Mack’s Morning Report – 10-23-15 – Zack Wheeler, NL Champs


Good morning.

41% of the Mets' pitches this postseason have been 95+ mph. Since '08, no other team hit 30%

I loved hearing Zack Wheeler on the MLB Network that his current plans are to return to the Mets rotation “in the beginning of June” 2016. You add this guy to the ‘Big 4” pitching in this playoff series (187-K in 185 1/3 innings in 2014) and the perfect rotation is done. In my opinion, it will easily be the best in baseball.

It’s hard for me to think back at this point and remember what my expectations were for this season. Naturally, I wanted the Mets to make the playoffs, but I didn’t think they had all the marbles that would be needed to get there.

This has been unchartered territory for Mack’s Mets. I remember when I would write posts in 2007 and thought Josh Thole would be the end all for this team.

I ended that season being invited into Tim Tuefel’s office for an off-the-record BS session on the team that went 41-94 and might have been the worst team in Mets history.

The players had long gone travelling home and all that was left was me, Tuff, and what was left of the tin of cookies (his favorite: oatmeal raisin) Mrs. Mack had baked for him earlier that month.

Only one player from that team remains on the Mets, then shortstop Juan Lagares and how progress was made with some of the other players. Neither one of us could have possibly thought Tuefel and Lagares would be in this position at this point in the post season.

I wrote a number of times on what I thought could get them to this moment… excellent starting that lasts into the seventh inning… timely hitting… starters that give up three or less runs in seven innings… relievers that only give up one more run per game
But the last thing I expected was this team to be ranked in the top five teams in all offensive categories after the all-star break.

Game 1 and Game 2 against the Cubs were pretty textbook 2015 Mets. As I said two paragraphs earlier, timely hitting, excelling starting pitching, classic Jeurys Familia, and, the added ingredient this post season, Daniel Murphy.

Game 3 was a little different. The Mets broke out the veterans (David Wright, Yoenes Cespedes) and seemed to be threatening to score in every inning. Quirky calls were everywhere including the hidden ball trick in right field that prevented the Mets 4th run and a passed ball and blown double play that eventually made the score 5-2 Mets.

And Game 4 was just shock and awe in the first two runs and bite your nails for the rest of the game.

This series was all about execution. The Mets played almost perfect baseball while the Cubs, in general, and Kyle Schwarber, in particular, didn’t (this is a perfect example why catchers built like the Hulk don’t make for excellent defensive outfielders).

I could probably write for hours on this but why bother. The Mets are in the World Series! What better could be written other than them winning it?


Thomas Brennan said...

Wilmer Flores is a Good Glove compared to Kyle Schwarber.

Speaking of Flores, I could see him next year being more like Murph has been in recent months and looking to Jack more balls out of the park. 25 homers from Wilmer next year would not surprise me.

I looked back at that 2007 minor league squad's stats. No wonder they were so bad....40 errors in 83 games from their SS...Juan Lagares. The guy with the Gold Glove. Makes you appreciate how well Wilmer does defensively.

Great to see Wheeler's optimism...if his return is as successful as his optimism, Mets will have an unparalleled starting 5 - ever. Anywhere.

Michi L. said...

Feel a little bad for Wheeler. He was draftet from the Giants and they traded him. He would have a World Series ring if he were still a Giant.
But no hes a Met now and the Mets are in the World Series. Just without him because of TJS. Oh man how bad. Hope he gets another chance

Christopher Soto said...


He'll likely still get a ring though with the Mets.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

If I remember correctly, Lagares led the Sally League in SS errors in 2007.

Hobie said...

2007-- was that year you (Mack) & I had the discussion about whether Brett Harper or Mike Carp would take over at 1B? I know I mentioned liking this Duda kid in Brooklyn, but he was years away.

Thought Dillon, Dylan & Nick Carr would be a killer rotation in a few years too. So it goes.

Mack Ade said...

Hobie -

I remember 'shooting the shit' with a Sand Gnats pitcher that year (Greg Mullins) and he said there was a kid named Duda in Brooklyn that had the sweetest swing he had ever seen.

Thomas Brennan said...

40 errors in 83 games. That would project to 78 in 162 games. Imagine saying to someone, "hey, just a hunch, but that guy is gonna win a Gold Glove one day." The man with the butterfly net would show up pretty quickly.

Mack Ade said...

I've told the story a number of times

Lagares was sent out to right field to shag flies in practice along with a few other players...

the first ball hit to him was a called play to throw it to the 3rd baseman...

he did... on the fly

everyone stopped on the field

Hobie said...


Mickey Mantle was an error prone shortstop who became a pretty decent OF'er. :-)

Gary Seagren said...

Thomas....Flores is Ozzie Smith compared to Schwarber. He probably can't catch either so what do they do with him? Whats most stunning is how well they did with him in left during the season because I can't remember ANYONE looking that bad in the outfield...oh wait Todd Hundley butchered it up pretty well once too. Someone needs to grab Thor and tell him NOT to make comments like "he's 100% certain we'll win the series" a real "oh no" moment when I read that this am.

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Hobie - I hear you. I'm glad we have Murphy Mantle right now.

@ Mack - wonder if rest "cured" Lagares' throwing rifle.

@ Gary - in fairness to Schwarber, guy is 22, slightly over a year as a pro, and a lot if that was as a catcher. He's fast and I bet he fixes his OF play. Between minors and bigs, 50 homers, 40 doubles, 5 triples in 750 at bats. I'd trade Plawecki and Lagares for him - doubt that happens. He will be a future big star, I think

Gary Seagren said...

Thomas you can send a duck to eagle school but he'll still be a duck. If he could catch they surely would have had him play there and go with at least a competent LFer. He looks more like Evan Gattis to me so A.L. DH looks like his future.

Gary Seagren said...

I'm really surprised no one responded to Thor's comment about us having a 100% chance of winning the series. The last thing we need is bulletin board fodder for the A.L. winner to use or is it just "the old school" in me reacting here?

Mack Ade said...

Gary -

did he actually use the word 'chance'?

if so, accurate statement and quite harmless because it means the Mets also have a 100% chance of NOT winning it

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