#ThrowbackThursday Mets Edition: Bernard Gilkey

Born in St. Louis, Missouri on September 24th, 1966, Otis Bernard Gilkey, a right handed outfielder went un-drafted but would sign with his hometown Cardinals as an amateur free agent on August 22nd, 1984.

Gilkey would go on to make his Major League debut at 23 years old on September 4th, 1990, against the New York Mets in which he went 0-4. However, he’d have a successful little run that first season, slashing .297/.375/.484/.859 in just 64 at-bats as a September call-up.

The hometown kid would spend six years in his hometown with the Cardinals, hitting .282/.354/.431/.785 with 126 doubles and 52 home runs in 2133 at-bats (593 Games).

On January 22nd, 1996, he’d eventually get traded to the Mets in a deal for Yudith Ozorio, Erik Hiljus, and Eric Ludwick. I’d imagine that this trade was possibly the highlight of these three youngsters professional careers.

Stacked in a lineup that included speedy center fielder Lance Johnson, catcher Todd Hundley, and even a 28 year old Jeff Kent, Gilkey was set up for success and found it.

While Gilkey didn’t stay with the Mets long, that first season with the team was quite impactful. In 153 games, the outfielder hit .317/.393/.562/.955 with 30 home runs and 117 RBI’s, all career-highs.

Production like that will quickly have anyone become a fan favorite and that’s exactly what happened with Bernard.

The Mets’ beloved left fielder would even find himself making his Hollywood debut with a small cameo in the hit film Men In Black with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

YouTube: Midas Fury

A season highlighted with so much offensive coming from the middle of the lineup, below is a clip of Gilkey taking the Mets home with a walk-off bomb against the Montreal Expos.

He also had 44 doubles while being walked 73 times, and a handsome 155 OPS+, also career highs to wrap up the epitome of a career year.

He would spend only another year and a half in Queens before being traded alongside Nelson Figueroa (Wow!) to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ‘98 season.

In return the Mets received right handed swingman reliever Willie Blair and backup catcher Jorge Fabregas.

Looking at Gilkey’s career stats after a 12 year career, nothing really jumps off the page except for that 1996 season with the Mets. It was absolutely magical.

After calling it a career after his final season in 2001, Gilkey would be inducted into his home state’s Hall of Fame in 2018.

Credit to St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame

Pete Alonso is Rewriting his Book

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s official, the book is out on Pete Alonso. No, you can’t get it on kindle or Amazon, and no you won’t be able to listen to the audio version while driving to work on Friday morning.

The book we’re talking about here is how the opposing pitchers approach an AB with the Polar Bear, which is common with every player.

“The book’s out. I’ve been around now and for me teams don’t want to give up the home run ball so I want to be able to to adjust and have a good disciplined approach… If I’m staying disciplined, going the other way, taking walks or just putting a good quality swing on the ball in the zone then I’m doing well.”

Pete Alonso to SNY

During the shortened 2020 campaign, Alonso hit just .232/.326/.490/.817 in just 208 at-bats. Some may say that that 2020 year was a wash, but some may also argue that a productivity dip was to be expected as apart of a sophomore slump.

Throughout Alonso’s career, the first baseman is batting .258/.346/.539/.835 in 1482 AB’s.

This season, Alonso is hitting a slash line of .276/.333/.500/.833 in his 116 AB’s. A batting average 18 points higher than his career average, and while his OBP is slightly lower, it’s bound to make a jump up as the slugger continues to adapt.

“I feel like I have pretty decent bat-to-ball… I put a lot of stuff in play hard consistently and I’ve committed to the zone really well and I just want to continue to be able to do that.”

Pete Alonso to SNY

And this is what separates the elite from the rest of the pack, the ability to change and adapt, not just throughout a season, but also the entirety of your career.

“I haven’t seen as many driveable pitches where you want to get big on and hit a double in the gap or go up top but I just want to stay within myself and just put good quality swings on good pitches. Going to right field is a product of having a plan and not getting too big.”

Pete Alonso to SNY

In the slugger’s last 15 games, Alonso’s slashing at a .321/.415/.696 clip to go alongside six home runs and 16 RBI’s. The latest bomb would come in the form of a walk of 2-run home run in the bottom of the 10th against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday afternoon.

Mets Junkies Game Recap: A Good Look by Cookie; Mets fall to Nats.

New York Mets starter Carlos Cookie Carrasco took the hill for the first time of the 2022 campaign and pitched really well. Unfortunately, the outing did not result in a team victory as the Mets picked up their first loss of the season.

However, back to Carrasco. The right-hander tossed 5.2 innings while allowing a run on two base hits. One of the hits came off of the bat of Nelson Cruz and resulted in a solo home run in the bottom half of the first.

Catcher Tomas Nido picked up a hit but also came up with a big defensive play in the bottom of the seventh. Nido would throw out Josh Bell as he attempted to steal second base with two outs, at which point the Mets still had a 2-1 lead over the Nationals.

Mark Canha is here to hit and that’s being shown as the newly acquired outfielder went 3-4, upping his BA to .700 after 10 AB’s.

Jeff McNeil picked up another hit today, as the super utility man went 1-3 on the afternoon as he also started in left field. McNeil now has a .438 BA as Buck Showalter continues to utilize McNeil’s versatility across the diamond.

McNeil, nicknamed The Flying Squirrel, even took a hit away from Josh Bell in left field as he made a sliding catch to rob the slugger of a cheap hit.

However, it would end up being the Mets defense that would cost them the game. An errant throw by Pete Alonso would eventually give Nelson Cruz and the Nationals the opportunity to take the game, and they did.

The Nationals would take the last game as the Mets take the four-game series.

The Mets will be in Philadelphia for a three game set with the Phillies as Taijuan Walker kicks it off against Ranger Suarez.

Cohen takes shots at Agent

Steve Cohen is not about hiding his feelings and has displayed this before. Well, today is no different as he had some hard words to take to Twitter this morning.

This post comes just several hours after Steven Matz has signed a four-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic gives his thoughts to the snub.

Who do you think will be the first big addition for the Mets? Let us know!!

deGrom scratched from tonight’s start

After a wild 24-hours with the firing of hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant Tony Slater, Jacob deGrom will miss tonight’s start against the Cardinals.

This is due to tightness on his right side and hopefully is nothing more than precautionary measures. deGrom just won NL Pitcher of the month for April and is on route to contend for his third Cy Young award.

Reliever Miguel Castro will step in to make the start.

MetsJunkies Game Recap: Mets pitch well but get shutout

The Mets lost to the Cardinals this afternoon, unfortunately this loss came in the form of a shutout. The starters continue to look great, but it’s pretty obvious that the position players are a tick behind, and that’s to be expected.

Pitching Lines:

Corey Oswalt: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. 6.23 ERA

Breakdown: Oswalt was effective on the hill today after having a not so good outing in his last appearance. After being DFA’d earlier in the off-season and being cut from the MLB camp just days ago, Oswalt had a bounce back day.

Jeurys Familia: IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. 1.50 ERA

Dellin Betances : IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. 9.00 ERA

Breakdown: Betances was much better today as the former 8th round pick pitched a scoreless sixth. He was able to strike out Carlson to lead off the inning with a back-foot knuckle-curve.

Miguel Castro: IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K. 3.00 ERA

Breakdown: We keep going on about Miguel Castro being a huge under the radar type of acquisition. His arm is obviously a lively one and he’s pretty good good at keeping the opposition swinging and missing, as we’ve seen today.

Jerry Blevins: IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K. 3.86 ERA

Offensive Stars of the game:

Francisco Lindor: 1-3, BB.

Jeff McNeil: 1-4, 2B.

Breakdown: McNeil lined a double to right-center off of Carlos Martinez in the top half of the first, however he did also strike out with runners on the corners in the sixth. While McNeil is having a brutal spring, we can expect the second baseman to turn it up once the season starts.

Dom Smith: 1-2, BB.

The Mets have the day off on Thursday however will be back at it on Friday as they will host the Nationals.

Photo from YardBarker.com

Wednesday’s Pitching Preview

Carlos Martinez of the St. Louis Cardinals will take the hill as they host Pete Alonso and the New York Mets in this exhibition matchup. At 7-7 so far this Spring, the Cardinals look to go over .500, however they’ll need to do so with a struggling Martinez.

Making his fifth appearance on Wednesday, he enters the game with a an 0-2 record. In 11.2 innings pitched, the former top prospect has seven strikeouts while pitching to a 10.03 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP.

The Mets on the other hand have gotten great pitching out of their starters, and you can add Taijuan Walker that list. Making his third appearance, Walker owns a 3.00 ERA however it’s just in three innings pitched, so a bad outing can change things.

He’s struck out five total batters and has allowed one base-runner per inning with his 1.00 WHIP.

The game will not be televised locally on SNY however will be aired nationwide on MLB Network. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM EST.

MetsJunkies Game Recap: Walker Strong, Lindor GS

The Mets beat the Cardinals 8-5 in yesterday’s spring affair.

Pitching lines:

Taijuan Walker: 4IP, H, 0R, BB, 3K, 3.00 ERA

Jerry Blevins: IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 3.00 ERA

Corey Oswalt: 2.2IP, 5H, 5ER, BB, K. 9.64 ERA

Trevor Hildenberger: Strikeout in only AB. 0.00 ERA

Daniel Zamora: IP, H, 0R, 1BB, 0K. 0.00 ERA

Walker was great, which will get more attention in a later article. Hildenberger struck out his only batter he faced. It will keep his perfect record for outs coming from strikeouts with 7 over 2.1 innings.

Oswalt struggled after a great outing in his first one.

Offense performances:

Francisco Lindor: 2-4 HR, 4RBI, R, K

Tomas Nido: 3-3 HR, 2R, RBI

Nido and Lindor both homered in the victory. Lindor HR was crushed at 108mph while Nido flicked one over the wall. Still good to see Nido hitting as he and McCann will be the catching duo.

Mets Game Recap: Cardinals 5 vs. Mets 7

The Mets beat the Cardinals in a game were the most excitement came from a walk. Luis Guillorme walked after a 22 pitch battle. To reference, the highest pitch at bat that has been counted in the regular season was a Brandon Belt fly out after 21 pitches. But that wasn’t the only thing that happened.

Pitching lines:

LHP David Peterson: 4IP, 5H, 3ER, 2BB, K, 4.50ERA

LHP Aaron Loup: IP, 2H, ER, 0BB, K, 2.45 ERA

RHP Arodys Vizcaino: IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, 0.00 ERA

RHP Corey Oswalt: 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 5K, 0.00 ERA

RHP Yennsy Diaz: IP, 1H, 1ER, 1BB, 1K, 9.00 ERA, Save

Peterson struggled today over 4 innings, as he allowed a lot of hard hit contact. With Lucchesi starting this spring well, the pressure in on the young lefty.

Arodys Vizcaino made a good impression, showing high velo and solid spin rates in his first outing.

Corey Oswalt struck out 5 of the 6 batter he faced in his first spring outing.

Hitters performances:

Brandon Nimmo: 1-2, 2R, BB (.450avg/1242OPS)

Francisco Lindor: 1-3, BB, R, RBI (.158avg/396OPS)

Michael Conforto: 3-3, 2R, 2RBI (.333avg/.708OPS)

Pete Alonso: 1-3, 2RBI (.333avg/.1223OPS)

The Mets collected 9 hits (all singles) in the victory over the Cardinals. Luis Guillorme had the big walk as the most fun at bat of the day. Conforto and Lindor hit the ball hard all day, which is a great sign.