Hooray! We Beat The Reds!

Final Score: Mets 6, Reds 3

The Mets once again beat the absolutely horrendous Cincinnati Reds. Hip hip hooray! Today the Mets continued to hit home runs and the Reds just kept making mistakes. That combination enabled the Mets to walk away from Great American Ball Park with a sweep.

Calm Down: With the Mets surging the fan confidence meter is obviously at a season high. The fans went from planning Terry’s managerial funeral to planning a parade. Let’s all take a deep breath and relax. We beat the Stanton-less Marlins and the Reds are bad. We have the easiest remaining schedule of all the Wild Card teams, but we still need to keep the foot on the gas these last few weeks and actually win the games.

But Also Celebrate: On the other end of the spectrum, I’m surprised some Mets fans are still hating on this team. For almost the entire season the team failed to get hits in big spots and failed to beat bad teams. Well the team is finally doing that now. The team’s absurdly low batting average with runners in scoring position was bound to trend upwards at some point. Well it’s finally happening, and we should all enjoy it.

Don’t Crown Jose: Jose Reyes remained scorching hot in this game with a leadoff homer, and he also stole a base and scored on a wild pitch in the third inning to make it 2-0 Mets. Since his return from the DL he’s been hitting well over .300 and hitting for power. But I must say the “Reyes is on fire and therefore everyone who doubted his comeback are completely wrong forever” people on Twitter are hilarious. Just don’t forget everything that comes with Jose. Jose Reyes has played in 40 games, and he’s already had one 3 week DL stint.

My main point from day one has been that relying on Jose is a mistake. We’ve seen the Jose movie before. He sparks the team for 3 weeks and then he’s gone for a month. Then he comes back and the team is rejuvenated and…then he’s gone. It’s the same story every single time. Well the Mets are back to relying on Reyes. I’m sure it’ll work out this time! I for one plan to just enjoy the current Reyes ride and pray to the baseball gods that he keeps this crazy streak going for the rest of the season. But for Christ’s sake please don’t rip the Captain badge off of David Wright’s corpse and hand it to Jose already.

Reds Can’t Do Anything Right: In the second inning the inept Reds were caught stealing against Noah Syndergaard twice. In the third inning they were caught again when Jose Peraza was nailed heading home after Eugenio Suarez was stuck between first and second base. The Reds are the only team I can think of this season that struggled to run all over Thor.

Wild Thor: Noah Syndergaard wasn’t great today. He threw 95 pitches over 5 scoreless innings and gave up 6 hits and 4 walks. The Reds sloppy play really saved the day for Noah. I was obviously day dreaming about a Wild Card playoff during today’s game, and I was thinking about our starting pitcher. It has to be Thor right? There’s nobody else left. Bartolo Colon?

Bye Bye Balls: Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer in the 6th inning to make it 3-0 Mets, and Wilmer Flores added a pinch hit two-run shot in the 8th inning to make it 5-0 Mets. The entire team is smoking hot. Wilmer, Jose, Grandy, Asdrubal Cabrera. The bottom line is we saw this kind of production in April and then it disappeared. Whether it was before the All-Star Break with Yoenis Cespedes in the lineup or afterwards when he was on the DL, we rarely had multiple hitters producing at a high level at the same time outside of that early stretch of the season. It’s nice that it’s happening again in September.

Dumb Old Terry: Terry Collins brought in minor league starting pitcher Gabriel Ynoa to pitch the 8th inning. He asked a guy who wasn’t pitching in relief in the minors to pitch on back to back days. Terrible managing. Furthermore, in my mind Ynoa is the best option to replace Rafael Montero in the rotation. That seems unlikely now. It better not be Logan Verrett. Well Terry brought Ynoa in, and he loaded up the bases. Terry was forced to bring in Addison Reed to bail him out. Reed surrendered an RBI single to Tucker Barnhart and a 2 RBI double to Jose Peraza to make it 5-3 Mets. But Reed escaped without giving up the lead, and Jeurys Familia closed the game out. Yoenis Cespedes also added an RBI double in the 9th to swing the momentum right back for the Mets.

Tomorrow: The Mets have the day off tomorrow and then head to Atlanta. Remember back in June when the Braves embarrassed this team? The Mets should probably change that narrative this weekend. Also for the record, this sweep of the Reds was the first one since the Mets swept four games from the Cubs before the All-Star Break in July. How insane is it that we demolished the Cubs, but struggled all season to beat the Rockies, Braves, and D-Backs? Baseball is crazy.

Yoenis Blessedpedes

Final Score: Mets 5, Reds 3

Yoenis Cespedes won yesterday’s game against the Reds with a two-run homer in the 7th inning that gave the Mets a lead they never relinquished. Nothing new on that front. Extra, extra read all about it! Yo is the best player on the Mets! The only development from last night was I finally noticed the 2017 Season Ticket Ads the Wilpons are running on SNY. The montage shows all the young pitchers that are currently waiting in line at the Hospital For Special Surgery to get their arms glued back on. And then of course the montage showed a million clips of Yo hitting bombs. Not so fast Fred and Jeff. Don’t sell us on that BS and then let him walk once he opts-out. Don’t be fools Mets fans. Wait to reserve your 2017 tickets. Wait for YoGate to be settled once again. He’s the star of the damn show.

We Deserve Our Fate: The other thing that frustrated me last night was I’m starting to realize how crappy the best case scenario is for the Mets. I’ve been the biggest opponent of a one game Wild Card playoff since it was created. Making these guys play 162 games only to have it all riding on one BS crapshoot of a game is so dumb, and it’s an embarrassing ratings ploy by MLB to try and attract viewers. I keep wishing we hadn’t played like garbage for almost the entire season. But the fact that we played like garbage all year is precisely why we don’t deserve a real chance at a first round playoff series. If we play in the Wild Card game and win then great. But we made our damn bed in 2016.

Live By The Dinger, Die By The Dinger (Again): On offense this game was consistent with the Mets 2016 story. We hit a bunch of homers and won. Curtis Granderson hit a solo homer in the second inning, and Jose Reyes hit a solo homer in the third inning to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead.

Half Monty: Rafael Montero pitched 4.1 innings and didn’t really have strong command at all. He walked 4 and gave up 3 runs. Adam Duvall hit a two-run homer in the third inning, and in the 5th Joey Votto hit a sac fly to make it 3-2 Reds. I think Montero should lose the rotation spot to Gabriel Ynoa at this point. Montero hasn’t really impressed like Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo. I suppose they’ll just make his rotation spot a mix and match day since our roster/bullpen is expanded now.

Pen Mixer: Terry mixed and matched with the bullpen for the rest of the game. Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia ultimately closed it out. But along the way we got to see Josh Edgin return and also his twin-like lefty Josh Smoker. They’re both chunky bear-like hard throwing lefties.

Yoenis Blessedpedes: As I said up front, Yoenis Cespedes came up in the 7th inning after Asdrubal Cabrera hit a single. He proceeded to launch a two-run home run to dead center field to give the Mets a 4-3 lead. He also nailed Brandon Phillips trying to turn a single into a double in the 8th inning on a ball Brandon hit off the left field wall. He’s electric.

Alejandro De Long Ball: In the 9th inning Alejandro De Aza hit a solo homer to give the Mets insurance and make it 5-3. De Aza has had quite a turnaround this season. I can’t believe he was so useless before the All-Star Break.

Desperation Play: In Wild Card news the Pirates and Marlins both continued collapsing. The Cardinals came back to beat the Pirates and the Giants did the same against the Rockies. So the Mets remain a game back of the second spot. In a desperate move, the Marlins activated an injured Giancarlo Stanton for strictly pinch hitting chances. I feel bad for the Marlins. Baseball without Stanton isn’t as fun for their team or fans. Same goes for the Mets and Yo!

Today: Day game with Noah Syndergaard on the mound against the stanky Reds. Let’s make it 5 in a row and sweep.

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.

Mets Acquire Duda’s Neanderthal Brother Jay Bruce

I’ve always wanted the Mets to acquire Jay Bruce. Not just because of his prolific power. I’ve always wanted him because Bruce and Lucas Duda are both left-handed hitting National League Neanderthal sluggers. #LucasSmash and #BruceBash. Now we finally get to see the power duo join forces. And by that I mean we hope to see them join forces when Lucas Duda’s cracked back heals. But the Mets officially acquired Bruce for Dilson Herrera and minor league pitcher Max Wotell. The original deal was for Brandon Nimmo and two minor leaguers. But of course that deal was scrapped because one of the low level minor leaguers coming from the Mets had medical issues. Is there a single healthy player in the Mets organization that can play or be traded? Every major leaguer goes on the DL and now the minor leaguers all have medical issues? It’s insanity.

I’m a little surprised the Mets dealt Herrera. They must have soured on him as the heir apparent at second base. That being said, it’s not like second base is a big problem considering we have Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores , and Neil Walker (who we can easily re-sign). Bruce leads the NL in RBIs. He’s hitting .265/.316/.559 with 25 homers and 80 RBIs. This is a great pickup. I don’t care that we have a bunch of corner outfielders. I’m pretty sure we can find a place for him in our lineup. That place will obviously be 4th in the order. I really hope this doesn’t mean that Yoenis Cespedes will be placed on the DL because of his balky quad. We shall see.

The Good News: The addition of Bruce is obviously great for the 2016 Mets. He will certainly help boost the offense. I realize he’s a terrible defender, but the quality of our defense doesn’t really matter if we can’t score a single run. Judging by all the acquisitions we’ve made this season, Jay Bruce will be on the first rickshaw out of Cincinnati and will join the Mets in roughly two weeks. 

Going forward this gives the Mets Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Jose Reyes all under contract for one more season. If the Mets like that crop of players for 2017 then that’s fine. If they want to shake things up, they have lots of attractive trade chips to potentially flip for other major league players that fill different needs.

The Bad News: The bad news is this reinforces what I’ve been saying for months. The Mets now have their “contingency plan” when Yoenis Cespedes opts-out of his contract. As soon as he opts out the Mets are going to say, “Well we have three corner outfielders (Bruce, Michael Conforto, and Grandy) and only two corners. Gotta let him walk. What else can we do?” They are going to say Yo refused to play center field. They are going to say he’s injury prone (instead of acknowledging he’s a damn iron man warrior). Whatever. I’ll worry about that when the time comes, but the Mets must keep Yo.

Another Boost On Offense: Jay Bruce is a nice addition, but I’m hoping the Mets have re-acquired Neil Walker’s bat for the rest of the season. He’s been hot lately. That would be a huge boost to this offense.

Instagram: Curtis Granderson is going to have to update his WeFollowLucasDuda Instagram account to include Jay Bruce now that the two giant lefty cavemen sluggers will share a locker room. Also, Grandy is going to have to find someone else to run the account when the Mets trade him in the offseason to solve our new outfield “logjam”. For the record other teams call this logjam depth.

Long Story Short: I’m happy. Adding a new talented player makes me happy. The trade deadline makes me happy. One day I’d like to be the guy that works for an MLB team and leaks everything to the media. The Julian Assange of Major League Baseball. I’ll be the best damn leak in the business.

Mets Sweep Reds; Take Out The NL Trash

Final Score: Mets 5, Reds 2

It didn’t look good at the start tonight when Matt Harvey gave up a leadoff home run to Zack Cozart. Then Ivan De Jesus Jr. hit a comebacker single off of Harvey’s butt and that seemed to get him into gear. When Joey Votto struck out, De Jesus took off on the play and advanced to second base when Lucas Duda flubbed the rundown. But it didn’t end up mattering because Harvey struck out the next two batters. The Mets got that run back and more in the 2nd inning thanks to the stanky Reds. Alejandro De Aza led off with a single. Then with two outs Lucas Duda hit a fairly routine fly ball to left field and the Reds dropped it. That scored De Aza and Neil Walker followed that with a single to make it 2-1.

Harvey almost got Murph’d by Walker in the 3rd. With a man on and one out, he muffed a routine grounder to second base. Then Joey Votto followed that with a bloop single to load the bases. But with the bases loaded and two outs, Walker redeemed himself. He was perfectly positioned and snagged a liner up the middle by Devin Mesoraco to retire the side. If that wasn’t enough, the next inning Neil Walkyear tied the Mets club record for most home runs in April with his 9th. A solo shot that made it 3-1.

Harvey gave up another run in the 5th to make it 3-2, but he limited the damage by getting a key double play to end the inning. In the 6th inning, after leaving six men on base over the course of the game, Michael Conforto lined an opposite field two out double that scored 2 more runs and that gave us the final score of 5-2.

The pen continued to dominate and shut down the Reds over the final three innings. The Mets were even able to give Jeurys Familia the night off. Considering he’s on pace for like 100 appearances, it was much needed.

Knight Terrors Subsiding: Matt Harvey took a step forward today with a quality start. He took that liner off of his ass, and from then on he seemed to stay fairly focused. The Mets played crappy defense behind him tonight. But his stuff was crisp, and he finally put up some strikeouts albeit against this crummy Reds lineup. This start is something to build on.

B-Squad Triumphs: The Mets starting lineup today was the unquestioned B-squad. Juan Lagares and Alejandro De Aza starting in the outfield and Kevin Plawecki behind the plate. And you know what? We easily slapped around the garbage Reds. Depth!!! Not just depth. Quality depth. It’s fun to watch our A lineup, and it’s not a major letdown to see our supporting cast. That’s how it should feel when you watch a playoff caliber roster.

The Quest for 74: After today’s game, Neil Walker is on pace for 73 home runs. As improbable as it is, Barry Bonds congratulating Neil Walker on his 74th home run in Miami on September 28th is a quality daydream.

Thor in Times Square: Today Noah Syndergaard hit up Times Square (i.e. New York’s anus) dressed as Thor. I’m surprised he voluntarily rubbed elbows (his priceless pitching elbow no less) with the other costumed riff raff. He’s truly a man of the hoi polloi because I wouldn’t let those degenerates anywhere near my body and mine’s worthless.

Panic City: The Mets have won 6 in a row and 11 of 13. They are now a game behind the Nationals who just lost a series to Philly. Here’s a live look at Panic City:

Tomorrow: Well we officially beat the hell out of the Phillies, Braves, and Reds. The Mets have the day off tomorrow, but the run of games against NL trash teams comes to a screeching halt this weekend as the Giants come to town. Let’s hope these Mets are up to the challenge.

Yoenis Benchbedes: Yo Hits Game-Tying Pinch-Hit Dinger In Mets Win


Final Score: Mets 4, Reds 3

On a night where the Mets got the leadoff man on base in 5 of the first 6 innings but couldn’t find a way to score a run, Yoenis Cespedes reminded us that he’s the spark plug that keeps this offense rolling. After missing three straight games with his balky knee, Yo pinch hit in the bottom of the 7th inning and on the first pitch from starter Brian Finnegan he launched a three-run game-tying laser that just snuck out of the stadium. It would have been off the Great Wall of Flushing at Old Citi Field. But at new Citi it was a goner and it made the game 3-3.

The Reds young lefty Finnegan was really great all game. Until that 7th inning he had only given up a hit and a couple walks. The Mets were 1 for 15 with runners on base in this game. So Finnegan really kept getting himself out of any trouble until the 7th. And as I said in the series preview, the Reds have the worst bullpen ERA in the league. So they left Finnegan in the game because their bullpen is awful. In fact, once Finnegan got pulled and they went to the pen, Curtis Granderson (who’s heating up) hit an opposite field triple. He then scored when David Wright hit a two out single. That made it 4-3 and Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia did the rest for us.

Bartolo Colon tallied his 3000th inning pitched last night. He was mediocre though. He didn’t go 6 innings, and he gave up 8 hits over 5 innings. He was getting smacked around every inning, so I was on board with Terry getting him out of the game when he did. He gave up a two-run homer to Ivan De Jesus Jr. but he was one bad pitch away from doing it again.

Sly Dog Award: The Sly Dog Award goes to Terry Collins for faking out Reds manager Bryan Price. When Brian Finnegan ran into trouble in the 7th inning and Price went to talk to him, Terry sent Duda to the on deck circle. Maybe Price thought Cespedes was unavailable. Maybe Price liked the Duda/Finnegan lefty on lefty matchup. Maybe he just knows his bullpen sucks. Either way Terry’s fakeout worked, and the tired Finnegan stayed in the game to get rocked by Cespedes. Terry you old sandbagging son of a gun.

Wilmer’s Struggling: Wilmer Flores is batting .083. He’s 2 for 24. He made an error at first base last night. We expect nothing in the field from Wilmer, but whether he’s starting or on the bench he must hit. It’s only been a month. It’s only been 24 at-bats. But it won’t be long before people are calling for Matt Reynolds (.288 average in Vegas) to get a chance.

Sample Size Police: So the Mets score all their runs on the home run. I don’t have the exact percentage breakdown, but if we aren’t top 3 in the league in percentage of runs scored via the home run I’d be shocked. Is it too early to conclude that our inability to make simple contact with runners on base or in scoring position is some type of flaw in our offensive design? Will the sample size police arrest me? Home runs are great, but other than Yo’s bomb, we once again struggled to score runs last night despite getting the leadoff men on base a bunch.

With or Without Yo: God the lineup is so different with Cespedes in it. He is electric. It is known. He also bailed postgame without giving any interviews which is super ballin. He just limped to his sports car and sped off. I really hope his injury is healed because the last thing we need is to bring him back too soon and do the setback dance.

Today: Matt Harvey gets another chance to give us a quality start and keep the brooms swinging. We have 5 straight wins and have won 10 of 12. We are creeping up behind the Nats. It’s also April, but winning any time of year is sweet.

Mets Beat Reds; Conforto For President

Final Score: Mets 5, Reds 3

There’s no doubt that Neil Walkyear had the game winning dinger, but Michael Conforto continues to be the star of the Mets show. He was on base all four times tonight with a home run, single, double and walk. His solo shot in the bottom of the 1st inning got our dinger parade going. Lucas Duda had a two run blast in the bottom of the 3rd. Guess who was on base? Conforto.

Noah Syndergaard was dominant through 6 innings. As he approached 100 pitches, the Reds started to get to him. Terry kept him in too long and yanked him with two outs in the 7th after he gave up his second run which made it 3-2. Antonio Bastardo came in and promptly walked a man and then gave up an RBI single to Joey Votto which tied the game at 3. But Logan Verrett got a big strikeout to end the inning.

Neil Walker immediately helped us retake the lead with a two run home run in the bottom of the 7th. Conforto was on base for this bomb as well. Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia then proceeded to dominate out of the pen to close it out and give us the 5-3 win.

Luck O’ The Maverick: Back to Conforto. This guy is an absolute immediate impact star. It’s unbelievable, and we are so lucky Sandy and Co. drafted him. I can’t help but let the thought creep into my head that the Wilpons will ultimately use Conforto as the rationale for letting Cespedes walk if he opts out of his deal at the end of the season. But I must push that glass half empty crap aside and focus on the now.

Mr. Glass Leaves Game: Speaking of glass, Travis d’Arnaud left the game with shoulder soreness. They said it was from all the throwing he had to do as a result of the Reds running on him non-stop. I think the Reds stole on him 5 times. God he’s so fragile. First Cespedes and now d’Arnaud with the day to day crap. I wonder if we will DL someone because we can’t play with one catcher. It’s really poor timing for Mr. Glass to strike again.

Bastard of Citi: Bad performance tonight from the natural born reliever Antonio Bastardo. He was wild and walked the first batter he faced. Occasional wildness was the knock on Bastardo. He’s also struck out a bunch of people on the season and been solid for the most part. You got to take the good with the bad.

Bullpen’s Lil Secret: Logan Verrett has been cranking out stellar spot starts and nice relief appearances. He’s been a real secret weapon for us. It’ll be interesting to see if he continues to have success or if the league adjusts and exploits any weakness they can find.

Tomorrow: Bartolo Colon goes up against a young lefty Brandon Finnegan. Let’s hope the wind remains favorable and the long balls keep flying. I’ve never seen anything like this. Strikeouts AND home runs? I’m just grabbing the popcorn and savoring all this power baseball.

Series Preview: Battle Of The Baseball Headed Mascots

Mr. Red versus Mr. Met, the epic battle of estranged baseball headed mascot cousins. Mr. Red was born a sleeve patch in 1955, and Mr. Met was born a scorecard illustration in 1963. Mr. Met appeared as a live action mascot in the 60s and Mr. Red appeared in the 70s. Mr. Met has been happily married to Mrs. Met since the 1960s. According to the Reds website, Mr. Red’s wife “Rosie Red” cheered the Reds to the 1939 National League pennant and then to the 1940 World Series championship. In other words, she’s even older than Mr. Red. I guess it took the wisdom of an older woman to see through Mr. Red’s ridiculous mustachioed outer shell and find the kind-hearted soul within. That being said, in the photo above Mr. Red is holding a gun and his eyes give the impression he’s on PCP or something. So he may have undocumented character flaws.

I would also like to note for the record that Mr. Met mysteriously disappeared from 1979-1994. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Wilpons bought their first stake in the Mets in 1980. The entire thing reeks of foul play, but the Wilpons refuse to comment on anything related to the Mets so it’s doubtful we’ll ever uncover the truth.

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1: Noah Syndergaard vs. Raisel Iglesias

Iglesias is a young pitcher with an odd delivery. The only person on our team that has faced him is Neil Walker. He’s been very effective so far this season going 1-1 in 4 starts with a 3.09 ERA.

Perfect Game Watch: Noah Syndergaard has been dubbed a video game create a player by David Wright. The Reds have a competent enough offense (they’ve scored more runs than the Mets), but at this point you never know how dominant Thor will be on any given night. Plus he beat the Reds twice last season.

Game 2: Bartolo Colon vs. Brandon Finnegan

Finnegan is another young starter. The Reds got him in the Johnny Cueto deal with Kansas City. He’s a lefthander so we may see Wilmer Flores at second base or first base in this game. Although with Walker’s success batting right-handed lately, maybe Terry will ignore career splits. Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Alejandro De Aza all faced him at some point when he was with KC. He has a 3.74 ERA in 4 starts this season.

Bartolo didn’t face the Reds last season, but he’s starting on my fantasy team this week so he better fire off a quality start. Other than Thor, Bartolo has been the Mets most consistent starter in 2016.

Game 3: Matt Harvey vs. Jon Moscot

Moscot (not to be confused with Mascot) is another young starter that we’ve never faced. If Matt Harvey is ever going to get his groove back, a home start against the Reds should help do the trick. He had two quality starts against the Reds last season. If a dose of the Reds doesn’t help lower Harvey’s ERA, he should consider Pilates as I’ve heard they’ve done wonders for Jake Arrieta during his inexplicable late career resurgence.

Thing To Look For:

Citi Field Power Outage: The Mets had an absolute power surge on this past road trip. Bombs all day every day. Back to back jacks, grand slams, fan interference reversed home runs and everything else under the sun. We are fifth in the league right now with 25 long balls. But now we head home where we haven’t had nearly as much success with the home run. We need to score somehow. If we aren’t going to score with the long ball then we better start bunching some hits together.

Red Pen: Scoring against the Reds shouldn’t be too much of a problem considering they are 28th in ERA overall at 5.58. The Reds have the second most innings pitched out of the pen so far in 2016 and their bullpen ERA is the worst at 6.26. Their pitching staff overall has been miserable. That being said, let’s get to their overworked pen.

Water In The Knee: Yoenis Cespedes said his banged up leg is feeling better. But the Mets doctors are going to take a look at his knee and conduct tests anyway. Once Ray Ramirez lays a finger on that knee it will most certainly swell up like a cantaloupe. Pray for Cespedes.

Murphometrics: So I think all Mets fans have been praising the middle infield defense of Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera this season. We are all amazed at how easily they make the routine plays and how effectively they turn double plays. When ground balls come their way, they hardly ever go under the glove or off their foot as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. Anyway, look at what Mark Simon from ESPN tweeted over the weekend.

Wow! Walker and Cabrera still give us below average defense relative to the rest of the league. Honestly that tells you all you need to know about how bad Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores were in the field. Mets fans are rejoicing like a starving population being fed for the first time in months. And the truth is we have been defensively starved in the middle infield for years. Even if it’s not top quality defense, Mets fans were so famished for competency up the middle that we are shouting our praises from the rooftops despite being handed the equivalent of moldy bread. But moldy bread sure as hell beats the sawdust that Murph represented.

Phillips, Murphy; Tomato, Tomahto: Speaking of Murphy, wouldn’t it have been nice if Brandon Phillips waived his no trade clause and joined the Nationals so we wouldn’t have to hear the daily Neil Walker/Daniel Murphy comparisons? But Phillips refused to uproot his family for what could be the final years of his playing career. That’s just great. That being said, Phillips is killing it so far this season batting .297. So maybe it’s one of those pick your poison scenarios.

Lefty Sluggers: Joey Votto is off to a terrible start batting around .200. Jay Bruce is supposedly going on paternity leave and will miss some of these games. Hooray! Quite frankly I’m surprised he’s still on the team. How the rebuilding Reds haven’t dealt him yet is beyond me. I would say it’s a lock that he won’t be on the team when we face the Reds again in September.

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

My Best Guess: Predicting the 2016 National League Central

Leo bear

(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.)

In 2015 the Cardinals, Pirates, and Cubs were the three best regular season teams in Major League Baseball, and it wasn’t really that close. The Cardinals are just completely ridiculous. They are like the Yankees in that they are God’s other chosen team. Every season, things seemingly work out for them. They overcome every injury and obstacle. In 2015, they overcame the statistical regression of their veteran catcher Yadier Molina, and they overcame injuries to veteran outfielder Matt Holiday. They also consistently get the most out of the players they acquire. Case in point would be John Lackey posting the best ERA of his career in 2015 as a 36 year old Cardinal. They won one hundred freaking games! They had the 24th ranked offense, but they had the league’s best pitching staff. Before the Mets acquired Yoenis Cespedes, they had an offense at the bottom of the barrel and a pitching staff at the very top too. Just like the Cardinals. Yet the Mets could barely maintain a .500 record without Cespedes. The Cardinals cruised to a hundo wins. Now that’s God’s work. Not to mention the fact that they had the best pitching staff with Adam Wainwright missing the whole damn season. The acquisition of Jason Heyward and his sabermetric mojo seemingly helped add to that win total. But I attribute it to voodoo magic or something. And I guess a little credit goes to the emergence of young outfielders Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk.

The Pirates have had their young core in place for a few years now, and they keep winning a ton of games. But they keep losing MLB’s stupid one game Wild Card playoff. An entire damn season of domination wasted. Poor Pirates. They are just as talented as their division rivals. They just need some damn luck. And maybe this year Jung Ho Kang won’t get crippled by a takeout slide in September. But judging by the new rules he probably will.

The Cubs were a very similar team to the Mets before the 2015 season. They’d both been rebuilding for a nice long stretch, and they finally had their young talent ready to produce at the major league level. The only difference being the Mets had the talented young pitching and the Cubs were brimming with talented position players. In order to really compete, the Mets needed a big impact bat. The Cubs needed the big time arm. The Mets signed useless old man Michael Cuddyer. The Cubs actually filled their need with Jon Lester. The result? The Mets were mediocre until they got the big bat at the trade deadline. The Cubs dominated all season. The Cubs immediate jump from worst to almost first surprised people. But ironically it was the Mets young pitching that defeated them in the NLCS. So the Cubs went into the offseason knowing at a minimum they had to bolster their rotation. And in addition to their rotation, they decided to bolster every other part of their team.

Cincinnati and Milwaukee were in the bottom third of the league in hitting and pitching. They were terrible, and they were terrible from day one. Both teams had been in denial about their demise, but in 2015 they hit rock bottom. This offseason, both organizations officially checked themselves into a baseball rehabilitation program (aka a rebuild) and will take all the necessary steps to get better. Here’s what I see in 2016:

NL Central: 1) Chicago Cubs (x) 2) Pittsburgh Pirates (wc) 3) St. Louis Cardinals 4) Cincinnati Reds 5) Milwaukee Brewers

When Theo Epstein entered this Cubs roster into his robot projection computer, it exploded. No doubt about it. Every projection system has the Cubs winning 140 games, and then the computer starts to smoke and ultimately shorts out. And I understand why. They won 97 games last season. Their young position player studs should all improve. They retained Dexter Fowler. And they added two players that the sabermetric experts adore in Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward. Oh and they also added John Lackey to their rotation. Oh and Lackey and Heyward came directly from the division rival Cardinals. So yeah I see why the computers shorted out. Their lineup should be elite from top to bottom with Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, and Anthony Rizzo at it’s core. After breaking out in his age 29 season and winning the Cy Young, Jake Arrieta seems poised for another elite season at the top of their rotation and should get paid the big bucks very soon. According to Wikipedia, Jake is known as a “workout freak” who does pilates and incorporates kale juice into his diet. I’ll have to get me some of his kale Popeye smoothies so I can totally “emerge” as I approach 30.

Jon Lester and John Lackey give the Cubs strong veteran starters behind Arrieta. I don’t see Lackey matching the 2015 numbers he had with the Cardinals particularly at Wrigley Field. His ERA was much higher at the hitter friendly Fenway Park when he was with the Red Sox, and I could see the same thing happening in Chicago. They don’t have any studs behind their big 3 in the rotation. But they have so much depth on offense that they can really pull a trade for a starter at any time during the season. I don’t think the Kyle Schwarber experiment in LF is going to pan out. The guy is a big fat DH. I expect a lot of embarrassing belly flops out there for him with balls rolling all the way to the wall all season long. It’s got Lucas Duda outfield experiment written all over it. Addison Russell is going to be a star. The Mets lucked out that he was injured for the NLCS. The Cubs bullpen is full of former starting pitchers which is so trendy right now. Starting pitchers in the pen is so big in this year’s summer bullpen collection by MLB. Trevor Cahill and Adam Warren are two such examples. The computers are not wrong. The Cubs are going to be elite. They are going to battle with the Cardinals and Pirates all season long in the same way they did last year. But they will take the division this time.

The Pirates won 98 games in 2015. Andrew McCutchen is going to be an MVP candidate per usual. Gerrit Cole is going to be a Cy Young candidate as well. Francisco Liriano is a great number 2. They replaced A.J. Burnett and J.A. Happ with Jon Niese and Ryan Vogelsong. A little mid-rotation starter musical chairs. Who cares. They straight up let Pedro Alvarez walk to Baltimore, but they seemingly like the platoon they have at 1B now with John Jaso and Sean Rodriguez. Neil Walker is now a Met. But they were pretty deep in the infield already and Josh Harrison is great for 2B. They also just signed David Freese to bolster the infield depth. The ace in the hole here is top pitching prospect Tyler Glasnow is coming. And he’s coming in 2016. The Pirates definitely see him having a major impact for them this season. He could bring that rotation to the next level. It’s part of the reason they were willing to sacrifice some offense in Alvarez and Walker.

The Cardinals lost Jason Heyward and John Lackey to the Cubs. Matt Holiday is getting old. They have two first basemen in Brandon Moss and Matt Adams aka Fat Adams and only one base for them to play. But their rotation and bullpen are still elite even without Lackey. They signed a great replacement in Mike Leake. They have Adam Wainwright back. They signed Jonathan Broxton and Korean reliever Seung-hwan Oh for the bullpen. They had the number 3 bullpen ERA and the number 1 starters ERA in 2015. And they won 100 games. They should be in the same ballpark this season. Plus the Cardinals in general are just so #blessed like the stupid Yankees. But I still think the Cubs and Pirates find their way to the top of the Central in 2016.

Cincinnati and Milwuakee are in full rebuild mode. They are going to be unwatchable and will be trampled by the Cubs, Pirates and Cardinals all season long. Basically the same story as last season except the Reds and Brewers are now officially out of the “tanking” closet. The Brewers traded Khris Davis. They have former Met bum Kirk Nieuwenhuis hitting cleanup for them this Spring with former Met Eric Young Jr. battling for a spot on the bench. Captain Kirk hit 3 dingers in a game last season. Other than that he never did shit. Poor Brewers fans. May God have mercy on your souls.

The Reds have their white flags up and waving for 2016. They traded Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman for a plethora of prospects this offseason. The consensus was that they got hosed by the Yankees and White Sox in those trades. Whoops!


Other Divisional Predictions:

American League East

American League Central

American League West

National League East