Yankees: Good news and bad news after series win over Washington

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees are inching their way back to normalcy after starting the 2021 campaign on a bad note. They recently won a series against the Washington Nationals over the weekend and have emerged victorious in nine of their last 12 contests thanks to an increase in offensive proficiency but also stellar relief pitching.

While their offense still struggles at times, they managed to earn a walk-off win against Washington on Sunday afternoon thanks to Giancarlo Stanton, who hit a single to drive in the winning run.

The Nationals have grappled this year to find their footing; the Yankees are now two games above .500 and sit in second place behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East standings. Luckily, they are not far back from first place, and they will likely catch up in the coming weeks.

Good news and bad news for the Yankees:

First baseman Luke Voit has been absolutely crushing it during his minor-league assignment as he works his way back from injury.

“He obviously is an impact hitter, an impact bat and just adds a little bit more length and a little bit more heaviness to our lineup,” Boone said. “It’ll be good to get him back. Feel like he’s in a good spot physically. He’s been able to rack up a lot of live at-bats here this past week.”

Gaining Voit back will be a tremendous deal for the Yankees, as he adds another slugger to the lineup and one that led the MLB in home runs last season with 22 over 56 games. A bit more consistency at first base and one of their best hitters back should give the Yankees a healthy jolt of energy and production.

Relevant to the victory, the Yankee offense struggled to get going throughout the contest, logging just five hits and striking out 10 times. Gary Sanchez has seen his batting average plummet to .174, striking out three times in the contest, the only Yankee to do so. Skipper Aaron Boone gave Aaron Judge a night off until they decided to call in the big dogs to try and close out the win.

It was Stanton who got the job done, though, driving in the winning run and logging two walks on the afternoon. As for the pitching, Domingo German had a solid performance, lasting 6.1 endings and tallying five hits and two runs allowed. Overall, Boone is likely content with this performance, as the bullpen came in and shut down Washington for the remainder of the contest.

Overall, it was a healthy win thanks to the pitching, but the offense is still in need of energy, and hopefully, Voit can provide that.

Mets Can’t Get Anything Going in 7-1 Loss To Nationals

The first play of the game was the theme of the New York Mets‘ miserable 7-1 loss to the Washington Nationals. Josh Harrison’s leadoff single was misplayed by Michael Conforto in right field and rolled all the way to the wall. On the error, Harrison made it all the way to third base. Yadiel Hernandez drove him in with a sacrifice fly and four pitches into the game; the Nats had a 1-0 lead. They never looked back by scoring in each of the first five innings.

It was clear that Marcus Stroman did not have his best stuff from the beginning and received little help from home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso. The smaller zone forced Stroman to work up and throw only 43 strikes in 72 pitches. Stroman also failed to get the soft contact he recorded in his first three starts. He allowed eight singles which resulted in five runs, and only lasted four innings.

Bullpen Help

Stephen Tarpley provided no relief by allowing two runs and all four batters he faced to reach base in his Mets debut. Robert Gsellman‘s effort in relief will be overlooked, but he saved the bullpen from wasting arms. He threw three hitless innings and only allowed a walk. Gsellman was on his way out of the Mets bullpen but proved his worth in his long relief appearance.

The Mets offense struggled to figure out Nationals starter Joe Ross. He bounced back from a 10-run outing against the St. Louis Cardinals to hold the Mets to a Michael Conforto solo-home run in six innings. Pete Alonso recorded two singles as he starts to get into his groove after a small slump to begin the season. The loss drops the Mets back to 8-8, and they could be joined in first place by the Philadelphia Phillies.

The rubber game of the series sends two former Diamondbacks teammates to the mound in Patrick Corbin and Taijuan Walker. The first pitch for the Sunday afternoon game is 1:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

Mets Game Preview: (4/24/21) vs. Washington Nationals (7-10)

The New York Mets get back to business after Jacob deGrom‘s masterpiece gave them a 6-0 victory over the Washington Nationals in game one of their weekend series. Two former first-round picks headline the pitching matchup for the middle game set for a 4:10 p.m. ET start from Citi Field.

The weather will be perfect for baseball once the game starts, and the Mets have desperately needed some good weather. Plenty of their games have been postponed, and the ones they have played in are usually in ugly conditions. The offense got themselves going a little bit, thanks to deGrom’s help, on Friday, and today is a good opportunity for them to break out even more.

We saw the difference getting Brandon Nimmo back at the top of the order made during last night’s game. Nimmo three hits and four RBI’s we welcomed with open arms after the Mets were 1-for-9 in the leadoff spot while he was nursing a hip injury.

As for the Nationals, they were dominated by one of the greatest pitchers of all time. deGrom had them flailing, and they went hitless for the last 19 batters that stepped to the plate. Erick Fedde gave the Nats all they could by allowing three runs in five-inning but only late 90s Pedro Martinez could have competed with deGrom last night.

Pitching Matchups

Marcus Stroman and his stellar 0.90 ERA takes the mound after hurling eight terrific innings during his last start against the Colorado Rockies. He only has 11 strikeouts in 20 innings but is in the 75th percentile in chase rate. Stroman has also been a master at limiting hard contact as batters only have a .186 wOBA against him.

Joe Ross is the Nationals starter and is coming off a horrid start against the St. Louis Cardinals. He allowed 10 runs in 4.1 innings after having two scoreless starts to begin his season. Ross has struggled against the Mets with a 5.73 ERA in 12 games.

Matchups To Lookout For

Joe Ross vs. Michael Conforto: 6-for-13 (.462), Double, Home Run, 2 Strikeouts

Joe Ross vs. Brandon Nimmo: 5-for-7 (.714), 3 Walks, Strikeout

Marcus Stroman vs. Josh Harrison: 3-for-7 (.429), Triple, Walk, Strikeout

deGrom’s 15 K Shutout Draws MVP Chants in Mets 6-0 Win

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom has exceeded any expectations the New York Mets, or their fans could have ever imagined from him. He set a new career-high with 15 strikeouts in his second career complete-game shutout to give the Mets a 6-0 win over the Washington Nationals.

deGrom had everything working from the beginning and carried it all the way to the end of his outing. He began the night by reaching 101 mph on the radar gun, then completed his outing by retiring the final 19 batters he faced. deGrom’s 50 strikeouts this season set a record for the most strikeouts in MLB history through the first four starts of a season. He even garnered MVP fans from the contingent at Citi Field.

Finally Some Help

Despite the easy victory, it looked like a typical deGrom disappointment through the first half of the game. With no one out, the Mets stranded a runner at third base in the second inning to continue their painfully bad hitting with runners in scoring position. In the fifth, deGrom got the offense going with an RBI double which was the first of his two hits on the night. The strong offensive night brought his season average to an incredible .545.

Brandon Nimmo also continued his hot hitting in his return to the lineup. He finished just a triple shy of the cycle and had four RBIs which helped push his average back over .400. The Mets also got an encouraging game from Michael Conforto, who had two hits, getting his average over the Mendoza line. Overall, the team left eight runners on base but went 3-for-10 w/RISP.

The victory puts the Mets back in sole possession of first place with an 8-7 record. Marcus Stroman faces Joe Ross in the second game of the series which is scheduled for a 4:10 p.m. ET start from Citi Field.

Mets Game Preview: (4/23/21) vs. Washington Nationals (7-9)

The New York Mets return home to Citi Field to rebound from their ugly three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs. They face the Washington Nationals, who struggled early but have rebounded to put themselves within one game of first place in the NL East.

The 7-7 Mets would like to flush the “s— sandwich” of a sweep, as Pete Alonso called it, to get their groove back at home. They were just 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position in the three losses, and none of their starting pitchers complete four innings. Their defense was somehow worse by making six errors in the series, half belonging to J.D. Davis at third base.

Unfortunately, Davis is the only healthy player who is hitting well. He is 8-for-18 (.444) on the season and 2-for-4 (.500) w/RISP. On the bright side, his defense cannot get much worse, and we should expect to see him handling the hot corner once again. Brandon Nimmo is still day-to-day with hip stiffness and is a game-time decision for Friday’s game.

The Nationals come off a series win against the St. Louis Cardinals, where they won the final two games of the series. The Mets will avoid a few of their key players like Juan Soto, Jon Lester, Wander Suero, and Stephen Strasburg are all on the IL. Max Scherzer will not take the mound this weekend because he pitched during the series against the Cardinals.

Trea Turner leads the Nationals offense with a .302 average, four home runs, and five stolen bases. Brad Hand has been an anchor in the bullpen with six shutout innings, and three perfect save attempts to begin his Nats career. The Nationals have one of the weaker offenses in baseball. They have 55 runs scored (29th), 14 home runs (28th) but have a .253 team average (T-4th).

Pitching Matchup

Jacob deGrom takes the mound after a very dominant outing against the Colorado Rockies. In six innings, deGrom struck out 14 for the second consecutive start, fanning nine in a row at one point. He allowed three runs, but all of them were unearned, which helped lower his ERA to 0.45, the second-best in MLB. deGrom has always had success against the Nats with a 2.61 ERA in 20 career starts.

Erick Fedde gets the start for the Nationals and is coming off back-to-back solid outings. He combined for 9.2 innings, allowing two runs, and struck out 14 in that span. Fedde won’t provide much distance in the game because opposing hitters hit .328/.400/.648 the third time they face him. He has a 5.19 ERA in 26 innings against the Mets in his career, and he will have a tall task to keep the Nationals in the game with deGrom on the mound.

Matchups To Lookout For

Erick Fedde vs. Jeff McNeil: 5-for-7 (.714), Double, Walk, Strikeout

Erick Fedde vs. Michael Conforto: 3-for-7 (.429), Home Run, Strikeout

Jacob deGrom vs. Starlin Castro: 11-for-36 (.306), 2 Doubles, 2 Walks, 5 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Ryan Zimmerman: 5-for-27 (.185), 2 Home Runs, 9 Strikeouts

New York Mets: Nats Sweep Doubleheader to End Mets Playoff Hopes

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets needed an amazing start from Jacob deGrom to keep their postseason hopes alive, but he was only average on Saturday. In game one of the doubleheader, the Washington Nationals won 4-3 and took game two 5-3 against the struggling Rick Porcello. It became the fourth consecutive season that the Mets missed the playoffs.

Jacob deGrom came out firing bullets in the first inning. He hit 102 mph with his fastball, the fastest pitch of his career, and tying the fastest pitch of the season. deGrom ran into trouble from the third inning on, as he lost command, allowing a run in each of the final three innings he pitched. While striking out 10, his ERA went up to 2.38 and knocked out his chances of winning the Cy Young.

The Mets offense got to Max Scherzer early with a two-run home run from Wilson Ramos and a solo homer from Amed Rosario. Unfortunately, the Mets offense went dead late in the game as they left the lead run at third with one out in the sixth inning. Back-to-back strikeouts killed the rally and were followed by the Nationals taking the lead in the bottom half of the inning.

The Mets also lost Andres Gimenez to an oblique injury, which caused Rosario to enter the game. Dominic Smith also suffered a crushing blow, running face-first into the left-field fence. It allowed Andrew Stevenson to round the bases for an inside the park home run for his second homer of the game.

Porcello Struggles Again in Game Two

Rick Porcello towed the rubber for a meaningless game two of the doubleheader. He could not replicate the success from his last start allowing five runs over three innings. All the Nationals runs came in the third inning, as ten men went to the plate.

After the game, Porcello was disappointed in his poor season. He likely will not remain with the Mets for next season, and it is hard to see him landing with another contender in 2021. Porcello was not the only disappointed Mets starter as deGrom also voiced his frustrations with the underachieving Mets.

The Mets offense struggled outside of Pete Alonso. He hit a line-drive home run, which added to a good rebound day at the plate. Alonso showed better discipline at the plate and emphasized hitting the ball hard instead of just hitting it in the air.

Seth Lugo gets the final start of the season as he faces off against Austin Voth. Game 60 starts at 3:05 p.m. ET from Nationals Park as the Mets hope to avoid last place.

 

New York Mets: The Peterson/Chirinos Battery Lead Mets To 3-2 Win

New York Mets, David Peterson

Who would have thought the combination of David Peterson and Robinson Chirinos would team up with the 2020 season started? Both guys took different paths to the New York Mets roster but made the difference in their 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. The win kept their small playoff hopes still alive as they sit 2.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants for the final playoff spot.

While Peterson did not strike out batters at the same rate as his last start, he was still very effective. In his final start of the season, he held the Nationals to one run over seven innings and struck out four. Peterson used his slider to put away the Nats hitters and make the longest start of his career. He will finish the season with a very impressive 3.44 ERA, very deserving of a spot in next year’s rotation.

Rob and Dom Show

While the Mets only pushed across three runs on the night but they made them count. Chirinos drove in all three with a hustle single and a two-run home run. All of his RBI came off Patrick Corbin, and the home run was his first of the season.

Dominic Smith continued his hot hitting with three more hits, including two more double to up his season total to 21. It broke the Mets record for the most doubles through a 60 game stretch, and he still has three more games to add to that total. Robinson Cano also added two hits, including his first bunt single since 2013.

Edwin Diaz picked up his sixth save of the season after allowing one run in the ninth inning. He bent but did not break as he worked around two hits in the ninth to shut the door.

Rick Porcello faces off against former teammate Max Scherzer for the second game of the series on Friday. It is another 6:05 p.m. ET start from Nationals Park.

New York Mets: Nido’s Two Home Runs Lead to a 8-2 Victory

The day game after a night game is always an opportunity for the backup catcher to get himself some at-bats. For the New York Mets, Tomas Nido took full advantage of the opportunity with two home runs, including a grand slam, along with six of the eight RBIs in the Mets 8-2 win over the Washington Nationals.

Nido was 4-for-13 heading into Thursday’s matchup but hit under .200 in the previous two seasons. The breakout game gave him more home runs, and RBIs than Wilson Ramos has all season. Nido became the fifth Mets catcher ever to record six RBIs in a game. He joined the selective group of Gary Carter, Todd Hundley, Mike Piazza, and Paul Lo Duca.

Dominic Smith remained hot, adding another home run to his team lead and solidifying his spot as the everyday designated hitter. Pete Alonso also recorded an RBI single for the eighth Mets run. Luis Guillorme also recorded two more hits to push his average to .375. His defense up the middle with Andres Gimenez has proved Guillorme to be a valuable backup.

Injury Woes

The game started with an injury scare as Jeff McNeil fearlessly rammed into the left-field wall, making a tremendous catch to end the first inning. Though he attempted to walk off the field on his own, he had to get carted off. X-Rays for McNeil came back negative, and he will undergo an MRI to get a clearer idea of the severity of his injury. It forced the Mets to insert Billy Hamilton into the third spot in their order in the bottom of the first.

David Peterson once again put together another impressive start. He only allowed one hit through five innings and striking out three Nationals. After allowing two walks and an unearned run in the first inning, Peterson retired seven in a row and only allowed two base runners for the rest of his start. Peterson has proved his worth as the second-best starter behind Jacob deGrom.

At 9-11, the Mets are somehow three games out of first place and begin a three-game weekend series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. Jacob deGrom takes the mound against a starter to be announced, most likely Vince Velazquez. The first pitch from Citizens Bank Park is at 7:05 p.m. ET.

 

New York Mets: Bullpen, Offense Comes Together in 11-6 Win

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

Wednesday’s 11-6 victory for the New York Mets started they way their losses usually have. Juan Soto tormented the Mets with another three-run home run that landed 466 feet away, above the Coca-Cola corner. The Mets offense responded with four runs in the bottom of the first inning and the Mets did not look back from there.

Brandon Nimmo led off with a home run which got the Mets going quickly. Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith recorded RBI doubles and Andres Gimenez looped a single into left field to tally the fourth Mets run. Surprisingly, in the 10 run effort two and three hitters, Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis were the only Mets who failed to record a hit.

Alonso and Smith also hit back to back homers in the sixth gave the Mets a comfortable lead. The key stats for the Mets came in the areas they consistently struggled in. They went 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position and 9 of their 11 runs came with two men out. The Mets sat at the bottom of the league in those categories despite hitting well in the rest of the categories.

Alonso’s three extra-base hits were exactly what the Mets have searched for out of him. He was on the brink of breaking out of his season-long slump but a game like tonight eluded him. It was also the first time he batted fifth all season, which seemed to make a big difference.

Bullpen Game

Despite Robert Gsellman receiving the start, it was more of a bullpen game since he only threw two innings. He settled down following the Soto homer in the first inning and the bullpen limited the damage to solo homers. The bullpen allowed three runs in the following seven innings. Of course, Soto got them again for another homer and Starlin Castro along with Kurt Suzuki added “garbage time” home runs.

Dellin Betances had the most impressive outing of all the relievers. He struck out the side in order and looked to be in mid-season form. Brad Brach also made his first appearance after battling COVID-19, throwing the ninth inning. He worked around a home run but looked well. Brach fired plenty of strikes, which is a good sign after spending time on the sidelines.

The Mets attempt a split of the series when David Peterson takes the mound for a 1:10 p.m. ET start. He will be opposed by Austin Voth in Thursday afternoon’s matchup from Citi Field.

New York Mets Series Preview: Washington Nationals (8/10-13)

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

The New York Mets continue their march towards the .500 mark as they welcome in the Washington Nationals for a four-game series at Citi Field. The Mets come off a series win over the Miami Marlins during the weekend. The Nats lost the first two to the Baltimore Orioles before Sunday’s game was suspended.

Probable Pitching Matchups: 

Monday, (8/10) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Patrick Corbin (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (0-2, 5.66 ERA)

Tuesday, (8/11) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Max Scherzer (0-1, 3.29 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (1-1, 6.92 ERA)

Wednesday, (8/12) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: Anibal Sanchez (0-2, 7.84 ERA) vs. TBD

Thursday, (8/13) @ 1:10 p.m. ET: Austin Voth (0-1, 1.80 ERA) vs. David Peterson (2-1, 3.78 ERA)

Michael Wacha’s injury and Marcus Stroman‘s opt-out for the 2020 season makes more of a mess in the Mets rotation. The role of Steven Matz and Rick Porcello heightens even more as they need consistent starters to step up behind Jacob deGrom. Matz and Porcello have two completely different starts against the Nats their first time out. Matz struggled to get through three innings, while Porcello made it look easy through his seven-inning start.

Playoff Hunt?

Throughout the struggles of the first 16 games, the Mets still sit in the second spot of the Wild Card race. The Mets want to be over .500, but the new playoff format gives the Mets hope to rebound and contend after their bad start.

One of the key reasons for their turn around is the emergence of the rookie, Andres Gimenez. He has risen from the last man on the roster to someone the Mets cannot afford to keep on the bench. Thanks to Robinson Cano‘s injury, he cemented himself at second base and is hitting .333 through his young career. A matchup against Corbin and Scherzer is going to be good tests for the young prospect.

Matchups to Lookout For

Patrick Corbin vs. Amed Rosario: 3-for-22 (.136), Double, 2 Home Runs, Walk, 3 Strikeouts

Patrick Corbin vs. Michael Conforto: 8-for-22 (.364), Double, 5 Home Runs, Walk, 6 Strikeouts

Steven Matz vs. Starlin Castro: 8-for-25 (.320), Double, Home Run, 6 Strikeouts

Steven Matz vs. Juan Soto: 6-for-13 (.462), Double, Triple, 4 Strikeouts