Mets keep failing to produce with runners in scoring position

The New York Mets lost yet another one-run game this season, this time 4-3, on Monday in the finale against the Washington Nationals. They have a mediocre 27-27 mark in one-run games, according to SNY, and that can likely be blamed, at least partially, on two things: a not-so-reliable bullpen in the late innings, and a constant failure to capitalize with runners in scoring position.

On Monday, we saw the two situations: Edwin Diaz blew a 3-2 game and turned into a 4-3 defeat in the ninth inning, and the Mets went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

For the year, the Mets are batting .240 with men on second or third, which was the the eighth-worst batting average in that scenario before Monday’s game.

“We probably could have won more games, one-run, for sure,” Mets manager Luis Rojas after losing to the Nats.

The Mets need more timely hits

The Mets are currently 69-69, four games behind the division leaders, the Atlanta Braves. They are going to need more timely hits if they want to go to the postseason.

“We went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position today, and we had chances to score more runs, and it’d probably be a different game than 3-2 in the ninth. So I think that’s why most of those games weren’t probably won for the most part. The pitching has been responsible to keep us close. I know it’s a tough loss, and we’ll talk about that ninth inning and the walks and single there, but once again, 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, you just gotta finish. You gotta deliver. You gotta score the runs that you’re setting yourself up to score. It’s happened repeatedly for us this season,” Rojas explained.

Rojas also defended the Mets’ closer after he allowed two hits, two walks, and two runs to lose the game.

 

“Edwin’s done it for us all year. We’re not making drastic changes. I think the command is something he can bounce back from. He had a little stretch in the middle of the season where he was struggling with his command a little bit, and then he bounced back and started throwing more strikes. This is the last two games where he’s done it. For sure, he can work on things like this,” Rojas said.

The Mets are making a playoffs push, and Javier Baez is a big reason why

javier baez, mets

He may or may not have a future with the New York Mets: after all, he is a low-OBP guy who recently criticized fans for booing the team, resulting in a team statement and a tense atmosphere for a couple of days. But there is no denying that Javier Baez is one of the most exciting players in MLB when he is at his best, and right now, the Mets are benefiting from his torrid streak at the plate.

The past few weeks have been rough for Baez and the Mets, but things appear to be trending in the right direction. The team is playing much better, and earned its seventh victory in its last eight games by defeating the Washington Nationals 13-6 on the road on Sunday.

Baez, of course, went 4-for-4 with three RBI and two runs. The Mets are now over .500, 69-68, and will face the Nationals one last time on Monday.

“Sometimes, I struggle a lot,” said Báez, who entered Sunday’s game slashing .215/.262/.468 with five home runs and eight RBI in 22 games (20 starts) as a member of the Mets, to SNY. “And it feels great — it feels great to be hot at the plate right now and, hopefully, I keep it going.”

After a tough stretch that included a stint on the 10-day injured list with back spasms recently, Baez found himself at the center of the storm. He was hitting .171/.216/.343 with two home runs and three RBI through 10 games with New York. However, he came back from his ailment and has performed much better: he has three blasts and five RBI in 12 starts since returning.

The Mets’ infielder is red-hot at the plate

Over his last seven contests, Baez is hitting .360/.407/.800 with eight runs and five RBI.

Mets’ manager Luis Rojas is impressed by his “energy and the quality of the player” he is. “I think, from Day 1, when he showed up into the clubhouse, he can transmit a lot of good things — his good vibes and all the things that he can do out on the field to help a team win. But one of the things that a lot of people have been talking about — and, of course, we’re aware — is his approach at the plate and the chases, right, how much of a free-swinger he is and what we have here for a philosophy, just being aggressive in zone and not expanding too much. And I think that’s what he did today. If he can control the zone like he did today, he’s going to be a better offensive player. He laid off some pitches. He did chase a few times, but he laid off some pitches and he found a pitch in the zone and was able to drive it.

Plate discipline will always be the thing to watch with Baez: he has a 0/8 BB/K ratio over his last seven games despite his success.

The Mets are only 3.5 games behind the division-leading Braves. They need Baez to keep performing.

“We’re trying,” Báez said. “We’re obviously trying. Like I said, I’m trying to bring my mentality here. And we’ll see, we’ll see when the last game comes and if we’re out or we’re in. Together, we’ve just got to go pitch by pitch and game by game and not just worry about first place or second place. It will come if we focus on that.”

Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom is reportedly not close to returning

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

Despite the news that his latest MRI showed significant improvement on a recent elbow inflammation diagnosis, New York Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom is not particularly close to making a return to action.

The Mets are currently streaking, winning their last six games and cutting their deficit in the division to just four games. They also got back to .500 on Friday night, taking their record to 67-67.

Yet, they are unlikely to have their ace back for at least a couple more weeks, if not more. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, when asked Friday where he was at in his road back from right elbow inflammation, the pitcher replied: “I’m in Washington.”

Playful geographical jokes aside (the Mets are currently playing a weekend series in the nation’s capital), there is just not too much certainty about the star’s timeline to return to a major league mound.

The Mets’ star pitcher is improving, but is running out of time

DiComo did explain that a Mets official said that deGrom, despite feeling better, “is likely about 10 days away from advancing to bullpen sessions. He has been throwing off flat ground from 75 feet and must extend that to 120 before making it to the slope of a mound. That process should take deGrom into the third week of September; from there, he must throw multiple bullpen sessions and face live batters before he can even consider appearing in a game for the first time since July 7.”

In other words, the Mets are running out of time to get their star pitcher back. At this point, any realistic scenario of him coming back before the last week of the season is hard to imagine.

The Mets official, therefore, doesn’t expect to see deGrom for anything more than an outing or two near the end of the season. And if he experiences any kind of setback, the team will likely just shut him down, especially if they are out of the hunt by then.

Mets win sixth straight, get back to .500 and regain hope

Yes, the New York Mets have been bad in the second half, relinquishing a division lead they held onto for months. Yes, as of Saturday morning, they would still be out of the playoffs if the season ended today. But they sure have been playing better as of late and, after defeating the Washington Nationals 6-2 on Friday night, have gotten back to playing .500 ball.

The Mets’ 67-67 record is now good enough for them to be 4.0 games behind the Atlanta Braves after they lost on Friday. The Braves are 3-7 in their last 10 games and New York has won six straight contests. After looking dead a week and a half ago, there is now hope in Queens.

The Mets are within four games of the division lead for the first time since August 16.

“As you can imagine, it’s great,” first baseman Pete Alonso said to MLB.com about the postgame clubhouse mood. “It’s awesome to rip off six in a row, especially against teams in the division. We’re just really happy with how we’ve performed, and we’re really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

The Mets hung on for the victory

Mets’ closer Edwin Diaz blew a save in the ninth by allowing two runs. However, Alonso had a crucial run-scoring single in the tenth, a hit that started a four-run rally.

Despite the blip in the ninth, it was a good night overall for the Mets. Starting pitcher Rich Hill hurled six shutout innings to give his offense the best possible chance to win the ballgame, which they ultimately did.

“I feel like we’re playing good, clean baseball, and the wins show that,” Alonso said. “I’m really excited for this last month.”

After going 2-11 in their 13-game stretch against the Dodgers and Giants, the Mets are still alive by winning their last six.

“The most important part of how we’ve been playing is just how together and how united we’ve been,” Jonathan Villar said through an interpreter, “just to continue going out there and to continue battling so we can get the results that we want.”

Smith’s Seventh Inning Gives Mets Boost in 4-3 Win to Sweep Marlins

dominic smith, mets

The New York Mets season has been riddled with tough breaks and bad bounces, but things moved in their favor against the Miami Marlins. An error from the Marlins and a ball nicking of Jesus Aguilar‘s glove in the seventh inning resulted in Dominic Smith‘s RBI single, which gave the Mets just enough to win 4-3 and sweep the Marlins. The whole game was filled with errors as both teams combined for seven errors.

The Mets had themselves a situation they had failed in for a majority of the season. Patrick Mazeika‘s single and error by Jesus Sanchez allowed Jeff McNeil to get to third base with one out. Smith ripped the ball over the first-base bag, and since Aguilar was holding on Mazeika, he reached out his glove to attempt to make a play. If Aguilar let the ball go, it would have gone foul, but instincts took over, and it allowed the Mets to steal a run.

Carlos Carrasco had a typical start for his 2021 season. Miguel Rojas ambushed him on the first pitch to give the Marlins an early run, and the fish tacked on another to make it 2-0 in the first. Carrasco once again settled in after the first inning to put together 5.1 innings allowing three runs and striking out five. Aaron Loup relinquished the lead with two walks in relief but survived the keep the game tied. The following three relievers for the Mets all had hitless outings.

Battling Back

The Mets had their work cut out for them early against Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara but were up to the task. Jonathan Villar took notes from Rojas to drill a leadoff home run on Alcantara’s first pitch. It was the first time in MLB history where both team’s leadoff hitters homered on the first pitch. Mazeika was the only Met with multiple hits and also recorded a double. Francisco Lindor only had an RBI double on the night but could have easily had a couple more hits if he was not hitting the ball at people.

The win is the fifth consecutive for the Mets, and they have an opportunity to move within four games of the first-place Atlanta Braves. On Friday, they will begin a five-game series with the Washington Nationals. Two former Long Island Ducks face-off as Rich Hill takes the mound against Sean Nolin. The first pitch from Nationals Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

 

Mets: Details of GM Zack Scott’s arrest emerge

New York Mets

At around 4:15 am on Tuesday, police officers arrested New York Mets’ acting general manager Zack Scott, who fell asleep at the wheel of his vehicle and refused to take a breathalyzer, according to the police in White Plains, N.Y. (link to the New York Times story here).

The Mets have already placed the executive on administrative leave. He was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated. According to Capt. James Spencer of the White Plains Police Department, “an officer spotted Scott asleep at the wheel of a 2018 Toyota Highlander at the intersection of Fisher and South Lexington Avenues on Tuesday. Spencer said Scott, 44, refused to take a breathalyzer test but failed a field sobriety test.”

The Mets’ GM was booked and later released, per Spencer.

On Thursday morning, the executive pleaded not guilty to a first-offense D.W.I. charge.

The Mets expressed their disappointment with the events. “We are surprised and deeply disappointed to learn this morning about an alleged D.U.I. involving Zack Scott,” they said.

“We take this matter very seriously. Zack will not be traveling with the team for our upcoming road trip while we learn more and determine next steps,” they stated.

A rough year for Mets’ executives

Per the New York Times, Scott was attending a fund raising event by Mets’ owner Steve Cohen. A team official said the gathering was done by 9:00 pm, and he was found asleep in his car several hours later.

The Mets have had to endure several scandals this season. First, Jared Porter, hired to be the general manager in late 2020, was dismissed after it was revealed he sent unsolicited messages and pictures to a female back in 2016.

Then, former Mets’ manager Mickey Callaway was suspended for sexual harassment allegations by several women in a period spanning five years.

Most recently, Mets’ player started a rift with fans over the constant booing due to bad performance.

Mets Game Preview (9/2/21) vs. Miami Marlins (55-78)

mets, pete alonso

After torrential rains across the east coast postponed Wednesday’s game, the New York Mets and Miami Marlins will play the final game of their series today. Over the last 24 hours, the Mets had to deal with another off-the-field issue as acting GM Zach Scott was arrested on a DWI on Tuesday morning. The first pitch from Citi Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Less than a month after Scott calls out the team for failing to produce and keep themselves healthy, Scott was found sleeping in his car at 4:17 A.M. after a night of drinking. After the whole thumbs-down fiasco, the team has another incident they will need to put behind them. Luckily they have been very resilient, winning four in a row. It has called them to move within five games of the first-place Atlanta Braves.

The Marlins are coming off a rough doubleheader loss, and the bullpen desperately needed the day off. Jesus Aguilar has been the only consistent bat to worry about in the Marlins lineup. He leads the NL with 92 RBIs to go along with 22 homers and 23 doubles.

Pitching Matchup

Carlos Carrasco gets the start for the Mets and has started to pitch to expectations over his last couple of starts. In his last outing against the San Francisco Giants, Carrasco went seven innings allowing two runs and recorded seven strikeouts. After stumbling in the first inning, Carrasco did not allow a run for the rest of his start.

The Marlins have not announced a starter as of 1:30 p.m. ET.

Mets Make It Four Consecutive Wins With 3-1 Victory Over Marlins

mets, tijuana walker

The New York Mets have quickly turned those thumbs upside down with a doubleheader sweep of the Miami Marlins. For the first time in a while, they played with a lead and never relinquished it for a 3-1 win and their fourth consecutive victory.

Trevor Williams earned the spot start in the seven-inning game and gave the Mets more than they could have asked. Williams pitched 4.1 innings allowing just one unearned run with four strikeouts. Things got dicey for the Mets in the fifth when Jesus Aguilar‘s RBI double made it a 3-1 game with runners on second and third.

Working Around Danger

Aaron Loup relieved Williams and gave up a walk to load the bases with one out. Like Loup has done all season, he pulled a rabbit out of his hat to get out of the jam unscathed. In the sixth, Seth Lugo danced around danger, striking out two to get out of a first and second, no-out situation. Edwin Diaz continued his dominance with a light, 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal the deal.

The Mets offense saved all their scoring for the third inning against MLB The Show legend Edward Cabrera. Michael Conforto followed up his walk-off hit with a two-run homer which flew into the Coca-Cola Corner. Jeff McNeil drove in the third run with a double, scoring Javier Baez all the way from first base just like he did to win game one.

Throughout all of the drama and the fans B.S. from the last 48 hours, the Mets have a four-game winning streak. If the Atlanta Braves lose, they will be 5.5 games out of first place as the calendar flips to September. It may not be an easy deficit to overcome, but it looks way more doable than where they were last week. Wednesday’s game has already been postponed, and both teams will play a single-admission doubleheader on Thursday.

Mets’ owner Steve Cohen: Player ‘hit the third rail’ with thumbs-down at fans, ‘it is unacceptable’

New York Mets

By now, the baseball world saw the latest controversy surrounding the New York Mets. Fans have been booing players for quite some time now, especially as of late since they are 8-19 in the month of August.

Players, understandably, are frustrated by everything related to the 2021 season: their own performance, and the way fans have been reacting to it. However, some of the team’s stars such as Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez made thumbs down gestures that were, as they revealed after the game, directed to fans.

Basically, Baez said that since fans booed them when they weren’t producing, they were going to “boo” (using the thumbs down sign) the fans when they produced.

Mets’ owner Steve Cohen went to Twitter last night, after the incident took place, to weigh in on the subject. He playfully wrote: “I miss the days when the biggest controversy was the black jerseys.”

The Mets’ owner hopes the players can ‘learn from this’

He did talk about the issue with Joel Sherman of the New York Post. “These are young guys and sometimes we forget they are on a public stage and can make mistakes,” Cohen told The Post by phone. “They hit the third rail, though, by messing with fans. And it is unacceptable. Hopefully, this is a teaching moment and they will learn from this.”

Mets’ president Sandy Alderson also issued a statement after the whole controversy took place on Sunday, condemning the players’ decision to ‘criticize’ fans.

“The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans,” Alderson said. “I will be meeting with our players and staff to convey this message directly.”

The Mets held the first place in the NL East for months, but since Jacob deGrom and Lindor hit the injured list in July, they have been playing poorly. They are now third in the division.

The Mets are a mess: Players and fans go to silent war over constant booing and poor results

The New York Mets keep making headlines for the wrong reasons. During Sunday’s victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, and Kevin Pillar used a thumbs down celebration every time they made a good play.

Most people thought, at first, that it was a joke, like the 2017 Yankees. But after the game, Baez talked to the media and made a baffling revelation: “[It’s] to let [fans] know when we don’t have success we are going to get booed, so they are going to get booed when we have success.”

Even if it’s understandable that players are frustrated by the lack of results and by hearing constant boos from their own fans, it’s certainly surprising that they decided to start a silent war with Mets’ fans. It’s not an ideal situation, especially for Lindor, who will be in New York for at least 10 more years unless he is traded.

The Mets are 8-19 in August and relinquished the first place of the NL East division, one that they held for months, a few weeks ago. They are currently in a very delicate situation, and making the playoffs is a pipe dream at this point.

The Mets released a controversial statement

Mets’ president Sandy Alderson released a statement on Sunday night condemning the thumbs down sign.

Here is his message:

“In a post-game press conference today, Javy Baez stated that his “thumbs down” gesture during the game was a message to fans who recently have booed him and other players for poor performance. These comments, and any gestures by him or other players with a similar intent, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“Mets fans are understandably frustrated over the team’s recent performance. The players and the organization are equally frustrated, but fans at Citi Field have every right to express their own disappointment. Booing is every fan’s right.

“The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans. I will be meeting with our players and staff to convey this message directly.

“Mets fans are loyal, passionate, knowledgeable and more than willing to express themselves. We love them for every one of these qualities.”

Tensions are boiling in New York.