The Mets Have an “A” Off-Season

Before the Cespedes signing, the Mets had a solid off-season. They lost a major bat in Daniel Murphy but found a reasonable replacement in Neil Walker (more defense, more power, less average), increased depth with Cabrera, signed Bartolo to round out the rotation and later become part of the pen, and then got Bastardo on steal deal. The Mets would have been good at that point, at least an improved team from the start of the 2015 season.

In other off-seasons of Mets baseball, that probably would have been a solid “B” grade. However, the Mets just made it to the World Series, and have 3 more years of control on all of their young arms. Not getting a major bat to some degree was inexcusable. If there ever was a time to go all in, it is the next three seasons.

Cespedes does so much for the team outside of just being the important bat in the middle of the lineup. First, he pushes Lagares and de Aza to become late inning guys / pinch hitters. The Mets now have a solid starting 3 in the outfield with a reasonable late inning defensive replacement. Pinch hitting before would have been some combination of Flores/Cabrera which ever OF wasn’t starting, Kirk and Campbell. Now our pinch hitting situation involves all major league players.

Cespedes also changes the composition of the lineup completely. He pushes Duda out of cleanup, and forces Conforto into the 7th spot. Without Cespedes, Duda is up to 4th, d’Arnaud has to hit 5th, de Aza is probably 7th with Cabrera still 8th. On days when Lagares would start, the Mets would then have two 8 spots in their lineup with Lagares and Cabrera going back to back. Cespedes stretches out this lineup in a much needed way.

Basically, Cespedes makes all of the smaller moves done this off-season into smaller, role moves. Like they should be. The Mets became a chore to watch in June of last year when they kept running out their best pitchers followed by a AAA lineup.

This team just became so much more exciting to watch in 2016, and it’s because of an impact bat.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss about what is happening in Queens that Flores cried, Wheeler called and Cespedes walked away from at least 25 million more.

World Series Game 5 Preview: Royals vs Mets

The Mets need a win tonight as they go into an elimination game for the World Series. Last night the Mets let the game slip away after a poor 8th inning in pretty much every facet of baseball. That being said, the Mets just need to take this one day at a time and go after the Royals again tonight.

Matt Harvey will make his second start of the series. In the opener, he allowed 3 ER over 6.0 innings while striking out 2 (although you could make an argument about the first run really due to a misplay in the outfield on a well struck ball). Syndergaard usually learns from Harvey, but I’m hoping tonight that Harvey learned from Syndergaard about the importance of being yourself on the mound. So far in the post season Harvey has tossed 18.2 innings allowing 8 runs, 7 earned, a 3.38 ERA, while striking out 18 batters with 6 walks. The Royals have the following numbers against him:

  • Rios 1-5
  • Cain 1-3
  • Escoar 1-3, HR
  • Hosmer 0-1
  • Morales 0-3
  • Moustakas 1-3
  • Perez 1-3
  • Zobrist 1-3, 2B

The Mets bats will get another look at Edinson Volquez tonight. He had a very similar line to Harvey in game 1 allowing 6 hits, 3 ER over 6.0 innings while striking out 3. In the post-season he has pitched 22.2 innings over 4 starts allowing 11 ER (4.37 ERA) while walking 13 and striking out 18. When the Mets have been out their worst this series has been when they get themselves out quickly. A strength of this team all year has been working counts and making pitchers work. The Mets have the following numbers against Volquez:

  • Murphy 7-18, 2B
  • Wright 2-16
  • K Johnson 4-15, 2B
  • Cuddyer 4-11
  • Granderson 1-11, HR
  • Duda 4-11, 2B
  • Uribe 3-10, 2B
  • d’Arnaud 1-7
  • Lagares 3-8, 2B

Let’s Go Mets!

World Series Game 4: Royals vs Mets

The Mets struck back! After dropping the first two games in Kansas City, the Mets came out strong in the first game in Queens. Thor started the game with a high and inside pitch and David Wright followed with a two run shot. Things looked rough in the second inning, but the Mets rebounded and then took over as they marched to a 9-3 win. Tonight the kid from Long Island gets the start against the former Met, Chris Young.

Steven Matz in the regular season went 4-0 over 6 starts and 35.2 innings with a 2.27 ERA. He is the game 4 man for the Mets this post season. In his game 4 against the Dodgers he pitched 5.0 innings allowing 3 ER and in his second game 4 against the Cubs he allowed 1 ER over 4.2 innings. Both starts he walked 2 and both starts he struck out 4. He has never faced the Royals in a major league game or anyone on their roster in a major league game.

The Mets draw the giant in Chris Young, who pitched a strong outing in the first game of the World Series. Chris Young has a ridiculous release point which is a strength his first time through the order, so here’s hoping that the Mets still remember what this looks like from Tuesday night. On the regular season he is 11-6 over 34 games, 18 starts, with a 3.06 ERA. He pitched in the first ALDS game from the 3rd inning to the 6th allowing 1 ER. He hten started the 4th ALCS game allowing 2 ER over 4.2 innings. Finally, as noted before, he pitched three scoreless innings against the Mets on Tuesday. The Mets have the following numbers against Chris:

  • Cespedes 1-12, 2B
  • Wright 1-10
  • Uribe 2-11, 2B
  • K Johnson 2-11
  • Cuddyer 2-5, 2 2B
  • Murphy 0-3
  • Granderson 0-3

Let’s Go Mets!

World Series Game 3 Preview: Royals vs Mets

The Mets bring the series home today after a rough start in Kansas City. After a 14 inning heartbreaker, the Mets could not get anything going against Cueto in Game 2, leading to a 2-0 series lead for Kansas City. While it’s easy to get down by this, the 1986 Mets were the same, losing the first game by 1 run and the second game by 6 runs. All it takes is a win and we’re back in this, so let’s do this!

Tonight Noah Syndergaard takes the mound. He’s 9-7 over 24 starts with a 3.24 ERA this season over 150.0 innings. In the post-season he has allowed 3 ER over 6.1 innings, pitched a scoreless/hitless inning of relief, and then allowed 1 ER over 5.2 innings against Chicago. He’s also won the heart of Pedro Martinez, and I forever have an image of him holding up the hammer yelling “THOOOORRRRRR” on those terrible TBS pre-game shows. Not surprisingly, Thor has never faced the Royals in a major league game and the only player he has seen in a major league game will not be batting tonight (Johnny Cueto 0-2, I mean I guess he could get an AB, but I really, really doubt it).

On the other side, the Mets bats draw Yordano Ventura who was 13-8 in the regular season over 28 games and 163.1 innings with a 4.08 ERA. His first post-season start this year lasted 2.0 innings as he allowed 3 ER over 2.0 innings. He then started game 4 of the ALDS and allowed 3 ER over 5.0. In game 2 against Toronto he allowed 3 ER over 5.1 and he finally had a good game in game 6 against Toronto allowing 1 ER over 5.1 innings. Ventura has never faced the Mets and the only Met that has seen him in a major league game is Cespedes who is 1-7 against him.

Let’s Go Mets!

World Series Game 2 Preview: Mets @ Royals

The Mets will try to move past last night’s heartbreaking loss and even the series to 1-1 behind Jacob deGrom tonight. Yesterday the Royals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a first pitch inside the park homer. The Mets would later tie the game and then in two more single run innings, would lead the game 3-1. At this point it became a back and forth affair with the Royals evening the score to 3-3, the Mets taking advantage of an error to make it 4-3 and the Royals hitting a solo homer off Familia in the ninth to make it 4-4. Eventually the Royals would score off of a bases loaded sac fly in the 14th to win the game 5-4. The Mets pitching in extra innings was great but after the 9th inning the bats fell flat.

Jacob deGrom is 3-0 in the post-season pitching a total of 20.0 innings, allowing a total of 4 ER, an ERA of 1.80, while striking out 27 batters. Not surprisingly, tonight will be deGrom’s first night facing the Royals in a major league game and the only person on the Royals to see him in a game is Drew Butera who was 0-3 with a K.

The Mets get Johnny Cueto tonight who has been all over the place this year. When he was with the Reds he was 7-6 over 19 starts with a 2.62 ERA. With the Royals he has gone 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA over 13 starts. Things are even more pronounced in the postseason. In game 1 against Houston he allowed 4 ER over 6.0 innings. In game 5 against Houston, he held the Astros to just 2 ER over 8.0 innings while striking out 8. He followed that up with a 8 ER over 2 inning performance against Toronto. His one start against the Mets this year was while he was with the Reds and he held the Mets to 2 ER over 6.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Johnny:

  • Wright 6-25, HR
  • Murphy 3-17
  • Duda 3-15, HR
  • Granderson 3-12, 2 HR
  • Lagares 2-12
  • K Johnson 1-6, HR
  • Cuddyer 1-6, 2B
  • d’Arnaud 3-5, 2 2B
  • Flores 1-6, 2B

Let’s Go Mets!

World Series Game 1 Preview: Mets @ Royals

We are finally here! After a long time break, the Mets are back in action tonight in the World Series! We last left off in Chicago as the New York Mets swept the Cubs in a four game set, punching their ticket to a World Series for the first time since 2000. It took the Royals six games to beat the Blue Jays on the way to their berth, their last game coming on Friday.

Matt Harvey will get the start for the Mets. In the postseason he has pitched 12.2 innings allowing 4 ER, 5 overall while striking out 16. His last start was the better one allowing 2 ER over 7.2 innings in the NLCS opener. He probably benefited the most from the Mets four game sweep as he was scheduled to start game 5, despite taking a comeback straight in the triceps. Harvey has never faced the Royals before and only Alex Rios (1-3) has seen him in a major league game, so he’s an unknown arm to KC.

The Mets bats will get a look at Edinson Volquez tonight, who went 13-9 over 34 games, 33 starts over 200.1 innings for KC this year with a 3.55 ERA. He’s been a bit over the map this year in the postseason allowing 3 ER over 5 hits and 5.2 innings in first start, allowing no runs over 6.0 innings and 2 hits in his second start and allowing 5 ER over 3 hits and 5 innings in his last start. In every start this year he has walked 4 batters. In 2014 he faced the Mets twice going 1-0 over 11.0 innings allowing 2 ER over 12 hits while striking out 13. The Mets have the following numbers against Edinson:

  • Murphy 6-15, 2B, 3 BB
  • K Johnson 4-14, 2B, 3 BB
  • Wright 2-13, 3 BB
  • Cuddyer 4-11, 3 BB
  • Granderson 0-9, 3 BB
  • Duda 2-8, 3 BB
  • Lagares 3-8, 2B
  • Flores 1-3, 2B

Let’s Go Mets!

NLCS Game 4 Preview: Mets @ Cubs

The Mets can advance to the World Series tonight! The Mets took a commanding three games to none lead in the series last night. Murphy continued his tremendous post-season hitting another homer and the David Wright / Cespedes both had multiple hits. On the other side, deGrom labored in the first inning (well over 25 pitches) but managed to pitch 7 innings allowing only 2 runs and the Mets bullpen shut down the Cubs for the final two innings. The Mets also got through some oddness with a ball getting stuck in the ivy that in a stadium that had umpire discretion for ball’s getting stuck in the wall, would have led to a run, but whatever.

Steven Matz will try to clinch it for the Mets tonight. In the regular season he was 4-0 over 6 starts and 35.2 innings with 34 K’s. His line from his only post-season start doesn’t tell the whole story. He was pegged for 3 earned runs over 5.0 innings, but really he had only one poor inning, and the ball that allowed 2 runs to come in wasn’t that well struck. He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on the Cubs roster in a major league game.

The Mets bats look to attack Jason Hammel tonight who was 10-7 this season over 31 starts and a 3.74 ERA while pitching 170.2 innings with 172 K’s. He pitched in the Cubs clincher game against the Cardinals where he allowed 2 ER over 3.0 innings while walking 3 and striking out 2. He had one start against the Mets this year back in May and it was very good allowing 1 ER over 8.0 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Hammel:

  • K Johnson 9-30, 2B, 2 HR
  • Granderson 8-24, 2 2B, 2 HR
  • Murphy 6-11, 2 2B
  • Wright 1-7
  • Cuddyer 1-7

Let’s Go Mets!

NLCS Game 3 Preview: Mets @ Cubs

The Mets are in Chicago to play Game 3 of the NLCS!

The Mets took a commanding 2-0 series lead against the Cubs, a team they went 0-7 against in the regular season, as they were able to beat both Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. Now the Mets will have Jacob deGrom on the mound for game 3 against Kyle Hendricks as they look to push the Cubs closer to the brink. Now the games have moved to the Friendly Confines, and the explosive bats of the Cubs will be in play. However, the Mets have power too and they have Daniel, Murphy.

In deGrom’s two post season starts he has tossed a combined 13.0 innings allowing 2 ER while striking out 20 batters. In his last start against the Dodgers, he allowed 2 ER and walked 3, but was still beat them as he became one of the very few Mets pitchers to win two games in one series. On the regular season he is 14-8 over 30 starts and a 2.54 ERA while striking out 205 batters. Tonight will be a night for him to move past a team that has given him trouble. In May the Cubs tagged him for 4 ER over 5 innings and July they scored 4 runs, 3 earned, over 5.1 innings. The Cubs have the following numbers against deGrom:

  • Castro 2-8
  • Rizzo 3-9, HR
  • Coghlan 1-4
  • La Stella 0-5
  • Bryant 1-2, HR
  • Fowler 1-1
  • Montero 1-3
  • Travis Wood (The Pitcher) 1-2, HR, 3 RBI

The Mets draw the young arm tonight in Kyle Hendricks who is 8-7 over 32 starts this year with a 3.95 ERA and 180.0 innings of work. In his one post-season start he allowed 3 ER over 4.2 innings while striking out 7, all three runs coming on solo homers. In his one start against the Mets this year, he held them scoreless over 6.0 innings while striking out 6. The Mets have the following numbers on Kyle:

  • Duda 2-4, HR
  • Granderson 1-6
  • Murphy 1-6, 2B
  • Lagares 0-5
  • Flores 0-4
  • d’Arnaud 0-3
  • Wright 0-3

Let’s Go Mets!

NLCS Game 2 Preview: Cubs vs Mets

Winning game 1 always helps, and the Mets were able to do that last night! Harvey was incredible pitching 7.2 innings, allowing only 2 runs while striking out 9. Murphy provided offense and killed a rally the Cubs tried to make in the 9th inning with an amazing play. Now the Mets will have an incredibly tall order in Jake Arrieta tonight, but this is also the same squad that had to face Kershaw and Greinke twice.

Noah Syndergaard makes the start after warming up 3-4 times and pitching a clean inning in relief in game 5 of the NLDS. On the season he is 9-7 over 24 starts and 150.0 innings with 166 K’s. In his first start in the NLDS he allowed 3 ER over 6.1 innings, walking 4 and striking out 9 batters. His major league debut was against the Cubs where he allowed 3 ER over 5.1 innings and 6 hits while walking 4 and striking out 6. The Cubs have the following numbers against Noah:

  • Bryant 2-3, 3B
  • Castro 1-3, 2B
  • Coghlan 1-2, HR
  • Fowler 0-3
  • Montero 0-2
  • Soler 2-3

Jake Arrieta has been straight fire since All-Star break and the season overall. He has a league leading 22 wins on the regular season and tied with Clayton Kershaw to lead the league in complete games (4) and complete game shutouts (3). He ended the season with an ERA of 1.77 and 229.0 innings and has had an 0.41 ERA over 12 starts since the start of August. In his first post-season start, he tossed a complete game shutout against the Pirates, in his second start, he allowed 4 ER over 5.2 innings. Arrieta pitched twice against the Mets this year going 2-0 over 16.0 innings allowing 2 ER. The Mets have the following numbers against Jake:

  • Granderson 10-30, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR
  • Duda 4-11
  • Murphy 3-12
  • Cuddyer 2-9
  • K Johnson 0-6
  • Flores 3-8, 2B
  • Cespedes 1-6, HR

Let’s Go Mets!

NLCS Game 1: Cubs vs Mets

Next Up: Cubs!

The Mets beat the Dodgers in Game 5 on Thursday night thanks to an amazing Daniel Murphy (although you already know this story). The Cubs dropped the first game of their NLDS against the Cardinals and then one the next three to earn a trip to Queens. In the regular season, the Cubs crushed the Mets picking up 7 wins in as many games, but the Mets were a very different team back then.

Matt Harvey is 13-8 over 29 starts and 189.1 innings with a 2.71 ERA. In his first playoff game he allowed 3 runs, 2 earned over 5.0 innings and 7 hits while striking out 7. He labored through his 5 innings but he was able to get huge outs multiple times through the game. He pitched against the Cubs once this year and shut them out over 7.0 innings while striking out 9. The Cubs have the following numbers against Harvey:

  • Coghlan 3-8, 2B
  • Fowler 1-9
  • Montero 3-5, 2B
  • Castro 2-6
  • Rizzo 1-4, 2B
  • Jackson 1-4
  • Bryant 1-3
  • Soler 0-3

Jon Lester is 11-12 over 32 starts and 205.0 innings with a 3.34 ERA. In his one start in the postseason eh allowed 3 ER over 7.1 innings while striking out 9 batters. He faced the Mets twice this year picking up 1 win and allowing only 3 ER over 13.0 innings and 10 hits while striking out 13. The Mets have the following numbers against Lester:

  • Granderson 12-44, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR
  • Cuddyer 5-19, 2 2B
  • K Johnson 1-15
  • Cespedes 2-13
  • Duda 2-6, HR
  • Flores 1-5, HR
  • Lagares 1-4, 2B

Let’s Go Mets!