10/31/15

October 31st 2015 -- World Series Game 4 -- Royals 5, Mets 3

4 comments
Saturday night at Citi Field, an error by Daniel Murphy led the way to a 3 run 8th inning, the Royals come from behind to beat the Mets 5-3 in Game 4 of the 2015 World Series. It was Steven Matz vs Chris Young. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the 3rd inning when Michael Conforto led off the inning with a solo homer, his first in the World Series for a 1-0 lead.  Wilmer Flores then singled and reached second on a wild pitch by Young. Matz sacrificed Flores to third and Curtis Granderson then hit a sac-fly to right to bring home Conforto with a 2-0 lead.  In the 5th Salvador Perez doubled and Alex Gordon singled to right to bring him home and it was 2-1 Mets. Chris Young went 4 innings allowing both runs on 2 hits while walking 1 and striking out 2. In the 5th against Danny Duffy, Conforto hit his 2nd home run of the game to make it 3-1. Conforto becomes the 2nd Met to have 2 homers in a World Series game joining Gary Carter from Game 3 in 1986. In the top of the 6th the Royals got one right back. Ben Zobrist doubled and was singled home by Lorenzo Cain. That knocked Matz out of the box and brought in Jonathon Niese to retire Eric Hosmer and Michael Moustakas. Bartolo Colon came on to retire the side. Addison Reed, for the 2nd straight game pitched a 1-2-3 7th. Tyler Clippard came on to pitch the 8th. He retired 1 and then walked the next two. With 1 out in the 8th in came Jeurys Familia.  Eric Hosmer hit a squibber than Murphy let go under his glove scoring Ben Zobrist tying the game. Then Mike Moustakas singled to make it 4-3 Royals. Salvador Perez then singled scoring Hosmer and it was 5-3 Royals. KC brought in Wade Davis who pitched a 1-2-3 8th and after 1 out singles by Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes, Lucas Duda hit into a line out double play to end the game. Matz went 5 2/3 allowing 7 hits 2 runs (both earned) while striking out 7.  Ryan Madison gets the win in relief.  Tyler Clippard takes the loss.  Wade Davis gets the save. The Mets trail 3 games to 1. Sunday night it’s game 5 of the series. Matt Harvey (2-0 3.38) goes for the Mets,  Edinson Volquez (1-2 4.37) goes for the Royals. 
Read more...

2015 Winter League Stats (Updated as of 10/30/2015)

0 comments


(Click on picture to make larger. All stats courtesy of  mlb.com)




Read more...

Reese Kaplan -- The Evolution of Wilmer Flores

3 comments
While everyone is well aware of the trade that wasn't which turned Wilmer Flores into something of a folk hero, what's lost in the rush to the post season is the maturity of the man as a fielder. He's been making a number of tough plays, showing more range than anyone felt he innately had to deliver. The bat has been a little quiet now but he can hold his head high with a regular season line of .263/16/59 in fewer than 500 ABs.

While the manager seems to go through periods where he falls in love with the backup shortstop, the fact remains that Flores is standing out more for his defense than his offense this post season. In fact, after the shakiness David Wright has shown, I've actually found myself willing the ball to Flores when it's hit on the left side of the infield.

Now no one is ever going to confuse him for Ozzie Smith, but I think just as the Wizard of Oz was a no-hit/all-glove player who made himself into a respectable player with the bat in his hand, I think we're seeing a similar growth with the leather from the man who was nearly a Brewer.

What this means to the Mets going forward is that it may be prudent to let him man the position for the 2016 season while Gavin Cecchini gets a full year of AAA under his belt. The risk, of course, is whether or not Dilson Herrera can translate his minor league success to the next level. That variable makes the decision whether or not to try to retain the services of Daniel Murphy a critical one. Throw in the real possibility of time lost to the DL for David Wright and his ailing back, the team might feel more comfortable having all three players – Flores, Herrera and Murphy – should they lose Wright for an extended period of time.

Despite his offensive comeback late in the year, Ruben Tejada is still an 8th-place hitter. Matt Reynolds was on the playoff roster due to Tejada's injury, but he never got a chance to play. Neither are likely long term starting solutions unless the team was fortified with a lot more offense elsewhere on the diamond.

Speaking of elsewhere, everyone assumes Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson will comprise 2/3s of the Mets outfield. The question is who stands between them? Juan Lagares is showing some flashes of the offensive ability that made him more than just a Gold Glove fielder, but his defensive abilities are a pale shell of what he's shown in the past. I'm in full agreement with my friend Mack that Lagares needs to at least go under some exploratory surgery to find out what has transformed him from a lethal arm to a noodle arm in just one season.

Health will go a long ways towards helping this team's offense to complement all the young pitching. A full year of Travis d'Arnaud would strengthen the lineup immeasurably. While it's not clear what you will get from David Wright going forward, his 4-RBI night on Friday showed that there's still something in the tank.

Visibly absent from this conversation is the man in the neon-green sleeve. The Mets are in a somewhat no-win situation with Yoenis Cespedes. While he's cooled from the scorching pace he'd set after his arrival, he's twice driven in over 100 runs and his arm is what Lagares' used to be. Of course, there was that very conspicuous flub between him and Conforto that resulted in the inside-the-park home run to lead off Game One, but if he's told from day one he's the centerfielder he's athletic enough to make the adjustment.

Of course, any prospective offer for Cespedes probably comes at the expense of Daniel Murphy whose $15 million plus QO could be used to offset the new annual salary for Cespedes' next contract. If they let him walk, then they're back to the struggle for runs that plagued the team before August. (And it's unlikely that a Jason Heyward would come any cheaper).

There still plenty of time to make these decisions, however. The order of business now is getting behind Steven Matz to tie the series and reduce it to a best of three.


Let's Go Matz, er, Mets!
Read more...

Mack’s Morning Report – 10-31-15 – 7 Train, Game 3

18 comments


Good morning.


Mack's Mets ‏@JohnMackinAde  Port Orange, FL - @kevinburkhardt  - we miss you Kevin but we also are all very proud of you

 Kevin Burkhardt ‏@kevinburkhardt  -  thanks John. Means a lot


Cute story on the Mets –

Anecdotally, there are two main spots on the walk from the 7 train to Citi Field where people start making noise before a Mets playoff game. The first is on the initial descent from the elevated platform, during the shoulder-to-shoulder rush down a blind flight of gray stairs and into the concrete breezeway that is the Willets Point-Mets subway station. This is where you get the little flarings-up of Let's Go Mets chants, which echo satisfyingly in the tight stairwell but dissipate as the crowd empties into the wider space and adopts the cutback-heavy broken-field walking approach favored by New York pedestrians with someplace to be.

Mack – One of the things I am really enjoying this week is all the articles being written by writers that normally never have a kind word to say about the Mets.



On Game 3, what can I say? On one hand, I’m thrilled the team that I root and write for is in the World Series; however, I had hoped they would have played a little better in the first two games than they nad.

However, let’s give the Royals credit. They can hit up and down their lineup and don’t seem to have any trouble tagging ‘The Big 3’ and their fastballs. Still, the Mets have played sloppy baseball, something you should be past doing once you’ve reached this far into a season.

I guess we will never find out if Thor’s dust ball on the first pitch of the game was intentional, but it sure gave the Royals a reason to come out swinging.

Still, two Mets two-run homers (David Wright, Curtis Granderson) and a timely infield single by Michael Conforto did give the Mets a 5-3 lead after four innings.

It’s almost as if Noah Syndergaard had to give up three early runs to set up his fastball so his secondary pitches could take over later on in the game.

It sure looked like Terry Collins made another decision in the sixth inning that Reese Kaplan would write a post on. I really though leaving Syndergaard in after loading the bases was a bad move, but the (cough) Gold Glove (cough) fielding shortstop Wilmer Flores might have saved the outcome of Game 3.

This was followed by what turned out to be another great decision by the Mets, activating Juan Uribe for the World Series. His opposite field single scored the sixth Mets run… followed by Wright’s two-run single… and all of a sudden it looked like the victory was in hand.

The strange thing about this game was that I never felt that the lead was safe. Maybe it’s just the years of losing that just set me up for the fall I was waiting for the entire night.


Read more...

10/30/15

October 30th 2015 -- World Series Game 3 -- Mets 9, Royals 3

1 comments
Friday night in Flushing, David Wright homered and drove in 4 runs, while Curtis Granderson homered driving in 2 and scoring 3, the Mets win Game 3 of the World Series with a 9-3 win.  The mound opponents were Noah Syndergaard vs Yordano Ventura. The Royals got on the board first in the top of the 1st. With one out Ben Zobrist doubled. Lorenzo Cain reached on an infield hit to make it 1st and 3rd.  Zobrist scored to make it 1-0 on a fielder’s choice by Eric Hosmer.  In the bottom of the first, the Mets struck back. Curtis Granderson led off the game for the Mets with an infield single to 2nd.  David Wright then stroked a 2 run homer to left to make it 2-1 Mets.  In the 2nd, the Royals capitalized on Noah Syndergaard’s inability to settle down.  Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon starting the inning with back to back singles, Alex Rios singles scoring Perez, Gordon was thrown out at 3rd by Conforto, Rios advanced to 2nd on the throw. Ventura sacrificed Rios to 3rd and he scored on a passed ball by d’Arnaud and the Royals led 3-2. In the 4th Noah Syndergaard singled to right and Curtis Granderson hit a line homer down the right field line for a 2 run homer and a 4-3 Met lead.  The Mets increased the lead in the 4th.  Lucas Duda singled to left. d’Arnaud doubled down the left field line to make it 2nd and 3rd. Conforto then hit an infield single to bring home Duda and 5-3 Met lead.  Ventura left after 3 1/3 innings pitched allowing 5 runs.  In the 6th against Franklin Morales, Juan Lagares singled; Wilmer Flores was hit by a pitch, Juan Uribe, making his first appearance since September 25th singled to right to score Lagares for a 6-3 lead.  Granderson then hit a comebacker to Morales who totally froze and failed to make a play anywhere to lead the bases with 1 out for Wright. The Royals brought in Kelvin Herrera and Wright singled in Flores and Uribe for a 8-3 lead. After Murphy was retired, Yoenis Cespedes hit a sac-fly to bring home Granderson and a 9-3 lead. Addison Reed pitched a 1-2-3 7th. Tyler Clippard pitched the 8th. Jeurys Familia got some redemption retiring the side in the 9th to lock down the win. After a rough start, Syndergaard left after 6 recovering enough to retired 12 straight at one point, and get out of a 2 out bases loaded jam in the 6th. He allowed 6 hits the 3 runs (earned) walking 2 and striking out 6.   He picks up the win, Ventura takes the loss.  The Mets now trail the series 2 games to 1. Saturday night it’s game 4 of the series.  Steven Matz (0-1 3.72) goes for the Mets,  Chris Young (1-0 2.31) goes for the Royals. 
Read more...

10.29.2015 Winter League Results: 2nd Straight 0-fer for Smith, Wheeler Blows Save but Gets Win, Puerto Rico League Starts Today

3 comments

Arizona Fall League
Scottsdale Scorpions 4 - 2 Glendale Desert Dogs
- Surprise Saguaros 3 - 5 Mesa Solar Sox
- Peoria Javelinas 2 - 5 Salt River Rafters
  • 1B Dominic Smith: 0 for 3, RBI(5)
  • SS Jeff McNeil: 0 for 2
  • RHP Beck Wheeler: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 K, Blown Save(1), Win(2-0)


Mexican Pacific League
Charros de Jalisco 6 - 3 Yaquis de Obregon
- Venados de Mazatlan 1 - 2 Caneros de los Mochis
- Naranjeros de Hermosillo 2 - 1 Aguilas de Mexicali




Venezuelan Winter League
- Tiburones de La Guaira 6 - 1 Tigres de Aragua
- Aguilas del Zulia 12 - 4 Leones del Caracas
- Navegantes del Magallanes 7 - 1 Bravos de Margarita
- Caribes de Anzoategui 5 - 13 Cardenales de Lara
  • LF Jairo Perez: 1 for 4, R, BB


Dominican Winter League
Tigres del Licey 1 - 4 Toros del Este



Roberto Clemente Puerto Rican League
Side Note: Regular Season begins TODAY, October 30th.
Read more...

Ernest Dove - Can New York Mets Wright the Ship as World Series turns to Citi Field?

6 comments


  Well, the Mets are in the World Series for the first time in 15 years.  The Mets were two outs away from stealing game 1 and then..........

  I wish to first say congrats to the Kansas City Royals for taking both of their home games to start this series.  They have proven to be EXACTLY WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE.

  The series will now shift to Citi Field with numerous question marks surrounding the Mets, their offense/defense and pitching.

  I'm sitting here; however, trying not to panic.  The Mets, again, are in the WORLD SERIES.  We are almost pretty much playing with house money at this point.  But, at the same time, I've been preaching the same thing on Macks Mets for awhile now.  Teams, regardless of youth and talent, are promised nothing in the future.  I very much enjoy talking about the 'dream rotation' that will enter into 2016 with 4 team controlled and off innings limits caps arms on it.  However, that truly means nothing because anything can happen between now and then, and into the season and beyond.  The time is now.  The young studs are tired, fatigued, exhausted, and all but one of them has surpassed their career high for innings in a season I believe. (Matz would have without the injuries).  So where do the Mets go from here?
  I can talk pitching all day but let's start with the captain, David Wright.  David has played every game in the postseason, including all 14 innings of world series game 1 followed up with the 9 innings in game 2.  Will David be able to come right back out after the day off and gear up for game 3?  I assume the obvious answer is yes, absolutely. David has shown glimpses of his former self throughout the playoffs.  He has shown a slick glove, strong arm and a knack for the big hit to drive in runs.  David has also shown to be error prone in the field, a possible physical need to throw pretty much side arm on every ball thrown to a base, and has randomly looked lost at the plate with bad swings and also looks at pitches in the strike zone that appeared hittable. Which David Wright will show up in game 3, in front of the home crowd?  A crowd that has not witnessed a game on the worlds biggest stage in so long.   What I've noticed is that David is simply not at all spreading the ball around with his bat in the postseason.  His few and far between big hits have all been pulled.  It was nice to see him attempt a stolen base but he was caught stealing.  But regardless I'm just not sure if Terry Collins will change anything as far as penciling him in to play 3B and also bat 2nd.

What to do with Michael Conforto?

  This is a tricky one for me.  Conforto has produced very little in the postseason, but he does have a homer.  He also had some clutch sac flies.  He also honestly has the second best arm in the outfield.  So with the Royals continuing to throw out nothing but righties, will Terry Collins and his staff continue to go Conforto in the lineup for the 3 games in the Mets NL and non DH ballpark?  And if so, will he continue to be taken out of games for defensive purposes, even though the guy coming in (Lagares) is now recently having trouble with reading the ball along with already weakened arm?  I wrote an article not too long ago about the idea that Conforto might actually become a star in the postseason and be the hitting version of Bumgarner.  That obviously has not happened.  But a few games of success in the Big Apple might help all that quickly.

Are Mets bats passive, nervous, sticking to the hitting philosophy or all of the above?

  I'm trying to figure out the Mets strategy here at the plate.  We all know about Granderson.  He understands his role fully.  He works counts and draws walks because he the leadoff man.  But it seems like everyone else in the lineup, except for Daniel Murphy and Travis d'Arnaud, seem to be stuck in that thinking of take take take, and apparently look for 'your pitch' later in the count.  However, what's happening over and over is that pitchers, especially in this World Series, are simply throwing meatballs on the first pitch, and in certain counts that favor the hitter such as 1-0 and 2-0.  The Mets can obviously look no further then towards the other dugout to see what's going on with a team of hitters who can care less about opposing pitch counts.  They are all willing and able to hack at the first pitch.  We've seen numerous Harvey and deGrom innings be 9-12 pitch innings.  Good for them, but has eventually been happening is that the balls have begun to find their way into position on the field which are leading to singles and errors.  And for the life of me I think I am still honestly questioning whether or not Cespedes honestly was not ready for the start of game one on that first pitch and barely realized that the game had started.  The Mets need to follow the lead of Daniel Murphy and TDA.  Swing at strikes, whenever they come in the count.. Yes, I know that d'Arnaud is not lighting up the scoreboard but he still attacking.  And hopefully the law of averages says that he will eventually catch up to the ball and make more solid contact on those first pitch swings.  And with his power they can produce extra bases.

Will youth on the mound finally be served with its most youthful?

  Well, the Mets had their chance to line up their rotation and throw out their two best arms to start this series, and it just didn't work out.  But lucky for them there are two more to go, but they are younger and even more experienced then the first two.  So, what can we expect from Syndergaard and Matz in the world series, at home?
  There are plenty of stats to show how dominate Thor is at home, and Matz made quite a scene in his hometown state himself, but this is the world series.  I'm definitely curious to see what becomes of Thor.  Yes, I understand that the Royals have fancy stats that show their ability to swing at pitches, regardless of speed.  I also know that Harvey and deGrom did not seem to have full control of their 95+ pitches, and threw a lot more off speed stuff then usual.  So, can Syndergaard come out of the gate throwing 98-100, with more control then the first two, and then compliment that fireball with his curve and off speed stuff rather then almost come close to approaching 50-50 as far as fastball and breaking stuff?  I would personally prefer that Syndergaard let it fly.  I want him averaging 98+ throughout his outing on his fastball, and obviously pray that he is throwing his curveball for strikes.  And I am no quite interested to see what the lefty Matz can do against this lineup.  We've seen Niese succeed (im not counting whatever nonsense occurred when team had him pitch another multiple inning after already throwing a multiple inning the night before).  So I'm curious about Royals ability to handle a lefty with even better stuff.

Can the middle of the lineup produce?

  Murphy has been reduced to singles in the world series, but they still counted as hits in game 1.  Cespedes also had I believe a multi hit (singles) game to start this series, but both then became very quite in game 2.  So what can we expect of these guys back home at Citi Field?  I fully expect Daniel to be aggressive, swinging at the first pitch and hardly striking out.  however, who I'm worried about is Cespedes.  He just hasn't had that fire that he had since he burst onto the scene in September.  He's back to swinging at bad pitches, either tough breaking pitches or off the plate high fastballs.  He has been able to kind of show his swagger on the base baths, but not at the plate unfortunately.  The Mets need Cespedes to drive in runs in New York, starting immediately in game 3. 
  And of course there is Lucas Duda.  He is not smashing the ball, but he is making contact and the balls keep finding holes.  We can play the BABIP game, especially with the Royals solid overall defense, and say that Duda might stop finding holes.  However, we can also state that since Duda is on a hot streak he should now be due for 1 to 3 homers during the series here in New York.

  Can the Mets spell R E L I E F while in Queens?

  One person I'm not worried about is Familia.  If the Mets have a 1 run lead going into the 8th innings in game 3, Terry will not hesitate to have Familia warming up and will go to him during any sign of trouble.  And I fully expect Familia quiet honestly to not give up another run in this series if given the chance.
  We've seen glimpses of solid outings out of Reed, and Clippard can seemingly get guys out, although lot's of hard hit balls need to find a Mets glove often times during his recent outings.   I'm also willing to trust Colon in New York's ballpark, and I have no issues with Mets utilizing Niese even if just to face one or two lefties in the late innings.  The Mets simply have to trust their guys at this point.  It's been fun watching all the starters go into the 7th-8th innings for awhile now but it hasn't happened lately and you can't assume it will even happen again during this series with a strong offensive and scrappy team.

  Will Terry Collins make the right calls during the next few games?

  I'm not here to bash Terry Collins.  He's the manager of my favorite team. A team that's in the world series.  But I will say that his coaching skills will now be fully put to the test as the series shifts to the non DH rules of the National League.  I was actually ok with his decision in game one to start Kelly Johnson because there was a righty pitcher on the mound, and Terry has respected and trusted Kelly in big spots in late innings as a pinch hitter against righties anyway, so why leave that trust and faith on the bench conceivably for an entire game.  However, the experiment and trust did not work in game 1.  But the trust will most likely occur again right in game 3, because I assume Mets will go Johnson over Kirk as the first lefty pinch hitter.
  Terry must also decide the importance of 'riding his horse' on the mound vs the importance of squeezing out an extra run in the middle to late innings.  Yes, it's been fun talking about the Mets pitchers and their ability to hit, but in the world series do you really want to trust Thor and Matz with bat in their hands in the 5th-6th-7th inning if tied or down a run, with runners on base and 1-2 outs?

  Will Mets fans (and MetsTwitter) be satisfied no matter what happens in New York this weekend?

  Well one thing is for sure, semi conscious or not, my buddy Scott (who has tickets to game 4) will be entertained one way or the other at Citi Field, being at a Mets World Series game.  And whether they are going in at 0-3 or 1-2, a win in game 4 should have him smiling all the way back to Florida. But what do the majority of Mets fans want or expect in the coming days ahead?
  You can already tell on social media that many of the fans could care less about the fact that the team actually made it to the world series in the first place.  It's now win or bust in many a fans eyes apparently. 
    I for one do not agree.  I want the Mets to win the world series because the future is promised to nobody.  But my heart is not broken if they lose.  Ok, yes, if they get swept, I'm going to be angry.......for while.........And I will quietly piss and moan, blaming random players, coaches and staff, and blame the umps, TV cameras (good job FOX) and the damn Royals inability to strikeout or let more line drives get by them............ But in the end I'm still a fan.  I'll keep wearing my David Wright t-shirt (so will my daughter) and I'll keep finding ways to purchase more Mets type stuff for the home, car, doormat, etc.  As a fan, I'm not just happy to be here...... But I'm also happy to have the opportunity to still be watching Mets baseball in late October.

What's going on right now with Macks Mets readers?  Are we depressed?  Have we given up?  Are still expecting a series win, possibly the next 4?  DISCUSS

LETS........GO.............METS......... 
Read more...

Mack’s Morning News – 10-30-15 – Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Bobby Ojeda, Yordano Ventura, Mets Tickets, Billy Joel

16 comments


Good morning.


Fangraphs http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-mets-werent-throwing-swing-and-miss-pitches/ had a great analysis on the Jacob deGrom outing which featured far less strikeouts than we are all used to:

Here’s a lesson in baseball fundamentals you don’t need. You can, without doubt, get hitters to swing and miss at strikes. Really overpowering pitchers will do that, just to show off. It’s a great skill to possess. But, for everyone, there are more swings and misses out of the zone. That’s the whole idea behind the zone. The zone is supposed to represent the hitting area. Hitters will do worse outside of the area designed for good hitting.

Mack – Write all you want. It was a bad outing. DeGrom dominates when he overpowers batters and he simply didn’t do it Wednesday night. I’ve read a number of excuses why but I’m sticking to the theory that he simply is overpitched at this point in the season. I know it’s the World Series and all that, but adrenaline can only get you so far.


MLB.com http://m.mets.mlb.com/news/article/155819488 had a great story on how the Mets found Jurys Familia in the Dominican…

                       Sandy Rosario, now a top scout in the country for the Blue Jays, used to make the 2 1/2-hour drive every morning from his home in the capital city to this southern part of the island, searching for teenage prospects while with the Mets. Sometimes, he would take his buddy Guillermo "Penaco" Valdes with him to keep him company.

Mack – Rosario was one of the many talented international scouts under Omar Minaya.

I got to know Familia in 2009 when he pitched for Savannah (24-G, 23-starts, 10-6, 2.69). He was a quiet guy like many of the Latin players that suffered with a language disconnect, I also remember him being a little wild (17-WP), but he already had a fastball that touched 97 and we wrote a lot of positive things about him becoming a future part of the Mets rotation someday.


Bobby Ojeda http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/ojeda-criticizes-mets-stop-pitching-scouting-report-article-1.2416279 had some interesting thoughts on Mets World Series pitching –

                                   “I’m watching two outstanding Mets’ pitchers pitch to a scouting report rather than be who they are. It’s been pretty frustrating to watch. “I love scouting reports but I am not going to go away from who I am because of them. Especially those guys, with the fastballs they have, they should make the Royals prove they can hit it before they go to Plan B.”

Mack – Look, I like Ojeda and miss him on SNY but probably the last thing Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom needs right now is an armchair quarterback on the phone with a beat reporter.

Just put the phone down Bobby and watch Mike Piazza throw the first ball out…


Here’s an entertaining story on the Royals starter in Game 3, Yordano Ventura http://grantland.com/the-triangle/2015-mlb-playoffs-world-series-yordano-ventura-mets-royals-mind-games/ -

                                   Luckily for the Mets, I have just the strategy. I know how to beat Yordano Ventura. To be clear, I don’t know how to hit Ventura. The Royals’ Game 3 starter can throw 100 miles an hour when he wants to, and I’m terrible at baseball. He struck out 22.5 percent of the batters he faced this year, has the second-highest fastball velocity among qualified starters, and offsets it with a curveball that’s good enough to make you lean out over the plate to chase it and allows him to come right back in on your hands with the heat. The only current Met who’s faced him in the big leagues, Yoenis Cespedes, is 1-for-7 off the 24-year-old righty, so Ventura will be a new experience for everyone else, and an unpleasant one for most. If the Mets are going to beat him fair and square, they’ll have to do it on their own.



                                   With the Amazin’s down 0-2 and on the verge of entering crisis mode, World Series tickets at Citi Field have started to fall in price on the secondary market. According to TiqIQ.com, the average price for Mets World Series tickets in Queens is now $1,534.99, down 5.6% from last week’s average of $1,626.70. However, the possible three-game stretch is still the third most expensive World Series home average recorded on the secondary market since 2010, when TiqIQ began tracking secondary market ticket data.

Mack – I was supposed to be at Friday’s game but had to pull back due to a family illness. Thank God my friend who offered to foot the tab for my trip home didn’t have to pay full ticket here.



Lastly, the husband of the daughter of a close friend of my wife is going to sing the Star Spangled Banner on Friday night… Billy Joel. The Mets also have Mike Piazza throwing out the first pitch. All stops being pulled out for this one.
Read more...

10/29/15

TIME TO REGROUP by Tom Brennan

2 comments

 
TIME TO REGROUP, by Tom Brennan 

Not what I expected.  

Down 2-0. 

Unsettling. 

But the Mets are coming back to Queens, for some swell home cooking.  

KC was remarkable in making contact against Harvey and deGrom. They made more contact than contact paper with a super-glue backing.  

The Mets needed to be super sharp. They certainly were not.  Duda's mentally bad defensive play (oh, you mean Murphy is right behind me?  whoops) in the 4th, and Lagares' failure later that inning to catch a ball he caught every single time in 2014 took deGrom out of “coast mode” into the land of KC Pressure.   

Wearied by the 4th, Jake did not need the ump’s bad calls on two obvious strikes as balls (one towards top of strike zone, the other slightly above the knees) to the first batter in the 5th, which led to an inning-opening walk.  

The Royals cashed that gift check, went toe-to-toe with Jake in the 5th, and got the best of him tonight.  Happens.  Jake is human.  

That's why the best teams lose 3 of every 8 during the season. This is a humbling game. Last time I checked, KC has lost 3 of every 8 this year, give or take, so they (like all teams) are beatable. 

Yet, watching KC attack the ball and make contact all the time, and the Mets taking strikes and swinging and missing, was dispiriting. 

Here they are.  World Series. This is the crucible. Mets’ hitters need to be more aggressive, like KC has been, and hope that Thor's ultra high octane gas will be a lot less hittable than the slower (tired?) arms of deGrom and Harvey.

Two dinkers from Duda for hits and that's it? The way I saw it, Cueto was very good, but not that good.  Must've been that his hair was longer than deGrom's, or something. 

The snooze alarm just went off, don’t rol over and go back to sleep.  It is time for the Mets hitters to arise, drink a cup of swagger and show up for game 5.  

After Thor wins, and he will win, the Mets will follow with Stevie Wonder Matz - he may well have success, considering how well fellow lefty Jon Niese looked out of the pen vs. KC. Then Harvey again.  

We can only hope to go back to KC up 3-2. Being down 3-2 to this tough crew headed back to KC would be, well: 
Unsettling.

We fans have a date Friday night, with the Mets and destiny.  It is time to go to the DMV (Department of Mets Victories) and renew your title.

Let's go Mets.


                
Read more...

10.28.2015 Winter League Results: Rafters Shut Out, Carrillo Ejected and Suspended?, Bad Day for Mets Prospects In Venezuela

3 comments

Arizona Fall League
Glendale Desert Dogs 4 - 5 Scottsdale Scorpions
- Mesa Solar Sox 11 - 10 Surprise Saguaros
- Salt River Rafters 0 - 2 Peoria Javelinas
  • 1B Dominic Smith: 0 for 4, K
  • SS Jeff McNeil: 0 for 2
  • RHP Mickey Jannis: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, Loss(0-1) 



Mexican Pacific League
Charros de Jalisco 4 - 3 Yaquis de Obregon
- Mayos de Navojoa 2 - 4 Tomateros de Culiacan
- Venados de Mazatlan 3 - 4 Caneros de los Mochis
- Naranjeros de Hermosillo 5 - 6 Aguilas de Mexicali


Side Note: I received an update on C Xorge Carrillo. During the Oct. 25th game, a bench clearing altercation occurred and Carrillo was one of 4 players ejected from the game. I am assuming a suspension came with it as he has not started a game since the altercation.



Venezuelan Winter League
- Leones del Caracas 5 - 6 Tiburones de La Guaira
  • C Albert Cordero: 0 for 4, BB, 2 K
  • RHP Jose Celas: 0.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, Blown Save
- Navegantes del Magallanes 8 - 6 Bravos de Margarita
  • RHP Zach Thornton: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, Hold(7) 
- Caribes de Anzoategui 2 - 3 Tigres de Aragua
  • RF Travis Taijeron: 0 for 3, BB, 2 K


Dominican Winter League
Estrellas de Oriente 2 - 1 Tigres del Licey
- Gigantes del Cibao 12 - 4 Toros del Este
- Leones del Escogido 4 - 3 Aguilas Cibaenas



Roberto Clemente Puerto Rican League
Side Note: Regular Season begins Thursday, October 30th.
Side Note #2: LHP Adam Kolarek is listed on the Gigantes de Carolina roster. However the Mets released Kolarek earlier this month and he is now a part of the Orioles organization. Thus we will not track his stats.
Read more...

Mack – The World Series – Post Game 2 Thoughts

8 comments


Good afternoon.

Going into Game 2, The Mets are 50-34 .595 all time in the Postseason tied with Yankees for best all time winning Percentage in MLB history.

Tonight Is going to be tough for me to prepare this report. I’m still in Florida with my recovering mother-in-law and her Tea Party sister and husband are coming over for the debate. There’s only one television here, so I’m stuck with following the game online and commenting after following ‘the action’ on MiLB.com.

I will say that I am much more apprehensive going into this game. The Mets had two decent leads, the first with two runs and the last in the eighth inning, both of which we are used to getting our own way. Enough happened in Game 1 to insure a victory and nothing really spectacular was done by Kansas City. One more piece of timely hitting by a Met while one of their late runners were on base would have sealed victory here.
Last pre-game thought. You have to do everything you can to keep Michael Cuddyer on the bench for this series. He simply has outlived this game both with a bat and a glove in his hand. My hopes are the team just quietly DFA him when the season ends and write this one off as a yes expensive Jason Bay type signing.

Lucas Duda continues to be our brightest star so far in this World Series. He continues to find the small holes in the three infielders that play between first and second base. You can’t do this without tremendous bat speed at the time of ball release.

Boy, it sure looked like Juan Lagares lackadaisically tried to catch that fly ball in the fourth inning. Maybe a little mustard on that hot dog. The fact is he is not the outfielder he was a year ago and he’s still in need of off season corrective surgery.

Simply put, Jacob deGrom just ran out of gas in the fifth inning when the Kansas City hitting faced him for the third time in the game. I know everyone got sick and tired of hearing the Fox announcers talking how good this Royols team is, but they really are and they have picked apart the one area (starting pitching) that all the experts said that the Mets would dominate in.

If I have to see, one more time, Yoenis Cespedes tap his toes four times after striking…


Look, this is a bad loss and the team has to come home down 0-2, but we are still in the World Series and it’s still who is first to win four games gets the whole enchilada. 
Read more...

The Morning Report 10.29.2015 | Concern about deGrom's Arm Slot, Royals Strength Scaring the Mets Away from their Strength, Syndergaard looks to Right the Ship

12 comments


Adam Rubin ESPN New York- The Kansas City Royals produced four runs in the fifth inning against ace Jacob deGrom and beat the Mets 7-1 on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium. That dropped the Amazin’s into an 0-2 series hole. Said deGrom: “I felt like my stuff was good. I just wasn’t locating very well. I wasn’t really surprised by it because we kind of knew that going in. Early on, my pitch count was staying pretty low because I knew they were going to be attacking early.”

(Chris Soto: This is the same story we have been telling almost all month on deGrom. His fastball command has just flat out disappeared during the playoffs. In my opinion.....he's just flat out gassed out for the season as his workload is now 40 IP over his previous career high. More concerning than that is the fact that his shoulder and release point is dropping quickly as the postseason continues on. During the season, deGrom's vertical release point was in the 5.83 ft range....during the playoffs though....that release point has been on a steady decline down to 5.61 ft last night. It may not sound like a major difference, but, an unrecognized change in release point can put strain on a shoulder and open a guy up for injury.)



John Harper NY Daily News- As relentless as advertised, the Royals have negated the Mets’ most lethal weapon, one that has carried them through the postseason. That is, they don’t strike out. They rarely even swing and miss. And for a team that is built around power arms accustomed to blowing hitters away at will, there is bound to be something of a psychological impact at some point for the entire ballclub when they can’t do it. Terry Collins admitted the obvious: “We win because we ride our starting pitching," he said. “When they struggle we’re going to struggle, and that’s what’s happened."

(Chris Soto: This was my MAJOR concern heading into this series. Unlike the Cubs, the Royals just flat out....dont strike out. A huge strength of the Mets just completely mitigated by a team philosophy on 100% attack attack attack. That said though, as good as the Royals are at hitting 95+ mph fastballs, in my opinion....the Mets are deviating too far away from what makes these young arms so good. 43.6 % non-fastballs from deGrom last night, 62.5% non fastballs from Harvey in Game 1....this is not how we got here. These are power arms! Not finesse pitchers. Rather than trying to work around the Royals strength....its time to man the hell up and put your strength up against there's.)



Kevin Kernan New York Post- Thor is ready, make no mistake about that. The Mets are down 0-2 in the World Series after Wednesday night’s 7-1 wipeout at the hands of the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. “I’m really excited about Friday’s start,’’ he told The Post in the quiet of the Mets clubhouse. Then his next comment said all you needed to know about his approach: “It’s just another game.’’ “He’s throwing the ball as well as anybody in the playoffs,’’ said Wright, who slogged through an 0-for-4 night. “I think when you have that type of stuff and the command he has shown especially in the playoffs, you should have a lot of confidence. “Just look at him, he’s ready to roll.’’

(Chris Soto: Of the 3 big arms the Mets have....Syndergaard has the most power behind his arm. The Mets need Thor to step up big time tomorrow as no team has ever come back from down 0-3 in a World Series. I'm going to be looking for Syndergaard to go up their and just rear back and blow 100 mph fastballs past these Royals hitters. Still mix it up of course....but stick with what has made you a stud so far this season.)
Read more...

10/28/15

October 28th 2015 -- World Series Games 2 -- Royals 7, Mets 1

1 comments
Wednesday night at Kaufman Stadium it was game 2 of the 2015 World Series and highlighted by a 2 run single by Eric Hosmer, the Royals scored 4 times in the bottom of the 5th inning. They go on to beat the Mets 7-1 and take a 2-0 lead in this best of 7. The match-up was Jacob deGrom vs Johnny Cueto. In the top of the 4th the Mets took a 1-0 lead on a RBI bloop single by Lucas Duda.  That lead carried until the bottom of the 5th when the Royals scored 4 times.  Alex Gordon walked and Alex Rios singled to make it 1st and 2nd.  Alcides Escobar singled to tie the game at 1. Ben Zobrist grounded out to make it 2nd and 3rd.  After Lorenzo Cain lined out to make it 2 outs, Eric Hosmer hit a 2 run single to make it 3-1. Kendrys Morales singled to make it 1st and 3rd. Mike Moustakas singled to make it 4-1 KC.  Johnny Cueto had the Mets number all night long, through 7 innings only allowing 2 hits, both to Lucas Duda.  deGrom was gone after 5 allowing 6 hits 4 runs (all earned) walking 3 and striking out 2.  Robles pitched a scoreless 6th. Jonathon Niese in his 2nd straight appearance pitched a scoreless 7th. In the 8th he allowed a single by Mike Moustakas and a double Salvador Perez to make it 2nd and 3rd and no out. Alex Gordon then hit a grounder off the glove of Wilmer Flores then went for a double scoring Moustakas for a 5-1 lead. Addison Reed relieved Niese and give up a sac-fly to Paulo Orlando to make it 6-1. Then Escobar continued his torrid streak with a triple to center to make it 7-1. Sean Gilmartin came in and retired the final 2 outs of the 8th to put out the fire.  All tolled Cueto went 9 innings. All he allowed were the 2 hits by Duda. He allowed 1 run (earned) 3 walks and struck out 5. He's the first pitcher to pitch a complete game in a WS since Jack Morris in 1991.  He gets the win.  deGrom takes his first loss of the post season. Duda went 2 for 3 and was all the offense the Mets could muster on the night.  Hosmer went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI, Moustakas went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Escobar went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI in the win.  The Mets now trail the Series 2 games to none. Thursday is a travel day. Friday night the series continues at Citi Field. Noah Syndergaard (1-1 2.77) goes for the Mets, Yordano Venture (0-1 5.09) goes for the Royals.
Read more...

Mack – My First World Series Edition – Post Game 1

5 comments


Good Morning.


FYI… Phillies OF Domonic Brown elects free agency following his outright off 40-man roster. Hit .233/.285/.349 (75 OPS+) in 716 PA in 2014-15.


Saw this on Twitter –

          Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake.
Please let Dark Knight dominate.


(Written on Monday)

My initial thoughts on this series before it starts… the Royals has an all-righty rotation and their main guys in the pen are righties…. The secret of this games may not be the Mets young pitchers, but the Mets lefty hitters… Curtis GrandersonDaniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, and Michael Conforto. If the Mets win, the offense will most probably come from these four guys.


(Written on Tuesday)

You have to feel sorry for Matt Reynolds.

Here he gets called up to The Bigs, but never gets in a game and is then taken off the World Series roster. Bummer.

My understanding is he can be reinstated but only if someone is removed from the roster due to an injury. I assume KJ and Uribe are the backups right now for Wilmer Flores.

But, if Flores had to be pulled during Game 1 and KJ replaced him at short, they lose the DH and have to bat the pitcher for the rest of the game.

Fair? Go ask Utley.


Going into game one, the Mets have hit a franchise high 14 home runs for the playoffs. The previous high was 12 in 1969.


Matt Harvey has thrown 2,434 pitches 95 MPH+ since 2013. 10th most in MLB. He didn't throw a pitch in 2014.


The inside the park home run should have had an error called on Yoenes Cespedes, if for no other reason than the fact that the ball was totally catchable. It also seemed that Michael Conforto got a little too close to the play and Cespedes might have been distracted. You can watch the replay one or a thousand times and it’s still a bad play by a very good center fielder.

(BTW… Tom Seaver dished up a home run to the first batter in Game 1 of the 1969 World Series, a game lost by the Mets)


The delaying of the game due to the fact that power was lost to the broadcast truck in Kansas City made absolutely no sense. All it did was set up the possibility of one of the starters tightening up and dishing up some inferior pitching. It also seems that the most important thing here was not the playing of the game. Wouldn’t want any of those World Series commercials missed.


It’s amazing how much good baseball was played in this game once you get past that first inside the park snafu. Both teams have had outstanding defensive plays which, I guess, teams that make it to the World Series are supposed to have.



In retrospect, we’ll never know the effect all those throw over to first bases plus the delay of game cost Harvey control of the sixth inning. I never understood why the four pitches thrown on an intentional walk are counted in a pitch count, while a throw to first base to hold a runner, that is considerably at a higher speed, isn’t.


It was a good game with a bad ending. I look for a different result tonight with Game 2 and returning to Queens with a split, something we should be very happy with against this great team.










Read more...
Mack's Mets © 2012