Will The Nationals Drive A Dagger Into The Mets’ Heart? Yes. Duh.

Steven Matz pitches a gem, Curtis Granderson hits a clutch pinch hit game-tying two run homer in the top of the 9th inning, and then the Mets bullpen blows the game. Oh and Yoenis Cespedes injured his leg on the final play of the game. A bullpen implosion combined with an injury to a key player is the least shocking outcome imaginable. It has been the theme of the 2017 season. The Nationals are going to bury the Mets over the next few days. The Mets haven’t done one thing this year that would lead me to believe they can compete with an actual contending team.

Sunday’s game marked the midpoint of the 2017 season. After 81 games I can say that I am suffering from the worst case of fan fatigue that I’ve dealt with in my time as a Mets fan. It became obvious early in the season that 2017 wasn’t going to be fun, but there have been a number of factors that have made this year particularly brutal.

Same Old Story: First and foremost, this season we’ve seen the exact same groundhog day bullshit that Mets fans have been dealing with forever. Ray Ramirez claims another injury victim every other day. The injuries have been both random and attributable to Wilpon-related ineptitude. Mike Barwis has these guys training like professional weight lifters in the offseason and as a result many of the players have been straining muscles. Same story, different season.

Terry Collins still can’t manage for shit. He’s killed half of the relievers. He spent a large part of the season trying to bench our only All-Star Michael Conforto. He’s garbage.

The Wilpons didn’t let Sandy Alderson spend a little extra cash to add necessary reinforcements to the bullpen and rotation in the offseason and the team has suffered as a result.

We’ve seen our mascot flip off fans, Asdrubal Cabrera demand a trade because the Mets failed to notify him about a position switch, and our top prospect Amed Rosario continues to waste away in Triple-A while horrendous Jose Reyes is still allowed to start day after day.

The list of embarrassing stories linked to the Mets’ franchise this year has been lengthy, and at this point I’m numb to it.

Success In The Bronx: The second factor that’s killing me is the instant turnaround of the Yankees organization. The Mets were great in 2006. Then they floundered for the better part of 7 years. The length of a “rebuild” can vary. I’ve seen franchises turn things around in a few years. I’ve also seen teams take closer to a decade to return to a place of respectability. Some organizations stink forever. In the Bronx it took 10 minutes.

We heard the word rebuild thrown around by Brian Cashman and Co. last year. I blinked and now the Yankees have the best player in baseball. Aaron Judge is like a player that scientists created by extracting a partial DNA sequence from Giancarlo Stanton and then filling in the gaps with Babe Ruth DNA. The Yankees are rebuilding and who shows up? Only the biggest freak in the history of professional baseball. The Yankees have instant stars in Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and now Clint Frazier has been called up. There’s obviously a pretty good chance that the league will figure out Judge at some point, and he’ll have to adjust. But right now it looks like the freak is going to hit 50 homers. Each and every long ball he hits raises my blood pressure to unsafe levels.

Goddamn Daniel Murphy And The Nationals: The number one factor that is absolutely killing me is the success of Daniel Murphy. Oh what’s that? You think I should get over it? Screw you. I will never ever ever ever ever ever ever get over the fact that the Mets made it to the World Series thanks to their young arms and the bat of Daniel Murphy and then they told their playoff hero to get lost. I will never forget that Daniel Murphy was a decent player for the Mets, went to our top division rival, and transformed into an MVP.

I don’t think Murph has hit below .330 since he’s joined the Nationals. He’s a batting champion contender once again. He’s an All-Star again. His success and the Nationals success coupled with the deterioration of the Mets young pitching staff is plaguing my nightmares. The Mets had a World Series roster, and they unnecessarily tinkered with it. They changed the damn formula. They let their star bat depart for nothing. The only way I can forgive the Mets for that sin is if this team wins a World Series in the near future.

And if Murph winds up hoisting a World Series Championship trophy in a Nationals uniform or Judge propels the Yankees to a championship in the first year of their stupid rebuild I may lose faith in baseball forever. Those two specific scenarios would wound me so deeply that it’d take years for me to fully recover.

Bottom Line: The 2017 Mets are toast. They should start trading the impending free agents immediately. That would be the smart move, but we all know the Wilpons won’t allow the team to go into a proper sell mode. They’ll half ass it, trade one guy like Jay Bruce, and then call up Tim Tebow to sell tickets in September and continue to embarrass the loyal fan base.

Obviously I’m not “giving up.” Will I keep blogging and watching? Of course. But am I optimistic? No. It kills me that this team is buried in the standings in July. But like all die hard fans I will always tune in to watch. No matter how much the Wilpons infuriate me or how hard it is to watch our rivals succeed, I’ll never quit watching this stupid team. It’s my stupid team.

Sources: Mets May Or May Not Extend Walker

On Sunday, Sandy Alderson said the Mets were all-in for 2017 and even hinted that they are working on a contract extension with Neil Walker. On Monday morning the contract extension talks were heating up and the Mets were reportedly close to a deal with Neil! By Monday at noon the extension talks had hit a snag and were all but dead. And by Tuesday evening the Mets had made “no progress” on any deal with Walker but indicated a deal was “definitely not dead.”

That news cycle of garbage serves as yet another perfect example of the mainstream media’s “Mets Cycle Of Interest.” The cycle of interest can be seen in literally every single BS rumor that involves the Mets. Whether it’s the team’s interest in signing a new player or paying big bucks to extend an existing one, the cycle is always the same.


In regards to the actual pros and cons of a Neil Walker extension, I can honestly see both sides of the debate.

Signing Neil Walker to a three year extension before the 2017 season is the kind of risky gamble on a player’s health that a big market club would consider taking. If the Mets have confidence in the early medical reports surrounding Walker, then it would totally make sense to try and lock him up on a team friendly three year deal before he hits the open market and potentially lands a four or five year deal.

On the other hand, Neil Walker is a 31 year old player with back issues and you know as soon as he signs on the dotted line that METS disease will spread from his back to every other part of his body.

Based on some of the articles printed about the possible Walker extension, it would seem that the Mets are factoring “versatility” into their opinion of Neil’s overall value. That’s somewhat confusing considering he’s logged 913 games at second base over 8 major league seasons and only 15 games at any other position. But the Mets like to pretend that Walker is a totally viable option at first base and third based on nothing and who am I to say they’re wrong?

The Walker extension debate is really just another reminder of how much Sandy and his team blew the Daniel Murphy contract evaluation. They all sat in a room and agreed that Murphy’s playoff power display was a fluke and that his versatility wasn’t worth all that much. Whoops!

For now, Neil Walkyear lives on. If we don’t extend Walker, I’m sure we’ll be “interested” in bringing Murph back to Queens in two years.

Shocking Win: T.J. Tops Metkiller Murph

Final Score (in 10 innings): Mets 4, Nationals 3

I’ve seen the Mets blueprint for a big game against a division rival many times before last night. The Mets give you the impression they can win, hold a late lead, squander said lead, and ultimately lose due to a huge hit by some known Metkiller. The Mets were totally on script last night including the blown lead in the 9th inning due to a huge error by Jose Reyes and some infield hits off of Jeurys Familia. They were on script until T.J. Rivera launched a 10th inning solo home run off of Mark Melancon. Then we watched the Mets flip the script as Jerry Blevins struck out Metkiller Daniel Murphy when he came up to bat in the 10th inning with the tying run on base. A shocking turn of events due to a resilient Mets team led to the big win!

From Start To Finish: T.J. Rivera randomly received a start from Terry because Terry wanted to split up lefties in the lineup or some nonsensical crap. Well Terry’s random move worked out. I wrote earlier in the season that I wish the Mets had some random luck and promoted a non-prospect from the minors that turned out to be an impact major leaguer. I really hope T.J. is that guy. He was the star last night from start to finish. He had an RBI single in the third inning and a sac fly in the fifth inning. 3 hits and 3 RBIs for Rivera.

Lucky Break: Yoenis Cespedes singled in the fifth inning and then Curtis Granderson smoked what could have been a double play ball if Ryan Zimmerman fielded it cleanly at first base. Instead it went down the line for an RBI triple to make it 3-1 Mets.

They Choked: As I said above, Familia entered for the 9th and surrendered a Murph single. Then Reyes made an ugly throwing error at third base that left Bryce Harper and Murph standing at second and third with no outs. Anthony Rendon hit an RBI single between third and short, and then Wilson Ramos hit a BS RBI single that went off of Familia’s glove to tie the game. Luckily, Familia was able to escape the inning without losing the game.

The Hero: T.J. Rivera blasted the game winning solo shot off of Mark Melancon with two strikes on him. It was his first major league homer, and it was huge.

The Vanquished Metkiller: Fernando Salas was able to retire the first two batters in the 10th before Jayson Werth hit a single. Then Jerry Blevins struck out Murph to end the game. I’m happy we finally beat Murph even if it was for only one game. But I was thinking during the game that I’m not sure I can handle a three year sentence of this new Murph. If Murph hits .290 next year then I can deal with him having good numbers against the Mets. I can deal with a few Metkilling Murph moments against us if he’s playing like regular Murph overall. But MVP Murph combined with Metkiller Murph might be too much for me to handle over the next two seasons.

Noah Cy-ndergaard: Noah Syndergaard pitched 7 innings and gave up 1 run on 4 hits. He struck out 10 Nats. Obviously he’s the choice for any Wild Card playoff if the baseball gods deem us worthy of playing in that crapshoot of a game. He’s also put together a Cy Young caliber season bone spurs and all. He’s the truth.

Today: The Mets have been lucky to avoid Max Scherzer in these last two series against the Nationals. But Tanner Roark ain’t no joke. Robert Gsellman needs to step up and win today’s game. He needs to match the success of Seth Lugo if he wants to stay in “the new young arms are great” conversation. Look how quickly Rafael Montero fell out of that talk.

Murph vs. Walker 2016: A Visual History Of Embarrassment 

“I’m so good. I’m like Murph on steroids!” – Neil Walker’s thoughts March 2016 / “Jesus Christ, Murph is good. Is he on steroids?” -Neil Walker’s thoughts July 2016

It may only be July 30th, but the question of who wins the battle for second base supremacy in 2016 (Neil Walker or Daniel Murphy) has seemingly been answered. Murph is hitting .351 with 20 home runs and 76 RBIs. He’s on pace for 30+ homers, 100+ RBIs, a batting title, and a possible MVP award. He’s having one of the best seasons by a second baseman in baseball history. Walker on the other hand has a tenuous hold on the Mets starting second base job. He’s posting the lowest OPS of his career. He hit .307 with 9 home runs in April, and since then has hit .250 in May, .214 in June, and .236 in July.

I can’t take it anymore. Mercy! I yield! Just crown Murph the best NL second baseman of 2016. There’s time left for Walker to salvage his own season and help the Mets in the battle for an NL playoff spot. But Walker will never surpass Murph’s overall 2016 production. At this rate, Neil Walker may not even perform at a high enough level to warrant a qualifying offer. Great. So much for that plan.

Let’s just take a look at this visual history of Murph’s domination of Walker so far this season. Also, please keep in mind some of these images are symbolic representations of events this season, and some of these things actually happened (allegedly).

Murph Walker election
Murphy crushed Walker in the All-Star Game general election. Walker didn’t even carry his home state of Pennsylvania. Pathetic. Daniel Murphy: Making Mets Fans Miserable Again.
murph walker debate
No wonder Murph won the All-Star Game election in such a landslide. He destroyed Walker in all their televised matchups. Neil couldn’t stop sweating because of his embarrassing .222 batting average against the Nationals.
british surrender
Here’s Neil Walker surrendering to Murph and the Nationals after the Battle of Washington. Murph sure has made Walker, Sandy Alderson, and the Mets look bad with his .423 batting average, 7 home runs and 21 RBIs against them.
Remember when Murph was paid big money by the Nationals and the Pirates traded Neil Walker because they didn’t want to pay him? If Walker keeps up his abysmal play, he may wind up making less money than Murph and Ken Jennings (pictured center).
rocky vs drago
Daniel “The Irish Stallion” Murphy absolutely demolished Neil Walker in every head to head matchup. They haven’t even been close.
Murph vs. Frazier
Here’s one of Murphy beating up the AL in the All-Star Game (represented by the great Joe Frazier). Murph went 2 for 3, and Neil Walker didn’t even qualify to play in the game. But don’t worry, Walker stayed on the sidelines and took pictures.


Murph Walker Mr Universe
Murph has so much power in 2016. Walker has hit way more homers in his career (109 vs. Murph’s 82), but even Walker is amazed at Murph’s power this season.
murph moon
Here’s one of Daniel Murphy walking on the moon (before Spring Training started). Neil “Armstrong” Walker can be seen in the background. You can’t see his face because he’s wearing a standard space mask. Murph refused to wear one because he has no problem breathing the “crisp moon air”.
Murphless in Seattle
Remember that scene in Sleepless in Seattle where Meg Ryan broke up with loser fiancé Neil Walker and then ran away with Murph to Washington?
murph neil plug pull
And finally, here’s where Daniel “Costanza” Murphy pulled the plug on his nemesis Neil. Neil will eventually walk at the end of the season. Probably to some new team.

The Mets Are Not Beating The Nationals And That’s Bad

Final Score: Nationals 3, Mets 2

The Mets got Murph’d and No-Yo’d again. They dropped 3 out of 4 at home against the Nationals. Absolutely pathetic. They need Yoenis Cespedes in the middle of the lineup. When your offense is dependent on one guy, it’s undoubtedly a weakness. But it’s the reality for the New York Mets. It is what it is. The Mets need Yo. Period. Steven Matz had a strong start to close out the pre-All Star break schedule. He went 7 innings and gave up 3 runs on 6 hits. He only struck out 5 and walked 4 which wasn’t ideal. But he was throwing his slider. He’s pitching through the elbow bone chips, and he’s found a way to remain effective.

Walk Werth and Screw Murph: Matz made a mistake in this game. He walked Jayson Werth and gave up a two run shot to Daniel Murphy. Murph made it 2-0. The Mets walked Jayson Werth twice in this game. We love walking Werth. We should probably stop doing that. It makes no sense. Werth isn’t that good and Murph is a force in the Nationals lineup. Let’s stop giving Murph opportunities to burn us. And as far as Murph goes I ranted about it yesterday. He’s public enemy number one. He’s our arch enemy now. His 21 RBIs against the Mets are the most in a single season since Ryan Howard. It’s a joke at this point. He’s destroying us. Go to hell Murph.

Jose Did Stuff: Jose Reyes hit two solo homers batting right-handed. Amazing. He’s seemingly the only hitter who decided to show up. Good for him. Obviously two runs wasn’t enough.

Gio Doesn’t Stink: Gio Gonzalez has had a bad season. But he dominates at Citi Field in his career. So he shut down everyone other than Reyes over 5.2 innings. Duh.

Our Boy: Alejandro De Aza made the final out of the game. He went 0 for 3 and he’s awful. He cracked a foul ball earlier in the game off his knee/inner thigh. I thought for sure he had shattered the bone and would leave the game. But of course he was completely fine because he’s not an important player and the baseball gods decided to spare him. The baseball gods are just watching us suffer and twisting the knife. At least Michael Conforto is killing it in Vegas right now. I’m guessing he’ll be back in the MLB lineup very soon.

To Hell With Fantasy: Wilson Ramos hit an RBI single in this game to make it 3-1 Nationals and starter Tanner Roark came in to pitch 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. I have them on my fantasy team. I hate them.

The Needs: The Mets could really use another bat, a starting pitcher, and a setup man. That’s an offseason wish list not a trading deadline agenda. But Sandy is going to have to figure out how to patch this lineup up. We are 47-41 and tied with the Marlins for the last Wild Card spot. If we aren’t going to compete for the damn division, we still need reinforcements to stay in this Wild Card race.

This Week: The All-Star Break is here. The Mets need a breather. Cespedes reminded everyone after the game that there’s a “lot of baseball left”. Thanks for putting it all in perspective Yo. It’s a long season. Let’s take a break this week, nurse our wounds, and come out of the gate strong.

Murph Joins The Men Of Mount MetKillmore

murph rushmore

As we head into the All-Star Break, the Mets have dropped 2 out of the first 3 games at Citi Field to the Nationals. Now we look to Steven Matz to help us salvage a split of this home series. The Mets dropped last night’s game 6-1. They couldn’t muster any offense against Mad Eye Max Scherzer. They managed 4 hits total against the Nats and a sac fly. Yoenis Cespedes wasn’t in the lineup therefore we didn’t score. That’s the least surprising thing of all time. The Yo-less lineup aka the No-Yo Remnant isn’t really equipped to do a whole lot. Logan Verrett gave up 5 runs over 6.2 innings. That’s bad. Antonio Bastardo gave up a 2 run homer to Daniel Murphy. That’s worse.

This game was totally the Daniel Murphy show. Every single game against the Nats this year has been the Daniel Murphy show. He had an RBI single in the third inning, an RBI double in the fifth inning, and a two run homer in the seventh inning. The Mets planted a destructive seed within their own division by letting Murph go to Washington. Well the plant has grown, and it is royally screwing us. Murph the Met slayer is now an official face on Mount MetKillmore.

Daniel Murphy joins Chipper Jones, Chase Utley, and Pat Burrell as the most hated Mets killers from my lifetime. I’ll never forget feeling like we could compete with the Braves in the late 90s and early 2000s. Sometimes the Mets would tease me and make me think we actually had a chance to beat the Braves. And then Chipper Jones would launch one of his many homers at Shea Stadium and destroy my false hope. Pat Burrell put up 42 of his 292 career home runs against the Mets. It certainly felt like all of his career homers came against us. Chase Utley murdered the Mets for over a decade with Philly. He killed Ruben Tejada last year. He has truly cemented his face on Mount MetKillmore.

You might be wondering where Jimmy Rollins is on the mountain. Well Murph replaced him temporarily (Murph has a large amount of slaying to do to stay on the mountain forever). But Rollins doesn’t need to be on Mount MetKillmore. He’s already one of the top all time Met killers and the face of the Jimmy Rollins Met Killer Memorial Site.

rollins memorial

The re-occurring Murph embarrassment is not something I was prepared for in 2016. I have to be honest. I expected him to perform at a high level once he signed with Washington. I knew he would have a big season and have some big moments against us. But then I decided to lie to myself. I focused on the Murph ball. I imagined him booting grounders against us or making horrendous throws from second base and costing the Nationals games. I refused to start preemptively hating Murph for no reason. Well in 2016 he’s given us a reason to hate him. We haven’t seen Murph ball in the field against the Mets. And his .438/.462/.875 batting line with 6 home runs and 19 RBIs is a pretty solid reason to despise him.

So in my mind he’s now our top nemesis. I’ve heard people say they are excited to see him excelling and blah blah blah. No way. You certainly can be mad at the Wilpons and Sandy for letting him go if you want. But you can’t enjoy Murph crushing the Mets while simultaneously rooting for the Mets. That’s impossible. So let the hate boil. As the Evil Emperor in Star Wars once said, “Let the hate flow through you.” It’s time for us to embrace Murph as public enemy number one.

De Aza And Murph: The Curse Reminder Game

Final Score: Nationals 4, Mets 2

At this point, the Mets 2016 season has hit “rock bottom” too many times to even count. The term “rock bottom” has lost all meaning. But the outcome of this game goes much deeper than a simple loss. The recap is quick and simple. Daniel Murphy hit a solo home run off of Logan Verrett in the second inning to make it 1-0. Jayson Werth added a sac fly in the third inning and Murph added a two run shot in the 8th inning off of Sean Gilmartin to make it 4-0. The Mets never had a real opportunity off of Max Scherzer in this game. Scherzer was pulled in the 8th inning after going 7.1 scoreless innings and striking out 10. In the 9th inning, Yoenis Cespedes singled and James Loney hit a two run home run to make it 4-2. Yeah that’s right. James Loney our 2016 cleanup hitter launched a home run.

METS Disease: This wasn’t just some pitchers duel with a few key home runs. This game served as a reminder for all Mets fans how real the franchise curse is. It reminds all Mets fans how real METS disease is. We watched both phenomena happening simultaneously on the field. It’s been genuinely hard to watch Alejandro De Aza step into the batter’s box in 2016. He’s hitting .158/.208/.232 on the season. He is arguably the best example we have in 2016 of what METS disease can do to a player. De Aza is a man who once had major league skills and abilities and now he has none of the above. De Aza came to the Mets with a career .263/.326/.398 batting line. In his career he had success against right handed pitching to the tune of a .743 OPS.

All those skills and credentials became meaningless once he signed with the Mets. As soon as his pen hit the dotted line of his Mets contract he was instantly infected. Alejandro was no different than Chris Young or John Mayberry Jr. These were all players with decent major league resumes. They had known skills. They were versatile outfielders brought in to play a bench role. But with the Mets they couldn’t even make contact in batting practice. With METS disease you inexplicably lose your skills or you lose your health. In rare cases you lose them both at once (e.g. Michael Cuddyer). In last night’s game, De Aza came to the plate in the 8th inning with men on second and third and two outs. He struck out against Shawn Kelley in pathetic fashion. De Aza will suffer the same fate as Chris Young and Mayberry. He will be released mid-season. Goodbye Alejandro. Take some time off to recover from the METS and go rejuvenate your career somewhere else.

Mets Curse: The Daniel Murphy storyline is where we had the opportunity to see the Mets curse happening live. For Mets fans, his success is the least surprising thing of all time. The Mets spent the better part of two years trying to trade Daniel Murphy for a mid-level prospect. Gary Cohen once went on TV and referred to Murph as a “net negative”. We all know what Gary meant. Murph was an above average major league hitter, with limited power, and was an absolute liability at every single position. He cost the Mets games with defensive gaffes all time time. Sure we all saw him carry the team to the World Series with tons of dingers. But we also saw him Murph it up defensively in the World Series. We all knew Murph never hit more than 14 homers. Murph never posted an OPS higher than .770 in a season where he had more than 500 ABs.

Murph was an average to slightly above average hitter. That’s not an opinion. It’s a fact based on his pre-2016 career numbers. We all watched the guy for 7 years. Well he’s not average anymore. He’s having an MVP season. He’s now an MVP candidate and a Met killer for life. That’s not natural. No I’m not attributing it to steroids. It’s just the Mets curse. It’s the way things work. We’ve seen it all before. And now the curse is manifesting itself yet again in the form of Daniel Murphy.

The Takeaway: The only takeaway I have is to never forget. Never let a World Series run or some run of short lived success fool you when it comes to the Mets. The Fans Remember. We must remember the team that we root for and everything that goes with it. It’s not a matter of the fans being cynical or pessimistic. We’ve all seen METS disease and the Mets curse play out a million times in a million different situations. It’s not pessimism. It’s realism.

Today: The Mets open a home series against the Cubs today. Don’t be fooled. Don’t think for one second that anything that happened in the 2015 playoffs will have any impact on how this weekend series will play out. The season is unraveling. It’s all unraveling. The sky is falling. The Cubs are going to dance on our pre All-Star break grave.

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.

Murph Wins Opener For Nats; God Already Pointing and Laughing At Us

It wasn’t bad enough that we lost our opener to KC in the exact same way we lost every 2015 World Series game. It wasn’t bad enough that Yoenis Cespedes dropped another routine fly ball. It wasn’t bad enough that ol’ bent spine David Wright and Cespedes struck out in the 9th to end yesterday’s opener. God felt the need to continue rubbing it in our faces by having Daniel Murphy hit a home run and the game winning extra inning hit on Opening Day for the Nationals. Of course he did. These are the things we come to expect as Mets fans. Yet they still find a way to surprise me every single time they happen. Oh by the way, Murph was the first beneficiary of the Ruben Tejada rule too. He got taken out when Nick Markakis slid past the bag. Murph called for the double play, and the umps granted it. Of course they did.  

Forgive the crummy photo, but Markakis undoubtedly slid past the bag. Under the new rules he’s out. I’m all for the rule being applied consistently in an effort to fully abolish takeout slides. So I’m happy they got the call right. It’s just hilarious that Murph, a notorious gamer, is the first to benefit while the ghost of Tejada continues to haunt the Mets clubhouse and the real Ruben continues to hobble around the Cardinals dugout.

Final Note: The K-Zone was driving me crazy last night on ESPN as it always does. Mainly because it simply highlights that the umpires consistently get the calls wrong, and we’d be much better off with robots behind the plate. And then we have to hear the announcers praise the umpires for being “consistent” with their inaccurate strike zone. “He’s really calling that low strike Bill.” Umm no he’s consistently making a mistake and should be fired. But ESPN did release this interesting K-Zone Heat Map/MRI of David Wright:

Wright heat map

Get a load of that twisted spine he’s rocking. That baby’s got more knots than a pre-schooler’s shoe laces. In a related story, Mets.com finally updated our depth chart at third base. Pray for David.

Mets Face Off Against Dan “The Ambassador of Inclusion” Murphy

Today, the Mets travel to Viera, Florida to take on Daniel Murphy and the Nationals in their Spring Opener. Murphy seemed excited about kicking off the Grapefruit League schedule against the Mets saying, “It should be fun tomorrow to really fire up baseball again.” When asked about his feelings on the New York media Murph said, “It’s not the first time I’ve spoken to the New York media. They treated me fairly. It would be good to see them again.”

However, the conversation turned serious when our favorite Christian fundamentalist Murphy was asked for his thoughts on Yoenis Cespedes and his recent purchase of a Grand Champion Pig at the St. Lucie County Fair. Murph denounced the actions of Cespedes saying, “The Bible is clear on this as Leviticus states: And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.”

He also seemed concerned regarding the effect of Cespedes on his former teammate Noah Syndergaard. Although he struggled to name the specific biblical passage, he took some time to denounce Thor’s horse riding behavior stating, “I believe it is written man shall not ride with a horse; it is an abomination. Something like that.”

Pitching Matchup:

For the Mets, Rafael Montero will get the start. Montero was a top prospect before missing almost all of last season with a mysterious arm injury that was never really explained by the team at any point in time. Discomfort. He battled discomfort. I really hope the discomfort is gone.

And for the Nationals, we will see staff ace Max Scherzer. Beware the Eye of Scherzer.