11/2/15

Mack – Met’s Withdrawal

11 comments


Good morning.

I watched this entire World Series with aging relatives in Florida that kept asking why do some players wear white uniforms while other where grey, yet, by the end of it all, they watched every single inning of every game, rooting for the Mets.

In sports, every team eventually goes home, but only one goes the winner. The Mets can take away from this the fact that they were better than the Cards, Cubs, Pirates, Giants, and Dodgers and are the 2015 National League champions.

This is normally the time of the year that we are waiting for Harold Reynolds to be on The Hot Stove. We no longer have to do that. The Mets will contend for years to come and we can look forward to the off-season as a place to add strength to a great nucleus rather than pick apart the waiver wire from other teams.

Some thoughts…

   1.   We all knew what Matt Harvey had to do in Game Five to send this series back to Kansas City and he did it. He gave the Mets eight scoreless innings on 102 pitches and the Mets had a 2-0 lead with Jeurys Familia ready in the pen. On paper, everything was in the Mets favor and the decision to take out Harvey looks like a textbook one.

   2.   I understand adrenaline. Every Mets fan in that stadium wanted a Ron Howard ending to this game… tell Harvey he’s coming out… watch him say ‘no way’ to the messenger pitching coach… charging Terry Collins and telling him he wasn’t coming out of the game while the fans chanted his name… running at top speed to the mound to bring home the bacon. The problem was that Harvey wasn’t Kevin Costner and the game wasn’t a movie.

   3.   I had no problem letting Harvey start the ninth inning, but I would have made it very clear to him that he would be out after the first sign that the game was in question. That would include a single or a walk. We all watched this series and saw firsthand the weakness of having Travis d’Arnaud behind the plate. Any batter that reaches first base eventually winds up on second base with d’Arnaud’s sub-par throwing arm. Leaving Harvey after the walk was a stupid decision. Period.

   4.   Equally stupid was allowing Yoenes Cespedes to stay in the game without taking a practice swing. What was TC and the Mets trainer thinking?

   5.   It doesn’t matter that the Mets led in four of the five World Series games… the important fact was they only had the ability to prevent Kansas City from winning only one of those games. The Royals proved throughout the playoffs that they had the offensive ability to score countless runs in late innings. You simply can’t assume everything is going to go your way against a team like this. You have to make things go your way.

Look, like I said earlier on a comment to the Morning Report, I thank this team for the wonderful season they have given us. Sandy Alderson made some organizational decisions that changed the team overnight, including a peek at two kids, Steven Matz and Michael Conforto, that will be members of the 25-man squad for many years to come.

The Mets got this far by being one of the top hitting teams in the second half of the season, something they didn’t duplicate in the playoffs. Sure, we will always remember Daniel Murphy’s home run derby, but did it make us forget his antics with a glove?
The starting rotation will guarantee the Mets the ability to remain one of the top teams in the National League, but changes must be made to improve both the internal defense and the vast majority of the bullpen. Everything in this game doesn’t translate as a 35 home run hitter joining your squad mid-season. It’s the little things like completing a play in the field and being six deep in the pen with top relief pitching. You know, like the Kansas City Royals.

I’m sure we’ll talk a lot about this in the off-season.


For now, heal your Mets wounds in the hot tub and… we’ll talk.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

On balance, this was an excellent and unexpected season. Sure, the ending sucked as we were just a few plays from going back to KC with a 3-2 lead, if not winning the damn thing 4-1.

Ah well, that is life, I suppose.

With that said, the team has a bright future......I am sure we will spend a ton of time this off season on that topic.

For now, I am thankful to the team and the management for what they accomplished this year.

Mike

Michael S. said...

Mack,

Great synopsis and thank you for everything you do here. Thank you even more for graciously allowing me to take part in this site over the years. It not only allowed me the chance to express myself and stir debate, it allowed me to get a closer look at this all come together making this year's run all that much sweeter.

If you'd allow it, I have a piece Id like to contribute in the next day or so.

All the best,
Michael

Robb said...

This season was a lot of fun, from the ten game winning streak, to Boras being a villain, to the wilmer flores and redemption, cespedes being unconscious, but mostly the last 3 months of great baseball. Im sorry they lost, but it was great to feel how close we are to winning. Im excited long term, even if all the free agents leave. much to talk about, and an exciting hot stove as im ready for next year already!

James Preller said...

On Cespedes, what a roller coaster ride. He sure was fun and then, poof, he disappeared. Aloof and indifferent. It was strange and disconcerting.

During Game 4, after Conforto hit the two HRs and the Mets were nursing a lead, the question I asked was: Do you sub Lagares in for Cespedes, who had already kicked two balls in CF this series. One answer was, no, you leave your star player alone.

The other answer, a little less clear, was also no -- because they were all a little bit afraid of him. How he'd react.

I think that loomed large in the decision to let him bat in Game 5. The decision to not even ask him to test the leg, when a DP would have been disastrous. They struck me as a little bit afraid of the guy. Maybe that's a crazy thing to say, but that's how I see it.

I am okay with saying goodbye, unless the numbers shift significantly. I think he should be back to 5/$100 land, maybe where he was before he took off like a meteor in August. With a good performance, he carries the Mets across the finish line.

James Preller said...

AN ALTERNATIVE WORLD SERIES

As many readers might be aware, I am not really into bashing Terry Collins, and that's not at all what this is about. When it comes to finger pointing, we've all digested the performances and we know who fell short. We can all name the name, site the failings. It was never a perfect team.

However, I come back to the 9th inning of Game One. Everything turned on that HR.

And I mean: Everything.

Imagine that Familia closes out that tense, tight game with a 4-3 win. Our Mariano, enjoying an unbelievable run. The rush, the excitement, the belief.

Come Game 4 -- Familia is fully rested, since Collins does not sense that Familia needs a restorative inning in the 9-3 blowout -- Familia comes in for the two-inning save. Terry is fully confident in the Mets closer. Everyone else is too. Because when you see his face, it's too late. And Jeurys does what he does. Mets win.

Game 5, after those two solid performances, it's time to say, "Thank you for much, Matt, but this is how we close out games." And you hand the ball to Jeurys. Because he's the MVP and it's all about getting the ball into his hands.

I really think that's not at all an improbable alternative path this series could have gone. But he gave up that HR, he failed, and it shook the Mets universe, leading TC to three bad decisions (I was in favor of the last bad decision, for the record, and wasn't outraged by the other two).

One good rule to live by: If a pitcher walks a batter when it's late and close, and you've got a stud in the pen, don't sit on your hands.

Before the WS, I pegged Familia as the MVP, Mets in 7. One can look at the 2015 WS as a time when TC mismanaged the Mets most valuable resource. Three blown saves, statistically speaking, when he didn't even give up a hit in two of those appearances. He was set up to fail. Twice brought into games much too late; once brought it unnecessarily.

Oh well.

Mack Ade said...

James -

I agree.

This could have been so much more.

Lew Rhodes said...

This was the best Mets' season I remember since 1986 - this year was better then 2000 and 2006 because it was so unexpected.

I had the extreme pleasure of being at the game last night - the ending sucked, but for 8+ IP, it was the best sporting event of my life - we were all screaming for Harvey to come back out in the 9th - he stayed one batter too long, but he deserved that shot.

For all the good things TC did during this year, he seemed to screw up all the big decisions in the World Series.

But, at least we had the World Series.

We have the makings of a team to get back there next year.

As far as Cespedes - I think he may have been hurt more than everyone was letting on

Michael S. said...

He was never the same after getting plunked...then add in the shoulder injury. It's very possible that he was.

Michael S. said...

Kind of off topic, but, has anyone else noticed how much Arod still loves the Mets? I know his actions have drawn a lot of negativity over the years, and rightfully so, but he was our biggest cheerleader and obviously would love to be playing with this pitching staff.

I know we avoided a lot of drama, but he admitted a few years ago that he wished he signed with us and I'd bet that he still feels the same way.

Mack Ade said...

Michael -

Too late.

We don't need another infielder that can't turn a double play

Michael S. said...

Mack -

I can't envision a scenario that would bring him across town, I was just surprised at how open this guy who has been a Yankee for over a decade now still loves us and would probably rather be in Queens - very rare.

However, since you mentioned it, if he were to somehow come over, I'd see if he'd be willing to pick up a 1B glove for the last two years of his contract and trade Duda..also have him play 3B when the Captain's back acts up.

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