Yo Shows It’s Gonna Be A Good Summer

good summer

Final Score: Mets 14, Phillies 4

The Mets’ offense was off to a slow start to the 2017 season. All it took was a few games where the lineup was lifeless to make a seasoned fan like me start to worry about player cold streaks and team strikeouts. Then booooooom. The offense finally broke out led by Yoenis Cespedes and his three home runs. It took one big night from Yo and this slugging squad to remind us that it’s gonna be a good summer.

Also, as a lazy blogging Mets fan looking to relax after a long work day, there’s no better game for me to watch than a 14 run, 20 hit, 7 homer blowout where my team triumphs. As a fan I was just watching the ding dongs fly out and loving every second of it. As a blogger I simply write that the Phillies suck, list all of the Mets ding dongs, and then hit “post.” There’s really nothing else to it.

Phillies Suck: Did I mention the Phillies suck? I never want to go back to a time where Philly isn’t the Mets annual divisional punching bag. I’ll take lopsided Mets’ victories against this Philly squad full of developing fringe major league players any day of the week. And we should also consider playing our home games at Citizens Bank Park. What a bandbox.

The Worst Pitcher In Baseball: It also helped last night that Clay Buchholz is one of the worst pitchers in the sport. The Red Sox were dying to dump him. Somehow the Phillies were duped into adding his useless body to their roster. Last night he gave up 6 runs on 8 hits over 2.1 innings before being yanked due to injury. Pathetic. Then Adam Morgan took over the role of worst pitcher on earth and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits over 3.2 innings including 4 home runs. He was demoted to the minors after the game. LOL.

Mets Ding Dong Recap

1st Inning: Yoenis Cespedes 3-run homer.

4th Inning: Asdrubal Cabrera and Yo (bomb 2.0) with solo blasts.

5th Inning: Yo 3.0- solo blast.

6th Inning: Lucas Duda 450 foot solo monster shot.

8th Inning: Travis d’Arnaud with a 2-run opposite field homer (not a typo).

9th Inning: Solo Duda Dong to close it out.

It wasn’t all home runs either. Jay Bruce hit a 2 RBI single in the second inning. Clay Buchholz managed to revive two struggling Mets hitters in the third inning. Jose Reyes hit a double off Clay to raise his average to like .040. Then Clay exited with an injury and d’Arnaud drove Reyes in with an RBI single. Asdrubal Cabrera also added to his near cycle 4-hit night with an RBI single in the 8th inning. Four hits for Duda and Yo, two hits for Neil Walker, and three for d’Arnaud. It was an absolute hit parade.

Everything Was Great And Nothing Bad Happened Right?: Matt Harvey looked good against the mediocre Phillies lineup. He gave up 2 runs on 5 hits over 5.2 innings. He struck out 6 and only walked 1. And of course he left the game with a tight hamstring because God can’t even give us one night to breathe easy. I’m sure he’ll be fine. Right?

The Boot: Michael Conforto is going to get the roster boot when Juan Lagares is ready to come off the DL this week. I feel bad for Conforto. Terry and Sandy just aren’t giving him a legitimate chance. They haven’t even attempted to rotate him into the lineup. I know he’s a professional baseball player who is paid to be resilient, and I’m just a mook blogger who can barely overcome a damaged cuticle, but I’d have a tough time going back to Vegas this year. He just doesn’t belong there. I still think the Mets will pull the trigger on a Jay Bruce trade if they can get a good late inning reliever, a back-end starter that can eat innings, or a versatile position player that fits better on the roster. I’m not saying they should pull that trigger. I’m just saying I think they will do it if they have the chance. But in reality we all know injuries will take care of the outfield “logjam” in no time at all.

Today: Zack Wheeler vs. Vince Velasquez. Let’s hope Zack has better command of the strike zone tonight. Let’s also hope the slugging continues so it will distract us from the horrendous team defense.

Bruce Launches Payback Moonshot

Final Score: Mets 4, Phillies 3

Based on how the game started, I never thought it would wind up being a feel good night that ended with a pimped out payback homer. DeGrom didn’t have his best command and looked especially shaky in the first inning. But he went full veteran ace mode and settled down to give the club 6 solid innings.

The mook in the Phillies bullpen who gave up the Asdrubal Cabrera bat flip walkoff homer last September decided to throw at Cabby’s head in the 8th inning of a tie game in April. Then Jay Bruce went full payback hero mode and launched a two-run moonshot to give the Mets a 4-2 lead that they would never surrender. (The bad news is the Mets only managed to scrape together four hits against the lowly Phillies and the team defense looked terrible again but let’s ignore that).

DeGrizzled Veteran: Jacob deGrom pitched 6 innings, gave up 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. He only struck out 3 hitters. Mediocre defense in the first inning helped the Phillies score their first run. After a leadoff walk and a force out at second base, Jose Reyes failed to catch an Odubel Herrera pop up behind third base. That set up runners on first and second for Maikel Franco who “singled” on a ball lined up the middle that Curtis Granderson should have been able to play in center field but instead deflected to right field. That loaded the bases for Michael Saunders who drove in the first run with a single and then deGrom walked Cameron Rupp to force in a run. It was 2-0 after the first inning but deGrom settled down.

Big Bruce Ball 1.0: Jay Bruce hit a solo homer in the top of the 4th inning to cut the Phillies lead in half. I love how Jay was public enemy number one all offseason simply by virtue of existing, and now he’s the only guy hitting to start the season. It’s so scripted.

Phillie Blessings: In the top of the 7th inning Jay “Middle of the Action” Bruce walked to leadoff the inning. Then Curtis Granderson hit a ball up the middle fielded by the second baseman who made an errant throw to first base. The error allowed Bruce to advance to third and set up first and third for Neil Walker. Neil hit a sac fly to even the score at 2.

The Old Switcheroo: For some reason in the 7th inning with runners on first and second and two outs, Terry had Michael Conforto on deck to pinch hit for Jacob deGrom but then pulled him in favor of Wilmer Flores against a righty. Wilmer flew out to center. Terry really hates playing Conforto.

Ridiculous Play: In the bottom of the 7th inning, Jerry Blevins came in to replace Josh Smoker who retired the first two batters but then gave up a single and walked a guy. Jerry proceeded to throw a pitch that bounced way out of the strike zone to Odubel Herrera. It was so far out of the zone that the baserunners thought it was going to the backstop. Travis d’Arnaud somehow fielded the ball, threw wildly to second base in an attempt to catch the runner off the base, Cabrera dove and fielded the wild throw, and then he threw to first base and was able to nail the runner at first for the final out of the inning. Thanks to the Phillies for running themselves out of an inning.

BatflipGate Payback
: With one out in the 8th inning, Edubray Ramos sailed a ball over the head of Asdrubal Cabrera as payback for Cabrera’s incredible September 2016 bat flip. The Philly Manager was tossed. Talk about a bonehead move by the reliever late in a tie game. I recently saw an interview with Philly manager Pete Mackanin, and he said he was trying to teach this young Philly squad how to play the game right. This is definitely a teaching moment. Also, Cabrera said after the game he had no idea who the reliever was and why he threw at him. I LOVE when players pretend they have no idea who a guy is as a way to insult them.

Big Bruce Ball 2.0: Once the heat died down after BatflipGate, Jay Bruce launched a two out 1-2 pitch from a lefty reliever into the right field second deck for the ultimate payback bomb. That gave the Mets a 4-2 lead, and it was enough for the victory. Addison Reed gave up a solo blast in the 9th inning but ultimately he sealed the deal.

Bench Jose Please: Jose Reyes is basically batting zero in like 40 at-bats. Terry needs to get him out of the leadoff spot and find a way to give Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera some playing time. Jose is not a star like Yoenis Cespedes who gets playing time to work his way out of a slump. Jose is a utility player at this point. If he stinks, he sits. It ain’t hard.

Play Conforto: Grandy blew a play in center in the first inning of this game. Statcast said it was a play made by center fielders 75% of the time. This is just another pointless reminder for Terry to rotate his old outfielders and get Conforto into a game.

Juanny No Bats: Juan Lagares is due back from the DL soon. Maybe even this weekend. The outfield defense has been so bad that Terry is going to wind up playing Juanny no bats. I’m sure that’ll boost the offense.

Today: Matt Harvey takes on Clay Buchholz. Clay is one of the the worst pitchers in baseball. We must crush him. Hopefully the Dark Knight continues to show positive signs on the mound as he recovers from his surgery.

Noah SynderGod Saves The Day

Final Score: Mets 5, Marlins 2

Quick Hits

  • After two straight mediocre performances by Mets starting pitchers, Noah SynderGod saved the day by throwing 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits, and striking out 9 Marlins.
  • ESPN sucks. They did a segment last night where that ginger guy interviewed Mr. Met and he asked him how he felt about Thor cuckolding him and sleeping with his mascot wife Mrs. Met. That’s when I switched the game to iPad and mute. Unwatchable broadcast.
  • Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto both hit solo homers and helped the Mets win. In what feels like an endless conversation about who should start (Bruce vs. Conforto), last night felt like it should have been an eye opener for Terry that both guys can play at the SAME TIME. Based on his in-game and postgame comments it doesn’t sound like Terry got the message.

Marlins’ Mistake Helps Mets Score: In the first inning Asdrubal Cabrera reached on a bunt single and Yoenis Cespedes followed that with a single up the middle that allowed Cabrera to advance to third base. Jay Bruce then hit a ball to first base, Justin Bour threw the ball home, and J.T. Realmuto took his eye off the ball and missed the throw. That allowed Cabrera to score. Neil Walker followed that with an RBI single. Lucas Duda singled to load the bases, and then the Marlins gave the Mets their third run by walking Michael Conforto with the bases loaded.

Mets’ Mistake Helps Marlins Score: Derek Dietrich doubled to start the third inning. Then Miguel Rojas hit a ball to left center field and Yoenis Cespedes dropped it for an error. That set up second and third and Dee Gordon capitalized with a two run double to make it 3-2. Rene Rivera saved the inning by gunning down two runners trying to steal on Noah Syndergaard.

The Saga Of Bruce And Conforto: As I said above, last night’s narrative surrounding Jay Bruce (solo homer in the 5th inning) and Michael Conforto (solo shot in the 6th inning) should have been positive. But all I heard from Terry was him blaming Michael Conforto for the third inning Yo error during an in-game dugout interview. Then when asked if Conforto would play tomorrow he said no and wondered aloud where he would play Conforto.

Ummm hey Terry you moron, he can play at the same time as Jay Bruce. You literally just did it. Grandy hasn’t looked great at the plate or in center field. It’s called rotating the players man. You think Yo’s playing 162? You think Jay “DH” Bruce’s knees are going to last in the outfield all season? You think Grandy can handle center field more than a few days a week? The guy’s already misjudging fly balls and looking drained out there. Rotate the outfielders and find playing time for Conforto! Do it. Sandy better tell him to do it. I’ve had enough of Terry’s anti-Conforto BS. There is plenty of playing time to go around. Jeeeesus.

Today: The Phillies have been the NL East team that the Mets have consistently handled in recent years. So maybe a trip to Philly will spark the first winning streak of the season for the Mets. Jacob deGrom vs. Jerad Eickhoff in tonight’s game. Ace number two gets a chance to keep Thor’s momentum going.

Mets Play Another Stinker 

Final Score: Marlins 8, Mets 1

To summarize this crappy loss, the Mets offense was non-existent (again), the bullpen looked like crap (again), the defense was horrendous (again) and the starting pitching was thoroughly disappointing. It was a total stinker in every single way.

No Offense: The pathetic Mets lineup managed to get three hits. The first hit was a Lucas Duda solo homer in the bottom of the 5th inning. That homer represented the only run. The rest of the game was filled with Mets striking out (13 times). Over the first five innings the Mets made Adam Conley look like Tom Glavine in his prime. Then the Marlins pen combined to pitch four innings, giving up two hits and striking out sevem. Yoenis Cespedes and Wilmer Flores both went 0 for 3 and struck out twice. Neil Walker struck out four times. Jose Reyes didn’t start this game, but even he managed to sneak in a quick K in his pinch hitting appearance.

Shake Things Up: It’s cold and early in the season. It’s not time to make sweeping judgements about how this offense will perform over the course of the year. But the reality is we already saw this lineup last year, and we know that it’s feast or famine. In the short term, Terry needs to get Michael Conforto into the lineup and possibly T.J. Rivera. Let’s shake things up for a few days.

Rough Start: Robert Gsellman left balls up in the zone and the Marlins hit everything hard. In the first inning Gsellman gave up a one out double to Miguel Rojas and then with two outs Giancarlo Stanton singled to bring the first run home. In the second inning he gave up a moon shot homer to Marcell Ozuna. In the third inning J.T. Realmuto hit a “triple” (see horrendous defense section below) and Miguel Rojas drove him in on a sac fly. Gsellman also ran into major trouble in the 5th inning, but Terry stuck with him and he was able to strike out Marcell Ozuna with runners on second and third and two outs. It may have been a poor start, but it was nice to see him finish strong and keep the team in the game.

Horrendous Defense: In the third inning, J.T. Realmuto hit a ball to center field and Curtis Granderson straight up misplayed it. It should have been an out and instead it was a triple. It’s a reminder that Curtis does not belong in center field at 36 years old. The Grandyman also made an excellent catch in center field to end the 6th inning, but in reality he was just playing too deep and was able to make the catch at the last second. After the diving catch I saw the look on his face and it said “I can’t do this for 162.”

In the 4th inning, Wilmer Flores butchered a ground ball to third base for an error.

The other obvious defensive liability worth noting is Jay Bruce. I feel like he had a ball hit to him in every inning of the game and every time it happened I was holding my breath. He really stinks out there.

Bullpen Rocked: Josh Smoker pitched a strong sixth inning and Jerry Blevins retired a couple of batters but Hansel Robles, Paul Sewald, and Rafael Montero looked tired and awful. Hansel Robles walked two batters in the 7th inning and gave up a run. Once it was 4-1 I felt like Terry was waving the white flag when he brought in newly called up Paul Sewald to pitch the 8th inning. But after Paul gave up two runs, Terry seemingly abandoned the plan and decided to use the same overtaxed relievers yet again. Blevins came in and then he turned to Rafael “Dead Arm” Montero and even Fernando Salas pitched in a freaking blowout. Terry stinks.

Stray Notes

Dead Wrist: Asdrubal Cabrera was flexing his wrist after his first and second at-bat. He stayed in the game, but I’m sure he’ll need a season ending wristectomy.

Schedule BS: The Mets have 32 consecutive games against the NL East to start the season?!? Is MLB serious? Why the hell would they cram all of the divisional games in April and May? The scheduling people suck. Well I guess the entire season is on the line in April. No pressure. 

Today: Hopefully Noah Syndergaard can help us salvage one game at home against the Marlins. Talk about a pathetic start to the season. If Noah’s blister comes into play tonight Panic City will be in flames six games into the season. Also, blister rhymes with Fister. So we should probably sign Doug Fister.

Mets Lose On Trash Giveaway Night At Citi Field

Final Score: Marlins 7, Mets 2

You know it was a rough night when the top 5 Mets highlights were: 1) Rafael Montero pitched 2.2 scoreless innings. 2) Trash swirled all over the outfield. 3) Rene Rivera had two hits. 4) Keith Hernandez said he used to like Lamb Chop’s Play-Along. 5) Zack Wheeler hit 98 MPH on the radar gun in the first inning.

The Marlins smacked the Mets. Zack Wheeler started out strong, but then he reminded everyone that he hasn’t pitched at the major league level in two years giving up 5 runs over 4 innings. Honestly, his crappy performance was of secondary concern because the offense failed to show up again. The Mets scattered nine hits but really couldn’t find a way to get any runs across. The Mets pitching staff also walked six Marlins. You ain’t winning baseball games if you’re walking the ballpark.

Wheeler Rusty: Zack “Rusty” Wheeler pitched a dominant first inning. He hit 98 on the radar gun and struck out two Marlins. After that it all fell apart. In the second inning he left a hanging slider up to Giancarlo Stanton and Stanton just missed a home run due to the wind. But then he walked Justin Bour, Marcell Ozuna singled, and Derek Dietrich tripled scoring two. Then Adeiny Hechavarria grounded out which scored Dietrich from third base. I blinked and it was 3-1. He also gave up a two run homer to Christian Yelich in the third inning. I’m going to blame some combination of the cold weather, rust, and the trash on the field for Wheeler’s poor performance.

Met Killers: SNY kept showing Yelich’s incredible numbers at Citi Field. Why does it feel like every team that visits Citi Field has at least four players that rake against us? Brandon Phillips and Matt Kemp for the Braves and now Met Killer Yelich is in town. The parade of Met Killers never ends.

Pray For Recovery: Hopefully Zack’s arm feels strong after he recovers from this start. It’s understandable that he’ll need to shake off rust as he continues to make starts in 2017. Pray for his continued health. I was excited to see him back on the mound even though he wound up getting smacked around. And ultimately this was just another spring training start for Wheeler. He clearly needs to get a better feel for his secondary pitches and re-establish his command. As a result of all the injuries to the Mets pitching staff, the team basically decided to let Wheeler complete his extended spring training at Citi Field. So there are bound to be some bumps along the way.

Offense Sucks Again: The real problem was that the offense continued to be non-existent in this game. In the first inning Asdrubal Cabrera singled with one out, Wilmer Flores walked with two outs, and then Curtis Granderson hit an opposite field RBI single. But that was the only run the team scored until Yoenis Cespedes hit a home run in the bottom of the 8th inning. Quite frankly, Yo shouldn’t have been playing that late in a blowout game. Terry was snoozing at the managerial wheel.

Grandy and Rene Rivera each had two hits but the Mets couldn’t score any runs against Wei-Yin Chen who pitched 6 innings and gave up 1 run. Chen even added insult to injury with his first career hit against Wheeler.

Chunky Lefties #TeamJosh: I have no idea why, but I love that the Mets have two chunky left-handed relievers named Josh who have had Tommy John surgery, throw hard, and are trying to establish themselves as reliable major league relievers. I always mix them up. Josh Edgin has the ginger beard and Josh Smoker has the crazy eyes. Smoker also likes to curse and talk to himself on the mound.

Smoker Sucked: Anyway Josh Smoker looked like crap in this game. He started the 5th inning and struck out the first hitter. Then Christian Yelich hit a ball to Yo that he misplayed, and it resulted in a single. After that it all fell apart for Smoker. He gave up hits and walks and before long the Marlins added two more runs to make it 7-1. That basically put the game out of reach.

Good News: Rafael Montero and Chunky Josh 2.0 (Edgin) looked nice in garbage time relief.

More Bad News: Jose Reyes went 0-5 and has been awful in a small sample size. World Baseball Classic fatigue? We better hope that it’s WBC fatigue and not something worse (i.e. he’s washed up).

Tomorrow: Robert Gsellman pitches tomorrow night against Adam Conley. The Mets need Gsellman to be a rookie force on the mound. I need him to come through for my fantasy team. No pressure kid.

Harvey And Hitting: A Winning Formula 

Final Score: Mets 6, Braves 2

Through the first four innings I thought the Mets’ offense might be taking the night off again. But once the fifth inning rolled around, the Mets’ offense was able to get to Jaime Garcia and Matt Harvey/the bullpen did the rest.

Overall it was an encouraging game. The Mets were resilient and won the series after that tough extra innings marathon loss. Harvey showed fans that he’s still alive. The offense put together a bunch of hits (8) and scored some runs (6) and it wasn’t all due to the long ball. The back end of the pen continued to look strong. It was a nice opening series win at home.

Dark Knight Looked Great: Matt Harvey pitched 6.2 innings and gave up just 3 hits. Unfortunately both of those hits were solo homers by new Met Killer Matt Kemp (solo homers in 5th inning and 7th inning). Terry yanked Harvey after the 7th inning Kemp jack. Obviously he wanted him leaving feeling good about the start. And he had a lot to feel good about. He was sitting in the mid- 90s with the fastball, and he didn’t walk anybody. The Braves don’t have the best lineup in baseball, and Harvey certainly didn’t strike out the park. But he looked good considering he’s coming back from this crazy surgery. I’ll take it.

Offense Responds: Harvey gave up that solo shot to Kemp in the 5th inning, but the Mets picked him right up and responded with two runs. Neil Walker singled, Jay Bruce walked, and then Travis d’Arnaud launched a 2-RBI double in the left center field gap. Nice to see Travis getting in on the action. The Mets need him to be present on offense. He doesn’t need to be a force, but he sure as hell cant be the black hole that he was in 2016.

Wilmer The Lefty Masher: Terry hit Wilmer Flores fourth in the batting order right behind Yo last night, and it was totally warranted because he continued his dominant streak against southpaws. Jaime Garcia walked Yoenis Cespedes with one out in the 6th inning and put a man on base for Flores. Wilmer promptly made him pay by crushing a hanging breaking ball just inside the left field foul pole for a two run shot to make it 4-1. Teams walking Yo is going to be a theme this season, so it’s nice to see the guy behind him making the other team pay.

Hits! Hits! Hits!: Kemp added that solo shot in the top of the 7th but in the bottom of the 7th the Mets responded again. Michael Conforto was hit by a pitch with one out. Then Jose Reyes singled and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with an RBI single between third base and short taking advantage of the shift. Then Yoenis Cespedes hit a double play ball to the right side of the infield but shortstop Dansby Swanson made a throwing error to first base that allowed Reyes to score to make it 6-2.

Salad And Reed Lockdown: Fernando Salas looked good in the 8th inning and was able to pitch around some defensive blunders (including one by Salas himself). Addison Reed dominated the heart of the Braves order in the 9th to close the game out.

Today: Zack Wheeler makes his return to the mound after a two year Tommy John recovery absence. I’m excited. I remember how electric his stuff was a couple of years ago. And we honestly need him to contribute now. With Steven Matz going down Wheeler is no longer luxury depth. He’s a key contributor. Marlins come to town and send Wei-Yin Chen to the mound. Another lefty. Let’s go Wilmer! Let’s go Mets!

Mets Lose Snoozer In Extras On Bartolo Reunion Night

Final Score (in 12 innings): Braves 3, Mets 1 

In hindsight the Mets probably should have pushed MLB to make that extra innings rule change where they automatically put a man on second base at the start of the 10th inning (and every inning thereafter). At least we would have had some baserunners to leave in scoring position.

Bartolo reunion night was an early season reminder that our offense can be feast or famine. The Mets only managed five damn hits for the entire game. It was a reminder that our pitchers often get stuck with no decisions when they fire strong starts. It was a reminder that we let the dependable Colon walk and replaced him with Montero who ultimately blew the game in extras. It all sucked. That being said, it’s game two of the season so I’m already over it.

Big Sexy Reunion Night: Bartolo Colon went 6 innings and gave up 2 hits. The only run he gave up was a Bruce dinger. He looked like classic Tolo as he gobbled innings and gave Atlanta a quality start. Yesterday was “The Mets were smart to not re-sign Bartolo Colon” day in mainstream media land. What a hot garbage take.

DeGrom Looking Great: Jacob deGrom looked fantastic. He fired 6 scoreless innings, gave up just 2 hits, and topped out at 97 MPH. He had nothing to show for it in the end. Same game, different season.

Up The Middle D: Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera made some great plays in the field including some key double plays in a number of big spots.

First Mets Homer: Jay Bruce hit the first Mets homer of 2017 off of Bartolo in the 5th inning. Everyone spent the entire offseason ripping Bruce apart, so I feel like the 2017 script called for this moment. I hope he cranks 50 bombs and flips everyone off all season long.

Rusty Reyes: Jose Reyes had a horrible game. He sucked on defense and also went 0 for 5 with 2 Ks. He failed to field a fairly routine grounder in 6th inning. He made a horrendous error in the 8th inning to allow the leadoff man Dansby Swanson to reach base. Jose got lucky that inning because Freddie Freeman hit into a double play.

Bruce Doesn’t Pass Eye Test: The old guard often talks about things like “the eye test” when defending position players that seem competent in the field but grade poorly with advanced defensive metrics. I can tell you right now, Jay Bruce doesn’t even pass the eye test. He stinks in right field. In the 7th inning Hansel Robles came in to pitch and Nick Markakis hit a one out triple to right field. That triple was the second ball hit to Jay Bruce this series that shouldn’t have been a triple. Bruce took forever to play it and made a weak throw to the cut off man. Then with runners on first and second, Adonis Garcia hit a ball to right that went over ‬Jay Bruce’s head and turned into an RBI double. A good right fielder catches the ball. No doubt about it.

Classic Robles Meltdown: Robles came in to pitch the 7th and had a classic Robles meltdown. Let’s pretend Robles’ stinkiness is a new thing and blame the World Baseball Classic.

Robo-Walk: In the 8th inning after the Freeman double play, Matt Kemp doubled and Fernando Salas issued the first automatic robo-intentional walk of the Mets season to Nick Markakis. Then he had a huge K of Brandon Phillips to end the 8th inning. If Salas has one more decent appearance in the 8th inning Terry will crown him the setup guy and proceed to use him everyday for two months until his elbow melts off.

Extra Innings, Extra Boring: The Mets had one chance to score in extras. In the 10th inning Bruce doubled and the Braves robo-walked Lucas Duda. Then Travis d’Arnaud and Ty Kelly (aka Ty Smelly) had pathetic back to back strikeouts.

That was really all she wrote. Rafael Montero walked the leadoff man in the 11th because he stinks, but then he squirmed out of trouble with a double play. In the 12th Montero officially blew it. He gave up a two out, two run double to Matt Kemp.

Juan Ain’t Coming Back: The Mets said yesterday that the return of Juan Lagares from the DL has been delayed by at least a week. Surprise! The Mets signed former Rays OF Desmond Jennings as Triple-A depth. He’s a right-handed hitting outfielder, and we needed one so the signing works for me.

Sniff The Pitching: Sandy Alderson said the Mets will be “sniffing around” the pitching market. The pitching market is made up of guys like Colby Lewis and Jon Niese so it probably smells like washed up crap.

Today: Matt Harvey vs. Jaime Garcia tonight. Let’s see if the Dark Knight looks healthy. Hopefully Wilmer plays against the lefty and the Mets launch some long balls.

Lugo Update: MRI Shows No Structural Damage Other Than UCL Tear

The Metssiah’s sources have officially confirmed that Seth Lugo’s “clean” MRI showed no structural damage other than a torn UCL. The UCL being the elbow ligament that typically requires Tommy John surgery when torn. In other words, Lugo has a partially torn UCL, and the Mets have a partially destroyed rotation on day two of the season.

This is some classic Mets Groundhog Day news right here. Second day of the season and we have elbow tears and blister stories on a damn loop. A five alarm Panic City fire is already blazing in Flushing.

The rotation is deep they told us. They said we had seven arms for five slots and that we’d never run out. The Metssiah told all of you we should keep Bartolo Colon and/or consider bringing back R.A. Dickey to gobble up innings. And what happened? Well we’re down three arms on day two of the season, and the Mets will be frantically searching the pitching scrap heap begging guys like Mike Pelfrey and Doug Fister to eat innings.

But at least the Mets know what caused the injury.

So it looks like this was either an old injury that the Mets had Seth Lugo pitching through and it had nothing to do with the World Baseball Classic or a new injury caused by his participation in the World Baseball Classic. In other words, it could have happened at any time and the team has no idea. Not a good look for the Mets as usual.

For now Ray Ramirez and the Mets say Lugo will not require Tommy John surgery. Lugo’s elbow received a PRP injection and now the team says he will rest for a couple of weeks before they seek a second opinion and ultimately shut him down completely. Pray for Lugo.

Mets Win Opener, Salas Picks Nose, Lugo Out Forever

Final Score: Mets 6, Braves 0

It only took one game for the Mets to lose all of their starting rotation depth. Steven Matz has a flexor tendon strain in his pitching elbow. He’s shut down indefinitely. Seth Lugo had a “clean” MRI, but now they say he’s out for weeks aka out forever.

Noah Syndergaard looked incredible on the mound in this Opening Day victory. He pitched 6 scoreless innings and struck out 7 Braves. But then he departed the game with a blister on his middle finger. I can totally see the baseball gods unleashing a plague of blisters and sores upon this team. The elbow MRIs and shoulder exams will all come back clean, but the festering blisters will somehow linger all season.

Wilmer Play At Plate: The Mets did all of their damage at the plate in the 7th inning. That was also the inning the Braves bullpen finally entered the game and decided to walk everyone. Wilmer Flores reached first base on a force out, and then stole second base before Jose Reyes walked. Then Asdrubal cracked a single to center field and slow poke Wilmer lumbered home in an attempt to score from second base. If Braves catcher Tyler Flowers wasn’t playing so far behind home plate he would have tagged Flores out easily. The initial call was out, but video replay showed he was safe and the challenge was successful. Wilmer also nearly snapped his ankle on what was a horrendous slide.

Braves Walk Everyone: Julio Teheran looked great, but Atlanta’s bullpen is garbage. The failed play at the plate by the Braves combined with their terrible bullpen walking our entire lineup led to a 6-run 7th inning and that was all she wrote on Opening Day. Eric O’Flaherty was atrocious. He walked three Mets in a third of an inning. I can’t believe he scored a major league job.

Duda Smash: Lucas Duda capped off the 6-run inning with a two out bases loaded double that scored 3 runs. I’m sure he’ll be day-to-day with back blisters later this week.

Hot Ass: Asdrubal Cabrera went 3 for 5 and continues to perform at a high level in New York (and also he’s hitting in front of Yoenis Cespedes so of course he’s mashing).

Salad Picks Nose: Fernando Salas picked his nose in the bullpen, and then pitched a nice 1-2-3 8th inning with 2 Ks.

Gsellman Pitches Ninth (For Some Reason): Robert Gsellman pitched the 9th inning for some reason. I guess they wanted to keep him fresh and on schedule to make his first start this weekend. I never like to see stretched out starters called upon to make short relief appearances.

Cancel The Classic: As I said above, Seth Lugo’s MRI supposedly came back “clean” but now they are saying he’ll be out for weeks. No word why. Remember when I wrote a blog saying the World Baseball Classic was really fun to watch? Well cancel it. Lugo clearly killed his arm on Team Puerto Rico. Now I’m worrying about Jeurys Familia. Lugo bumped up his velocity in the classic, and now he’s dunzo. Well Familia was throwing 100 MPH in all of his appearances for the Dominican Republic. Pray for him.

Tomorrow: Jacob deGrom takes on Bartolo Colon tomorrow night. You remember Big Sexy? He was our only consistently healthy pitcher over the last 3 years. Now he’s gone and we’re likely to see Rafael Montero and Adam Wilk making meaningful starts. Our rotation is super deep though. We had no need for Bartolo. Don’t worry about a damn thing.

2017 Mets Season Preview: Change Is Bad?

The start of the 2017 MLB season is upon us. Other than Steven Matz being shut down for three weeks due to his sore elbow, it appears the Mets may make it out of Florida with the majority of their projected 2017 roster intact. Obviously David Wright isn’t coming north but nobody actually thought that was happening. He’ll be in Port St. Lucie forever.

2017 Outlook

This team has a chance to be anywhere from very good (86-93 wins) to the class of the National League (94-97 wins). It all depends on the performance and health of the pitching staff and Yoenis Cespedes. Same story as last season.

Other than retaining Yo and letting rotation workhorse Bartolo Colon walk, Sandy Alderson decided to double down with the same roster as last year. The Mets will be using the same roster all over again and expecting different results. Einstein called that insane. Sandy says to hell with Einstein. He’s going all in on this Metsane approach, and the entire season is riding on his bet.

I actually like the idea to some extent. The pitching staff was ravaged by injury in 2016. Pitchers always break, but the odds tell us we should fare better this season in terms of rotation health. The lineup is made up of the same group of veteran feast or famine sluggers. Last season we had historically bad luck with runners in scoring position and set a franchise record for homers. The odds say we’ll fare better with RISP this season if we launch homers at a similar rate.

The Walk Year Season

I’m always a big fan of players in contract years. Whether the data supports it or not, I feel like these types of players come into the season hungry and ready to earn a big payday. So I love that Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera (unless we pick up his 2018 contract option), Jose Reyes, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, and Addison Reed are all playing for the big bucks.

Position By Position Thoughts

Outfield: I love Yoenis Cespedes. I think he’ll probably play left field for the majority of the 2017 season which will seriously boost his value on defense. He also arrived at spring training looking jacked. I think he’s about to have an MVP caliber season in the first year of his new deal.

I’m hoping Grandy survives the season at 36 years old and gives the team his usual 25 bombs. But honestly it’s unrealistic to expect that he will survive a grueling full season in center field. The roster doesn’t have a true center fielder and based on that I see no reason why we wouldn’t just shove Michael Conforto out there some of the time. The Mets should be rotating their outfielders to keep the veterans fresh and to ensure Conforto plays almost everyday. The potential re-emergence of Conforto is the type of development that could launch this team to an elite status.

Everybody hates Jay Bruce, but I think he’ll do what he’s historically done this season i.e. hit home runs and suck on defense. I think he will add value to this club even if WAR and the other advanced metrics tell you he won’t. But the roster still needs a true center fielder, and I can imagine the team will be forced to address that at some point this season. If old man Grandy goes down to injury they’ll be forced to play Juan Lagares out there for long stretches. Lagares can’t hit or stay healthy so that’s not an ideal backup solution. Brandon Nimmo offers some nice depth at Triple-A.

Infield: Half of our infield crew is dealing with chronic back problems. Neil Walker says the surgery fixed his back issue. Duda says rest healed his back pain. Wright says he hopes to throw a baseball again this season. Hopefully at least Walker and Duda are telling the truth. Walker, Cabrera, and Duda can/should all mash 20 plus homers which will hopefully make up for their mediocre defense. Reyes should be able to fill in for Wright at third base and handle the top of the order until his hamstrings blows out.

Catching: The Mets should have added a catcher in the offseason. Travis d’Arnaud
can’t throw the ball to second base and struggled to hit all of last season. He’s supposedly fixed the mechanical issue that caused his 2016 hitting woes. I still suspect the issue was injury related, and I don’t expect Mr. Glass to magically transform into a durable player in 2017. It would be nice if he hits during his 80 games instead of serving as a useless black hole in the lineup. Rene Rivera is solely here for defense. Kevin Plawecki is solely here to remind us that prospects can wind up being total busts.

Bench: T.J. Rivera showed everyone last season that he’s more than a quadruple-A bum. He keeps hitting .300. Minors. Majors. World Baseball Classic. He just keeps hitting. I like his bat off the bench. Wilmer Flores hit like Babe Ruth against left-handed pitching last season. It’d be nice if he could boost his production against righties. He’ll wind up playing everyday if he’s able to bridge the gap in his splits.

I’d prefer to replace Ty Kelly with Kelly Johnson. It can still happen since Johnson is still on the free agent scrap heap. Overall I think the bench has some versatility with Flores and Rivera. If Lagares ever returns from that oblique strain he’ll serve as a nice late inning defensive replacement off the bench. That’s really all he’s good for at this point.

Starting Pitching: The entire season rides on the health and performance of the starting staff. I wrote about this recently but we really need three of these guys to be reliable and give us close to 200 innings. Last year we depended on Noah Syndergaard and Colon as those full season constants on the mound. Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom gave the team quality innings when they were healthy, but they fizzled out by September. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo saved the team in September once deGrom and Matz fizzled. Without them the team never makes the playoffs.

Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler are total wild cards. Will Harvey recover from thoracic outlet syndrome? After a two year absence will Wheeler thrive now that he’s been named as part of the Opening Day rotation? I have to believe that three of these seven young arms will step up and stay healthy for a full season. There’s a scenario where this team has the best pitching staff in the league by far and Thor/deGrom make a Cy Young push while Gsellman/Lugo battle for Rookie of the Year. There’s a scenario where Rafael Montero is making meaningful starts by the All-Star Break. I expect something closer to the former scenario. I think we are bound to see a few of these guys come up big and stay healthy.

Bullpen: The Jeurys Familia suspension turned out to be a light 15 games. He’ll be back in no time and after seeing him toss 100 MPH fastballs during the World Baseball Classic, I’m expecting a big season. I know he’s in a contract year, but I expect a regression from Addison Reed. He was arguably the best reliever in the NL last season. I think he’ll be serviceable as a set up man, but I’m not getting my hopes up for the level of dominance he displayed in 2016.

Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins should form a nice late inning righty/lefty tandem. We need Hansel Robles to step up and show some consistency. At times last year he was a dominant go to arm. And then he had stretches where he seemed to crumble every time he stepped on the mound. It’s always Terry’s fault. He overuses all of these guys. Josh Smoker and Josh Edgin will probably round out the pen to start the season. We’re going with a lefty heavy pen mainly because Edgin is out of options.

Prospect Watch: I think we are about a year away from seeing some of our big time prospects like shortstop stud Amed Rosario and first baseman of the future Dominic Smith. However, one injury could speed up the major league path for these guys. If Rosario and Smith are mashing at Triple-A they could be in line for a promotion if Cabrera’s knees act up at shortstop or if Duda’s back remains cracked.

Weaknesses: The team defense is going to be horrendous. Infielders with no range, a catcher that has no arm, guys playing out of position, no true center fielder. There’s really no positive spin for this club on defense. The Mets could wind up shopping for a new catcher and center fielder during the season. I also think the bullpen could be a weakness. If the starting rotation remains healthy, then guys like Lugo and Wheeler could wind up seeing time in the pen and potentially bolstering that crew. But if they are needed in the rotation for long stretches, I think Sandy winds up trading for an arm in June or July.

Predictions: I think that Thor and Cespedes have a chance to post close to the highest combined WAR for a Mets pitcher/position player in team history. It’s going to be tough to match the 19 WAR posted by Gary Carter (6.9) and Dwight Gooden (12.1) in 1985, but I can see Thor/Yo making a run for the crown.

Ultimately, I think this team wins 91 games and wins a Wild Card spot again. The Mets will battle the Nationals for the division crown up until the final week of the season. I cursed the one game Wild Card playoff the day it was created. At that time I thought the Mets would never make the playoffs again, but now I know that we were simply destined to be a victim of the one-game crapshoot format every time we qualify for the playoffs.