The Mets announced that five players will be sent to Port St. Lucie to stay ready and in shape should the team need them in the postseason. Eric Young Jr., Eric Campbell, Anthony Recker, Logan Verrett, and Bobby Parnell will not make the NLDS roster, but will be ready to join the roster should the need arise.
The Mets (89-69) fell to the Phillies (61-97) by a score of 7-5. The Mets held a 5-0 lead in this game after two home runs in the first inning, but Logan Verrett and the bullpen blew the lead in the ugliest game Mets fans have seen in a long time. Wild pitches, ejections, hit batsmen, they were all present.
The Mets jumped over Phillies starter Alec Asher in the first inning, after a Curtis Granderson double, a walk to David Wright, and a 3-run home run by Daniel Murphy. They tacked on even more after a walk to Yoenis Cespedes and a 2-run home run by Michael Conforto. The Mets jumped to a 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, starter Logan Verrett worked around a couple baserunners.
Verrett struck out the side in the bottom of the 2nd, and in the top of the 3rd, Yoenis Cespedes was hit by a pitch on his left hand. Fortunately, x-rays were negative and Cespedes only has a contusion. Kirk Nieuwenhuis would pinch-run and remain in the game in center field. Verrett ran into trouble in the bottom of the 3rd after allowing consecutive singles. A fantastic sliding catch by Kirk Nieuwenhuis induced a double play, but Verrett walked Aaron Altherr to set up a 2-run double by Darin Ruf. The lead was cut to 5-2. The Mets threatened in the top of the 4th, but to no avail, but Wilmer Flores was removed for a pinch-runner with lower back stiffness. Ruben Tejada replaced him.
Verrett worked out of trouble in the bottom of the 4th, but was not so lucky in the 5th. After getting a groundout to lead off the inning, Verrett hit Odubel Herrera with a pitch, a pitch that looked intentional enough for the home plate umpire to warn both benches. The Mets had been hit twice in the game so far; Cespedes and Nieuwenhuis. Verrett lost Aaron Altherr to a walk and Erik Goeddel was able to get Darin Ruf to pop out. Jon Niese, in to face Cody Asche, was not so lucky, allowing an RBI single before getting a sharp groundout. The Mets lead was cut to 5-3.
After Michael Cuddyer reached on a fielding error by Cody Asche, pinch runner Eric Young Jr. stole 2nd with one out. Unfortunately, the Mets didn’t convert and left Young at 2nd. In the bottom of the 6th, things really fell apart. After Hansel Robles got Brian Bogusevic to line out to left, Robles was ejected from the game (along with manager Terry Collins) after a pitch sailed at Cameron Rupp‘s head. Reliever Bobby Parnell inherited a full count and walked Rupp on 1 pitch, then walked pinch hitter Chase d’Arnaud. A wild pitch advanced the tying runs into scoring position, and Freddy Galvis converted with a single to center, taking 2nd on the throw to the plate. The game was tied at 5-5. Dario Alvarez entered and got Odubel Herrera to pop out for the 2nd out, but then hit Aaron Altherr with a pitch on his back foot. Carlos Torres relieved him, and two wild pitches allowed the go-ahead run to score before he struck out Darin Ruf.
Both teams were turned aside in the 7th and the Mets were turned aside in the 8th before Tyler Clippard unleashed the 7th wild pitch of the game, scoring Andres Blanco (leadoff double) from 3rd. The Phillies led 7-5. Ken Giles retired the side in the 9th to end an ugly game.
What an absolutely ugly game. Between the two teams, there were 10 walks, 7 wild pitches, 4 hit batsmen, 2 ejections, a passed ball, an error, and a ball thrown at Cameron Rupp’s head. Gary Cohen called it a candidate for the worst game in MLB history. It truly was something to behold. After Alec Asher’s incredible struggles in the 1st inning, the Mets bullpen (sans their best relievers, of course) one-upped him.
As the Mets battle for home field advantage, these games simply can’t happen. When Robles was ejected in the 6th, I didn’t comprehend Bob Geren‘s decision not to bring in Addison Reed. Bobby Parnell, who has certainly been better later, was absolutely no help, as he gave up the lead after a couple walks and a line-drive single to Freddy Galvis. Through that ridiculous 6th inning, neither Reed nor Clippard entered the game. Instead, it was a combination of Parnell, Dario Alvarez, and Carlos Torres who gave up the lead.
Thank goodness, though, nothing is broken in Yoenis Cespedes’s left hand. Wilmer Flores’s stiff back may be more of a concern, but it does not appear like Cespedes will be out for a lengthy period of time.
POSITIVES: Daniel Murphy and Michael Conforto continue to show more power than expected, Murphy with his career-high 14th home run of the season and Conforto with his 9th. Curtis Granderson was 2/5 with a double and a run scored, while Addison Reed pitched a clean outing in relief. Dario Alvarez made an appearance and retired a lefty, so that’s something.
NEGATIVES: The bullpen, the manager, the bench coach, and the downright ugliness. The game was on the line in the 6th inning, and the failure of Bob Geren or Terry Collins (whoever was making the decision) to bring in Addison Reed or Tyler Clippard is downright insulting to the fans. Bobby Parnell, Dario Alvarez, and Carlos Torres, all of whom are coming off either injury or ineffectiveness, were entrusted to a key inning. The three relievers, at least two of which will not be on the postseason roster, failed the test. Somehow, Geren felt the need to bring Reed and Clippard in after the fact. Too late, buddy. Aside from Addison Reed, all the relievers were guilty to some extent, even if they weren’t charged with a run. Logan Verrett, apart from the 2nd inning, was shaky during his entire start. The offense blew multiple opportunities after converting on their opportunities in the first inning.
The Mets take on the Phillies in the series finale tomorrow at 12:05, a changed game time to accommodate the weather forecast. Sean Gilmartin or Tim Stauffer (likely both, since neither were used tonight) will face off against Jerad Eickhoff.
WPA Winners: None over .100
WPA Losers: Bullpen (-.505) (-.633 without Goeddel, Alvarez, and Reed, who had net positive contributions)
- Daniel Murphy hits a 3-run home run, Mets up 3-0, 1st inning (.157)
- Michael Conforto hits a 2-run home run, Mets up 5-0, 1st inning (.108)
- Freddy Galvis hits a 2-run single, game tied 5-5, 6th inning (-.237)
- Aaron Altherr scores on a wild pitch by Carlos Torres, Phillies up 6-5, 6th inning (-.167)
- Darin Ruf hits a 2-run double, Phillies down 5-2, 3rd inning (-.104)
- Cody Asche hits an RBI single, Phillies down 5-3, 5th inning (-.102)
The Mets (87-67) defeated the Reds (63-90) by a score of 12-5. Noah Syndergaard was brilliant on the mound, striking out 11 over 7 2/3 innings of two run ball. Syndergaard held Cincinnati scoreless through the 8th inning. Lucas Duda hit two 3-run home runs to help fuel the offensive outburst. Combined with Washington’s 8-2 loss to Philadelphia, the Mets’ magic number is reduced to 1.
In the first inning, the Mets and Reds both wasted opportunities, the Mets with runners at 1st and 2nd and the Reds with a leadoff double. The Mets connected for their first run in the top of the 2nd against Anthony DeSclafani, after a double by Michael Conforto and an RBI single by Noah Syndergaard. The Mets scored 3 more in the 3rd, after a double by Daniel Murphy and a single by Yoenis Cespedes set the stage for a 3-run home run by Lucas Duda. The Mets led 4-0.
Noah Syndergaard was absolutely dominant tonight, and he shut out the Reds through the first 7 innings before allowing a solo home run and a 2-out single in the 8th. Syndergaard would finish his game with 7 2/3 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, and 11 strikeouts.
The Mets tacked on in the top of the 7th. Ruben Tejada reached on a fielding error, Noah Syndergaard bunted him over, and Curtis Granderson doubled him in to make it 5-0. David Wright singled, Daniel Murphy singled in another run, and Lucas Duda hit his 2nd 3-run home run of the game to make it 9-0. In the 8th, the Mets added a few more after singles by Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard and a 3-run home run by Curtis Granderson. The Mets took a 12-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 8th, after getting two lineouts, Noah Syndergaard allowed a solo home run to Brennan Boesch and a single to Jason Bourgeois before being lifted for Eric O’Flaherty. O’Flaherty allowed an RBI single after Bourgeois advanced on indifference, and Bobby Parnell allowed 3 consecutive singles to make it 12-4, before striking out Eugenio Suarez to end the inning. In the 9th, Tim Stauffer allowed a Cincinnati-style home to Adam Duvall to make it 12-5, then allowed a single, struck out two, and walked Joey Votto. Hansel Robles came in to get the last out and complete the 12-5 victory.
Syndergaard was absolutely filthy tonight, and a start like this makes me excited to imagine what he could do in the postseason. Syndergaard was sitting at about 98 MPH with his fastball for the whole night.
Of note for the Mets, Juan Uribe came up to pinch hit for David Wright in the 8th inning, and was unable to complete his plate appearance after appearing to re-injure his collarbone.
POSITIVES: Lucas Duda is getting hot again, and Daniel Murphy continues his hot hitting. Duda was 2/4 with 2 3-run home runs, while Murphy was 2/4 with a double, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. Curtis Granderson hit his 24th home run of the season, and his first in a while. Syndergaard, obviously, was dominant, but was also 2/3 at the plate with a run, an RBI, and a sacrifice bunt. Yoenis Cespedes and David Wright were both 2/4 with a run scored, while Michael Conforto was 2/4 with 2 runs scored.
NEGATIVES: Eric O’Flaherty, Bobby Parnell, Tim Stauffer. Granted, it could have been much worse, and they could have come into the game missing the strike zone like the Nationals relief corps a few weeks ago. Between the three pitchers, they allowed 3 runs on 6 hits with a walk while allowing Syndergaard’s inherited runner to score while recording only three outs. The positive here is that it is unlikely any of these pitchers make the postseason roster.
Combined with the Nationals’ 8-2 loss to the Phillies (on Aaron Altherr‘s inside-the-park grand slam, no less), the Mets’ division lead grows to 8.5 games while the magic number shrinks to just 1.
- Noah Syndergaard (.216 pitching, .102 batting, .318 total)
- Lucas Duda (.144)
WPA Losers: None under -.100
- Lucas Duda hits a 3-run home run, Mets up 4-0, 3rd inning (.181)
- Noah Syndergaard hits an RBI single, Mets up 1-0, 2nd inning (.108)
Worst Plays: None under -.100
The Yankees (81-66) defeated the Mets (84-64) by the score of 5-0. Noah Syndergaard looked good for most of the afternoon, but was hurt by a 3-run home run to Carlos Beltran in the 1st and a 2-run home run to Brian McCann in the 6th. For the Yankees, Michael Pineda battled and built up his pitch count early, but was able to shut the Mets out through 5 1/3 IP. The Yankees’ strong bullpen took it from there to complete the 5-0 shutout.
Syndergaard got off to a rough start, allowing bloop singles to Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner before allowing a 3-run home run to Carlos Beltran, which put the Mets down 3-0 early. Syndergaard settled down until the 6th inning when he allowed a 2-run home run to Brian McCann. Overall, Syndergaard went 6 and allowed 5 hits on 7 hits and 0 walks with 8 strikeouts. The Mets got 2 shutout innings from Sean Gilmartin and 1 from Bobby Parnell, but the damage was already done.
Though he reached high pitch counts early, Pineda looked pretty dominant against the Mets, and left in the 6th after allowing two leadoff singles and striking out Yoenis Cespedes. Justin Wilson got the Yankees through the inning, and a combination of Wilson, Dellin Betances, and a host of others shut the Mets down till the 9th. After James Pazos and Chris Martin got the first two outs, pinch hitter Michael Cuddyer and Wilmer Flores each singled, forcing Joe Girardi to bring in Andrew Miller. Miller got pinch hitter Travis d’Arnaud to ground into a forceout to end the game.
The Mets’ lead in the NL East falls to 7.5 games and the magic number remains at 8, pending the outcome of tonight’s Marlins-Nationals game. Tomorrow at 8:08 on ESPN, CC Sabathia faces off against Matt Harvey.
WPA Winners: None over .100
- Noah Syndergaard (-.263 pitching, -.013 at the plate, -.276 total)
- David Wright (-.115)
Best Play: None over .050
Worst Play: Carlos Beltran hits a 3-run home run, Yankees lead 3-0, 1st inning (.202)
The Mets completed a 4 game sweep against the Atlanta Braves this weekend, winning the final game in dramatic fashion. The Washington Nationals lost 2 of 3 to the Miami Marlins, growing the Mets’ division lead to 9.5 games and lowering their magic number to 11.
It was announced this weekend that Matt Harvey will make partial starts in the 6-man rotation for the rest of the season. He will start Sunday night against the Yankees. Logan Verrett starts tonight as they skip Harvey’s rotation spot.
Today, Curtis Granderson was named as the Mets’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, MLB’s top off-field honor. Yoenis Cespedes was also named NL Player of the Week, the second straight week a Met has won the award.
Here are some weekend/Monday links from around MLB:
- ESPN: The Yankees lost 3 out of 4 to the Blue Jays this weekend, putting them 3.5 games back in the division. The Blue Jays may have suffered the biggest loss though, as shortstop Troy Tulowitzki went down with a small left shoulder fracture after colliding with center fielder Kevin Pillar. The Jays are hopeful to have him back in 2-3 weeks. In the meantime, the Blue Jays have acquired 2012 Gold Glove 2nd baseman Darwin Barney from the Los Angeles Dodgers (since he was acquired after August 31st, Barney will not be eligible for the postseason).
- Fansided: The Blue Jays are not alone in the injury department, as Yankees’ first baseman Mark Teixeira is out for the season with a leg fracture.
- Deadspin: David Ortiz hit his 499th and 500th career home runs in the same game on Saturday night, becoming only the 27th player to reach the 500 home run plateau.
- Just Mets: Bobby Parnell was an underrated hero in Sunday’s win against the Braves
- NBC Sports/Hardball Talk: The Mets’ decision on whether to sign Yoenis Cespedes following the season will be an interesting saga… especially because most people think Cespedes’s recent performance is a fluke. Will the Mets be willing to overpay for him?
- SB Nation: Is this the start of a thrilling Houston Astros/Texas Rangers rivalry?
- ESPN: Nationals’ Drew Storen done for season after breaking thumb on pitching hand. Storen broke his thumb when slamming his locker after giving up a go-ahead home run to Yoenis Cespedes last Wednesday night.
- ESPN: What’s wrong with Royals’ starter Johnny Cueto?
The Mets (82-61) defeated the Atlanta Braves (56-88) by a score of 10-7 in 10 innings. The game was a defensive nightmare for the Mets, the likes of which they have not seen in a long time. It was contagious, affecting everyone from Daniel Murphy to usually-strong defenders Curtis Granderson, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda, and Juan Uribe. Only two official errors were charged to the Mets. However, Daniel Murphy made up for his misplay in the 9th inning with a 2-out 3-run home run to tie the game. The Mets took the lead for good on a Hector Olivera error and a couple bases-loaded walks from the Atlanta bullpen.
The Mets got off to a fast start with a 2-run home run by Michael Conforto after a single by Juan Uribe. The Mets were up 2-0 in the 2nd inning. Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled to follow, but was caught trying to steal third to cool off the threat. The Braves countered with 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning, after leadoff singles by Nick Markakis and Daniel Castro. The single by Markakis was upheld on review, after Jon Niese‘s throw to first handcuffed Lucas Duda. RBI singles by Adonis Garcia and Andrelton Simmons tied up the game.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Andrelton Simmons singled to lead off the inning. Christian Bethancourt followed with a ground ball to Juan Uribe which skipped off his glove into left field. A tailor-made double play off the bat, the Braves now had 1st and 3rd with no one out. Niese limited the damage, however, and after a sacrifice fly to Michael Bourn, he retired the next two batters. The Braves took a 3-2 lead.
The Mets came right back in the top of the 7th, after a leadoff walk to Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Nieuwenhuis advanced on a groundout and went to 3rd on a single by Kevin Plawecki. Pinch hitter Michael Cuddyer was hit by a pitch, and Curtis Granderson singled in two runs against left-handed reliever Matt Marksberry. Marksberry got out of the inning without allowing any more runs.
In the bottom of the 7th, Tim Stauffer, his first appearance as a Met, allowed a leadoff single to Daniel Castro. Freddie Freeman followed with a hard ground ball that skipped by Daniel Murphy, putting runners at 1st and 3rd. It was another ball that should have been a double play, but Murphy failed to get his body in front of the ball, and missed while trying to stab at the ball with his glove. What followed was a chopper right back to Stauffer, who elected to get the double play and let the tying run score rather than throw to the plate. The game was tied at 4-4, and after working around a hit batsman, Stauffer got out of the inning.
Top of the 8th, after a 1-out walk to Michael Conforto, pinch runner Eric Young Jr. was thrown out trying to steal second, on a fantastic play by catcher Christian Bethancourt. The Mets were turned aside, and Bethancourt singled against Stauffer to lead off the bottom of the 8th. Dario Alvarez came in and got Michael Bourn out on a sacrifice bunt, hit pinch hitter Nick Swisher with a pitch, and got Nick Markakis to fly out to left. Daniel Castro singled down the left field line to score Bethancourt from 2nd, and Freddie Freeman sent a fly ball to left that Kirk Nieuwenhuis lost in either the sun or the wind. The ball landed foul, and Freeman’s at-bat continued. Freeman walked and Bobby Parnell came in to face Adonis Garcia. Garcia sent a shallow fly ball to right field, and Curtis Granderson slid but lost the ball in the sun. The misplayed single scored two runs to give the Braves a 7-4 lead.
In the top of the 9th, the Braves sent out Peter Moylan for his first save since 2012. Moylan struck out Ruben Tejada and Kevin Plawecki before defensive replacement Juan Lagares doubled to right-center. Ryan Kelly came in to try and get the save, and walked Curtis Granderson before allowing a 3-run home run to Daniel Murphy. That tied the game at 7.
After an easy bottom of the 9th by Parnell, journeyman right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson came in for the top of the 10th. After getting Juan Uribe to pop out and pinch hitter Yoenis Cespedes to strike out, the wheels came off for Jackson. A walk to Kirk Nieuwenhuis and a single to Ruben Tejada put runners on the corners with 2 outs. What followed was a sharp ground ball to 3rd by Kevin Plawecki, where third baseman Hector Olivera made a nice stop. However, throwing to 2nd to get the forceout, Olivera threw wide, pulling second baseman Daniel Castro off the bag, allowing the go-ahead run to score. The play was upheld on video review. Jackson then proceeded to walk Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson, forcing in a run. Danny Burawa then entered the game, and after walking Murphy to force in another run, retired Lucas Duda to end the threat. The Mets had a 10-7 lead.
Addison Reed worked around yet another error (this one by Ruben Tejada) in the bottom of the 10th to earn the save.
As Gary Cohen said when calling Murphy’s home run, “this team just doesn’t know how to lose.” What an odd game and what a dramatic win. This was the 7th straight game the Mets have scored 3 or more runs between the 7th and 9th inning.
Aside from the various defensive miscues, today saw bounce-back outings for both Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell. On a day when David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia never even appeared in the game (and Yoenis Cespedes struck out in his only plate appearance), this is a fantastic win.
Coupled with the Nationals’ 5-0 win against Miami, the Mets remain 9.5 games up in the division and reduce their magic number to 11. Rookies Logan Verrett and Justin Nicolino square off tomorrow at Citi Field at 7:10 as the Mets open a 3 game series against the Miami Marlins.
- Kevin Plawecki (.430)
- Curtis Granderson (.425)
- Daniel Murphy (.248)
- Michael Conforto (.198)
- Tim Stauffer (-.251)
- Dario Alvarez (-.237)
- Jon Niese (-.172 pitching, -.043 at the plate, -.215 total)
- Lucas Duda (-.120)
- Daniel Murphy hits a 3-run home run with two outs in the 9th inning, ties the game at 7-7. (.384 WPA)
- Kevin Plawecki reached on a fielder’s choice, error on 3rd baseman Hector Olivera, with 2 outs in the top of the 10th inning. Kirk Nieuwenhuis scores to make it 8-7 Mets. (.352 WPA)
- Curtis Granderson singles to right with 1 out in the top of the 7th, scoring Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Kevin Plawecki. Mets lead 4-3. (.337 WPA)
- Daniel Castro singles to left with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th against Dario Alvarez, Christian Bethancourt scores. Braves take a 3-2 lead. (-.306)
- Freddie Freeman singled to right, Daniel Castro advanced to 3rd. No one out, bottom of the 7th against Tim Stauffer. (This is the play that should have been an error on Murphy (-.212 WPA)
The Mets (73-59) were defeated by the Phillies (53-80) by a score of 14-8. It appeared the Mets’ lead would fall from 6.5 to 5.5 games over Washington until…
Reigning NL Manager of the Year (!!!) Matt Williams decided to save his best reliever, Jonathan Papelbon, for a save chance that has yet to arrive. Clearly opposed to giving his team a fighting chance in the tenth, Williams defended his actions as such: (via Washington Post)
“We’ve used everybody just about to get to the eighth inning,” he began, when asked to explain his thought process. “We’ve got it setup for the eighth and the ninth. The eighth doesn’t go our way, and the score is tied. So everybody wants to know why you don’t use Papelbon in that situation? Let’s say, for instance, Pap throws a clean ninth and we score in the 10th. Who’s closing the game for us? I guess it’d be ‘Somebody,’ right?
“All these people want to know why Papelbon isn’t in the game. Because we lost,” Williams continued. “He’s our closer. He’s the the one that closes the game. Now when you’re at home, it’s a different story. It’s a different story because you always have the hammer at home. You always have the last at-bat at home. But on the road it’s a different story. You know, 99 times out of 100, every single manager is not going to use their closer on the road in a tie game because they need somebody to close that game.”
The internet reacted predictably. See: Joe Lucia at The Outside Corner, Grant Brisbee at SB Nation, Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk, and Rob Neyer (with a somewhat different opinion) at Just A Bit Outside.
Not to be hypocritical, Terry Collins certainly shouldn’t have let Bobby Parnell see the light of yesterday’s game. Not that Eric O’Flaherty or Carlos Torres helped much. My choice would have been Gilmartin (who struck out the side later in the game), but 14-7 wasn’t exactly close anyway.
Elsewhere around baseball, Elvis Andrus pulled off a rare feat for the resurgent Texas Rangers in their 8-6 win against San Diego:
And another rare feat for the Rockies (who wound up losing both ends of their doubleheader against Arizona):
Elsewhere around MLB, Zack Greinke out-dueled Madison Bumgarner to put the Giants 5.5 games (6 losses) back in the NL West. The Yankees beat Boston and the Blue Jays beat Cleveland, keeping New York 1.5 back of Toronto for the division lead. For more scores, see MLB.com.
Over at Just A Bit Outside, JP Morosi opines that Kansas City and Toronto fans should enjoy the winning ways while they still can.
The Kansas City Royals, currently with a 12 game lead over Minnesota, now have chicken pox to deal with.