Thor Outduels Mad-Eye Max

Final Score: Mets 2, Nationals 0

Thoooooorrrrrr: Noah Syndergaard was completely and utterly dominant. The Mets had two late pregame back-related injury scratches from the lineup after Lucas Duda and David Wright spent Monday helping Ray Ramirez move his grand piano. We had to throw Eric Campbell and rookie Matt Reynolds in the lineup at the last minute, and it didn’t matter with Thor on the mound. He went 7 scoreless innings and struck out 10 Nationals. He punched out Bryce Harper twice, Jayson Wethless twice and future backup shortstop Danny Espinosa three times. His stuff was straight nasty. My god. And by the way, in the 6th inning Kevin Plawecki threw out Ben Revere trying to steal second. I thought Thor had a problem holding men on base? Based on the replay Revere was safe by a mile, but we won so who cares!

A Couple Of Bombs: Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff solo blast in the first inning and Michael Conforto hit a laser solo dinger in the third inning. Speaking of dingers, I can’t believe it took the Mets so many goddamn years to move the walls in at Citi Field and draw those orange home run boundary lines. The Conforto dinger barely snuck out, and it was a freaking laser. Stupid Wilpons and their dumb cavernous Ebbets field tribute.

Grandy Heard Me: I called out the Grandyman for being stinky lately in my series preview, and he went 2 for 2 with 2 walks. All is forgiven.

Who Needs Runs: Thor didn’t even need all that run support. One was all he needed, and honestly he was lucky because it was almost all he got in this game. Max Scherzer aka Mad Eye Max was almost as dominant pitching 6.1 innings with 10 strikeouts of his own.

Set-Up Man Impersonator: How about Addison Reed? The guy spent a part of last season in the minors figuring out his mechanics, and he’s been lights out this year. He basically has the same ERA as Jeurys Familia. Jim Henderson has been good, but he’s struggled with pitching in back to back games. Reed on the other hand has just been a straight up reliable ol’ set up dude. We could use another guy, but if we can run Soup a doop out there all the time for the first couple months, I suppose the pen can wait for an upgrade until the trade deadline as well.

Murph Reunion: Daniel Murphy got a pregame video tribute, a hit, and he turned a highlight reel double play. But we won so it ain’t no thang. I really thought he was going to burn us tonight. I let the Panic City pessimist take over my mind. The pregame injury flood was so Mets that it hurt, so it makes sense that I reacted that way. But these aren’t our typical loser Mets. At least not tonight.

Tomorrow: What a great win. This emotional roller coaster of a season certainly continues to move all over the place. The four game losing streak has been snapped, and now we look to win the series with Bartolo Colon on the mound tomorrow.

Series Preview: Mets vs. Nats In NL East Showdown / Murph Reunion Bowl Take 1

Make Baseball Fun Again: Rivalries! Competition! This is what we all want to see. I’m totally down with Bryce Harper and his make baseball fun again movement. I wrote it about it at the beginning of the season. I’m done with the unwritten rules, the anti-bat flip agenda, and the handling things with “baseball plays” on the field. The handling things with baseball plays mentality is what led to the Blue Jays and Rangers brawl over the weekend. The Rangers hit Jose Bautista with a pitch as payback for his bat flip and Bautista slid late into second base as payback for the hit by pitch. And you know what happened? Bautista got knocked the hell out by Rougned Odor because handling things with baseball plays doesn’t resolve anything. It’s all BS.

Well a good old fashioned battle between two top division rivals is the perfect example of how baseball can be fun. Mets vs. Nats down the stretch last season was extremely exciting for Mets fans. It was mainly exciting because the Nats rolled over and died. But this season I’m hoping for a good old fashioned dog fight. I’m hoping these teams take this pennant race down to the damn wire. Am I happy that the matchup kicks off with the Mets in a bit of a slump after a tiring west coast road trip? No. But it’s not as if the Nationals are boiling hot. They got swept in a four game set against the Cubs in Chicago. Then they took two out of three against the Tigers at home before splitting a series against the Marlins to conclude their home stand. But this battle had to start eventually, so let’s do this thing.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Noah Syndergaard vs. Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer needs no introduction. That crazy-eyed bastard struck out 20 Tigers in a complete game the last time he took the mound. He’s a perennial Cy Young candidate. He faced the Mets four times last year and had a 1-2 record. However, he pitched great in his two losses, and in his final start of the season against the Mets last October he struck out 17. He’s 4-2 this season with a 4.15 ERA, but it’s mainly due to the beating he took from the Cubs where he gave up 7 runs. The Mets overall have a lot of experience against Scherzer. Notable numbers: Asdrubal Cabrera is 12 for 45 with a home run, Yoenis Cespedes is 3 for 9 with a home run, Alejandro De Aza is 11 for 43 with a home run, Curtis Granderson is 7 for 23 with a home run, and Neil Walker is 3 for 9 with two home runs.

Last year, Thor faced Washington three times with two very solid starts at Citi Field. At Citi, he pitched 8 innings, gave up 2 runs and struck out 9 in August, and at the very end of the season in October he went 7 innings, gave up 1 run and struck out 10. Get your popcorn ready for this pitching matchup.

Game 2: Bartolo Colon vs. Gio Gonzalez

The Mets rank 21st in the league in OPS against lefties. Pretty stanky if you ask me. Gio has been lights out this year with a 1.93 ERA. He was 2-0 against the Mets last year in 4 starts and 3 of the 4 were quality starts. He also surrendered 2 runs or less in all four outings. Notable Numbers: Juan Lagares is 10 for 26 with a home run against Gio, and David Wright is 6 for 21 with a home run.

Big Sexy only had one start against the Nats last year, and it came right out the gate in April. He went 6 innings, gave up 1 run and struck out 8. His last outing against the Dodgers was ugly, so let’s hope that it was a blip on the radar and not the start of a May dip in performance.

Game 3: Matt Harvey vs. Stephen Strasburg

I wish I could get excited for this matchup. Poor emo Matt Harvey. He’s just so sad lately with his stinky ass performance and his wacky mechanical problems. The Mets were 1-1 against bleh first half 2015 Strasburg. And in both games the Mets had positive results against him. He went 5.1 innings in both starts and gave up 3 runs in one and 2 in the other. He also surrendered a bunch of hits in each outing. When we faced Strasburg in the second half (September) he was surging. He went 7.1 innings and gave up 3 runs, but he struck out 13 Mets. However, he took the loss in that early September game. That was the September sweep Yo home run game where Yoenis Cespedes executed Drew Storen on the field for the world to see. Notable Numbers: Grandy is 3 for 13, David Wright is 6 for 22 and Neil Walker is 3 for 11 against Strasburg.

Harvey faced the Nats six times in 2015. He went 2-2. He pitched 5 quality starts in those 6 games. But honestly, considering how different and unpredictable he’s been this season, it’s hardly worth re-hashing his results from last year. Let’s just hope Citi Field, and the Nationals bring back his competitive fire and the heat on his fastball. And also his command. He could probably use that too. Bryce Harper is 0 for 20 against Harvey lifetime. God I hope that stays the same.

Things To Look For:

The Heavy Hitters: If you’ve followed baseball at all in 2016, you know that Daniel Murphy is doing a Ted Williams impression. He’s hitting .400, and he has 5 home runs. So Murph is still showing some of that playoff power. Bryce Harper is still doing his MVP thing with a 1.066 OPS and 11 home runs. The Nats thought they’d lack production out of the catcher spot, but Wilson Ramos is hitting .350. But other than those three guys, the Nats lineup has been a barren wasteland. Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman have been garbage. Anthony Rendon has disappeared. I guess they really could have used Cespedes. Phew.

Hot Nats: Well as I said, on the pitching side Scherzer just struck out 20 Tigers. Murph has been scorching hot all season. Danny Espinosa is hitting .321 over his last 7 games. He probably knows young shortstop Trea Turner is going to take his job soon.

Heavyweight Bout: The Mets have the third ranked team ERA in the league and Washington has the second. The Mets have 53 long balls and Washington has 47. We are evenly matched rivals. Pitching and power baby. After years of the Nats blowing us out and then last season where Washington had a complete meltdown, we should finally have a real even matchup.

Zimmerman’s Not Wright: Ryan Zimmerman has been awful. He’s battled injuries for years like David Wright. B.J. Upton, Ryan Zimmerman and Wright all played together in high school in Virginia on the Tidewater Mets. Maybe they all spend those years drinking the same contaminated tidewater because all these dudes have either deteriorated due to injury or lost their skills.

Top O’ The Order To You: Grandy has straight up disappeared. It’s amazing how much goodwill you can earn from one amazing season. I spent years booing Jason Bay, but I don’t think I could ever say a bad thing about Curtis. I just remember all those playoff dingers. Plus he does great things for kids and charities. I love him even when he stinks!

Matz Is Back But Not: So the doctor said Steven Matz‘s elbow is fine and his arm is A-Okay. But the Mets are going to have him skip this series against the Nats. That is totally fine by me. Rest. Look at the numbers that Brian Mangan tweeted out yesterday.

We can undoubtedly afford to give these young pitchers the rest they need.

Yo Flips Off Nats: Cespedes said this week that he never really entertained signing with the Nats. He straight up openly admitted he was using the Nationals for leverage. Now it’s time for Yo to show the Nationals why all the star free agents from the offseason used them as leverage. It’s time to put them in their place before Dusty Baker and his “spanking hand” beat us to it.

Frank Reynolds Trueborn Son: The Mets recalled infielder Matt Reynolds from AAA to join the bench while Wilmer Flores is rehabbing his hamstring. By the time you finish reading this sentence, Reynolds will have already passed Eric Campbell on the depth chart at SS/2B/3B. In all seriousness though, this call-up says a lot about our lack of depth. Reynolds was hitting like .230 in Vegas. Ty Kelly (who nobody on earth has ever heard of) is hitting like .400 in Vegas for the Mets. A .230 average when adjusted for Vegas inflation is like .080. That’s a Kirk Nieuwenhuis level of ineptitude. Speaking of Kirk he’s hitting .275 for the Brewers with a .383 OBP. Whoops!

Duda Dunzo: Speaking of lack of depth, I was shocked to see Eric Campbell in the game 1 starting lineup tonight. I was shocked until the Mets announced Lucas Duda got an injection in his back to combat stiffness. A back injection certainly explains why Soup is on the menu in this series. Duda will also miss game 2 because Gio G is a lefty. And we’re off to a fantastic start.

Wright Dunzo: Well I was about to publish this series preview and then the Mets scratched Wright from the lineup to go along with Duda. Why? You guessed it. The old back flared up. Ray Ramirez better get the postgame back injection machine fired up for Wright and Duda. I tried to stay positive throughout this entire post, but goddamn. Two back related scratches in one day? Let’s just get this damn thing over with.

Mets Swept By Rockies; Umps Screw Us Again

Final Score: Rockies 4, Mets 3

Sideburn Island: Since the umpires stole another game from the Mets today, and I’m on the verge of having a baseball triggered aneurysm, let’s start out with something light. I’m not hip when it comes to hairstyles but what’s with deGrom’s sideburn island? Is that a thing? Maybe his hair doesn’t grow in that spot? Do his sunglasses have built in razors that shave that area every time he puts them on? Maybe Mr. Burns has been telling him to shave his goddamn sideburns? I don’t know. Either way it’s hideous. If deGrom is going to let his signature hair get sloppy, what kind of example does that set for the other players on this team? Clean it up.

Rocky Mountain Fly: As far as the recap goes, Yoenis Cespedes hit a solo home run in the top of the second inning. It was an opposite field shot to right field. In a series where we expected a bunch of home runs from the Mets but only saw two, it’s not surprising that Cespedes hit one of them. I can’t wait until he opts out and the Wilpons don’t pony up the damn cash money. Book it.

Deadly Combination: In the third inning, Eric Campbell hit a leadoff double and Jacob deGrom continued the run of dominance our pitchers have had at the plate by driving in Soup with a single. Realistically we may never see Soup get a leadoff hit and deGrom drive him in ever again. In that same inning, Asdrubal Cabrera singled with one out moving deGrom over to second base and then Michael Conforto singled to drive in deGrom. That made it 3-1 Mets.

DeGrom Good/Harvey Bad: As far as Jacob deGrom and his performance in this game goes, overall he was fine. His velocity is still down, but unlike Matt Harvey, he’s maintained some semblance of his command which has allowed him to remain effective. Michael Conforto misplayed another ball out in left field in the second inning, which led to a double for Carlos Gonzalez. DJ LeMahieu ultimately drove him in with a single but it was another costly misplay. What a joke. In the fifth inning with two outs, a misplayed ball by Alejandro De Aza in the outfield led to deGrom throwing 17 more pitches. That contributed to Terry’s quick hook of deGrom in the 7th inning. DeGrom also surrendered a dinger to Carlos Gonzalez in the 6th inning which made it 3-2 Mets.

Did I Say It Or Did I Say It: In the 7th inning deGrom walked the leadoff hitter, struck out the next guy, and then Terry pulled him in favor of Jim Henderson. Henderson came in to face pinch hitter Ryan Raburn and gave up a two run home run that made it 4-3. Did I say it or did I say it? Yesterday I said the Mets could have easily signed Raburn for the bench at the end of the spring but instead we went with Soup-a-doop. Well unlike Soup (who sucks) Raburn (who doesn’t suck) hit a pinch hit dinger today (his fifth home run) and burned us. Whoops! I mean technically Soup didn’t suck today since he had two hits and a walk but who cares #scapegoating.

Umps Screw Mets Again: In the 8th inning, the umpires screwed the Mets for the second day in a row. With one out Juan Lagares doubled and the Rockies elected to intentionally walk Yoenis Cespedes so lefty pitcher Boone Logan could face Lucas Duda. Duda hit a ground ball to Nolan Arenado at third base. Lagares and Arenado were on a collision course, but Lagares moved slightly to avoid Arenado and made it to third base safely. Arenado didn’t even attempt to tag Lagares and instead made the throw to first base to get Duda. We should have had runners at second and third with two outs for Neil Walker. Instead, the second base umpire inexplicably decided to overrule the third base umpire and called Lagares out of the baseline. Double play. Inning over. Complete joke. Everything should be reviewable and umpires should be robots. If you want to read my thoughts on it check out my post from yesterday. Remember yesterday when the umpires screwed us? Just like today! At least I don’t need to re-type the same goddamn rant.

De Aza Lost: Alejandro De Aza totally sucked in the field today. He had at least four complete misplays or near blunders. From missing sunglasses to sloppy unnecessary belly flops in the outfield he messed up non-stop. He just doesn’t get any playing time so I don’t blame him for being rusty. That being said he better de-rust quick, or he’s going to find himself in the MLB scrapyard.

Terry’s Beat: Terry Collins didn’t even have the energy to argue the blown call in the 8th inning or talk about it after the game. This road trip really killed all of us. Perfect timing for our early season-defining meeting with Nationals. Hooray!

Booth Lag: For all the talk about deGrom and Harvey lacking velocity, Gary and Ron are missing a few MPH on their booth fastball lately. Snooze city. Taking Keith out of the booth is like taking Cespedes out of our lineup. It’s not pretty.

Sounds Similar: Imagine Justin Morneau, Dustin Garneau and Travis d’Arnaud being in the same elementary school class. It would be an absolutely chaotic role call for that hypothetical teacher.

Santa Claus Effect: One of the boring topics Gary and Ron talked about during the game was how everyone loves David Ortiz despite the fact that he failed a PED test in his career. The same thing goes for Bartolo Colon. I have to believe the Ortiz/Colon media praise despite their documented use of PEDs is primarily due to the lovable fat guy effect or the Santa Claus effect. Everyone loves a jolly fat guy. Unless they smell. I’m guessing Papi and Colon wear a lot of deodorant.

Bautista Refusing To Change: While the Mets were playing, the Blue Jays and Rangers got into a legendary on field brawl. This all started with Bautista’s BatFlipGate in the 2015 playoffs. As payback, the Rangers hit Bautista with a pitch in this game. So once he got on base, Jose Bautista decided to slide hard and extremely late into second base and he flew past the bag. He made no attempt whatsoever to stay on the bag and Rougned Odor didn’t like it one bit. So he socked him in the damn face. I like Bautista but follow the new rules. In this case, the umpires called the double play and enforced the new slide protocol. But it hasn’t been consistently enforced all season. If Major League Baseball won’t enforce the slide rules on the field or players refuse to obey them, then I’m happy to see fielders take matters into their own hands and punch the a-hole runners who won’t conform with the new standards.

Tomorrow: We get the day off tomorrow and start the home series with the Nationals on Tuesday. After this series I sure as hell need this off day. I can’t wait for Murph and the Nationals to come to Citi Field and take a dump all over this slumping squad. God I hope some home cooking cures what ails us.

Mets Lose Thanks To Fallible Non-Robot Umpire

Final Score: Rockies 7, Mets 4

Let me give you the pros and cons of this game before I dive into the blown call that ultimately determined the outcome.

Pros: The Mets had a ton of hits. Thirteen hits to be exact. David Wright had 2, Yoenis Cespedes had 2, Lucas Duda had 2, and Neil Walker had 3. Duda led the second inning off with a double and Walker followed with a single. With one out, Kevin Plawecki singled in a run. He’s picked things up lately. Neil Walker hit a leadoff bomb in the fourth inning. In the sixth inning Cespedes doubled, Duda drove him in with a single, and Neil Walker singled to make it first and third with no outs for Asdrubal Cabrera. But Cabrera, who’s been so hot, hit into a run scoring double play.

The post Logan Verrett bullpen was also dominant. Hansel Robles, Sean Gilmartin, Jim Henderson, Addison Reed, and Antonio Bastardo combined for 5.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Cons: The Mets once again failed to capitalize on run scoring opportunities at a high enough rate. Thirteen hits and four runs ain’t gonna cut it at Coors Field or any field for that matter. In the second inning, Logan Verrett and Curtis Granderson both struck out with two men on base. In the sixth inning after Cabrera’s run scoring double play, Kevin Plawecki walked and Juan Lagares singled. But Grandy once again failed to drive in any runs and grounded out. In the seventh David Wright hit a leadoff double and the heart of the Mets order couldn’t drive him in.

The Blown Call: The biggest con was obviously that Logan Verrett did not have a great start. But his entire line and the entire outcome of the game was determined by a blown call in the third inning. In the bottom of the third it was 2-1 Rockies. Verrett gave up a leadoff double to Nolan Arenado, a bunt hit to Gerardo Parra, and with one out he walked Mark Reynolds to load the bases. Then he walked DJ LeMahieu and consequently walked in a run. Pathetic. However, you figured with the bottom of the order coming up maybe we’d be able to limit the damage. And that’s exactly what Verrett did. He struck out 8 hitter Tony Wolters on a half swing which would have brought the pitcher up with two outs (he ended up grounding out by the way). Except the home plate umpire called the half swing by Wolters a foul tip. The bat wasn’t even close to the ball. It was an atrocious blown call. Everyone in the place knew it was a miss. When he got his second chance, Wolters roped a double that scored two runs and the wheels fell off after that. When the dust settled Terry had been ejected and it was 7-1 Rockies.

Fix Replay: The fact that people still call for the repeal of replay and seek to limit the scope of what you can review is completely and utterly insane. If you fall into this camp, I will never understand your line of thinking ever. It means you would prefer that we get the calls wrong as long as the game keeps moving. You are bananas. The blown call at home from last night’s game should be reviewable. Every play should be reviewable. One look at that half swing in the New York control room and in 5 seconds they would have called it a strikeout. As Terry said, “It cost us the game. End of story.” Instead everyone just stands on the field shrugging and being helpless.

Give Me The Robots: Can we please just install motion sensors and supercomputers all over every stadium and put these goddamn human umpires out to pasture? I am so freaking sick of game changing blown calls. Does MLB really want to reach younger fans and appeal to a broader audience? Well if they do, how about they create a game where we can ensure the play on the field is called correctly. And by the way kids love robots. I think.

I Don’t Have The Energy: I slept before writing this post because if I wrote it last night I may have said some things about umpires that would have been flagged by the internet police. But honestly I’ve been ranting and crying about crap like this for years. Blown calls in this day in age in any sport are inexcusable. Everything is filmed and every single thing can be confirmed in 5 seconds. This wasn’t about a debate over a rule like the Utley slide crap or home plate collisions. This was just a straight up miss by an umpire, and it couldn’t be rectified because the dumbass league actually carves certain plays out of the scope of reviewability (real word?). It’s a joke.

Philly Play At Plate: Speaking of plays at the plate, I saw the replay of the game ending play in the Phillies vs. Reds game. With two outs and runners at second and third, the batter hit a fly ball to left field. The ball was caught and the runner tried to tag up and he was nailed at the plate. Here it is:

Cameron Rupp fielded the throw, the runner barreled into him, and he held onto the ball for the final out. My question is how does this play not violate the home plate collision rules? The play was reviewed, and it was determined to not be a violation of the rules. I think the assertion is: If in the process of fielding the throw, the fielder has to go into the baseline, then it’s not a rule violation. When I watched the replay, I saw a catcher standing in the baseline the entire time fielding a perfectly made throw, and a runner who had no choice but to barrel into him. In other words, I saw the play that we’d seen a hundred billion times before the league supposedly changed the rules.

It doesn’t matter because the call was made, they reviewed it, and nobody seems angry. For the record, everyone is celebrating the play because the masses loved home plate collisions. I just think it’s funny that Major League Baseball is still celebrating the play too and someone like me who watches games all the time, still doesn’t quite understand their stupid, incoherent, cockamamie rule book.

Duda Lefty Troubles: Duda hasn’t hit lefties at all this season. Eric Campbell hasn’t hit anyone. Ryan Raburn sits on the Rockies bench. Raburn being a guy with experience at 1B, 3B, 2B, LF, and RF. It’s a good thing the Mets didn’t sign Ryan Raburn, otherwise we’d have no room for Soup.

Today: Let’s salvage one game in this Colorado series, end this goddamn road trip, and prepare for the series with the Nationals.

Harvey Pitches Like Trash Again

Final Score: Rockies 5, Mets 2

The Mets had been killing it against the Rockies in recent seasons. Before last night, they had won 11 straight against them. And Jon Gray had been awful at Coors Field before his impressive performance last night. Gray gave up 2 runs over 7 strong innings. He had 8 Ks including David Wright three times.

No Bats: We didn’t see the Dark Knight yesterday, and we sure as hell didn’t see our bats do anything. In the second inning with two outs, Jon Gray walked Neil Walker, hit Asdrubal Cabrera, and gave up a two run double to Kevin Plawecki. But that was all the offense we could muster. We left a couple guys on base as the game went on, but we really didn’t threaten to score much at all. We didn’t hit any dingers either. Slumps happen so I’m not going to kill the Mets offense for slumping. But the feast or famine, live by the dinger, die by the dinger lifestyle is going to take some getting used to. I’m sure we’ll hit 6 bombs today and I’ll be “used to it” yet again.

Season Of Trash: Matt Harvey gave up 5 runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings pitched. His velocity evaporated yet again checking in at 91-92 MPH. We didn’t help him on the defensive end. In the fourth inning Nolan Arenado led off with a single and then Michael Conforto misplayed a Gerardo Parra hit that went by his glove and all the way to the wall. It was scored a triple but it was a clear error. Then Mark Reynolds singled to score Parra and the game was tied at 2. Harvey then gave up another run in the 5th and two more in the 6th. Jerry Blevins technically gave up the hit that led to the final run charged to Harvey, but it was all Harvey’s mess.

I’m scared to even talk about the terrible season Harvey has had to date. I have no answers, and he sure as hell has no answers. All I keep thinking is the last time he sucked like this, we were informed his UCL was torn and that was that. I believe him when he says he’s healthy, and he’s just dealing with mechanical issues. He’s slumping, and he’s searching for answers. But I live in Panic City man. I can’t help but expect the worst.

Setting The Bar: For all you hard workers and high achievers out there, let this Harvey situation be a lesson to you. Never set the bar this high. As Homer Simpson once said, “you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is never try.” Matt Harvey achieved such a high level of success so quickly that the fans can’t possibly accept that this is the first slump of his career. He set the bar so high with his impeccable command and nobody can process that this freak of nature is dealing with some adversity on the field. It happens, and we are seeing it in a very public fashion. I feel bad for Matt because you can tell he’s lost and upset.

Harvey ShirseyGate: On a positive note, my Matt Harvey shirsey that was stained by the laundromat, is officially clean. The bleach stains are now somehow gone. That has to be a good omen right?

NL Reality Check: This loss moved us back into second place in the NL East. But we are still in the elite class of NL teams. We haven’t lost a damn series since that April 11-13 series against Miami. That being said, we have six games against Washington coming up this month, and the outcome of those games could completely alter the conversation about where we stand in our division and the NL overall.

Today: Let’s hit some damn home runs today. The Mets have me hooked on the long ball, and I need my fix. I just want to melt into the couch and watch the balls rain into the stands at Coors Field.

Series Preview: Coors The Banquet Series

Fun Facts About Colorado:

1) Great Beer: Coors Original was my favorite beer back in college when I didn’t mind treating my body like a dumpster. Now that I treat my body like a temple, I’m exclusively a light beer man. Yup. Light beer and hard alcohol for me. But to this day, nothing matches the smooth, natural Rocky mountain flavor that the scientists at Coors are able to infuse into each and every sip. And no beer on the market guarantees you’ll spend more time in the bathroom the next day.

2) Great Schools: Remember when Mike Hampton spurned the 2000 Mets to take that 122 million dollar contract with the Colorado Rockies? I guess it worked out for the Mets because his career unraveled with injuries. But his “I’m going there for the public schools” excuse is still one of the best all time things a player said instead of “I’m taking the money”. I kind of don’t understand why players feel the need to make excuses for taking the paycheck. Does it really say something about a person’s character? I feel like everyone takes the money always. We spend all day playing the mega millions lottery in the hopes of winning the money. Who in their right mind would feel ashamed for earning the lottery ticket and cashing it in?

3) Great Secret Knee Surgeons: My favorite Colorado story was in 2010 when Carlos Beltran secretly fled the Hospital For Special Surgery/head trainer Ray Ramirez and went to some surgeon in Colorado to get his knee surgery performed. He spent so much time on Ray Ramirez’s DL between 2009 and 2010 that he finally said “screw this” and took matters into his own hands. I have no idea what that Colorado doctor did to his knee (robot knee? stem cell injections? blood magic?) but he came back and put together fantastic seasons from 2011-2013. Of course two of those fantastic years were with the Cardinals. But at least we got Zack Wheeler for him!

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Matt Harvey vs. Jon Gray

Jon Gray is a top young pitching talent (3rd pick in the 2013 draft) and he’s been sentenced to Coors Field. His first two starts of the season he got rocked at home and then his last two starts he’s been stellar on the road. He faced the Mets twice last season. He pitched once at Citi and once at Coors. Guess how he fared. He pitched great in New York and he got crushed at Coors. He gave up 7 runs in 1.2 innings at Coors including the Yoenis Cespedes grand slam. That was the Cespedes three home run game.

Coors Field is such a pitchers graveyard. In his one 2015 start against Colorado he pitched 8 scoreless innings at Citi Field. After Matt Harvey took a big step forward last time out on the mound, tonight’s game in Colorado is the worst possible follow up. I’m sure he won’t get blown out and spiral right back into a pit of pitching despair.

Game 2: Logan Verrett vs. Eddie Butler

Eddie Butler is another first round pick pitching talent. He’s made two starts this year and his last one against the Giants he went six scoreless innings. The Mets crushed him in New York last season where he went four innings and gave up 6 runs. Curtis Granderson hit a home run off of him last season.

Logan Verrett has filled in nicely for deGrom this season in spot starts and out of the pen. The Mets are asking a lot from him in this Colorado spot start. I just hope this one skipped turn in the rotation heals Steven Matz‘s elbow.

Game 3: Jacob deGrom vs. Tyler Chatwood

Tyler Chatwood is off to a nice start with a 4-3 record and a 3.09 ERA. He got hit around last time out against the D-Backs in Colorado going 6 innings and giving up 6 runs. Chatwood missed all of last season with TJ surgery (his second time) and has looked good so far in his return. The Mets have limited experience against him but Asdrubal Cabrera and Curtis Granderson both have a home run against him.

Despite the early velocity talk, deGrom is off to a great start this season. He’s 3-1 with a 2.12 ERA. In his one 2015 start against Colorado deGrom pitched 7 scoreless innings at Citi Field with 10 Ks.

Things To Look For:

Rockies So Far: The Rockies are actually competing in the West so far, but it’s really early. Plenty of time for them to tumble out of the race. They are 5-10 at home and have lost 6 of their last 10. They lost 2 out of 3 to the Padres, split a 4 game set with the Giants, and then dropped 2 of 3 to the D-Backs. Let’s hope the Mets can keep them tumbling.

Runs For Your Life: The Rockies are doing their annual Coors Field dance. They are fourth in the league in runs scored and fifth in OPS (number two in OPS at home). But…we’ve hit more dingers! We’ve hit more dingers than everyone. Hooray. I have to believe the balls will be flying out of Coors this weekend like they always do.

Hot Rockies: Nolan Arenado is hitting .321 with 13 home runs, free agent acquisition Gerardo Parra is hitting .309. Carlos Gonzalez is hitting .304, but he only has 4 home runs so he’s not quite on that 2015 season 40 home run pace.

Story Not Over: Rookie shortstop Trevor Story got off to a scorching start and has 11 home runs. The ridiculous power numbers from the first few weeks have diminished but he’s still hitting .303 in his last 7 games.

No Reyes: We won’t see Jose Reyes. His domestic violence suspension is coming soon. He’s supposedly going to get 60 games and the time he’s missed so far this season will count towards the 60 game sentence. He’s a garbage person. Jenrry Mejia should save a black cloak for him at the Wall with the rest of baseball’s grimiest people. Here’s a picture of him with Ruben Tejada from a time before we knew he was garbage.

Imagine Murph: I wish Daniel Murphy somehow signed in Colorado instead of Washington. Can you imagine Murph in that thin air? Would he hit .500?

Mets Get Kershawed; Split in LA

Final Score: Dodgers 5, Mets 0

Kershawed: Clayton Kershaw pitched a complete game 3-hit shutout with 13 Ks. Umm yea he was pretty pretty prettttay good.

BadTolo: Bartolo Colon got rocked right out the gate. He gave up a three run home run to Yasmani Grandal in the first inning and a solo shot to Chase Utley in the second inning. Let’s just move on from this one. I probably should have sat Bartolo Colon in my fantasy league, but other than that a split in LA is cool.

Playing Short: So with Wilmer Flores on the DL, the Mets actually don’t have a backup middle infielder on the roster. I don’t mean that we have a crappy one. I mean we aren’t carrying one. That could be a problem no? Somehow Soup keeps on sucking and now he’s essentially been promoted to backup of everything. Considering Ruben Tejada is batting .174 in St. Louis, maybe he’ll be released and boomerang back to us like Captain Kirk did last year.

Latest Soupermetrics: Speaking of Eric Campbell, Lucas Duda has a career .222 BA against lefties in 563 ABs. Prior to last night’s game, Soup had a .219 BA against lefties in 137 ABs. Other than backing us up at every single infield position, why is he here?

Herrera and Reynolds Attorneys At Law: In all seriousness, I’m kind of assuming that we are going to dip into Triple-A to replace Wilmer Flores and maybe even Campbell. Is the time for Matt Reynolds and Dilson Herrera coming? I know we want to keep getting them everyday playing time but we actually need them on the major league bench. In case you disagree, here’s a live look at our current backup middle infielder:

Juicin’ Aces: Yesterday I read an article about the top 5 co-aces in the league. The Mets were ranked on the list with Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. The White Sox were also included with Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. But in the article, I learned that Jose Quintana was signed by the Mets as an International Free Agent in 2006 and then violated the MiLB drug policy. Conclude what you want from that, but I find it interesting that Quintana is an elite starter today and spent the early part of his playing days testing the minor league PED protocol like a velociraptor testing the fences.

Today: The Mets head straight to Colorado for a three game set with the Rockies to conclude this west coast road trip. Get ready for Yoenis Cespedes and the rest of Team Ding Dong to send some balls into orbit/potentially have Matt Harvey‘s confidence shattered if the Rockies destroy him.

Mets Win; Lightning Lord Strikes Twice

Final Score: Mets 4, Dodgers 3

The Lightning Lord: The story in this game was that Noah Syndergaard did absolutely everything. Thor pitched 8 innings, gave up 2 runs (solo dingers to Corey Seager and Yasmani Grandal) and struck out 6 Dodgers. He also hit a solo bomb in the third inning and a three run homer in the fifth inning to the opposite field. There’s not much else to say other than he’s a freak specimen. We’ve seen his power before. He’s always been competent at the dish. But I guess he’s feeding off Bartolo’s sexual home run energy. Maeda’s Priceless Face: Kenta Maeda pitched okay in this game. It was his worst start of the season by far considering he had gone 6+ innings in his first 6 starts. But Maeda absolutely deserved to get lit up by Thor when he gave up the second home run to him in the fifth inning. Before Thor stepped up to bat, he hit Soup with a pitch and then walked Rene Rivera. Those are two unforgivable sins.

Soup Is The Worst Player: In the top of the second inning, Yoenis Cespedes led off with a single, and Lucas Duda walked. Neil Walker was retired for the first out. Then Cespedes stole third base and with one out Eric Campbell couldn’t get a goddamn sacrifice fly. In fact he hit a weak ground ball to short and Cespedes ran home on contact. He got thrown out at the plate. Then Rene Rivera struck out in pathetic fashion.

In the 6th inning, Lucas Duda led off with a single and Neil Walker doubled. Then with runners on second and third and no outs, Eric Campbell fouled out to the first basemen. After a Rene Rivera walk to load the bases, Thor and Grandy struck out swinging.

In the 7th inning, Michael Conforto singled with one out and then Cespedes doubled. With runners on second and third Lucas Duda couldn’t get a damn sac fly. Then the Dodgers walked Neil Walker to load the bases for Soup (duh!) and as you would expect he struck out looking.

Before I get into stanky Soup, let’s acknowledge that a bunch of Mets failed to execute with runners in scoring position last night. Neil Walker, Rene Rivera, Curtis Granderson, and Lucas Duda all blew chances to drive in runs in this game. Those results aren’t surprising considering the team has consistently failed to execute with runners in scoring position all season. The Mets are dead last in average with RISP (.211). At least that was the number at some point during the game. We can hit home runs all day, but I guarantee the inability to drive in runners when they are in scoring position will be our undoing. We need to halt that pattern of failure immediately.

But my real takeaway from last night’s non-Thor offensive troubles is the same one I’ve had for years now. The bottom line is we play with a 24 man roster. It’s an absolute joke that Soup is on this team and has been part of our “plan” since Opening Day. We let Juan Uribe walk. We let Kelly Johnson walk. And you know what? We are going to have to trade another prospect this year to replace Soup’s spot on the roster. You cannot win with a black hole on the roster. Period. He sucks.

Save Familia: Jeurys Familia gave up a run in the 9th, but still managed to get the save. If anything, it’s more evidence that we need to score runs when we have the chance because our bullpen will not be perfect all damn season. Also, we’re are going to need reinforcements for the back-end of the pen. I’m just going to keep saying it until Sandy addresses it at the deadline.

Our Pets Heads Are Loose: Yesterday off the field was an absolute disaster. Steven Matz is missing his start on Saturday with elbow soreness and will be examined in New York when he’s back. David Wright missed last night’s game with shoulder soreness. Terry announced postgame that on May 2nd, Noah Syndergaard had his elbow examined. And to top it all off, Wilmer Flores has been placed on disabled list with a hamstring injury. Apparently he injured it on Monday and tried to play through it. Smart move! The Mets are calling up Sean Gilmartin to replace him on the roster. That’s about as bad an injury news cycle as we’ve had all season. Let’s hope it’s not the announcement that precedes a bunch of 2016 season obituaries.

Today: The Mets have taken two of the three games we’ve played in LA, which is what they had to do at a minimum. And the team won with Thor on the mound which is even more important. Honestly, the pressure is now on the Dodgers to split this home series with their ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound tonight vs. Bartolo Colon. It would be extremely impressive to win 3 out of 4 games against the first place Dodgers at home. It’ll be especially comforting to win these games considering we may be on the verge of an injury implosion. Light your candles and pray.

Mets Lose On Walk-Off Homer; Cespedes Survives

Final Score: Dodgers 3, Mets 2

The Mets lost last night on a Trayce Thompson pinch hit ninth inning walk-off home run with two outs. Honestly, the outcome of the game itself became less meaningful to me once Yoenis Cespedes rolled his ankle in the 6th inning while returning to first base to beat a pickoff attempt. He rolled the ankle, he fell, he grabbed his leg and all I could think was “well the season’s over”. In the end he stayed in the game and afterwards he said he was completely fine. But the moment of injury uncertainty served as a reminder of how things can go south for the Mets in an instant. No matter what anyone says, don’t be fooled. The entire offense is built on Cespedes being in the middle of the lineup. We already watched four months of this team without Cespedes. The 2015 pre-Cespedes offense was unwatchable and anemic. Sure this season’s team is better. We have Michael Conforto and Asdrubal Cabrera. We have a better team in 2016. But we live and die on offense with Yo. So today, just be grateful that the baseball gods smiled upon us and we live to play another day with La Potencia.

DeGrom Grits and Jam: Jacob deGrom gave the Mets a gritty 7 inning performance and surrendered 2 runs. His fastball velocity was back up around 94 MPH. He surrendered both runs during a rough first inning. Chase Utley led off the game with an opposite field double and Corey Seager doubled to drive him in. Seager advanced to third base on a Justin Turner groundout. And then Adrian Gonzalez got a sac fly to make it 2-0. DeGrom battled out of jams in the second, third and fourth innings.

Alex Wood and Buttley Utley gave the runs right back to the Mets in the second inning. Yoenis Cespedes and Wilmer Flores both singled to start the inning. Then Michael Conforto reached on a terrible throwing error by dirtbag Utley. Cespedes scored on the error as well. Kevin Plawecki followed with a single that scored Flores and just like that the score was tied at two.

We Blew It: The Mets were 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position in this game. They didn’t hit any dingers tonight. This is what people mean when they say live by the long ball, die by the long ball. We are 4-8 in games when we don’t put the ball in the seats. That doesn’t mean home runs are bad. Obviously a home run is superior to any other hit. But we can’t ignore the reality that when we fail to hit home runs we often fail to score runs entirely.

Cespedes Cannon: Speaking of Cespedes’ survival, he made a great catch of a Yasiel Puig ball to the wall in the fourth inning, and he gunned down Adrian Gonzalez in the 5th trying to stretch a single off the centerfield wall into a double. He’s the most talented man on the field day in and day out.

Corner Boy: I understand that Terry gave Curtis Granderson the night off and preferred to play Juan Lagares in right field instead of playing Cespedes or Conforto at an unfamiliar outfield position. But I still really hate when Juan starts in a corner spot and Yo plays centerfield. I stand by the assertion that our gold glove outfielders should play where they earned their gold gloves. That being said, Cespedes made a bunch of great plays in center last night so it’s hard to argue that the alignment hurt us yesterday.

Poopy Lineup: Just a friendly reminder that I hate when Eric Campbell plays because he stinks. He went 0 for 3 with 2 Ks.

Gee Starts Now: On the ex-Mets front, the Royals are officially plugging Dillon Gee into their rotation and moving Chris Young to the bullpen. Dayton Moore is such a hoarder of mediocre back end starting pitchers. I bet his garage is full of piles of 5th starters from the last 20 years that he “might need someday”.

Juicing Accountability?: Raul Mondesi Jr. got a 50 game suspension for a banned substance and was able to negotiate it down from 80 to 50 because he proved it was from cold medicine. He said, “There are no excuses for my carelessness in not being fully informed of what I put in my body.” I just want to note that the statement from Mondesi is all I really want from these players. I’m not going to debate whether the positive test was from cold medicine or not. That’s for the league to decide. But at least the guy admitted he screwed up and took responsibility. I’m so sick of the players shrugging and offering the “only god knows” response to why they tested positive for a banned substance. Thank you Raul.

Harper Is A Naughty Boy: On Monday, Bryce Harper got tossed from the Nationals game against the Tigers and then after the Nats hit a walk-off home run he returned to the field to celebrate and cursed at the umpire. I’m totally fine with the Bryce Harper umpire FU. He got emotional. It happens all the time. There’s nothing special about Bryce’s move. He’ll probably be fined, suspended or both for returning to the field. My only takeaway from Bryce Harper #CurseGate is it reminds me how composed this Mets squad is. You never see these guys lose their cool with umpires. Also Dusty Baker said he loves Harper but added, “Will I have to spank him sometimes? Maybe.” Between Jonathan Papelbon choking Bryce and Dusty spanking him, all we need is Daniel Murphy to show up wearing assless chaps and the Nats can be the official BDSM club of MLB.

Today: Wilmer Flores’ face embodies how I feel every morning after watching these West Coast games. They’re killing me. Tonight Noah Syndergaard faces off against Kenta Maeda. This should be a pitching matchup worth staying up for.


Mets Take Opener From Dodgers; Matz Beats Old Matz (Kazmir)

Final Score: Mets 4, Dodgers 2

The Mets had some base running blunders in this game and some mistakes in the field. But as far as pitching and hitting goes, this game represented the near ideal Mets blueprint. Stellar starting pitching, a couple of dingers, and shutdown late inning relief. Who am I kidding, that’s every team’s ideal blueprint.

Matz Beats Old Matz: Steven Matz has been absolutely stellar since that first crappy start against the Marlins. He went six innings tonight and made one mistake when he left a fastball up with two outs to Trayce Thompson who hit a two run homer. It was a BS Dodger Stadium home run down the line though. He outdueled former Mets lefty stud prospect Scott Kazmir, the original Steven Matz. Or is Matz future Kazmir? Either way, Matz got big strikeouts when he needed them. He got two Ks with a man on base in the third inning to end a threat. He struck out Kazmir with men on in the fourth inning. And he got two more big strikeouts in the sixth inning.

Our Ding-A-Lings: Curtis Granderson led off the game with a first pitch home run and Kevin Plawecki added a solo home run in the second inning to make it 2-0.

Bonehead Base Running: In the third inning, Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff single and got thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. He was testing the arm of Kike Hernandez in the outfield since it isn’t his natural position, but it was an overly aggressive move. That being said, on the replay it actually didn’t look like Grandy was ever tagged at second base, but nobody seemed to care at all. That blunder preceded what could have been a nice rally. Asdrubal Cabrera was hit by a pitch, David Wright walked, and Yoenis Cespedes singled in Cabrera to make it 3-0. Then Scott Kazmir walked Lucas Duda to load the bases with one out for Juan Lagares. Juan Lagares hit a fly ball to Kike Hernandez, but when he caught it for the second out, he was able to double up Cespedes who was sleeping at second base. He didn’t slide back to the bag. It was a pathetic sloppy inning from the Mets.

Howie Muff-Del: In the top of the 6th inning, Wilmer Flores walked with two outs and then Howie Kendrick muffed a routine ground ball at second base off the bat of Kevin Plawecki. Steven Matz promptly made him pay with an RBI double down the left field line. Whoops! Thanks Howie.

The Jerry Manuel Managing Excellence Award: In the top of the 7th, Asdrubal Cabrera doubled, advanced to third base on a ground out and with two outs the Dodgers intentionally walked Lucas Duda. Terry Collins left Juan Lagares in to hit instead of pinch hitting Michael Conforto. It’s a no brainer pinch hitting decision in a close game against another first place team. Juan struck out in pathetic fashion.

Bullpen Bailout: Our bullpen has been elite. We have the top pen ERA in the NL. They bailed us out on Sunday in San Diego. And tonight Hansel Robles was lights out in the 7th and Antonio Bastardo looked fine in the 8th until Juan Lagares dropped a fairly routine fly ball in center field. Jim Henderson came in with two men on base and struck out Yasiel Puig and got a foul pop out from Trayce Thompson. He bailed us out. Jeurys Familia obviously dominated in the 9th inning. The pen keeps bailing us out particularly when our fielders make mistakes. That won’t last forever. We need to clean that crap up.

Pitchers Hitting Now: Bartolo Colon hit his ding dong over the weekend, Matt Harvey crushed a double as well and tonight Matz hit a double. Remember when our pitchers were our best hitters for like half of 2015? That was terrible.

He’s Down With PRP: Travis d’Arnaud is doing okay. He just got a nice platelet-rich-plasma injection in his shoulder and he’s shut down indefinitely. No timetable for his return whatsoever. See you next season!

Mets vs. Utley Round 1: Hansel Robles faced Chase Utley in the 7th inning and got him to groundout. No hit by pitch. If we really want to get back at Utley we should just sprinkle some laxatives in his Gatorade or something. Do it real classy like.

Also here’s a picture of Utley pledging his soul to Satan for one hit in this series.

Booth Snooze: I love Gary Cohen and Ron Darling, but when Keith is missing in action, SNY should get a Keith doll for the booth that says 10 different Keithisms on repeat throughout the game. Gary spent 5 minutes talking about how he was upset by the fact that the Dodgers scoreboard had both the time and date on it, and the conversation was so boring I wanted to waterboard myself in my bathroom.

Wilmer’s Hickey: A lot of people pointed out during the game that Wilmer Flores was rocking a hickey on his neck. That’s not a hickey. It’s just a mark from one of Ray Ramirez’s signature leeching treatments. As he says, “You need to drain the toxins out”.

Strasburg Extension: Before the game tonight the Nationals announced they’ve signed Stephen Strasburg to a 7 year 175 million dollar extension. I’m happy they screwed the Yankees a bit by taking away another option in free agency although it probably makes it more likely Matt Harvey heads across town eventually. But at a minimum, this Strasburg extension reminds us that it will be nearly impossible to keep our staff together forever. We really need to capitalize now.

Tomorrow: Jacob deGrom goes tomorrow night baby. What if this series is the first time all season where our studs string together four straight elite starts? Let’s do it!