MetsJunkies Game Recap: ReplaceMets fall to Braves; Win the Series

Jonathan Villar has been pretty clutch since joining the Mets, especially while in the starting lineup. Today, Villar lead the fourth inning off with a home run off of Braves starter Charlie Morton.

Former New York Mets outfielder Guillermo Heredia would put Atlanta on the board with a well hit single. Pitcher Charlie Morton would immediately follow Heredia with an unorthodox RBI single of his own, putting the Braves up by two.

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t end just yet. David Peterson would throw a 58-footer causing a wild pitch and that would allow Heredia to cross the plate.

So after 4.2 innings pitched, Peterson would be removed after pitching an excellent four innings out of the gate. He would be charged with three earned runs on five hits while walking one and striking out five.

Drew Smith would come in to relieve Peterson and was spot on as he went 1.1 scoreless innings, keeping his ERA at 0.00 so far.

In the top half of the seventh, Jose Peraza would lace a double down the line that would push across Dom Smith to score. Tomas Nido would crash through again with his own single to put the Mets up 4-3, the catcher is 5-9 in the series and has driven in three runs.

Miguel Castro, who opened in last night’s contest, came on to pitch in the seventh as he put down the middle of the Braves order in yet another impressive outing. Not only did the righty get the job done, but his pitches had a tremendous amount of movement on them as he was clearly effective. Castro’s ERA is now 2.97 on the year.

However, Aaron Loup would come into the game in the eighth and give up three consecutive hits to start the inning, giving up the lead. He would be removed for Jacob Barnes.

Barnes and the Mets did a great job of getting out of the eighth inning with only giving up one run, however Ronald Acuna Jr would hit a walk-off home run off of Barnes to lead off the ninth.

The Mets would drop the game, 5-4, however they did take the series against the Braves. After a day off tomorrow, the Mets will be back on Friday to take on Miami Marlins.

Morton signs with the Braves

The Braves added their new one year deal starter (like they seem to do every season). Charlie Morton has agreed to an one year 15m dollar contract. Fairly steep price, but I price I would have paid for his services.

Worth mentioning is that Atlanta is closer to his home than NY, which is something Morton really wanted. I would have liked Morton in the Mets rotation, as he was my prime target. Unfortunately a rival acquired him to bolster their staff.

I liked Morton, but the Mets will get other good players. Braves rotation will be a force to be reckoned with and our main rival.

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

8-10 teams have shown interest in Morton

According to MLB.com, 8 to 10 teams have expressed interest in free agent starter Charlie Morton. The Mets should be one of the teams who have interrest in the 37 year old righty. Morton is a great fit as a veteran guy, who has been very solid late in his career.

Morton did struggle to a 4.74 ERA over 9 starts, however after his IL stint, he pitched to a respectable 4.03 ERA. MLB Network’s own Al Leiter mentioned lowering his arm slot as a big help in his succes after his IL stint. In the regular season, but even more in the playoffs.

Also read: Mets Trade Target: Zach Plesac

Still, Morton has solid expected numbers in 2020 (.239/.293/.382) in 2020. I would definitely take that. It shows in his expected ERA, which was almost a run lower (3.89).

Morton numbers indicate that he is still a very valuable mid rotation starter and I would love the Mets to sign him on an one year 8-12 mil dollar deal! He still has it.

Also read: Fuzzy mentioned trade option for Lindor

Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors Predictions

MLBtraderumors.com is the baseball site, with arguably the best predictions among free agent signings. They posted their TOP 50 free agents predictions earlier today and here are the players they picked the Mets to sign.

J.T. Realmuto 5/125: They picked the Mets to get the best catcher on the market for a 5 year deal, worth 25 mil per season. Although, in a recent article, I mentioned my desire to sign James McCann instead, it’s no secret Realmuto is the best catcher in baseball. Getting him, would improve the Mets in a big way. He is a good hitting catcher with great pop time/framing skills. He is one of the few catchers than can play all parts of the game very well. And for the deal he is expecting to get, it’s a solid move for a big improvement.

Also read: Top 10 Mets Prospects Entering the 2020 season (Part 2 of 2)

Charlie Morton 1/8: According to MLBtraderumors, the Mets will miss out and settle for Charlie Morton to fill their rotation. Morton coming off an off year, but was his better self after returning from the IL. Morton pitched well again in the playoffs, to show his old form isn’t completely gone. I really like Morton, but not as the only addition to bolster the rotation, which was horrid. For 1 year at 8 mil, getting Morton is a great deal.

Overall this was a underwhelmed projection. I hope and expected the Mets to do more in the free agent market. Or will they be more active in the trade market? Fun offseason coming up.

Also read: #MetsCrushMonday: Thomas Szapucki

Photo credit: MLBTradeRumors.com (MLBTR)

Free agent target: Charlie Morton

Corné Hogeveen wrote a great article on Kevin Gausman and him potentially joining the Mets starting rotation for the 2021 campaign. In that same respect, I’d like to take a look into former Ray’s pitcher who just got his option declined for next year, right-hander Charlie Morton.

While Morton didn’t have a great shortened 2020 campaign, his 2018 and 2019 seasons were nothing short of spectacular. In 2020, the right hander appeared in 9 games, all of which he started, and went 2-2 with a 4.74 ERA in only 34.0 innings pitched. However, he was able to strikeout 42 in that timeframe as well as posting a WHIP of 1.39 during the season with the Rays.

Also read: Free agent target: Kevin Gausman

The veteran was looking much sharper in 2018 with the Houston Astros, right before joining Tampa Bay for the 2019 season, but let’s take a look at his last season with the Astros.

In 30 starts, Morton owned a 15-4 record with an ERA of 3.13 and a 1.16 WHIP. He clearly shows he has the abilities to keep runners off the bases, which in return translates to obviously giving up less runs. In a 167.0 innings pitched, Morton K’d 201 batters… he’s older but he’s no slouch.

After joining the Rays, Morton actually put up an even better season in 2019. He would go 16-6 with a 3.05 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 33 starts, while striking out a whopping 240 batters in 194.2 innings pitched.

Also read: Hello, is it me (Jon Gray) you’re looking for?

Throughout his career in the postseason, he’s been close to phenomenal. He owns a 7-3 record with a 3.38 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and has struck out 67 in 61.1 innings.

So maybe he dropped off during the 2020 season, however that could be due to a various amount of reasons, including a global pandemic and the difference in preparation for a season. Personally, I have no issues writing off his last year. If the Mets want to become as powerful as the Dodgers, he’d be a great veteran to add to the back of the rotation for two or so years.

Also read: Stro vs. Bauer. Who to get? Part one

Photo from OCRegister.com