Walker Strikes Out a Dozen in Mets 3-2 Win Over Cubs

Taijuan Walker has been the steal of the offseason for the New York Mets and had another fantastic start. He struck out 12 to take a second straight game from the Chicago Cubs by a score of 3-2. Walker’s previous season-high was nine strikeouts, and he blew right past that for his sixth victory of the season.

Early in his start, Walker did not look like he had the best command of his pitches. Walker immediately had a first and second, then bases-loaded jam in the first inning but struck out three to survive the inning. From that point, Walker slowly started to get himself in a grove and found command of all pitches. His best weapon was his two-seam fastball which drew flashbacks to Bartolo Colon. Walker dominated for seven innings, a dozen strikeouts, and just two runs allowed, which came on a Javier Baez homer.

Thank You Willie

Walker retired the last 12 batters he faced, then passed the baton over to Seth Lugo. He recorded his first two-inning save since last August by working a perfect eighth and an extremely hectic ninth. Lugo received help from Cubs’ third base coach Willie Harris who crazily sent Jake Marisnick to get thrown out at home plate on Eric Sogard‘s double. This game was a prime example of how dangerous the Mets pitching staff has become. Their number three starter led their way while their second closer came into shut the door.

The Mets’ offense was not at their best tonight. They had plenty of chances to tack on to the lead throughout the game but went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left ten on base. Pete Alonso carried the load on offense with three RBIs, two coming on a single and the lead one with a sacrifice fly. Jonathan Villar also had a strong game with two hits, including a double.

Jacob deGrom returns to the mound to build upon his historic season after dealing with elbow issues. Robert Stock makes his Cubs debut, and first MLB start in game three of the series. The first pitch is once again scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

Orioles Destroy Mets Pitching in 10-3 Blowout Loss

The New York Mets‘ top three in their starting rotation are as good as it gets, but there are glaring holes with the pitchers that follow them. David Peterson fell victim to an onslaught from the Baltimore Orioles, led by Mets killer Maikel Franco in the 10-3 loss.

Peterson avoided his usual first-inning trouble but failed to find success in the rest of his dreadful start. He lasted just 2.2 innings allowing eight hits and four runs, and his ERA ballooned to 6.32. Peterson did not have issues putting the ball in the strike zone, allowing the O’s to make hard contact consistently. Robert Gsellman tried to keep the Mets in the game but was just as unsuccessful in long relief. Gsellman allowed four runs in 2.1 innings pitched and allowed Baltimore to put the game away.

The Orioles offense put up 16 hits, nine of them going for extra bases, and all but two starters had a multiple-hit game. Freddy Galvis led them with three hits, but Maikel Franco and Pat Valaika combined for three doubles, a home run, and six runs batted in. Bruce Zimmerman allowed the O’s to put the game away thanks to his third consecutive strong outing. He threw five innings, allowing just two runs and tying his career-high with seven strikeouts.

Alonso Does It All

Pete Alonso carried the Mets offense with a two-home run game which provided all three Mets runs. Alonso struck O’s pitching in the first and ninth inning, but there was almost nothing from the offense in the innings between. The Mets had just one hit in the seven middle innings on a night where they needed a ton of offense to win.

On Wednesday, the Mets turn to Taijuan Walker and look for a split of the series against O’s. Matt Harvey gets to face his former team for the second time this season. The first pitch from Oriole Park is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

deGrom Dominates, Gets Plenty Of Support in Mets 6-2 Win

The New York Mets received reinforcements from the injured list against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and it helped them support Jacob deGrom in their 6-2 win. deGrom came into his start with an ERA under one, which means all the Mets needed was one run to win. Pete Alonso‘s bat provided plenty of support to support the Mets ace in his first game back from injury.

deGrom may not contain the same power as Shohei Ohtani but makes up for it with his ability to shut down offenses. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out eight to lower his ERA to a spectacular 0.71 ERA. deGrom’s league-leading ERA is the lowest mark heading into June since 1964. Of course, he beat the D’backs with the bat by recording an RBI single to push his average to .450 on the season.

The Mets were once again cautious with deGrom, pulling him from the game after just 70 pitches. Trevor May faltered by allowing two runs and recording just two outs in the seventh inning. Miguel Castro (1.1) and Jeurys Familia (1) settled things down to get the pitching staff through the final 2.1 innings of the game.

Offensive Power Surge

The offense was terrific in their second game against Merrill Kelly this season. Alonso led the way with two hits, including a home run and four runs batted in. Francisco Lindor (single and double) and Dominic Smith (two doubles) showed promise in the power department by driving balls to the opposite field. Billy McKinney added a solo home run, his second straight game with a homer. Kevin Pillar made a triumphant return from his injury by recording a single in his only at-bat.

The Mets winnings streak is at five, and two more games in Arizona allow them to extend it to seven. Their lead in the NL East remains at 3.5 games after the Atlanta Braves defeated the Washington Nationals. On Tuesday, Marcus Stroman takes the ball for the Mets against Caleb Smith, who will make his second start of the season. The first pitch from Chase Field is another 9:40 p.m. ET start.

Mets Game Preview: (5/31/21) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (19-35)

The New York Mets are back on the road to begin a nine-game trip, starting with three against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mets will welcome back some much-needed players against the team with the worst record in the National League.

The trio of Pete Alonso, Kevin Pillar, and Seth Lugo all return to the active roster to begin the road trip. Khalil Lee, Sean Reid-Foley, and Patrick Mazeika. All three players are a massive boost after so many Mets have landed on the IL. Alonso will bring much-needed power, and Pillar’s remarkable return gives the Mets an everyday center fielder. The Mets bullpen did not need much help, but Lugo’s talent makes the group even stronger.

The Diamondbacks will be happy to flip the calendar to June after winning just five games this month. Their win against the Cardinals on Sunday broke a 13 game losing streak, one short of their longest streak. D’Backs pitching has struggled with the third-worst ERA (4.93), allowed the third-most home runs (72) and highest batting average against (.263). This should help a Mets offense that is one of the worst in baseball but is coming off an 11 outburst on Saturday.

Pitching Matchup

Jacob deGrom takes his 0.80 ERA back to the mound after a stellar performance in his first outing off the injured list. deGrom worked five innings, allowing one run, striking out nine, and using just 63 pitches against the Colorado Rockies. In his start against the D’Backs earlier this season, he pitched five innings and allowed just a run. Uncharacteristically, deGrom walked three and only struck out six, which resulted in him leaving with an injury.

Merrill Kelly pitches for the D’Backs and looks to close out an excellent month of May. He struggled in April with a 6.63 ERA but pitched to a 3.52 ERA this month. Kelly walked five in 5.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) against the Mets earlier this month.

Matchup To Look Out For

Jacob deGrom vs. Nick Ahmed: 1-for-10 (.100), Double, 3 Strikeouts

FOCO Releases New York Mets Cookie Club Bobblehead Series

FOCO is releasing a new limited edition New York Mets Cookie Club Bobblehead Series to commemorate the closest group of teammates in baseball. The first series of bobbleheads feature Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and the newest Met, Carlos “Cookie” Carrasco.

There are 221 of the unique bobbleheads on sale. Each one features a player in their trademark pose and on top of a cookie. Each bobblehead is just $50, and it is your best way to see them as all of them are battling injuries at the moment. This is just the first series of the fantastic collection; Mets fans make sure to keep an eye out for the next batch of wonderful bobbleheads.

Slugger Pete Alonso joins a long list of injured Mets’ players

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

The New York Mets’ injury crisis gets deeper every day. Pete Alonso, the regular first baseman, did not play in the team’s series finale against the Atlanta Braves, which they dropped 5-4 thanks to a Ronald Acuña Jr. walk-off home run.

He was believed, according to the Mets’ official site, to be available for the game. He did not make an appearance, however, and after the game, manager Luis Rojas explained that Alonso’s left wrist was bothering him, describing the feeling as ‘soreness.’

The Mets don’t want to take any chances and will have Alonso undergo an MRI this week to have a better grasp at the extent of the injury.

“Pete was not available,” Rojas said. “I know we were talking pregame and I did not reveal that. I just think it’s not prudent for the team to reveal that Pete is not available. For me it’s a competitive disadvantage when you say that.”

The Mets think that Alonso’s wrist is sore after being hit by a pitch in the series against the St. Louis Cardinals, on May 5. That would mean the slugger has been dealing with the issue for at least two weeks.

The Mets are hopeful it’s not a long-term issue

For now, the Mets hope that with a couple of days of rest, Alonso will be available to play on Friday in their series opener against the Miami Marlins.

“He had X-rays done and everything there, and everything was negative. The area was checked, we passed it and he kept playing and he was good with it,” said Rojas. “Yesterday he felt just a little bit of it. Not having the start with the day off connected, we felt that was going to put him in a good spot for Friday so he can play.“

Alonso has hit six homers for the Mets so far, with a .236/.336/.433 line and a .769 OPS.

Alonso’s absence is another one for a team that is already missing Jeff McNeil, Luis Guillorme, JD Davis, Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, and others.

Mets’ Pete Alonso cried upon finding out about Chili Davis’ dismissal: ‘It doesn’t make sense’

Late on Monday night, the New York Mets decided that hitting coach Chili Davis and his assistant Tom Slater would no longer be part of the team. Despite the team’s obvious offensive struggles to open the 2021 season, it was a surprise to see them let go. After all, the Mets’ offense was competent in 2019 and among the best in 2020 under Davis.

And the players like and respect him. He has often been credited for JD Davis’ breakout season in 2019 and has a good relationship with most of the Mets’ offensive stars, including Pete Alonso.

According to Savannah McCann of MLB.com, when Alonso found out about the Mets’ decision regarding Davis, he went to his locker and started crying. Befuddled, the Polar Bear went to talk with acting general manager Zack Scott.

“Our team has broken records, we’ve done a lot of great things,” said Alonso, who said he didn’t expect Davis’ dismissal and that the ‘appearance’ of fictional approach coach ‘Donnie’ Stevenson was by no means a shot at him. “It’s confusing for me, and listen, I respect everybody who made that decision. But to me, it just doesn’t make sense right now. I know that the people who are in charge in the office, they want to win, everybody wants to win. I guess from a results standpoint, from two, two and a half years, the results have been there. And to me, it still doesn’t make sense.”

The Mets’ first baseman is sad and upset to see Davis go

Alonso considered Davis and Slater family.

“There’s a personal connection there, but that aside, professionally they’re outstanding individuals,” said Alonso. “For me, how I’m looking at this is, I can’t be upset that it’s over. I just have to be happy that I was able to have them, and they had an impact on me. And I know that I’ve had an impact on them. And that those two guys have had a tremendous positive impact on everybody in that clubhouse.”

The Mets held a meeting that included players, coaching staff and manager Luis Rojas, partly to talk about the changes.

“[It was a] typical team meeting where everyone gets to talk, and guys share their thoughts or their emotions and get to vent,” said Rojas. “We can talk as a family in there, and what was said in there doesn’t need to be shared. But the guys [were] sharing their thoughts and us talking as a group. Also, to shift gears and go after this game tonight, that’s the purpose of the meeting.”

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 Escape Philadelphia By Inches In 8-7 Victory Over Phillies

What the hell just happened?

The New York Mets survived the final game of their three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies thanks to the convenience of instant replay. Rhys Hoskins seemed to rip out the hearts over every Mets fan with a three-run game-tying home run off Edwin Diaz in the ninth.

Thanks to the wonders of instant replay, Hoskins hit the tippy-top of the fence, which changed his home run to a double. Unfortunately, Diaz had to leave the game with an undisclosed injury. Jeurys Familia came in with ice in his veins to strike out Bryce Harper and allow the Mets to crawl away with a victory.

On the offensive side for the Mets, Jose Alvarado made a horrible mistake by waking up a sleeping giant on Friday. Donnie Stevenson was born and has led the Mets to two victories against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Before diving into Alvarado’s lack of control, who would have thought Kevin Pillar and Jonathan Villar would begin a Mets comeback? In the eighth, Pillar brought the Mets within a run with his home run against Brandon Kintzler. Villar found just enough space to record a single up the middle, then wreaked havoc on the bases.

Bullpen Issues on Both Sides

Kintzler spent plenty of time occupied with Villar’s speed over the next two batters. With Villar on the move, Jose Peraza lined a single, and it banged right off the first baseman Hoskins glove. If Hoskins snagged it, the Phillies get a double play to end the inning, but it kept the Mets alive. Once Hoskins picked up the ball to make matters worse, he lobbed it back to the infield, and aggressive baserunning from Villar caught the Phils napping to tie the game.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the Mets handed a frozen platter to Alvarado. After allowing a first-pitch single, Alvarado walked Francisco Lindor and Michael Conforto consecutively to give the Mets a 5-4 lead. Phillies manager Joe Girardi turned the ball over to David Hale, who provided little relief. Pete Alonso blew the door wide open with a bases-clearing double to cap off the rally and give the Mets an 8-4 lead.

David Peterson looked like he would leave his start early after the Phillies were hitting rockets off him. A masterful double play from McNeil and Lindor gave Peterson all the momentum he needed to allow him to survive. Peterson did more than survive by getting through five innings, holding the Phils to just one run, and recording eight strikeouts.

Why Diaz?

For both team’s bullpens, making it out alive was the name of the game. At first, it looked like Miguel Castro would become the only casualty. Castro allowed a three-run homer to Didi Gregorius in the sixth inning, giving Phillies a 4-2 lead. The bullpen was due to hit a bump in the road. Heading into the night, they had thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings.

Manager Luis Rojas managed the game very well until he decided to use Diaz when he did not need to. Rojas easily could have turned to Familia, Sean Reid-Foley, or Robert Gsellman with Diaz as an insurance policy. It was evident from a four-pitch walk that Diaz would not be at his best and resulted in suffering an injury.

Somehow the Mets are 11-11 and back to a tie for first place in the NL East. They will head to St. Louis to face the Cardinals for a four-game series starting on Monday. Even though it was ugly, the Mets needed to get a couple of wins on the board and hope to carry their momentum on the rest of the road trip.

 

Mets Game Preview: (4/27/21) vs. Boston Red Sox (14-9)

After getting Monday off, the New York Mets return to action at Citi Field against the Boston Red Sox. They play the first of two against a Red Sox team that has shocked many throughout baseball to begin the season. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET from Queens.

The Mets offense had its ups and downs during their series win against the Washington Nationals. They went from sinking to the bottom of the ocean to treading water enough that they could survive. J.D. Davis and Brandon Nimmo have continued to lead this offense, but it is slowly starting to get more help. Pete Alonso was 4-for-8 with three walks and a home run after he homered twice in Chicago. It is evident that Alonso is becoming more comfortable at the plate and starting to get into a groove.

Exceeding Expectations

The Red Sox are one of the true underdog stories in the American League. They join the Kansas City Royals and Oakland A’s as teams no one expected to hold first place at the end of April. Their offense leads MLB with 213 hits, 54 Doubles, a .276 batting average, and a .455 slugging percentage. All of that equals the Sox being second in runs scored in baseball. Combine all of that with average pitching, and you have their formula for success.

The big three of J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Alex Verdugo are the key parts of their offense. All are in the top-3 in the team’s offensive categories, and Martinez is tied for the AL lead with seven home runs. Since joining the Red Sox in 2018, Martinez has only played 104 games in the outfield due to his poor defensive ability. Despite the defensive shortcomings, it is hard to keep a bat as hot as Martinez’s on the bench.

Pitching Matchup

David Peterson gets the start against the team he made his MLB debut against. Peterson started strong in his last start against the Chicago Cubs but failed to get out of the fourth inning. He allowed six runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks in just 3.1 innings pitched.

Garrett Richards makes his fifth start of the season but has failed to give the Red Sox length in his first four outings. He has not pitched longer than five innings, and his inability to throw strikes is why. Richards has allowed 13 walks in 16.2 innings and has thrown just 58% of his pitches for strikes. In his last start, he threw 92 pitches, and only 48 were strikes. The Mets have the fourth-best on-base percentage in MLB, which should be a good matchup for them.

Matchups To Lookout For

Garrett Richards vs. Francisco Lindor: 1-for-8 (.125), Walk, 5 Strikeouts

David Peterson vs. Kevin Plawecki: 2-for-2 (1.000), Double

David Peterson vs. J.D. Martinez: 0-for-3 (.000), 2 Strikeouts