May 01

Mets Game Thread: Harvey Living Up To His End

Michael Cuddyer‘s homer in the fourth staked Matt Harvey to a 1-0 lead. The Nationals have had their chances against Harvey, but he’s been able to escape. He was also aided by a diving catch in short right-center by Juan Lagares.

One of those jams was set up by Wilmer Flores‘ seventh error of the season. By the way, prior to the game manager Terry Collins said he’ll give Ruben Tejada the start at shortstop, adding it has nothing to do with Flores’ recent defensive slide.

It seems like every day Lagares does something to regard the Mets for giving him that contract extension. Lagares just singled to right, but Bryce Harper threw out Curtis Granderson at the plate.

Mets 1, Nationals 0 (6th)

May 01

Mets Make Right Move By Sticking With Flores

It wasn’t that long ago when Mets manager Terry Collins said his team would eventually run into problems – “blips,” he called them – but vowed “there would be no panic.”

COLLINS: Stays with Flores. (AP)

COLLINS: Stays with Flores. (AP)

In the wake of Wilmer Flores’ costly error Thursday night that lead to a three-run inning for the Nationals, if there were a time the Mets would have panicked in the past, this would have been it.

The defense of their middle infield of Flores (six errors) and Daniel Murphy (four) was a question entering the season and remains so; the Mets have lost seven of their last nine games, and they are no longer in coast mode.

Flores made no excuses and said he botched the play. Normally, that’s enough, but the last 24 hours have seen a lot of Flores bashing, which, although deserved in part, is also shortsighted. Much of that bashing was from former-Met-turned analyst Nelson Figueroa.

“I wish I had the answer to it,” manager Terry Collins said. “When we decided he was going to be the shortstop, you realize there might be a couple rough spots.

“But, you realize the minute you jerk him out of the lineup and throw him on the bench because he’s not good enough to play shortstop, you might as well put him someplace else because those days are over playing shortstop. … You have to be a little patient.”

Collins is 100 percent on the mark about this, as patience is the Mets’ only option. What, do you want to play Ruben Tejada full time? And, before anybody brings it up, Troy Tulowitzki has an injury history and $129 million remaining on a contract that runs through 2020 (with an option for 2021). And, we’ve danced through this before; the Mets don’t want to part with any of their young pitching in a trade.

Until next year’s free-agent market develops, it is pretty much Flores or bust.

The Mets’ only option is to fiddle from within, which is what they did when they promoted second baseman Dilson Herrera after Thursday’s game and said Murphy will move to third base while David Wright remains on the disabled list for at least another week.

Consequently, the Mets will move Eric Campbell to the bench and demote lefty reliever Jack Leathersich to Triple-A Las Vegas.

This might not be a palatable option, but it is the only one. And, more to the point, it means Collins is staying true to his word and not panicking.

After all, we are only one month into the season and the Mets are perched atop the NL East which nobody expected. It is way too soon to shut the window on Flores.

ON DECK:  Why I like Matt Harvey

Apr 30

Mets, Nationals Starters

Here are the starting pitchers for this weekend’s Mets-Nationals series at Citi Field:

Thursday: RHP Jacob deGrom (2-2, 2.96) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 4.88), 7:10 p.m. ET

Friday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 3.04) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (1-2, 1.26), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jon Niese (2-1, 2.74) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 5.01), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-1, 4.26) vs. RHP Doug Fister (1-1, 3.28), 1:10 p.m. ET

 

Apr 30

An Open Letter To A Reader

This is in response to a reader’s comment. I wanted to take it a step further because he made several well-written comment.

An Open Letter to Bill:

My obligation is not to cheer for the Mets. It is to give my interpretation of the news and what I see. Under no circumstances do I dislike the Mets or Matt Harvey. I covered the team full time as a reporter for a main stream newspaper for several years.

I am disabled and the Mets, from ownership on down, have been very good to me in terms of still giving me information, access and keeping me in the loop. I go to the games when I can and will go more year. For that I am grateful and wish them well.

The players, coaches, manager and management have been respectful and I try to respond in similar fashion and they understand I will be critical at times.

Given that, I have no animosity or agenda regarding Harvey. My obligation is that if I see something I will respond with my honest opinion.

I’ve covered this game for a long time and have seen many pitchers not be able to come back from an injury. I don’t want to see that with Harvey, which is why  I have been hard on the innings issue. I love good pitching and want to see Harvey do well and am excited in his potential.

Thank you for for reading and the times you have commented. I hope you reconsider and keep reading and posting your comments as they are valuable to me. I welcome opinions different than mine.

That is what sports is all about. I am sorry you misinterpreted my writing as disliking the Mets and Harvey as that is not the case.

Best to you.-JD