Carrion For Vultures: Wright Should Be DL’d

Caught With Our Pants Down, Again: So David Wright “avoided” the DL today despite his continuing battle with a herniated disc in his neck. The first round of anti-inflammatory medication didn’t work. Surprise, Surprise. Now the Mets are giving the poor guy another injection in his neck, and they will re-evaluate his condition in 48 hours. Keep in mind, David hasn’t played since Friday 5/27. The Mets insistence on perpetually playing shorthanded is getting to be ridiculous. The only real surprise here is that David made it through the first 50 games of the season without a DL stint.

Listen, I understand the difficult situation the Mets are in with David. There was no way the Mets were going to formally declare David Wright “dead” before the season even started and trade for an heir apparent like say Todd Frazier. But the truth is we all knew David had no chance of making it through this season injury free, and the Mets did not appropriately prepare for this inevitable situation. Nobody expected Wilmer Flores to completely stop producing at the plate. But it wasn’t fair or realistic to appoint Wilmer the backup at every single infield position and have Eric Campbell on double deck. That strategy was completely and utterly absurd from day one and anyone who disagrees should get their head checked. Now we are in the same position as last season. If David goes on the DL, we are going to run a subpar lineup out there on a regular basis. If he stays on the roster, then we wind up playing long stretches shorthanded, and we already have a weak bench. But the bottom line is, the subpar lineup option is better than playing shorthanded. We should put him on the DL, backdate the stint to Friday, and see where he’s at next week. And in the meantime, our front office needs to find a reasonable stopgap solution at third base, and they need to work quickly. It sounds like cantankerous old Terry wants nothing to do with Neil Walker at third base and Dilson Herrera at second base. Or maybe the front office is frowning upon that option. I don’t know. What I do know is they better act fast. Ben Zobrist or Daniel Murphy would be pretty useful for this team right about now. Whoops!

Can’t Be Done Without The DH: In the long run, it’s going to be incredibly challenging for the Mets to continue carrying David Wright on this roster without the option of the Designated Hitter. It just doesn’t appear to be feasible in the NL. Sure we kind of did it last season, and we made it to the World Series. We are doing it right now as I type. But can we really do this long term? Can we build a roster riddled with uncertainty where nobody knows David’s status on any given day and nobody knows what position they are going to play if somebody goes down at the same time as David? The permanent state of infield musical chairs is not sustainable. Maybe it’s sustainable for a stretch of two months, but it’s not sustainable for this organization in the long term.

Is This Almost The End?: Where does the latest David injury leave us? Well it undoubtedly leaves us in a state of limbo. There’s really no escaping the Wright purgatory in 2016. Maybe he will return to the lineup on Friday. Maybe a backdated DL stint is inevitable. Maybe this neck injury will nag all season long. It’s just so challenging for this team to continue to play with this clear and obvious roster handicap. And when I use the word “handicap” I’m obviously not talking about Wright’s performance. When he’s played, he’s produced at a fine level. The handicap comes in the form of roster management, and at some point we need a resolution on that front.

It’s really sad quite frankly. I’m 28. I’m a late 90’s and 2000’s Mets fan. I watched Mike Piazza come to the end of his baseball road. I watched his bat speed slow down and his skills diminish. I saw Johan Santana get injured and never really come back. Jose Reyes battled injuries forever. But I never watched a Mets player as prominent as David deteriorate due to injury at the level that he has. It’s so awful. The guy works so hard, and his body just won’t cooperate. There’s seemingly nothing he can do to stay in playing condition. I genuinely don’t think this is a battle he can win. We’ve seen many players in MLB history try to beat injuries in the past. It’s a losing battle. Will he retire? Will he continue to try and triumph over his physical challenges? I don’t know. I admire his perseverance no matter what path he chooses to follow. But the continuously running injury storyline is sad and frankly demoralizing for a lifelong Mets and Wright fan such as myself.

P.S. – I love you David. I’m sorry I gained too much weight since high school to wear the child’s XL Wright jersey I once rocked so frequently. I’m also sorry I spilled sausage and pepper grease all over the jersey. Now it’s just a small greasy piece of polyester that lives in my mother’s basement. I’m also sorry for any time I may have said you weren’t clutch, cursed your name, or referred to you as a corpse or dead man (including in the title of this post). Please forgive me and get well soon. I want to win this season, and I want you there to be gently carried off the field into the sunset. Pray for David.

It’s Time For Eric Campbell To Go

The Metssiah has been on the “dump Eric Campbell” train since day one. Not day one of the 2016 season. Not day one of 2016 Spring Training. I wanted nothing to do with Soup on day one of 2015 Spring Training. In 2015, our front office promised us that we were finally assembling a true 25 man roster. Then they went ahead and gave us John Mayberry Jr., Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Eric Campbell. They made us wait until July 31st before a real 25 man roster of major leaguers was assembled. Fortunately for Mets fans, Sandy assembled a championship caliber roster at the deadline. But here we are again in 2016 dealing with the same lack of depth BS. Time and time again, Terry Collins has been forced to use this guy whenever we have an injury at first base or third base. Unfortunately with the health struggles of David Wright and now Lucas Duda, we’ve been getting more Soup than ever this year. Somehow in the eyes of the Mets front office, he’s the team’s 26th man. Well the time has come to cut ties with Soup. I don’t mean demote him to Vegas. I mean he needs to be released and cast out of the organization. Eric Campbell is batting .159 on the 2016 season. He hit .197 in 173 ABs last season. He’s a .221/.311/.624 lifetime hitter. He’s absolute crap, and there’s no place for him in New York.

Since his debut in 2014, I’ve been forced to listen to all the Soup apologists. I’ve read article after article talking about his walk rates, the exit velocity when he makes contact, the number of pitches he sees per AB, his versatility in the field, and all the absurd Soupermetrics. Well enough is enough. He’s useless and brings nothing to the table whatsoever. What’s that? He plays third base and first base and we need depth at those positions? Well the Mets should have handled that problem before the season. Instead they handed the backup keys to this bum again in 2016. It’s the Mets fault. I don’t blame Soup for being put in these positions. He doesn’t belong here. He’s facing competition that he has no chance of succeeding against. I don’t know if he will ever be a competent major leaguer, but the time has come for him to explore that path elsewhere.

I’ve lived through this situation many times before with the Mets. When the Mets employ a player who’s a good person and tries hard but wears out his welcome. My personal favorite examples are Roger Cedeno from 2003 and Luis Castillo from 2010. Cedeno had prior success with the Mets, we paid him some money, and by 2002/2003 he completely lost his ability to steal bases and make contact which were the reasons we paid him to begin with. Luis Castillo had a similar story. By the time he joined the Mets he lost his speed, his contact bat, and his range in the field. The fans chose to scapegoat these two players for the team’s woes and booed them out of town. The differences with Soup are 1) Soup was never good like Castillo/Cedeno 2) This team is actually good, so we can’t afford to have weak links. Sure it’s not entirely fair to pin every little offensive problem the team has on Soup, but the reality is we’d be better off playing someone different out there. It literally can’t get worse than a guy hitting .150. It just can’t.

So goodbye Soup. Get the hell off my team. Get the hell out of my organization. For now, James Loney plays first base and Wilmer Flores plays third base until Duda and Wright can come back. Sandy must go out and get a real backup 1B/3B. But in the meantime, play anyone else out there. Because I’m done with Soup. And so is the rest of the fan base.

Matt Harvey Breaker of Slumps Returns 

Final Score: Mets 1, White Sox 0

Well the floundering White Sox came to town and with that Matt Harvey has returned. Today was a vintage Matt Harvey start. He went 7 innings, surrendered 2 hits, no runs, and struck out 6. His fastball had that high 90s velocity, and he was able to locate it. He threw all his pitches effectively. He even got out of a couple jams. In the 5th inning, he gave up a single with one out to J.B. Shuck. Then he got Brett Lawrie to hit into a double play. In the 7th inning, he surrendered a leadoff walk to Adam Eaton and a single to Jose Abreu. But he managed to retire the next three hitters without surrendering any runs. He was resilient and fired up.

Jose Quintana was just as impressive in this game until he tired late. He also went 7 innings, gave up 6 hits, one run, and struck out 7. He made a bad pitch to Neil Walker to leadoff the bottom of the 7th inning and Walker launched a dinger. The solo blast was the game’s only run. It was the difference.

Familia Returned Too: Jeurys Familia got the save in this one which was huge after a horrendous weekend where he blew two games. I trust him. He’s our rock in the pen.

My Boy Rene: Rene Rivera called a hell of a game and deserves some credit for the success of Harvey and Familia. Too bad he can’t hit at all.

Hurry Loney: This game was also classic Harvey in the sense that we couldn’t give him any support. Jose Quintana is the AL ERA leader, so it’s rare that anyone scores off of this guy. That being said, Alejandro De Aza and Ty Kelly didn’t bring much to the table today. They really never do. We need to get James Loney in this lineup as soon as possible. I’m hearing he’s going to start tomorrow.

Pray For Wright: David Wright is seeing the neck doctor tomorrow. The DL seems like a lock. We should probably re-acquire Kelly Johnson or Juan Uribe or get someone to replace David Wright as soon as he joins the injured All-Stars in Port St. Lucie. Pray for David.

Mini Mid-Series Preview: I didn’t get a chance to post a full series preview for the White Sox. Obviously I’ve been too busy honoring our troops etc. But here’s a mini dose. In my season preview, I had the White Sox near the bottom of the AL Central right above the Twins in the cellar. They have some hot pitching at the top of the rotation in Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. I wasn’t convinced Todd Frazier solved all their offensive woes from 2015. Well for the first month of the season, I looked like an idiot. The White Sox and Cubs were the two best teams in the game through the first week in May. But lately? Lately the White Sox have been struggling. They are on a seven game losing streak now. They’ve dropped 15 of 19. They are now in third place in the Central. I’m not sure if it’s a blip on the radar or if they are returning to their stanky 2015 form.

Game 2: Steven Matz vs. Mat Latos

Game 3: Jacob deGrom vs. Miguel Gonzalez

No Chris Sale for this series. Thank God. Let’s take the series tomorrow night.

Mets Drop Game/Series To Kershaw; No Surprise There

Final Score: Dodgers 4, Mets 2

Bartolo Colon was sexy last night. He pitched 6 innings gave up 7 hits and 2 runs. He made a fielding error with two outs in the second inning which wasn’t sexy. But he got out of the inning unscathed. Unfortunately for the Mets, Clayton Kershaw was sexier. He went 7.2 innings, gave up 2 runs and struck out 10.

Slide Rule Shrug: In the third inning, Tolo gave up back to back singles to Chase Utley and Corey Seager. With first and third and one out, Justin Turner hit a ball to Wilmer Flores at third base and Wilmer made a diving play to field the grounder. He made the throw to second base to get the forceout and Neil Walker could not make the relay throw to first base for a double play. The first run against Bartolo scored on that play. Terry decided to challenge Corey Seager’s slide at second base under the new slide rule. Corey Seager slid right at the bag, but he slid through it and made no attempt to stay on it. And he undoubtedly altered the course of his slide slightly to make contact with Walker. In last night’s game, the umpires felt Seager’s slide did not violate the Utley Rule and the run counted. I could find you multiple examples from earlier in the season when that exact same slide was ruled illegal. I have a lot of thoughts on MLBs problem with officiating and will probably deal with them in a separate post. But the bottom line is the slide was ruled legal and it was 1-0 Dodgers.

End of Sexy: In the fifth inning, Bartolo gave up two out singles to Corey Seager, Justin Turner and then Adrian Gonzalez. Those three straight hits led to the Dodgers second run to make it 2-0. Sexy pitched the sixth inning successfully to finish his night. Overall it was a strong start.

Get To Kershaw: The Mets did kind of eventually get to Kershaw. For the most part Clayton mowed the Mets down. Prior to the sixth inning the guy gave up two hits so it’s not like this weak Soup and Wright-less Mets lineup was threatening to score much at all. But in the 6th inning, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a solo blast as a right handed hitter. And then in the 8th inning, Kevin Plawecki led off with a single. Kershaw retired Soup (of course) and pinch hitter Michael Conforto. But with two outs, Curtis Granderson crushed a triple off the wall in right field. Yasiel Puig almost caught it, but it just barely missed his glove. That Grandy triple tied the game at 2.

Familia Blew It Again: Jeurys Familia came in a tie home game in the 9th inning and gave up a leadoff single to Enrique Hernandez. He retired Chase Utley on a foul out. Then he walked Corey Seager and Justin Turner to load the bases with one out. Adrian Gonzalez then lined a single up the middle and that made it 4-2. He blew the 9th inning on Friday and was bailed out by Curtis, and then he blew it again last night. They say closers have short memories. The truth is I used to have the shortest memory when it came to every closer. A blown save meant he was the worst player ever and not to be trusted. Armando Benitez did that to me. He made me a closer skeptic for my entire life. Braden Looper was another Mets closer that fed my late inning skepticism. But when it comes to Familia, I’m already over it. Sure he blew a huge game at home in a series where we should have been able to win 2 out of 3. But he’s among the most elite closers in the game, and I fully trust that he’ll shake this game off. He’s having a bad stretch right now. I don’t see it as a trend.

What Did I Tell You: Kershaw beating us during Sunday Night Baseball is the least surprising thing in the world. Unfortunately our downfall in this series goes back to Saturday night. You don’t put yourself in a position where you need to win a game facing the Dodgers ace and arguably the best pitcher on the planet. You win when your ace is on the mound on Saturday. Instead, our ace Thor threw a fastball at stupid Chase Utley and got tossed before we even had a chance to win. Serves us right.

Today: White Sox come into town. Despite their early season success, they are really struggling big time lately. They’ve tumbled to third place in the AL Central. Let’s hope we right the ship against them.

Thor Ejected; This Is Baseball Now

Final Score: Dodgers 9, Mets 1

Recap To Start: Let’s start with the stupid game recap. Noah Syndergaard got tossed from the game in the 3rd inning for throwing behind Chase Utley. Our bullpen got crushed by the Dodgers. Logan Verrett (2), Antonio Bastardo (3), Hansel Robles (3) and Jim Henderson (1) combined to give up 9 runs. So much for our league leading bullpen ERA. Chase Utley hit a solo blast in the 6th inning off of Logan Verrett and a grand slam in the 7th inning off of Hansel Robles. Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, and Corey Seager added solo blasts late in the game.

The Mets didn’t score runs and the Dodgers scored a ton. The Mets had 3 hits. Juan Lagares hit a garbage time 8th inning solo blast. Eric Campbell went 0 for 4 and struck out 3 times. Our Soup/Ty Kelly/Rene Rivera offense couldn’t get anything going against Kenta Maeda or the Dodgers pen. Our big bats couldn’t get anything going either. Yoenis Cespedes went 0 for 3 and struck out twice.

This Is Baseball Now: So let’s move on to the only thing that mattered. In the third inning, Noah Syndergaard decided to throw a pitch behind Chase Utley as a message for his takeout slide from the 2015 NLDS and the ump immediately tossed him from the game without a warning. You know what? Thor and Terry and all the Mets who planned to throw that message pitch are idiots. This is baseball now. They banned takeout slides. They banned home plate collisions. They don’t want purpose pitches. People are going to call it “pussification of the game” and whatever else they want to say. But the bottom line is I was only surprised Thor got instantly tossed because I am in denial about the direction the game is moving.

The Bullshit: All that being said, the bullshit part of the Thor ejection stems from the same old problem we’ve had in baseball forever. All the rules are “unwritten”. Last night Thor gets tossed for a purpose pitch. A couple weeks ago the Rangers throw at Jose Bautista and the umps do nothing. Then Bautista tries to “respond” to the purpose pitch with a dirty slide at second base and Rougned Odor punches him in the face. The point is the umps don’t know whether to follow the old unwritten rules of “handle things on the field with baseball plays” or the new unwritten rules where dirty plays are banned. So the umps are always going to be wrong. They are wrong if they do nothing because there’s an unwritten mandate to stop all these dirty plays. They are wrong to toss Thor instantly because all these players grew up with purpose pitches being part of the game. It’s actually really fitting that Thor threw a pitch behind Utley. He didn’t nail him on the back because he probably figured he would get instantly tossed. So he went with a BS in between purpose pitch and crossed his fingers that he’d get away with it. That’s where we are in the game right now. We are stuck in the middle with no damn explicit guidance from the top. So screw MLB for not actually stating the rules. Screw Joe Torre for being bad at his job. Screw Chase Utley for being old and clutch and making the Mets look like morons on ’86 reunion night by hitting two home runs.

You know what else is bullshit? The umps didn’t say anything before this series about not throwing at Chase Utley. That’s why the instant ejection was ultimately BS. They should have said something explicit before the series. But they didn’t because of the same old unwritten rule/unspoken understanding crap. I hate it.

But the bottom line is Thor made a decision that led to his ejection which basically destroyed our chances of winning this home series with our ace on the mound. It’s a stupid shortsighted call on his part. And Terry is a mook for letting it happen. Now, like every team we are probably going to get buzz sawed by Clayton Kershaw and drop a home series that we could have won. Ridiculous.

I Swear To God: If Noah Syndergaard is suspended for that goddamn purpose pitch then I hope he personally hunts Joe Torre down and field goals him in his old wrinkly balls.

Laser Cheats: Apparently the Dodgers use laser GPS technology to preemptively determine in-game positioning for their outfielders. Supposedly it’s legal, and they even have permission to make marks on the grass at Dodgers Stadium so the fielders know where to stand. They apparently asked the Mets if they could make marks at Citi Field and understandably the Mets said hell no. But the Mets seemingly suspected the Dodgers were using lasers or something during the games to relay the positioning orders despite their strenuous objections. I’m sure Sandy Alderson will use his contacts in the MLB offices to make sure the appropriate discipline is passed down. Whatever.

Wright’s Neck Exploding: David Wright has been bashing homers lately but apparently he threw his neck out doing it. The Mets sound really negative about Wright’s latest physical setback. I hope he doesn’t need to go on the DL. Honestly playing with Wright in the National League is basically unmanageable. Without the DH, it puts us in an impossible roster predicament every other week with David. I’m sure we’ll just play short handed for a week and then DL him. Soup’s on.

Today: Mets have the game of the week tonight against Kershaw. Greaaaaat. Bartolo Colon better be sexy.

Mets Take A Flier On James Loney

Hooray!! The Mets finally took a flier and bought James Loney from the Padres for straight cash money. Finally we’ve done what most competing teams do all the time and made a low risk acquisition to potentially try and fill a roster hole. Pats on the back all around for Sandy, sweaty John Ricco, and the rest of Sandy’s staff. Pop the cheap mid-season acquisition champagne, and let’s celebrate that the Wilpons were willing to Venmo the Padres a few bucks for a stopgap solution at first base.

Loney is a contact hitter, who can take a walk and has a strong glove. That’s the reputation he’s built for himself. That being said, he couldn’t land a major league job in the offseason and was straight chilling in the Pacific Coast League. So let’s not get too excited. He has a reputation as a good defender, but the advanced metrics say he isn’t that strong in the field anymore. He hit .280 for Tampa Bay last year in 361 ABs. So the guy isn’t a useless scrub quite yet. He’s certainly better than Ty Kelly and Eric Campbell. He’ll probably platoon with Wilmer Flores at first base until Lucas Duda can be defrosted from his cryogenic sleep and have his new back discs specially ordered from China installed.

Former Met Scrub-A-Dub Update: The Cardinals just designated Ruben Tejada for assignment. Baaahahaha. He was hitting .176. Remember when I was furious that the Mets let him go in Spring Training for absolutely nothing? Well now he’s being released because he stinks. In all seriousness, the only reason the Ruben release didn’t bite us in the ass is because Asdrubal Cabrera has been healthy and excellent. Wilmer Flores got hurt and Matt Reynolds hasn’t done a damn thing in Vegas or at the MLB level. We lucked out that Asdrubal has been a rock. Mooks on MetsTwitter have been pointing at Ruben’s .176 average and making fun of people like me who were infuriated when we voluntarily dumped Ruben in the spring. Ummmm Eric Campbell is hitting .182 and just happens to play positions in the field where we had more of a need. But clearly we’ve had plenty of room on our roster all season for scrub-a-dub bums like Ruben, Ty Kelly, and Soup. It’s not like we dumped Ruben in favor of a massive talent upgrade. Also, did everyone forget last year’s Kirk Nieuwenhuis boomerang job back to the Mets? Vegas has a Ruben/Mets reunion going off at 1:1.

Anyway, Loney should be joining the team on Monday. This is good news people. Thank you Sandy!

Grandy Saves Familia On deGrom Velocity Reunion Night

Final Score: Mets 6, Dodgers 5

Here’s the short recap: Jacob deGrom pitched a great game, the Mets hit some dingers, Jeurys Familia came in to pitch in a 5-1 non-save situation and blew the game. Then Curtis Granderson saved the day by hitting a walk-off solo blast in the bottom of the 9th. It was one hell of a ballgame.

DeGrom Velocity Reunion Night: Let’s start with deGrom’s night. Jacob has been good all season long, but he hasn’t been dominant. In 2016, his velocity has been down and his command has been slightly off. That being said, unlike Matt Harvey, Jacob has had strong results all season. Last night he finally took a huge step towards a return to dominance. He gave up a sac fly in the third inning and wiggled out of trouble in the 4th and 5th inning. But he was hitting 96 MPH consistently on the fastball and averaged 94 MPH. His command was good, and his secondary stuff was working. He went 7 innings, surrendered 3 hits, one run, and struck out 7. His 3 walks were slightly out of character, but still this game was an extremely promising sign for the direction his season is going. What if deGrom completely returns to form? DeGrom, Steven Matz, and Noah Syndergaard? Daaaammmnn.

Juanny Beisbol: The Mets got off to a nice start on offense. Asdrubal Cabrera had a one out single in the first. Then with two outs, Yoenis Cespedes walked. Then Neil Walker doubled in a run and Juan Lagares doubled in two more. 3-0 before you could blink. Juan came through big time all game with 3 RBIs.

Blasty McBlastersons: The rest of the offense was the Mets typical blast show. Solo bomb from David Wright (4-1) and from Juan Lagares (5-1).

Oh No Familia: As I mentioned, Terry brought in Jeurys Familia in a non-save situation. He had all the velocity you could ask for on his fastball last night (97-98 MPH). But he ultimately just got rocked. A couple of soft singles to Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick. Then with one out Yasiel Puig singled and Familia walked in a run to make it 5-2 when he walked Yasmani Grandal. Familia then struck out Trayce Thompson for the second out. But in true scripted fashion, Chase Utley came up with bases juiced and roped a double to score 3 runs and tie the game 5-5. Familia got the third out to keep the game tied. But he got rocked last night. Terry took a lot of heat postgame for bringing in Familia in a non-save situation. Terry said F-U to everyone. Bringing in closers in non-save situations can be a thing. Sometimes guys don’t have the same focus, and it messes with their results. My problem with that theory for Familia is he’s always focused and always elite. I think last night he just got rocked. Bad nights happen. My real beef is the same one I always have with Terry. I’m worried about overuse. If you bring him in for saves, non-saves, rainouts, special occasions, birthday parties and everything else, at some point he’s going to fall apart. Only Mariano Rivera had the superpower to pitch forever. Everyone else has limits.

Grandyman Saves The Day: Familia’s bad night was immediately nullified by a leadoff walk-off solo blast to right field off Grandy’s bat in the 9th inning. After striking out 3 times in this game he saved the day. He’s been at the damn Mendoza line all season with that .200 average, but he still comes up so big. We need the Grandyman. He’s part of the winning formula.

Rook: 19 year old rookie starter for the Dodgers Julio Urias pitched bleh. He was basically yanked right away, but he’ll have a great career. Frankly I was surprised he didn’t shut the Mets down because rookies always shut us down. Maybe the problem was he was a notable rookie. Usually it’s the obscure rookies that show up and pitch complete game shutouts.

Happy Birthday Terry: Yesterday was Terry’s B-Day. Happy 67th birthday to Terry Collins. He’s the oldest man in a Mets uniform and the only one that doesn’t consistently get back spasms. Speaking of Collins, he was in rare form pregame. On the first base question, he officially poo pooed the idea of moving someone to first base. He said “This isn’t junior high school where you put the fat kid over at first.” That’s an early leader for Cantankerous Old Terry quote of the year.

wright soup back

Secret Back Transplant: David Wright hit a solo blast last night. He has homered in his last 3 games. You may think it’s a random resurgence, but my sources tell me last week Eric Campbell finally agreed to take part in a controversial back transplant performed by head trainer Ray Ramirez at the Hospital For Special Surgery. Soup agreed to give up his strong young back to David to lengthen Wright’s career. Bless Soup. He finally came through as the hero we needed.

Find Yourself: Wilmer Flores is staying in the minor leagues until the end of the weekend to find his swing and his glove at first base. The guys on a freaking scavenger hunt. And on the first base front, Terry Collins squashed the Michael Conforto to first base talk (which he originally started). “Right now Michael has a lot on his plate and I don’t need to add more to it.” Thank you Terry. Thank you for using your brain.

Today: 86 Reunion! Noah Syndergaard! Chance to win another series. Let’s Go Mets!!!

Series Preview: LA Bums Come To Town

I know the Brooklyn Dodgers were the Bums, but I can’t pass up an opportunity to use that hilarious Daily News front page hobo caricature in a post. Plus, as a Mets fan I’m legally required by the Wilpons to pay homage to the Dodgers in some way in every single thing that I do all day long. Fred can’t get enough of his Brooklyn Dodger shrines, memorabilia, and everything else. So that image is for old Fred Wilpon. Once he pays off the final $58.3 million dollars that he owes to the Madoff trustee, maybe he can save up enough to buy the Dodgers and get the hell out of New York. Speaking of Da Bums, the Dodgers are 5-5 in their last 10 games. They lost 3 out of 4 to the Angels in Anaheim. They lost 2 out of 3 to the Padres in San Diego. Then they swept the stanky Reds at home. They have quietly drifted 4.5 games back from the first place even year Giants. They face the Mets at Citi and then they head to Wrigley to play the Cubs. Yeesh. I don’t envy that stretch of games. I hope we can keep up our winning momentum at home.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Jacob deGrom vs. Julio Urias

The Dodgers are finally calling up their 19 year old lefty phenom pitching prospect Julio Urias. He’s been dominating the Pacific Coast League to the tune of a 1.10 ERA. That’s the same league where Ty Kelly was hitting like .390. In other words he’s dominating in a hitter’s paradise. Last July, Jacob deGrom shut out the Dodgers in New York over 7.2 innings with 8 Ks. In LA a couple weeks ago. deGrom pitched 7 innings and gave up 2 runs. He battled through jams all game.

Game 2: Noah Syndergaard vs. Kenta Maeda

This is a reboot matchup from the series in LA. Last time out Thor pitched 8 innings, struck out 6, and gave up 2 solo blasts (Corey Seager and Yasmani Grandal) which accounted for the only runs. Thor also hit two dingers (solo and three run shots) off of Kenta Maeda. Maeda took the loss after giving up those 4 runs over 5 innings. Unfortunately for the Mets, Syndergaard was the only source of offense in that game. Since that start though Maeda has struggled. He took a loss against the Angels giving up 4 runs in 4 innings, and then he gave up another 4 runs over 5 innings against San Diego. Maeda is 3-3 with a 3.29 ERA.

Game 3: Bartolo Colon vs. Clayton Kershaw

Kershaw is destroying everyone. He’s 7-1 with a 1.48 ERA. He pitched a complete game shutout against the Mets in LA with 13 strikeouts. We should probably try and win the first two games of this series. Bartolo took the loss in LA going 5 innings and giving up 5 runs. It was an ugly start. But in July 2015 at Citi Field, Bartolo dominated the Dodgers over 8 innings surrendering only one run. Hopefully he fares better at Citi on Sunday.

Things To Look For:

Hot Dodgers: Despite his crummy .234 average on the season, Howie Kendrick is hitting .318 in his last 7 games. Yasiel Puig and Chase Utley are both hitting .308 in their last 7 games. Trayce Thompson, who hit the walk-off blast against us in LA, has 7 home runs and is hitting .282 on the season.

El Mariachi Loco: Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .227 over his last 7 games, and he missed some games last week with a bad back. He’s got the backiosis like every single player on the Mets. Supposedly he will be fine for this series, but I’m just disappointed we won’t get to hear his stellar LA walk-up song El Mariachi Loco. Maybe the Citi Field DJ can play it just one time. It’s straight fire.

Grandforto: We face the lefties Urias and Kershaw. Terry really loves benching Michael Conforto instead of Curtis Granderson when we face lefties. Grandy is 2 for 14 against Kershaw lifetime and Juan Lagares is 0 for 10. Nobody is going to hit Kershaw, but Conforto needs to be in the lineup. With all these injuries, we can’t afford to sit our competent major league bats.

Big Pimpin’: On Tuesday Yasiel Puig crushed what he thought was a dinger, but it stayed in the yard. He admired the shot and ended up with a single. Dave Roberts yanked him from the game. I’m totally fine with the bat flip culture and pimpin’ home runs. But these are the cases where you need to draw the line. You can’t be costing your team extra bases like that. Puig admitted he screwed up. He really seems to screw up a lot.

Big Timed: In a recent Dodgers/Marlins series, outfielder Joc Pederson (who leads the team with 8 dingers) had a chance to meet his idol Barry Bonds. He went up to Barry, asked if he could take a picture with him, and apparently Barry big timed the hell out of him. Barry straight up turned away and didn’t respond to the request. That’s literally the most insane thing I’ve ever heard. I cannot believe people who live on the same planet as I do, big time people. Not responding to someone in that situation is literally refusing to acknowledge that the person speaking is another human being that breaths air. I’m pretty sure if a deranged hobo came up to me and kindly asked to take a picture because he thought I was Babe Ruth, I would do it. I always kind of thought Barry just got a bad rep in the media because he ticked off a few people, and they consequently decided to paint the picture that he was a dick. Well this story unequivocally confirms that Barry Bonds is a piece of garbage.

Wilmer Reunion: Wilmer Flores is supposedly coming off the DL this weekend and joining the Mets. I have to believe he will immediately take over as the full time first basemen. Good? I guess? He’s better than Eric Campbell that’s for sure. I’m not looking forward to the adventures of Wilmer over at first base. Quite frankly it’s more realistic to expect Matt Harvey to magically figure out his problems than it is to expect Wilmer to be a competent first basemen. At least Harvey has had actual tangible success on the mound before. Wilmer’s been booting grounders since he was a teenager. But who knows, maybe he will surprise everyone.

’86 Reunion: This Saturday is the 1986 Mets reunion game. Supposedly they are going to do a video tribute or something and a bunch of ’86 alum will be showing up. So long story short, if you are looking to bump some rails after the Mets game on Saturday night, look for Keith and Lenny Dykstra in the Citi Field McFadden’s bathroom.

Matz Destroys Washington

Indepedence daY

Final Score: Mets 2, Nationals 0

Young Stud: Steven Matz is reaffirming his young ace status with each and every start this year. The Nationals really didn’t even have an opportunity to score in this game. They got two men on in the second inning, but Matz got out of trouble. In the 7th inning Clint Robinson hit a two out single, Bryce Harper came up as a pinch hitter, and Matz retired him with ease. Matz pitched 8 scoreless innings, gave up just 4 hits and struck out 7. It was just a day of complete and utter domination on the mound.

Captain Solo: David Wright hit a first inning solo home run. After Harvey’s struggles yesterday, it was real nice to see the Captain come through and to see our young ace get us back on track.

Murph’d: In the 7th inning, Neil Walker hit a leadoff single. Then our new Murderers’ Row came up. Matt Reynolds grounded into a force out. Then Eric Campbell hit another double play ball and Daniel Murphy finally Murph’d! He booted the ball and everyone was safe. Rene Rivera took advantage and singled to drive in Reynolds. Murph giveth, Murph taketh away. That’s Murphball baby.

Familia Phew: In the 9th inning, Jeurys Familia gave up two straight singles to Jayson Werth and Daniel Murphy. But then he retired, Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, and Wilson Ramos. Sheesh. My blood pressure was skyrocketing.

Vintage 2015 B.C. Mets: So this game was classic 2015 B.C. (Before Cespedes) Mets. Starting pitcher needed to throw a complete game shutout. Matz came as close to that as a guy can. I’m looking forward to when we beef up the roster with some late season acquisitions because the bottom line is this Nats team doesn’t look special. Things certainly change over the course of the long ass season. But the May Nationals don’t intimidate me that much. This is our division to win.

Dusty Needs A Mental Health Day: Unless I missed a postgame press release, my understanding was that Dusty Baker benched Bryce Harper in this game to give him a mental health day. Let me repeat that. Dusty Baker benched last year’s MVP against his chief division rival in a rubber game at home to give him a mental health day. What?!? That is completely and utterly bananas. Imagine Terry sat Yoenis Cespedes for this game or during game 3 of the Citi Field Nats series? There would have been riots in the streets of Panic City. I don’t care how much Bryce may or may not be slumping. You give him a break against any team other than the Mets. It might not have mattered with the way Matz pitched. But thanks for the pass Dusty.

Stenosis For All: Asdrubal Cabrera left the game before ever taking the field with…back spasms. Now that’s David Wright, Lucas Duda, Bartolo Colon, and Asdrubal Cabrera with back problems. Do the Wilpons have these guys sleeping on hard plywood boards in rented U-Hauls during road games? What the hell is going on? Can somebody get these guys orthopedic back pillows for the flights? This is insane. They’re all going down like flies. Despite all these injuries, this team keeps chugging along and winning games. Credit goes to Terry. Credit goes to the guys who have stepped up on the 25 man roster.

Spasms Are Cool: In all seriousness, spasms are cool. Spasms, tweaks, cramps, strains, soreness, and fatigue all work for me. Those words don’t derail seasons. Other words derail seasons. Types of injuries that should not be printed in blog posts. Bring on all the spasms and cramps baby. We can handle cramping. Just pray we avoid the bad word injuries.

The Anti-Stopper: One last word on Matt Harvey. He’s starting next turn in the rotation so it’s pointless to really say anything. Here’s my beef. We are winning and having fun doing it despite all these injuries. Matt Harvey’s problems are a source of negativity. Most of all, he hasn’t been giving the team a chance to win. In a way, he’s become the anti-stopper. When he takes the mound, the fans (and probably the team) feel like he’s going to get rocked at any moment. I understand that he wants to work his issues out against big league competition, but let’s not put the team in a bad spot week after week just so Matt can have some kind of moral victory.

Tomorrow: Day off for the Mets on Thursday. This was a big series win for this team. They stepped the hell up on the road and split the first 6 games against the Nats. Now the Dodgers come to town. But I will be savoring this victory for sure. 24 hours of victorious bliss.

Matt Harvey Goes Full Svengali Mode; Stays In Rotation Again

Some Kind Of Sven-Jolly: The Mets and Harvey had a closed door meeting this morning, and in five minutes they decided to keep Matt Harvey in the rotation for his next turn against the White Sox. Unbelievable. This mofo is more persuasive than Elaine Benes’ Svengali psychiatrist. Harvey talks to Collins for 8 seconds, and he’s coming out for the 9th inning in Game 5 of the World Series with nothing left in the tank. He gets shelled at home against the Nats last week, chats with Terry, and he’s pitching 5 days later in Washington. He gets shelled in Washington, has a morning chat with Terry and John Ricco, and he’s starting in 5 days against the White Sox. All Harvey needs is one more conversation, and he’ll be inking a lucrative post Tommy John surgery contract extension with a 6+ ERA in May.

I honestly can’t believe this is the route the Mets are choosing to go. Work it out on the field? What is this spring training? It’s simple. Harvey doesn’t give the Mets the best chance to win right now. Period. Sean Gilmartin or Logan Verrett should get a couple of starts and Harvey should get a break. Pitchers have been given breaks due to performance issues a billion times in the past. Strasburg did it last year, Cliff Lee did it at one point, Roy Halladay did it. There are a ton of examples. What are we even talking about? Ehhh the Mets are so stupid. That being said, if he turns his season around in his next start I officially believe in magic.

Press War: After the closed door meeting with Terry this morning, Matt Harvey still refused to speak to the media. I love it! To hell with all of ya. I don’t have a press pass. I ain’t part of the machine. Honestly, I’m totally down with Matt Harvey waging an all out war against the media. They’ve dragged him through the mud so much since he debuted, that it would only be fitting for him to finally snap during his darkest hour. He should blow off postgame press conferences. When he does speak to the media he should do so through intermediaries. He can borrow Bartolo’s translator. He should just show up to the postgame interview with the translator and after each question look at the translator, make a facial expression or body motion, and then let the translator make up the rest. Athletes just give canned responses anyway. What the hell is the difference?

The media had it coming too. It’s amazing how much they fabricate whatever they want the narrative to be. Bartolo Colon is a known HGH cheat. Bartolo has multiple families and doesn’t pay child support. A couple days ago it was reported that a Nats fan heckled him about his two families and he shouted at the crowd “I have three families” or something like that. I don’t even know what that means, but the media couldn’t care less. The “Big Sexy” headline sells more papers than the “Bartolo is a jerk” headline. So that’s what they print. Or they print both and sell twice the number of papers. If Harvey is going to be portrayed as the selfish prick no matter what he does, then he should flip both middle fingers at the reporters and play the part.

On a related note, if I’m given a press pass and paid the big bucks to write for the machine, I’ll sell my soul and turn my cloak on Harvey right away! The Metssiah for sale! Integrity schmegrity. I’ll sell it all if the price is right. The Metssiah says “Harvey Stinks” brought to you by Pepsi the most delicious cola on earth. The Metssiah says, “The Wilpons Rule” brought to you by Marlboro the smoothest smoke on the market.