New York Mets: The Rust Showed in Doubleheader Loss to the Marlins

New York Mets, Billy Hamilton

The New York Mets finally resumed play after a five-day layoff due to COVID-19 precautions but did not show any excitement to be on the field. After the extended time off, the Mets looked like they were sleepwalking on the field. No play symbolized how awful the Mets looked when Jon Berti turned into Ricky Henderson on the base paths.

After a walk in the sixth inning of game two, he stole all three bases to give the Marlins an insurance run. It was partly due to the inexperience catcher Ali Sanchez and the lack of awareness from the Mets infielders. Berti stole third and home with a delayed steal, showing what an extended layoff does to a team. The Mets lost both games of the doubleheader (4-0, 3-0) and failed to score in either game.

The offense that was red hot prior to the cancellation of Thursday’s game and failed to show up in either game. The Mets left 19 men on base and went hitless in 15 plate appearances in the doubleheader. It was worse than any box score could show as the Mets looked like a careless team, completely going through the motions.

Lugo Dominant

Despite the failures at the plate, Seth Lugo came out firing in his first start since the 2018 season. He threw three perfect innings and struck out five batters. Manager Luis Rojas said Lugo could throw about 50-60 pitches but yanked him after 39 for Jared Hughes. Like most of the moves Rojas has made this season, it blew up in his face. Hughes allowed two runs and it was all the Marlins needed in game two.

As for game one, Rick Porcello allowed four runs over three innings. The Marlins got him for three two-out hits to bring home their opening runs against the Mets starter. Luckily, a rain delay allowed Corey Oswalt to shine in relief with four shutout innings. Oswalt has put together two good outings since his return to the big leagues and puts himself in line to earn a start over the weekend.

Hopefully, the inexcusable performance is just due to the five-day layoff. After the Marlins leave, the competition gets tougher with the New York Yankees come into town. If they cannot compete against a group of major league journeymen and minor league call-ups, they will be lucky to win another game this month.

Jacob deGrom hopes to right the ship on Wednesday night against Elieser Hernandez at Citi Field. Unlike game two, the Mets will be the home team in their own ballpark at 7:10 p.m. ET.

New York Mets: Offense Puts the Game Away Late in 8-3 Victory

Tuesday’s game for the New York Mets started with some worry as David Peterson landed on the 10-day Injured List with left shoulder fatigue. Corey Oswalt received the spot start and survived long enough that the Mets offense gave him the support he needed.

Oswalt lasted 4.1 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, no walks, and striking out four Marlins. He retired nine in a row at one point before running into trouble in the fourth inning. For a spot start on late notice, it was about the best the Mets could ask for. Justin Wilson, Jared Hughes, and Dellin Betances had shutout outings after Oswalt exited.

Edwin Diaz had a chance to finish off the victory but labored through his one inning of work. Francisco Cervelli led off with a double and a couple of infield singles, with a throwing error from Diaz got the Marlins a run. From that point, Diaz calmed himself down to strike out the final three batters he faced to end the game.

Plenty of Offense

For the second consecutive night, the Mets offense gave their pitching plenty of runs to work with. Brandon Nimmo led the way, finishing just a double short of the cycle. Amed Rosario had a much-needed breakout night with the bat. He recorded his second home run of the season and drove in three runs. Every Met in the starting lineup except Jeff McNeil and Tomas Nido recorded a hit.

The Mets went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. When the offense records multiple hits w/RISP then they can live with a night like this. The issues arise when they record zero or one hit in these critical situations.

Jacob deGrom returns to the mound on Wednesday as he tries to make it three straight Mets victories. Pablo Lopez opposes him at 7:10 p.m. ET from Marlins Park.

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 Yankees Flex Their Muscle in Clubbing of the New York Mets

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

One thing is clear about the New York Yankees; they have the power to match up with any team in baseball. After New York Mets star, Pete Alonso, took the spotlight on Saturday, Aaron Judge rose to the occasion in Sunday’s matchup. His two home runs were part of five that helped power the Yanks to a 6-0 victory to sweep the exhibition series from their crosstown rivals.

Corey Oswalt worked around trouble during his three-inning start. He allowed two runs, five hits, and three strikeouts with both of the runs coming on home runs. On the Yankees side, Jordan Montgomery completely shut down the Mets with five shutout innings, allowing two hits, a walk, and striking out six batters.

Like Saturday’s game, the Mets relievers who should make the roster pitched well, and the ones who are on the outside struggled. Hunter Strickland came into a no-out, second and third jam to get out of it without allowing a run. He recorded two strikeouts and a pop-up of Judge to retire the side. Seth Lugo pitched a perfect eighth inning with a strikeout and looked in midseason form.

The combination of Drew Smith and Chasen Shreve allowed the other four Yankee runs. Smith pitched a scoreless fifth inning but faltered, allowing three runs when the Mets extended him for a second inning. The only blemish on Shreve’s line was a solo home run allowed to Judge on a hanging slider.

Offensive Struggles

The Mets only mustered three hits on the day and looked completely dominated at the plate. Amed Rosario supplied two of the three hits while the Mets top three hitters of Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, and Robinson Cano combined to go 1-for-10 with five strikeouts. Cano’s hit off a lefty is at least an encouraging sign coming from him.

Yoenis Cespedes played three innings in left field and went 0-for-2 on the day. He did not get a chance in the outfield and had no opportunity to test out his legs in the second game of a back to back. Questions remain on Cespedes ability to play every day since he could not go full speed down the line in Saturday’s game. Cespedes is an unpredictable character, so that he could be saving his best for the games that matter.

Healthy deGrom 

Despite the two losses, the Mets come out of Sunday with good news. Jacob deGrom struck out nine out of 14 batters on just 60 pitches during an intrasquad game. He did not allow a hit and hit triple digits as the back-to-back Cy Young winner wanted to prove he is more than ready to go.

The Mets are done with exhibition games as their next game is one that counts. On Friday, they will face the defending NL East champion, Atlanta Braves, and expect to have deGrom work around 85 pitches for his first start.

New York Mets: Corey Oswalt Year in Review

During the 2018 season, Corey Oswalt received the opportunity to start multiple games for the New York Mets. The chances in 2019 were very minimal to a point where his only two outings of the season came from the bullpen.

Oswalt saw his velocity increase during Spring Training, which gave the Mets hope in their starting pitching depth. He made two different trips to the big league roster, making one appearance each time. Oswald’s first came in Atlanta when Jason Vargas could not escape the first inning against the Braves. He allowed five runs in 3.2 innings of long relief.

Exile to the Minors

His final outing of the season came on April 26, where he allowed four runs in three innings to the Milwaukee Brewers in a 10-2 loss. Oswalt had two other recalls throughout the season but only lasted a game before he went back to Syracuse, or the season ended.

It was interesting that the Mets did not give Oswalt a chance to pitch in the bullpen with all the injuries they had or even make the starts Walker Lockett received. In Syracuse, he was 10-4 with a 2.82 ERA over 18 starts. The numbers were indeed there, but the Mets refused to pull the trigger. The Mets are focused on keeping him a starter, but the only way he cracks the rotation in 2020 is due to an injury.

Grades:

Pitching Repertoire: C, Fastball velocity increased, and his change-up showed swing and miss potential.

Control: F, Uncharacteristically walked six batters in 6.2 innings.

Composure: N/A

Intangibles: A

Overall: F, It will be interesting to see what the Mets do with Oswalt in 2020.

New York Mets 40-Man Roster Overview: Corey Oswalt

After Corey Oswalt was drafted, he was assigned to the Kingsport Mets and struggled with an 8.15 ERA in 9 games. Oswalt battled injuries in 2013 with Kingsport and only was able to pitch 13 innings.

Breakout to breakdown:

2014 was his breakout year with the Brooklyn Cyclones where he went 6-2 with a 2.26 ERA in 12 games. He became known for his control and was named a Short Season All-Star by Baseball America.

Oswalt continued his success in 2015 by winning 11 of his 23 starts and putting up a 3.36 ERA. He only walked 21 batters in 128.2 innings and moved up to the St. Lucie Mets for the 2016 season.

Outside of one inning he spent with the Gulf Coast Mets, he saw his ERA rise to 4.06 in 68 innings, this still allowed Oswalt to be named the 27th best prospect in the Mets organization going into 2017.

Oswalt put up his best numbers with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in 2017. He had a 12-5 record, 2.28 ERA and pitched a career high 134.1 innings.

He earned MILB.com organization All-Star honors, Baseball America Double-A All-Star honors, Eastern League All-Star honors and was name the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year. The Mets placed Oswalt on the 40-man roster after the conclusion of the 2017 season.

Oswalt was recently sent back to minor league camp but has only allowed two runs in 6.1 innings this spring.

He will likely start the season in Las Vegas with the 51s and could see time with the Mets this season because of injuries or his performance. Worst case scenario is the Mets will bring him up in September for the roster expansion.