FOCO Partners with Jeff McNeil on Bat Flip Bobblehead

As the New York Mets get ready for the second half of the season, FOCO is back with another bobblehead for fans. They are partnering with Mets’ second baseman Jeff McNeil on a Bat Flip Bobblehead.

There are 144 pieces of the unique bobblehead, priced at $50 each. It features McNeil in his signature finish to his swing, getting himself ready to launch the bat into orbit after a home run. McNeil is also sporting the full beard that he has been rocking throughout the entire 2021 season. Make sure to get your hands on this amazing bobblehead before they run out!

Mets finally get star infielder back from hamstring injury

After an injury crisis that started on May and extended through June, the New York Mets are starting to get healthy just in time to defend their first place in the second half of the season. At one point they had 17 players on the injured list, but most of them have returned at this point.

One player who will be returning today is infielder/outfielder Jeff McNeil, who has been activated from the 10-day injured list and will be available off the bench for the first game of Monday’s doubleheader.

The Mets are mulling the possibility he could start the second game. The 29-year-old had been out of action since May 16 with a left hamstring strain that took over a month to fully heal. He has the talent to provide a huge lift to an improving lineup in need of some offensive thump.

Even if McNeil hasn’t had the season we are all used to seeing to this point, his hitting ability can help set the tone near the top of the Mets’ lineup. Before Monday’s action, he has a .242/.336/.374 batting line with three homers over 31 games.

He proved last year that he can get into a rhythm after a slow start, as he hit .311/.383/.454. The Mets, however, really hope to see him return to his 2019 form, in which he had a .318/.384/.531 with 23 home runs, 75 RBI, and 83 runs scored.

Mets send Robert Gsellman to the injured list

As Jeff McNeil gets of the injured list, another player is sent to it to recover from a physical ailment.

Reliever Robert Gsellman will be on the shelf for a while due to a lat problem, SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Monday.

The last time the Mets’ right-hander pitched was on Saturday against the Washington Nationals, conceding three hits in a couple of frames as the opener.

Mets Game(s) Preview: (6/21/21) vs. Atlanta Braves (33-36)

After a disappointing weekend in Washington D.C., the New York Mets return home for a crucial series against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are five games behind the Mets, and the teams play four games in three days. Monday begins with a twi-night doubleheader, and game one begins at 5:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

The Mets struggling offense will get a massive boost as Jeff McNeil will return off the IL. McNeil has not played since May 16, when he injured his hamstring during the series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Before the injury, McNeil was only hitting .242 with three home runs and eight runs batted in. The offense needs the help as they have scored just nine runs in the last five games.

The Braves come off a big series win against the St. Louis Cardinals where they took three out of four games. They have severely underachieved but are still just five games out of first place. Ronald Acuna Jr. is putting up MVP again after a rough month of May. In June, Acuna is hitting .311/.463/.574 and has stolen nine bases as he pushes towards a 40/40 season.

Pitching Matchups

Game One:

Jacob deGrom returns to the mound after leaving his last start with shoulder sorness. In the start against the Chicago Cubs, deGrom faced eight batters and struck out eight of them to lower his ERA to 0.54 on the season. Luckily for the Mets, deGrom’s injury showed no damage which allows him to return to the mound on regular rest.

Kyle Muller makes the first start of his big league career after making one relief outing. The bullpen cameo did not go well as Muller allowed four hits and two runs to the Boston Red Sox. Mullet is just 23 and has a 3.17 ERA during his minor league career.

Game Two:

The Mets have not listed a starter for the second game as they have no idea how game one will play out. Jerad Eickhoff is with the team and is likely to pitch game two if all goes well for deGrom. If Eickhoff has to pitch in game one, the second one will likely be a bullpen game.

Ian Anderson is the definite starter for the Braves and is putting together a solid rookie campaign. Yes, despite getting rookie of the year votes in 2020, Anderson is still in his rookie season. Anderson went over the 50 inning threshold this season and has been a reliable piece of the Braves rotation. After having a 2.82 ERA through nine starts, Anderson has struggled slightly to put up a 5.59 ERA in his last four outings.

Matchups To Lookout For

Jacob deGrom vs. Freddie Freeman: 15-for-58 (.259), 2 Doubles, 3 Home Runs, 8 Walks, 16 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Ronald Acuna Jr.: 8-for-25 (.320), Double, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Ozzie Albies: 5-for-37 (.135), Double, Walk, 9 Strikeouts

FOCO Releasing New York Mets Cookie Club Series 2 Bobbleheads

As promised, FOCO is back with another fantastic set of bobbleheads for New York Mets fans. The bobbleheads are part of their New York Mets Cookie Club Series, which dropped last week. This second round of bobbleheads features club members Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, and J.D. Davis.

The set of 221 bobbleheads are priced at $50 each; all show the uniqueness of each player. Davis and McNeil have their trademarked finishes on their swings while Alonso is in his relaxed batting stance at the plate. If you have not purchased the first series yet, make sure to get those as well. Both series are hot commodities, so make sure you can pre-order them before they run out!

Marcus Stroman struggles, Mets lose again as injuries pile up

The New York Mets lost again Sunday, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 7-1. The loss marks their third straight as they were swept in the series. The memory of their seven-game winning streak is now seemingly out the window.

The pitching was bad and the bats were non-existent throughout the series, getting outscored 22-8 overall. The issues on the mound, at least to this degree, came as somewhat of a surprise. As a team, the Mets were top-five in ERA and allowed the fewest home runs. Marcus Stroman gave up three today alone.

To make matters worse, the team was just 1-11 with runners in scoring position and had just 16 hits in the series, bringing their season average to .231.

While the woes shouldn’t be glossed over, they aren’t the major takeaway from today’s series finale. Instead, injuries have stolen the spotlight.

Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil both left today’s game in the first inning due to hamstring tightness. Conforto’s is the right, McNeil’s is the left. Ironically enough, they both injured themselves running to first base.

McNeil, who left with the injury after beating out an infield single to lead off the game, had the only hit for the Mets until the sixth inning. In the sixth inning, the only bright spot of the day happened.

Patrick Mazeika, who came in as Jeff McNeil’s replacement, recorded his first MLB hit with his first home run. Although that was Mazeika’s first hit, it comes after he collected two walk-offs earlier this month.

If Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto are forced to miss any time, they will join an already substantial list of important pieces the New York Mets are missing. They would join Noah Syndergaard, Carlos Carrasco, Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, Albert Almora Jr., Luis Guillorme and Jacob DeGrom, although he should be back sooner rather than later.

While the injuries are today’s headlines, they aren’t the reason for the recent struggles, per se. The Mets will look to get back on track Monday night in Atlanta.

Mets Bullpen Dominates, Lindor Shines Bright For 4-2 Win Over D’Backs

The New York Mets went deep into their bullpen for the second straight night, but they held strong for a 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Of course, offensive production is needed to win games, and the loving couple of Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor provided it for their fourth straight win.

Tommy Hunter has been with the Mets for just a couple of days but has been busy during his short tenure. After throwing two scoreless innings on Friday, he did the same as the opener tonight. Joey Lucchesi followed with 3.1 innings, where he allowed just one earned run. The following duo of Jeurys Familia and Aaron Loup made their outings interesting.

Familia struck out his two batters in the sixth, but three weak singles loaded the bases in the seventh. After falling behind 3-0 to Christian Walker, Familia battled back to get him to ground out to shortstop, and Pete Alonso‘s swift footwork prevented a potential error. Loup allowed Stephen Vogt to get on base as the tying run after his RBI single but found his way out of the inning as well.

Trevor May got the closer job in the ninth, with Edwin Diaz unavailable after pitching the last two nights. May rose to the occasion and shut the door to finish off the victory. The pitching staff was not as dominant as it was on Friday, but they were terrific at tip-toeing out of danger. They allowed eight hits, two walks, and an extra three baserunners on errors but battled to hold the D’Backs to just two runs.

Kiss And Make Up

Only Lindor, McNeil, and the rest of the Mets clubhouse really know what happened in the tunnel on Friday, but both players have responded in great ways. McNeil opened the scoring and provided half the runs for the Mets with his two-run homer in the third inning. Lindor showed off his versatility when he turned instantly turned a walk into a run. When Lindor stole second base, the throw banged off his foot and into no-mans land in left field, which allowed him to chug around the bases and score. Lindor also remained hot with the bat as he had a double and an RBI single.

The Mets were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and had four hits, but three were for extra bases. They also recorded six walks and stole two bases after having five all season heading into the night. Kevin Pillar recorded a double to go along with his stellar defense in center field and Jonathan Villar walked twice as they continue to fill their roles perfectly with key Mets on the IL.

After stressing the bullpen arms in the first two games, the Mets are in a perfect position for a sweep, with Jacob deGrom heading to the mound on Sunday. Riley Smith will take the mound for the Diamondbacks for the 1:10 p.m. ET start from Citi Field.

Richards 10 K’s Propels Red Sox To 2-1 Win Over Mets

New York Mets, David Peterson

Another day, another game where the New York Mets failed to support a strong outing from their starting pitcher. The Boston Red Sox were not much better but pushed across enough runs to support a terrific outing from Garrett Richards. They only needed five hits to support themselves in the 2-1 victory in game one of their two-game set.

Darryl Strawberry called into the SNY telecast, and the Mets desperately needed his bat against Richards. He concocted the formula most pitchers have used to beat the Mets, bend but do not break. Richards pitched seven innings, allowed seven hits, and struck out 10 in his longest outing of the season. The biggest obstacle for Richards in the past was his inability to find the strike zone, but he did not any free passes on Tuesday.

Richards also had just one three-ball count during the entire outing. Jeff McNeil‘s second-inning home run was the only damage he allowed on the night. Richards also had help from J.D. Martinez in the outfield as he recorded an assist during a rare outfield appearance. Matt Andriese and Matt Barnes shut the door by throwing 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and ninth.

Sorry Petey

David Peterson received the deGrom treatment as the tough-luck loser. Peterson did a great job to quiet a very hot Red Sox offense. In six innings, he kept the Sox to just two runs on four hits. Peterson recorded 15 outs on the ground and served up weak contact all night. Bobby Dalbec tagged him for a third-inning solo homer, and Rafael Devers bloop single gave the Red Sox the lead in the sixth inning.

This loss was another example of how bad of an offensive funk the Mets are in. Manager Luis Rojas can mix up the lineup all he wants, but if the hitters do not produce, the team will not win. Hopefully, Michael Conforto‘s two hits, including double, shows his slump is coming to an end. The biggest concern is Francisco Lindor, who barely hit the ball out of the infield. Lindor is off-balanced, overswinging, and swinging at pitches outside of his zone. He needs just one solid drive into the gap to get himself going and out of his month-long slump.

Jacob deGrom hopes to get the Mets back in the win column on Wednesday against Nick Pivetta. The first pitch is an earlier 6:40 p.m. start from Citi Field.

Mets Game Preview: (4/21/21) @ Chicago Cubs (7-9)

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets get themselves ready for another chilly night against the Chicago Cubs after a tough 3-1 loss in the first game of their series. It will be another 7:40 p.m. ET start as the Mets offense tries to get themselves going against a pitcher with an ERA over 10 to begin the season.

The Mets offense just could not muster any consistent offense against Cubs starter Jake Arrieta in game one. They had no issue getting people on base but failed to score them. Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil highlight the Mets struggles on offense but things are not as bad as they seem. When most players slump, we usually see them increase their strikeout numbers and decrease their walk rate.

Lindor and McNeil are the opposite through their early-season slumps. Lindor has just three strikeouts in 41 at-bats and has nine walks, which puts him in the top-20 in the NL. McNeil also has three strikeouts and half of his hits are for extra bases. Both carry averages of .171 and .162 and it is due to lack of quality contact. It shows in the analytics as Lindor and McNeil are in similar percentiles for average exit velocity and hard-hit percentage. Each of them is too good to carry on the slump longer and it is only a matter of days before they break out of it.

Pitching Matchups

David Peterson makes his third start of the season after one bad and one good outing against the Philadelphia Phillies to begin his season. He allowed six runs in four innings in his first go-around then followed it up with six terrific innings, allowing just one run and striking out 10, tying a career-high. The Cubs offense has barely existed this season but has found success in the power department against lefties. They have nine home runs (3rd in MLB) and a .478 (4th in MLB) slugging percentage against southpaws.

Zach Davies makes his fourth start and has found little success in his prior two. He allowed two runs in 5.2 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates to open up his season but ran into issues after that. Davies faced the Pirates again and lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing seven runs then allowed four runs in the same amount of innings against the Atlanta Braves. The odd part of his season is his inability to finish off innings. Batters are just 3-for-27 (.111) before there are two outs but they jump to 13-for-23 (.565) with two outs. Davies and his 10.32 ERA provide a great opportunity for the Mets to wake their offense up.

Matchup To Lookout For

Zach Davies vs. Michael Conforto: 2-for-10 (.200), 2 Doubles, 5 Walks, 2 Strikeouts

Zach Davies vs. Brandon Nimmo: 3-for-6 (.500), 2 Doubles, Triple, Strikeout

 

McCann’s Perfect Strike Give Mets The 2-1 Victory Over The Rockies

New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

Defensive improvement was the top priority during the New York Mets offseason, and James McCann showed why when he secured a series win against the Colorado Rockies. With two outs in the ninth, McCann foiled Trevor Story‘s stolen base attempt to give the Mets a big 2-1 victory in the mile-high city.

The Mets do not get to that point without the stellar outing from Marcus Stroman. He delivered eight terrific innings with just three hits and one run allowed on an efficient 90 pitches. Stroman made the highlight reel with his behind-the-back grab on a comebacker and five-hop throw to first base in the eighth. He now has a 0.90 ERA in three starts, which is good for the seventh-best in baseball.

Survive and Advance

The offense is still struggling to get anything going consistently, but great pitching allows the Mets to survive these games. Jeff McNeil drove in the first run with a second-inning ground out and J.D. Davis recorded the second with a fourth-inning single. Overall, the Mets are still struggling with runners in scoring position as they went 1-for-8. The Mets had an opportunity for an insurance run in the ninth, but McNeil’s failed attempt to stretch a double to a triple floundered their scoring chance.

Luckily, Edwin Diaz continued to dominate by picking up his second save in the same amount of games. His ERA is 3.18 and continues to drop after his rough outing early in the season. Brandon Nimmo also continued to stay hot by getting on base for the 11th consecutive game to start the season. He leads all of baseball with his .447 batting average and .543 on-base percentage.

The 7-4 Mets have themselves a one-game lead in the NL East after a chaotic first three weeks to the season. They have a day off on Monday as they head to Chicago to face the Cubs. If the weather obliges, they will begin a three-game series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.

Conforto’s Controversial Hit By Pitch Wins It In Mets 3-2 Walk-Off Victory

The New York Mets were a sleeping giant just waiting for someone to poke them, and Anthony Bass was the pitcher who suffered the consequences. Jeff McNeil‘s leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth woke up the offense, and Michael Conforto‘s awkward hit by pitch allowed the Mets to steal a 3-2 walk-off victory.

Both hitters desperately needed the big moments; the homer was McNeil’s first hit of the season, and Conforto was hitting just .176, which likely influenced him to lean his elbow guard right over the inside corner.  Overall, the Mets offense left eight runners on base and was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position before Conforto’s controversial HBP.

Conforto’s hit by pitch looked like it would have been strike three, and there is no doubt that he leaned into it. Since it was not a reviewable play, there was nothing home plate umpire Ron Kulpa could do about it. If it were reviewable, it was clear as day that Conforto failed to be discreet when leaning into the curveball.

Walker’s Debut

Taijuan Walker made his Mets debut and came out hot out of the gate. He reached all the way up to 97 with his fastball in the first inning. Walker started the game with 4.1 hitless innings before Brian Anderson’s single broke up the no-no. Walker’s final inning ended his start with a sour taste. Corey Dickerson‘s double tied the game at one, and Jesus Aguilar‘s single gave the Marlins a 2-1 lead they brought to the ninth. Walked finished the day with six strong innings, four strikeouts, and two runs allowed.

Nick Neidert was the spot starter for the Marlins and tip-toed out of trouble throughout his 4.1 innings pitched. He allowed three hits and five walks but held the Mets to just one run. Neidert and new pitcher Ross Detwiler had some help from center fielder Starling Marte with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning. Dominic Smith drove a majestic fly ball to center field, and Marte’s leaping catch on the warning track allowed just one run to score on the sacrifice fly. It seemed like the game saving play for the majority of the game.

The Marlins bullpen kept the 2-1 lead until Bass entered the game. Bass allowed three hits, one walk, and the mystifying hit by pitch to Conforto, which ended the game. It was his second blown save of the season, and he has allowed six runs in just 2.1 innings pitched.

The Mets get Friday off, then Jacob deGrom takes the mound for his second start of the season. Trevor Rogers will take the mound for the Marlins. The first pitch is another 1:10 p.m. ET start from Citi Field.