MetsJunkies Recap: Instrasquad Game

The Mets played the Mets on Friday in an intersquad game. SNY and the Mets were nice enough to broadcast the game on their social media outlets for us to watch the action from behind the plate.

Josh Rodriguez and Thomas Szapucki both made the start for the Mets and were both unscored upon. Szapucki did struggle with control but got 2 double plays in two innings of work.

The Mets offense was silent for the first 3 innings, with Robinson Cano collecting all 2 hits. On Cano second hit Nimmo tried to score and was gunned down by Carlos Cortes. In the later part of the 5 inning game, we saw the Mets with some power.

The power started with a Francisco Lindor 2 run homerun. The Mets shortstop crushed one to right field for a no doubt homerun.

It wasn’t the only Met, who is expected to be on the opening day roster with a homerun. JD Davis hit an impressive homerun, were he looked a little bit to early. Important for JD to show the power he had in 2019, to be a very good bat for the Mets.

It was the minor leaguers time after the regulars got theirs. Khalil Lee crushed one the opposite field and Baty went yard to deep center. Both showed impressive power. Francisco Alvarez also collected a hit and Cole Gordon pitched 2 scoreless frames in relief.

Tomorrow the Mets will face the Nationals at 6.05. The Game will be avaliable on the radio but won’t be televised. Josh Walker will start for the Mets against righty Josiah Gray.

Photo Credit: Mets Farm Report

Leadership: What is it?

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here I know, but this has been on my mind for some time and especially during the Mets recent atrocious skid.

So, What is leadership exactly? Is it showing a bright and happy face during Pre and Post game interviews? Is it keeping positive energy and good vibes during bad times? Lots of fans question whether the Mets have real leadership. While I can certainly understand why, I think fans need a real understanding on what leadership is.

Look no further than one Francisco Lindor, An on the Field leader who whenever he plays and is on the field, you see him calming guys down, reassuring his teammates, keeping positive vibes while at the same time, keeping it real and honest when things are rough. Now, that’s not a knock on Pete Alonso who is an optimist and likes to put a positive spin on things. Let it be known, there is nothing wrong with that at all. What fans are doing is destroying Pete Alonso for being positive and for him feeling like he doesn’t need to point out the obvious. Some players will call it like it is, some players will see the light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel (Positive outlook) and some players will be in the middle, Positive with some realistic view.

Here’s the issue though….Fans, Media, Talking heads, bloggers, myself included don’t know what goes on in the Clubhouse behind closed doors and we will never know. Are guys losing their minds? Are guys just Happy-go-Lucky? Is Luis Rojas digging it into them? Is he cheering the lack of Offense? We’ll never know and that’s something that benefits the team. What the fans, Media, Talking Heads, Bloggers don’t know is best. But let’s not take that too far, Remember the Rat/Raccoon fiasco? Everyone was miffed that the Mets weren’t “Honest” about what happened and honestly, good that they didn’t. Media, fans, Talking Heads and Bloggers have ways of blowing things out of proportion. But now I digress.

We’ve seen this team literally plummet harder than Tom Petty’s Free Falling and yet instead of being doom and gloom about it, the Mets as a whole are having positive energy. Hate him all you want, but Luis Rojas has kept his guys motivated through this awful stretch. Also, Even though the Mets are now 7 games back of the now First place Atlanta Braves, Rojas helped kept an injury riddled Mets team in First place for 90 consecutive days when the Mets were using their C and D squad players.

Now here’s the point I’m making. When Francisco Lindor went down with his oblique injury, It reflected on how much he was missed on the Field. It’s one thing to be in the Dugout on the Injured list and be a Leader, but there’s a Humongous difference when a star player or a Leader is on the field playing along side you. Examples are going to pitchers mound visits to reassure pitchers that everything’s going to be fine/helping him calm down and feed him a positive outlook on the situation. Since Lindor went down, the Leadership isn’t the same and other players have tried to take over that role in his absence.

Pete Alonso is one of those guys trying to “Hold down the Fort” so-to-speak. Is it working? I wouldn’t immediately shoot it down, but is he has good as Lindor? From what we can see, no he isn’t. Again, that’s not a knock against Alonso, He has his own way of being a Leader. The same goes with Luis Rojas, While it may look like he looks uninspiring, lost or even unintelligent, He knows what he’s doing (as far as what the analytics department allows him to do). In terms of keeping his team motivated, standing up for his guys and showing he believes in them, he’s got it down to a science. To question him on standing up for his players is ludicrous. You see it all the time when barking at umpires, questioning calls, you name it. His players could be 100% wrong in whatever play was made or with a call regarding a ball or strike, but he’ll go out there and fight for his guys. That’s what a real good manager does for his team. You also see that the players love playing for him and do whatever they can for him, including some late game rallies. That’s not saying they’ve been doing it recently, but The Players do love his influence as well as how he handles media and stands up for them.

While some fans, Media, Talking heads and bloggers may find this asinine and want Managers to be like those of the managers “back in the day” like Billy Martin, Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter and some even may reference Wally Backman out of all names, Managers in today’s game simply don’t do that anymore, It’s one of the reasons why Joe Girardi was canned as Yankees manager. He called out Gary Sanchez a few times and the organization as well as the Player(s) hated that. While I admit that players should grow more of a backbone and suck it up, That’s how players are nowadays. There’s just no changing that and the game has changed dramatically.

Leadership now is how you defend your players, are there for your team and how you keep them motivated and how you face the Media at times. Whether you agree with it or not, that’s how the game has evolved now. There’s nothing anyone can do to change that. Leadership for an MLB team is also how you conduct yourself after a good or bad performance and how you respond to others or even how you talk to the Media. Most responses are PR responses/right things to say and you can certainly understand that, However there are something that players say that you really need to read between the lines with and not see it as a general statement or what fans claim as “Delusional” or “in Denial”.

I’ll reiterate, what fans, Media, Talking heads, bloggers don’t know what happens behind closed doors in the clubhouse is for the better. They don’t need to know and it’s best left to the Players, coaches, Manager, Front Office Executives and Owner(s).

Friday’s Pitching Preview & Lineup (7/30)

The 54-47 New York Mets will play the first game of a three-game set against the 54-49 Cincinnati Reds. The Mets lost the last series to the Braves, and as we approach August, the Mets must stay on track and maintain first place in the standings.

The Mets plan to send right-hander Carlos Carrasco to the hill, making his much anticipated debut for the Orange and Blue. The Barquisimeto, Venezuela native was 3-4 last season and sported a 2.91 ERA throughout 68 innings pitched.

The Cincinnati Reds will have 31-year old right-hander Sonny Gray on the mound, a former first round pick of the Oakland Athletics back in 2011. In his last start, Gray didn’t fare too well as he only pitched 3.1 innings while giving up eight runs on eight hits.

Gray, so far is having a mediocre season, pitching to a 4.50 ERA and owning an ugly 2-6 record. The Smyrna, Tennessee native has also struck out 89 batters in 70.0 innings pitched, so far this season.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM EST and will be televised locally on SNY.

MetsJunkies Recap: Mets shut Reds outs

The Mets needed one thing in particular from Marcus Stroman, and it was to eat innings on Wednesday afternoon at The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The right-hander did exactly that, and gave the bullpen a well-deserved rest after pitching eight innings.

The Long Island, New York native gave up just one in his outing while yielding just one walk as well. Stroman did also strike out seven and has now lowered his ERA to 2.59 after picking up his seventh victory.

Jonathan Villar popped his 10th home run of the year, a solo shot that came in the second inning. Villar finished the afternoon going 1-4 and currently owns a .230 batting average.

In the top of the third, Dom Smith lofted an opposite field grand slam to put the Mets up 5-0. The home run came off of starter Jeff Hoffman, who’s no stranger to giving up the long ball whether it be with his time with the Rockies or the Reds.

Besides hitting his 11th home run of the year, Smith also singled giving him a multi-hit game, bringing his slash line up to .257/.327.410/.737 after 300 at-bats.

Luis Guillorme pushed the game up to 7-0 when he hit a home run in the fifth inning off of reliever Tony Santillan. The home run counts as Guillorme’s 1st home run of the season, and just the 2nd of his career.

Jeurys Familia relieved Stroman in the ninth with a perfect inning that included striking out the side. Familia now has a 3.56 ERA after making his 31th appearance of the campaign.

The Mets are now at 50 wins on the year and will host the 48-44 Toronto Blue Jays on Friday evening. The Mets will have Tyler Megill on the hill as he takes on Long Island, New York product and former Met Steven Matz.

MetsJunkies Recap: Pirates left stranded out at sea

The Mets opened up a can of whoop-ass on the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field on Friday. Taijuan Walker took the mound and unfortunately, was not the winning pitcher.

While the Mets would end up beating the Pirates, 13-4, the offense didn’t cement the lead until the bottom of the sixth. That would be a full inning after Walker’s departure.

The Shreveport, Louisiana Native ended up throwing five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and three walks.

Jonathan Villar put the Mets on the board first as he laced a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the third. The home run would tie the game 1-1 and counts as Villar’s seventh home run of 2021.

Brandon Nimmo soon after put the Mets up by lining a double in the right-center field gap, plating across catcher James McCann.

Later in the fifth, after Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor set the table for Dom Smith, Smith would take advantage by pushing across Nimmo with an RBI single.

Star slugger Pete Alonso immediately followed with a low line drive that was tall enough to clear the centerfield wall. The Mets first baseman now has 16 home runs on the campaign after Friday’s three run shot, putting the team up over the Pirates, 6-2.

After Pirates pitching forced in two runs on a hit by pitch and walk, Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam, giving the Mets the 12-2 lead.

Jonathan Villar would continue to be a solid acquisition as he would hit his second home run of the evening, this one, his 8th, coming in the seventh.

Aaron Loup would be the Mets pitcher of record, logging in his third victory of the campaign.

MetsJunkies Recap: Mets split twin bill with Brewers

The Mets once again played another doubleheader, this one coming against the Milwaukee Brewers back at Citi Field.

Jacob deGrom took the hill in the first bout against the Brewers and immediately fell in the hole as he would give up a lead off home run to Luis Urias. The infielder would finish the game going 2-3 and now has a .238 batting average to go alongside a .746 OPS.

The Mets struck back almost immediately as Brandon Nimmo would cross the plate on a Francisco Lindor single. Lindor, although has been cold throughout most of the season, has been batting .300 with a .500 OBP in his last seven contests.

Jose Peraza appeared in the seventh inning as pinch hitter for Jacob deGrom and would take on of the elite relievers in the game yard. The game tying home run would come off of Milwaukee’s closer Josh Hader.

After Dom Smith and James McCann would set the table in the bottom half of the eighth, Jeff McNeil would single up the middle to bring in Dom Smith for the game winning walk-off run. This would count as McNeil’s very first career walk-off, which is almost surprising considering how well he’s hit throughout his career.

Edwin Diaz would collect the win in the Mets 4-3 victory, while deGrom now has an ERA of 1.08 after his 7 inning, 10 K outing against the Brewers.

The second game featured the newly acquired Robert Stock and right-hander didn’t fare all that bad. In four innings on the hill, Stock would strikeout five as he gave up just two earned runs on the evening.

Although the Mets would lose the contest, Stock could have and likely did earn himself another look down the line. The hard throwing right-hander now has an unimpressive ERA of 7.88 after making his first appearance for the Mets.

Nothing to write about on the offensive front as the boys in Orange and Blue were shut out by Brian Anderson and the Brewers bullpen in the 5-0 loss.

The Mets will host the Pirates tomorrow to kick off the series with Taijuan Walker on the hill against JT Brubaker.

MetsJunkies Recap: Doubleheader split, Mets take series against Yankees

No Jacob deGrom? No problem. Ok, not really, however in a series in which the two-time Cy Young award winner didn’t pitch, the Mets were still able to come out victorious.

The first game of the doubleheader featured another high scoring contest, as both Pete Alonso and Dom Smith went yard.

Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, and Luis Guillorme all had a multi-hit game.

Marcus Stroman hit the mound and threw five innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on six hits. The right hander unfortunately did not pitch well enough for the win, however the Mets’ offense was more than capable as the team won 10-5 over the Yankees.

Corey Oswalt would make his third appearance of the season in the second game but would only pitch four innings. Oswalt ended up giving up three runs on four hits while striking out four in the 2-4 loss

Pete Alonso homered for the second time of the day as he lined a two-run shot over the right field fence. The home run would come in the fourth inning and plate across Dom Smith as the team’s only runs.

The Mets will host the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday evening with Tylor Megill taking the mound against righty Brandon Woodruff.

MetsJunkies Recap: Mets split Doubleheader with Nats

Francisco Lindor got it started early for the Mets in the first inning, blasting a two-run shot to left-centerfield. The home run plated across Jonathan Villar and was his seventh of the campaign.

In the third, Lindor would come through with a sharply hit RBI single. The line drive single would count as his third RBI of the day, giving the Mets the 3-0 advantage.

After David Peterson picked up his first Major League hit in the fifth, Francisco Lindor would soon follow with another two-run home run, his eighth of the year.

David Peterson wouldn’t last long, however it wasn’t a bad outing. The Denver, Colorado native ended up tossing 4.2 innings before being replaced by left-hander Aaron Loup. While Peterson only gave up two hits, he did however walk three batters, hastening his exit.

Although he didn’t pick up the win, Peterson did lower his ERA to 5.31 after his outing against the Nationals.

The would drop the second game, 6-2, as Robert Gsellman opened the game for the Mets. The right-hander pitched two innings while giving up a run. The run came in a Kyle Schwarber solo home run in the first inning.

While Sean Reid-Foley has been spot on, so far, he did have a blunder on Saturday. Reid-Foley threw 1.2 innings and gave up five runs on the afternoon, including a second home run to Kyle Schwarber.

While the Mets were able to split the doubleheader, they’ll work hard to split the four-game series on Sunday afternoon. Taijuan Walker will be in search of his seventh victory of the year as Nationals starter Patrick Corbin tries to get back on track.

Wednesday’s Pitching Preview & Lineup 6/9

The 29-24 New York Mets will play the final of a two-game set against the 22-38 Baltimore Orioles. After splitting the series in San Diego and a day off, the Mets took a bad blowout loss in yesterday’s opener.

Tonight’s contest will feature a couple of right-handed pitchers on the mound. The Mets plan to send the recently acquired Taijuan Walker to the hill, making his 11th appearance of the season. The Shreveport, Louisiana native is 4-2 with a 2.17 ERA and 51 K’s in 54.0 innings pitched.

MLB.com suggests that we may start to see some regression from Walker, as the right-hander’s FIP (3.06) is almost a full run higher than his ERA.

The Baltimore Orioles will have 32-year old Matt Harvey on the mound, a former friend and right-hander that’s making his 13th appearance of the campaign. In the last five starts, Harvey owns a ERA of 12.96 and only lasted three innings in his last outing against the Minnesota Twins.

Harvey, formerly known as “The Dark Knight”, so far is having a terrible season, pitching to a 6.62 ERA while owning a 3-6 record. The New London, Connecticut native has also struck out 45 batters in 51.2 innings pitched, so far this season.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM EST and will be televised locally on SNY.

Tuesday’s Pitching Preview & Lineup 6/8

The 29-23 New York Mets will play the first of a two-game set against the 21-38 Baltimore Orioles. After splitting the series in San Diego and a day off, the Mets look to keep the momentum going.

Tonight’s contest will feature a couple of left-handed pitchers on the mound. The Mets plan to send David Peterson to the hill, making his 11th appearance of the season. The Denver, Colorado native is 1-4 with a 5.89 ERA with 49 K’s in 44.1 innings pitched.

Peterson, currently in his second Major League season, is coming off of a start in which he allowed five earned runs to the Diamondbacks in just 0.1 of an inning.

I’m not sure what the over/under will be for tonight’s game, however assuming it’ll be 8.5 or 9.5, I’ll definitely be taking the over.

The Baltimore Orioles will have 26-year old Bruce Zimmermann on the mound, a left-hander that’s also making his 11th appearance of the campaign. Zimmermann’s last outing was against the Minnesota Twins and went 5.1 innings while allowing two earned runs, a performance well enough to pick up a win.

Zimmermann so far is having a pretty mediocre season, pitching to a 4.96 ERA while owning a 3-3 record. The North Carolina native has also struck out 43 batters in 49.0 innings pitched, so far this season.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM EST and will be televised locally on SNY.