November 2, 2015

Mets Lose The Effing World Series...

Mets fans will have 154 days to lick their wounds before these two teams meet again on Opening Day 2016.  In just five games the Kansas City Royals picked apart our New York Mets in heartbreaking fashion.  As painful as it was to watch the Royals celebrate at Citi Field, it will be the what ifs that will haunt the Mets and their fans for the foreseeable future.  Below are some of my thoughts...

Biggest Losers:
Daniel Murphy - My god what a way to go out.  Murphy has done everything asked of him over the last eight seasons.  From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows seen in just three weeks... After blowing everyone away in both series leading up to it, Murphy struggled all over during the World Series.  His two errors, on seemingly routine plays, will forever overshadow all the good his done in a Mets uniform.  As he moves on and finds a new team this winter, it will be difficult to determine just how much money he cost himself this weekend.

Yoenis Cespedes - Lets face facts... The Mets probably don't find themselves in the postseason without the impressive Cuban outfielder acquired at the deadline via a comedy of failed negotiations.  That said, when the big lights went out, Cespedes was no where to be found.  Whats worse, at least for a fan like myself, is the seemingly nonchalant way he goes about his business.  There is no arguing the power that goes along with his rocket right arm, but can you imaging enduring him not running out certain plays for the next seven years.  A month ago, I would have been furious had the Mets not made a very serious attempt at retaining him, but now I'm honestly not sure if Queens is a viable long-term option.

Glaring Weaknesses:
I you had to pick a the Mets most glaring weakness heading into this series, it would have been their defense.  Sadly enough, costly errors Cespedes, Murphy, Wright, and Duda all but doomed the six months of effort that went into the 2015 season.  And for a Mets offense that went dormant at the wrong time, there was no overcoming such shortcomings.

It didn't stop there, though.  The Royals managed to run roughshod on Travis d'Arnaud turning bloop singles into quick doubles all series, applying immense pressure on the team's pitchers, particularly late in games.  The bullpen, which had received much praise throughout the waning stages of the regular season just couldn't hold on.  If there was a blueprint to beating the 2015 Mets, the Royals followed it to the letter.


We can sit here and argue about what could have been.  Had the Mets been able to close out games this week, its very possible we'd be planning a parade.  Instead we search for answers.  The Mets have the pitching to be right back here next season, should the front office and the team's ownership find ways to fill the holes left by departing players.  The 2015 results, while a year early by most estimations, were not a fluke,  The New York Mets shouldn't find themselves to be the butt of endless jokes anytime soon.  

Although it didn't end with a championship, 2015 was an impressive display of what can happen when a team comes together.  Hopefully you've enjoyed along the way, and don't find that experience completely ruined by the outcome.  There is no telling when we go on this type of wild ride again.  So take a few days to shake off the loss, and remember, You Gotta Believe!

October 30, 2015

Its Now or Never For Your New York Mets

When Noah Syndergaard takes the mound tonight in Flushing, he will do so in the biggest game of his career, with his team on the ropes, and for all intents and purposes.. a realistic shot at the World Series title on the line.  After a tough loss in Game One and an anticlimactic performance in Game Two, the New York Mets find themselves down 0-2 in the best of seven as it returns home.  Unable to earn a split in Kansas City, the Mets now must find a way to beat a Royals team that seems unflappable.

If the Mets are going to get themselves back into the series, Citi Field is the place to be.  The Mets were a full seventeen games over .500 this year in their home ballpark, enjoying a real home field advantage for the first time since the stadium opened.  Their 49 wins was the highest total the team has ever put up at Citi, where a packed house of ravenous fans likely awaits.

After watching their two best pitchers fail to miss bats through the first two games, the Mets trot out Noah Syndergaard's 100 mph heat and devastating hook.  Syndergaard enjoyed his time at Citi Field this year, where he was much better than on the road.  He posted a 7-2 record, with a 2.46 ERA.  He held opposing hitters to a stingy .196 BAA and an equally impressive 0.821 WHIP.  The question however, remains to be if he is capable of shutting down a Royals lineup that has been unphased by the Mets young arms thus far.

Even if Syndergaard duplicates his normal home performance, it won't matter if the Mets can't get the bats going.  Through two games the Mets have just one extra base hit.  They are batting just .165 and have posted an embarrassing on-base percentage of .230.  If such trends continue, it won't matter what they get out of their rookie flamethrower tonight.

Eleven teams in World Series history has been able to rise from the ashes of an 0-2 hole.  No one, has been able to mount a comeback from an 0-3 deficit.  In fact, no team in World Series history has even forced a sixth game after being down 0-3.  So if you choose to believe the trends, this is it for the Mets.  Win tonight, and drag yourself up off the mat.  Lose, and you can start looking towards the long winter that lies ahead.

October 28, 2015

World Series: Fox Sports Should Be Embarrassed

What in the love of all that is holy was that freak show by Fox Sports last night.  They managed to take what could be considered a World Series classic, and turned it into a telecast unworthy of most public broadcast channels.  I think most viewers would agree, the best ten minutes of the night were when the feed went down.  Yes, Game One of the WORLD SERIES and Fox Sports couldn't even stay on the air.

Lets not pretend everything was great when they were on the air either.  I will never understand Fox's insistence on shoehorning Joe Buck into every live sporting event they broadcast.  This is baseball's premier event of the year.  History will be made this week.  Get someone in the booth who does baseball full-time.  Not baseball here and there, football on the weekend, and ruins US Opens in his free time.  And Fox, when you find that guy, make sure he is not Harold Reynolds.  My god...  Here are a few of Harold's gems last night:

"That pitch was so close it burn's your skin." in response an inside heater. Makes me wonder if Reynolds has even taken live BP.
"David Wright throws side-arm to preserve his injured back." in response to David Wright...throwing side arm.  I've never played third base at the major league level, and a professional scientist I will never be, but its pretty much common sense that a third baseman, especially one who has had to move towards second, cannot come over the top with his throw.
"Granderson saved some extra bases by getting up." in response to Granderson getting to his feet on a double hit into the right field corner.  So, you mean to tell me that the runner just would've keep running if Granderson didn't get up/?  This had to be his hot take of the night.

Look, I'm easy.  I understand that the broadcast is going to suffer when it involves national guys versus their regional counterparts.  But this is the World Series.  You can't have guys in the booth who are going to detract from the viewing experience.  That's exactly what happened last night, when the broadcast managed to stay on the air. Tonight is Game Two.  Hopefully they do better, because honestly, they can't do much worse.

World Series: Three Things You Should Take Away From Game One

If you're lucky, you are just rising from a few hours of sleep.  If you're like many others, you're making the schlep to work today following a restless night after staying up to watch the Mets fall to the Royals in fourteen innings by a score of 5-4.  I'm not going to bore you with some postgame recap that you can find on 300 other blogs, but here are three things you should take away from last night's nail biter:

1) This series isn't over.  I very much advise you to unfriend, unfollow, or flat out banish anyone who says so from your life.  While tonight's game may be a theoretical "must-win", the Mets can clearly hang with this Kansas City Royals team.  Yes, they will need Jeurys Familia to bounce back.  They will need better play from David Wright, who struggle just about everywhere last night.  They will need better defense (what on earth happened in the bottom of the first).  But, this team has bounced back and managed to fight through obstacles all year.  There is no reason to think this will be any different.

2) The Royals defense clearly isn't impenetrable.  Don't believe me?  Ask Eric Hosmer, who's eighth inning, Bill Buckneresque, misplay at first gave the Mets a short-lived 4-3 lead.  In fact, they bobbled several balls last night, albeit sharply hit ones.  Furthermore, the Mets managed to hit through the shift several times.  The Mets managed 11 hits, stole a base, and had some decent situational hitting despite going just 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

3) Finally, Jacob deGrom pitches tonight.  All he's done this postseason is pitch to a 3-0 record while posting a stingy 1.80 ERA and averaging 6 and 2/3s IP.  The Mets will need deGrom to go deep into the game tonight after taxing the bullpen so badly in extra innings.  Its unknown whether the likes of Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese, both of whom threw at least two innings last night, will be available.  In fact, only Hansel Robles and Sean Gilmartin didn't appear for the Mets last night, and neither is much of a long relief option.  Its quite possible that any realistic shot of winning this series rests on the shoulders of deGrom this evening.

October 27, 2015

My Effing World Series Prediction

In just twelve short hours the New York Mets will face off against the Kansas City Royals for all the marbles.  For the first time in fifteen years the Mets find themselves in the World Series, in search of their first title in twenty-nine long years.  Across the diamond the Mets will find the Royals, who too will be looking for the first title in three decades.  By all accounts the two teams are evenly matched and primed to do battle in a long, hard fought series.  My prediction though, finds itself in the minority.  Here's why...

The Mets have accomplished a lot this postseason already.  No matter how much you love (or hate) this franchise, you cannot easily dismiss the way the Mets have netted wins against the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Jake Arietta.  Nine games into this postseason, the Mets have faced legitimate Cy Young contenders five times.  They've won three of those games.  That's great, but its not where I see the difference.  The other four games.  The games in which the Mets haven't found themselves up against greatness.  They're an undefeated 4 and 0.  More importantly, they've feasted on mediocre pitching while averaging 7.5 runs/game in those outings.

Sure, you can call it a small sample size.  However, the Royals don't have any "great" pitchers to send the Mets way this week.  Of course the likes of Johnny Cueto and Game One starter Edinson Volquez are capable of dominant outings, but that is not necessarily their norm.  I think the difference in this series isn't the Mets great pitching, its the Royals mediocre pitching, or more importantly how the Mets offense handles it.

The Royals are unlike any team the Mets have faced thus far this postseason.  They're capable of professional at-bats and elite defense.  There won't be many free bases going forward.  However, should the Mets offense remain hot against pitchers not found on the Cy Young ballot this year they could very well run away with this series.  With Daniel Murphy firing on all cylinders..with David Wright and Lucas Duda seemingly finding their stride, this lineup is dangerous and it will be the difference.

The Mets young pitchers got them here.  Of course, they will need to continue with similar dominance, but its the bats that play here.  Keep the Royals offense at bay and let the Mets do what they do against sub-par starters.  The time has come, the World Series is upon us.  Lets play ball!!!

Mets in five!

July 28, 2015

Mejia: A Moron

Mejia got busted using PEDs again. 162 game suspension. He's an idiot, it seems. 

May 10, 2015

30 Games Down...

So roughly one fifth of the season has come and gone.  We can take the glass half full or glass half empty approach to the season.  Since we are Mets fans we typically do the latter.  So lets start there.

Injuries have piled up at a somewhat excessive rate, Wright has predictably taken longer than expected.  d'Arnaud had a "freak" injury and so did Blevins.  Flores has underwhelmed.  Cuddyer hasn't really hit that well at all, Duda has found his first funk of the season and Matt Harvey has looked more mortal than super despite five wins and a sub-3 ERA.  Gee is hurt, again, Granderson is less than pedestrian, blah blah blah.

Guess what?  THE TEAM IS 19-11 AND IN FIRST PLACE IDIOTS!!  Despite all the things I just mentioned the team has achieved more than anyone would have given them credit for and at the outset if someone said the Mets will win 19 of their first 30 you would sign on the dotted line in blood.  However, because the team won 11 in a row early and hasn't played well in the last few series fans have to get on their case for something.  Yes, this team has flaws, defensively and offensively, the pitching has been fantastic.  The hitting not so much and the defense up the middle is laughable at times.  Herrera should help that somewhat and if Wright can ever stay healthy that will sure things up as well.

I think it's time for Sandy to get aggressive, start looking for trades to sure up the offense and defense.  Yes Tulo looks pretty good at the outset but he's always a hang nail away from missing 100 games.  You can look at the Cubs for some shortstop help but will fans embrace trading away one of the young arms we have to do it.  Had Gee not just gotten hurt I would have liked to see the team package him and Murphy in some kind of deal to pull back a big bat.  Easier said then done and those two alone will not make it happen.  Let the kids come up and pitch.  Thor is here, for how long is anyone's guess but lets hope he is this years deGrom.  Matz should be here soon too.

The last thing I want to see is the Mets front office take that ambivalent, laissez-faire approach all while quietly and subconsciously pushing for next year.  Grow a set and be a little bold and daring.  It can't hurt all that much seeing as how the opposite approach has gotten them nowhere fast.

The absolute worst thing would be to watch the Nats storm past the Mets in the standings by early June, allowing the lethargy of the dog days to settle in creating the ever present malaise we as fans have come to know.  It's the Mets, what did you expect?

There are only so many chocolate syrup baths I can stomach watching Bryce Harper take before I start reading books again.  If the Mets want to belong act like you belong.  This team talked the talk and so far has walked it pretty well.  There are still fixes to be made but by being aggressive rather than laying back and waiting for a great player to fall in your lap the Mets can make strides this season rather than baby steps.

Happy Mother's Day!