September 30th 2015 -- Phillies 7, Mets 5


Wednesday night at Citizen’s Bank Park, Carlos Torres tossed a wild pitch scoring Freddy Galvis with the go head run in the bottom of the 6th inning. The Phillies beat the Mets in an ugly affair 7-5. This game had everything.  Four hit batters, including Cespedes who was knocked out of the game, but thankfully no broken bones. Seven wild pitches, the ejection of Hansel Robles and Terry Collins in the 6th, just an all-around ugly game.  The Mets jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first. Curtis Granderson doubled and reached third on a wild pitch. David Wright walked. Daniel Murphy then hit his career high 14th home run to make it 3-0.  Cespedes then walked and reached 2nd on a wild pitch and Michael Conforto hit a 2 run opposite field homer, his 9th on the year and things were looking good.  The Phils got 2 runs back off Met starter Logan Verrett in the bottom of the 3rd on a Darin Ruf 2 run double.  In the 5th Verrett hit Odubel Herrera with a pitch. Aaron Altherr walked. Erik Goeddel came and retired his batter, Jonathon Niese came in and surrendered an RBI single to Cody Asche and it was 5-3 Mets.  In the 6th, it all fell apart for the Mets. With one out Robles was ejected for decking Ruf with a hit tight pitch.  Bobby Parnell came in walked Mike Rupp and Chase d’Arnaud and advanced them to 2nd and 3rd with a wild pitch and then gave up a 2 run single to Freddy Galvais to tie the game at 5. Dario Alvarez came in and retired Herrera. He then hit Altherr with a pitch to make it 1st and 2nd.  Carlos Torres came in and retired the side, but not before he gave the Phillies the lead on a wild pitch that scored Galvis.  In the bottom of the 8th, the Phils brought home an insurance run…when Tyler Clippard tossed yet another wild pitch to score Andres Blanco to make it 7-5. Bobby Parnell takes the loss he’s now 2-4.  Kenny Roberts gets his first ML win he’s 1-0. Ken Giles pitched the 9th for this 15th save. With the loss the Mets fall to 89-69 on the season and they are now 41-39 on the road.  The Mets currently lead the Dodgers by ½ game for the home field advantage in the NLDS, that is pending the outcome of the Dodgers, Giants game. Thursday’s game has been scheduled for 12:05 pm to beat the advancing bad weather.  The Mets starter is TBD, Jerad Eickhoff (2-3 3.07) goes for Philadelphia.

Reese Kaplan -- Octoberfest or October Rest?


In Spring Training we all play the “Who makes the team?” game to project rosters for the upcoming season.  For 9 years we have not been players in the analogous, “Who makes the post-season roster?” game as the team has not had anything to do in October but start their vacations.  This year, of course, such decisions have to be made and it’s time to think about how you might use various bench pieces in a few short series rather than for the long haul of a season.  So let’s take a look at who should and should not be on the October 25-man roster.

6 Infielders

  • Lucas Duda – obviously he would have been here either way, but he’s chosen to regain his power stroke at just the right time
  • Daniel Murphy – it may be his Mets’ swan song, but he’s a part of what got you here in the first place
  • Wilmer Flores – he delivers good punch from the middle infield and doesn’t strike out very much
  • David Wright – as long as he can walk, he’s going to be there
  • Kelly Johnson – His versatility is his key, as is his left handed bat.  With Juan Uribe apparently hurting, the other Atlanta Braves import should be a lock
  • Ruben Tejada – He’s had a solid September with the bat, but more importantly he’s a steady glove.

6 Outfielders

  • Michael Conforto – it’s too bad the Skipper didn’t give him a chance against lefties throughout the season because starting the playoffs against the likes of Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke likely means the polished rookie is watching from the bench
  • Yoenis Cespedes – he may have cooled a bit from his surface-of-the-sun level of play when he arrived, but he’s the biggest power threat in the lineup
  • Curtis Granderson – one of the few players with genuine post-season experience, he’ll be expected to let the others know what to expect in October
  • Michael Cuddyer – he’s come around a bit lately, though mostly with singles.  Paycheck dictates playing time, so he’ll be there for his so-called veteran leadership despite having made minimal contributions all year
  • Eric Young, Jr. – granted, he can’t hit a lick and as a fielder he’s not going to win any Gold Gloves, but when a stolen base is needed there are very few in the game who are better at using their legs to commit thievery
  • Juan Lagares – while he may be a shell of his former Gold Glove self due to injury, conditioning or whatever, he’s still the best outfielder on the team and a right handed bat

2 Catchers

  • Travis d’Arnaud – he’s quietly turning himself into the kind of middle-of-the-order threat envisioned when he was purloined from Toronto as part of the R.A. Dickey trade
  • Anthony Recker – I have a feeling they will opt for experience over productivity, familiarity over talent.  Recker is good working with the pitching staff and you could foresee a Todd Pratt power moment for him that’s less likely to happen with the greater long term potential of Kevin Plawecki

4 Starting Pitchers

  • Matt Harvey – innings limits be damned, he’s a large part of why they are where they are and he has the bulldog mentality to get the ball for game 1 (even if it means potentially pitching a game 5)
  • Jacob deGrom – Tom Glavine to Matt Harvey’s Greg Maddux, you could easily make a case that he deserves the nod, but despite his last degrominant performance, he’s been rather shaky lately
  • Noah Syndergaard – the big man showed the world against the Cincinnati Reds just what he’s capable of doing when he’s on his game
  • Steven Matz – the rookie southpaw with the dominating stuff deserves to pitch here despite a rather limited major league resume

7 Relievers

  • Bartolo Colon – the big man has playoff experience, exudes the unflappable attitude needed against adversity and despite his age can pitch long stints when needed
  • Jonathon Niese – it was encouraging to hear him volunteer for bullpen duty rather than have a starting pitcher controversy rear its ugly head just before the post-season begins
  • Addison Reed – Collins’ go-to guy for the 7th inning, he’s actually got a 0.00 ERA in a Mets uniform
  • Tyler Clippard – a veteran with playoff experience, he’s a no-brainer
  • Jeurys Familia – the emergency closer is threatening to break Armando Benitez’ all-time single season saves record

Now it gets tougher.   Only two of the following three can make it:

  • Sean Gilmartin – he’s been nothing short of spectacular as one of the only successful Rule V acquisitions in team history.  He would give the manager another lefty option.
  • Hansel Robles – while he likely will get chastised rather quickly for his quick pitches, he’s gotten the team out of many jams with his strikeout stuff
  • Erik Goeddel – the starter-turned-reliever has been very solid in parts of two years for the Mets and current sports an impressive 2.56 ERA.

If it’s my call, the nod goes to Gilmartin and Robles because of the lefty/strikeout-specialist roles they fulfill.  Goeddel, while he’s been very good, has also had injury issues and I don’t think you can take a chance on a recurrence. 

That’s my take on the 25 players making the team.  I personally would lose one of Lagares/Young/Cuddyer and keep the extra reliever, but I don’t think they’ll do that.  Notable omissions include Kevin Plawecki, Eric Campbell, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Dilson Herrera, Carlos Torres, Dario Alvarez, Logan Verrett, Eric O’Flaherty and Tim Stauffer.

Who would you take? 

The Morning Report 9.30.2015 | Niese's Bullpen Tryout for the Playoffs, Harvey to be Unleashed, Dodgers Lock Up NL West


Brian Greenzang Metsmerized Online- Jon Niese, one of the odd men out in the Mets playoff rotation, looked to get acclimated to his new role on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. Niese entered in the sixth inning in relief of Bartolo Colon and provided mixed results in his first relief appearance since July 10, 2011. The southpaw pitched 1.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits. Niese did pitch a scoreless sixth and got two quick outs in the seventh before running into trouble.

(Chris Soto: Niese is fighting for his playoff roster life right now. It is already clear that the Mets are not going to carry him in the rotation and it also seems that they will be using Bartolo Colon in the long relief man role. So the only chance Niese has to make the playoff roster is to prove that he can regularly get lefties out when called upon to do so. Statistically, he does not have significant enough splits to be considered a "LOOGY", but lefties are hitting .264 with a .713 OPS against in his career vs .275 AVG and .746 OPS against rightes. His K rate against lefties is also slightly higher at 19.9% vs 17.4% against rightes.)

Nick Ziegler Empire Writes Back- Despite being limited in his upcoming start, there will be no limitations for Harvey when the playoffs being in October according to his manager. “When he goes out and pitch, however, many times that is, yeah the reigns will be off,” manager Terry Collins said. “We haven’t picked the necessary game yet when he should start, we don’t know when it’s going to be, what it’s going to be, but I certainly think we’ve got to take into consideration, we can’t pitch him six times.” The one thing that the Mets aren’t sure about yet is when they will utilize Harvey in the first round. If the Mets get home-field, we very well may see Noah Syndergaard starting in Game 2 at Citi Field with his struggles on the road being well-documented this season.

(Chris Soto: It's good to finally get confirmation that Harvey is going to be let loose on the world. If the Mets are going to get far in the playoffs, they need to utilize their primary strength which is the ability to throw an MLB caliber ace or #2 in every single game. There will be no rest for any team's lineup as they will have to face 96-99mph fastballs, hammer curveballs, and sharp high velocity sliders every single day they face the Mets in October.)

Michael Baron | Just Mets- The only matter that’s left to settle is who will have home field advantage in the National League Division Series. But one other matter was settled on Tuesday night when Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers defeated Madison Bumgarner and the Giants at AT&T Park by the score of 8-0. Kershaw threw a complete-game, one-hit shutout to clinch the Dodgers sixth playoff appearance in the last ten years and it’s 14th division title in franchise history. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was in 2006 when the Mets swept the Dodgers in three games in that year’s National League Division Series.

(Chris Soto: This was but a mere formality as the San Francisco Giants would have needed to sweep the Dodgers, sweep the Rockies AND hope the Padres could sweep the Dodgers in order to have snuck into the playoffs. Mets fans wish the Giants could have made the Dodgers worry a little more but instead they will have the opportunity to give Kershaw and Grienke some rest. Night's like last night are what worry me about facing the Dodgers in a 5 game series. Kershaw was absolutely FILTHY striking out 13 batters on his way to his 18th victory. Though his next start will likely be abbreviated, Kershaw now only need 6 K's to be the first SP since Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson in 2002 to amass 300 K's in a season.)


September 29th 2015 -- Phillies 4, Mets 3

Tuesday night in Philadelphia  Darin Ruf hit a 3 run first inning homer off Bartolo Colon, the Phillies go on to beat the Mets 4-3.  Ruf was just the third batter of the game for the Phils.  With one out Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr singled. That brought up Ruf who hit his 11th homer to center field to make it 3-0. In the top of the 4th Lucas Duda continued his torrid streak hitting his own bomb to center field, his 26th on the year and it was 3-1. The Phillies made it 4-1 in the 7th on an RBI single by Altherr. Duda struck again in the top of the 9th hitting a 2 run homer, his 2nd of the game and 27th on the year to make it 4-3. For Duda, his 7th multiple homer game of 2015. Those 7 games tie a club record set by Dave Kingman. Colon pitched 5 innings allowing 8 hits; the 3 runs (earned) walking none and striking out 3.  He takes the loss falling to 14-13. Jonathon Niese made his first relief appearance of the year and allowed a run on 3 hits in an 1 2/3 innings. David Buchanan was the starter for Philadelphia, he exited after 4 2/3 allowing the 1 run on 6 hits.  Adam Loewen got the win for Philly, he's 1-0. Duda went 3 for 5 on the day with the 2 dingers and 3 RBI to lead the Mets. Herrera went 4 for 4 for the Phillies.  Going into the action on Tuesday the Met s had a 2 game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for home field advantage., that lead is now 1 ½ games pending the outcome of the Dodger, Giants game. With the loss the Mets 11 game winning streak on the road comes to an end.  Overall the Mets are 89-68. On the road their mark is 41-38. Wednesday night is the 2nd game of this 3 game set.  Logan Verrett (1-1 2.70) goes for the Mets, Alec Asher (0-5 7.52) goes for Philadelphia.

DYNASTY? by Tom Brennan


DYNASTY? by Tom Brennan

Never judge a how good a player is when he is ice hot or how bad he is when ice cold.  I've been married over 30 years now, and I keep telling my wife a hot streak is coming.  She still won't let me out of the doghouse.
Hot and cold. The same can be said about teams as a whole.  The Mets started the season a sensationally hot 13-3, then floundered for 3 months, playing more than 10 games below .500, which certainly qualifies as cold. They have played roughly two dozen games over .500 in the ensuing 2 months, and you can't get much hotter than that outside of the late season supernova surge of the 1969 Mets.

So how good are these 2015 Mets? Terrific acquisitions, terrific pitching, both starting and relieving, and terrific hitting for average and power. In a word, terrific.

But the 1969 Mets lagged in 1970, and finally got back to the World Series in 1973 despite being 10 under heading into September. They could not sustain it.

The 2015 team, by contrast, smells like a perennially playoff bound team to me if the right moves are made. After all, deGrom is awesome, Harvey is great, Matz is masterful, and frankly, as good as those 3 are, Thor blows my mind when I watch him pitch and may become the best of the 4.
And if the post surgery Wheeler is better than the pre-Tommy John Zach who pitched probably impaired with a sore arm, this just could turn out to be the best starting 5 - ever.  I know, I am just too Met-centric.

Anyway, relief-wise, Familia is the best we've ever had, or at least on a par with the great Billy Wagner.  Other solid pieces too, and the bullpen appears to be above average for 2016 and hopefully longer.

Hitting-wise is where it will get interesting. Over the past 2 months, this team has probably hit better than any Mets team I can ever remember for a 2 month stretch. I love the power, as the Mets have taken a page out of the Yankee power playbook and the fans are loving every minute. Just getting a guy like Conforto in the draft, too, is an incredible, sustainable boost for the future offense.  The same can be said of d'Arnaud via trade.  The Yanks had Jeter, Rivera, Williams and Posada, and that internal core was the fuel to 2 strong decades for them.  We've got that now.

The question will be, will Sandy see all the offensive ingredients here as potential dynasty pieces and pay for Cespedes, for starters. And make the right call as to whether to keep guys like Murphy, who has been terrific. Guys who strike out under 50 times don't grow on trees. 

Don't go cheap, a huge fan base in attendance will follow a boldly assembled great team, and we could have anywhere from a perennially playoff bound team to a dynasty.

I am excited. Even before this year's playoffs start. Just looking ahead. Excited.  Just. Plain. Excited.

And in the here and now, I may just get to my pre-season predictions of 94 wins and 700+ runs scored.  Though I must admit that how they're getting there I never could have envisioned back in the spring.
Sit back and enjoy. I sure will.


The Morning Report 9.29.2015 | Granderson's Worth Every Penny, Mets Playoff Rotation is Scary Good, Fans Want Papelbon Gone, Montero and Alvarez Rehabbing.


Mike Puma New York Post- Curtis Granderson may have cemented his place as a true New Yorker. The veteran outfielder over the weekend joined the short list of players who have helped two New York teams reach the postseason, as the Mets clinched their first division title since 2006 and await the NLDS. “Both of them are equally exciting,” Granderson said. “Getting a chance to win [with the Mets] over the course of the season and see the fan base come on the road and support you is very similar. You play in a game in San Francisco, obviously it’s an attractive place to go, but if I’m a fan I’ll just watch it on TV. If I’m a real fan, I’m going to come and see you, and I’ve noticed that on both sides.”

(Chris Soto: Granderson has been wonderful this season. After all the negativity that fans had about him last season when he only OPS'd .714, despite hitting 20 HRs, it was nice to see a very strong sophomore season from him. If your a subscriber to the believe that in terms of WAR, each +1.0 = $4M of salary....Granderson is making $16M this season, which is supposed to be worth +4.0 WAR, and his production this season has been worth +4.9 WAR. He's been exactly what the Mets where looking for when they signed him last season.)

David Cameron Fangraphs-  For the first time all season, the team threw Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, and Jacob deGrom in consecutive games, previewing their playoff rotation. As a group, their fastballs averaged 96 mph this weekend, which is probably part of the reason why the Reds made contact on just 78% of their swings despite the fact that their starters lived in the strike zone all weekend. 53.6% of the pitches that the Mets fearsome four threw were within the bounds of the PITCHF/x strike zone, the kind of strike-throwing number you generally see from command pitchers who lack the stuff to get a lot of chases out of the zone. But that doesn’t describe any of the Mets four starters, all of whom were throwing hard and with movement. And when you constantly pound the zone with an elite pitch repertoire, well, you apparently end up running a 1.03 FIP.

(Chris Soto: Multiple players and media members have been coming out lately all the saying the same thing. "If there's something I wouldn't want to face....it's the Mets rotation." While most teams have a legitimate front 2 that they can lean on in a 5 game series, the Mets have a full 4 man rotation that can dominate every single night of a full 7 game series. No hitter wants to face that, especially a Dodgers team that has been one of the bottom 4 offenses post the All Star Break.)

Nick Schwartz For The Win- Closer Jonathan Papelbon might be the least popular man in Washington D.C. after choking Bryce Harper in the dugout during Sunday’s game against the Phillies, and many fans want him off the team. Papelbon’s outburst put the organization in an incredibly difficult situation. If they release him, the Nationals will have to eat a sizable contract — but that might be a better option than keeping a player who appears to have poisoned the clubhouse. Nationals fans started a Twitter campaign to have Papelbon cut on Monday. @NLBeastNats tweeted the team saying he would donate $100 if Papelbon was released, and within an hour fans had pledged thousands of dollars.

(Chris Soto: Hahaha...it is so wonderful to see the script flip. We have seen many different opinions on this subject come out yesterday but the only important opinion is the FANS! To be expected, the fans are sided with the MVP of their team and not the guy who has been a symbol for why the Nationals fell apart in the second half of the season. For so long the LOLMets were the team that analysts chuckled about for all the oddities and crazy things that would happen to the team. Now the LOLMets has turned into the LOLNats.)

Michael Baron Just Mets- A couple of injured relievers have made progress on their road back to action.  Dario Alvarez pitched in an Instructional League game at the team’s minor league complex in Port St. Lucie on Monday, throwing an inning with two strikeouts. Alvarez strained his groin on September 15, and has not pitched since. Last week, Terry Collins said it was unlikely Alvarez would return in the regular season. In addition, Rafael Montero seems to be progressing once again from a rotator cuff strain which has kept him out of action since he made a spot start for the Mets in late April against the Marlins. Montero also appeared in an Instructional League game and struck out four batters

(Chris Soto: A nice general update on a pair of guys that could become MLB contributors next season. If both can prove to be healthy, we could certainly see them in the Caribbean Winter Leagues to make up for the time they have lost to injury. Once again, we will be covering all of the Mets organizational players participating in those Winter Leagues. Whether its the Dominican, Venezuelan, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or Arizona League.....if a Met is playing....we'll find him! )


The Morning Report 9.28.2015 | Your 2015 NL East Champs, Postseason Rotation 1-3 Announced, Who's the #4 SP?, Papelbon Attacks Bryce Harper


Brad Kallet CBS New York- The New York Mets are your 2015 National League East champions. Yeah, read that again. And again. And again. I can’t believe it actually happened. Can you? I’m the first to admit that, at the beginning of the season, I never dreamed that New York would make the playoffs, let alone win the division. After Sandy Alderson’s trade-deadline domination — which will go down as a turning point in this franchise’s history — I started to believe, but I was far from convinced. Even with this huge lead in September, I felt trepidation. Well the Mets are back in business, and they certainly have the foundation to be a force for the next decade. Appreciate this. Enjoy this. Revel in this. Acknowledge how sweet it is.

(Chris Soto: Over the past 9 years we have suffered through the #BlameBeltran strikeout, the 2 separate epic September collapses, the Jerry Manuel management saga, the painful salary constraint era of Jason Bay and a oft-injured Johan Santana, and of course a franchise debilitating Ponzi Scheme. So yes Mets fans, ENJOY THIS WHILE WE CAN. Do not worry about next year yet, or 2018 when the young guns start getting expensive.....enjoy 2015! We're heading to the playoffs and we have a REAL chance to progress far.)

Aaron Yorke Amazin Avenue- After Sunday's game, Terry Collins got the easy part out of the way first and announced that his best three starters during the 2015 campaign would be the first three guys to start games in the 2015 postseason. Matt Harvey will be the first pitcher out of the gate, followed by Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Harvey was playing some of his best baseball during August before he started a bizarre controversy by saying that he might not not pitch beyond 180 innings in 2015. Fortunately that situation was put to rest quickly and Harvey is now lined up to pitch Game 1 of the NLDS on plenty of rest.

(Chris Soto: I think it was pretty obvious that Harvey, deGrom, and Syndergaard would be the 1st three pitchers out of the gate. The real question in my opinion was, What would the rotation order be? From Collins press conference it seems pretty adament that no matter what, Harvey is going to be the 1st one out there and is going to the be the guy who would be in line to make 2 starts should the series go a full 5 games. Certainly a huge change in direction from a few weeks ago when we didn't even know if Harvey would pitch during the rest of September. Even though deGrom has been better this season, I agree with the choice. deGrom may have more consistency right now, but, Harvey's best is better than deGrom best and his best is exactly what the Mets are going to need to defeat Kershaw and Grienke.)

Mike Puma New York Post- The Mets’ playoff rotation is all but set, but manager Terry Collins won’t officially complete the equation until later this week. In some order, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey will belong to the NLDS rotation, according to Collins. Steven Matz will likely claim the fourth spot over Bartolo Colon, according to a club source. “I haven’t gone down that path yet,” Collins said. Collins also indicated he’s reluctant to use Matz in the bullpen, given the rookie has never performed in that role and spent six weeks rehabbing from a torn lat muscle. That points to Matz’s inclusion in the rotation.

(Chris Soto: I'm still torn over the choice myself. On one hand, the Dodgers best line-up, is EXTREMELY weighted towards left handed bats. However, on the other, Bartolo Colon is the only one in the rotation currently with playoff experience, and, Terry Collins already plans on using 3 playoff rookies in his rotation. Colon has made 10 playoff starts and only 1 of them has ever been poor; That was way back in 1999.)

Jon Lewin Subway SquakersFive years ago, Mets' star closer Francisco Rodriguez allegedly assaulted his girlfriend's father at the ballpark. Sunday, Nationals' star closer Jonathan Papelbon tried to attack teammate Bryce Harper in the Nationals' dugout. Harper is only the front-runner for NL MVP. Maybe it's just a coincidence that the Nationals' collapse began when they acquired Papelbon, but considering that the move also sent demoted closer Drew Storen into a tailspin culminating with Storen breaking his thumb in frustration. At least Storen did so while slamming a locker door, not trying to slam a teammate.

(Chris Soto: Boy...with football going on yesterday, I'm not sure if you readers heard or saw what happened yesterday...but it was BAD! I will just leave the video below here and let you guys watch how pitiful the Nationals situation has become.)



September 27th 2015 -- Mets 8, Reds 1

Sunday afternoon at the Great American Ballpark, the Mets one day after clinching the NL East started their second string, but it didn’t slow down the offense as the Mets behind a masterful Jacob deGrom beat up the Reds 8-1.  The Mets got right to work again in the top of the 1st inning. Kelly Johnson batting 2nd and starting at short stop singled. Michael Conforto then hit a long double one hopped off the wall in left center to make it 1-0 Mets.  In the 2nd inning Dilson Herrera making his first start in 3 months stroked a 2 run homer to center, his 3rd on the year and the Mets led 3-0.  In the 3rd deGrom added a 2 run single to make it 5-0. In the 5th, deGrom reached on an error by Ivan DeJesus in left which brought home Eric Campbell.  Juan Lagares then reached on an infield single off Brandon Phillips glove to score Herrera and it was 7-0 Mets.  In the 6th, Kevin Plawecki who batted clean-up, clubbed a solo homer to left, his 3rd on the year to make it 8-0 Mets. On the mound, deGrom was brilliant. He allowed his only run in the bottom of the 6th on a RBI single by Joey Votto.  deGrom left after 6 allowing just 5 hits the 1 run (earned) and struck out 9; he now has 198 strikeouts on the year.  He earns the win he's now 14-8. Herrera had a huge game off the bench with 3 hits, the double, homer and 2 RBI. Eric Campbell had 2 hits as did deGrom and Lagares.  Skip Schumaker had 3 hits for the Reds. Erik Goeddel pitched the 7th, Sean Gilmartin the 8th and  Bobby Parnell pitched the 9th. With the win the Mets improve to 89-67 on the year. The Mets sweep the 4 game set from the Reds. They have now won 11 straight on the road and since they were 16-32 on the road mid-season they now have won 24 of  29 away from Citi and they clinch a .500 record with a 41-37 record.  Monday is a well-earned off-day for the Amazins. Tuesday night the Mets are off for 3 games in Philly.  Bartolo Colon (14-12 4.15) goes for the Mets, David Buchanan (2-9 7.96) goes for Philadelphia. 

Mack’s Morning Report – 9-27-15 – Mets Win Division, Matt Williams, Yoenes Cespedes, Ruben Tejada, Minor League Team Ranking


Good morning.

The Mets clinched a playoff spot last night.

I’ve never typed that sentence before on Mack’s Mets. As you can see on the right column, my first posts went up on this version of this site in 2008. I did start writing an earlier version, called Mack’s Mets Notes, but lost the material when I attempted to convert it to a Go Daddy Site. I then wrote for the Flushing University site, which has since closed, and eventually returned here to my own site.

I don’t frankly remember how much I wrote about past playoff games because I concentrated 100% on the Mets minor league players. Guys like David Wright were still making the conversion.

Toby Hyde and I compared notes one day and agreed that we both started our version of our minor league Mets blog in 2005, one year prior to the infamous 2006 playoff games

I have no paper trail on 2006, but I sure remember the season and the players… Carlos Beltran’s 41 home runs… Carlos Delgado’s 38… the beginning of the decline of Cliff Floyd as age took over… the dreams of someday having both Lastings Milledge and F-Mart in the future outfield… and what we felt was going to be the future of Mets pitching, 25-year old John Maine, 24-year old Oliver Perez, and 22-year old Mike Pelfrey.

Mack’s Mets has had 18,108 posts, 32,559 comments, and 3,811,908 unique page views since the site began, not one involving a Mets playoff game.

This is a joyous time here at MM’s. It’s sort of like if the Pope came to New York and… err… done that.

Just ‘stuff ‘ being written late last night:

           Mike Vorkunov on Matt Harvey -

 Joe D with pictures from the victory party

 Zack Braziller on David Wright

 Mike Puma on Juan Uribe

Mike Vorkunov on Matt Williams -

          The future does not look good for Nationals manager Matt Williams.

He can't even get the dreaded stamp of support from his general manager anymore. Mike Rizzo, the Nationals GM, had been unwaveringly positive about Williams' job prospects this season. Even as Washington has floundered as the biggest disappointment in baseball and looks like it will be the runner-up to the Mets in the division.

Well, not anymore. Speaking during a weekly radio appearance on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, Rizzo offered this doozy about Williams' future.

Mack – Regardless of how lethargic the Mets have played lately, the Nats are a mess, even to the point that their starting ace, Max Scherzer, refused to give the ball to Williams when he came to the mound and ordered him back to the dugout.

It’s hard to imagine Williams surviving this.

Comment From Jack - Put your GM hat on…best guess where Cespedes, Greinke, and Price all end up?

Eno Sarris: Toronto gets a pitcher, Dodgers get a pitcher… Mets overpay.

Mack – I have no problem with this. As I’ve said a number of times. It’s not my money and Cespedes has been the glue that has created the playoff team called the New York Mets.

Let’s get this done early so the 2016 team can be built around the big guy.  

Bill asked –

        Among all NL SSs with over 400 PA, Ruben Tejada now leads the league in OBP, is 5th in BA and 5th in OPS. More remarkably, his 22 2Bs ranks 5th, and all those with more have AT LEAST 140 MORE AB. He trails Desmond by 4 2Bs for 2nd place, though Desmond has OVER 200 MORE AB. In the field, he's made 5 Es all year. So when will he get respect?

Mack – Gee, what makes me think this one is directed to Kaplan, not me.
I love what Flores has done with his bat this season, but I think his numbers are maxed out. He also plays infield like a duck.

As I’ve always said, I’ll take a Golden Glove shortstop- everything that hits .230. Defense is so important down the middle of the field

Fangraphs ranked the minor league systems statically...

31Tampa Bay2111
108New York Yankees7666
154LA Dodgers13978
524Chicago Cubs8141512
167Kansas City16111213
1226New York Mets14171817
2414St. Louis23192019
2029San Diego22262625
2715Chicago White Sox26252526
2823LA Angels28272727
3025San Francisco29282929



September 26th 2015 -- Mets 10, Reds 2

Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati, Matt Harvey kept the Reds at bay; while Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson swung big bats again as the Mets clinch the National League East title with a 10-2 win. The Mets made their statement in the top of the first inning. David Wright walked, Daniel Murphy singled and Travis d’Arnaud walked to load the bases with 2 out for Duda, who clubbed a liner over the right field wall for a grand slam, his first career grand slam and 25th homer on the year for a 4-0 Met lead.  In the 2nd Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer, his 25th as well and it was 5-0 Mets. In the bottom of the 2nd the Reds got to Harvey when Ivan DeJesus doubled in Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier to make it 5-2.  The Amazins made it a 5 run lead again in the top of the 3rd when the resurgent Michael Cuddyer stroked a 2 run double and it was 7-2. In the top of the 9th Wright put an exclamation mark on the game with a 3 run homer, his 5th on the year to make it 10-2.  Harvey had no early exit in this one going  6 2/3 innings allowing 9 hits 2 runs (both earned) and striking out 8. He left in the 7th in favor of Addison Reed who retired the side in the 7th. Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless 8th; Jeurys Familia retired the side in the 9th in the non-save situation. Harvey notches the win in the clincher; he’s now 13-7. John Lamb took the loss falling to 1-4. With the win the Mets win their 10th straight road game. That’s a new club record. They’ve also won 23 of their last 28 away from Citi Field. Overall the Mets are 88-67 and now 40-37 on the road.  Sunday afternoon is the finale of this series as the Mets go for the sweep.  Jacob deGrom (13-8 2.64) goes for the Mets, Keyvius Sampson (2-5 6.45) goes for the Reds. 

Reese Kaplan -- A September Swoon Song?


Images of Septembers in years past have burned themselves indelibly in Mets fans' consciousness, and those less hardy souls among us are wondering if it’s going to be, as the late Yogi Berra would say, a case of déjà vu all over again.  There’s no way to sugarcoat how badly the team has performed of late after being virtually flawless through the month of August.  The September record is a winning 12-9 but the team has chosen to slump at precisely the wrong time.  Both the offense and the pitching have gone south.  Fortunately the Washington Nationals have been just as bad, so it's not as dire as it might have been.  The team did manage to reel off what, eight wins in a row, yet them stumbled against decidedly inferior rosters.  Still, have a look at some of the September numbers.  Any team that’s counting on Ruben Tejada to deliver its offense may be in serious trouble:

Ruben Tejada 1/6/.405
Yoenis Cespedes 3/9/.306, however, last 10 days – 1/1/.182
David Wright 2/8/.304
Wilmer Flores 2/5/.283
Michael Cuddyer 0/1/.273
Daniel Murphy – 3/12/.262
Michael Conforto 4/9/.258
Curtis Granderson 0/6/.200
Lucas Duda – 1/2/.171

The starting pitching has been equally abysmal.  After youngster Steven Matz and big Bart, the numbers are not pretty:

Steve Matz, 2-0, 2.20
Bartolo Colon 2-1, 2.60
Noah Syndergaard, 0-1, 4.15
Jacob deGrom 1-1, 5.50
Jon Niese, 1-1, 5.75
Matt Harvey – 1-0, 5.94

Newcomer Addison Reed has what appear to be stellar numbers but everyone watched him serve up the balls that resulted in 3 runs being charged to Bartolo Colon on Wednesday night:

Addison Reed, 11.2 IP, 0.00
Jeurys Familia, 9 IP, 3.00
Tyler Clippard, 11.2 IP, 6.94

There are two philosophical approaches you can take when a team is not going well.  There’s the “dance with who brung ya” approach which says the players are merely slumping now, but without their contributions you wouldn’t be in first place.  Stick with what’s worked in the past and eventually it will all even out.

Then there’s the one which supports the oft-cited definition of insanity in which doing the same thing but expecting different results.  These people would advocate trying something new since what’s being done right now isn’t working.

Personally, I’m of the belief that innings limits and rest for weary bats and legs go by the wayside until the pennant is locked up.  How many times have we seen pitchers lifted prematurely or more productive batters given a day off in order to keep them fresh?  Had you locked up the pennant already like the Pirates did, you’d have a ten day period in which you could play every bench player for the remainder of the regular season.  Instead, the Mets find themselves sweating the two deadlines – to try to lock up the pennant before the final three games atainst the Nationals, or, failing in that, winning it during that October set when the Eric Campbells and Eric Youngs of this world should be getting the starts instead of burning out all of your regulars just before the post-season who were inexplicably babied during September. 
Mack's Mets © 2012