The Mets Are Officially Painful To Watch

Final Score (in 13 torturous innings): White Sox 2, Mets 1

The Quick and Dirty: Jacob deGrom pitched a brilliant ballgame. He went 7 innings, gave up 5 hits, 2 walks, 1 run, and struck out 10. Unfortunately, he surrendered a solo home run to Todd Frazier in the top of the 7th inning and with this anemic Mets offense that was a guaranteed death blow. Poor Jacob. The pen was stellar as well. Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia, Antonio Bastardo, Jim Henderson, and Hansel Robles combined to pitch 4.1 innings of scoreless ball. Last night’s loser Hansel Robles came in to pitch the 12th inning, retired Tyler Saladino, and then keeled over in pain. Apparently he twisted his ankle or some crap. He left the game and Logan Verrett came in. Verrett got out of the 12th, but in the 13th he surrendered a double to relief pitcher Matt Albers. Then he threw a wild pitch and let Albers get to third base. Jose Abreu then hit a sac fly and that gave the White Sox the second run they needed. Sox won 2-1.

So Embarrassing Part 1: I already typed it, but it’s worth re-typing. Logan Verrett surrendered a leadoff double to relief pitcher Matt Albers, Albers advanced on a wild pitch, and scored the winning run on a sac fly. Are you freaking kidding me? That might be the Metsiest thing the Mets have done all season. Total loser trash ending to a total loser trash baseball game.

So Embarrasing Part 2: Yoenis Cespedes didn’t start today’s game, so it’s not that surprising we couldn’t score at all. The Mets only run came on a second inning RBI single by Rene Rivera. The Mets offense collected 13 walks in this game. The Elias Sports Bureau said they became the second team since 1893 to draw 13+ walks and score 1 or fewer runs. The other was the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953. Jesus H. Christ.

They hit into 5 double plays. Curtis Granderson walked in the first inning and Asdrubal Cabrera hit a single to get him to third base. They had runners on the corners with no outs and failed to execute thanks to a Michael Conforto strikeout and a Neil Walker double play. They squandered opportunities thanks to double plays in the fourth inning (Ty Kelly) and fifth inning (Grandy). Other than the 8th inning, the Mets really didn’t threaten the rest of the way. Grandy came up in the 11th with two men on and two outs, but flew out. Asdrubal led off the 12th with a walk and Conforto instantly hit into the fifth double play. It was a brutal day at the ballpark.

Playing Short: In the 8th inning with one out, James Loney singled and Juan Lagares walked. The Mets had a real chance to take the lead and hand the ball to Familia. But because they are playing short handed, the Mets couldn’t pinch hit Yoenis Cespedes for Ty Kelly. Wilmer Flores was the only infielder left on the bench, and I guess Terry was too worried to play without any infield option left. I would have been scared too quite frankly considering we can’t score for shit and everyone keeps getting injured. And what did Kelly do? Double play. He stinks too, but we already knew that when they called him up.

So Embarrassing Part 3: The White Sox came into Citi Field on goddamn crutches, bleeding out, struggling to breath, with their season spiraling out of control. After the Mets took game one of this series, the Sox had lost 7 in a row and 15 of 19. They leave Citi in an all out sprint ready to conquer the world. Looks like Robin Ventura gets to keep his job a little longer thanks to his old team.

Jesus Christ Conforto: Michael Conforto is funkalicious right now. Actually that sounds like a good thing. Let me clarify. He’s in a terrible funk. He went 0 for 6 with 4 Ks. He’s going to have to adjust because the league sure has. He will.

Fan Interference: In the 6th inning, James Loney hit a ball down the left field line and a fan interfered. Melky Cabrera would have caught it in foul territory and the umps agreed. People who interfere at baseball games should be taken to the dungeons at MLB headquarters and spend the rest of their days in solitude. For the record, the dungeons are right below the MLB replay review center.

The Answer was Three (Or One): So the answer to the question “How many injured starters does it take to turn the Mets offense back into the anemic 2015 version?” is three starters. The absence of Travis d’Arnaud, Lucas Duda, and David Wright has finally taken its toll and the Mets are back to being the worst offense on the planet. Also an alternative answer to the above question is one injured starter when that guy is Yoenis Cespedes. Without him the Mets have no chance.

What Do We Do?: Sooooo this was a brutal homestand. We lost 4 of 6. I mean it’s the same story over and over again. We have nobody to step up for these injured players. Kevin Plawecki and Rene Rivera can’t hit. Eric Campbell couldn’t hit. Ty Kelly can’t hit. Wilmer Flores can’t hit. And right now Cespedes and Conforto ain’t hitting either. I have no idea why the Mets didn’t do exactly what the Cubs did. The Cubs had arguably the leagues best starting position players last season. And they had some of the best backups as well. What did they do? They kept all those guys and signed Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, and re-signed Dexter Fowler. They’ve had major injuries, and they have the depth to make up for it. The Mets let Daniel Murphy walk, Kelly Johnson walk, Juan Uribe walk, and they dumped Ruben Tejada. The only reason they signed Alejandro De Aza was because they thought they weren’t signing Cespedes. We all thought Wilmer would at least hit off the bench. But he’s regressed into oblivion. What do we do? We wait for Sandy to make one, two, three moves and pray. This roster ain’t going to cut the mustard and Duda/Wright/d’Arnaud may never come back. Seriously. Lucas Duda is out for months. Terry said yesterday that d’Arnaud isn’t even close to a rehab assignment. And David Wright is the most dunzo of all these guys. Every time Terry talks about David it feels like he’s reading his eulogy. He’s got his lower lip trembling with sadness permeating in his voice. Just awful.

Tomorrow: Day off tomorrow to mourn after that horrible loss then off to Miami. I’m shocked that we only went 14-15 in May. June is looking like it’s going to be a lot worse. Goddamn Mets. Of course Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom start to kick things into gear right as we finish making headstones for three of our starting position players.

Matz And Robles Meltdown

Final Score: White Sox 6, Mets 4

Sac Flies and Neil Walkyear: The Mets scored early in this one. Yoenis Cespedes hit a sac fly in the first inning and Curtis Granderson hit a sac fly in the second inning. Neil Walker added a two run home run in the fourth inning to make it 4-0. Walkyear has been really solid all season, but he sure is coming alive lately. He’s smashing at a .391 clip over his last 7 games. Those four runs represented all the scoring for the Mets last night. The way Matz was pitching, it felt like it would be all the scoring the Mets needed.

Matz Cruising: Steven Matz was for the most part cruising during the first five innings of this game. In the second inning, Avisail Garcia reached on an error by new first baseman James Loney. What a way to start things off J-Lone. Matz followed that error by walking Tyler Saladino, but then he struck out Dioner Navarro to squash the situation. He gave up a single in the third inning and two singles in the fourth inning, but he got key outs when he needed them in those spots and escaped. His success lasted until the 6th inning.

Matz Meltdown: In the 6th inning, Matz lost his composure and reminded us that he’s a rookie. He may be a rookie of the year candidate, but there’s still room for maturation and growth. The inning started when Jose Abreu hit a hard ground ball to James Loney at first base that ate him up. It bounced off of him, rolled into foul territory, and Abreu reached. It was called a single, but it was a play you need to make. Matz clearly lost his focus, and he followed that play by serving up a cookie to Todd Frazier who put the ball in the seats to make it 4-2. Matz has been stellar all season, and everyone makes mistake pitches. But it was clear that the Loney misplay was in his head and led to a bad pitch choice to Frazier. Matz then surrendered a single to Melky Cabrera but got Avisail Garcia to hit into a double play. However with two outs he walked Tyler Saladino, and he just didn’t hold him on base. Saladino totally embarrassed Matz by stealing second base and third base. Dioner Navarro then singled to drive Saladino in and make it 4-3. Matz failed to focus on the base runner and the batter. That was the end of the day for Matz, but those three runs and particularly that final run proved to be crucial.

Error City: As I said, James Loney was charged with one error and made one misplay that was ultimately labeled a hit. Asdrubal Cabrera made a fielding error in the seventh inning. The only reason Asdrubal’s error didn’t bite the Mets in the ass was because Thor happened to pitch the seventh inning tonight. Noah Syndergaard is striking out the planet even when he’s throwing the equivalent of an in-game bullpen session. Clean it up on defense man. We all know defense is one of our big weaknesses. I’m just going to pretend it won’t be our downfall.

Robles Meltdown: Jim Henderson and Thor got the Mets through to the 8th inning with the 4-3 lead. Jeurys Familia was unavailable last night so the Mets brought Hansel Robles in for the 8th inning, and he crumbled. He walked the leadoff man like a damn fool. Then he struck out Avisail Garcia before surrendering a two run home run to Tyler Saladino. Yeesh. With two outs he walked pinch hitter Jimmy Rollins. That was all for Hansel. But Jerry Blevins came in and walked Adam Eaton, and Logan Verrett came in gave up a single to Brett Lawrie that scored Rollins. 6-4. That was all she wrote for the Mets. After a hot start, Hansel Robles has been terrible lately. The pen was another one of our preseason weaknesses. Well after a hot start with our team ERA near the top, we are tumbling big time. Once again, I’m just going to pretend it won’t be our downfall.

Hold Men On For Christ’s Sake: Tyler Saladino ran all over Matz in the 6th inning and then Rollins did the same to Blevins. I get that those two guys have speed. But Jesus Christ can we find a way to hold guys on base? I can’t believe we’re going to have to play Rene Rivera, a guy who bats .100, in order to ensure we stop the stolen bases.

Grandyman Can Again: Curtis is heating up. He went to 2 for 4. That was a positive in this poo poo loss.

Soup’s Gone: Speaking of positives, I wrote a post on Monday saying it was time for Soup to go. And boom. Just like that, Soup was dumped to make room for James Loney. Prayers answered.

Wright Should Be DL’d: We’ve been playing with 24 guys since last Friday because the Mets are still waiting to see if Wright can avoid a DL stint for his herniated neck disk. The playing short handed consistently thing is becoming a joke. I wrote about how David Wright should be DL’d yesterday.

Ketchup or Mustard: I was at the game yesterday, but apparently Keith ordered a hot dog with ketchup on it during the broadcast. This obviously sparked the always raging ketchup vs. mustard discussion. I’m a mustard on a hot dog guy. But I really couldn’t care less if you put ketchup on your dog. Why? Because I’m a condiments man first and foremost. I’ll dip things in salsa, mayo, mustard, ketchup, ranch, Russian dressing and whatever else you want to throw my way. Ketchup never wronged me. So I have no reason to get fired up on this debate. If you want to dip you hot dog directly in a bottle of blue cheese dressing, be my guest.

Today: The Mets need to win this game and salvage a .500 road trip. Losing 4 out of 6 at home would be embarrassing for a team that fancies itself a contender.

Matt Harvey Breaker of Slumps Returns 

Final Score: Mets 1, White Sox 0

Well the floundering White Sox came to town and with that Matt Harvey has returned. Today was a vintage Matt Harvey start. He went 7 innings, surrendered 2 hits, no runs, and struck out 6. His fastball had that high 90s velocity, and he was able to locate it. He threw all his pitches effectively. He even got out of a couple jams. In the 5th inning, he gave up a single with one out to J.B. Shuck. Then he got Brett Lawrie to hit into a double play. In the 7th inning, he surrendered a leadoff walk to Adam Eaton and a single to Jose Abreu. But he managed to retire the next three hitters without surrendering any runs. He was resilient and fired up.

Jose Quintana was just as impressive in this game until he tired late. He also went 7 innings, gave up 6 hits, one run, and struck out 7. He made a bad pitch to Neil Walker to leadoff the bottom of the 7th inning and Walker launched a dinger. The solo blast was the game’s only run. It was the difference.

Familia Returned Too: Jeurys Familia got the save in this one which was huge after a horrendous weekend where he blew two games. I trust him. He’s our rock in the pen.

My Boy Rene: Rene Rivera called a hell of a game and deserves some credit for the success of Harvey and Familia. Too bad he can’t hit at all.

Hurry Loney: This game was also classic Harvey in the sense that we couldn’t give him any support. Jose Quintana is the AL ERA leader, so it’s rare that anyone scores off of this guy. That being said, Alejandro De Aza and Ty Kelly didn’t bring much to the table today. They really never do. We need to get James Loney in this lineup as soon as possible. I’m hearing he’s going to start tomorrow.

Pray For Wright: David Wright is seeing the neck doctor tomorrow. The DL seems like a lock. We should probably re-acquire Kelly Johnson or Juan Uribe or get someone to replace David Wright as soon as he joins the injured All-Stars in Port St. Lucie. Pray for David.

Mini Mid-Series Preview: I didn’t get a chance to post a full series preview for the White Sox. Obviously I’ve been too busy honoring our troops etc. But here’s a mini dose. In my season preview, I had the White Sox near the bottom of the AL Central right above the Twins in the cellar. They have some hot pitching at the top of the rotation in Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. I wasn’t convinced Todd Frazier solved all their offensive woes from 2015. Well for the first month of the season, I looked like an idiot. The White Sox and Cubs were the two best teams in the game through the first week in May. But lately? Lately the White Sox have been struggling. They are on a seven game losing streak now. They’ve dropped 15 of 19. They are now in third place in the Central. I’m not sure if it’s a blip on the radar or if they are returning to their stanky 2015 form.

Game 2: Steven Matz vs. Mat Latos

Game 3: Jacob deGrom vs. Miguel Gonzalez

No Chris Sale for this series. Thank God. Let’s take the series tomorrow night.

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 American League Central

royals ws

(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.)

The 2014 Royals lost in the World Series to the Giants, but they brought back roughly the same team in 2015. The robot projection computers have disliked the Royals the last three seasons. They disliked them before their 2014 World Series appearance. They picked against them in the spring of 2015. For some reason, the robots are still picking against them in 2016. Jesse Spector wrote a great article attempting to explain why this is the case. Although the robots are self-aware, they don’t yet know how to love, and they clearly don’t know how to detect the Royals “it factor”. It seems resilience, determination, and experience “Do not compute”. I think despite the skepticism of the robots, most experts predicted they would make the playoffs in 2015 by winning the AL Central. Then of course, we saw that they didn’t just make the playoffs. They got back to the World Series and won it all. Despite all their spending, the Tigers struggled with injuries and bad luck in 2015. The Indians have a young pitching staff that rivals the Mets staff, but they are lacking in the offensive department. The White Sox spent a bunch of money on free agents prior to 2015, but their season turned out to be a mess. The Twins didn’t spend anything per usual and were mediocre. Here’s what I see in 2016:

AL Central: 1) Kansas City Royals (x) 2) Detroit Tigers 3) Cleveland Indians 4) Chicago White Sox 5) Minnesota Twins

You can’t bet against Kansas City. They are young, they just won the World Series, and they have repeat potential. I know they lost Ben Zobrist. I know they lost Johnny Cueto. But Ian Kennedy can eat innings, and they were never wowing anyone with their rotation anyway. They have the same pesky grind it out offense, and an even better pen with Joakim Soria back in the fold. They’ll take the division again. 

Detroit sucked last year. But they had injuries, an awful bullpen, and bad luck. I like what Jordan Zimmerman and Justin Upton do for their rotation and lineup respectively. Cameron Maybin had a career year in 2015. Maybe he figured something out. Francisco Rodriguez can still finish games with the best of them which will help their pen which was dogshit last season. I see them getting more production from Victor Martinez this year. And my boy Michael Fulmer is going to come up and have an impact in their rotation or bullpen. The Mets have been breeding strong arms, and this guy is supposedly the real deal. That being said, the Tigers will be behind the other Wild Card teams and miss the playoffs. 

Cleveland has that deadly rotation with Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar, and Carlos Carrasco. A sort of Mets lite rotation. But they didn’t fix their problems on offense in my opinion, and Michael Brantley could be out for a stretch to start the season due to offseason shoulder surgery. I suppose they did add former Mets Juan “Hog Show” Uribe and Marlon “Biogenesis” Byrdman. But they needed a big bat. They pulled a Mets 2014/2015 in the offseason. We added old deteriorating Michael Cuddyer last offseason, when we really needed an actual big bat. Then we got Yoenis Cespedes midseason. Maybe they will do the same thing and have a big second half.

The White Sox are completely out. Sell sell sell! They are going to blow it all up midseason. White Sox Executive Vice President Ken Williams better pick up a copy of Windy Shitty: Theo Epstein’s Guide to Tanking in Chicago. They had a mediocre pitching staff last season and big time problems on offense. And a roll of Todd Frazier duct tape mixed with some Brett Lawrie crazy glue ain’t gonna patch the holes in this sinking ship. Plus DH Adam LaRoche just pulled a Michael Cuddyer by surprise retiring with money still on his contract. No matter how quickly they patch them holes they just keep opening up. Maybe they will spend that extra LaRoche money on another big bat to keep patching their crummy lineup. But I think it’s more likely they are posting a “Chris Sale for Sale” sign at the trade deadline. Book it.

Minnesota was .500 last season. They supposedly had an extremely “lucky” season by all advanced metrics and standards, and it still wasn’t good. They added a first basemen from Korea Byung-ho Park but not much else. I don’t expect much from them.

Other Divisional Predictions:

American League East