The Mets Are Officially The Worst

The Mets may not have the worst record in baseball. Hell they don’t even have the worst record in the NL East. But when your record is close to the worst in the league and you lose 2 out of 3 at home to a team that is considered by many to be the actual worst then you become the worst team. The Mets are officially crowned in my book. They lost this week’s stink-off to the Padres, and now they are the kings of Stinktown (Citi Field).

I actually believe the Mets-related suffering I experienced over the course of last season has made me more patient when it comes to this team. They turned their season around in August, and it reminded me that anything can happen. I fully understand that right now it’s the end of May and there is a lot of baseball left to play. That being said, I’m starting to believe that the Mets 2017 stinkiness is for real. Steven Matz and Seth Lugo are the actual last hope. If the return of Matz and Lugo doesn’t significantly improve the pitching staff then the team is in big trouble. Maybe we should convert Yoenis Cespedes to a pitcher.

I really don’t want to trade young players for a quick fix this year. I don’t want Sandy to address the pitching issues with his signature in-season patch job trades. I’m tired of those deals. If we hadn’t traded away pitching prospects to address our issues on offense over the last two years maybe we’d have a few options at Triple-A to help this club right now. We need Dominic Smith, Amed Rosario, Gavin Cecchini , and Brandon Nimmo for the future. If we are going to make trades I’d rather flip some of our soon to be free agents for pitching.

As far as last night’s game goes, it was over the second they announced that Jacob deGrom was being scratched due to the rain and Rafael Montero was starting in his place. Showing up to Citi Field and finding out deGrom has been replaced by Montero is like going to MSG to see Billy Joel and finding out he’s been replaced by the stage manager’s brother’s friend’s son’s shitty high school garage band.

And why the hell is Jacob deGrom getting scratched due to rain? I understand that he’s literally the only good pitcher we have left and they want to protect him, but when your choices are 1) pitch your ace in a rainy May game at home or 2) literally waive the white flag and lose to a horrendous ball club, how do you choose option two?

Poo Poo Pitching: The Mets lost 4-3. Montero gave up 3 runs in 3 innings. Addison Reed gave up what turned out to be the game winning fourth run in the 9th inning. He’s been so mediocre in 2017. He has transformed right back into the pumpkin he was before coming to the Mets. Terry probably blew his arm out last year too.

Other Stupid Game Notes: Lucas Duda is heating up. He had two hits (including a homer) last night. Paul Sewald actually continued to impress in his 3 scoreless innings. He may be the second best pitcher on the team right now. Also, the chunky Joshs have switched places. Now Josh Smoker is the bad chunky Josh and Josh Edgin is the mediocre chunky Josh. Travis d’Arnaud started after his long DL stint. He didn’t do anything of note. Hitless as usual. The Mets also activated Asdrubal Cabrera from the DL and then didn’t start him. Genius!

Today: The Mets head to Pittsburgh tonight. I feel like this season can get worse. Pray.

Matzy Near No-No And Two In A Row

Final Score: Mets 5, Padres 1

Steven Matz gave the Mets a masterful 7.1 scoreless inning 1 hit 8 strikeout performance, and the Mets finally won two games in a row for the first time since July 6th/7th.

I Was Relieved: Alexei Ramirez broke up the no-hit bid in the 8th with a one out opposite field single over the first base bag. Honestly I was relieved when Matz gave up the hit. The last thing I wanted was Matz throwing a 135 pitch no hitter. I realize a high pitch count doesn’t necessarily mean a pitcher is going to injure his arm. I realize Johan Santana and Steven Matz are different people and Matz is young and Johan was older when he threw his no-no. All I know is Gary Cohen was talking about the Johan Santana “myth” and basically refuting that Johan’s career went in the toilet shortly after he threw his no hitter. Ummmm that ain’t a myth folks. Johan threw that no hitter, and he was never the same. The no hitter was a factor in his demise. Obviously the mileage on his arm and the fact that he already had shoulder surgery were both signs that he was nearing the end of his major league road. But it’s absurd to reject the notion that the no hitter had a negative impact on his arm. All that being said, it’s impressive that Matz has been pitching effectively with these elbow spurs. He’s been resilient and it’s impressive.

A Couple Of Blasts: Wilmer Flores (2nd inning) and Neil Walker (4th inning) each had solo homers off of lefty starter Clayton Richard. Wilmer really crushes lefties. He’s hitting .346 against them. And Neil just continues to be scorching hot.

Reyes Insurance Company: In the 8th inning Jose Reyes singled, stole second base, and advanced to third when catcher Derek Norris airmailed his throw into the outfield. Then Jose scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0 Mets. It was a classic Reyes speed-based insurance run. Then the Mets piled on more runs (not a misprint). Ty Kelly and Jay Bruce both reached on walks and with two outs T.J. Rivera launched a two run double to make it 5-0. This Rivera guy has looked good so far. He had two hits in this game. Hopefully Asdrubal Cabrera returns at the end of this week as expected but it’s nice to see somebody step up while filling in for one of our many injured players.

Hurry Yo: The Mets need Yoenis Cespedes back so bad. Reyes, Yo, Bruce and a hot Neil Walker in the same lineup might actually have a chance to score some runs on a regular basis. Pray for Yo and his quad.

Is Silence Bad?: No word on Zack Wheeler and the condition of his surgically repaired elbow. Is silence good? It can’t be good. Pray more.

Tomorrow: The Mets head to Arizona and then San Francisco. West Coast trips are always brutal. Winning two in a row at home is a legitimate summer accomplishment for the 2016 Mets. Let’s see if they can make it three in a row on the road.

A Walk-off Win Is A Walk-off Win

Final Score (in 11 innings): Mets 3, Padres 2

It wasn’t a pretty victory. In fact it felt like it was going to be another painful loss. But the Padres basically handed the Mets a run in the 11th inning which gave them the walk-off win.

Thanks Padres 1.0: In the first inning, Jose Reyes walked and then advanced to third when Jarred Cosart threw a wild pitch and catcher Christian Bethancourt threw the ball into center field. Then Neil Walker singled and Reyes scored making it 1-0. It was a gift run.

One Mistake: Jacob deGrom pitched 7 innings, gave up 3 hits and struck out 9. The one hit was a 7th inning solo homer to Yangervis Solarte. And obviously that one mistake prevented him from getting a win.

Another Mistake: The Mets took the lead in this game on a 7th inning Kelly Johnson sac fly. Addison Reed did his job in the 8th inning and then Jeurys Familia blew another game. He gave up a two out solo homer to Wil Myers. I’m still shocked every time Familia makes a mistake. At least this one didn’t cost the Mets another game.

Thanks Padres 2.0: In the 11th inning, red hot Neil Walker led off with a single and James Loney added a one out bloop single that allowed Neil to advance to third base. Then Wilmer Flores hit what appeared to be a double play ball but second baseman Ryan Schimpf went home with the throw and it was way off target. Neil Walker scored to give the Mets the 3-2 victory. The “hero” Wilmer Flores had 3 hits in the game. I don’t care that it was gift wrapped. A win is a win.

Today: Giancarlo Stanton is supposedly going on the DL. The Mets are still 2.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. The NL really stinks. Can the Mets win two in a row at home (or anywhere for that matter)? We shall see.

Setbacks, Demotions, and Despair

Final Score: Padres 8, Mets 6

I wrote yesterday that I’m afraid to watch the rest of the Mets games because we haven’t seen “Mets rock bottom” yet. Well yesterday the Mets announced they’re shutting down Zack Wheeler and sending him to see Dr. James Andrews! A double elbow injury and potential second TJ surgery setback is precisely the kind of rock bottom I was talking about. Fantastic! Honestly the Mets should shut everyone down. We lost again last night and dropped below .500.

The funny thing about Wheeler getting injured again is it directly ties into last night’s game. Remember when all we heard about was the organizational pitching depth? Well we don’t actually have that anymore. It doesn’t exist. You know how I know? Because Logan Verrett has been terrible since taking over for Matt Harvey. Yet the Mets keep running him out there. He gave up 8 runs over 2.2 innings last night. Unwatchable baseball. But don’t worry, the Mets finally decided to replace him in the rotation after the game last night. Hot new prospect Jon Niese will take his spot. Niese has been terrible since reuniting with the Mets, but the minor league options obviously aren’t what they used to be.

The Upside: Travis d’Arnaud had 3 hits and a two-run homer in the game. The Mets came back late. They scored a run in the fifth inning and 3 in the sixth. But again who cares? They lost. I’m not looking forward to interim manager Dick Scott.

The Downside: The Mets demoted Michael Conforto before the game. The truth is he deserves the demotion. He’s done nothing to show he belongs in the starting lineup. I know the argument has been made that he should just play everyday at the major league level for the experience. I’m sure that will happen in September once the organization officially waves the white flag. Conforto’s sophomore slump should have a big impact on the 2017 plan. The impact being he doesn’t deserve a starting spot. In my mind he’s penciled in at Triple-A unless he takes some big strides in September.

Collect The Rejects: I joked yesterday that the Mets should find a way to get Jonathan Papelbon so he can choke Yoenis Cespedes and we can officially hit the 2015 Nationals kind of rock bottom. Well the Nats are looking to release him according to reports today. Watch the Mets bring him in. That would be hilarious. We also apparently want Carlos Gomez. If we land Gomez, we’ve essentially re-created Omar Minaya’s team and also the Minaya level clubhouse morale. Everyone is depressed and feels like we have no shot.

Today: Padres again. At least we get to watch Jacob deGrom. Maybe it’s Terry’s second to last day?

Here’s Harvey: Mets Take Finale and Split In San Diego

harvey johnny

Final Score: Mets 4, Padres 3

This was not a pretty win. This was not a pretty series at all. The Mets had chances to score runs in the first inning, fifth inning, and eighth inning but failed to capitalize due to rally killing double plays off the bats of Yoenis Cespedes, Wilmer Flores, and Curtis Granderson. They had twelve hits and left eleven men on base including two in the ninth inning. A good team probably beats us in this game. Thank goodness we were playing the Padres.

All that being said, the Mets were able to get a rally going in the second inning due to some unlikely heroes. Kevin Plawecki hit a two out double and Eric Campbell drove him in with a single. Then Matt Harvey singled, Curtis Granderson walked, and Asdrubal drove in Harvey to make it 2-0. Yoenis Cespedes hit a solo shot in the third inning to make it 3-0. In the 6th inning, Harvey hit a one out double and with two outs Asdrubal drove in Harvey to give the Mets their fourth run.

Saved By The Bastard: In the 8th inning, with the score 4-3, Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed nearly blew the lead. Jerry gave up a leadoff single to Jon Jay. Then Addison Reed came in and gave up singles to Wil Myers and Matt Kemp. Terry then brought in Antonio Bastardo with the bases loaded and no outs. And The Bastard of Citi struck out Derek Norris, got an infield pop up from Melvin Upton Jr., and then struck out Alexei Ramirez. Bastardo saved the Mets asses today. Period. He threw all fastballs and managed to overpower the Padres in every way. It was a huge moment from Antonio in the early part of this season.

Fire Is Back: Matt Harvey only made a few bad pitches today. The most notable bad pitch was the one to Christian Bethancourt that resulted in a two run home run in the fifth inning. Other than that he really pitched a promising game. His velocity was back at 96-97 MPH. He had 10 strikeouts and gave up only 4 hits in 6 innings.

Lucky Break: In the fifth inning, after Harvey gave up the two run home run, he actually got a really lucky break. He struck out pitcher Andrew Cashner with two outs, but Plawecki couldn’t stop the ball and Cashner got to first base. It was ruled a wild pitch. Anyway Harvey proceeded to give up a double to Jon Jay (who killed us all series). Cashner was sent home and the play at the plate was ruled an out. Cashner was without a doubt safe but on replay review they upheld the bad call. Harvey lucked out, but the real embarrassment here is the umpiring crew. I really don’t understand how they get these calls wrong. I genuinely don’t get it. If the fans can all see the right call on replay, then how the hell do the mooks at headquarters continue to blow it? And what makes it even worse is that Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and the Mets booth consistently embarrass themselves. I love the Mets booth. I really do. But every time they speak out against replay they sound like absolute morons. They ripped into replay multiple times during this game. They talked about how it’s unnecessary and how it takes the fun out of the game. Shut up!!!!!!! Shut the hell up. Replay is a necessity. Hire robot umpires!! Get the calls right. But most of all stop calling for the league to go backwards and eliminate replay. Who wants to live in a world where we watch games and live with bad calls? That’s insanity.

Broadway Yo: Cespedes hit another home run. God he is so elite. We should sign more superstars. This Cespedes experience should eliminate any hesitation to give out big contracts ever again.

Asdrubal Is So Good: Speaking of great contracts, Asdrubal had two more hits and two more RBIs today. He’s such a professional at the plate, in the field, and in the clubhouse.

Errors and Balks: We made a bunch of awful plays in this game. Wilmer let a ball eat him up at second base in the late innings and almost blew a couple throws to Lucas Duda at first base. He was lucky none of these blunders resulted in errors. Jim Henderson also balked in a run. Again, he’s lucky that it didn’t cost us the game but please clean it the hell up.

Injury Night Terrors: Neil Walker fouled a ball off his shin yesterday. Asdrubal Cabrera fouled a ball off his foot in this game. Lucas Duda was hit by a pitch on his hamstring. We have been really lucky so far. But I’m worried about our depth. Wilmer Flores has not inspired any confidence this season (he went 0 for 5 in this game). Eric Campbell deserves a pat on the back today for his 2 hits, his RBI, and his great play to end the game. But he’s Eric “Soup” Campbell. I do not like the idea of seeing him for any stretch whatsoever.

The Sex Heard Round the World: I’m still not over the Bartolo Colon home run. A split against San Diego is not ideal, but a split where Bartolo hit a home run and Harvey had a dominant quality start ain’t so bad when it’s all said and done.

Tomorrow: The Cubs swept the Nationals. Jesus Christ the Cubs are good. But that means first place for the Mets! Hooray! Now we have a four game set in Dodgertown starting tomorrow. Steven Matz vs. Scott Kazmir. Mets young lefty stud vs. former young Mets lefty stud. Also Utleygate finally comes to a head. Do we show him mercy or do we draw blood? Series preview coming soon.

Tolo Home Run: The Sexiest Moment In Baseball History

Final Score: Mets 6, Padres 3

Bartolo Colon hit a two run home run. The stadium, the players, the announcers and every person on earth completely lost their minds when the bat touched the ball. As Gary Cohen said, “the impossible has happened”. In the end, those two runs represented the game winning runs. If the Mets needed a west coast B12 shot this had to be it. Obviously I’ve watched the replay a million times. I watched it with my girlfriend. I watched it with my friends. I’m going to gather around the TV today and watch it with my mother and my family. That’s what Bartolo and his sexiness is all about. It’s about bringing families together.

There’s Only One Thing Sexier: I honestly think this is going to be the regular season highlight in the sport. I can’t imagine it being topped. It’s the 2016 highlight reel leadoff hitter. The only thing sexier now? Colon getting a World Series W, leaping on a dog pile of Mets as they celebrate a championship, and hopefully not killing them.

Dinger Percentage Confirmed: I said a week or so ago that the Mets had to have one of the top three percentages of runs scored via the home run. Well it’s officially confirmed that we have the highest percentage of runs scored via the home run in the league. 55% of our runs come from home runs. And that was before last night’s game. We scored all six runs via the home run. Yoenis Cespedes hit a two run shot in the first inning. Big Sexy hit his two run blast in the second inning. And in the 9th inning, David Wright and Michael Conforto hit solo shots to make it 6-3.

Next Question: James Shields was so embarrassed about giving up the Bartolo home run that he didn’t want to answer questions about it postgame. That’s okay. He’ll have plenty of time to answer questions about it for the rest of his natural born life.

D’Arnaud Dunzo: Lost in the happiness of last night’s game was that Travis d’Arnaud decided to try tossing a baseball yesterday and immediately re-injured his shoulder. Umm we seriously need to consider him dunzo. Maybe give him another two weeks to see if the Krazy Glue they put in his rotator cuff will dry, but honestly we better start drawing up the contingency plan. Sandy needs to start getting a feel for the trade market ASAP.

Today: I can’t believe it’s hard to look forward to #HarveyDay now. It’s not even just that he stinks so far this year. I also stained my Matt Harvey T-shirt. The laundromat spilled a little bleach on it, and now it’s got pink spots. Harvey needs to win this game today. We need to split this series. A Bartolo home run and Harvey quality start could make this one of the best splits we’ve had in years. But if Harvey lays another egg, he’ll wipe the smile off my face real quick.

Mets Can’t Score and Lose; Teufel Makes Bonehead Decision

Final Score: Padres 2, Mets 0

There’s not much to recap in this game. Once again the Mets couldn’t score. Screw the west coast. Every single time the Mets head out there, the team plays like crap.

Thor-cap: Noah Syndergaard looked fine again last night. When your starter pitches 6 innings and gives up 2 runs, it’s a must win game. Period. In the bottom of the first inning, Jon Jay doubled, advanced on a groundout, and then scored on a Matt Kemp sac fly. In the bottom of the 5th, Jemile Weeks walked, stole, and scored on a Jon Jay single. That was it. Two runs was all the Padres needed to beat our lifeless lineup.

Holding Runners On: Thor made an effort to hold runners on base in this game. But once again he got burned. The Jemile Weeks stolen base literally led to a run. I’d like to complain about that, but again we didn’t score a damn thing. He should keep working on things I suppose.

All Fastballs: I didn’t love the game Rene Rivera called with Thor. I felt he threw a lot of hittable two strike fastballs. Yeah I know he throws 100 MPH but nobody should be throwing hittable 0-2 and 1-2 fastballs. Rivera seemed to mix up the calls a little better later in the game.

Lords of the Flies: The Mets only had three hits in this damn game. But they had opportunities with men on base, and they had a bunch of hard hit fly balls. Once again the Padres were either perfectly positioned or hustled to make all the plays. They had a leadoff walk by Curtis Granderson in the first inning. Nothing to show for it. Leadoff walk by Rene Rivera in the third inning. Nothing to show for it. In the top of the 4th, Yoenis Cespedes drew a one out walk. Asdrubal Cabrera then singled with 2 outs to get Yo to third base, and Wilmer Flores couldn’t do anything with runners at the corners.

The Controversial Play: In the top of the 7th with one out, Asdrubal Cabrera roped his second hit and the Mets second hit of the game. Then Wilmer Flores hit a double down the line, and Tim Teufel sent Cabrera home. He was out by a goddamn mile. Let’s just get right into it. Terrible terrible terrible call. You don’t hand teams outs on a silver goddamn platter. Never. People were saying that the Padres catcher Derek Norris lost the ball on the exchange, and therefore Asdrubal Cabrera should have been safe. First of all, Cabrera didn’t even bother to touch home plate. You have to finish the play. Replay exists. Adjust and finish the freaking plays. That being said, I saw the replay and he was out. Even if he touched home plate, Norris tagged him and held the ball long enough. Let it go. This was a mistake by Teufel. I’ll give him a pass because he’s actually been a great third base coach for us. You know how I know? Because I’m never complaining about him. He sent Cabrera because the team hadn’t scored at all, and he tried to get something going. He was hoping the Padres would make a mistake. He knew Rene Rivera was up next and sucks. But you don’t give away outs. You don’t try and force teams to make mistakes unless they have a history of doing so. And we had Michael Conforto on the damn bench. You pinch hit Conforto for Rivera, you bring Plawecki in the game, and you cross your fingers with Soup as the emergency backup. Whatever. It’s over and we couldn’t score at all last night anyway.

Bunting Coach: Can we hire a goddamn bunting coach? We hear about Kevin Long and his voodoo hitting magic all the time. But it feels like our pitchers haven’t been able to bunt for a decade. Noah Syndergaard failed to bunt Rene Rivera over in the third inning of this game. It was pathetic. Matt Harvey failed recently too. Practice! Hire a specialist! Figure it out!

Blood of the Raptor: So I just watched Jurassic World. Yeah I’m a little late to the party, I know. Anyway I thought it was great. Super entertaining. But as I watched I kind of realized that in addition to Chris Bosh, I think Melvin Upton Jr. and Alexei Ramirez have the blood of the raptor. Something about their faces are raptor-esque. It’s possible they’ve all been created in a lab by B.D.Wong.

Today: Bartolo Colon goes in tonight’s game. The Cubs are beating the Nats and we can’t take advantage. Jesus Christ let’s try and split this series.

Shifty Padres Take Series Opener From Sleepy Mets


Final Score: Padres 5, Mets 3

The story of last night was Colin Rea absolutely dominating a Mets lineup that just travelled across the country. Rea took a no hitter into the 7th and pitched into the 9th. Prior to the 9th inning, the Mets squared up on some balls, but they were laced right at Padres who were perfectly positioned due to defensive shifts. Luckily Yoenis Cespedes took advantage of the shift in the 7th inning by hitting a ball in a newly created hole at second base and broke up the no hit bid. The Padres also made some stellar plays in this game including Jon Jay robbing Curtis Granderson of an extra base hit early on. There’s nothing you can do but tip your cap to the pitcher and hope some solid hotel shut eye gets the Mets ready for tonight.

Make Baseball Fun Again: The Padres (like all teams at this point) used defensive shifts a bunch last night. I completely forgot that a few weeks ago Joe Girardi came out and said if he was the Commissioner he would fully ban defensive shifts. What an idiot. I can’t believe there are people in all facets of life that just take the “no change” stance.  When I saw Donald Trump’s “I love Hispanics” Facebook post yesterday, I imagined Goose Gossage shamelessly pandering to the “Make Baseball Fun Again” contingent by tweeting out of a photo of himself playing wiffle ball in his front yard with a bunch of Spanish guys flipping their bats after every home run. “There’s nothing like playing some ball with my best friends Pedro and Juan. They do the best home run celebrations. I love Mexican bat flips!”

Our Studs Weren’t Studly: Jacob deGrom was bleh tonight. His velocity sat at 93 MPH again. Harvey has been bleh. These guys are not performing at the level we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Forget jet lag, this is obvious playoff lag. 

In the bottom of the first inning Wil Myers hit a solo dinger. In the bottom of the second, deGrom gave up an RBI single to Colin Rea the damn pitcher. In the bottom of the third, Alexei Ramirez hit a little BS dunker down the leftfield line with two men on base and it scored a run. Luckily moron Melvin Upton Jr. got caught in between 3rd base and home and Jacob deGrom got out of the jam with the score 3-0.

Terry pulled deGrom after 5 innings which I was fine with because overall he looked pretty crappy. He gave up 3 runs on 8 hits. Anyway, Logan Verrett came into the game and promptly had his first crummy appearance of the year. He gave up 2 runs in the 6th and every ball the Padres hit off of him was seemingly rocked. Wil Myers and Matt Kemp both crushed long fly outs that just stayed in play.

Two Dingers: Curtis Granderson got Rea out of the game in the 9th inning with a solo home run. Then David Wright walked and with one out Yoenis Cespedes launched a two run jack. But ultimately the power show was too little too late. Two home runs? Pathetic for team ding dong.

Rodney To The Rescue: In the 9th after the Grandy solo blast, the Padres pulled Rea. After the Cespedes home run, the Padres went to their closer Fernando Rodney who was able to finish the Mets off. I kind of forgot that he was still hanging around in the league at 39. I always lumped Rodney in that group of closers that love to dance and celebrate every save. So it reminded me of when the Mets brought in the super eccentric Jose Valverde a couple years ago for like a month. He really sucked.

Cubs Beat Nats: The Cubs took the opener of their series against the Nationals. I can’t believe the super computers were right and the Cubs are going to win like 100 billion games.

Today: The Mets play the Padres late again tonight. Hopefully Noah Syndergaard can right the ship in this west coast road trip kickoff mulligan.

Series Preview: Friars Honoring Their Vow To Silently Suck

The Accidental Tank: I ranted about this in my NL West season preview, but let me reiterate that Padres GM A.J. Preller is an idiot in my book. He got hired and immediately went ahead and traded the entire Padres farm system during the 2014/15 offseason for Craig Kimbrel, Matt Kemp, Derek Norris, Wil Myers, and Justin Upton. He 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 traded Kimbrel to re-stock the farm system and let Justin Upton walk in free agency. But he didn’t do anything to improve the club. Now the Padres are among the worst teams in the league, and they seemingly have no clear direction from the top. We hear all about these teams that are intentionally “tanking” like the Braves, Reds and Phillies. But A.J. Preller doesn’t seem to get an ounce of criticism for accidentally tanking in 2016.

Padres Lately: The Padres have a crummy record at 11-17. The Padres are 24th in runs scored, 29th in OPS, and 28th in home runs. The “blame the ballpark” excuse can only be used for so long, especially considering the Padres already moved the fences in at Petco a couple years ago. It didn’t help much. The Padres were supposed to be built on rock solid pitching. But their team ERA is 4.23 and ranks at 19th in the league.

Now despite all those negative stats on the season, they just finished winning consecutive series against the Dodgers and the Rockies. Those series wins say more about the struggling Dodgers and inconsistent Rockies than they do about the quality of the Padres team. That being said, the Padres pitching staff has performed much better lately.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Jacob deGrom vs. Colin Rea

Rea is a 25 year old righty pitcher with 11 career starts. He tossed a quality start and got the win against LA last week, but overall this year he’s been mediocre with a 4.61 ERA in 5 starts.

Last June, Jacob deGrom pitched 8 scoreless 2 hit innings with 8 K against the Padres at Petco. He was decent last time out against the Giants giving up zero earned runs over 6 innings, but he did let up 4 walks.

Game 2: Noah Syndergaard vs. Drew Pomeranz

Drew Pomeranz was once a highly touted prospect, but has never lived up to the hype. He spent the last two seasons in Oakland, so the Mets have limited experience against him. He is off to a nice start to the season with a 2-3 record and a stellar 2.48 ERA. He took a hard luck loss in LA last time out going 7 innings and giving up just one run. He also struck out 10 Pirates in April over 6.2 scoreless innings. He’s a lefty, so we shall see which of our lefty sluggers Terry decides to rest.

Thor faced the Padres twice during his rookie season going 1-1. He got rocked at Petco. Despite his 10 Ks in that game he gave up 7 runs and 10 hits over 4 innings. But in New York, he went 8 scoreless 3 hit innings and struck out 9 Padres.

I’m Watching You: Hopefully between starts the Mets have worked with Syndergaard on holding runners on base. The Reds and the Giants ran all over Thor in his last two starts. The Padres are a team that will run and use speed as a weapon. That being said, Thor’s issue has less to do with the teams he’s been facing and more to do with his inability to hold people on base. He should probably just strike everyone out so this won’t continue to be a problem.

Game 3: Bartolo Colon vs. James Shields

Bartolo had his shortest and most horrendous outing of 2015 at Citi Field against the Padres. He got yanked after 2.1 innings, 10 hits, and 6 runs. That being said, he’s been the Mets most consistent pitcher so far this season. He’s matching the early season success he had last year. It doesn’t matter much because the game is in San Diego, but Bartolo needs to adopt “I’m Too Sexy” as his warmup song. It’s possible he already has, but if not he needs to do it immediately.

James Shields may be 1-4 so far this season, but his 3.23 ERA is great. He’s had 5 quality starts and he’s gone 6+ innings in all 6 starts. He went 1-1 against the Mets in 2015, but he went 7 innings and gave up 3 or fewer runs both times. The current Mets have historically had very little success against James Shields. Curtis Granderson has by far the most experience against Shields. He’s 8 for 64 with 2 home runs. Asdrubal Cabrera is 6 for 24 with a home run and Duda is 2 for 6 with a home run. Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, David Wright, and Neil Walker are a combined 1 for 19 against Shields.

Game 4: Matt Harvey vs. Andrew Cashner

Cashner is 2-2 with an ugly 4.85 ERA this season. He tossed a quality start against the Rockies last time out. Lucas Duda is 2 for 8 against him, Grandy is 2 for 9 with a home run, Wright is 1 for 7 with a home run.

Matt Harvey did not face the Padres in 2015. At this point we’re nearing broken record status, but maybe this will be the week where he starts to turn his season around.

Things To Look For:

Hot Padres: Matt Kemp is batting .299 with 8 home runs. Maybe he’s rediscovering some of the magic from his 39 home run 2011 campaign? It’s more likely he’s having one good month. Wil Myers is hitting .304 with 5 home runs. I wouldn’t say Melvin Upton (The Lesser Upton) is “hot”. But he’s hitting .244, and he’s hit a few doubles and a couple dingers. He’s certainly been better than the piece of garbage we all got used to over the past few years.

Early Spring Shopping List: So after a month of baseball, I’m already preparing my in season Mets roster shopping list. I definitely think this roster could use another big time reliever, a right handed hitting bench bat that plays 1B/OF and a major league catcher. You may notice I didn’t specify major league starting catcher or backup. The Mets really need Travis d’Arnaud to come back and stay healthy. I want him to play on the Mets, and I want him to be the impact player that we’ve all seen. And even if we wanted to trade him and go in a different direction, right now his trade value is at an all time low. It’s hard to imagine the Mets pursuing a starting caliber catcher like Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Ruiz, or even the Padres Derek Norris mid-season. But if d’Arnaud is actually out forever and Kevin Plawecki continues to do nothing at the plate, the thought needs to be entertained.

Speaking of trades, so far this season Jonathan Papelbon has sucked for the Nats and the Yankees have sucked. If the Yankees keep stinking, how terrible is it going to be when they flip the Mets off and ship Aroldis Chapman to the Nationals at the deadline? Pretty pretty pretttty terrible.

Young and Hungry, Old and Tired: I was thinking this morning how it’s funny that the young guns Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are absolutely dealing to start the season and the slightly more experienced Jacob deGrom/Matt Harvey have battled injuries, diminished velocity and some command issues. I’m not sure what to conclude from that other than the youngest guys have a lot to prove and seemingly have come out of the gate super hungry. Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey have a little more mileage, they blasted to all time high inning levels last season, and also they have the experience of surviving a full season. So maybe they are both starting slow due to the wear and tear combined with a conscious effort to conserve their energy for the long haul. With Harvey, it’s clearly more about the wear and tear. But deGrom is really smart, and I’m sure we will see him kick it into a higher gear as we move later in the season. I hope all four of them are performing at the highest level down the stretch when it matters most.

Tonight: The Nationals kickoff a series against the Cubs tonight. Hopefully the Cubs can remind the Nationals that they play in the NL Least and send them into a tailspin. Tonight, we kick off this 4 game set and an 11 game road trip. I don’t envy the Mets and their inevitable jet lag. For Christ’s sake I commute 30 minutes, and I battle subway lag daily. But I’m sure they’ll all just grab coffee/amphetamines and get this series started on the right foot.

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


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