Tagged: Johnny Cueto

World Series Game 2 Recap: Royals 7, Mets 1

The Royals defeated the Mets by a score of 6-1, taking game 2 of the World Series to take a 2 games to none lead. Jacob deGrom was very strong over his first 3 innings, but worked in and out of trouble in the 4th before giving up 4 runs in the 5th. It was the first time since September 22nd that a Mets starter allowed more than 3 runs (Logan Verrett). Meanwhile, the Mets struggled mightily against Royals starter Johnny Cueto, who went the distance giving up only 2 soft hits to Lucas Duda, 3 walks, and a run while striking out 4.

chart102815

Both starters got off to a fast start, retiring the side in the 1st, before the Mets got a 1-out single by Lucas Duda, a soft grounder against the shift. Duda was quickly erased, however, on an inning-ending double play off the bat of Travis d’Arnaud. Jacob deGrom worked around a 1-out walk in the 3rd before the Mets put together a few baserunners in the 4th. Walks to Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy put runners on 1st and 2nd for Yoenis Cespedes, who grounded into what appeared to be an inning-ending double play. Eric Hosmer, however, came off the base at 1st, allowing Lucas Duda to dunk a bloop single into left to score the first run of the game. The Mets had a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the 4th, Jacob deGrom worked around a leadoff fielding error, a 1 out single, and a 2 out walk, but deGrom would not be so lucky in the 5th. A leadoff walk to Alex Gordon set the stage, and Alex Rios singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no one out. Alcides Escobar, after failing to get a bunt down, singled into center to score the tying run. Ben Zobrist then grounded out to 1st, putting the runners on 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out. DeGrom got Lorenzo Cain to line out to center, but Eric Hosmer singled in two to make it 3-1 Royals. Kendrys Morales and Mike Moustakas followed with singles to make it 4-1.

Hansel Robles and Jon Niese worked an effective 6th and 7th inning, respectively, while Johnny Cueto continued to retire the Mets in order. In the 8th inning, the wheels fell off for Niese, who allowed a single to Mike Moustakas and a double to Salvador Perez to lead off the inning. Alex Gordon followed with a double off of Wilmer Flores‘s glove, scoring only one run to make it 5-1. Addison Reed came in and allowed a long sacrifice fly to Paulo Orlando to make it 6-1. Alcides Escobar then tripled to make it 7-1. Sean Gilmartin came in to get the final two outs of the inning.

Johnny Cueto, with a 7-1 lead, came out for the 9th inning, and worked around a 2-out walk to Daniel Murphy to finish his complete game 2-hitter.


POSITIVES: Lucas Duda got a couple of hits, however cheap they may have been, and they proved to be the only two hits the Mets would have on the night. Hansel Robles worked a 1-2-3 6th (albeit with a couple of 400 foot fly balls) and Jon Niese worked a clean 7th, before imploding in the 8th. Sean Gilmartin got two quick outs once the damage was done.

NEGATIVES: Other than Duda, there were a lot of 0/3s and 0/4s in the box score, with Daniel Murphy 0/2 with a couple of walks. Jon Niese did not do well in the 8th after a strong 7th, and Addison Reed proved again how he should never ever enter the middle of an inning. Jacob deGrom was solid at first, but was unable to put away the Kansas City batters in the 5th.

Game 3 will be on Friday at Citi Field, with an 8:07 ET start time. Noah Syndergaard will face off against Yordano Ventura.


WPA Winners: Lucas Duda (.156)

WPA Losers:

  • Jacob deGrom (-.275)
  • Travis d’Arnaud (-.108)

Best Plays:

  • Lucas Duda hits an RBI single, Mets up 1-0, 4th inning (.143)
  • Lorenzo Cain flies out with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out. Game tied 1-1, 5th inning, Jacob deGrom pitching (.106)
  • Salvador Perez grounds out with 2 outs and the bases loaded. Mets up 1-0, 4th inning, Jacob deGrom pitching (.100)

Worst Plays:

  • Eric Hosmer hits a 2-run single, Royals up 3-1, 5th inning (-.235)
  • Alcides Escobar hits an RBI single, game tied 1-1, 5th inning (-.142)
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World Series Game 2 Preview: deGrom vs. Cueto

The Mets face the Royals in game 2 of the World Series at 8:07 PM ET at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. The Royals currently hold a 1-0 series lead after their 5-4 victory in 14 innings last night. Jacob deGrom (2.54 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 0.98 WHIP, 191 IP over 30 starts) faces off against Johnny Cueto (3.44 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, 212 IP over 32 starts between the Reds and Royals).

Lineups:

Mets:

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF (L)
  2. David Wright, 3B (R)
  3. Daniel Murphy, 2B (L)
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF (R)
  5. Lucas Duda, 1B (L)
  6. Travis d’Arnaud, C (R)
  7. Michael Conforto, DH (L)
  8. Wilmer Flores, SS (R)
  9. Juan Lagares, CF (R)

Royals:cueto

  1. Alcides Escobar, SS (R)
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B (S)
  3. Lorenzo Cain, CF (R)
  4. Eric Hosmer, 1B (L)
  5. Kendrys Morales, DH (S)
  6. Mike Moustakas, 3B (L)
  7. Salvador Perez, C (R)
  8. Alex Gordon, LF (L)
  9. Alex Rios, RF (R)

Jacob deGrom has been fantastic across his 3 postseason starts, allowing only 4 runs over 20 innings with 15 hits and 5 walks (1 intentional) while striking out 27. Johnny Cueto has not been as strong for the Royals over his 3 postseason starts, having allowed 14 runs over 16 innings with 15 hits, 7 walks, and a hit batsman while striking out 15. Cueto’s worst start was his most recent against Toronto, in which he allowed 8 runs on 6 hits, 4 walks and a hit batsman wile striking out only 2 over 2+ innings of work. However, Cueto’s ALDS game 5 was an 8 inning effort in which he allowed only 2 hits and 2 runs while striking out 8 and walking none.

The Royals have never faced Jacob deGrom, but the Mets faced Johnny Cueto once in 2015 when he was a member of the Cincinnati Reds. Cueto held the Mets to 2 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks over 6 innings while striking out 6. Cueto, though, has had trouble since coming to the Royals, and carried a 4.76 ERA, 4.06 FIP, and 1.45 WHIP in 81 1/3 IP over 13 starts.

Juan Lagares gets the start over Kelly Johnson today, and why not, given his defensive prowess and strong showing off the bench in game 1. Another reason Lagares is starting may have to do with Johnny Cueto’s reverse platoon splits. For the 2015 season, righties have a .322 wOBA against him while lefties are at only .262. Michael Conforto serves as the designated hitter, while Yoenis Cespedes moves to left field.

World Series Game 1 Recap: Royals 5, Mets 4 (14)

The Mets fell to the Royals in game 1 of the World Series in 14 innings. The Mets had a 3-1 lead going into the 6th inning and a 4-3 lead after 7, but the Royals tied the game in the 9th when Alex Gordon homered off of Jeurys Familia. The bullpens held the score tied at 4 until the 14th, when a David Wright error and a single put runners on the corners with no one out. An intentional walk to Lorenzo Cain set up Eric Hosmer for a walk-off sacrifice fly to right.

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The Royals got off to the fast start in game 1, when Alcides Escobar hit Matt Harvey‘s first pitch fastball into the left-center field gap for an inside the park home run, after caroming off of Yoenis Cespedes‘s leg. The Royals had a 1-0 lead.

The Mets did not get their first hit or first run until the 4th inning. Daniel Murphy singled to lead off the inning, Lucas Duda singled with 1 out, and Travis d’Arnaud hit a sharp single to third baseman Mike Moustakas that he couldn’t handle to score the Mets’ first run of the game. The score was tied at 1.

In the 5th, Curtis Granderson homered with one out to make it 2-1 Mets. In the 6th, back-to-back singles by Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda set the stage for a sacrifice fly by Michael Conforto to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

Matt Harvey was very solid through the first 5 innings, having allowed only 2 hits, a run, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. In the 6th, Harvey gave up a leadoff double to Ben Zobrist and a single to Lorenzo Cain to put runners at the corners with no one out. Eric Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2, and Lorenzo Cain stole 2nd to put the tying run in scoring position. Kendrys Morales grounded to Harvey, but Mike Moustakas lined a game-tying single to center. The game was tied at 3.

The Mets scored in the top of the 7th after a 2-out single by defensive sub Juan Lagares, a stolen base, and a fielding error by Eric Hosmer on a grounder by Wilmer Flores. The Mets took a 4-3 lead. Tyler Clippard allowed a leadoff double in the 8th to Zobrist, but struck out Cain and Hosmer before walking Morales and being lifted for Jeurys Familia. Familia got Mike Moustakas to ground out to end the threat, but with 1 out in the 9th, Familia allowed a game-tying solo home run to Alex Gordon.

From there on, the bullpens battled and put up matching zeroes until the 14th. For the Mets, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon pitched 2 scoreless innings apiece, with Colon working into and out of trouble. For the Royals, the Mets were held in check by single innings from Wade Davis and Ryan Madson, before Chris Young pitched 3 scoreless.

In the 14th, Colon allowed a leadoff baserunner on a grounder by Alcides Escobar, in which David Wright’s throw pulled Lucas Duda off the base (though on a second viewing, it looks like Escobar had the ball beat anyway). A single by Ben Zobrist put runners on the corners with no one out, forcing Colon to walk Lorenzo Cain to load the bases, putting a force at every base. Eric Hosmer hit a fly ball to right field, and Escobar tagged to score from 3rd to give the Royals the 5-4 walk-off victory.


POSITIVES: Juan Lagares had quite a game off the bench, and was 2/3 with a steal and a run scored. Lagares fought off multiple tough pitches from Kelvin Herrera in the 7th before getting on base and eventually scoring the go-ahead run. Harvey was solid through 6, but not dominant. Addison Reed and Jon Niese were especially strong out of the bullpen, and Tyler Clippard got two huge outs after allowing a leadoff double. Bartolo Colon was solid, but eventually the Royals were able to bunch up a couple of baserunners with no one out.

NEGATIVES: Michael Cuddyer was 0/3 with 3 strikeouts as a replacement for Kelly Johnson as DH. Wilmer Flores was 0/4 with a walk, but that doesn’t consider a couple of hard-hit balls and that the ball he hit in the 7th to score Lagares probably should have been ruled a hit instead of an error on Eric Hosmer. Flores also made a couple of very strong defensive plays. David Wright was 2/7, but did not come up big in key situations, and had a couple of throwing issues. Jeurys Familia blew his first save since July 30th, allowing a solo home run in 1 1/3 innings of work.

Game 2 is tomorrow at 8:07, with Jacob deGrom facing Johnny Cueto.


WPA Winner:

  • Jon Niese (.252)
  • Wilmer Flores (.181)

WPA Losers:

  • David Wright (-.218)
  • Yoenis Cespedes (-.200)
  • Jeurys Familia (-.181)
  • Michael Cuddyer (-.148)
  • Matt Harvey (-.123)
  • Bartolo Colon (-.121)

Best Plays:

  • Wilmer Flores reaches on a fielding error by Eric Hosmer, Juan Lagares scored. Mets up 4-3, 7th inning (.264)
  • Curtis Granderson hits a solo home run, Mets up 2-1, 5th inning (.159)
  • Jarrod Dyson flies out with the bases loaded and 2 outs, game tied 4-4, 12th inning, Bartolo Colon pitching (.153)
  • Mike Moustakas grounds out with 2 outs and runners on the corners, Mets up 4-3, 8th inning, Jeurys Familia pitching (.137)
  • Lorenzo Cain strikes out with a runner on 2nd and no outs, Mets up 4-3, 8th inning, Tyler Clippard pitching (.117)
  • Paulo Orlando grounds out with a runner on 2nd and 2 outs, game tied 4-4, 13th inning, Bartolo Colon pitching (.102)

Worst Plays:

  • Alex Gordon hits a solo home run, game tied at 4, 9th inning (-.472)
  • Ben Zobrist singles, Alcides Escobar advances to 3rd base, no one out, game tied at 4, 14th inning (-.264)
  • Mike Moustakas hits an RBI single, game tied 3-3, 6th inning (-.185)
  • Ben Zobrist doubles with no one out, Mets up 4-3, 8th inning (-.177)
  • Lorenzo Cain singles, Ben Zobrist advances to 3rd base, no one out, Mets up 3-1, 6th inning (-.115)
  • David Wright strikes out with runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs, game tied 4-4, 11th inning, Ryan Madson pitching (-.108)
  • Alcides Escobar hits an inside-the-park solo home run, Royals up 1-0, 1st inning (-.107)

World Series Game 1 Preview: Harvey vs. Volquez

The Mets face the Kansas City Royals in game 1 of the World Series. Tonight’s game is at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri and starts at 8:07 PM ET. Matt Harvey (2.71 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 189 1/3 IP over 29 starts) gets the game 1 assignment against Edinson Volquez (3.55 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 1.31 WHIP, 200 1/3 IP over 33 starts and 1 relief appearance). The Mets and Royals have never faced each other in the World Series, and in fact, it is the first time in major league history that two expansion teams have met in the World Series.

In his two postseason starts, Matt Harvey has allowed 5 runs over 12 2/3 innings (4 earned), 11 hits, and 4 walks (1 intentional) while striking out 16 and hitting a batter. Harvey was particularly impressive in his most recent start, game 1 of the NLCS against the Cubs during which he allowed only 2 runs in 7 2/3 innings. Volquez, in 3 postseason starts in 2015, has allowed 8 runs in 16 2/3 innings, 10 hits, 12 walks (1 intentional) while striking out 15. Volquez’s best start was in game 1 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, in which he pitched 6 shutout innings, while only allowing 2 hits and 5 walks while striking out 4.

The Mets have not played the Royals since 2013, and among the 50 active players on the two rosters, only one has played for both teams: Royals starting pitcher Chris Young. The Mets have not played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City since 2004.

Lineups:

Mets:Matt Harvey

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF (L)
  2. David Wright, 3B (R)
  3. Daniel Murphy, 2B (L)
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, CF (R)
  5. Lucas Duda, 1B (L)
  6. Travis d’Arnaud, C (R)
  7. Michael Conforto, LF (L)
  8. Wilmer Flores, SS (R)
  9. Kelly Johnson, DH (L)

Royals:

  1. Alcides Escobar, SS (R)
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B (S)
  3. Lorenzo Cain, CF (R)
  4. Eric Hosmer, 1B (L)
  5. Kendrys Morales, DH (S)
  6. Mike Moustakas, 3B (L)
  7. Salvador Perez, C (R)
  8. Alex Gordon, LF (L)
  9. Alex Rios, RF (R)

Mets Bench:

Michael Cuddyer, OF/1B (R), Juan Uribe**, 3B/2B (R), Juan Lagares, CF (R), Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF (L), Kevin Plawecki, C (R)

**Juan Uribe rejoins the Mets after missing the Division Series and the Championship Series with a chest injury. He replaces Matt Reynolds on the roster. Uribe is the only player on the Mets to have won a World Series before, and he has done so twice: as a member of the 2005 White Sox and a member of the 2010 Giants.

Mets Pitchers (projected starters denoted with asterisk):

Jeurys Familia (R), Tyler Clippard (R), Addison Reed (R), Hansel Robles (R), Jon Niese (L), Bartolo Colon (R), Sean Gilmartin (L), Jacob deGrom* (R), Noah Syndergaard* (R) Steven Matz* (L)

Royals Bench:

Paulo Orlando, OF (R), Christian Colon, IF (R), Jarrod Dyson, OF (L), Raul Mondesi**, SS/2B (S), Drew Butera, C (R)

**Mondesi replaces pinch-running specialist Terrance Gore. Mondesi, should he appear in a game, would become the first player in history to make his major league debut in the World Series.

Royals Pitchers (projected starters denoted with asterisk):

Wade Davis (R), Kelvin Herrera (R), Ryan Madson (R), Luke Hochevar (R), Kris Medlen (R), Danny Duffy (L), Franklin Morales (L), Johnny Cueto* (R), Yordano Ventura* (R), Chris Young* (R)

As always, LET’S GO METS!

Your guide to Game 162

Seven games hold some kind of importance today. The following two hold implications for playoff positions:

  • LAA vs. TEX (Garrett Richards vs. Cole Hamels) – TEX has clinched a postseason spot, but LAA is fighting for a wild card spot. TEX is fighting to avoid a wild card spot and clinch the division. A Texas win or a Houston loss clinches the division for Texas. A Texas loss and a Houston win would force a game 163 tomorrow to decide the AL West. A Los Angeles win and a Houston Loss would force a game 163 tiebreaker for the AL Wild Card.
  • HOU vs. ARI (Lance McCullers vs. Robbie Ray) – HOU is one game behind TEX for the AL West, and one game up on LAA for the wild card. HOU is looking to force a division tiebreaker game tomorrow and avoid a wild card berth. Houston is also looking to avoid a wild card game tiebreaker against Los Angeles.

The following 3 games hold importance for home field advantage in the wild card game:

  • NYY vs. BAL (Michael Pineda vs. Chris Tillman) – NYY is looking to clinch home field advantage in the AL Wild Card Game. HOU is one game back of NYY and holds the tiebreaker, therefore, wins by Baltimore, Houston, and Texas would place the wild card game in Houston. A Yankees win or an Astros loss would put the game at Yankee Stadium. Should the Angels or Rangers get the wild card spot, the Yankees have guaranteed home field advantage. (The Yankees have a guaranteed better record than the Angels, and if the Rangers finish with a better record than the Yankees, they will win the division anyway)
  • CIN vs. PIT (Josh Smith vs. J.A. Happ)
  • CHC vs. MIL (Dan Haren vs. Jorge Lopez) – Pittsburgh has a 1 game lead on CHC for home field advantage in the NL Wild Card Game. CHC has the tiebreaker, so a Pittsburgh loss and a Chicago win would put the game at Wrigley Field. Pittsburgh needs a win or a Chicago loss to clinch home field.

The following 2 games hold importance for AL playoff seeding:

  • KC vs. MIN (Johnny Cueto vs. Ricky Nolasco)
  • TOR vs. TB (Mark Buehrle vs. Matt Moore) – Kansas City has a one game lead on Toronto for the top seed in the American League. The top seed is guaranteed home field advantage throughout the playoffs, with the American League having won the All Star Game. Toronto has the tiebreaker, so a Kansas City loss and a Toronto win gives Toronto the top seed. The top seed will play the wild card game winner (either Texas, Houston, New York, or Los Angeles) and the 2nd seed will play the AL West winner (either Texas or Houston).

Today, MLB.TV is free (all games on the At Bat app are listed as “MLB.TV Game of the Day”), so perhaps you can enjoy games with some meaning while the Mets prepare for the NLDS. All games today, save for the STL/ATL doubleheader, start at 3:05 or 3:10.

9/26/15 Game Preview: Harvey vs. Lamb, Granderson, Duda, Murphy start against lefty

The Mets (87-67) take on the Cincinnati Reds (63-90) at 4:10 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Matt Harvey (2.80 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 176 2/3 IP over 27 starts) takes on rookie lefty John Lamb (4.60, 3.54, 1.49, 43 IP over 8 starts). The Mets have a chance to clinch the NL East title today, with a win or a Nationals loss.

Lineups:Matt Harvey

Mets:

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF (L)
  2. David Wright, 3B (R)
  3. Yoenis Cespedes, CF (R)
  4. Daniel Murphy, 2B (L)
  5. Travis d’Arnaud, C (R)
  6. Lucas Duda, 1B (L)
  7. Michael Cuddyer, LF (R)
  8. Wilmer Flores, SS (R)
  9. Matt Harvey, P (R)

Reds:

  1. Jason Bourgeois, CF (R)
  2. Joey Votto, 1B (L)
  3. Brandon Phillips, 2B (R)
  4. Jay Bruce, RF (L)
  5. Todd Frazier, 3B (R)
  6. Ivan De Jesus, SS (R)
  7. Adam Duvall, LF (R)
  8. Tucker Barnhart, C (S)
  9. John Lamb, P (L)

Matt Harvey will likely be limited in his start today, possibly to as low as 3-4 innings. Sean Gilmartin or Logan Verrett would be the likely candidates to succeed him out of the bullpen. During his last start, Harvey held the Yankees to only an infield single over 5 shutout innings. On the road this season, he has struggled a bit, to a 3.49 ERA, but he still has only a very good .273 wOBA against on the road. Harvey has thrived this year in high leverage situations, holding opponents to only a .155 wOBA in such situations.

John Lamb is one of the pitchers the Reds acquired from Kansas City for Johnny Cueto. The Mets are not starting their full platoon squad today against him, with Granderson, Duda, and Murphy all playing against the lefty. There is certainly some sound logic to this though – lefties on the season (in only 40 plate appearances) are hitting .313/.450/.563 against Lamb (.436 wOBA). Of particular note, lefties have walked against Lamb at a 15% clip in those 40 plate appearances, which may explain why Curtis Granderson gets the rare leadoff appearance against a lefty.

Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, and Michael Cuddyer have all been hot hitters for the Mets lately. Murphy, in his last 12 games, has a .487 wOBA with 2 doubles and 3 home runs. Duda, over his last 8 games, has a .550 wOBA with 4 doubles and 3 home runs, two of which came last night. Cuddyer, since returning from injury on August 11th, has a .379 wOBA with 5 doubles and 2 home runs. Cuddyer has particular success off the bench. Since returning from injury, Cuddyer is 5/12 off the bench with 3 RBI, a hit-by-pitch, and a sacrifice fly.

After his torrid first half and victory in the Home Run Derby, Todd Frazier has certainly come back to earth. After a .388 wOBA and 25 home runs in the first half, Frazier has only a .290 wOBA and 10 home runs in the 2nd half (.222/.276/.403, 78 wRC+).

As always, LET’S GO METS!

9/24/15 Game Preview: Matz vs. Smith

The Mets (85-67) take on the Cincinnati Reds (63-88) at 7:10 tonight at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Rookies Steven Matz (1.80 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, 30 IP over 5 starts) and Josh Smith (7.71 ERA, 7.48 FIP, 1.98 WHIP, 18 2/3 IP over 5 starts and 2 relief appearances) face off. This opens a 4 game series in Cincinnati before a 3 game series in Philadelphia and a 3 game series at home against Washington.

Lineups:

[Wikipedia]

Mets:

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF (L)
  2. David Wright, 3B (R)
  3. Daniel Murphy, 2B (L)
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, CF (R)
  5. Lucas Duda, 1B (L)
  6. Travis d’Arnaud, C (R)
  7. Michael Conforto, LF (L)
  8. Ruben Tejada, SS (R)
  9. Steven Matz, P (R)

Reds:

  1. Jason Bourgeois, CF (R)
  2. Ivan De Jesus, LF (R)
  3. Joey Votto, 1B (L)
  4. Brandon Phillips, 2B (R)
  5. Todd Frazier, 3B (R)
  6. Jay Bruce, RF (L)
  7. Eugenio Suarez, SS (R)
  8. Brayan Pena, C (S)
  9. Josh Smith, P (R)

Steven Matz takes the hill for the Mets to make his 6th career start, his 2nd against Cincinnati (against whom he made his major league debut). For those that don’t remember, Matz went 7 2/3 IP in his debut, allowing 5 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs (both solo home runs) while striking out 6. Matz also went 3/3 at the plate that day, driving in 4 runs (good for a WPA of .518, .435 at the plate and .083 on the mound).

Joey Votto, in another season, may have run away with the NL MVP award, much like Johnny Cueto may have run away with the NL Cy Young any season but last season. Votto is 2nd in the National League in position player fWAR (7.6 to Bryce Harper‘s ridiculous 9.8), and is 2nd in wRC+ amongst qualified players in all of baseball, with a mark of 176 to Harper’s 205. (To clarify, wRC+ is a park adjusted statistic… meaning after adjusting for the batter-friendly size of Votto’s home park, he is still 2nd in the National League). However, in a season with a ridiculously strong NL Central (with the Cardinals, Pirates, and probably the Cubs heading to the postseason), the Reds simply weren’t able to keep up. It didn’t hurt that they lost last year’s breakout star Devin Mesoraco to hip surgery, shortstop Zack Cozart to knee surgery, Homer Bailey to Tommy John surgery, and Sean Marshall to shoulder surgery. Due to the injuries and the disappointing results, the team traded away outfielder Marlon Bird, pitcher Johnny Cueto, and pitcher Mike Leake midseason. That has left the Reds with only 3 players better than league average, as measured by wRC+: Joey Votto, Todd Frazier (and his 35 home runs), and Eugenio Suarez, Cozart’s replacement at shortstop (minimum 300 PA). The Reds also have only one starting pitcher (min 10 IP) with an ERA- under 100: Anthony DeSclafani, at 95 (Cueto, 65, and Leake, 89, were traded away, and Raisel Iglesias sits right at 100).

In Washington D.C. at 4:05, the Baltimore Orioles go for the sweep of the Washington Nationals, with Tyler Wilson facing Tanner Roark.

As always, LET’S GO METS!