New York Mets: deGrom’s Four Run Sixth Gives Marlins 5-3 Victory

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

The miserable New York Mets continue to struggle as Jacob deGrom cannot save them from a four-game losing streak. After cruising through five innings, it was a completely different deGrom in the sixth inning. The pesky Miami Marlins put across four runs and held off the Mets offense to win 5-3.

Things went bad for deGrom from the start of the inning. He lost the feel for his slider, and Garrett Cooper teed off on one for a 451-foot home run, cutting the Mets lead down to one. Pete Alonso’s error on a Matt Joyce ground ball opened up the lanes for the Marlins to steal bases. They stole four on the day, three off deGrom.

Joyce’s steal of second on a Brian Anderson strikeout allowed Lewin Diaz to record an RBI double, tying the game at two. Miguel Rojas gave the Marlins the lead with a bloop single, then Jorge Alfaro doubled to close the book on the four-run sixth.

Rogers Bent But Did Not Break

Trevor Rogers did not pitch as well as his first start against the Mets but showed his ability to battle once again. He held the Mets to two runs over five innings and used his fastball/changeup combination to keep the Mets off balance.

Jeff McNeil doubled, and Dominic Smith hit a sacrifice fly to give the Mets their only two runs off of Rogers. The team struggled again with runners in scoring position, only going 2-for-10. They squandered leadoff doubles in the fourth and fifth, which came back to bite them. Both were opportunities to create separation. It would have allowed deGrom to pitch more aggressively and rest the key arms in the Mets bullpen.

The loss showed the cluelessness of manager Luis Rojas. In no fashion does Pete Alonso deserve to hit in the two-hole, and Wilson Ramos does not deserve to hit fourth. Lefty or righty, both are two of the worst hitters on the roster at this time. He also continues to DH Robinson Cano instead of putting him at second, McNeil in left field, Smith at first, and Alonso as the DH. Smith looks like Keith Hernandez at first base when compared to Alonso.

Despite all the negativity from the last few days, they still have a chance to make the playoffs with a short winning streak. They will try to start one against the Baltimore Orioles. Game one is at 7:35 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and per usual, the Mets have no idea who is pitching.

New York Mets Series Preview: Miami Marlins (8/25-8/27)

The New York Mets are finally back in action after a couple of positive COVID-19 tests halted their season. They will pick up with the same team they left off against in the Miami Marlins. Their schedule is jammed packed for the next week, and it starts with four games in three days.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tuesday, 8/25 @ 5:10 p.m. ET: Daniel Castano (0-2, 5.91 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (1-3, 5.76 ERA)

Tuesday, 8/25 @ Directly After the First Game: TBD vs. Seth Lugo (1-2, 2.61 ERA)

Wednesday, 8/26 @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Elieser Hernandez (1-0, 2.29 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (2-0, 1.93 ERA)

Thursday, 8/27 @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Sixto Sanchez (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. TBD

For everyone speculating about who the Met with COVID is, we have our list narrowed down to two. Tomas Nido and Andres Gimenez were put on the injured list without a specific injury, which is the norm when it is a COVID-19 related listing. The player without a positive test is on the IL likely due to close contact with the staff member who tested positive.

Back to the Schedule

The Marlins are a team familiar with returning to the field after a long layoff. They have to miss a large chunk of their schedule after the virus spread throughout their team very early in the season. It stunted their hot start to the season, and their record has not recovered yet.

Rick Porcello gets the first start of the twi-night doubleheader and looks to continue his good stretch on the mound. After putting up a 13.50 ERA during his first two starts, he has a 3.32 ERA since despite hitters batting over .300 against him over that stretch. One of those two numbers is going to balance out the other. It is tough to maintain success when batters are continuously getting on base.

Seth Lugo also returns to the starting rotation for the first time since the 2018 season. Lugo will remain in the rotation as long as he pitches well, but the Mets will have to be careful when building up his stamina. He has been pitching with a partially torn UCL, and there has to be a concern that becoming a starter will cause more damage if pushed too far. As such a valuable asset to the Mets pitching staff, the Mets desperately need him healthy.

Matchups to Look Out For

Jacob deGrom vs. Lewis Brinson: 4-for-22 (.182), Double, 8 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Jon Berti: 6-for-15 (.400), 3 Doubles, 2 Strikeouts

Dominic Smith w/RISP: .318/.393/.682, Home Run, 15 RBI

Seth Lugo Career As a Starter: 13-8, 4.06 ERA, 31 Starts

New York Mets Series Preview: Miami Marlins (8/17-8/20)

New York Mets, David Peterson

A matchup between the last-place New York Mets and first place Miami Marlins takes place in Miami for the first time during the 2020 season. The Marlins are the only team the Mets are over .500 against during 2020, taking two out of three so far.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Monday, (8/17) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Robert Gsellman (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. Jordan Yamamoto (0-1, 9.82 ERA)

Tuesday, (8/18) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: David Peterson (3-1, 2.91 ERA) vs. TBD

Wednesday, (8/19) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: TBD vs. TBD

Thursday, (8/20) @ 6:10 p.m. ET: TBD vs. TBD

Both teams come into the series with their starting rotations in shambles. The Mets have multiple pitchers dealing with injuries, while COVID-19 has kept the Marlins starters from taking the field. Despite their problems, the Marlins have the sixth-best ERA in baseball, while the Mets sit in the bottom third of baseball.

Will the Bats Wake Up?

The struggles of Pete Alonso and Wilson Ramos are hampering the Mets’ ability to drive in runs through the first half of the season. Both are barely hitting over .200 and are not supplying any power when they do put the ball in play. They also have to deal with other players who are outplaying them.

Tomas Nido is already better defender than Ramos and, at the moment, a better hitter as well. Manager Luis Rojas should look to ride the hot hand until he cools off or Ramos heats up. Dominic Smith has emerged as the Mets’ best power threat, and with the multiple options, the Mets have, Alonso is the odd man out for now. Luis Guillorme is white-hot at the plate, Jeff McNeil likely returns to left field during the series and a hot Robinson Cano at DH makes it tough to continue to play Alonso while the offense is cold.

Who Pitches the Last Two Games?

With the future of Steven Matz in the starting rotation as a significant question, Franklyn Kilome may make a start at the end of the series. In his only big-league outing, he allowed two runs over four innings while striking out five. Kilome is still an unproven option, but it is hard to think he will pitch worse than the 9.00 ERA Matz currently owns.

Jacob deGrom is also recovering a neck injury, but the Mets have been silent on his status. The injury was severe enough to scratch him from his start but no severe enough for an IL stint or rule him out for the last two games of the series. Each series has become a must-win for the Mets, and they will need their ace on their mound as often as possible.

Interesting Stats

Dominic Smith Batting Fourth in 2020: 6-for-15 (.400), 2 Doubles, 2 Home Runs, 6 RBIs, Walk, 3 Strikeouts

Luis Guillorme vs. RHP in 2020: 11-for-21 (.524), 2 Doubles, 5 RBI, 3 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

New York Mets OBP: .346 (2nd in MLB)

New York Mets OBP w/RISP: .296 (27th in MLB)

Should MLB make teams forfeit games missed to poor decisions bringing coronavirus into league?

Less than two weeks into the 2020 MLB season, we’ve seen two coronavirus outbreaks with two different teams. The Miami Marlins had 20 positive tests, while the Cardinals are at 13.

The unfortunate thing is that both outbreaks could have been prevented. It’s believed that both outbreaks were the result of players leaving the team hotel and then catching the virus, exposing teammates and coaches.

“We did have a couple of individuals leave the hotel,” said Marlins owner Derek Jeter. “We had guys leave to get coffee, to get clothes. A guy left to have dinner at a teammate’s house. There were no other guests on site”.

However, with the Cardinals, it’s reported that some players went to a casino, possibly catching the virus and bringing it back to the team. Since the outbreaks, players and staff are prohibited from leaving the hotel, unless it’s to go to the ballpark.

So, with two MLB coronavirus outbreaks that could have been prevented, should the league punish teams for the decisions of players? Should the league force teams that make irresponsible decisions to forfeit games? There might not be time to make up all the games that the Marlins and Cardinals have missed, so in my opinion, those teams should have to forfeit games that can’t be rescheduled.

Doing that would show players that the MLB is serious about their coronavirus policies, and it will give players an incentive to comply. Are positive cases going to still happen? Yes. But teams should be punished if the cases or outbreaks could have been prevented.

If an outbreak starts because a player needs to get necessities, then that’s one thing. But teams shouldn’t get games rescheduled if an outbreak starts because someone goes to a casino or to a club. They should be automatic wins to the team that complied with the rules.

The Marlins are set to return on Tuesday, while the Cardinals won’t return any earlier than Friday.

 

 

 

 

Yankees’ Aaron Boone touches on MLB’s recent situation

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

The New York Yankees’ schedule has been shaken up due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Marlins organization. They were supposed to start a home and away series against the Phillies on Monday, but ended up postponing the series after finding out about the ten new cases that Miami had to deal with after leaving Philadelphia.

The Marlins were supposed to play the Orioles but didn’t have enough players to even field a lineup. Now the Phillies are off until Friday, and the Marlins won’t play until next week. Because of this, the Yankees and Orioles decided to create a two-game series between themselves. New York will spend tonight and tomorrow night playing in Baltimore. 

Aaron Boone shared his thoughts yesterday about how this would change his original plans. “We are fortunate enough to have a group that is very focused.” “So I feel like, from a focus standpoint, we’re ready.” Then, he was asked about his reaction to hearing about the Marlins situation and said, “I think of it more as your heart goes out to the individual players,” and that “you hope your guys are able to turn it around and get back on the field.” 

Boone went on to talk about how he expects his team to handle situations like this. He stated, “We always try to be prepared for adversity,” and “we knew going into this we were going to have to prepare for some uncomfortable situations.” He finished by saying, “It’s one of those things that’s going to be critical if you are going to be able to have success on the field this year.” Aaron Boone seemed to be very content with where the Yankees are at right now. He also seems optimistic about the chances of the season going strong. 

Will the season make it the distance for the Yankees and others?

There are still lots of questions about how well the MLB will handle this situation. Lots of fans and analysts have their worries about the MLB being able to complete their season without any setbacks. They have often compared the way the NBA has handled things and have received backlash about not incorporating some sort of bubble-like plan for major league baseball. However, in many ways, the MLB does it better than the NBA. The way that they are testing their players, to some, might seem more organized.

For as long as the MLB season will continue, there are always going to be people that have their doubts. However, it’s about making sure the players can play the game they love while staying safe at the same time. Every time a mass amount of players get sick, there are going to be people chirping in the MLB’s ear. But overall, it’s about making sure the correct safety precautions are in place. The Yankees seem very happy with the MLB so far. Look to see how the MLB handles different COVID-19 situations throughout the season.

MLB examines the possibility of Phillies and Marlins quarantining for an undetermined period of time

A total of 15 players of the Miami Marlins’ 30-man active roster tested positive for COVID-19, which is among the worst-case scenarios for MLB and the 2020 season. The Marlins played against the Phillies over the weekend, and while the latter is finishing up tests, the New York Yankees won’t be facing them tonight.

The situation is slowly getting out of control, and MLB is currently discussing several scenarios that would allow them to continue with the season but also preserving the health of the players and the other teams.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, one of the possibles paths that MLB could take given the situation is having both the Marlins and the Phillies quarantining for an undetermined period of time.

MLB needs to be flexible if it wants to complete season

The idea would be to ensure that most of the players that tested positive can get back into the field as soon as possible (with the proper two negative tests separated by at least 24 hours,) thus avoiding the situation of Miami having to replace 15 players of their active roster with taxi squad members.

Because the Baltimore Orioles were supposed to play against the Marlins in Miami this week, and the Yankees were going to face the Phillies in Philadelphia, the Bombers would be going up against the O’s under this scenario, playing Wednesday and Thursday.

MLB would like the Phillies and Marlins to try and make up for the missed games later in the season, if possible. The league has indicated that despite its desire for every team to play 60 games, it needs to be flexible during the pandemic.

That’s why MLB will determine the playoff spots by winning percentage. The possibility of the coronavirus effectively ending the season remains, but for now, the league is trying to navigate the situation.

New York Yankees receive good news for Wednesday game against Baltimore

The New York Yankees have received good news this afternoon, as they are expected to play a two game series against the Baltimore Orioles beginning on Wednesday. The team was originally supposed to play the Phillies this week, but that was disrupted because of coronavirus.

Philadelphia played a series this past weekend against the Miami Marlins, who now have almost half their roster positive for coronavirus. Miami hid positive tests from the Phillies in order to conclude their three game series on Sunday.

Instead of telling the truth, Miami’s antics have affected the league. It’s led to four games postponed for the Yankees and Phillies, as the teams were supposed to play two in Philly before traveling to New York for two. No Phillies have tested positive and the Yankees are at no additional risk, just victim to Miami’s poor decision.

Miami has been shut down for at least a week, the league postponing all their games until then.

The MLB is trying to change the schedule to accommodate all teams and to play as many games as possible. They realize 60 games may not be possible for all teams, so some postseason spots and seeding could be based off of winning percentage instead of record.

Games will be made up if possible, and the expanded roster makes more makeup games likely. But due to the nature of this year’s schedule, not all games may be able to be made up. If a team only plays 57 games, the league could just call it good enough.

A makeup series against the Phillies could replace a series against the Orioles down the road for the Yankees. That way, teams will still only play their divisional rivals 10 times.

MLB: The first team is opening their spring facility. Is this a sign of things to come?

New York Yankees, Rosell Herrera

Multiple sources reported that the Miami Marlins would be opening their spring facility to players this week for workouts. These workouts will be individual and are optional. No team-wide workouts will be conducted, and the facility will only be open to those on the 40-man roster at this time.

This is really good news for baseball and possibly a sign of things to come.

You would think that if the MLB and the players union weren’t nearing a deal, then this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe this means that we could see finalizations of the season happening soon.

Right now, the governors of Florida and Arizona have made their states’ available for pro-sports. This allows facilities to open and a second spring-training to happen if a deal is finalized. Outside of those two states, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has allowed pro-sports to return to his state with no fans. He’s mentioned how sports are an economy booster, and New York and other states could use that boost right now. It’s expected that sports could be allowed in California by June.

Another person who has been encouraging sports to return is President Donald Trump. Like Cuomo, Trump has mentioned how big sports are in the economy and has had conference calls with the different commissioners of different sports.

On Sunday, NASCAR returned to the track and became the first prominent United States sport to return. They had a precise plan in place, and they executed it seemingly flawlessly. Maybe their execution helped convince state leaders to open their states’ to sports.

Hopefully, the opening of the Marlins complex is a sign of good things to come. Maybe more teams will follow in suit of the Marlins and reopen.

Looking at some of the issues in the MLB money struggle

A developing story over the past few days has been the talks between all parties in the MLB in an attempt to get the 2020 season underway. On Monday, owners approved a plan and sent it to the players union for negotiations. But right now, the issue seems to be the money struggle between the league, players, and owners.

In March, players agreed to get paid on a prorated basis. Meaning, if the league plays half a season, players get half their salary. However, owners want to renegotiate that due to the unlikeliness of fans in the stands this season.

Owners are concerned about the money that they will lose without fans in the stands. Are they correct? Yes, they will lose a lot of money without fans. The issue here is that owners don’t want to pay the prorated salaries because they don’t want to lose money.

These owners are billionaires. They have billions of dollars in the bank. What they seem to fail to realize is that this is likely a one-season ordeal, and assuming a vaccine to coronavirus comes out at the end of 2020 as planned, then fans will be in the stands in 2021. The owners will undoubtedly make up the money lost within a few years. Since there is already a prorated deal in place, it shouldn’t be changed because that is unfair to players.

Well, you can say that most players are millionaires already so they can be paid pennies for a season. Wrong. You can’t significantly change a deal that’s been in place since the beginning of the shutdown. Owners can afford the salaries for a season. They just don’t want to pay them. And not all players are millionaires anyway. More players than you would think are on minimum deals.

So, with no fans in the stands, teams will generate revenue almost solely from TV deals. Teams like the Yankees or Mets will be just fine from TV deals since their regional deals are in a big market with a lot of fans. They make a ton of money from YES and SNY, respectively. Also, those two teams will make money off of nationally televised games.

The teams that will struggle the most are the struggling teams in the MLB. If teams aren’t winning games, then not as many people will want to watch. A team like the Yankees will make a lot more from their TV deals than a team like the Marlins or the Orioles. Struggling teams are rarely on national television and that lowers their revenue.

However, a positive with the TV deals is that the best teams have the highest payrolls so that they will be generating more TV revenue and using that for salaries. But, the struggling teams will still hurt more. The Marlins will be furloughing at least 40% of their full-time employees. They just can’t afford to pay them all.

So, this is the big hang-up in negotiations about a 2020 season. Health and safety concerns seemed to be getting addressed, and that’s an important thing. Hopefully, all sides can get the economic issues figured out.

No 2020 season would kill baseball.

If there were to be no 2020 season, it would kill baseball. I can guarantee you that a lot of casual fans will stop watching if the 2020 season gets canceled, similar to what happened to the 1994 World Series. That season was shortened from a strike.

And speaking of strikes, the MLB CBA expires after the 2021 season. With that being said, we may see a strike in the winter or spring of 2022.

That’s why the league mustn’t let the 2020 season slip away. Canceling because of safety concerns is one thing, but canceling because of money would be devastating to the sport.