Pray For Wright, Sign Kelly Johnson

It didn’t take long for David Wright to have his first setback of the spring. Earlier this week, Sandy Alderson said David has a shoulder impingement. Today, Wright confirmed the injury after getting a second opinion in New York. The injury is related to his neck fusion surgery, and he’s being shut down indefinitely.

For the record, this is the millionth time David Wright has had a “career ending” setback in the last three years. Every single time they announce a new Wright injury it hurts me as much as the last time. It’s honestly torture for me as a fan, and I can’t even imagine how awful it must be for the guy who’s getting neck operations and constantly rehabbing a degenerative spinal condition. It’s too hard to even write about again. Pray for David. I don’t care if he ever plays again. All I care about is that this guy lives a long healthy life outside of baseball.

Does this setback hurt the Mets’ chances of competing in 2017? No not really. I haven’t been willing to pencil David Wright into our projected lineup for three years now. And for the first time this year the Mets aren’t depending on him either. Some combination of Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores will slot right in at third base. That combination should be very productive at the plate and provide acceptable defense (barely).

That being said, the Mets should undoubtedly sign Kelly Johnson to take Wright’s spot on the roster. If David ever plays again it sure as hell won’t be by Opening Day 2017. They’ve said Lucas Duda is feeling better after his back/hip cortisone injections, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Kelly Johnson can play third base, first base, second base, and outfield. It’s always made sense to bring him back, but it makes even more sense now. The Mets need to make it happen.

And the Mets also need to start having Jay Bruce take reps at first base in spring games immediately. They can’t afford to delay because we all know Duda’s back could still be barking come Opening Day.

The Mets also need to experiment with Bruce at first base just to try and create more playing time for Michael Conforto. The team has only played a few Grapefruit League Games but so far Conforto is hitting .538. If Conforto continues to rake this spring then he’s starting in my Opening Day outfield. I don’t care where he starts. I don’t care whether Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce lose out on playing time. If Conforto has solved the problems he dealt with at the plate last year then the Mets need to find him major league ABs. 

There’s no reason for excuses. I don’t care that the veterans have high salaries. Plus the Wilpons will be raking in so much money on Wright’s insurance policy they won’t even have to worry about the money being wasted on Bruce as he sits on the bench. 

Pray for David.

Kelly Johnson And Mets Continue September Surge

Final Score: Mets 6, Braves 4

This game felt like a certain loss. Julio Teheran basically shut the Mets offense down. But it was 4-2 in the 8th inning, the stinky Braves made a fielding error, and that opened the door for the Mets to have a big inning. The Mets took full advantage of the opportunity the Braves gave them and scored 4 runs. Boom. Just like that the smoking hot Mets kept their winning streak alive. They’ve won 6 in a row and 15 of 19.

Please Stay Strong: Robert Gsellman pitched 5 innings and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits. It was an underwhelming performance where he gave up a solo homer to Matt Kemp in the second inning and then 3 runs in the 5th inning. He undoubtedly kept the Mets in the game and with the offense as hot as it is the performance wasn’t devastating. But we need these young guys to continue to stay strong. I don’t see Jacob deGrom or Steven Matz coming back until the end of the month. It’s fully up to these new young arms to keep us in games if we’re going to win this Wild Card spot.

Curtis’ Comeback: In the 6th inning after Gsellman had just given up 3 runs, Curtis Granderson gave the team a lift with a two-run shot to make it 4-2 Braves. He’s finally picked things up here in the final month of the season. Honestly the timing couldn’t be better in terms of boosting our chances in 2016 and for his trade value. With a strong finish the Mets may actually be able to trade him for another useful piece assuming they want to do that and make room for Michael Conforto in center field. I certainly don’t want to get rid of Grandy just for the sake of a salary dump. Only if it makes the team better.

Capitalize On Mistakes: Julio Teheran came out of the game after 6 innings. In the 8th inning, the Mets finally had the opportunity to expose the Braves pen. Mauricio Cabrera walked Alejandro De Aza and then Jose Reyes hit a chopper up the middle right at shortstop Dansby Swanson. If it wasn’t Reyes on the base paths it’s a routine double play. But the out at second should have been a given. Swanson booted the ball and everyone was safe. And from there the Mets took advantage/the Braves gave them a bunch of other chances. The Braves proceeded to walk Asdrubal Cabrera to load the bases for Yoenis Cespedes. Yo hit a sac fly to make it 4-3 Braves. Then Grandy singled to score another run which made it 4-4. Then Kelly Johnson roped a double to right field to score another run. The Braves intentionally walked Jay Bruce to load the bases again. Then they brought in Jose Ramirez to face Michael Conforto, and he hit him with a pitch to force in a run and make it 6-4. The Mets weren’t able to blow the game open because Travis d’Arnaud and De Aza struck out back to back to end the inning.

Team Automatic: Those 6 runs were all the Mets needed. Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia (aka Team Automatic) locked down the 8th and 9th for the win.

Prep For The Playoffs: Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz went from shut down to supposedly throwing and getting ready for a return. The Mets smell the playoffs, and they’re getting their boys ready. I’m sure by the final week of the season they’ll have them ready for a tune-up start if it’s looking likely that we’ll win the Wild Card.

The Knee: Asdrubal Cabrera can barely walk out there. Pray for him.

Today: Bartolo Colon pitches today because Seth Lugo apparently has a blister and needs to give it an extra day. Bart is a freaking machine.

It’s A Race!

Final Score: Mets 5, Reds 0

The baseball scheduling people/the morons at ESPN forced the Mets to play a 1pm Labor Day Game in Cincinnati after playing the 8pm game of the week in New York the night before. But that didn’t stop the surging Mets from winning again. Bartolo Colon pitched another sexy 6 scoreless innings, and the Mets put up 5 runs against the Reds with a lineup full of backups (no Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson). The Pirates and Marlins both lost. The Marlins are completely fading without Giancarlo Stanton (Duh!) and the Pirates are fizzling out as well.

Wild Card Race: This Wild Card race brings me back to my high school track days. I remember watching the elite runners (i.e. The Cubs) race in the first heat. They were so fast and had amazing form on the track. They were constantly setting new personal records and impressing all the other participants at the track meet. And then I’d step on the track in the final heat with all the slowest dudes left in the building (i.e. Pirates, Marlins, Mets, Cardinals). The gun would go off and halfway through the race my form would be awful, and I’d be struggling to breathe. Half the runners in my race would slow down to a snails pace as they tried to catch their breath with the finish line in sight. And that’s the Wild Card race this year. The Pirates and Marlins are fading like the fat kids I used to run with. And I like to think of my high school self as the Mets. Injured and struggling to get to the finish line but still managing to beat my second rate competition.

Mets Are Hot, So Am I: Not only are the Mets hot, but I’m hot as well. I picked up the Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis in my fantasy league just for this week, and he tossed a complete game two hit shutout against the Giants. It really doesn’t get much better than a fantasy league player going off against a team that your favorite squad is competing against in the actual MLB playoff race. The Mets are a game behind the Cardinals and now 1.5 behind the Giants. It’s a race! And the Mets are inching closer to the lead.

Ding-Dongs: Matt Reynolds hit a solo homer in the third inning of today’s game and Kelly Johnson launched a solo shot in the fifth inning to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.

7th Inning Explosion: In the 7th inning the Mets piled on more runs. Travis d’Arnaud walked and James Loney singled. Then Matt Reynolds added another RBI on his 3 hit day. He hit a single up the middle that scored d’Arnaud and made it 3-0 Mets. The scorching hot Asdrubal Cabrera then pinch hit for Colon and hit a single to right to make it 4-0 Mets. Pray for Cabrera. He’s really hobbling out there because of his banged up knee. Please give him the shot doc. He’s seemingly in so much pain. Alejandro De Aza added a sac fly to give the Mets a 5-0 lead. That was the final score.

Need The Sex: Bartolo pitched 6 scoreless innings and gave up 5 hits. He said before the game he’d love to come back next year. Umm re-signing Bartolo is literally the next priority after we sign Yo. He’s essential innings insurance for our rotation. I’m happy the Triple-A young arms are emerging, but the Mets need to stock up this offseason on rotation arms like the Dodgers did last offseason. With all the questions marks surrounding the health of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler, I won’t feel confident unless we have a couple of veteran contingency plans for 2017.

Wilmer’s Game: Wilmer Flores is now batting .269. He had another 3 hits today. Yeesh. Talk about making a statement regarding your future with the club. Wilmer doesn’t just want to stick around and platoon. This guy wants to play everyday. Good for Wilmer and good for the Mets for sticking with him.

Gsellman Pinch Ran: In the 7th inning, Terry brought in Robert Gsellman to pinch run. On a day where we brought up a bunch of position players from AAA with the expanded rosters, Terry decided to put one of our last remaining arms on the freaking basepaths. Terry can really be an idiot sometimes. I hope Sandy ripped him a new one for that decision.

Tomorrow: More of the crappy Reds tomorrow. This time Rafael Montero takes the mound. Hopefully the new young arms can help us maintain our momentum.

Are You Not Entertained?

Final Score: Mets 5, Marlins 2

Here’s where I’m at right now. The Mets have played entertaining baseball over the last 10 games or so. The team is now 1.5 games behind the Cardinals for a playoff spot and “in the race”. Sure the death toll rises every single game. We lost Neil Walker last night for the rest of the season. But all that said we are fun to watch right now, and that’s what I wanted all season. My desire for the Mets to be a part of baseball’s elite class of teams like the Cubs went out the window in like June. Once Matt Harvey and Lucas Duda went down it was clear that this season was not going to be some easy coast to the finish line situation. But in May, June, July and early August I begged to be entertained. The Mets tortured us during those months. Unwatchable. And now they are fun again. If the Mets plan to be fun from today until the last game of the regular season then I’m all in.

Error City: This game started with sloppy error filled Mets baseball. In the first inning Jose Reyes let a ball go right through his legs at third base and straight into left field. Bartolo Colon was able to get out of the inning unscathed. However in the second inning, Ichiro Suzuki hit a leadoff single and advanced to second base on a pickoff throwing error by Bartolo. Then J.T. Realmuto hit a soft grounder to Reyes at third base, and he made a wild throw to first base. Ichiro scored and Realmuto ended up at second base. Those errors gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead.

Again With The Fight: The Mets immediately fought back and Wilmer Flores hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning to make it 2-1 Mets.

Take The Good Sex With The Bad: Bartolo Colon pitched 7 innings and gave up 2 runs on 7 hits. Another great game from Mr. Rubber Arm. Unfortunately for the Mets, he came up to hit in two really big spots and ultimately destroyed scoring opportunities. In the second inning after the Flores dinger, Jay Bruce and Travis d’Arnaud hit singles. Colon came up with runners on first and second with one out. Terry should have had him bunting. I know he’s not a great bunter but you have him bunt. You can’t allow him to hit into a double play which is exactly what he did. Then in the fourth inning Bruce, d’Arnaud, and Kelly Johnson hit back to back to back singles to load the bases. Terry should have told Bartolo to take every single pitch. After hitting into a double play last time up you can’t let him do it again. But Terry let him swing and Tolo hit into a double play. Dumb call. Killed the rally. Tolo also let up a game typing solo shot to Christian Yelich in the 6th inning to make it 2-2.

The Big Shot: In the 8th inning, Yoenis Cespedes singled off of A.J. Ramos and then Ramos walked Curtis Granderson. Ramos proceeded to retire Flores on a fly out that advanced Yo to third base, and he also retired Jay Bruce who failed to lift a sac fly to the outfield. Ramos then walked d’Arnaud, and Kelly Johnson came up in a potentially game changing spot with two outs and bases loaded. Johnson laced a double down the right field line and the right fielder bobbled the ball along the wall. Everyone scored and it was 5-2 Mets. Jeurys Familia slammed the door with that lead and that was that.

New Arm: Last night the Mets traded Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Erik Manoah to the Angels for reliever Fernando Salas. Salas is a veteran middle reliever. He’s pitched well in the second half this season. It’ll be nice to have an extra arm in the pen. Hopefully he magically becomes a stud like Addison Reed did. I trust Sandy and his waiver wire expertise.

Just Pray: As I said above, let’s not dwell on the negative. Forget the injuries. Forget about Neil Walker being put in a body bag. Forget about Asdrubal Cabrera and his bum knee. Don’t worry about Steven Matz and his elbow/shoulder woes. Are they all going to wind up on the DL and out forever? Probably. But this is just one of those seasons where nothing goes our way. Let’s just watch whoever is left and see where we are at the very end. In all likelihood the season will come down to the final game, and it will be devastating like in 2007.

Let’s Be Clear: I’ve already seen some crazy talk about Jay Bruce because he’s had a poor showing in 100 ABs or whatever. Let’s be clear. The Mets shouldn’t buy out Jay Bruce’s contract under any circumstances. They must pick up his 2017 option. Keeping Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce is the only acceptable course of action. You don’t let a 30 home run hitter who you just gave up a big prospect for leave because he had a rough month and a half. You keep Bruce. If you want to trade him before the 2017 season or during the season then fine. But you keep him.

Last Minor Note on Neil: I didn’t want to talk about this yet, but I’ll throw it out there. I think before this injury news there was almost a 0% chance that Neil Walker would accept a qualifying offer. Now there’s a chance. There is a chance that teams will be scared off by the fact that Neil had back surgery, and he may want to have another crack at a walk year. We may see Neil Walkyear again.

The Wave: Noah Syndergaard tweeted something negative about doing the wave at baseball games so I figured I’d give my thoughts. My beef with the wave is twofold. 1) As a lazy man I prefer sitting to standing 2) I don’t like when people block my view for no reason. So I’m against the wave. That being said, if kids like the wave and disinterested game attendees like to periodically grunt and swing their arms like a bunch of idiots, who am I to stop them? Swing away you fools.

TodayJacob deGrom pitches today. If deGrom looks healthy and rested during today’s start the positivity meter is going to explode. If he takes another dump on the field, we may not be in great shape after all.

Mets Fans Sentenced To Watch Remaining Games

Final Score (in 12 innings): D-Backs 3, Mets 2

Watching the 2016 Mets combined with long drawn out discussions on SNY about how to improve MLB pace of play is about as boring as TV gets. And that’s what last night’s game was. The Mets had 6 hits in 12 painful innings and Gary, Keith, and Ron just kept spitballing about how the commissioner can speed up baseball. You want to improve the league? Just get rid of a few teams and include the Mets on the list of teams to cut. Board up Citi Field. Jon Taffer would walk into Citi Field, watch one baseball game, and then shut the whole damn thing down.

Thank A Lot Kelly: The pain and suffering almost concluded in the 9th inning with a 2-0 Mets loss. At that point, the Mets had only mustered 3 hits. But Kelly Johnson just had to hit a massive pinch hit two-run bomb to send the game to extra innings. Johnson forced us to watch the Mets bat three more times and ultimately see Jerry Blevins give up the game winning homer to a guy who’s never hit one in his career. Kelly Johnson actually said after the game he thought his clutch shot would spark the team. There’s no sparking this lifeless corpse of a club.

Always Sexy: Bartolo Colon was obviously sexy as hell in this game because he’s great and also because the D-Backs stink. He went 7 innings, gave up 1 run on 7 hits and he struck out 8.

Terry’s Final Days: It’s hard to even find the energy to nitpick in this game. In the top of the 8th inning with a D-Back runner on third and one out, Terry elected to pitch to Paul Goldschmidt instead of walking him to set up a double play. Goldy hit a sac fly to make it 2-0 D-Backs. Terry burned Jon Niese in the 9th and failed to double switch him into the game. Without his long man, he ended up going to Jeurys Familia for two innings as if it was the NLCS. In the 10th inning, T.J. Rivera led off with a single and Terry asked Travis d’Arnaud to bunt him over to second base. Always a bad move giving up outs, but who are we kidding d’Arnaud probably would have hit into a double play anyway. Travis d’Arnaud obviously popped up and blew his chance to move the runner over. He has METS disease so bad. Poor Travis.

Joke Lineup: Terry made questionable calls throughout the game, and he set a joke of a lineup full of our Triple-A squad. Ty Kelly, Matt Reynolds, and T.J. Rivera all started. We might as well just call up Soup and cancel the season. It’s hard to believe that 9 months after playing in the World Series the Mets started arguably their worst lineup of 2016 as the calls to fire Terry Collins grow louder and louder.

D’Arnaud’s Horrifying METS Disease: Travis d’Arnaud transforming into an utterly useless ballplayer has been a real curveball that I did not expect in 2016. He’s got METS disease like you read about. The D-Backs stole 4 bases on him tonight. They ran all over him last night. I think the final number was 9 stolen bases against him in two games. He stinks behind the plate, and he stinks at the plate.

The Grandyman Can’t Do Anything: Meanwhile Curtis Granderson may wind up posting the lowest RBI to HR ratio of all time for a player with a minimum of 20 HR. In 2001 Barry Bonds hit 73 HR and 137 RBI for a ratio of 1.876. Not sure if that’s the lowest ever but Grandy has 18 and 31 which is 1.72. Grandy went 0 for 5 in this game and continued to kill the Mets at the top of the order. Michael Conforto has been a huge sophomore disappointment. Just brutal. Terry says we need to get Michael going, but he didn’t even start him.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses: The SNY booth made excuses all game about the Mets injuries and blah blah blah. This team has enough major league players on the roster to compete. They have failed to muster any offense all season. They failed with Yoenis Cespedes in the lineup, with Jose Reyes in the lineup, and with Asdrubal Cabrera in the lineup. Nothing has been able to spark this offense. I think the injury excuses are kind of lame at this point.

Today: This could be Terry Collins’ last game as Mets manager. A sweep at home to the D-Backs is a fireable offense. My sources tell me Terry has already purchased tickets for Saturday’s game against the Padres at Citi Field and is looking forward to watching the Styx concert as a private citizen. On the bright side they’ll probably hire bench coach Dick Scott on an interim basis. So at least we can call our manager Dick all the time.

Thank You Kelly Johnson And The Braves

Final Score: Mets 1, Braves 0

Thank you to the Atlanta Braves for being super stinky and for giving the Mets Kelly Johnson two years in a row. This was a classic Mets vs. Braves NL Least ballgame. Jacob deGrom put up zeros and Julio Teheran put up zeros. I feel like every game this season I say “let’s wait to see if the Mets score”. And then I’m two hours late for whatever I’m supposed to be doing. The game seemed like it would go on for three days. Finally in the 11th inning, Kelly Johnson hit a solo blast off of the lefty and former Met Dario Alvarez. By the time the Mets do their annual Kelly Johnson trade in 2020, the entire Braves pitching staff will be made up of former Mets.

No Support: Every Jacob deGrom start is just the perfect representation of how our team operates. He’s a pitching machine. He puts up zeros non-stop. And he doesn’t get a single run of support. He went 8 innings, gave up 7 hits, 0 runs and struck out 6. He got huge double plays in the second, third, and fourth inning. He just puts up zeros. He hasn’t received a run of support in his last 21 innings. He hasn’t won a game since April 30th. Poor Jake. His son baby Jaxon was at this game. I bet his first words will be “zeros”. Or possibly “the offense sucks man”.

Slide? Don’t slide?: The Mets almost got something going in the third inning. Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch to start. Then with one out, Yoenis Cespedes singled to center field. Ender Inciarte made a throw to third and failed to get Grandy. But third basemen Adonis Garcia nailed Cespedes trying to advance to second base. Yo didn’t even slide. If he slid he would have been safe, but honestly I don’t care what Yo does. The guy rolled his ankle yesterday. His entire body is sore. Slide? Don’t slide? I don’t care. Just stay healthy and be smart when you run the bases please.

Alejandro De Moron: So that Yo slide play was in the third inning. Literally nothing else noteworthy happened until the 10th inning. In the 10th, Wilmer Flores singled to leadoff the inning. Then Alejandro De Aza was asked to bunt, and he popped up his attempt. Instead of running, he chucked his bat and gave up. Well the Braves let it drop and got a double play. De Aza has sucked all season. I don’t know why I feel bad for the guy. He has an actual real decent major league resume. But things have not worked out for him here. His days are numbered if Conforto gets his act together in Triple-A.

Tip Your Cap: Julio Teheran deserves as much credit as deGrom in this game for his utter domination. He’s a legit major league pitcher.

Nationals Suck Again: The Nationals have lost 7 straight games! With last night’s win we are 2 games out. The season is so damn long. Ups and downs. It’s so insane. Also, I noticed that since James Loney joined the Mets on May 31 Daniel Murphy has hit .231 and the Nats are 11-11. Somehow he stole Murph’s batting stance and the Nationals mojo.

Today: Bartolo Colon on the mound for the series win. Let’s do it baby. Let’s head into the Nats series hot.

Mets Bring Back Kelly Johnson; Reassembling The Band

The Mets bringing back Kelly Johnson in a trade with the Braves is laugh out loud hilarious. In fact, I’m laughing at how ridiculous it is right now. Just sitting in my chair laughing it up. We give up minor league pitching assets to the same team in our division for the same mediocre bench player two years in a row?!? That’s so very Mets of us. The Mets do deserve some praise for realizing that their ship has been sinking as the Nationals steamliner forges full speed ahead. Sandy was as frustrated with that horrendous doubleheader as the fans were and addressed our non-existent roster depth the next day. Okay I have offered the appropriate amount of praise. Now let’s continue to criticize. The Mets and particularly Sandy deserve real criticism for being so shortsighted that they didn’t sign Kelly Johnson when they had the chance this spring. We had the need on our roster in February. And clearly if we are bringing him back now, we had the financial flexibility to take on his miniscule salary. The Mets passed on Johnson in favor of Eric Campbell. Ridiculous. Now for the second year in a row we give up a pitching prospect (this time Akeel Morris) to patch up our bench problems. Good thing pitching grows on trees in our organization.

Obviously cranky rant aside, the return of Kelly Johnson is big news. He’s a tremendous upgrade over what we currently have on the roster. He’s been god awful so far this season at the dish (.215/.273/.562) and he’s not really a good fielder at all, but he’s definitely better than Ty Kelly. He’s a net positive. He’s certainly not the straw that stirred the drink last year. But I fully expect the fan base to put that level of pressure on him as soon as he arrives. We are officially bringing the band back together. Now all we need is Daniel Murphy, Tyler Clippard and Juan Uribe and we should be all set. Oh wait what? They are major contributors on all their respective teams this year? Whoops!