Mets Game Preview: (6/30/21) @ Atlanta Braves (37-41)

The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves play the second game of their series after a terrific first game of their series. It looked like the Mets offense would disappoint once again, but a 4-run seventh gave them enough to win 4-3. The second game is scheduled for a usual 7:20 p.m. ET start from Truist Park.

Kevin Pillar gets the opportunity to bat leadoff with Jeff McNeil getting a night off. It is Pillar’s first time batting leadoff since the beginning of the month and is 1-for-18 as the number one-hitter this season. He is in the middle of a small hot streak with two home runs in his last four games. Surprisingly, Pillar is hitting just .190 against left-handed pitching after crushing them over the two prior seasons.

To beat the Atlanta Braves, pitching has to contain Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman. They have done a great job against both, holding Acuna to a .167 average and Freeman to a .393 slugging percentage. Freeman did record five hits against the Mets earlier this season but only has one extra-base hit against them.

Pitching Matchup

David Peterson looks to continue his mini hot streak as he takes the mound for the Mets. In his last three starts, he has thrown 16.2 innings, holding opponents to two runs and a .115 batting average. With a very packed schedule coming up as the All-Star break approaches, they will need Peterson to continue pitching successfully.

Max Fried makes his first start off the IL after dealing with a blister on his index finger. Fried was in a terrific groove after lackluster April in which he had an ERA over ten. In the last two months, Fried has a 2.51 ERA and has allowed just three home runs. He pitched six innings in his start against the Mets in May, allowing one run and striking out eight.

Matchups To Lookout For

David Peterson vs. Austin Riley: 3-for-6 (.500), 3 Doubles, 3 Strikeouts

Max Fried vs. Pete Alonso: 2-for-15 (.133), Home Run, 3 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

Max Fried vs. Michael Conforto: 2-for-17 (.118), Double, 3 Walks, 8 Strikeouts

Mets: Can David Peterson Figure Out How to Return to His Rookie Form?

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets starting pitching has carried them to first place to begin the season but has skipped a beat when David Peterson. After a stellar rookie season in 2020, Peterson has struggled mightily in his sophomore season in the big leagues. With an ERA over six, how do the Mets move forward with Peterson?

Peterson’s season is marked by inconsistency, but lately, he has been consistently bad. Over his last four starts, he has a 9.88 ERA, allowing 21 hits, 15 runs, and eight walks in just 13.2 innings pitched. When Peterson struggles, he cannot stop the bleeding, which has resulted in him pitching less than five innings in five of his 11 starts.

In 2020, Peterson found success by exclusively throwing his four-seam fastball and rarely throwing a sinker which hitters had success against. He threw the four-seamer 37.4% of the time, with hitters batting .164 and slugging just .262. Peterson used his sinker 15.8% of the time, and batters hit .368 with a .474 slugging percentage.

Pick One

This year the game plan has flipped back and forth between throwing a majority of sinkers or a majority of four-seamers. In his 7.1 innings, nine strikeout game against the Phillies, Peterson threw 47 four-seamers and 17 sinkers. During his ten strikeouts game against the Phillies, he threw 43 sinkers and just six four-seam fastballs. In Peterson’s bad starts, similar splits show he has not decided on the type of pitcher he wants to be at the big league level.

For example, Marcus Stroman is well-known for his tremendous sinker, but he can also feature a four-seam fastball in the low to mid-90s. Stroman throws his sinker 40.2% of the time while using his four-seamer 5% of the time. He picked his main pitch then saves the other fastball for a “change of pace” pitch. Peterson has compiled solid starts with both pitches as his number one, but he needs to pick one and work his other pitches off his primary fastball.

The Higher The Better

When Peterson works up in the strike zone, he finds more success. Batters are in the low .200’s up in the strike zone compared to way over .300 low in the zone. Pitching up with the four-seam fastball allows the 6’6″ Peterson to work his slider off the same plane and his changeup even lower. Even if Peterson commits to a primary fastball, the execution of his offspeed needs to improve. Peterson’s slider has a .648 slugging percentage against his put-away pitch. Too often, it is in the strike zone during counts where it should be thrown for a ball.

Despite the struggles, Peterson will get every opportunity to right his season. The Mets’ options are minimal on their 40-man roster. Sean Reid Foley and Yennsy Diaz have prior starting experience but have not been stretched out to take a rotation spot. Thomas Szapucki would be the best option the Mets have if they wanted to make a switch. Szapucki has a respectable 3.51 ERA in Triple-A, but his 1.58 WHIP and 1.8 HR/9 are why the Mets feel he is not ready to join the Mets rotation. Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco are nowhere near coming back, which leaves Peterson on his own to right the ship.

Orioles Destroy Mets Pitching in 10-3 Blowout Loss

The New York Mets‘ top three in their starting rotation are as good as it gets, but there are glaring holes with the pitchers that follow them. David Peterson fell victim to an onslaught from the Baltimore Orioles, led by Mets killer Maikel Franco in the 10-3 loss.

Peterson avoided his usual first-inning trouble but failed to find success in the rest of his dreadful start. He lasted just 2.2 innings allowing eight hits and four runs, and his ERA ballooned to 6.32. Peterson did not have issues putting the ball in the strike zone, allowing the O’s to make hard contact consistently. Robert Gsellman tried to keep the Mets in the game but was just as unsuccessful in long relief. Gsellman allowed four runs in 2.1 innings pitched and allowed Baltimore to put the game away.

The Orioles offense put up 16 hits, nine of them going for extra bases, and all but two starters had a multiple-hit game. Freddy Galvis led them with three hits, but Maikel Franco and Pat Valaika combined for three doubles, a home run, and six runs batted in. Bruce Zimmerman allowed the O’s to put the game away thanks to his third consecutive strong outing. He threw five innings, allowing just two runs and tying his career-high with seven strikeouts.

Alonso Does It All

Pete Alonso carried the Mets offense with a two-home run game which provided all three Mets runs. Alonso struck O’s pitching in the first and ninth inning, but there was almost nothing from the offense in the innings between. The Mets had just one hit in the seven middle innings on a night where they needed a ton of offense to win.

On Wednesday, the Mets turn to Taijuan Walker and look for a split of the series against O’s. Matt Harvey gets to face his former team for the second time this season. The first pitch from Oriole Park is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Mets Game Preview: (6/8/21) @ Baltimore Orioles (21-38)

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

After getting Monday off, the New York Mets make a quick stop in Baltimore to face the Orioles for a short two-game series. The Mets are coming off a series split over the weekend in San Diego while the O’s took two out of three from the Cleveland Indians. The first pitch from Oriole Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

The Mets are still surviving in first place despite their abundance of injuries. Jonathan Villar was limited over the weekend but will return to the leadoff spot and play third base. Villar was red hot in the last nine games he played, batting .393 with a .500 on-base percentage which jumpstarted the Mets in the leadoff spot.

After losing 14 consecutive games, the Orioles have found a way to win four out of their last five games. Trey Mancini and Cedric Mullins continue to be the lone bright spots for the O’s. Mancini leads the team with 11 home runs, and Mullins leads them with a .322 batting average. John Means (2.28 ERA) is the anomaly for an Orioles pitching staff with a 4.84 team ERA, fourth-worst in MLB.

Pitching Matchup

David Peterson looks to rebound after a dreadful start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he only recorded one out. Peterson has a 5.89 ERA and has struggled to find consistency at any point this season. Against the D’Backs, he allowed three hits, three walks, and five runs on 35 pitches. With very little quality starting pitching depth, Peterson will get a long leash in the rotation.

Rookie Bruce Zimmermann makes his 10th start of the season and comes off a solid start against the Minnesota Twins. He allowed just one run over 5.2 innings and striking out seven. Zimmermann has faired much better at home, where his ERA at Oriole Park is 4.21 compared to 5.79 on the road.

Mets Ninth Inning Rally Comes Up Short in 3-2 Loss to Rockies

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets‘ offensive struggles continue as they were outscored 3-2 by the Colorado Rockies in the first game of their series. Colorado is notorious for their lack of offense on the road, but they figured out a way to outscore the Triple-A lineup the Mets rolled out.

David Peterson looked like he was going to have another short start after allowing two solo home runs in the second inning. He rebounded and put together a quality start where he allowed three runs over six innings pitched with just three strikeouts. Peterson did not have his best stuff but certainly pitched well enough to deliver a victory.

Fellow lefty Austin Gomber was the pitcher who had his good stuff. Gomber pitched eight terrific innings, pitching into the ninth, allowing two runs, and striking out eight. James McCann and Brandon Drury each tagged him for solo home runs and summed up the Mets offense. Drury’s homer started a ninth-inning rally, but the Mets stranded the tying run at second against Carlos Estevez. Offense was such a premium that each team only had one at-bat with a runner in scoring position.

McCann At First Base

McCann played his first career game at first base with the Mets in dire need of depth on their roster. On his first play, McCann made a sprawling play on a groundball to his right and made a perfect toss to Peterson for the out. Unfortunately, Johneshwy Fargas left the game with what looks like a shoulder or collarbone injury. Fargas suffered the injury after slamming into the center field fence. With 16 players on the injured list, the Mets are running out of outfield options with Kevin Pillar, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto out of commission.

Luckily, Jacob deGrom returns off the injured list on Tuesday when he makes his first start in two weeks. Kyle Freeland makes his first start of the season after being sidelined with a shoulder injury. The first pitch from Citi Field is another 7:10 p.m. ET start.

Braves Figure Out How To Beat The Mets Replacements in 5-4 Loss

The New York Mets were pulling off miracles with their roster depth but had nothing left for the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves. Manager Luis Rojas tried to ride Jacob Barnes for another inning, and Ronald Acuna had none of it. Acuna took his first pitch right over the center field fence to give the Braves a 5-4 walk-off win and avoid the sweep.

The Mets had an opportunity to take the lead in the ninth, but two consecutive popouts stranded Cameron Maybin on third base to end the inning. Rojas had to turn to his bullpen early again after David Peterson struggled in the fifth inning. Peterson began his start with four no-hit innings but allowed three runs and five hits before being lifted in the fifth.

Drew Smith and Miguel Castro delivered scoreless outings, but Aaron Loup ran into issues in the eighth. Loup allowed three consecutive hits and allowed the Braves to tie the game. Luckily, Barnes worked out of the eighth inning jam with help from the defense of James McCann.

Maybin’s Mets Debut

Maybin went from doing nothing with Cubs to making his 2021 debut as the three-hitter for the injured Mets. The lineup only had four hits, and three resulted in runs. Jonathan Villar opened up scoring with a solo home run, Jose Peraza drove in one with an RBI double, and Tomas Nido had another clutch hit with a two-run single to give them a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately, the cracks in their outfield showed as all three outfielders went hitless, and two (Maybin and Lee) recorded three strikeout games. While the offense was not there, Lee made another tremendous catch while patrolling right field.

Even if the Mets found a way to take the lead, Trevor May would have needed to pitch a third consecutive day. If they made it to extra innings, who knows what combination of pitchers would have made it to the mound. Despite the disappointing loss, the Mets left Atlanta with a rare series win and still sit in first place in the NL East. After Thursday’s day off, they will have another opportunity to take another series when they fly to Miami and face the Marlins.

Mets Game Preview: (5/19/21) @ Atlanta Braves (19-23)

The New York Mets and their bench mob attempt to pull off an improbable sweep in the third game of their series against the Atlanta Braves. Throughout all the injuries and a sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Mets have still managed to keep themselves in first place. The first pitch for the final game of the series is set for 7:20 p.m.

Bench mob leader Tomas Nido saved the Mets from going deeper in the bullpen when he launched a game-winning home run in the ninth last night. With multiple key offensive players on the injured list, the offense has to do enough to survive while the pitching does the rest. If the Mets are in a save situation again, Edwin Diaz is unlikely to pitch. Diaz has pitched for three consecutive days, and Trevor May has also thrown on back-to-back days. Closing duty is likely to fall on the shoulders of Miguel Castro, who has only pitched three times since May 9.

The Braves are in danger of falling into a tie for last place if they drop the final game of the series. Ronald Acuna is still looking for his first hit in the series, and it is no surprise that the Braves have been unable to score without his production. Acuna is facing a lefty today and is hitting .357 with a .714 slugging percentage. It is an excellent opportunity to boost his .184 May average and get his first home run of the month. Austin Riley will attempt the home run hat-trick homering in the first two games of the series. The Mets are likely to throw him a lot of breaking balls to neutralize his power numbers.

Pitching Matchup

David Peterson tries to give the Mets length and consistency; both have eluded him at times this season. Peterson worked into the eighth inning during his last start but has multiple appearances where he did not make it past the fourth inning this season. If Peterson can put up a scoreless first inning, he usually settles in for the rest of his start. This year, achieving the task has been challenging as Peterson puts up a 6.43 ERA and .654 slugging percentage against in the first frame.

The 37-year old Charlie Morton still has not settled in during his second tour in Atlanta. In eight starts, Morton has a 5.08 and has a 1.2 HR/9, his highest since 2010, where he had a 7.57 ERA. The month of May has been even more of a struggle with Morton allowing 13 runs (7 earned) in 10.2 innings, and hitters are batting .340 against him.

Matchups To Lookout For

David Peterson vs. Freddie Freeman: 0-for-6 (.000), 4 Strikeouts

Charlie Morton vs. Francisco Lindor: 2-for-16 (.125), 2 Doubles, 5 Strikeouts

Mets Winning Streak Comes to an End in 3-2 Walk-off Loss to Rays

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets bullpen was the main reason for their success in the last seven wins, but the Tampa Bay Rays found a way to crack the code. Their rallies in the eighth and ninth inning culminated in a Brett Phillips walk-off single to give the Rays a 3-2 win and end the Mets winning streak.

David Peterson bounced back in a major way from his 1.2 inning outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Peterson made it through 7.1 innings, holding the Rays to two runs on four hits while striking out nine. His two-seam fastball has movement and velocity we have not seen this season, and it helped set up his secondary pitches. Peterson retired 17 in a row at one point but ran out of steam in the eighth inning.

Mike Zunino led off with a homer, Kevin Padlo followed with a double, and Peterson left the game after striking out Brett Phillips. Trevor May followed and did not look like his dominant self as he allowed a Manuel Margot double to tie the game at two. Margot lifted his career average against the Mets to .388 by finding another way to torture Mets pitching. May kept the game tied by striking out Austin Meadows to end the inning.

Miguel Castro hoped to get the Mets to extra innings, but the Rays rally continued in the ninth. Brandon Lowe’s walk and Willy Adames seeing-eye single set up a first and third, no-out situation. Castro pitching around Zunino to load the bases for Aaron Loup to enter the game. Loup recorded a big strikeout of Joey Wendle for the second out, but Phillips attacked the first pitch cutter to single and stole the game from the Mets.

On To The Next One

By no means did the Mets bullpen get hit around, but they were not at their elite level from a majority of the season. It was a night where they needed to be perfect, and they just happened to be average. Even the elite pitchers have off nights, and there was nothing concerning coming from any of the relievers who pitched.

Tyler Glasnow lived up to his numbers by putting together another dominant start. Glasnow’s start was a three-part story with a beginning, middle, and end. He began by returning the first 14 in order and looking like he was on his way to a perfect game. In the middle, he gave up four hits in a row, including Jonathan Villar‘s two-run home run. Glasnow ended by allowing just one hit in the final three innings he pitched. He finished the night with eight stellar innings, five hits, and two allowed with 10 strikeouts.

The Mets attempt to bounce back with a bullpen game tomorrow against Rays starter Shane McClanahan. It will be an earlier 1:10 p.m. ET start from Tropicana Field.

Mets Game Preview: (5/14/21) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (20-19)

yankees, New York Mets, Luis Rojas

After a very successful homestand, the New York Mets take their show on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have two more wins than the Mets but find themselves in fourth place in the AL East while the 18 win Mets are in first place in the NL East. The first pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

The New York Mets turned the calendar to May and hit the ground running. They are 9-2 and in the middle of a seven-game winning streak which has finally seen their terrific pitching get support from their offense. Francisco Lindor is the straw that stirs the drink and has lived up to the hype during the winning streak. Lindor has played in six of the seven wins and is 8-for-20 (.400), with one home run, five walks, and just one strikeout.

Pitching is the key for the Rays, and their 3.62 ERA shows its strength. Outside of Tyler Glasnow, their best arms reside in their bullpen. Andrew Kittredge (1.65 ERA), former Met Hunter Strickland (1.69 ERA), and Diego Castillo (seven saves) lead the way for their dynamic bullpen. The offense has been a bit of a struggle as plenty of talented hitters are performing below expectations. Joey Wendle leads the team with a .270 batting average and is second with a .435 slugging.

Pitching Matchups

David Peterson gets the start and hopes to regain his control after a rough outing against the Diamondbacks. He lasted just 1.2 innings, hitting a batter and leaving a lot of threes on his line. Peterson allowed three hits, runs, walks, and struck out a trio D’Backs. Over 26 innings this season, he has a 5.54 ERA and 32 strikeouts.

The strikeouts master, Tyler Glasnow, takes the mound for the Rays and is an early AL Cy Young award candidate. Glasnow’s 75 strikeouts (3rd), .146 batting average against (4th), 49.1 innings pitched (9th) all rank amongst MLB’s best. Half of Glasnow’s starts have resulted in him finishing with double-digit strikeouts numbers.

Matchups To Lookout For

Tyler Glasnow vs. Jonathan Villar: 2-for-12 (.167), Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Tyler Glasnow vs. Kevin Pillar: 1-for-9 (.111), 4 Strikeouts

Mets Escape Philadelphia By Inches In 8-7 Victory Over Phillies

What the hell just happened?

The New York Mets survived the final game of their three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies thanks to the convenience of instant replay. Rhys Hoskins seemed to rip out the hearts over every Mets fan with a three-run game-tying home run off Edwin Diaz in the ninth.

Thanks to the wonders of instant replay, Hoskins hit the tippy-top of the fence, which changed his home run to a double. Unfortunately, Diaz had to leave the game with an undisclosed injury. Jeurys Familia came in with ice in his veins to strike out Bryce Harper and allow the Mets to crawl away with a victory.

On the offensive side for the Mets, Jose Alvarado made a horrible mistake by waking up a sleeping giant on Friday. Donnie Stevenson was born and has led the Mets to two victories against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Before diving into Alvarado’s lack of control, who would have thought Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Villar would begin a Mets comeback? In the eighth, Pillar brought the Mets within a run with his home run against Brandon Kintzler. Villar found just enough space to record a single up the middle, then wreaked havoc on the bases.

Bullpen Issues on Both Sides

Kintzler spent plenty of time occupied with Villar’s speed over the next two batters. With Villar on the move, Jose Peraza lined a single, and it banged right off the first baseman Hoskins glove. If Hoskins snagged it, the Phillies get a double play to end the inning, but it kept the Mets alive. Once Hoskins picked up the ball to make matters worse, he lobbed it back to the infield, and aggressive baserunning from Villar caught the Phils napping to tie the game.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the Mets handed a frozen platter to Alvarado. After allowing a first-pitch single, Alvarado walked Francisco Lindor and Michael Conforto consecutively to give the Mets a 5-4 lead. Phillies manager Joe Girardi turned the ball over to David Hale, who provided little relief. Pete Alonso blew the door wide open with a bases-clearing double to cap off the rally and give the Mets an 8-4 lead.

David Peterson looked like he would leave his start early after the Phillies were hitting rockets off him. A masterful double play from McNeil and Lindor gave Peterson all the momentum he needed to allow him to survive. Peterson did more than survive by getting through five innings, holding the Phils to just one run, and recording eight strikeouts.

Why Diaz?

For both team’s bullpens, making it out alive was the name of the game. At first, it looked like Miguel Castro would become the only casualty. Castro allowed a three-run homer to Didi Gregorius in the sixth inning, giving Phillies a 4-2 lead. The bullpen was due to hit a bump in the road. Heading into the night, they had thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings.

Manager Luis Rojas managed the game very well until he decided to use Diaz when he did not need to. Rojas easily could have turned to Familia, Sean Reid-Foley, or Robert Gsellman with Diaz as an insurance policy. It was evident from a four-pitch walk that Diaz would not be at his best and resulted in suffering an injury.

Somehow the Mets are 11-11 and back to a tie for first place in the NL East. They will head to St. Louis to face the Cardinals for a four-game series starting on Monday. Even though it was ugly, the Mets needed to get a couple of wins on the board and hope to carry their momentum on the rest of the road trip.