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.

Davis/Slater Fired, Rojas Fails With Lucchesi in Mets 6-5 Loss to Cardinals

The New York Mets play a game of craps whenever their fifth spot in the rotation comes around, and Joey Lucchesi has crapped out for them every time. It was clear from the outset that Lucchesi had nothing, and manager Luis Rojas relied on him too long in the 6-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite the loss, another story became the topic of discussion from the loss.

In a surprising move after the offense started to wake up, hitting coaches Chili Davis and Tom Slater were fired. Hugh Quattlebaum and Kevin Howard will replace them on the coaching staff. The move tells us two things: Steve Cohen is not messing around, and this is a warning shot to Rojas.

Lucchesi allowed a well-struck leadoff triple in the bottom of the first, and hard contact riddled his start. He allowed a run in each of the first two innings, including a home run to the light hitting Harrison Bader. In the third inning, Lucchesi retired the first two in order and looked like he would settle in.

The Cardinals did not go down easy as back-to-back singles set the table for Nolan Arenado. A questionable foul tip call prevented Lucchesi from recording a strikeout, and it gave Arenado all the life he needed to execute. Arenado burned the Mets and launched a mammoth three-run homer to knot the game at five. The Cards were not done as two consecutive doubles put them in the lead 6-5. It knocked Lucchesi out of the game with an ugly six earned runs in just 2.1 innings pitched.

When the fifth spot in the rotation comes up over the weekend, they may need to look elsewhere. Robert Gsellman and Sean Reid-Foley saved the Mets bullpen by combining for 4.1 shutout innings and allowing only two hits. They are not stretched out to start, but their 2-3 innings would be better than what Lucchesi could provide.

Carlos Carrasco is expected to return next week, but the Mets could also push up his return date. Instead of throwing another simulated game, the team could be better off with 4-5 innings from Carrasco. It will be a perfect tune-up before he pitches full outings.

Offensive Output

It has been a rare occurrence for the Mets offense to have nothing to do with why they lost. Pete Alonso led the way with three hits, including two doubles and a walk. Kevin Pillar also homered in his second straight game, replacing an injured Brandon Nimmo. They hit better with runners in scoring position by going 2-for-8 but left nine on base. Francisco Lindor continued his cold streak and has not recorded a hit in 21 consecutive at-bats.

The Mets attempted a rally against Cardinals closer Alex Reyes, who was a perfect 7-for-7 in save opportunities. As usual, Reyes lacked control by allowing two walks, giving Dominic Smith a chance to tie or give the Mets a lead. During Alonso’s at-bat, the stadium lights magically went out for about 30 seconds which foreshadowed Mets’ fate. Smith worked a full count but just missed a hanging curveball, flying out and allowing the Cardinals to take game one of the series.

Make a Move

A good manager puts players in the best position to succeed for a better chance at positive results. For the second consecutive night, Rojas failed to do that. On Sunday, it was using Edwin Diaz when he did not need to and leaving him in the game when he clearly did not have his best stuff.

Tonight it was leaving Lucchesi to pitch in a matchup he had no chance of winning against Arenado. He was hitting .333 against lefties this season and .320 over his career against southpaws, with elite power. Lucchesi had his back on the ropes, and Gsellman was a right-handed option in the bullpen. If Rojas does not adjust soon, he will pack his bags along with Davis and Slater.

The Mets look to bounce back for another 7:45 start from Busch Stadium as Jacob deGrom faces Johan Oviedo.

Mets Offense Chokes in Extra Innings During 4-3 Loss

New York Mets, Edwin Diaz

The “Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field were quite the opposite for the New York Mets as they dropped all three games to the Chicago Cubs. Unlike their 16-4 loss the previous night, the Mets a great chance to win this game. They had a runner on third with no outs and bases loaded with one out in the 10th but failed to take the lead. In the bottom half, the Cubs took advantage of their based loaded opportunity to win 4-3 and complete the sweep.

Jason Heyward played the hero with an RBI single, which showed the Mets how simple it is to drive in a run with the bases loaded. When the Mets had an opportunity to take the lead, Jeff McNeil struck out, and Dominic Smith grounded into a double play to foil any opportunity to win the game. The Mets went just 1-for-7 w/RISP, left eight runners on base, and are hitting .190 w/RISP.

Joey Lucchesi struggled again as he lasted just three innings and allowed the same amount of runs. Sean Reid-Foley was stellar in his Mets debut by throwing three perfect innings with four strikeouts. Reid-Foley set the tone for a Mets bullpen that was terrific all night. Trevor May followed with a scoreless seventh, then Aaron Loup and Miguel Castro combined to work around a leadoff triple in the eighth. Edwin Diaz sent the game to extra innings but allowed the bases-loaded single to take the loss.

Get The Offense Going

If you search synonyms for the word “bad,” you will find many words to describe the Mets offense. Pete Alonso did homer for the second straight game, but he was the only somewhat hot hitter in the lineup. J.D. Davis tied the game in the seventh with a pinch double after getting a night off from playing the field. Davis is 8-for-18 to begin the season and should return to the lineup on Friday because they desperately need his bat despite his struggling defense.

Despite the sweep and falling back to .500, the Mets are still tied for first place. While there is never a guarantee to win with Jacob deGrom on the mound, they will have the opportunity to take advantage of his greatness when he starts on Friday. Erick Fedde pitches for the Washington Nationals, who make their first trip to Citi Field for the 7:10 p.m. start.

Mets Game Preview: (4/22/21) @ Chicago Cubs (8-9)

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

The New York Mets look to rebound from their 16-4 loss against the Chicago Cubs and take the final game of the three-game series at Wrigley Field. After making four errors on Wednesday, manager Luis Rojas opts to add defense into the lineup for Thursday night’s game.

Luis Guillorme takes over the leadoff spot as Brandon Nimmo is still nursing a hip injury. Guillorme also gets the start at third base, which is a major upgrade from the defense of J.D. Davis. Jeff McNeil also gets a night off for the switch-hitting Jonathan Villar, who is playing second base. With Kevin Pillar in center field, this is a major upgrade for their team defense, especially with a contact pitcher on the mound.

The Mets also made a move before the game to bring up Sean Reid-Foley and send Trevor Hildenberger to the alternate site. Hildenberger allowed a grand slam to Javier Baez during last night’s loss. We should not expect to see Reid-Foley unless another blowout occurs in tonight’s game.

Pitching Matchups

Joey Lucchesi makes his second start with the Mets after a bumpy first start in Colorado. Lucchesi allowed three runs in the same amount of innings and was limited in the number of pitches he was allowed to throw. After burning through their bullpen in the first two games, Lucchesi should get more of a leash from Rojas tonight.

Trevor Williams takes the mound for the Cubs and has sandwiched one bad start between two good ones. He held the Atlanta Braves to just one run in five innings pitched and worked around seven base runners. Williams comes into the night with a 5.02 ERA in 14.1 innings during the young season.

Matchups To Lookout For

Joey Lucchesi vs. Javier Baez: 5-for-6 (.833), 2 Doubles, 2 Home Runs

Joey Lucchesi vs. David Bote: 4-for-5 (.800), 2 Doubles, Strikeout

Trevor Williams vs. Michael Conforto: 4-for-11 (.364), Double, Home Run, Walk, Strikeout

Mets Game(s) Preview: (4/17/21) @ Colorado Rockies (3-10)

Mother Nature was once again mean to the New York Mets as snow showers prevented the first game of their series with the Colorado Rockies. Thanks to the snow, the Mets will play their second straight doubleheader after another cancellation.

7 of the original 15 games for the Mets have already been canceled, and there may still be more cancellations in the upcoming week. Despite the wacky schedule, the Mets sit in first place by half a game over the second-place Philadelphia Phillies.

The Rockies are a much different story. Trevor Story is the lone star on the team after Nolan Arenado was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals, beginning the rebuilding period for the Rockies. They have lost six straight games, but Ryan McMahon has started strong by leading the team in batting average, home runs, RBIs, and hits.

Pitching Matchups

Jacob deGrom gets the ball for game one and has been as good as advertised to begin the season. The Mets are 0-2 in his starts, but none of it is deGrom’s fault. A combination of bad defense and ugly offense has wasted his outings. Coors Field is hell for most pitchers, but deGrom has faired well with a 2.51 ERA in two prior starts in Colorado.

Chi Chi Gonzalez starts for the Rockies and has a 3.60 ERA over 3 outings (1 start) this season. Gonzalez only has five strikeouts in 10 innings pitched and has not pitched in a week. He will likely be on a short leash in his outing as the Rockies try to build his stamina.

Joey Lucchesi makes his first start with the Mets in the nightcap. Lucchesi has had a long rest after pitching two scoreless innings in the Mets third game of the season. After spending three seasons with the San Diego Padres, Lucchesi is very familiar with Coors Field but has a 5.56 ERA in five prior starts. He will be another pitcher who is not expected to pitch deep into the game.

German Marquez will pitch for the Rockies and looks to build on two straight solid outings where he allowed three runs in both. The Achilles heel for Marquez has been the inability to limit base runners. His 1.79 WHIP is dead last among qualified starters, and the Mets offense is known for their ability to flood the bases and work deep counts.

Mets Cannot Recover From Peterson’s First Inning in 8-2 Loss to Phillies

Simeon Woods-Richardson

David Peterson‘s first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies symbolized the New York Mets issues during their opening series. Flat, rusty, and a step slow as the Phillies tagged Peterson for four runs to put the Mets in an early first-inning hole. Rhys Hoskins‘s solo home run and Alec Bohm‘s three-run homer gave them a 4-0 lead they never looked back from in their 8-2 victory.

Peterson bookended three shutout innings with ugly first and fifth innings. Hoskins got to Peterson again with a double in the fifth, and Bryce Harper‘s drag bunt gave the Phillies a first and third situation. Peterson left the game, and Jacob Barnes made his Mets debut in relief but gave the Mets little help. J.T. Realmuto swatted Barnes’s first pitch over the right field fence to put the game out of reach at 7-1.

Wasted Opportunities

The Mets offense made Phillies ace Aaron Nola worked extremely hard through his four innings of work. Nola worked around eight baserunners to hold the Mets to one run on 92 pitches. The ability to get runners on base but failure to score them was the story of their game. They recorded 11 hits but left 14 runners on base and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Combine all those factors, and you get their two-run effort. Michael Conforto struggled the most in his 0-for-5 day with two strikeouts and nine left on base.

The silver lining from the game is Joey Lucchesi‘s two innings to finish off the loss. Lucchesi struck out two and only allowed one hit as he tries to keep himself ready for a start next week. Jonathan Villar also finished a home run shy of the cycle.

A 1-2 start to year always stings, but a full 162 game season allows plenty of time to rebound from a rough start. The Mets return to Citi Field for their home opener, with Taijuan Walker making his Mets debut. They will face the Miami Marlins, who have not announced a starter yet due to the current injuries in their rotation. The first pitch from Queens is at 1:05 p.m.

Canceling The Mets Opening Series Could Open Up The Starting Rotation

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The last 24 hours leading to Opening Day were a complete whirlwind for the New York Mets. At 11 p.m. on Wednesday, they announced the Francisco Lindor extension, which set the momentum going towards the following night’s game. 12 hours later, the disappointment of a postponed game quickly calmed down the positive vibes heading into the day.

The Mets knew there was at least one positive COVID case on Wednesday, but the announcement of two more on Thursday forced a postponement of game one. While the three positives do not affect the Mets roster, there could still be more lingering throughout the Nats clubhouse. The players in close contact also quarantine for a limited time. Even with a taxi squad, the Nats will need to make more roster moves to field a 26-man roster for their first game. They faced this same issue at the beginning of 2020 when Juan Soto missed time with a positive test.

Rotation Strength

For the Mets, we still know that Jacob deGrom will pitch the first game of the season, no matter when they play. At this point, it seems that they will open their season on Monday, April 5, in Philadelphia against the Phillies. It still allows Luis Rojas to set his 4-man rotation as he planned before the postponements. deGrom will be followed by Marcus Stroman, David Peterson, and Taijuan Walker before their off-day on Friday.

The Mets ace can return to the mound Saturday, and they can go all the way to April 14 without using a fifth starter. This would be one of two games in April where the Mets would need a fifth starter. After Joey Lucchesi‘s start on the 14th, they have the following two Mondays off. This allows deGrom to get his usual rest and sneak in an extra start out of it. The Mets also get the final Thursday in April off, which allows them to get back to the 4-man rotation for another week.

Not only does this help the current roster, but it helps the Mets on the shelf. Carlos Carrasco‘s absence will not feel as Lucchesi only has two April starts. The same could be said for Seth Lugo as they get an extra arm in the bullpen when Lucchesi goes more than his regular rest without making a start. Of course, we all want the Mets season to get started, but this is the best way to bring light to a dark situation.

Lindor Starts, Smith/Alonso Puts Away Astros in Mets 8-3 Victory

The New York Mets offense was rolling on all cylinders during their 8-3 win against the Houston Astros. 12 hits, 5 for extra bases, helped support another terrific outing from Joey Lucchesi. He had some help from Jacob Barnes, who struck out two as the Mets opener, a role Manager Luis Rojas seems to favor Barnes in.

Lucchesi threw 4.2 innings in “relief” and held the Astros to one run, and struck out four. His only blemish came on an Alex Bregman solo-home run in his final inning of work. The opener worked out perfectly for Lucchesi because he retired the first eight batters he faced. Trevor May was touched up for a Yordan Alvarez home run in his inning of work but struck out two batters. Jerry Blevins finished off the ninth inning as he tries to earn the final spot in the Mets bullpen.

Francisco Lindor had a sparkling day on both sides of the ball. Lindor made a terrific play, ranging to the first base side of the field to throw out a base runner. He was a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a walk. Dominic Smith also homered twice and went back-to-back with Pete Alonso in the seventh inning.

On Sunday, the Mets head back to Jupiter to face the Miami Marlins with Mike Montgomery (1-0, 0.00 ERA) making the start. The first pitch is at 1:10 p.m. ET but will not be on any of the Mets networks.

New York Mets choose their fifth starter to start the season

Just a few hours after implying they would wait until closer the start of the regular season to officially name a fifth starter, the New York Mets reversed course and all but appointed left-hander Joey Lucchesi as the last member of the rotation for the start of the campaign.

The press asked the Mets’ manager Luis Rojas to compare the two pitchers vying for the last spot, Jordan Yamamoto and Lucchesi, this week, and the skipper had said that “it’s tough still right now for us to make that decision,” explaining that they would wait to just before Opening Day to make it public.

However, on Wednesday, the New York Mets optioned Yamamoto and fringe candidate Corey Oswalt to Triple-A Syracuse after the 3-0 loss to the Cardinals. In the process, they effectively penciled Lucchesi in as their fifth starter, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.

The Mets have their five pitchers for the rotation

The Mets do know, however, that injuries can strike at any time and the equation could potentially change again. However, for now, that appears to be the plan, as the team is set to enter the season with Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Taijuan Walker, David Peterson and Lucchesi as their starting pitchers.

“I like how he (Lucchesi) controlled the running game [Monday]. He was changing speeds well. His fastball’s got the zip, something he didn’t have last year. … The pitch-type repertoire from Yamamoto is deeper. He’s got a lot of pitches on the menu — different than Lucchesi, who’s got only like three pitches. So they’re two different pitchers. Both strike-throwers. Both control the running game well. I think Lucchesi’s got more experience starting games,” Rojas said this week about the duo.

The former Marlins pitcher has a 1.08 ERA in Grapefruit League play, whereas Lucchesi, who came to the Mets in a three-team trade with the Padres and Pirates, has a 3.24 mark.

Mets won’t name fifth starter until just before Opening Day

The New York Mets have two top starters currently on the shelf. Noah Syndergaard is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery performed about a year ago, while Carlos Carrasco recently tore his hamstring and is expected to be out at least for several weeks.

The Mets, however, addressed pitching heavily during the offseason. Carrasco himself was a trade acquisition, and the team also signed Taijuan Walker, Jerad Eickhoff, Jordan Yamamoto, traded for Joey Lucchesi, and extended a qualifying offer to Marcus Stroman, which he accepted.

Jacob deGrom, Stroman, Walker, and David Peterson are expected to be the top four options in the rotation. However, Lucchesi and Yamamoto are fighting for that fifth and last rotation spot.

The Grapefruit League doesn’t have enough innings for the two men (and the rest of the Mets’ staff) so Yamamoto pitched a simulated game Tuesday at their Port St. Lucie, Fla. complex. He covered five innings as manager Luis Rojas looked on, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

On Monday, Lucchesi pitched better than his final line suggested: he conceded three runs over 3 1/3 innings of a Grapefruit League game against the Astros.

Mets’ manager Luis Rojas is still evaluating the candidates

When the media asked the Mets’ skipper to compare the two hurlers, Rojas noted that “it’s tough still right now for us to make that decision,” and explained that a final decision isn’t expected until just before Opening Day.

“I’m learning [about] Lucchesi more,” the manager said. “I like how he controlled the running game [Monday]. He was changing speeds well. His fastball’s got the zip, something he didn’t have last year. … The pitch-type repertoire from Yamamoto is deeper. He’s got a lot of pitches on the menu — different than Lucchesi, who’s got only like three pitches. So they’re two different pitchers. Both strike-throwers. Both control the running game well. I think Lucchesi’s got more experience starting games.”

Yamamoto has a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 spring innings, while Lucchesi’s mark is 3.24 in the same number of frames.