Jun 30

DeGrom Aces Phillies

There can be no doubt if the Mets are to salvage their season, if not make a run, they’ll need more of the same from Jacob deGrom, who pitched like the ace he is in keeping his team hot.

The Mets have now won six of their last seven games tonight in beating the Phillies, 2-1, at Citi Field, to pull within five games of .500.

De GROM: Aces Phillies. (AP)

De GROM: Aces Phillies. (AP)

“Going into LA was a wake-up call for us,’’ deGrom said. “We got our teeth kicked in. We know we had to play better. If we’re going to do it, we’re running out of time.”

Getting going means beating the teams you’re supposed to, which includes the Giants and Phillies.

This still could turn into a “trap series,’’ if the Mets stumble the next two days, but deGrom wouldn’t let that happen tonight. DeGrom had to be dog tired as the Mets’ flight from Miami didn’t land in New York until after 4:30 a.m.

DeGrom has turned things around since back-to-back starts when he gave up 15 runs. Since then, he’s gone 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA, walking only eight but with 31 strikeouts.

“He’s in a groove for sure,’’ manager Terry Collins said. “He’s such a competitor. He won’t give in and throw one over the middle.’’

DeGrom’s fastball was superb tonight, but he also commanded his secondary pitches well, particularly his slider early in the game and his change-up in the later innings.

DeGrom, who had worked at least eight innings in his last three starts, worked seven innings and gave up one run on three hits and one walk. DeGrom, who had a string of double-digit strikeout games earlier this year, but not recently, struck out 12, which contributed to his higher than normal pitch count of 111. It is the sixth time this year he struck out at least ten.

“I was able to throw it tonight when I needed to and where I needed to,’’ deGrom said of his change-up. “My fastball command was good tonight. I was able to control it on both sides of the plate. Everything worked off the fastball tonight.’’

STILL NO CONFORTO: Today is Day Five without Michael Conforto and he’s still not close to coming back after being struck on his left wrist by a pitch last Sunday in San Francisco.

And yet, the Mets refuse to put him on the 10-day disabled list and continue to play shorthanded.

The only reason I can come up with is the Mets are reluctant to pay the major league salary to whoever would come up from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace him, even if it is only for ten days.

That’s speculation on my part, but would anybody really be surprised?

“There’s no break,’’ Collins said. “It’s the bone bruise that is causing him problems. He tried to swing the bat today and he had trouble.’’

CESPEDES SLUMPING: One of the ramifications of not having Conforto available is not being able to rest Yoenis Cespedes, who, with a broken-bat single in the eighth has four hits in his last 24 at-bats.

Of course, would it kill the Mets to start Brandon Nimmo for a game?

THINKING ABOUT COLON: The Mets are kicking the tires on bringing back Bartolo Colon, who was designated for assignment by the Braves.

Atlanta has ten days to either trade, release outright or assign him to the minor leagues (won’t happen). After which, the player becomes a free agent.

“He’s still a member of the Braves,’’ GM Sandy Alderson said when asked about Colon.

EXTRA INNINGS: Lucas Duda is still weakened with flu-like symptoms and was a late scratch. … Addison Reed has converted save opportunities in the last two games. … Curtis Granderson singled to extend his hitting streak to nine games. … Zack Wheeler will come off the disabled list and start Saturday.

 

Jun 19

Today’s Question: Is Going Against Kershaw A Reverse Lock For Mets?

Could the Mets showdown against the Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw be an example of a Reverse Lock?

KERSHAW: Smart money on him. (MLB.com)

KERSHAW: Smart money on him. (MLB.com)

A Reverse Lock is when all the stars are aligned for something to be played out one way but goes in the opposite direction.

All the stars are lined up for the Dodgers tonight. New York is struggling and Kershaw is 8-1 with a 1.49 ERA in 13 career starts against the Mets, whose hitters are batting .177 with a .245 on-base percentage against him.

In addition, Yoenis Cespedes is 0-for-9 lifetime and Lucas Duda is 1-for-11. The Mets’ leading hitter against Kershaw is Wilmer Flores at 3-for-9. Jay Bruce is 5-for-20 with two homers.

Feeling good about things?

Starting for the Mets is Zack Wheeler, who is making his first career start against the Dodgers. Wheeler is winless in his last four starts and coming off the worst start of his career, giving up eight runs in 1.2 innings last week against the Cubs.

So, if you’re into betting, why wouldn’t you place a buck or two on Kershaw tonight? That’s where all the smart money will be, making a Reverse Lock possible.

 

 

May 08

Mets To Protect Harvey With Friday Return

The Mets are thinking about Friday as a return to the mound for Matt Harvey. He will return to the ballpark tomorrow to make his apologies and pitch again Friday when the Mets are in Milwaukee – away from the prying microphones and cameras that would besiege him at Citi Field.

HARVEY: Looking at Friday. (AP)

HARVEY: Looking at Friday. (AP)

It seemed logical the Mets should start him Wednesday afternoon over Rafael Montero, who can’t find the plate with a GPS, or recently-acquired Tommy Milone.

Instead, this is just another example of the Mets massaging Harvey’s fragile ego; do it in Milwaukee to spare him the boos he’d undoubtedly hear in New York.

C’mon, admit it, if you were going to be at Citi Field Wednesday, part of you would want to stand up and vent your anger at Harvey, the same anger GM Sandy Alderson finally did.

After acquiescing to Harvey’s pettiness and demands since 2013 – from hiding pain in his forearm that eventually lead to Tommy John surgery, to complaining where he would do his rehab, to his innings fiasco in 2015, to missing a World Series workout because he got caught in traffic and it was later discovered he was out partying the night before, to pitching a fit in the dugout to stay in Game 5 of the World Series he eventually kicked away – Alderson finally had enough.

“We have a policy here,” Collins said of Harvey’s for an unexcused absence Saturday. “I thought it was the right thing to do. I know it’s dramatic, but I think any team in baseball would have probably reacted very similarly. And it wasn’t just Matt Harvey. Anybody in that room that misses a day and nobody knows about it, we’ve got to do the same thing.”

Harvey said he developed a migraine headache after golfing and there was a miscommunication of explaining his absence that the Mets weren’t buying.

I’m not either, because how could he not have Alderson’s cell number? Or, Collins? Or trainer Ray Ramirez?

If we’re venturing guesses, I think him being in Ottawa watching the Rangers is as good as any.

Anyway, before Harvey throws his first pitch, he’ll have some groveling to do with his teammates tomorrow afternoon.

“I know one thing about our society: You make a mistake, you stand up, be accountable and move on,” Collins said. “He needs to address the guys. We’ve got to get this behind us. However he wants to go about doing that, I’ll sign on for it.

“We have a good clubhouse. Understand, you’re never going to have 25 that all like each other. But they respect each other and that’s all I want.”

Harvey may have lost that respect and has a long way to go to earn it back.

May 07

Mets Wrap: Harvey Puts Onus On Wilk

In his April 27 start against Atlanta to replace the injured Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey complained he wasn’t given enough time to prepare.

So, what did Harvey do?

WILK: Put in tough spot. (AP)

WILK: Put in tough spot. (AP)

He did the same thing to Adam Wilk, but on a larger, more selfish scale. With Harvey suspended for three days without pay, the Mets had to call up Wilk, who took the Red Eye from Albuquerque, New Mexico and arrived in New York at 8:45 this morning.

“It was pretty interesting,” Wilk told reporters of his Magical Mystery Tour itinerary that started in Las Vegas and went to Denver to Albuquerque to Los Angeles to New York.

“I tried to get as much sleep as I could. I don’t want to make any excuses; I didn’t make good enough pitches. … I wouldn’t say I was off. I put everything into it that I had.”

Wilk gave up six runs – five earned – in 3.2 innings. His stint including giving up a pair of home runs to Giancarlo Stanton and one to Adeiny Hechavarria.

The Mets supported their newest teammate with all of one hit as they were shut out for the first time this year.

A likely scenario for Wilk is to be optioned back to Vegas.

METS EXTEND SEWALD: A day after saying he couldn’t afford to use his relievers for more than one inning, Collins stayed with Paul Sewald for at least two innings. Sewald gave the Mets 3.1 innings today, throwing 59 pitches.

With Sewald not likely to pitch for at least two games, don’t be surprised if they send him back to Vegas.

POSITIVE CABRERA NEWS: Mets GM Sandy Alderson said the MRI taken on Asdrubal Cabrera’s injured left thumb showed no ligament damage. This makes it likely he’ll have a shorter recovery time meaning top prospect Amed Rosario will not be brought up.

“The good news is it doesn’t have any tear,” Collins said.

The Mets have not yet put Cabrera on the disabled list, meaning they’ll play shorthanded. With the 10-day disabled list available to them, this could be a questionable decision by Alderson.

By not calling up Rosario prior to June, he will become a Super 2, it means he will be eligible for four years of salary arbitration instead of three.

As of now, the plan is to use Jose Reyes at shortstop and Wilmer Flores at third base.

FLUSHING POWER: Stanton’s two homers gave him 20 hit at Citi Field, which prompted Gary Cohen to pose this trivia question: Stanton’s 20 ties him with Yoenis Cespedes, but who are the seven players with more homers?

Answer: Lucas Duda, David Wright, Curtis Granderson, Ike Davis, Flores and Reyes.

METS CLAIM PITCHER: The Mets claimed left-hander Tommy Milone on waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.

In six games, three of them starts, Milone is 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA and an astounding 1.476 WHIP. He’s not exactly a power pitcher, with 16 strikeouts in 21 innings.

“`His background is as a starting pitcher, so we’ll look at that,” Collins said.

It is presumed he will replace Rafael Montero in the rotation.

UP NEXT: Here’s the rotation for the Mets-Giants series, starting Monday at Citi Field.

Monday, 7:10 p.m., Jacob deGrom (2-1, 3.68) vs. LHP Matt Moore (1-4, 6.75); Tuesday, 7:10 p.m., Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.78) vs. RHP Jeff Samardzjia (0-4, 5.03); Wednesday, 1:10 p.m., TBA vs. Matt Cain (2-1, 4.70).

There exists a possibility Harvey might come off his three-day suspension to start in place of Rafael Montero, but Collins would not commit to that.

ON DECK LATER TODAY: More on Harvey.

May 01

Today’s Question: What Will MRI Bring?

Today’s question is what we’ve all been wondering for the past 24 hours: What are wthe results of Noah Syndergaard’s MRI taken this morning in New York?

Will the results give the Mets cause for a sigh of relief, or force them to ease their grip on the rope to their season or let go of it entirely?

SYNDERGAARD: Gets crucial MRI today. (AP)

SYNDERGAARD: Gets crucial MRI today. (AP)

The Mets should get the results today, and if they are bad, count on them getting a second opinion. That’s not to be confused with second-guessing; of which there will be a lot.

By Syndergaard, for turning down an MRI last week. By GM Sandy Alderson, for not being the adult in the room and insisting upon it. By manager Terry Collins, for not pulling him Sunday in the first, if not refusing to start him in the first place.

I don’t care how Syndergaard felt when he threw in the bullpen. The bottom line is he already missed a start; he’s a pitcher who’ll never refuse the ball; and, Collins and Alderson should use their years of experience to protect the pitcher and perhaps their season.

The Mets stopped a potentially devastating losing streak by winning their first two games against the Nationals, but may have given back that momentum in foolish fashion.

Unless an MRI tells us differently.