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 (89-72) take on the Washington Nationals (83-78) at 3:10 at Citi Field. Jacob deGrom (2.60 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 0.99 WHIP, 187 IP over 29 starts) faces off against Tanner Roark (4.63 ERA, 4.85 FIP, 1.34 WHIP, 105 IP over 11 starts and 28 relief appearances). This is the final game of the regular season and holds no importance for the Mets, as the Dodgers clinched home field advantage in the NLDS with a win last night against San Diego.
- Curtis Granderson, RF (L)
- David Wright, 3B (R)
- Daniel Murphy, 2B (L)
- Yoenis Cespedes, CF (R)
- Lucas Duda, 1B (L)
- Travis d’Arnaud, C (R)
- Michael Conforto, LF (L)
- Ruben Tejada, SS (R)
- Jacob deGrom, P (L)
- Anthony Rendon, 3B (R)
- Trea Turner, 2B (R)
- Bryce Harper, RF (L)
- Jayson Werth, LF (R)
- Clint Robinson, 1B (L)
- Ian Desmond, SS (R)
- Michael Taylor, CF (R)
- Pedro Severino, C (R)
- Tanner Roark, P (R)
Mets News: According to Terry Collins, Jacob deGrom will be limited to 80 pitches today, and will be followed by Bartolo Colon, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia. Steven Matz will throw a bullpen session Tuesday and will pitch in the instructional league on Thursday. Assuming all goes well, that should set him up for a game 4 NLDS start. The Mets are also not opposed to bringing back Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard on 3 days rest. If the Mets are down 2-1 in the NLDS, deGrom could pitch game 4 on 3 days rest and Syndergaard game 5 on regular rest. Juan Uribe is “real iffy” for the NLDS, and his absence could open up a spot for Eric Young Jr., Kirk Nieuwnhuis, or an 8th relief pitcher.
Jacob deGrom is looking to put a nice topper on a fantastic season, albeit in what will likely be a shortened outing. DeGrom is currently 5th among qualified NL pitchers in ERA, 4th in FIP, 4th in xFIP, 7th in BB%, 5th in K%, 4th in K-BB%, 5th in SIERA (ERA estimator), 7th in fWAR, 10th in pitchers bWAR, 8th in RE24, 6th in WPA, and 5th in WPA/LI (context neutral WPA). DeGrom should get some Cy Young votes, but I’d be shocked if he finishes higher than 4th or gathers a single 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place vote, with Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw in front of him.
Tanner Roark, after a very successful 2014 season, has struggled this year while being shuttled between the bullpen and the rotation. Roark was jettisoned from the rotation to make room for Max Scherzer. Oddly enough, Roark has succeeded more in the bullpen than in the rotation, with a 3.74 ERA in bullpen work and a .313 wOBA against. In the rotation, over 11 starts, Roark has a 5.31 ERA and a .362 wOBA against. As a starter, Roark has struggled with the home run ball, allowing 1.82 HR/9. Roark has not started against the Mets this season, but he has made 4 relief appearances. In those appearances, he has pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed 4 runs, all 4 of which came in an outing that lasted only 1/3 of an inning.
As always, LET’S GO METS!
The Philadelphia Phillies (62-97) defeated the Mets (89-70) by a score of 3-0. Sean Gilmartin was strong for the Mets in 5 innings, the only blemish being a 2-run home run allowed to Darin Ruf. The offense managed only 6 hits off Jerad Eickhoff and the Phillies bullpen; 3 by Kirk Nieuwenhuis, 2 infield singles by Kelly Johnson, and a single by Ruben Tejada.
Jerad Eickhoff was in control all day for the Phillies, allowing only 4 hits, walking 1, and striking out 10 while shutting the Mets out over 7 innings. The Mets’ best opportunity came in the 7th, after a 1-out double by Kirk Nieuwenhuis and a 2-out walk by Kevin Plawecki. However, Juan Lagares struck out on a 3-2 curveball to end the threat.
Sean Gilmartin was solid for the Mets in his first career start, allowing onlyh 3 hits, a walk, 2 runs, and a home run over 5 innings while striking out 3. Unfortunately though, that home run, a 2-out 2-run shot by Darin Ruf in the 4th inning, proved to be all the Phillies would need. Tim Stauffer was strong in two shutout innings of relief and Dario Alvarez allowed a solo home run to Andres Blanco, but it didn’t matter. On a day where a hangover lineup was called for, no one could muster anything against Eickhoff, Jerome Williams, or Luis Garcia.
This could’ve been expected, especially after such a late loss last night. Gilmartin and Stauffer were pleasant surprises in their combined 7 innings of work, but the offense was absolutely lifeless. What bothered me were the pinch hitting opportunities not utilized by Terry Collins. I understand he wants to give his regular players a day off, but when Eric Young Jr. and Dilson Herrera are your two pinch hitters from a bench that includes Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Lucas Duda, and Curtis Granderson, it’s a little tough to justify your desire to win the game. In the 7th inning, with 1st and 2nd with two outs, it should have been Granderson, Murphy, or Duda facing off against Eickhoff (or a lefty reliever, if they decided to make a switch). I find it tough to believe that these veteran professionals could have their playoff performances compromised by one plate appearance.
But, these are small annoyances. After the rest day today, one would imagine that Terry will go with his regular lineup the rest of the weekend, perhaps with an extra righty or two against Gio Gonzalez. The Mets fans certainly have to thank Mike Leake and the Giants for keeping their home field advantage hopes alive – Leake spun a 2-hit shutout last night, reducing the Mets home field advantage magic number to 3. The Giants look to take 3 of 4 from the Dodgers this afternoon at 3:45, with Brett Anderson facing Tim Hudson. A Dodgers win would bring L.A. to the same record as the Mets, but as a reminder, the Mets do own the tiebreaker.
Noah Syndergaard faces Gio Gonzalez tomorrow at 7:10 at Citi Field, weather permitting, as the Mets open a 3-game series against the Nationals.
POSITIVES: Sean Gilmartin and Tim Stauffer were both solid today with better-than-expected performances. Dario Alvarez, while allowing a home run to a right-handed batter, also retired the only lefty he faced. Kirk Nieuwenhuis had 3 of the Mets’ 6 hits, but despite 2 doubles, was never able to score.
NEGATIVES: The offense, save for Nieuwenhuis. The manager’s decision to pinch hit Eric Young Jr. and Dilson Herrera in a close game that means something. The decision to remove Michael Conforto in a close game, and not for a better bat.
WPA Winners: Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.109)
WPA Losers: Eric Campbell (-.141)
Best Play: None over .100
Worst Play: Darin Ruf hits a 2-run home run, Phillies up 2-0, 4th inning (-.245)
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)
Game 1 of the National League Division Series between the Mets and Dodgers is in only 9 days, on Friday, October 9th at a time and place to be determined. Here are my predictions for the roster in round one:
The starting 8:
No surprises here. Barring injury, these 8 are all locks for the roster (though Flores and Cuddyer will certainly get some starts).
No surprises here as well. The only uncertainty is Eric Young Jr., who will almost certainly be left off the roster if Juan Uribe is healthy and ready to play.
Maybe Bartolo Colon will be the fourth starter, but I think it’ll be Matz. Assuming his side injury is nothing major, this should be what we see.
Here’s where there’s the most uncertainty. Familia, Clippard, Reed, and Robles are all locks. Colon and Niese are very likely, and the final spot will likely go to Erik Goeddel or Sean Gilmartin. My money’s on Goeddel, since he can be a situational right-hander in the earlier innings. Gilmartin is not a lefty specialist (nor is Niese, for that matter), but Niese has a much longer track record with the Mets. Plus, with Niese and Colon in the bullpen, they won’t need another long-relief type.
A couple of things could throw a wrench into the plan. Don’t be shocked to see Carlos Torres in the postseason bullpen if he can prove his health over the next few days. Similarly, don’t count out Dario Alvarez or Eric O’Flaherty. Alvarez has rejoined the team, but he may be as much of a long shot as Jerry Blevins. With O’Flaherty, the team’s desire to have a situational lefty in the bullpen may trump his terrible performance so far. I certainly wouldn’t include him, since I think Goeddel, Gilmartin, and Torres are all far superior options.
The Mets have not shied away from platoons this season, a move I see as a smart one. Others, like perpetual cliché machine Harold Reynolds, believe a team’s struggles can stem from failure to use a regular lineup. For example, when commenting last night on the Dodgers’ use of platoons, especially in their outfield, Reynolds commented that he believed it would be their undoing in the NLDS against the Mets.
Platoons have served the Mets well for the season, but with Juan Uribe hurt and Juan Lagares struggling, it is very possible the only extra right-handed bat that enters the lineup against lefties is Michael Cuddyer (in place of Michael Conforto). Since 3/4 of the Dodgers pitchers the Mets will face will likely be left-handed (Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood), it is very likely we see a lot more of Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, and Daniel Murphy against lefties. However, if Juan Uribe is healthy and ready to go, don’t be shocked to see him at 2nd base in place of Murphy or Duda (with Murphy sliding to 1st base).
The Mets (85-67) fell to the Atlanta Braves (62-91) by a score of 6-3. The Mets held a 2-0 lead until the 7th inning, when Bartolo Colon allowed 3 baserunners and Addison Reed allowed all 3 runs to score. The Mets tied right away with an RBI single by David Wright, but Jeurys Familia gave up a 3-run home run to Freddie Freeman in the 9th. The Mets lost all 3 series of this homestand, winning the first game but losing the next two in all three series. They finish a disappointing homestand 3-6.
The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a line-drive solo home run by Daniel Murphy. After a double by Lucas Duda and a single by Travis d’Arnaud in the 2nd, Ruben Tejada singled in a 2nd run to make it 2-0, but failed to add any more. The Mets wasted a triple in the 3rd, two singles in the 4th, and a walk in the 5th against Williams Perez.
Bartolo Colon was fantastic through the first five innings, retiring the first 14 batters he faced. He got out of a 1st and 3rd, 1 out situation in the 6th, keeping the game at 2-0. In the 7th though, Colon allowed back-to-back singles to A.J. Pierzynski and Andrelton Simmons, followed by a flyout by Jace Peterson and a third single by Cameron Maybin to load the bases. Addison Reed entered and allowed an RBI single to Michael Bourn before allowing a 2-run double to pinch hitter Freddie Freeman that appeared as if it was misplayed by Curtis Granderson in right. The Braves took a 3-2 lead.
The Mets struck right back in the bottom of the 7th, and Ruben Tejada singled to lead off the inning. After two outs and a stolen base by pinch runner Eric Young Jr., David Wright singled him in to tie the game at 3.
Tyler Clippard was shaky but effective in the 8th, and the Mets failed to score in the bottom of the 8th. In the top of the 9th, Jeurys Familia struck out Jace Peterson before allowing a single to Cameron Maybin and a walk to Michael Bourn. Freddie Freeman, double switched into the game, then hit an opposite-field 3-run home run to put the Braves ahead 6-3. Apart from a leadoff single by Juan Uribe, the Mets failed to do much in the bottom of the 9th.
What a disappointing homestand. Hopefully, this is the worst the team looks, because it seems like the bullpen, the offense, and the defense have gone into slumps at the same time (not to mention recent struggles by some of their starting pitchers). One hopes that even if everything doesn’t click at the same time, as it did through parts of August, enough comes together that the Mets can succeed in the postseason. Thankfully, the Orioles took care of the Nations again tonight.
POSITIVES: Colon looked fantastic through the first 5 innings, pitching to a ton of weak contact. The issue with Colon is that at some point, often the 3rd time through the order, batters will catch on. David Wright continues to look good at the plate, and it looks like Yoenis Cespedes is coming around. Travis d’Arnaud had a couple singles, but looked overmatched later in the game. Eric Young Jr. stole a key base against Brandon Cunniff, who nearly picked him off a few times. Young later came around to score the tying run.
NEGATIVES: The bullpen. Reed had his first really tough outing since his first outing as a Met. Tyler Clippard was effective, but seemed to get a bit lucky in his one inning, as he hit a batter and looked a little wild. Jeurys Familia left his pitches high, and Freddie Freeman took advantage of a very poorly placed splitter. Curtis Granderson did not produce in a few key situations tonight, and was 0/5 on the night. Kelly Johnson, Michael Cuddyer, and Wilmer Flores were not up to the task of coming off the bench. Johnson and Cuddyer struck out in important situations, while Flores came to bat in the 9th down 3 runs with a runner on 1st, and promptly grounded into a double play.
Thankfully, Baltimore defeated Washington 4-3 on a late 2-run home run by Manny Machado. The Mets’ lead remains 6.5 games, while the magic number is reduced to 5.
- David Wright (.211)
- Ruben Tejada (.188)
- Bartolo Colon (.121 pitching, -.088 batting, .033 total)
- Jeurys Familia (-.471)
- Addison Reed (-.362)
- Curtis Granderson (-.146)
- David Wright singles, Eric Young scores. 3-3, 7th inning (.245)
- Addison Reed gets Hector Olivera to ground into a double play, Braves up 3-2, 7th inning (.136)
- Daniel Murphy homers, Mets up 1-0, 1st inning (.122)
- Freddie Freeman hits a 3-run home run, Braves up 6-3, 9th inning (.390)
- Freddie Freeman hits a 2-run double, Braves up 3-2 (7th inning) (.336)
The Mets (84-63) defeated the Yankees (80-66) by the score of 5-1. Steven Matz, after a rocky start, was able to fight through and hold the Yankees to 1 run over 6 innings. The Mets got two home runs off of Masahiro Tanaka in 6 innings, solo shots by Duda and Murphy, and opened their lead with a Juan Uribe 2-run home run and a run-scoring wild pitch after a Daniel Murphy triple.
Reliever Tyler Clippard was unavailable for tonight’s game, but Hansel Robles and Addison Reed filled in more than admirably. Clippard’s back tightened up on him and was held out of the game as a precautionary measure, but it appears he will be ready to go tomorrow.
Matz got off to a rough start, allowing a leadoff walk to Brett Gardner after getting ahead of him 1-2. He got Chase Headley to fly out and allowed a weak single to Carlos Beltran, advancing Gardner to 3rd. Gardner scored on a sacrifice fly to center, giving the Yankees an early 1-0 lead. Matz worked around another single by Greg Bird to limit the damage. Matz struggled through another inning, but kept the Yankees off the board in the 2nd, working around 2 singles with help from an aggressive play on a bunt by Travis d’Arnaud and a fantastic stretch by Wilmer Flores to get the force.
After Masahiro Tanaka set the Mets aside easily in the first, he continued to do so for much of his 6 innings on the mound. His two major mistakes were home runs to Lucas Duda in the 2nd and Daniel Murphy in the 6th, to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Matz, on the other hand, settled down and was very effective through his next four innings, only allowing 3 base runners.
Though only with 82 pitches, the Yankees pinch hit Jacoby Ellsbury for Masahiro Tanaka to lead off the top of the 7th inning. Girardi’s choice did not pan out, as Mets reliever Hansel Robles looked unhittable tonight with his fastball working well. The Mets tacked on in the bottom of the 7th with a 2-out pinch hit 2-run home run by Juan Uribe against lefty Chasen Shreve, a ball Uribe lined just over the wall in right field. Addison Reed looked just as unhittable as Robles, if not more, getting Batters to swing late on his deceptive fastball (even though his fastball only topped out at 93-94 MPH). The Mets would tack on another run in the bottom of the 8th after a Daniel Murphy triple off the glove of defensive replacement Jacoby Ellsbury and a wild pitch, scoring pinch runner Eric Young Jr.
In the 9th, Jeurys Familia was shaky but effective. He allowed a leadoff double to pinch hitter Dustin Ackley, and after getting Didi Gregorius to ground out, walked pinch hitter Alex Rodriguez and allowed a line-drive single for Jacoby Ellsbury off his knee. Familia would not need to come out of the game, and retired Brett Gardner and struck out Chase Headley to end the game.
The atmosphere at Citi Field tonight was absolutely electric. Nothing compared to the game I went to on July 31st against the Nationals, in which Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off home run in the 12th, but it was an incredible atmosphere nonetheless. From my perspective in the seats just in front of the press box, Matz looked shaky but strong, while Hansel Robles and Addison Reed continue to impress. The pair of them looked absolutely unhittable tonight, and Reed’s ability to make batters look silly on 92 MPH fastballs still baffles me.
This game had everything though. A fantastic pitcher’s duel, great shows of power, and just enough drama to keep things interesting all the way. Masahiro Tanaka looked absolutely dominant tonight, but as was the case last week with Stephen Strasburg, the Mets were able to hit a couple of key home runs off of him.
With the win combined with the Nationals’ 5-4 victory in 10 innings against the Marlins, the Mets maintain a lead of 8 games. With 15 to play, the Mets’ magic number is now 8.
- Daniel Murphy (.201)
- Steven Matz (.193 pitching, -.029 batting, .164 total)
- Lucas Duda (.159)
WPA Losers: Travis d’Arnaud (-.103)
- Daniel Murphy homered, Mets 2, Yankees 1 (6th inning) (.220)
- Juan Uribe hit a 2-run home run, Mets 4, Yankees 1 (7th inning) (.154)
- Lucas Duda homered, Mets 1, Yankees 1 (2nd inning) (.132)
Worst Play: None below -.100