Ernest Dove - Is It Time For The Mets To Start Consistently Winning Ballgames?


  The Mets have one more series until the All Star break. They just (surprisingly) beat the Dodgers and Giants in a series, on the road, back to back.  Players are starting to come back. Some players are starting to heat up.  Other players (for lack of a better word), look forward to the break to start over.  So, all in all, is this team ready to start winning more then losing, on a consistent basis?
  The team is built on pitching.  We all know this.  The team does not have much consistent hitting. We know this.  The organization may not have the funds to acquire any new big time hitters.  We....well we assume this.  So, give or take a minor deal or two, will this team continue to win more than lose, and win more series' than lose?

  Let's start with what's important.....pitching.

  Let's face it, deGrom is NOT going to have a 'sophomore slump'.  He has quickly positioned himself into being one of the best arms in baseball, not just on this team.  He's a hard worker, he wants to be the best, and he can hit.  You can pencil him in at SP 1 to start the season after the all star break, and give this team a chance a win more than anyone else in the rotation at this point. (And that' saying something).
  Matt Harvey is still Matt Harvey.  TJS TJshmurgery.  Matt Harvey, like his ego or not, will simply not allow himself the chance at losing too much, no matter the Mets offense and no matter his personal fatigue or control issues. Matt Harvey is still a guy who, on his worst day, can give you 6 innings, 3 runs given up and the same fire each and every time out.  And, lets not forget that no matter how amazing deGrom has been, if the Mets find themselves in a one game playoff, or play in game at the end of the year, I would have NO problem with the Dark Knight having the ball in his hand in that game.
  Thor and Matz are who they are.  They are now officially 'studs'.  They are no longer 'prospects' who we hope can amount to something.  It's a short sample size, but the bottom line is that they have already proven that they can consistently get out major league hitters.  And that is obviously the first step here. Im not counting on shutouts every week, and 3 hit games from either one ;), but I expect enough to help this team stay in ball games.
  Oh yeah, Niese is still on the team right now.  Well, hey, Maybe we forgot that Niese is who HE is.  A solid major league hitter, who self reports to be completely healthy, and showing an ability lately to keep the ball down, and utilize his new/old shortstop behind him to make plays and help keep the runs to a minimum.
  Middle relief, despite all the changing parts, continues to succeed more than fail.  They won't always go 3-4 shutout innings on most given nights, but they proven enough talent and ability to hold a few runners on base and prevent boatloads of runs from coming in to put game out of reach for the offense.
  Then there's Familia, you know, the human victory cigar.  Not for nuthin, but whenever Mr. Familia comes into a game, in the start of the 9th inning, with nobody on base, up at least runs especially, I already look forward to hearing Gary Cohen say, "this ballgame is over", because it already is when he steps on to the mound at that point.

Well anyway, how bout that offense?

  It is what it is at this point.  The offense will not score much the entire season.  Terry Collins can have fun every week or so in front of the cameras talking about the offense having the ability, and that 'they will hit".  I think we all know the situation here.
  But guys are coming into their own recently.  After all the hoopla, Wilmer Flores is FINALLY where he needs to be, which is anywhere but at shortstop.  Dilson Herrera, you know the 21 year old kid, was not going to help the 2015 Mets consistently win ballgames.  And that's ok.  We can enjoy him next year, and maybe for the next 10 or so.  Wilmer is now hitting, and if teams start to respect anyone else around him in the lineup, they may eventually be forced to pitch back inside, which may lead to more spurts of homers from WIIIIIIIIILMER.
  As For Lucas Duda, I just see him as being THIS bad.  Regardless of all theory's out there about trying too hard, there has to be more to it than that because he's swinging at everything and everything lately.  Something has to give.  And I just don't see Duda hitting .150 for the remainder of the season.
  Speaking of "remainder of season', I would like to go out on a limb and state that if Travis d'Arnaud EVER comes back, I'd like to assume that he will stay in the lineup for the remainder of this year.  That will most certainly help the offense. Kevin Plawecki is definitely heating up, but TDA power is what is needed right now on this team.
  I'm skipping over Tejada because I just want the man to play shortstop, especially when Niese is on the mound, and prevent less guys from getting on base.
  Daniel Murphy, no matter how many times he pulls a Murph, is still easily the best 3B option on this team, and within the organization as a whole right now, at any level worth mentioning.   When Murph is having one of his hot streaks, the Mets can manage 3-4 runs on those nights.  And that might be enough to win those games.
  As for the outfield, things get cloudy.  Lagares appears to be playing almost literally with one arm tied behind his back.  He's getting to balls out there, but his arm is not what it should be.  His offense has also regressed, be it from injury or not, and Mets can't utilize his speed if he never walks, and doesn't go back to hitting .279.   But he can still save runs in CF, and hopefully put together a string multi hit games down the stretch, so don't count him out.
  As for Grandy, well, Grandy had a great couple of weeks.  I'm not counting on Grandy to continue hitting at about an almost .300 clip for the remainder of the year, but he will most likely continue to draw 3-2 counts, walks, and hit some homers.  He's not hurting this team at the top of the order.
  Regarding Cuddyer..........................................................nah im good, won't mention my thoughts.

  Us Mets fans continue to have our bipolar attitude in regards to this team.  They suck when they get shutout, and they are Amazin when they win.  But one way or anther there is definitely a form of entertainment when this team plays a game.  Be it on the field, or on MetsTwitter, one way or another we are all into it.  But maybe we shouldn't get too crazy.  Maybe we are in for some more good times.
  I don't wanna argue numbers.  I have no idea whether this team will win 90, 85 or 75 games.  This team hasn't consistently hit, been healthy, or even put out a consistent lineup, rotation or medical report on anyone.  But I do know that this team has fight in them, with or without their captain, its there.
  If Mets can randomly put together a few multi homerun games, play average defense, and throw out Harevey, deGrom, Thor and Matz in a 4 game series, there's simply a really good darn chance of this team winning 3 of them.
  Be it on the road, or at home, arms are arms, and the Mets have enough talented arms to go into places like Los Angeles and San Francisco and pull out series victories.   So why not expect the same going forward? 
  Why not at least consider TDA coming back healthy, Blevins coming back healthy and not reverting back to March performance mode. Think of Mejia starting right where he left off last year.  And expect SOMEBODY in the middle of the order to produce consistently on this team. 
  I'm tired of 'waiting till next year' with this franchise.  The Mets, pitching alone, can win over 81 games.  So let's start there.  And let's then see how the ball literally bounces.


Thomas Brennan said...

Tough when we write these articles and then a sudden event like Matz damages the logic after we wrote them. This team should not give up for that reason, though.

Mack Ade said...


Well written and I share most or all your points.

I'm basically just sitting back at this point in both my fandom and blogdom. I can't do anything to create a trade, nor can I get anyone to stop swinging at balls that wind up in the dirt.

i just check the score periodically as the game progresses and go to bed on time. If the game isn't done, so be it. I check in the morning.

The ability of the Mets pitchers to walk into LA and SF and win two road series prove that, on a given day, the team has the ability to win enough games to make the playoffs. Will they? That's what we debate here.

I love the bi-polar reference.

Ernest Dove said...

Thomas the only depth this team has is on the mound. Matz injury is not necessarily a huge deal. Especially if he can come back healthy and now easily pitch into October with no innings cap worries.

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

I disagree about Matz. I don't see him coming back this year given his past issues.

bob gregory said...

It's just frustrating to be a Met fan.
Other teams fans root for playoff runs and World Series appearances each year.
Met fans, even in optimism, have to resort to rooting for individual pitchers stats and that the minor leaguer of the week makes it to the majors.

All of this knowing that 2 offensive players makes the team contenders and 3 could make them dominating.

Imagine the $$$ that would rush into Citifield if they were dominating. Factor in a NY where the Yankees are much less exciting.

ZachBoyer said...

But CAN he come back healthy? Montero had a shoulder and has since started turning up on the back of milk cartons. Has Niese ever gotten over his shoulder issues? If Matz comes back throwing anything less than 94 MPH, it'll be a travesty.

Things just keep getting progressively more unfathomable/baffling/incompetent/alarming with this team …

A timeline:


3/12: "We don't expect it's going to be a major issue"—SA

3/16: Wheeler's announced for TJS.


4/15: "Two weeks would be great, three weeks is probably an expectation"—SA

5/23!: Spinal injury diagnosis.


4/30: "We don't expect this to be serious"—SA

7/10: The search continues …


6/5: "It's not real serious"—TC

Subsequently misses 22 games.


6/20: "We'll probably have him tomorrow if we need him"—TC

Remains in brace last I checked.

Need I mention Cuddyer, Blevins, Edgin, Carlyle, the lack of announcement on Molina, injuring Leathersich upon his return to AAA, et. al?

Me? I just don't enjoy being lied to.

7/9: "He'll start throwing in 3 weeks."

7/30: You fill in the blank. Will he? I'd sooner bet he's never going to be the same than he'll start throwing in 3 weeks.

bob gregory said...

I agree.

More disturbing thought.
Is it a matter of being lied to or incompetence?

Ernest Dove said...

One way or another the Mets will mishandle the Matz situation.
They'll wait 3 weeks and then publically start deflecting questions about his status after that.

ZachBoyer said...

Excellent question, Bob. One I don't know if we'll ever have the answer to.

But here's a thought: The Mets have a lot of blogs devoted to them (some good, some bad). They have a lot of beat reporters (same deal: some good, some bad). What they need is INVESTIGATIVE journalists. Because a lot of this stuff borders on conspiratorial …

Mack Ade said...

Zach -

That would be Howard Megdal

ZachBoyer said...


I have a vague recollection of him, which is to say I know his name. However, I am admittedly unfamiliar with his work. Is he any good? What paper does he write for?

Because yet either way we still have many an unanswered question. How about an expose on injury protocol? Who exactly is this training staff? Name some names. Why do we have some kind of contractual agreement with this Hospital for Apparently Really SPECIAL Surgery?

How about Montero? Go straight to the source. Anyone check FL? The DR? Get an exclusive interview. Travel expenses are tax deductible. Where is he? What's wrong with him? Will he ever, ever pitch again?

A lot of complacency among the media. A lot of people who don't want to make too much of a wave.

Mack Ade said...

Zach -

Howard wrote for the now defunct SportsOnEarth.com and now writes for CapitalNewYork.com. He also contributes to SI, USA Today, and Vice Sports.

He single handedly took on the Ponzi issue and has been a thorn in the side of the Wilpons ever since.

bob gregory said...

Regarding the conspiracy notion mentioned earlier:

It has been proven that no information leaks from the Mets. None what so ever. Results are that for years "news" articles have been filled with inferences and supposition or guess work.

What a surprise though, today when the team is taking heat regarding letting Matz pitch hurt trade "news" leaks.
Suddenly today it leaks that trade discussion has occurred with the Brewers regarding Ramirez and Segura.

This has been a normal occurrence when the reporters really start to put the heat on the front office of the Mets.
Suddenly leaks occur regarding call ups trade discussions.
All distraction.
Usually followed 1 or 2 weeks later with contacts from the targeted team insisting they have never had such discussions.

Keep an eye to the newspapers 1 5o 2 weeks from now.

Mack's Mets © 2012