Here’s the Mets’ lineup for Monday’s game at Miami:
Curtis Granderson – RF
Juan Lagares – CF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Michael Cuddyer – LF
Daniel Murphy – 2B
Eric Campbell – 3B
Wilmer Flores – SS
Kevin Plawecki – C
Dillon Gee – RHP
After sleeping on Sunday night, what can we make from the Mets losing two of three over the weekend to the Yankees? To listen to talk radio – which in cases like this is seldom good – absolutely nothing constructive.
Contrary to what you might have heard, or read, this morning, the Mets’ world is not falling apart. Also, what happens in the next three days in Miami is more important to the big picture than what occurred in the Bronx. The Yankees series is the interleague gimmick; the three games with the Marlins are within the division.
The lesson the Mets should take to Florida is when you pitch and play well, odds are you will win. When you don’t, odds are you will lose. Both Jacob deGrom and Jon Niese pitched poorly – and the Mets also had brain cramps on the bases and in the field Sunday – so what happened was to be expected. Even in the best of times, when the Mets play poorly they rarely will win.
“We had a bad night,” manager Terry Collins. “For the most part, they’ve played well.”
They have and don’t forget still own the best record in the sport. Here’s what I took from the weekend, which I won’t call lost because they weren’t destroyed and it is still only April:
* Citi Field is superior to the bandbox joke that is Yankee Stadium. Sure, excluding last week, it hasn’t always given the Mets a home field advantage, but it is a fairer field. And, along those lines, for all the bitching and moaning the Yankees will do when they eventually pay Alex Rodriguez over his PED-tainted home run totals, can we also look at the cheap homers from playing in that park? It staggers the imagination what Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle might have done in those dimensions.
* I like how Lucas Duda is playing and hope playing in Yankee Stadium won’t screw up his approach.
* I’ve not lost confidence in either deGrom or Niese, and expect both will come out strong in their next start.
* For those who believe I don’t like Matt Harvey, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While I don’t like some of the things he does and how the Mets are erratic in their handling of him, it doesn’t take from the belief he will be the real deal if he stays healthy. A true indicator of an ace is his ability to rally a team around him following a loss, which is exactly what he did Saturday. And, while I am in the corner of preserving his workload, I admire his competitive, bulldog nature on the mound. Hopefully, he’ll have a lot of opportunities to pitch in key games – and come up big – for the Mets.
* Am I the only one puzzled by Daniel Murphy’s fielding and mental lapses over the last five games? There are times he looks lost. It’s one thing to throw the ball away, but he’s making poor decisions.
* Kevin Plawecki does not look overmatched at the plate, or behind it, either. Still, it is early and needs time. Speaking of not being overmatched at the plate, the same applies to Wilmer Flores. And regarding his throwing error, if you carefully look at the replay you will notice how he didn’t step cleanly on the base as he began to throw. It is similar to a quarterback’s wobbly pass as he is hit.
* Before it is over the Mets will rely on their bullpen even more. Consequently, I’ve changed my opinion on Jenrry Mejia. If his head is screwed on straight, I can see the Mets using him again after his suspension, but barring an injury, Jeurys Familia will keep the closer job. That Bobby Parnell and Vic Black suffered setbacks in their rehab is concerning.
* It would have been fun to watch Juan Lagares play centerfield in the original Yankee Stadium where it was 463 feet to dead center.
Cuddyer called Sunday “ugly,” and “we’re going to go to Miami and play better.”
Let’s hope so. I’m not concerned the Mets lost two of three to the Yankees. What I am concerned about is the Miami series. Sandwiched between the Yankees and Nationals, there might be the tendency to overlook Miami, a place where the Mets haven’t played well in recent seasons. Call this a trap series.
The Marlins are playing better than when they were at Citi Field, which is why this series is more important to the big picture than last weekend. The Mets were due for a setback, but playoff caliber teams win against teams they should beat, including on the road.
It is important to play well in Florida and face Washington this weekend coming off a positive experience.
Playoff-caliber teams must overcome adversity and the New York Mets will be tested again.
It was a bad day all around for the Mets despite winning their eighth straight game today, 7-6 over Miami. They not only had bad luck with injuries to Travis d’Arnaud and Jerry Blevins, but also a dose of bad managing.
Let’s start with the bad luck.
It began in the seventh inning when the lefty reliever, Blevins, took a line drive off the bat of Dee Gordon and sustained a fractured left arm. He will be out indefinitely. In the bottom of the inning, Travis d’Arnaud – who was off to a sizzling start – fractured his right hand when he was struck by a fastball from A.J. Ramos. He is also out indefinitely.
As for the bad managing, Matt Harvey was sick, but Terry Collins started him anyway. With his innings carefully monitored this season, here was a perfect opportunity to preserve some of those innings. They gave away a freebie that doesn’t come around often.
If nothing else, Harvey had a 7-1 lead after the fifth. So, why pitch him into the seventh? That made no sense. Collins rested the hot Michael Cuddyer citing the big picture. Why didn’t he apply the same logic with Harvey?
So, where do the Mets go from here?
They have two other lefty relievers in Sean Gilmartin and Alex Torres, but lefty hitters were 0-for-14 against Blevins (who recovered to get Gordon with a glove-hand flip). Hansel Robles will be brought up to replace Blevins. As for d’Arnaud, who is hitting .317 and had two hits before leaving the game, he will be replaced by prospect Kevin Plawecki, who is off to a slow start at Triple-A Las Vegas.
Injuries have already hit the Mets hard, with Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin lost for the season after Tommy John surgery, and David Wright, Vic Black and Bobby Parnell on the disabled list. Wright is resuming activity, but Black had a setback in a rehab assignment.
The injuries tarnished the Mets’ 10-3 sterling silver start – Detroit is the only other team with double-digit victories – but what is important now is how they respond.
Sometimes, season-defining tests come early.
It is no secret I am not a fan of the New York Mets’ batting order, but as a baseball traditionalist I know this much, you don’t screw around with a hot streak and the Mets are going after their seventh straight win tonight against Miami.
The Mets have to feel good about number seven because they’ll be giving the ball to Jacob deGrom, who is a lifetime 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts against Miami. He’s struck out 34 in 27 innings in those four games.
In his last start, deGrom threw 6.1 scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia on Opening Day.
Said d’Arnaud: “He’s a special, special pitcher. He’s got great stuff, and most of all he’s got heart. He showed it (Monday), when he went out there and battled.’’
Here’s tonight’s batting order:
Curtis Granderson, RF
Lucas Duda, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Eric Campbell, 3B
Juan Lagares, CF
Wilmer Flores, SS
Jacob deGrom, RHP
The math adds up to the conclusion the New York Mets – two weeks into the season – are ready to move on from Dillon Gee.
Gee gave the Mets the required innings in two unimpressive starts, but recent circumstances conspired to making it impossible for them to allow him time to work out his problems and fall into a groove.
GM Sandy Alderson finally realized the Mets can’t exist with a four-man bench so they promoted utility infielder Danny Muno.
Well, to bring him up, somebody had to go down, but whom?
The Mets like Rafael Montero’s upside as a starter more than out of the bullpen, where he has a 4.15 ERA in four appearances, and with Vic Black and Bobby Parnell about to come off the disabled list, he was the logical one.
In conjunction with Montero’s demotion, the Mets say he will be stretched out so he can be used as a starter April 28 against Miami. The Mets also said Montero could get more than one start, and since they will not go to a six-man rotation more than one time, and a trade not imminent, where does that leave Gee?
They currently have seven relievers, and with Black, and then, Parnell, to be activated that would require two moves. Buddy Carlyle and Erik Goeddel are the most logical, or one of the three left-handers could also go.
A third reliever would have to go down if the Mets opt to use Gee in long relief, but that hasn’t seriously been discussed. Maybe they’ll send him down, or trade him for next to nothing, or just release him.
Several days ago I wrote why I admired Gee and those reasons still stand. However, it really doesn’t matter because it figures he won’t be around much longer.