Game Preview: Mets @ Braves

This has been quite a week for the Mets.

The Mets lost back to back games in Boston that were winnable. Many chances early and late with runners in scoring position and the Mets just fell flat. It happens. Yesterday, after being in an early 2-0 hole, the bats erupted, scoring 10 runs. That wouldn’t be enough as the bullpen continued to dissolve and the Mets ended up losing 11-10.

Meanwhile, the Coronavirus situation with the Cardinals has gone from bad to worse and like every other day this week – there is serious concern that the season will be able to continue.

But while MLB tries to figure that out, Michael Wacha will get the start against Atlanta and try to get the Mets back on track. In his first start of the season in Boston, he allowed 1 run, a homer, over 5.0 innings with 5 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts. Last year he faced the Braves once, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, over 5.0 innings from 4 hits, 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. The Braves have the following numbers against Michael:

  • Austin Riley 1-2, HR, K
  • Travis d’Arnaud 2-3, HR, BB
  • Charlie Culberson 2-3
  • Ender Inciarte 6-9
  • Freddie Freeman 4-9, 3 BB, 2 K
  • Matt Adams 1-2, K
  • Marcell Ozuna 2-5, K
  • Adam Duvall 4-19, 2 2B, 4 BB, 3 K
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. 1-3
  • Dansby Swanson 1-7, 2 K
  • Ozzie Albies 0-3

The Mets will get a look at Touki Toussaint who is making his first start of the season. In his one relief appearance against the Rays this past week, he allowed 6 runs from 5 hits and a walk over 2.2 innings, while striking out 6. He pitched in 24 games (and made one start) in 2019, totaling 41.2 innings with a 5.62 ERA, 4.99 FIP, 1.680 WHIP and 82 ERA+. He pitched 3 games and 9.2 innings against the Mets last year allowing 5 runs, 4 earned, on 8 hits and 5 walks while striking out 10. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Robinson Cano 1-1, 2B
  • Michael Conforto 2-4, 2 2B, 3 BB
  • Jeff McNeil 3-7, 2B
  • Brandon Nimmo 0-1, 2 BB
  • Amed Rosario 1-7, BB, K
  • Pete Alonso 0-4, BB, 2 K

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Game Preview: Mets @ Braves

The Mets are in mid-season form: they have left a ton of runners in scoring position the last two nights. In each of the last two nights – just one hit – by the Mets in one of several opportunities probably means the Mets win the ball game. It’s frustrating. Especially when it happens for deGrom and Matz at the top of the rotation.

Anyway, the Mets go on the road today, although not literally. They took advantage of Boston’s proximity to New York to travel by bus early in the week. Last night they went to Atlanta in a slightly larger plane than they normally do to space out.

Rick Porcello makes the start for the Mets tonight. In his Mets debut on Sunday, he allowed 7 runs, 6 earned, over 2.0 innings in a game the Mets eventually lost 14-1. But now he gets to face the Braves again! Since the Mets and Porcello took on the Braves at the start of the season, the team has cleared both Tyler Flowers and former Met Travis d’Arnaud to play. Right before the start of the season, they both had flu-like symptoms but negative tests, out of an abundance of caution, they stayed back in Atlanta. What a concept. Anyway, the Braves now have the following numbers against Porcello:

  • Dansby Swanson 2-2, 2B
  • Marcell Ozuna 1-2, 2B
  • Travis d’Arnaud 3-8, HR
  • Matt Adams 2-4, BB, K
  • Freddie Freeman 5-11, 3 BB, K
  • Adam Duvall 1-3
  • Ozzie Albies 1-4, 2B, K
  • Ender Inciarte 1-4
  • Charlie Culberson 1-4, 2 K
  • Tyler Flower 3-20, 2B, 2 BB
  • Johan Camargo 0-2, K
  • Austin Riley 0-1
  • Ronald Acuna Jr 0-5, 2 K

The Mets bats will get another look at Sean Newcomb as he continues to get stretched out into a starting pitcher again. In his first start of the season, against the Mets, he allowed 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks over 3.1 innings. Last year he mostly pitched as a reliever, pitching in 55 games making only 4 starts with a 3.16 ERA. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Tomas Nido 2-4, 2B, BB
  • Rene Rivera 2-4, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Pete Alonso 1-3, 2B, K
  • Amed Rosario 5-12, 2 2B, 3 K
  • Robinson Cano 1-3, 2B
  • Jeff McNeil 2-7, 2B
  • Dominic Smith 1-5, 2B, BB, 3 K
  • Brandon Nimmo 1-8, 2B, 2 BB, 3 K
  • J.D. Davis 0-2, 2 BB
  • Yoenis Cespedes 1-9, 2B, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Michael Conforto 1-9, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Brian Dozier 0-2, BB, 2 K
  • Wilson Ramos 0-4, BB

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Game Preview: Red Sox vs Mets

Over the course of a season a team will win a handful games they had no business of winning and lose a handful of games that should have been wins. In baseball, this makes all the difference some years. In a season with only 60 games, that’s magnified. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th with no outs, the Mets had yet another opportunity last night to put up some runs. They didn’t. It means the Mets just lost 2.7 games that they should have won. Painful but it isn’t the end of the world.

Now the Mets will try to put themselves back together as they look to take the four game home/away set from the Red Sox behind Steven Matz. In his 2020 debut, Matz allowed 1 run off 2 hits (one homer) and a walk while striking out 7. Last week we noted that Steven’s 4.21 season ERA last year didn’t tell the whole story as the in his last 14 games he had a 3.52 ERA, and in a 9 game stretch he had a 2.32 ERA. Tonight will pretty much be a mystery for Matz and the Red Sox – only Kevin Pillar has faced Matz. He’s 0-3 with a strikeout.

The Mets bats will get a look at Martin Perez today. The long time Texas Ranger signed with the Twins on a one year deal in 2019 and has signed with Boston this year. In his first start of the season against the Orioles he allowed 5 runs, 4 earned over 5.0 innings from 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. Last season he pitched in 32 games making 29 starts logging 165.1 innings with a 5.12 ERA, 4.66 FIP, 1.518 WHIP and 90 ERA+. He actually ended up facing the Mets both times they faced the Twins in interleague play last season. In April he made a relief appearance for 2.0 innings allowing 3 runs off 3 hits and 2 walks. In July he held the Mets to 2 runs, 1 earned over 6.0 innings from 5 hits and a walk. The Mets have the following numbers against Perez:

  • Amed Rosario 2-6, HR, BB, 3 K
  • Brandon Nimmo 1-2
  • Wilson Ramos 3-7, 2B, K
  • Yoenis Cespedes 5-15, 2B, 3B, 2 BB, K
  • Jeff McNeil 1-4
  • J.D. Davis 2-8, K
  • Robinson Cano 7-39, 3 BB, 5 K
  • Michael Conforto 1-7, 3 K
  • Pete Alonso 0-3, BB, K
  • Ryan Cordell 0-3

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Game Preview: Red Sox vs Mets

The Mets head down the eastern seaboard back home tonight to play the first game against the Red Sox this week in Queens! Last night the Mets powered their way through the Red Sox pitching behind J.D. Davis’ first* homer of the season, the shortest in the league at 328 feet off the Pesky pole!

*He hit a foul ball the night before that should have been challenged – it was a homer.

Anyway the real story from last night was David Peterson who looked good making his major league debut in one of the more chaotic days in baseball due to the spread of the Coronavirus on the Marlins and baseball’s less than adequately planned response. The bullpen behind Peterson was able to hold the game together and I am imagine the bus trip from Boston felt very different than the bus trip to Boston.

It’s Jacob deGrom day! The Mets ace was as advertised in his first start of the season on Opening Day holding the Braves to 1 hit and 1 walk over 5.0 innings while striking out 8. His average pitch velocity in the first inning was 99.2 mph. Opening Day was also a very typical deGrom start in another way – the Mets gave him zero support. Jacob last faced the Red Sox in September of 2018 allowing 3 runs over 7.0 innings from 5 hits while striking out 12. The Red Sox have the following numbers against him:

  • Kevin Pillar 1-3, 2B
  • J.D. Martinez 1-3
  • Rafeal Devers 1-3, K
  • Christian Vazquez 1-3, K
  • Jose Peraza 4-14, 3 K, 3 SB
  • Jonathan Lucroy 3-17, 2B, 2 K
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. 1-6, 3 K
  • Alex Verdugo 0-4
  • Andrew Benintendi 0-3
  • Xander Bogaerts 0-3
  • Mitch Moreland 0-3, 2 K

For the first time in this home-away 4-game series, the Mets will face a true starting pitcher in Nathan Eovaldi, and it feels like the Mets are facing an old friend. Eovaldi has pitched in 180 games and made 161 starts since 2011, and 10 of those starts were against the Mets. Nine of those starts were between 2012 and 2016. Ten starts doesn’t sound like a lot but over the course his career he has played for the Dodgers, Marlins, Yankees, Rays and now the Red Sox and after tonight he has started against the Mets in each of those uniforms. His last start against the Mets was in 2018 where he allowed 1 hit and no runs while striking out 9 over 7.0 innings as a member of the Rays.

Anyway, Eovaldi was the Opening Day pitcher for the Red Sox and allowed 1 run over 6.0 innings from 5 hits against the Orioles. Since that point, things have fallen apart for the Red Sox, so he’s also playing the roll of stopper tonight. Last season in 12 starts and 23 games he pitched 67.2 innings with a 5.99 ERA, 5.90 FIP, 1.581 WHIP and 81 ERA+, by far his worst season of baseball (his career ERA is 4.28). The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Eduardo Nunez 4-9, K
  • Wilson Ramos 6-18, 2 2B, BB, K
  • Yoenis Cespedes 4-11, 2B
  • Brandon Nimmo 1-3, K
  • Robinson Cano 1-3
  • Amed Rosario 0-1
  • Dominic Smith 0-2, 2 K
  • Michael Conforto 0-5

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Game Preview: Mets @ Red Sox

I just don’t know today how baseball players are going to be able to concentrate. In addition to all of the questions surrounding the Marlins and baseball, MLB has announced a hard to follow system for the short term. The Orioles and Yankees will now play each other while the Marlins and the Phillies sit. Then the Marlins will not play all weekend, meaning that the Nationals won’t play too. And if the Marlins have to isolate, rest and get healthy beyond Monday – which seems both inevitable and the right thing to do, the Mets could face game cancellations too.

So somehow, with all of that going on in the background, the Mets and Red Sox will play baseball tonight. Plus, David Peterson, is going to make his major league debut tonight.

Anyway, last night the Mets played against the Red Sox and their bullpen and things went alright for the Mets. They scored early, they scored often, they scored enough to avoid a bullpen implosion at the end of the game. Pete Alonso hit a homer that left his bat at 116 mph. Dominic Smith reminded us all why he’s awesome. Wacha was impressive. It was a good night.

And now David Peterson will try to keep the good times in Boston going tonight. He made 24 starts in Binghmaton last year year totaling 116.0 innings with a 4.19 ERA, and 1.345 WHIP while striking out 122 batters. Then he pitched in the Arizona Fall League for 13.0 innings over 4 starts allowing 7 runs, 5 earned. He has a fastball in the low 90’s and according to Baseball America, the best slider in the system and projects to be a back of the rotation type pitcher (which honestly is what the Mets need right now).

The Red Sox will be going with Matt Hall today, who they acquired in a trade with the Tigers back in January. Over the last two seasons Hall has pitched in 21 games for the Tigers, logging 31.1 innings with a 9.48 ERA, 5.15 FIP, 2.074 WHIP and 51 ERA+. In the minors last season he saw time as a starter and a reliever, pitching in 25 games, 13 starts, totaling 86.2 innings with a 5.30 ERA and 1.535 WHIP. This was massive departure from the previous year (2018) when he had a 2.83 ERA over 10 starts and 57.1 innings in AAA Toledo (and a 1.58 ERA over 57.0 innings, mostly in relief in AA Erie).

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Game Preview: Mets @ Red Sox

I went to sleep last night thinking that the Mets 14-1 loss was going to be the story dominating #MetsTwitter today. Then the Marlins news broke. First, 7 additional players and 2 coaches tested positive, bringing the total up to 13 people in recent days (could be 14, there was confusion earlier today if it was 7 or 8 players who tested positive). Then a story broke that the Miami players decided to play yesterday, despite having positive tests come back before the game – and – there was no mechanism in the MLB Covid19 response plan to counteract their decision. The game in Miami was cancelled tonight with the game in Philly but there have been rumors that the Marlins picked up the virus in Atlanta, and the Braves just played the Mets so both of those teams should probably not play tonight either. It seems like baseball’s plan is to allow the Marlins to play later this week with players mostly from their 60-man roster. I’m not sure how this ensures the competitive integrity of the sport but whatever. Anyway, baseball news has been chaotic all day, which doesn’t make me feel better about any other aspect of society returning to normal.

The prudent, responsible, safety-first thing to do would be to halt the season right now, probably until 2021. But, as of 2 PM, baseball is still happening today so on to the game preview:

The Mets have shipped up to Boston via a bus after a disappointing end of the series. After showing lots of hope and promise the first 17 innings of baseball this year, things have gone downhill in the last 11. Díaz blew a save, Hunter Strickland made the game out of reach and then last night Rick Porcello just imploded. The Mets lost 14-1 in a real clunker of a game and dropped a series they could have easily won.

The Mets pitching experiment continues tonight with Michael Wacha. Last year he pitched in 29 games, 24 starts, for the Cardinals pitchign 126.1 innings with a 4.76 ERA, 5.61 FIP, 1.563 WHIP and 90 ERA+. His FIP and WHIP were the worst in his career last year and his ERA+ was the second worst in his career. But, he did look good in one of his last Mets tuneups before the season. A few members of the Red Sox roster have seen him in action:

  • Jonathan Lucroy 6-16, 2B, HR, B, K
  • Jose Peraza 4-13, 2B, K
  • Kevin Pillar 0-4, K
  • J.D. Martinez 0-2

Josh Osich is slated to make his first major league start tonight. In his first game experience of the season, he pitched one inning and allowed 1 hit. Last year he pitched in 57 games totaling 67.2 innings with a 4.66 ERA, 1.138 WHIP, 4.96 FIP and 99 ERA+. Just looking at his numbers, its safe to assume that Josh will go 1-2 innings tonight. Maybe three innings if the Mets go down quietly and quickly. He pitched 1.2 innings against the Mets last year allowing 2 runs off two hits, both homers, and a walk while striking out one. The Mets have the following numbers against Josh:

  • Jeff McNeil 1-1, HR, BB
  • Michael Confortio 1-4, HR, BB, K
  • Brandon Nimmo 0-0, BB
  • J.D. Davis 0-0, BB
  • Robinson Cano 1-3
  • Yoenis Cespedes 0-2
  • Pete Alonso 0-2, K

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Game Preview: Braves vs Mets

We are only a few days into the new season and I’m going to offer my controversial Hot Take from yesterday: I think Díaz threw a good pitch, and sometimes you get beat. It’s hard saying that in the backdrop of what happened last year and his performance this spring/summer. As you know by now, Díaz allowed the tying run in the ninth and the Mets went into extras with Hunter Strickland who performed exactly like his numbers suggested he would and the Mets couldn’t recover. Heartbreaking losses are now 2.7x more heartbreaking in 2020, and I don’t know about you but I forgot how to lose so it was a rough night.

But now we’re back. The Mets have one of the Sunday night games as they finish off their series with the Braves. Since teams are essentially playing in geographic divisions, Sunday night baseball is now a double header, moving the Mets to a much more normal 7 PM start rather than 8 PM start.

And Rick Porcello will make his Mets debut tonight! Porcello is coming off an awful year, pitching 174.1 innings over 32 starts with a 5.52 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 87 ERA+ and 1.394 WHIP. The only time his FIP has ever been higher was in rookie year where he posted a much better 114 ERA+ (his ERA+ has been above 100 four times in eleven seasons). The last time he faced the Braves was in 2018 and it was a good start, allowing only 1 run on 2 hits over 5.0 innings. The Braves have the following numbers against him:

  • Freddie Freeman 5-11, BB, K
  • Adam Duvall 3-4
  • Matt Adams 1-3, K
  • Adeiny Hechavarria 4-22, 2B, HR, 2 K
  • Charlie Culberson 1-4, 2 K
  • Ender Inciarte 0-3
  • Ozzie Albies 0-2, K
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. 0-3, K
  • Johan Camargo 0-2, K

Sean Newcomb returns to the rotation for the Atlanta Braves. He made his debut in 2017 at 24 years old and made 19 starts over 100 innings with a 4.32 ERA. The following year he made 30 starts and pitched 164.0 innings with a 3.90 ERA. Last year the Braves moved him mostly to the bullpen and pitched in 55 games with 4 starts totaling 68.1 innings with a 3.16 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 1.317 WHIP and 144 ERA+. Last year was his best in ERA+, ERA and WHIP and his worst in FIP. His numbers against the Mets were not good last year. He logged only 6.1 innings despite pitching in relief for 6 games and starting 1, allowing 8 runs from 9 hits and 3 walks. Despite that stat line, for the most part, the Mets numbers against him are not that scary:

  • Robinson Cano 1-2
  • Pete Alonso 1-2, 2B, K
  • Amed Rosario 5-10, 2 2B, BB, 3 K
  • Rene Rivera 4-6, 2 2B, 2 BB,2 K
  • J.D. Davis 0-2, 2 BB
  • Jeff McNeil 2-6, 2B, K
  • Dominic Smith 1-5, 2B, BB, 3 K
  • Yoenis Cespedes 1-8, 2B, BB, 3 K
  • Michael Conforto 0-7, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Brandon Nimmo 0-7, 2 BB, 3 K

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Game Preview: Braves vs Mets

If there is one day I’m not worried about Mets baseball, it’s Opening Day. The Mets continued to build on their strong Opening Day record yesterday with a 1-0 win. Jacob deGrom was fantastic over 5.0 innings, but the Mets didn’t score for him, keeping the tradition of teaching Mets fans that wins aren’t an important stat. Yoenis Cespedes, playing his first baseball game in two years hit a homer for the only run. Edwin Diaz looked good. It was an all around great day in Queens!

The Braves will already look different than yesterday’s team. About two hours before the first pitch, they acquired Scott Schebler for cash from the Reds to give them another bat off the bench. In the Game Preview yesterday, we also didn’t discuss how the catching corps were completely depleted due to d’Arnaud and Flowers having Covid symptoms. It’s an early reminder that rosters are going to be fluid this season.

Remember that point during Spring Training when the Mets brass made it seem like Steven Matz and Michael Wacha were competing for the 5th rotation spot? Welcome to the Mets current starting pitching situation with our #2 flamethrower – Matz! Steven pitched in 32 games and made 30 starts last year totaling 160.1 innings with a 4.21 ERA, 4.60 FIP, 1.341 WHIP and 96 ERA+. In his last 14 games (after his small stint in the bullpen), he pitched 79.1 innings with a 3.52 ERA. Within those 14 games, there is a 9 game stretch from the end of July to the middle of September where Matz had a 2.32 ERA over 54.1 innings.

Matz made more starts last year against the Braves than any other team, totaling 31.0 innings against them. He allowed 11 runs (3.19 ERA) from 19 hits and 12 walks while striking out 31. The Braves have the following numbers against Matz:

Max Fried makes his 2020 debut for the Braves today following his first full season. Last year he pitched in 33 games, 30 starts with a 4.02 ERA, 3.72 FIP, 1.334 WHIP and 113 ERA+ over 165.2 innings. Five games and four starts came against the Mets where he allowed 11 runs over 25.2 innings (3.86 ERA) from 30 hits, 6 walks and 26 K’s. The Mets have the following numbers against Fried:

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Game Preview: Braves vs Mets

Opening Day is all about optimism. Every team has the same record. Every team has a mathematical chance to make the playoffs. Teams are coming out of spring training, still boasting about how individual players are in the best shape of their lives. Anything is possible.

And this year, it seemed like today was impossible. In some ways, today feels irresponsible. Optimism has been replaced with trepidation.

But we made it. For better or worse baseball is happening tonight. 60 players and dozens of coaches between two teams tonight will risk their health at Citi Field so we can escape from reality for a few hours.

And we are so lucky. We’ll get to escape the pandemic tonight with another Opening Day start by Jacob deGrom, fresh off back to back Cy Young awards. Last year deGrom posted a 2.43 ERA, 0.971 WHIP, 2.67 FIP and 167 ERA+ over 32 starts and 204.0 innings. He struck out a league leading 255 batters in 2019. He faced the Braves 4 times, pitching 26.1 innings allowing 9 runs (3.08 ERA) from 20 hits and 7 walks while striking out 39 batters. The only team that he struck out more batters from last year was the Marlins (46) but he also made 6 starts against the Marlins. The Braves have the following numbers against deGrom:

The Mets bats will get their first look at Mike Soroka today. Soroka is coming off his first full season of baseball where he pitched in 29 games and 174.2 innings with a 2.68 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 1.111 WHIP and 169 ERA+. The 2019 All-Star led the league in homers per 9 innings at 0.7 (for comparison deGrom was at 0.8 and in 2018 deGrom was at 0.4). Soroka finished 6th in Cy Young voting and second in rookie of the year (behind you know who!). He faced the Mets three times last year, pitching 17.1 innings allowing 8 runs (4.15 ERA) from 20 hits and 3 walks while striking out 13. The Mets have the following numbers against Soroka:

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment

Summer Training Preview: Mets @ Yankees

Positives from last night: The Mets played baseball! For the first time since March 11th, the Mets suited up to play another professional baseball team. There were some differences. Gary, Keith and Ron were not all in the same booth. The dugouts extended into the stands with specific seats marked “Sit Here”. Some players and coaches had masks on in the dugout and bullpens, others didn’t. There was less throwing the ball around the infield after a strikeout. Things we’ll get used to in short order.

The real foe of the night for the Mets wasn’t the Yankees – it was their own defense. The Mets scattered 4 fielding and throwing errors throughout the night that led to things getting out of control in the 9th inning. Plenty of us, myself included, are probably reading too much into it because it’s the first real thing related to the Mets to start overreacting to in some time.

Nature is healing I guess.

Anyway, on to tonight. The Mets will send out Corey Oswalt, who is fighting his way up the depth chart. Oswalt saw a cup of coffee with the Mets last year logging 6.2 innings of work over 2 games while allowing 9 runs. In the minors however he started 18 games pitching 92.2 innings with a 2.82 ERA. Before the global pandemic upended all life as we knew it in the states, he pitched 3 games in spring training totaling 8.0 innings allowing 2 runs, 1 earned.

The Mets will also to roll with this lineup tonight:

  1. Jeff McNeil 3B
  2. Pete Alonso 1B
  3. Robinsion Cano 2B
  4. Yoenis Cespedes LF
  5. Micael Conforto RF
  6. J.D. Davis DH
  7. Amed Rosario SS
  8. Brandon Nimmo CF
  9. Rene Rivera C

Outside of Wilson Ramos, who I thought was going to play tonight, this fairly close to normal starting lineup for the Mets. It’s nice to see McNeil start after sitting yesterday and Luis Rojas is giving Mets fans something to debate, rolling with Robinson batting third again. (We’ll see if this happens once the season starts also, I’m saving my complaints about it until then).

The obvious, glaring highlight in the lineup is Yoenis playing in the field. He’s going to primarily DH this year (at least that’s what the common perception is) but this is still nice to see.

This lineup will have to deal with Jordan Montgomery. During the 2019 season he pitched in 2 games, 4.0 innings he allowed 3 runs from 7 hits. He’s going to be rounding out the Yankees rotation as their 4th or 5th starter this year as he continues to work back from TJ back in 2018. Overall in Spring he allowed 5 runs off 7 hits and 4 homers over 11.0 innings of work.

Let’s Go Mets!

Posted in Main Page | Leave a comment