late last night Frazier had enough and posted to his Twitter account just before midnight, “I’m not fuckin leaving.” He did it uniquely; he tweeted a scene from the “Wolf of Wall Street” where Leonardo DiCaprio shouts out the same expletive.

This writer takes Clint Frazier at his word. In the past two seasons, Frazier has made himself very valuable to the Yankees both behind the plate and in the outfield, being first in line to replace injured Yankee outfielders who have been many. In addition to that, the New York Yankees have just awarded Frazier a $2.1 million one-year contract avoiding arbitration.

It is also worth noting the both the Yankees and the Reds denied reports of the possible trade. After the mid-point of the 2020 60 game season, Yankee manager Aaron Boone was so impressed by this improved defense that he was given a permanent place in the Yankee lineup. Frazier’s defense has always been a problem for the team and Frazier because even though he had a quick bat and could hit for both contact and power, he couldn’t advance to a permanent place with the team. But last year, he was so improved that he was a Gold Glove finalist.

Of course, regardless of Frazier’s statement, the Yankees will decide what happens to the young outfielder, not him. Some reports yesterday, not from EmpireSportsMedia.com, actually said the trade that included Frazier and third baseman Miguel Andujar had actually taken place. Again all reports were denied by both teams.

 

 

New York Mets Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds (8/6-8/8)

The New York Mets welcome in the Cincinnati Reds after dropping three out of four games to the Atlanta Braves. The Mets offense struggled once again as they did not score more than four runs in any of the games. The Reds come off three straight losses in Washington against the Nationals. The Reds took two out of three from the Mets earlier this season.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(8/6, 7:10 PM) Homer Bailey (1-8, 5.87 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (6-2, 2.98 ERA)

(8/7, 7:10 PM) Sal Romano (6-9, 5.12 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (2-7, 8.23 ERA)

(8/8, 12:10 PM) TBD vs. Jacob deGrom (5-7, 1.85 ERA)

Will deGrom Ever Get a Win Again?

Jeff McNeil had a terrific series against the Braves. He put together his first four hit game and had five hits in the series. McNeil has also showcased his powerful bat to all fields and is a solid defender at second base. The Mets are way out of the postseason picture and with the trade of Asdrubal Cabrera, the rest of the season will be used as a tryout for McNeil. The Mets would certainly be happy if he could be their everyday second baseman so they can focus their money elsewhere in the offseason.

Jacob deGrom has dominated during day games over his career and he will take the mound for one in the last game of the series. It has been over a month since he last pitched during the day. deGrom has pitched to a 1.99 ERA during day games over his career and combining that with his 1.85 ERA this season should lead to another terrific start from the Mets ace. The only problem is will the Mets even score to support him?

The Dark Knight Returns

After starting the season 3-15 and firing their manager, the Reds have gone on to play respectable 46-47 baseball since Jim Riggleman took over as manager. The Reds have very promising pieces in Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez, but their starting pitching is far away from supporting their team. Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen have shifted nicely from starters to relievers and are also pieces to build on for the Reds future.

Surprisingly, the lowest ERA by a Reds starter is Matt Harvey’s 4.79. The former Dark Knight is not going to pitch against the Mets in this series, but it will be his first time back to Citi Field since he was traded in May. The Mets traded Harvey for Devin Mesoraco and both player adapted to their new homes nicely. The Mets will give Harvey a video tribute and it will be interesting to see how the fans greet him.

Matchups to Look Out For

Scooter Gennett vs. Jacob deGrom: 5-16 (.313) 2 Doubles, Home Run, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Eugenio Suarez vs. Noah Syndergaard: 4-12 (.333) Strikeout

Jose Reyes vs. Homer Bailey: 2-10 (.200) Double, Walk, Strikeout

Brandon Nimmo vs. Sal Romano: 2-8 (.250) Triple, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Eugenio Suarez vs. LHP in 2018: 35-92 (.380) 6 Doubles, 8 Home Runs, 18 Walks, 20 Strikeouts

Noah Syndergaard vs. The Leadoff Hitter in Any Inning in 2018: 25-81 (.309) 6 Doubles, Triple, Home Run, Walk, 23 Strikeouts

New York Mets Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds (5/7-5/9)

The ice cold New York Mets try to break their six game losing streak against the even colder Cincinnati Reds. After two consecutive sweeps at the hands of the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado Rockies, the Mets find themselves sitting in third place. The Cincinnati Reds are currently tied with the Baltimore Orioles for the worst record in baseball at 8-26. Last season the Mets took the season series with the Reds 4-to-3.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(5/7, 7:10 PM) P.J. Conlon (MLB Debut) vs. Homer Bailey (0-4, 4.81 ERA)

(5/8, 7:10 PM) Jason Vargas (0-2, 16.20 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (1-4, 7.01 ERA)

(5/9, 12:35 PM) Zack Wheeler (2-2, 5.79 ERA) vs. Sal Romano (2-3, 4.21 ERA)

Miserable Mets

After an incredible start out of the gate the Mets pitching and hitting has completely fallen apart over the last week. The Mets were shutout during half of their games at home and have fallen 1.5 games out of first place. The Mets are calling on P.J. Conlon make his first major league start in place of the injured Jacob deGrom. The start is a bit of a surprise, considering he has a 6.75 ERA in Triple-A and Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman are available to make a spot start. Conlon will be the first player since Irish Mcllveen to play in the in the big leagues from Belfast.

The injury bug has caught up to two of the Mets starts, Yoenis Cespedes and Jacob deGrom. Cespedes left Sunday’s game with right hip tightness and deGrom has his start for Monday skipped. Cespedes should be good to play in Monday’s game as his removal was just cautionary. deGrom was put on the 10-day DL but there was no further damage to his elbow and will pitch his next time in the rotation.

Rebuilding Reds

The Cincinnati Reds had no real expectations to win this season and have been on the rebuild the last couple of years. The combination of mediocre pitchers and Great American Ballpark has led them to the worst ERA in baseball. This Reds have a lackluster offense with a couple of the lone bright spots coming from Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez. Youngsters, Jesse Winkler and Jose Peraza have also shown they can be dependable parts of the Reds future.

Luis Castillo was one of the brightest pitching prospects in baseball and broke out strong in 2017. His sophomore season has not gone as planned, his walks are up and is not striking out hitters at the rate he was last season. When the Reds actually have a lead in the ninth, they can depend on Raisel Iglesias to finish off the game. His ERA sits at 1.98 and has four saves in five chances.

Matchups to Lookout For (Small Sample Sizes Incoming)

Adrian Gonzalez vs. Homer Bailey 11-25 (.440) 2 Doubles, 6 Home Runs

Jose Reyes vs. Homer Bailey 2-10 (.200) 1 Double, 1 Walk, 1 Strikeout

Joey Votto vs. Baseball: Votto usually wins

No one on the Reds has more than four at-bats against any Mets Starter in this series

Interesting Stats

Joey Votto and Jay Bruce are number one and two on the Great American Ballpark home run list. Votto has 144 and Bruce has 135.