Mets’ starting pitcher has a UCL tear, Tommy John surgery likely

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The New York Mets are, generally speaking, getting healthier. They had 17 players on the injured list at one point this month, but some of them are already back or will return soon. The pitching depth, however, has suffered major hits in the last couple of weeks.

First, Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco suffered setbacks in their respective recoveries, all but dismissing them for the first half of the season. And now, left-handed starter Joey Lucchesi will be out of action for a while, too.

The southpaw has a torn ligament in his pitching elbow, according to a piece published in the Mets’ website. An MRI revealed the awful news, and while the team and the pitcher are looking for a second opinion, Tommy John surgery is a real possibility since it is a UCL tear.

The news couldn’t come at a worse time for the Mets and Lucchesi, who had risen up his performance significantly in the last few weeks. The lefty had a 1.19 ERA over his last five starts.

After twirling 5 1/3 scoreless innings on Friday, Lucchesi complained of left elbow soreness, and that’s when the Mets had him undergo the MRI.

“Even though that’s the first thing that comes to mind about having the surgery, he wanted — and we wanted — to hear a second opinion on it,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said to MLB.com.

Lucchesi is currently 1-4 with a 4.46 ERA, mostly the product of an awful start of the season.

“It’s a big loss for us,” Rojas said. “A talented young kid that I think is just getting better every time he goes out there. Let’s see what comes out of this. The second opinion will let us know for sure what the decision’s going to be.”

The Mets will be players at the deadline

On the heels of Lucchesi’s injury, the Mets are widely expected to be players at the trade deadline as buyers. They need reliability and upside to replace Lucchesi, Carrasco, and Syndergaard.

In the meantime, Jerad Eickhoff will likely handle a spot in the rotation. He pitched well in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader.

“It’s a challenge once again,” Rojas said. “This is a baseball season. It’s full of challenges. You have it with the injuries. You have it with the ups and downs of some guys throughout the season, and you have it facing the other teams, really good teams that you’re playing. So there’s challenges everywhere. We’re meeting this one right now.”

Tatis Jr. Powers Padres To 7-3 Victory Over Mets to Avoid Sweep

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen wanted them to pull off a sweep of the San Diego Padres, and Fernando Tatis Jr. made sure it did not happen. His mammoth 444-foot grand slam broke a 2-2 tie, and they never looked back to escape New York with a 7-3 win.

Joey Lucchesi had another excellent, five-inning outing. He only allowed one run and struck out six but was taken out after 72 pitches. From this point, manager Luis Rojas began his numerous questionable decisions. Jeurys Familia replaced Lucchesi, and after escaping a busy sixth inning, he went back out for the seventh. Since the Mets had a short bullpen, they would have been better off trying to push Lucchesi, instead of Familia, for an extra-inning.

Throwing The White Flag

Rojas’s plan backfired, and Familia was left in for 41 pitches. He walked in the tying run and left Jacob Barnes to face Tatis Jr. with the bases loaded. Barnes was a horrible matchup for multiple reasons. He has allowed four home runs in 18.1 innings, Tatis Jr. is a top-5 home run leader, and Barnes throws a cutter towards the outside corner, which Tatis Jr. covers as well as any hitter. Manny Machado also followed up with another majestic home run off of Barnes.

Jose Peraza continued his Padres dominance with a two-run home run, and Tomas Nido added a single that featured an error to drive in the third Mets run. As a team, the Mets turned four double plays, but it was not enough to help out the pitching staff, which has been dominant at home.

On Monday, the Mets continue the homestand when the Chicago Cubs come into town. David Peterson looks to turn around his season against a starter to be determined for the Cubs. The first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

Snell Makes It Look Easy in Padres 2-0 Win Over Mets

New York Mets, Luis Rojas

The New York Mets have never done well against San Diego Padres starter Blake Snell, and the trend continued in their 2-0 loss. Snell had everything going against the Mets and held them hitless for the first six innings of the game, and worked out of a massive jam in the seventh inning.

The seventh inning was the one that settled the game with the score still 1-0. Francisco Lindor broke up the no-no with a leadoff single and advanced to third with an error from left fielder Tommy Pham. Snell rose to the occasion by striking out James McCann, getting Pete Alonso to pop out in a nine-pitch at-bat, and striking out Brandon Drury to end the inning. He finished the outing with seven one-hit innings with ten strikeouts and brought his ERA below five.

Wil Myers double and Jurickson Profar‘s hit by pitch in the bottom half resulted in a first and second no-out situation for the Padres. Drew Smith ended up turning a bunt into a 1-5-3 double play but ended up walking Tucupita Marcano to load the bases. Smith had Marcano stuck out on a check-swing, but umpires Quinn Wolcott and Nick Mahrley were the only two people in the stadium who thought he did not swing.

Find The Zone

Jeurys Familia tried to escape the jam but walked two in a row to give the Padres their second run. Familia got Jake Cronenworth to fly out to end the inning but the damage had already been done. Within the seventh the momentum swung from the Padres to the Mets then back to the Padres at the end of the inning.

In the ninth, the Mets attempted another comeback against Padres closer Mark Melancon. Lindor and Alonso singled to create a two-out opportunity for Drury but he struck out for the fourth time on the night. During the inning Quinn Wolcott made another of many horrible calls on McCann’s strikeout. Wolcott ejected McCann and manager Luis Rojas who got their money’s worth after he was inconsistent for both teams.

Injuries Catching Up

The replacement players in the Mets lineup went just 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts. Against bad teams the Mets have gotten away with “B” and “C” lineups but it will not work against winning teams like the Padres. The loss drops the Mets to 2-12 against teams over .500 and many of the losses are due to the lack of offense.

Joey Lucchesi put together a third straight solid outing and this one came against his former team. Lucchesi pitched 4.2 innings and allowed one run which came on Manny Machado’s first inning homer. With the recent news to Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard, it looks like Lucchesi will remain in the rotation in the long run. If Lucchesi can find consistent success we should see him surpass the 80+ pitch threshold to go deeper in games.

After facing two aces to start the series, the Mets roll out their own in Jacob deGrom for Saturday’s game. He faces off against Joe Musgrove who has a no-hitter this year and an ERA just over two. For the third straight night, it will be a 10:10 p.m. ET start from Petco Park.

Mets Game Preview: (6/4/21) @ San Diego Padres (35-23)

The New York Mets look to rebound from their tough loss to the San Diego Padres in game one of their four-game series. Their understaffed roster came close to making a comeback against the Padres bullpen but could never tie the game. The Padres bullpen bent but did not break and escape with a 4-3 victory. Game two of the series is another late night 10:10 p.m. ET start.

James McCann has been red hot over the last six games and has been the backbone of the Mets offense. He is 10-for-22 with three home runs and three doubles. During this streak, McCann has taken his average from .197 to .234 and is continuing to play tremendous defense. Francisco Lindor is in the middle of a six-game hitting streak and is hitting .385 over that span.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is facing a lefty tonight, and it has been his kryptonite this year. He only has 28 at-bats against them and is hitting just .214 with two home runs against them. The Padres will welcome Tommy Pham back to the lineup after his scary collision with Ha-Seong Kim earlier this week.

Pitching Matchup

Joey Lucchesi returns where his career started to face the Padres for the first time. He has pitched exceptionally well over his last two outings, allowing one run in 7.2 combined innings pitched. In his career at Petco Park, Lucchesi has a 3.19 ERA in 33 career outings.

Former Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell is on the bump for the Padres. Snell has been far from his Cy Young form with a 5.55 ERA and averaging just under six walks per nine innings. In his last two starts, he has allowed 12 runs and three home runs. Despite the lousy ERA, he has 70 strikeouts in just 47 innings pitched.

Matchups To Lookout For

Blake Snell vs. James McCann: 3-for-9 (.333), Home Run, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Blake Snell vs. Kevin Pillar: 7-for-16 (.438), 2 Doubles, Walk, Strikeouts

Blake Snell vs. Francisco Lindor: 1-for-15 (.067), Double, 3 Strikeouts

Mets Game(s) Preview: (5/27/21) vs. Colorado Rockies (19-30)

After some ugly weather on Thursday, the New York Mets and Colorado Rockies link up for a doubleheader to complete their four-game series. The Rockies took game one, and the Mets took game two, with each win featuring a stellar pitching performance. Game one of the DH starts at 12:10 p.m. ET and game two starts shortly after.

Both teams are searching for offense as all the winners in the first two games needed were three runs. The Rockies are notoriously known for their horrible home/road splits, but they took it to a whole never level this year. They are hitting .203 with 12 home runs and a .303 slugging percentage, all the worst road numbers in MLB. Tuesday’s Mets lineup only had two people hitting over .250, and one of them was Jacob deGrom. Billy McKinney makes his Mets debut and is thrust into the four spot in the order.

Pitching Matchups 

Game 1

Marcus Stroman takes the mound for the Mets and looks to put together back-to-back good starts for the second time all year. Stroman’s first three starts gave him a terrific 0.90 ERA. He has a 3.90 ERA in his last six starts with some up and down outings. His best start of the season came against the Rockies at Coors Field, where he held them to one run in eight innings.

German Marquez makes his second start against the Mets in 2021, with his first also coming during a doubleheader. He pitched all seven innings and held the Mets to just two runs. The month of May has not brought the same success he had earlier in the season. Marquez has a 5.95 ERA and an uncharacteristic 11 in 19.2 May innings.

Game 2

Joey Lucchesi gets his fifth start of the season and hopes to replicate the success from his last outing. Lucchesi struck out eight in four innings but was yanked after just 43 pitches. If he is in another groove, the Mets may be inclined to let his pitch count elevate. The Rockies gave Lucchesi trouble at Coors Field when he allowed three runs in the same amount of innings.

Antonio Senzatela will pitch for the Rockies, and his season has been filled with inconsistency. He has been better over his last two starts allowing one run against the Reds and two against the Diamondbacks. Senzatela was great when he faced the Mets earlier this season, pitching six innings, allowing two runs (one earned), and striking out four in a loss.

Matchups To Lookout For

German Marquez vs. Jonathan Villar: 4-for-10 (.400), 2 Doubles, Strikeout

German Marquez vs. Brandon Drury: 3-for-16 (.188), 2 Doubles, Home Run, 2 Strikeouts

Marcus Stroman vs. Trevor Story: 3-for-9 (.333), Double

Antonio Senzatela vs. Francisco Lindor: 1-for-9 (.111), Home Run, 2 Strikeouts

Joey Lucchesi vs. Garrett Hampson: 5-for-15 (.333), Double, Home Run, 3 Strikeouts

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.