Rojas Mismanages Pitching Staff and Mets Hit Into Five DPs in 3-2 Loss

edwin diaz, mets

Absolutely nothing has come easy for the New York Mets over the last two weeks against the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. When things finally did for them, manager Luis Rojas found a way to complicate things once again. The Mets offense also continued their season-long woes by hitting five double plays in the 3-2 loss.

Taijuan Walker cruised through the first six innings of the game, allowing just one hit and run on a Kris Bryant home run. After the Mets gave Walker a lead for the seventh, an error and bloop single set up runners at first and second. Despite having 74 pitches and showing no signs of fatigue, Rojas turned to Aaron Loup, and it backfired instantly. Brandon Crawford jumped all over the first pitch for a double and gave the Giants a 3-2 lead.

Rojas Losing His Touch

The issue is not who Rojas turned to but when he turned to Loup. Walker felt like this was his game to lose and certainly pitched well enough to deserve the opportunity to work out of the mess. This season, Loup has been the Mets’ best reliever, and the move is probably overlooked if he does not have a rare rough outing. He was the right reliever to turn to, but it was definitely the wrong time to pull Walker. The aftermath was visible frustration from Walker on the mound and in the dugout along with “Fire Rojas”.

The Mets had some life in a very bizarre ninth inning, including Brandon Belt dropping a pop-up in foul territory and the Giants’ miscommunication in the outfield leading to a dropped fly ball. It led to runners on first and second with Francisco Lindor at the plate, but he popped up for the second out of the inning. Brandon Nimmo worked a gutsy walk to set up a bases-loaded situation for Pete Alonso. Unfortunately, the disappointment continued as Alonso blooped a fastball into Tommy La Stella‘s glove to end the game.

The offense actually had two hits in seven chances with runners in scoring position, but the five double plays killed the Mets scoring chances. Rojas decision was the exact type of panic move we saw him make last season and the Mickey Callaway regime make as well. This has to be the nail in the coffin for anyone who had hope in the Mets making a run. It would not be surprising if Rojas also lost his job before this weekend’s series.

Carlos Carrasco looks to build on his solid start against the Dodgers as he faces off against Alex Wood. The first pitch for Thursday’s finale is set for 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

Dodgers Continue To Own The Mets As They Take Game One, 4-1

mets, pete alonso

The New York Mets were supposed to compete on the same level as the Los Angeles Dodgers when Steve Cohen bought them, but that has been far from the case this year. The Dodgers bullpen outmatched the offense, and Taijuan Walker could not rekindle his success from last week in the 4-1 loss.

Walker battled through six-inning, allowing four runs, and struck out four batters. His velocity was great as he hit 97 mph on multiple occasions but ran into trouble navigating the elite Dodgers lineup. Will Smith continued to torture the Mets as his second-inning double set up a second and third situation with no one out. Smith and Seager both ended up scoring on a ground out to get an early 2-0 lead. In the fifth, familiar faces Billy McKinney and Trea Turner took care of the final two runs. McKinney doubled to the left-center gap, and Turner’s seeing-eye single snuck by a shifted Jeff McNeil.

The More The Merrier 

Manager Dave Roberts threw the gauntlet by using seven different pitchers in the bullpen game. They did a terrific job shutting down the offense all night. The Mets were held to just one run and the same amount of extra-base hits. J.D. Davis was responsible for both as his RBI double was the only tally they had on the night. Blake Treinen was dominant as ever in the ninth by striking out the side to complete the save.

The loss is the sixth in the last seven games and puts them five games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves. Carlos Carrasco will take the mound against Walker Buehler as the Mets look to beat the Dodgers. The first pitch from Dodger Stadium is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET.

Dodgers Outlast Mets For The Second Straight Night To Win 2-1 in 10

The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers gave baseball fans another classic, but the result was the same as Friday. The Dodgers had just enough big hits and pitching to squeeze out another extra-inning victory, this time by a 2-1 score.

The pitching matchup between Taijuan Walker and Walker Buehler was as good as advertised. Both traded zeros for a majority of the game, and each only made one mistake. Buehler’s came at the hands of Michael Conforto, who launched a solo home run to continue his hot August. Walker carried a no-hitter for 6.1 innings, but Will Smith once again burned the Mets and broke the no-hitter with a solo home run.

Just like Friday, extra innings came down to the quality of depth in the bullpen. After the Mets used Aaron Loup and Seth Lugo to get to the 10th, Yennsy Diaz was the last option left. Diaz ended up allowing Cody Bellinger to double and give the Dodgers the game-winning run. For the Dodgers, their depth stepped up to shut down all nine batters they faced. The victory gave them their third extra-inning win of the season after entering New York with just one all season.

The Mets will attempt to avoid the sweep on Sunday but will have themselves busy with a familiar foe. Max Scherzer will take the mound against Carlos Carrasco for the 7:08 p.m. start on Sunday Night Baseball.

Mets Game Preview (8/14/21) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (70-46)

edwin diaz, mets

After an instant classic on Friday, the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers play the middle game of their three-game series at Citi Field. Both teams will need their starting pitchers to pitch deep into the game after the 10 inning game last night. The first pitch from Citi Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

After being in an ugly offensive slump, the Mets lineup is starting to come around. While they are not putting up groundbreaking numbers, they are finally scoring enough to give themselves an opportunity to win. Michael Conforto is leading the way in August as he is slashing .324/.425/.529 and has the same amount of strikeouts and walks (6). Conforto is vital to the Mets success, in wins he slashes .281/.415/.430 but in losses he hits .146.

The Dodgers are a well oiled machine and they still contain a menacing lineup even without the presence of Mookie Betts. With Walker Buehler on the mound, the Dodgers tend to score plenty of runs for their ace. There have only been four starts where they scored two runs or less for Buehler.

Pitching Matchup

Taijuan Walker starts for the Mets and continues to search for the magic he had during the first half of the season. While Walker did have his first quality start since the All-Star break, the home run ball continued to plague him. Walker has allowed 10 home runs in his last four starts after allowing just six all season. This start could be another rough one if the home run issues continue to linger.

Walker Buehler starts for the Dodgers and is as good as it gets right now. Buehler leads baseball with a 2.13 ERA and is 12-2 which is the best winning percentage this season. He has been untouchable since July started with a 1.62 ERA and has now allowed a single home run in that span. In his last start he held the Los Angeles Angels to one run over six innings with eight strikeouts. Buehler will struggle with control from time to time and has not had a walkless start since May 5.

Matchup To Lookout For

Taijuan Walker vs. Corey Seager: 4-for-13 (.308), Home Run, 3 Strikeouts

Mets: Taijuan Walker’s post All-Star struggles continue

New York Mets, Taijuan Walker

The New York Mets’ lead in the NL East is down to a game and a half, after Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins. It was their third straight loss.

In the middle of the struggles was, again, right-hander Taijuan Walker. His outing wasn’t a disaster – he conceded four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings – but it was yet another disappointing start for the All-Star.

The Mets’ righty has allowed 15 earned runs in his last three starts, covering 14 2/3 innings. His season ERA stands at 3.86, but a few weeks ago, when he made the All-Star team, it was in the mid 2.00s.

Walker’s ERA in his last seven starts is 7.34, with a ghastly 1.66 WHIP. It’s clear he needs to get back on track for the Mets to have a chance at retaining their first place.

While Walker did retire nine of the last 10 batters he faced, the damage was done.

“I think I’m going in the right direction, honestly,” Walker told Newsday. “That third inning got away from me a little bit. But I felt good. I felt like I finished really strong at the end.”

The Mets need him to turn his season around

Home runs have been a problem for him recently. He allowed six in 16 games before the break but seven in his past three starts.

With the Mets currently going through an injury crisis at the rotation, they need Walker to be closer to his first half version.

The Mets currently have Jacob deGrom, Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto, and Noah Syndergaard on the injured list.

The problem for Walker is that he was bound for some regression after a stellar first half. In fact, his current 3.86 ERA is almost an exact replica of his career 3.84 mark.

Which version of Walker will we see in the remainder of the season? It’s certainly one of the most important storylines of the Mets’ campaign.

Mets Losing Streak Gets To Three After 5-4 Loss Against Marlins

edwin diaz, mets

The New York Mets Achilles heel is bad baseball teams because they play down to their level. Consistent losses to the Pittsburgh Pirates were the beginning and now losing two straight to the Miami Marlins continues the trend. Taijuan Walker could not get out of his pitching slump and fell victim to the home run again in the 5-4 loss.

Walker was getting beat by good hitters throughout his slump but tonight was the opposite. Alex Jackson was 3-for-47 with one extra-base hit in his big league career but took Walker deep to center field to open up the Marlins scoring. Isan Diaz is a .175 career hitter but also homered off him for the second run. To cap off the scoring off Walker, Bryan De La Cruz, who was 1-for-14 to start his career, had three hits, including a two-run single. Seth Lugo allowed the Marlins to get an insurance run in the bottom of the eight, and it turned out to be the one that saved the Marlins’ win.

Walker still made it through 5.2 innings with the four earned runs but also allowed eight hits. The two home runs allowed pushed Walker’s total to seven in his last three starts after allowing six in his first 17 starts. Regression from his All-Star form or not, there is no reason for the Marlins lineup to hit him around this easily.

Playing From Behind

Offensively, each run the Marlins scored felt like five due to the disappointing bats. They mustered just four hits to get their three runs and went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. James McCann‘s double brought the Mets within one and put him as the tying run at second, but Brandon Drury could not keep his pinch-hitting magic alive. Drury lined on about 10 feet foul before grounding out to shortstop to end the game. J.D. Davis was once again the Mets’ best hitter as he provided a two-run double to keep his average over .300.

Luis Rojas tried to inject some life into his team after getting ejected to end the seventh inning, but it was a failed attempt. The lack of focus on offense showed when McCann swung at a 3-0 pitch in the eighth as the tying run. The frustration went beyond the manager as Javy Baez showed his after flying out to end the eighth. Baez was chirping at home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater after Baez felt he was talking junk to him. The loss shrinks the Mets NL East lead to just 1.5 games after the Philadelphia Phillies won.

When Carlos Carrasco faces Zach Thompson, the Mets hope to right the ship and end the losing streak on Wednesday. Like the first two games, the first pitch is scheduled for another 7:10 p.m. ET start from loanDepot Park.

 

Mets’ Taijuan Walker about All-Star experience: “I just had a big smile on my face the whole time”

New York Mets, Taijuan Walker

New York Mets’ starter Taijuan Walker has been perhaps the best addition to the team for the 2021 season. He finished the first half with a pristine 2.50 ERA in 16 starts and 90 innings. His 89 strikeouts and 1.03 WHIP confirm just how dominant he has been in a year the Mets had had to deal with a myriad of injuries to their pitching corps.

The performance was good enough to win a spot in the All-Star Game as a replacement, and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience from start to finish. It was the first time of his career he pitched in the Midsummer Classic.

The Mets’ righty pitched the sixth inning, conceding a home run to Tampa Bay Rays slugger Mike Zunino and earning one strikeout.

He spoke with the media after his inning of work.

“I was super excited,” the Mets’ hurler said to SNY’s Michelle Margaux. “I just had a big smile on my face the whole time.

“The red carpet was fun, watching Pete [Alonso] win the Home Run Derby and just standing on the mound and listening to my family scream for me and cheer for me. Just being a part of it, having the All-Star on my back…it’s pretty cool, just the whole experience of it.”

The Mets’ star enjoyed his first Midsummer Classic

The whole experience was worthwhile, from pitching in the game to seeing the game’s brightest stars perform.

“Just hanging around guys, talking to them, seeing their personalities outside the baseball field,” Walker said. “Talking with [Fernando] Tatis [Jr.], [Manny] Machado, you know just a bunch of different guys that I wouldn’t ever really get to talk to because we’re competing against each other.”

Walker attributes his early success with the Mets to health.

“I just feel healthy this year,” Walker said. “Coming back last year, first year back from Tommy John and I throw really good. And then this year I just feel like I’m finally putting the pieces together.”

Mets Game Preview: (7/9/21) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (32-54)

After thunderstorms canceled the first game between the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates, they will attempt to get in Friday’s game to start their final series before the All-Star break. Rain is once again looming in the forecast, but the game should be able to get started in Queens. The first pitch from Citi Field is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Getting Brandon Nimmo back in the lineup was exactly what the Mets needed as they have a table-setter at the top of the order. Since returning, Nimmo is 8-for-22 (.364) with two doubles and has been in the middle of every Mets rally. For the Mets, combining seven straight games against the Pirates and the horrible NL East gives them a good opportunity to create more separation in the division.

The rebuilding Pirates have played much better of late. They have won three of their last four games and took their last series from the Atlanta Braves. Bryan Reynolds has been a bright spot by hitting .305 with 15 homers and 48 runs batted in. Potential trade target Adam Frazier is also having a solid season, leading the team and fourth in MLB with a .326 batting average.

Pitching Matchup

Taijuan Walker looks to finish his All-Star caliber season on a good note and lower his 2.44 ERA. He continued his dominance in his last start against the New York Yankees, where he pitched 5.2 innings, allowing two runs and holding a no-hitter through the first five innings. Walker is also a potential replacement to take Jacob deGrom’s spot on the All-Star team.

JT Brubaker is the Pirates starter and has been the best one for a team that has very few quality starters. He has a 4.08 ERA in 15 starts this season, but his biggest issue is the home run. Brubaker has allowed 16 of them this season and is coming off a start where he allowed three to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Mets Offense Comes Alive in 8-3 Win Over Yankees

The New York Mets looked like their struggle to score runs would continue against the New York Yankees. Brandon Nimmo wanted nothing to do with that narrative as the Mets offense woke up. They chased Jordan Montgomery in the fifth inning and took advantage of the Yankees bullpen. Three runs in the fifth and five in the sixth were all they needed to take a chilly game one, 8-3.

The Mets failed to take advantage of scoring chances early in the game but ran Montgomery’s pitch count up to 86 in just 4.1 innings. Dominic Smith broke the seal with a fifth-inning single, James McCann followed up with another, and a wild pitch capped off the three-run fifth. In the sixth, three consecutive singles to begin the inning loaded the bases for a Francisco Lindor walk. Smith continued his excellent day with a two-run double, and Kevin Pillar‘s two-run single finished off the scoring.

Walk That Way

Taijuan Walker pitched very well once again as he threw 5.2 innings, allowing two runs, and struck out five. He allowed a home run to Aaron Judge while in the game, and Miguel Castro allowed Walker’s second run on Gio Urshela‘s two-RBI single. Walker pitched five no-hit innings before sitting for 20+ minutes and coming out for the sixth.

When Castro entered the game, he gave the Yankees life by failing to find the strike zone. Jeurys Familia came in fresh off the IL to save the day and struck out three of the four batters he retired. Drew Smith finished off the game with two perfect innings, carving through the heart of the Yankees order.

The loss moves the Yankees to just one game over .500 but found a bright spot in the outing from Michael King. On a day where the bullpen faltered, King was a stabilizer with four shutout innings, allowing three hits and nine strikeouts to save the bullpen for tomorrow’s doubleheader.

Game one of the doubleheader features a supreme pitcher’s duel of Marcus Stroman against Gerrit Cole. The first pitch for the split doubleheader is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET from Yankee Stadium.

Mets Game Preview: (7/2/21) @ New York Yankees (41-39)

New York Yankees, New York Mets

The New York Mets and New York Yankees begin their newest installment of the Subway Series, but both teams are in the midst of their own turmoil. Both teams also have the same amount of wins, but the Mets are in first place while the Yankees sit in fourth. If the rain holds off, first pitch from Yankee Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

The Mets come off a back-breaking loss against the Atlanta Braves after tying the game in the ninth. The Braves never hit a ball out of the infield but still scored the game-winning run in the bottom half. Over the last 30 days, the Mets have the third-worst scoring offense in all of baseball. This included the second-worst average (.215) and fifth-worst slugging percentage (.372).

The Yankees allowed seven runs in the ninth to blow their win against the Los Angeles Angles. It caused a rippling effect throughout the organization as fans want Aaron Boone fired, but owner Hal Steinbrenner will not commit to any dramatic changes. In the loss to the Angles, Aroldis Chapman allowed a game-tying grand slam and has come back to Earth after his fantastic start to the season. On May 23, he let up his first run of the season and has a 10.13 ERA and three blown saves since.

Pitching Matchup

Taijuan Walker makes his 15th start of the season as he takes the mound for the Mets. Walker was once again brilliant in his last start and would have pitched even better if he could get Aaron Nola out. He pitched five innings, allowing three hits, one run, and struck out five. Walker is ninth in the NL with his 2.38 ERA but allowed seven runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings at Yankee Stadium last season.

Jordan Montgomery starts for the Yankees and has been a consistent arm in a year with nothing behind Gerrit Cole. In 15 starts, he has a 4.06 ERA and has done great at limiting walks with just 2.5 walks per nine innings. Montgomery battled through six innings, holding the Boston Red Sox to three runs on eight hits.

Matchups To Lookout For

Taijuan Walker vs. Rougned Odor: 6-for-13 (.462), Home Run, 2 Strikeouts

Jordan Montgomery vs. Kevin Pillar: 2-for-11 (.182), 3 Strikeouts