Alexander Han – Who’s in Left Field?


With most of the team's starters now set, the one choice that seems to still be up in the air is that of third outfielder, alongside Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes. 

Many Mets fans were relieved that Michael Cuddyer forced himself out of the team with his misplays in left field in Game 1. However, what is the choice going forward? Collins put Juan Lagares into the lineup for Game 3 against Dodgers left-hander Brett Anderson which worked out well with one hit, one BB and three runs scored. 

But Collins positioned his decision a game-by-game call, citing Cuddyer’s poor 1-for-12 track record against Anderson as a key factor. On the basis of this, it sounds like Collins will weigh up the players’ records vs Kershaw. He’ll see that Lagares is 0-for-7 and Cuddyer 4-for-16. Conforto hasn’t faced him. Knowing Collins, he may play the veteran. However, I think that would be a grave mistake.

1) By the numbers, Conforto should be the best hitter vs both left and right-handed pitchers

Of the three, Lagares has the best OPS vs left-handed pitchers. However, Conforto’s .481 OPS came from just 15 PAs and therefore can’t really be considered a proper sample. Looking at his numbers in AA this year, he hit .897 OPS vs right handers and a fairly even .904 OPS vs left handers. In other words, he has the ability to hit left-handed pitching, which is not surprising when you look at his opposite field power and his superior eye for the strike zone. Those are skills that usually play well against same-handers.

Conforto MLB
Conforto AA
vs L
vs R

2) There is no justification for Cuddyer to start another game for the Mets.

I dug out the three players’ performance in the clutch.

OPS with:
Bases Empty
Men On Base
K% bases empty
Two things stand out for me here. Firstly, Cuddyer has been just as bad as he looked, possibly even worse. The higher the stakes, the lower the man’s OPS. Both Lagares and Conforto, on the other hand, have been great in the clutch.

What’s more, this isn’t a recent thing – in 2012, 2013 and 2014 Cuddyer consistently had lower numbers with RISP than with empty bases. Not as stark a difference as this year but still.

3) Conforto is the better defender by the numbers although I’d still give this one to Lagares

Conforto has been a positive surprise in left field and easily holds own defensively. Lagares vintage 2013 or 2014 would be anyone's first choice in center field. In 2015 not so much so; in fact, according to FanGraphs Conforto had the better Ultimate Zone Rating projected over 150 games.

2015 UZR-150
career UZR-150

To be fair, the right comparison would be to somehow project the overall outfield strength with Cespedes in LF and Lagares in CF, vs Conforto in LF and Cespedes in CF. 

I don’t know how to do that quantitatively but my gut tells me I love an outfield of Cespedes, Lagares and Granderson. It gives me a feeling of invincibility – where extra-base hits go to die! I’d hope Lagares feels the excitement too and regains some of his old form.

And again, the one indisputable conclusion is that Cuddyer has no place on a winning playoff team. Not unless he bats like Manny Ramirez.

4) Lagares gives you more speed on the bases

I’m not sure this is a big edge given I doubt that Lagares is going to be stealing many bases, but certainly he’s a better bet than Conforto to score from second base on a short single, or go first to third, etc. He adds an extra dimension to your lineup. 
5) On balance, Collins should go with Lagares for now

I love Conforto’s cool, solid batting skills and his performance under pressure. I think it was a mistake to limit him to a platoon down the stretch in August and September – a case of a team trying to justify a player with an expensive contract. However, given his lack of practice against lefties, it would be cruel to insert him against the best southpaw of them all. If we make it through to the LCS we may face the Cubs, who are more righty-heavy and if Conforto tears it up there, he could still play himself into a full role yet.

Collins made the right choice here. But Collins, stick with the hot hand this time. Lagares’ 0-for-7 vs Kershaw is not a big enough sample. Lagares gives you possibly the best outfield in the playoffs, and he gives you a bit more dynamism on the basepaths. He looks comfortable.

In any case, whatever you do, don’t bank our series hopes on Cuddyer. He seems like a great guy, a team player and a man you can rely on. Just not with runners in scoring position.

METS TOP 50 PROSPECTS: #'S 36-40 - Tom Brennan



METS TOP 50 PROSPECTS: #'S 36 THRU 40 - Tom Brennan

Hey, before I resume on my Top 50 prospects, how about my Top 25....the NY Mets squad that decimated the Utley pathetic Dodgers. Utley, Utley pathetic.  Hats off to Grandy, Cespedes, D'Arnaud, Flores, Harvey....and Tejada.   We even got Eric Goeddel's bad outing out of him, with no harm done.

Now, back to my minor 50...a minor league system that in 2015 promoted several, traded many, had several prospects run into the Tommy John buzzsaw, and saw a few guys go from prospect to suspect.  Leaving a diminished, but still solid, minor league system prospect-wise. 
(See website sidebar for the list of my #41-50 dudes, covered in prior articles.)
Today, here’s my #36 thru #40: 
36.              DAVID THOMPSON: hey, the basketball player of the same name from the 1970’s was a first round pick, and I loved his 48" vertical leap. This David Thompson was only a 3rd round pick for the Mets in 2015, and no doubt has less than a 48" vertical.  He also had quite a disappointing year in 2015 (just .218/.268/.320 in 59 games as a 21 year old), albeit on a highly offensively challenged Cyclones team, which surely did not help.  I’ll bet the hitters for Brooklyn were pressing more than your local dry cleaners.  Let’s see if that was just an adjustment period for Thompson and whether he rebounds with a top season in 2016 - or if it was a bad pick.  We need to remember that Cory Vaughn hit much better in his time in Brooklyn a few years back and has sputtered at higher levels.

37.              MILTON RAMOS: One of the Mets’ treasure trove of shortstops, along with Reynolds, Cecchini, Rosario, Guillorme, and Carpio, Milton Ramos started slowly in 2015, but the 2014 3rd round pick of the Mets really turned it on later in 2015 and ended up hitting .317/.341/.415 for Kingsport in 43 games.  Only 3 of 9 in steals, so speed does not seem to be his forte.  He made 11 errors in those 43 games so that needs attention, too, but he only turns 20 just before Halloween so he has plenty of time in that regard.  Turning 20 this October, he is listed at a smallish 5’11”, 160, but he showed enough that he may shoot way up this list in 2016.

38.              JOSH SMOKER: some guys travel an easy road to the bigs - not Josh. This 31st overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Nats had big time shoulder issues requiring multiple surgeries, and ended up out of minor league baseball for the better part of 3 years.  But he got the high heat back, Mets signed him, and after a brief struggle in Savannah at the start of this year, Smoker pitched very well in relief for St Lucie and Binghamton.  Met coaching helped him make a few adjustments to improve his control, and he struck out 60 in 49 innings.  Last I looked, Mets are not overstocked with lefty relievers, so maybe the 28 year old will make the Mets some time in 2016. The bullpen has many non-smokers and needs the type of high octane balance that a heavy Smoker can bring.

39.              ALEX PALSHA: this 2014 27th round righty draftee had a splendid year for Brooklyn in relief (0.38 ERA, only one blown save) but then sputtered a bit in a late, short promotion to St Lucie.  The combination of that sputter and his (low) 27th round pick status and the fact that he turns 24 next May pushed him well down the list.  I thought long and hard as to whether his superior performance warranted him a rank as high as # 39 on my list.

40.              DASH WINNINGHAM: I probably should have Dash higher on my list.  Probably much higher. As a 19 year old slugging 1B in Kingsport in his 2nd minor league season, he had 19 doubles, a triple and a league-lead-tying 12 homers, plus 51 RBIs in 66 games.  He did strike out 63 times in 66 games, so I am leaving him at #40 for now, but I want him in the top 10 this time next year.  A break out 2016 will do that.  Definitely heading for a full season league as a 20 year old, IMO.

That is it for today.  Hope your own prospects are good and improving, dear reader.

2015 Winter Leagues: 10/12/2015 Results


Arizona Fall League
Side Note: Regular Season begins Today!, October 13th.

Venezuelan Winter League
- Cardenales de Lara 7 - 8 Leones del Caracas
  • C Albert Cordero: 1 for 4, R

Mexican Pacific League
- Charros de Jalisco 5 - 4 Naranjeros de Hermosillo

Dominican Winter League
Side Note: Regular Season begins Thursday, October 15th.

Roberto Clemente Puerto Rican League
Side Note: Start Date TBD

The Morning Report 10.13.2015 | Offense, Offense, Offense! Oh and Harvey Stunk. Hey! Don't Forget About The Winter Leagues


Brian Devine Metsmerized Online- With the Mets up 7-3 in the 4th inning, Yoenis Cespedes delivered the fatal blow to the Dodgers in game 3 of the NLDS. He blasted a three run shot to left field that put the game completely out of reach and caused the crowd at Citi Filed to erupt. Speaking to reporters after the game, Cespedes called the stadium’s atmosphere “incredible” and said that he never experienced anything like it before. "We talked the other day,” manager Terry Collins said of Cespedes. “And he told me: ‘It’s time to play.’ And then he shows you what he can do. He’s electrifying on the field. He does whatever he wants to do.”

Neil Best Newsday- Curtis Granderson had contributed to the Dodgers' three-run top of the second inning with a throwing error Monday night, so he figured he might as well do something to make up for it. So he did, in the form of a two-out, three-run double off the wall in right-centerfield during a four-run bottom of the second. "The guys ahead of me ended up getting on base," Granderson said. "They went out and continued to keep their heads held high. It was: Just take it at-bat to at-bat and just look for a pitch to drive. My first at-bat, I didn't have a ton of success against Anderson there. I didn't see him that well. But the second time around, hopefully get a ball up in the zone, where you can do something with it."

Dan Martin New York Post- d’Arnaud regained his form at the plate — and didn’t waste time doing it. He had three hits — including the first postseason home run in Citi Field history — and knocked in three runs as the Mets took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. “I was just trying to keep things simple,” d’Arnaud said. “I feel the last few weeks I’ve been over-thinking and trying to do too much instead of just seeing the ball.” Both hits came on the first pitch, something Terry Collins foreshadowed before the game.“You know, one of the things as you go back, you can even tell when he was swinging good, he jumped the count,” the manager said. “He ambushes you early in the count. But right now he’s swinging and fouling it off or swinging and missing.”

(Chris Soto: Wow oh wow....last night was so exciting! I've got to admit, while watching the game last night.....I got really down when the Dodgers put up a 3 spot on Harvey in the 2nd inning. I honestly thought to myself, "man...this game may be over already with the way we've been hitting the ball." Here was our supposed "Dark Knight," who's been acting like a prima donna the past 30 days, getting lit up by an offense that was just completely shut down by deGrom and Syndergaard the previous two games.

     Then we started chipping away....base hit after base hit after base hit, a run scores and suddenly the bases are loaded. Then depression starting sinking back in as Lagares grounded into a force out and Harvey K'd. "Typical Mets with the bases loaded!, I said. Granderson then unloaded on a pitch that I thought was going out of the park and all of a sudden the Mets have the lead!

     The emotional roller coaster that this team has put us on is both nerve racking, and so exciting at the same time! I don't know what to think anymore. I'm just so happy to be along for the ride as a fan, spectator, and blogger. Only 1 more game to go.....LGM!)

2015 Winter Leagues

  • With all the excitement surrounding the Mets in the postseason....I actually forgot about the start of the 2015 Winter Leagues in the Carribean! The Mexico and Venezuelan Leagues have already started with the Arizona Fall League beginning today and the Dominican League starting Thursday. While I don't have an official date....I believe the Puerto Rico League starts around October 30th. Here are the list of Mets players that are on winter rosters already. Expect far more to join as the season continues.
    • Arizona Fall League
      • RHP Mike Hepple - Salt River Rafters
      • RHP Mickey Jannis - Salt River Rafters
      • LHP Kyle Regnault - Salt River Rafters
      • RHP Beck Wheeler - Salt River Rafters
      • SS Gavin Cecchini - Salt River Rafters
      • 3B Jeff McNeil - Salt River Rafters
      • 1B Dominic Smith - Salt River Rafters
    • Mexico
      • C Xorge Carrillo - Aguilas de Mexicali
    • Venezuela
      • LHP Alex Torres - Aguilas de Zulia
      • SS Wilfredo Tovar - Bravos de Margarita
      • OF Travis Taijeron - Caribes de Anzoategui
      • RHP Jose Celas - Leones del Caracas
      • C Albert Cordero - Leones del Caracas
      • RHP Darwin Ramos - Navegentes del Magallanes
      • RHP Zach Thornton - Navegentes del Magallanes
      • RHP Cody Sadderwhite - Tiburones de la Guaria
      • RHP Edioglis Villasmil - Tiburones de la Guaria
      • 1B Luis Ortega - Tigres de Aragua

October 12th 2015 -- NLDS Game 3 -- Mets 13, Dodgers 7

Monday night in NLDS game 3, the Mets christened Citi Field’s inaugural post season game by putting up 13 runs. The Mets beat the Dodgers 13-7. Matt Harvey started for the Mets and it was clear he wasn’t in top form. In the top of the 3rd the Dodgers scored 3 times against the Dark Knight on a 2 run double by Yasmani Grandal, the third run came home on an errant throw from Curtis Granderson. In the bottom of the 2nd the Mets answered right back.  Yoenis Cespedes reached on an infield single. Lucas Duda singled to right making it 1st and 2nd. Then Travis d’Arnaud singled to left center to bring home Cespedes with the first run.  Wilmer Flores then reached on an infield single to 2nd to load the bases with no out. Juan Lagares grounded into a fielder’s choice, Matt Harvey struck out. That brought up Granderson, who slammed a drive off the right field wall clearing the bases and the Mets led 4-3. In the 3rd Cespedes singled again. Then with two out d’Arnaud hit a 2 run homer to make it 6-3. In the 4th Alex Wood came on for the Dodgers in relief.  Juan Lagares promptly doubled.  With two out David Wright was intentionally walked. Daniel Murphy then followed with an RBI single to left to make it 7-3.  Cespedes then put his stamp on the evening with a monster 3 run homer to the 2nd deck in left 431 ft. away and it was 10-3. The Dodgers got one back in the 7th on a solo homer by Adrian Gonzalez. The Mets scored 3 more times in the bottom of the 7th. With no out and the bases loaded Michael Conforto hit a sac-fly.  Flores and Lagares tagged up and moved to 2nd and third. Granderson then hit an opposite field double off the left field wall scoring two and it was 13-4. Harvey making his post-season debut battled. He tossed 97 pitches lasting 5 innings allowing 7 hits 3 runs (2 earned) walking 2 and striking out 7.  Bartolo Colon relieved Harvey and pitched 2 innings. He struck out the side in the 6th and yielded a solo homer to Gonzalez in the 7th. Addison Reed pitched a perfect 8th;  Erik Goeddel started the 9th and allowed 4 straight hits including a 3 run homer by Howie Kendrick. Jeurys Familia got the call and closed out the inning. Granderson went 2 for 5 with a homer, double and 5 RBI. Cespedes went 3 for 4 with the homer, 2 singles, 3 runs scored and 3 RBI, d’Arnaud went 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored, the homer and 3 RBI. Harvey earns the win, Brett Anderson takes the loss. With the win the Mets take a 2-1 lead in this best of five. Tuesday night its game 4 as the Mets try to clinch.  Steven Matz (4-0 2.27) makes his post-season debut for the Mets, Clayton Kershaw (0-1 4.05) goes for the Dodgers.


Stephen Guilbert- I Feel For Ruben

On Saturday afternoon, Chase Utley broke Ruben Tejada's leg on a dirty play that helped the Dodgers win game two of the NLDS.

As I was watching the events unfold, all I could feel was anger. Chase Utley angered me, the umpiring angered me, the review process and the MLB angered me, and the responses I heard from personalities around baseball angered me. The loss angered me. Losing Ruben Tejada angered me.

After the anger subsided, though, all that remained was profound and deep sadness for Ruben Tejada. Because even if the umpires got the call right, even if they called interference, even if the league suspended Utley indefinitely and even if the Mets ended up winning game two, Ruben Tejada's season was over when Chase Utley decided tackling is legal in baseball.

Now nursing a broken fibula, Ruben Tejada will not play baseball for the Mets until the 2016 season commences. Ruben Tejada will not get to compete with a promising Mets team trying to go deep into the playoffs. Ruben Tejada might not have another shot at the role he had for the Mets when these playoffs began.

No, Tejada is not some aging player whose career will end from this injury. On the contrary, he is not yet even 26 and has plenty of good years of baseball left. Just not likely as the starting shortstop of this good New York Mets team.

After a tumultuous, oft-scrutinized and frequently bizarre start to his major league career, Tejada finally settled in this year. He starting hitting better while exhibiting the patience and eye at the plate that made him a major leaguer in the first place. He even seemingly won the starting shortstop job for the playoffs from Wilmer Flores. This is all incredible considering how little the Mets organization, or fans, seemed interested in Ruben Tejada as a starting shortstop at all for this team. I covered that issue at length here. Needless to say, Ruben Tejada got an opportunity--perhaps his last--and ran with it.

Next year, however, the Mets come to camp with Wilmer Flores and Matt Reynolds to compete with Ruben Tejada to start the year. That is, if they don't get a shortstop in the off-season--something that has been on Sandy Alderson's agenda for years, or so it seems. Past that trio, Gavin Cecchini will start the year in Triple-A Las Vegas and will need to only cross the arbitration and Super-Two cutoffs before he is ready. Dominican phenom Amed Rosario is only a year behind him. Needless to say, the Mets have depth at shortstop. Young depth. Lots of it. They also have a shortstop who played very well this year in Wilmer Flores who won't be coming off a broken leg. Ruben Tejada will probably have a spot on next year's roster. He will probably not be the #1 shortstop in Flushing again.

What makes Utley's play so disheartening is that Ruben Tejada's shot at being the starting shortstop for a championship-seeking Mets team is probably over. While there are some paths in which Ruben Tejada wins the starting shortstop next year, keeps it all year and into the playoffs and the Mets are even in the playoffs, there are far more in which he is a utility player, on another team, in the minors, or any combination of the three. And that's sad. Tejada played his heart out this season. He played very good baseball and helped the 2015 Mets make the playoffs. Now he has to watch his teammates play while he hobbles around on crutches because an unevolved, dirty player who built his career off of exploiting unenforced rules broke his leg on a play that would be illegal in every professional sport.

Chase Utley will not get to play the next two games because of his actions. The Mets lost the game because of the play and their NLDS hopes took a big hit. For Ruben, though, he has to watch the rest of this season from the dugout and there is no going back from that. Whether or not he has another shot at starting in the playoffs for a really good team is yet to be seen. But we shouldn't have to wonder that at this point. And that sucks. It really sucks.

2015 Winter Leagues: 10/11/2015 Results


Arizona Fall League
Side Note: Regular Season begins Tuesday, October 13th.

Venezuelan Winter League
- Bravos de Margarita 1 - 3 Cardenales de Lara
- Navegantes del Magallanes 5 - 6 Aguilas del Zulia
- Tigres de Aragua 7 - 8 Leones del Caracas
  • C Albert Cordero: 0 for 0, RBI(2), Sacrifice Fly
- Tiburones de La Guaira 1 - 0 Caribes de Anzoategui
  • RHP Cody Sadderwhite: 0.1 IP, 1 H allowed, Hold(1)
  • RHP Edioglis Villasmil: 0.0 IP, 1 H allowed

Mexican Pacific League
- Caneros de los Mochis 6 - 4 Venados de Mazatlan
- Yaquis de Obregon 6 - 5 Mayos de Navojoa
- Aguilas de Mexicali 14 - 3 Naranjeros de Hermosillo
  • C Xorge Carrillo: 0 for 3, RBI(1)

Dominican Winter League
Side Note: Regular Season begins Thursday, October 15th.

Roberto Clemente Puerto Rican League
Side Note: Start Date TBD

The Morning Report 10.12.2015 | Utley Suspended for Slide; Enters John Rocker Territory, Maintaining Composure, Flores is Next Man Up


Seth Berkman New York Times- On Sunday night, Torre said he was suspending Utley, 36, for Games 3 and 4 of the Mets-Dodgers series, stating that Utley was guilty of an illegal slide into Tejada that warranted discipline. “While I sincerely believe that Mr. Utley had no intention of injuring Ruben Tejada and was attempting to help his club in a critical situation, I believe his slide was in violation of Official Baseball Rule 5.09, which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base,” Torre said.

(Chris Soto: Good....he 100% deserves to be suspended...but you know what? I'm glad he's appealing the decision. I want LA manager Don Mattingly put Chase Utley in tonight's starting line-up. Justice will be served tonight, not in the form of a beanball, but in the form of Flushing's Dark Knight Matt Harvey zipping 9 8mph fastballs by him as goes 0 for 4 with a Golden Sombrero. You messed with the wrong team Mr. Utley! You best believe that these flamethrowers are not going to let you come within 90 feet of 1st base again this series.)

Ken Davidoff New York Post- He spent the prime of his career being disliked but respected in New York. If not for Chase Utley’s Phillies, Citi Field might have a different vibe to it, for the suffering wouldn’t have been as severe. And now, just as the Mets prepared to launch a new era of good feelings, their old rival has assumed a far greater place on the enemy scale. Yes, Utley, suddenly finds himself as the most hated man in New York. 

(Chris Soto: Everyone has already talked about "SlideGate" so I'm not going to do that here. We all saw it, we know the result, and the MLB office has stated that it was in fact illegal. This is the kind of situation that can INSPIRE a team, give it's players that extra boost they need to go above and beyong what they are capable of. This Mets team is going to come out tonight motivated to hit, motivated to field every ball, and Harvey is going to be extra motivated to strike out the world. Mr. Utley, Thank You...... because of your "illegal slide", you may have woken up the beast sleeping within this Mets team.)

John Delcos New York Mets Report- There are many, myself included, who believe Terry Collins should be NL manager of the year for all his team had to overcome this summer. However, for as good a job as Collins did, his most important work will come now as he attempts to temper his team’s raw emotions in the wake of Chase Utley’s hard take-out slide that broke Ruben Tejada’s right leg. “Yeah, they’re angry,’’ Collins said. “You lose in a playoff series to that serious of an injury, yeah, they’re not very happy about it. We received a bad break, but the best way to respond is to win.’’

(Chris Soto: Mr. Delcos makes a very legitimate point. As motivated as the Mets are going to be as I stated above....it needs to be a controlled motivation, one that can be channeled through the players bats, not their mouths. This is the biggest stage of the year, so everything is going to be under a microscope. Collins needs to make sure that his team is aware of this and maintains their style of play.)

Ken Davidoff New York Post- He just overcame both back spasms and a case of strep throat that caused him to lose 10 pounds, and now he reassumes the Mets’ starting shortstop job thanks to a teammate’s traumatic injury. In the life of Wilmer Flores? Sounds like just another week at the ballpark. “I’ve been ready since we started the postseason,” Flores said, “So I don’t need to change anything.”

(Chris Soto: It has certainly been a wild ride for Mr. Flores. That said, this isn't just some random replacement for Tejada, Flores is entering a situation that can be extremely favorable for him. The next 2 SPs for the Dodgers are LH Brett Anderson followed by LH Alex Wood. Against LHP, Flores is hitting a monstrous .310 AVG with a .955 OPS. Add that to the fact that in 6 games against the Dodgers already this season....he's batting .524 AVG with a 1.143 OPS. We could be adding another wonderful chapter in the book of Flores over the next few days.)


Mack’s Morning Report – 10-11-15 - Game 2


Good morning.

As in yesterday, this morning's report is a blow-by-blow, inning-by-inning analysis of the Mets-LAD playoff series.

This is Game 2...  featuring the Dodgers' Zack Greinke vs. the Mets' Noah Syndergaard.

Pre-game note... I don't know if this is going to translate into anything tonight, but Michael Conforto has hit one tape measure shot after another out of the park during batting practice, including a shot that went over the right field roof and landed outside the stadium... FWIW, Syndergaard led all rookie pitchers this year with 166 strikeouts... I'll be off-line all day tomorrow so enjoy my breakout and I'll see you next Friday when my normal Mack's Morning Report returns.

1st Inning

I was wondering why someone like Curtis Granderson can't simply punch a ball into right field to break the shift, and then he singled over the head of the second baseman. My guess is players like Granderson and Lucas Duda would consider than the wussie way out... didn't matter... David Wright hit into a double play followed by a strikeout by Daniel Murphy. Soft start.

Noah Syndergaard caused quite the stir in the crowd with a 100 mph fifth pitch. 13 pitch inning included three 101-mph pitches. 

A 1-2-3 inning for the Dodgers. The battle is on.

2nd Inning

Yoenes Cespedes decided his wrist was healed and barely went yard for a leadoff 1-0 lead. He was truly pumped after that hit.  This was why the Mets traded for this guy. Let's see if this homer wakes him up now and he dominates the series...

Told you about what Conforto did in batting practice, didn't I? Tremendous line drive home run (only 42 feet off the ground) for 2-0 lead. He became the 2nd youngest Met (Wayne Garrett) to hit a post season HR.

Grienke finished the inning with a 41 pitch count.

Andre Ethier worked for a walk and got Thor's pitch count up in the second. Syndergaard did start the inning throwing multiple 100 mph fastballs, but they did begin to tail off to 98-99 by the time the inning ended... inning ended at a 36 pitch count (line drive to Daniel Murphy) but very little feel for the secondary pitches...

(I'm telling you... you're going to miss Murph... )

3rd Inning

Greinke has a 1-2-3 inning, but hits 56 in pitch count.

First three pitches by Syndergaard were curves and a change-up. Someone must have talked to him about throwing more secondary pitches... Thor was in trouble this inning from the get go... he did keep his poise, returning to his fastball to get himself out of a 2-hit inning... pitch count 58 with 6 strikeouts in 3 innings...

Syndergaard has a 91-mph changeup tonight. Jon Niese averaged 91-mph with his fastball in just 3 of his 29 starts this year...

4th Inning

At this point you want to either add to the lead or add to the pitch count. A questionable called third strike call to Duda prevented any chance of either. For some reason, the Mets call a hit and run with Murphy running and Duda doesn't swing... Murphy was out by a mile. Bad call here.

The Dodgers continue to get to Syndergaard a little more each inning. Two lead-off doubles generates the first Dodger run of the night but the bleeding ended there, for now. Great play by Syndergaard this inning for the first out, throwing out the lead runner at third with a come back gounder. Pitch count 77.

I don't expect to see much more of Syndergaard. His velocity is coming down and he still has no command of his secondary pitches. It's only a matter of time that he will lose this lead.

End of 4... Mets 2-1

5th Inning

An excellent inning for both Grienke and Syndergaard. Thor continued to rely on his fastballs which were now in the 98-99 mph range. You're just not going to see four better pitches than you've seen tonight and last night.

6th Inning

A  Granderson single goes wasted and the only good news this inning turns out to be Grienke's pitch count going to 101. 

Thor had another shaky inning, but Ruben Tejada started an inning ending double play. He continues to prove that his glove alone warrants him playing ahead of Wilmer Flores, especially in tight games like this. There's no room for defensive mistakes in one run games.

7th Inning

Another 1-2-3 inning for Grienke, which, I assume, will be his last inning. It's pretty tough to write this way about games like this. They just are too pitcher controlled.

It was great to see Chase Utley, but the last thing we needed was him to get a critical hit that put runners on first and third with one out. Syndergaard was pulled and replaced with Bartolo Colon. My guess it was TC's plan to use Colon to an ending of the 7th, then bring in  Addison Reed for the 8th and Jeurys Familia for the 9th...  the plan just simply didn't work... Colon threw what easily could have been an inning ending double play ground ball but Utley creamed Tejada who was attempting to turn it on second. The playoffs ended for Tejada in one swift play.

The score was 2-2.

LA then challenged the out and the Umps ruled that Tejada never toughed the base and Utley was safe. Addison Reed replaced Bartolo Colon and I was so pissed I took am Ambien... Adrian Gonzalez knocks in two more and the score is 4-2 Dodgers. Turner doubled in A-Gone and... well, you get the picture.

Dodgers 5, Mets 2 after 7

Iit will be interesting to see the reaction tomorrow on TC bringing in Colon. 

8th Inning

Just an observation... Travis d'Arnaud looks lost with a bat in his hand. He hasn't come close to producing a base hit these past two nights.

1-2-3 for the Mets in the 8th... I'm going to roll the dice and call it a night. We got the split we wanted and frankly, the Syndergaard lead never felt secure tonight. This was a los waiting to happen.

Night everybody.

Mack's Mets © 2012