Mets Crush Giants With 12 Run Third Inning

Final Score: Mets 13, Giants 1

Well so much for competitive baseball against another elite team. That was an absolute blowout. 12 run third inning?!? The third inning scoring went like this: Michael Conforto doubled in a run. Yoenis Cespedes singled to drive in two more. Neil Walker doubled to drive in Cespedes. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled in two more. Curtis Granderson singled in another. Then Conforto checked back in with a single to drive in another run. And that set the stage for Yoenis Cespedes’ grand slam. That made it 12-0. There’s really nothing else to tell. The 12 run inning was a franchise record. The 6 RBIs in one inning by Cespedes was a Mets record. We destroyed the Giants tonight.

Locked In: Umm remember when we were worried about the offense during the first two weeks of the season? Well we are locked in now. Cespedes is so good. Thank you Sandy.

Old Man Peavy: Steven Matz got out of early trouble, but overall looked great tonight. Jake Peavy and Mike Broadway did not look great. Old Man Peavy really has lost a few steps and a few MPH on the old fastball. He should really take a page out of Bartolo Colon‘s playbook and get stem cell injections and eat baby fetuses for breakfast or whatever the hell he’s been doing the last 5 years.

Dee Listed: Speaking of cheating, Dee Gordon was suspended for PEDs today. The only thought I’ll offer here is…duh. He was a mediocre at best speed guy, and then he magically won a batting title. Duh. That being said, I have a lot of thoughts on the juice. Just as George R.R. Martin says the Winds of Winter is coming, so is my post on Dee Gordon and steroid use.

Tomorrow: Jacob deGrom goes tomorrow against another old timer Matt Cain. Will Matty Cain slow down this Mets train? Let’s get em.

Series Preview: Giants Visit NYC During Even Week Of Even Year


Magic 8 Ball will the Mets win? Ask Again Later.

Good Teams Are Good: So in an even week of an even year, the Mets kick off a home series against the San Francisco Giants. If you believe in the magic Giants off again, on again World Series luck, then we’d be fools to even play this series. Why spit in the faces of the baseball gods when they have already determined the Giants fate as 2016 champs? Obviously that’s all BS. But you know what isn’t BS? Other than the opening series against Kansas City, we haven’t played a single good team. Cleveland is a stretch as a good team. This is our first real test, and we are lucky to have this series at home. The Giants are 4th in the league in runs scored. That’s much better than us. They are right there with the Mets in the top 10 for OPS and home runs. Their pitching thus far has not been nearly as effective as our staff and not nearly as effective as they envisioned it being. Their team ERA is 20th at 4.24. Both their bullpen and starters ERA have been around that number. We miss Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija in this series. But Cain and Peavy are tough veterans. Since our early offensive struggles against Philly and Miami, we have stomped on the crummy competition. Will we play up against the tough teams this year like we did in the playoffs? We shall see.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Steven Matz vs. Jake Peavy

Peavy is 1-1 with a 6.86 ERA on the season. He pitched 7 strong innings last time out against the Marlins. Last year in July, he dominated the B.C. (Before Cespedes) Mets in San Francisco going 7 innings and giving up 2 runs. Asdrubal Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker have all hit a home run off of Peavy. Asdrubal is 7 for 26 lifetime, Yoenis Cespedes is 2 for 7. Curtis Granderson is 4 for 24 and David Wright is 3 for 19.

Game 2: Jacob deGrom vs Matt Cain

Cain is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA on the season. He was slapped around in his last three starts against the Rockies (in Colorado), Arizona, and then Miami. The Marlins had 10 hits against him, and he gave up 4 runs in 5.2 innings. Last July, Cain tossed 6 shutout innings in SF against us (B.C.). David Wright is 11 for 28 lifetime against Cain, Lucas Duda is 1 for 10 and Neil Walker is 2 for 10. Jacob deGrom crushed the Giants last year in San Francisco with 8 shutout innings. He gave up only 2 hits and struck out 10.

Game 3: Noah Syndergaard vs Madison Bumgarner

MadBum is 2-2 with a 3.64 ERA on the season. His last two starts against Arizona and San Diego were strong. We didn’t face him last season. Thor did not fare well against the Giants in New York last season. He took the loss in June when he gave up 10 hits and 4 runs over 6 innings. But that was rookie Thor. This is video game Thor. Asdrubal Cabrera is 2 for 3 lifetime against MadBum, Cespedes is 2 for 8, Neil Walker is 3 for 9, and David Wright 2 for 9. And guess what? Our new backup catcher Rene Rivera is 2 for 3 against MadBum with a home run and 5 RBIs. I’m guessing he draws the start.

Things To Look For:

Hot Giants and Former Mets: Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt are crushing it so far this year both hitting roughly .300. They need Pence in that lineup to stay competitive, so it’s nice to see that he’s avoiding the injury bug so far. My boy Angel Pagan is raking to the tune of a .325 average. Remember when the Mets pretended to trade Angel for legitimate reasons, but it was actually a pure cost cutting measure by the Wilpons? That was greeaaaat.

Former Future Mets: Denard Span is off to a decent start for the Giants at the top of the order. He’s only hitting .250, but I’m sure he’ll pick it up before long. I still can’t believe Scott Boras scored him a three year deal after he was injured for almost all of last season. Remember when the Mets promised to watch Span’s offseason workout, and then signed Alejandro De Aza to be the starting centerfielder instead, and then we brought Cespedes back in the end? Now THAT was actually great.

The Spine Is Wright?: David’s average is quietly down to .230. Since that two homer night in the opening game in Philly, Wright is 5 for 31. I read somewhere that Terry was going to give him the night off in the final game against the Reds, but David said he wanted to play. Will he play all three games against the Giants? He’ll definitely face Matt Cain on account of his career success against him. The problem with resting Wright is that Wilmer Flores has been abysmal. He’s hitting .083. Eric Campbell using David Wright’s spine as a bat could hit .083. It’ll be interesting to see if Terry continues to handle David with care or if he depends on him more due to Flores’ struggles.

Lefty Matchup: I wonder which of our left-handed hitters start on Sunday and which ones get the day off against MadBum. Despite Duda’s success against left-handed pitching last season, Terry gave him the day off against the lefty Adam Conley when we played Miami and then again when we faced Brian Finnegan this week. Curtis Granderson on the other hand has drawn starts against lefties. Duda has only faced Bum once and Grandy has three times. They are a combined 0-4. I’d like to say Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores have had success against him, but they are a combined 1 for 12. It may not matter who starts because he can flat out put away anyone.

Pen Fatigue: The Mets bullpen has been elite. The 2.54 bullpen ERA ranks 4th in the league. We are in the bottom 3rd of the league in bullpen innings pitched so it’s not as if we’ve overworked our relievers relative to the rest of baseball. I’m sure the mixing and matching of relievers will play a big part in the outcome of this series since the games will likely be close. Unless we crush old man Cain and Peavy. Maybe the dingers will keep flying. Let’s stay hot baby.

My Best Guess: Predicting the 2016 MLB Playoffs and Player Awards

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Major League Baseball has such parity. Sure we can probably narrow down the field of competition to around 15 teams before the season even starts. Roughly half the league is actually competing for a championship. But that’s a hell of a lot better than the annual three team dance in the NFL or the one team in the NBA that has a chance to win (I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with Olden Plate Warriors). Jayson Stark from ESPN (and Winterfell) writes a brilliant annual column showing how the parity in MLB compares to that of the NFL. It really gives you an idea of how even the MLB playing field is, and how hard it is to predict the outcome of the season. Honestly, if you want the real crystal ball just look at the Vegas lines. Vegas knows better than me or any of the other baseball writers. That being said, if you want some of my magic insight, here are my playoff and player award predictions for 2016:

The Metssiah’s Player Award Predictions:

AL MVP: Manny Machado. Yeah I didn’t pick Mike Trout. I’m crazy!! Machado had a breakout season last year, he’s young, and he’s part of a beastly lineup. Plus my scouts (google images) say Machado’s head looks enormous this spring. Maybe he’s been getting his swoll on this offseason. I’m no phrenology expert, but big head equals big season.

AL Cy Young: Chris Archer

AL Rookie of the Year: Byron Buxton

NL MVP: Bryce Harper. Again. That being said, Yoenis Cespedes is going off at 25 to 1 in Vegas for MVP. I like that sweet action.

NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer. Yeah I’m betting against my boys, but I’ll say Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard finish 2, 3 and 4 respectively so I feel better about the betrayal.

NL Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager. But Steven Matz will probably be in the conversation.

 

The Metssiah’s American League Playoff Predictions:

WC Game: Rangers over Blue Jays

ALDS: Royals over Rangers and Astros over Yankees

ALCS: Astros over Royals

 

The Metssiah’s National League Playoff Predictions

WC Game: Nationals over Pirates

NLDS: Cubs over Nationals and Mets over Giants

NLCS: Mets over Cubs

 

World Series Prediction: Mets over Astros

 

Also, for my previously published divisional predictions see these posts:

American League East

American League Central

American League West

National League East

National League Central

National League West

My Best Guess: Predicting the 2016 National League West

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(This is one post in a series of posts where I will be predicting the outcome of each MLB division. The final post will include full 2016 MLB postseason predictions.)

2015 was supposed to be a 3 team race in the NL West. The Dodgers, Giants, and Padres were supposed to be in a dogfight until the end for the division crown. The Giants won the 2014 World Series. So you can understand why there were high expectations for the Giants in 2015. The Dodgers had Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw at the top of their rotation. Arguably the two best pitchers in the league. And the Padres absolutely dominated the 2014/15 offseason. New GM A.J. Preller traded and signed every star he could get his hands on. The D-backs were still considered young and not on the same level as the top 3 teams from a talent perspective. The Rockies had no pitching. They still have no pitching. Mainly because it is impossible to pitch in Colorado. They never had a shot in 2015 and at the moment it feels like they may never have a shot again.

That being said, the Giants season was ultimately derailed by injuries and the Padres experiment exploded in Preller’s face. A failure of massive proportions. The Dodgers rotation did not disappoint with Greinke and Kershaw arguably both having Cy Young seasons despite ultimately finishing behind Jake Arrieta. But the Dodgers Big Two lost to the Mets. Then Greinke and manager Don Mattingly left, and the Dodgers front office was forced to pick up the pieces. Here’s what I see in 2016:

NL West: 1) San Francisco Giants (x) 2) LA Dodgers 3) Arizona Diamondbacks 4) San Diego Padres 5) Colorado Rockies

San Francisco does the on again, off again championship thing. They won in 2010, 2012, 2014. 2016 is an on year so they have to win right? Wrong. Unless you believe absurd magic patterns are the new way to predict baseball World Championships. That being said they filled all their holes from 2015. They needed outfield depth, particularly a CF, and they got Denard Span. They needed top of the rotation support and they added Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. Their rotation is super deep now. Madison Bumgarner at the top with veterans Jake Peavy and Matt Cain eating up innings. And young Chris Heston in the mix as well. That depth will make the difference for them in the battle for the NL West. They struggled last season with injuries particularly in the outfield with Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan missing chunks of the season. Denard Span battled major injuries for all of 2015 with the Nationals. So they still have some injury risk in that area. They need Span and Pence in order to be competitive and make a run. Their bullpen was very effective again in 2015 but Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez, and Santiago Casilla are getting older. They have the talent and experience to win the division this year.

The Dodgers lost Zack Greinke and replaced him with a whole bunch of number 3 starters. They still have Clayton Kershaw who may win another Cy Young. Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda should be effective although Kazmir has looked bad this spring. Like the Giants, the Dodgers also have a lot of rotation depth with Alex Wood, new Cuban Yaisel Sierra, and Hyun-jin Ryu. But I like the Giants rotation better. The Dodgers also tried to bolster their bullpen and failed. Justin Turnersbane had offseason microfracture knee surgery, so it’ll be interesting to see how healthy he is this season. The Dodgers will be very good and should battle the Giants and Diamondbacks all season. I think they will miss out on the division and wild card.

The Diamondbacks are going for it. They paid 300 million for Greinke. They traded the farm to Atlanta for starter Shelby Miller. They signed Tyler Clippard for the bullpen. And they already had the young big bats in Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock. But I’m not as high on Shelby Miller as most people. Young Cuban Yasmany Tomas left a lot to be desired offensively in his first MLB season. Josh Collmenter is a nice starter. Archie Bradley is promising but unproven. Clearly the core players on this team are young, and they haven’t been tested in a pennant race during the dog days of summer. If they show they can handle that in 2016 and win the West, then obviously I’ll have a different view next season. But I’m taking the experienced Giants and Dodgers over the D-Backs.

I hate the GM of the Padres A.J. Preller. He gets hired, and immediately goes ahead and trades the entire Padres farm system during the 2014/15 offseason for Craig Kimbrel, Matt Kemp, Derek Norris, Wil Myers, and Justin Upton. They even signed James Shields for the rotation. They went for it in 2015. And…they were mediocre. It was a complete failure. And after the season he trades Kimbrel to re-stock the farm system and let’s Justin Upton walk in free agency. But he doesn’t really do anything to improve the club. He didn’t embrace a rebuild or try to go all in again. He’s doing the dance in the middle. I think he should be fired for his 2015 blunder. Presumably he came in for his GM job interview with a plan/strategy. I doubt the plan was “go for it in 2015 and if that fails then I’ll figure something else out”. He failed, and he should be fired.

And the stupid Rockies are doing the mediocre team thing also. They traded Tulo and Corey Dickerson but they kept Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon. I don’t get it at all. These two teams have no chance. Trade all these players and re-stock the farm and try to win down the road. Mediocrity in baseball is completely pointless. They should just move the Rockies to a city with normal air pressure where the balls don’t fly out of the stadium all day, so they have an actual chance to compete. Or move the other 29 teams to Colorado. Whichever is more practical.

 

Other Divisional Predictions:

American League East

American League Central

American League West

National League East

National League Central