Tagged: Kevin Plawecki

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!

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NLCS Game 1 Preview: Harvey vs. Lester

The Mets and Cubs face off in game 1 of the National League Championship Series. Tonight’s game is at Citi Field and starts at 8:07 PM. Matt Harvey (2.71 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 189 1/3 IP over 29 starts) gets the game 1 assignment against Jon Lester (3.34 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 1.12 WHIP, 205 IP over 32 starts). The Mets and Cubs have never faced each other in the postseason.

In his one postseason start, Matt Harvey has allowed 3 runs over 5 innings (2 earned), 7 hits, and 2 walks while striking out 7. Lester, in his one postseason start of 2015, pitched 7 1/3 innings while allowing 3 runs, 5 hits, 1 walk, and 2 wild pitches while striking out 9. Harvey made one start against the Cubs this season, and shut them out over 7 innings while allowing only 2 walks and 3 hits while striking out 9. Lester made two starts against the Mets this season, and in 13 innings, he allowed 3 runs, 10 hits and 5 walks while striking out 13. His second start against the Mets in July was an outing of 7 shutout innings.

Lineups:

Mets:Matt Harvey

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

Cubs:jon-lester-cubs_tri

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF (S)
  2. Kyle Schwarber, LF (L)
  3. Kris Bryant, 3B (R)
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B (L)
  5. Starlin Castro, 2B (R)
  6. Jorge Soler, RF (R)
  7. Javier Baez, SS (R)
  8. David Ross, C (R)
  9. Jon Lester, P (L)

Mets Bench:

Michael Conforto, LF (L), Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF (L), Lucas Duda, 1B (L), Kelly Johnson, IF/OF (L), Matt Reynolds, SS/2B (R), Kevin Plawecki, C (R)

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), Noah Syndergaard* (R), Jacob deGrom* (R), Steven Matz* (L)

**Gilmartin replaces Erik Goeddel, after Goeddel did not record an out while facing 4 batters in the NLDS. Gilmartin is likely on the rosters for a couple of reasons. First, Jon Niese may miss part of a game due to a death in his family [Rubin] and second, the Cubs as a team have not hit lefties (.303 wOBA) as well as they have hit righties (.316 wOBA). Also of note for the Mets, Juan Uribe is unavailable for this series.

Cubs Bench:

Chris Coghlan, OF/IF (L), Austin Jackson, OF (R), Chris Denorfia, OF (R), Tommy La Stella, 3B/2B (L), Quintin Berry**, OF (L), Miguel Montero, C (L)

**Quintin Berry replaces Addison Russell, who is unavailable for the NLCS after re-injuring his hamstring in game 3 of the NLDS. Javier Baez will start at shortstop in his place.

Cubs Pitchers (projected starters denoted with asterisk):

Hector Rondon (R), Pedro Strop (R), Justin Grimm (R), Travis Wood (L), Trevor Cahill (R), Fernando Rodney (R), Clayton Richard (L), Jake Arrieta* (R), Jason Hammel* (R), Kyle Hendricks* (R)

As always, LET’S GO METS!

NLDS Game 1 Preview: deGrom vs. Kershaw

The Mets take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 1 of the National League Division Series. Jacob deGrom (2.54 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 0.98 WHIP, 191 IP over 30 starts) faces off against reigning NL Cy Young and MVP award winner Clayton Kershaw (2.13 ERA, 1.99 FIP, 0.88 WHIP in 232 2/3 IP over 33 starts). For the Mets, it is their first playoff game since 2006, while the Dodgers are making their 3rd straight appearance in the Division Series. This is the 3rd playoff series the Mets and Dodgers have played; The Dodgers took the 1988 NLCS 4 games to 3, while the Mets swept the 2006 NLDS 3 games to none.

Lineups:jacobdegromnewyorkyankeesvnewyorkmetsmzuwvh-4lthl

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. Ruben Tejada, SS (R)
  9. Jacob deGrom, P (L)

Dodgers:

  1. Carl Crawford, LF (L)
  2. Howie Kendrick, 2B (R)
  3. Corey Seager, SS (L)
  4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B (L)
  5. Justin Turner, 3B (R)
  6. Andre Ethier, RF (L)
  7. A.J. Ellis, C (R)
  8. Joc Pederson, CF (L)
  9. Clayton Kershaw, P (L)

Mets Bench:

Michael Conforto, LF (L), Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF (L), Juan Lagares, CF (R), Kelly Johnson, IF/OF (L), Wilmer Flores, SS/2B (R), Kevin Plawecki, C (R)

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) Erik Goeddel (R), Noah Syndergaard* (R), Matt Harvey* (R), Steven Matz* (L)

Dodgers Bench:

Kike Hernandez, OF/IF (R), Chase Utley, IF (L), Jimmy Rollins, SS (S), Yasiel Puig, OF (R), Justin Ruggiano, OF (R), Yasmani Grandal, C (S)

Dodgers Pitchers (projected starters denoted with asterisk):

Kenley Jansen (R), Luis Avilan (L), Chris Hatcher (R), J.P. Howell (L), Pedro Baez (R), Joel Peralta (R), Yimi Garcia (R), Zack Greinke* (R), Brett Anderson* (L), Alex Wood* (L)

As always, LET’S GO METS!

Game 2 Recap: Max Scherzer no-hits Mets, Nationals 2, Mets 0

Max Scherzer threw his 2nd no-hitter of the 2015 season in a 2-0 victory by the Washington Nationals. The Mets had one baserunner all night, Kevin Plawecki, who reached on a throwing error by third baseman Yunel Escobar. It is fascinating to consider that Max Scherzer was only a bloop single, a leaned-in hit-by-pitch, and a throwing error away from 3 perfect games this season. Scherzer is only the 5th player in history to throw 2 no-hitters during one regular season, and the first since Nolan Ryan in 1973. Scherzer ties Ryan’s 1973 record for strikeouts in a no-hitter, with 17. Scherzer also fell one shy of Tom Seaver‘s 10 consecutive strikeouts, but Curtis Granderson popped out to end the strikeout stretch and end the game.

chart100315gm2

Matt Harvey was very good for the Mets tonight, allowing 1 unearned run on 4 hits in 6 innings, while walking none and striking out 11. His one run allowed scored in the 6th inning, after Michael Taylor reached on a fielding error by 3rd baseman Kelly Johnson. Clint Robinson singled him to 3rd with 1 out, and Wilson Ramos hit a sacrifice fly to bring him in. Dan Uggla homered in the 7th against Hansel Robles to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead, and those two runs were all they needed.

Max Scherzer was absolutely dominant, and his game score of 104 is 2nd in major league history. Scherzer walked none, hit none, and struck out 17, while only allowing one baserunner on Yunel Escobar’s throwing error (a throw first baseman Clint Robinson should have handled). Between the two teams, there were 35 strikeouts and no walks, and some part of that must be a major league record. I’m fairly certain that the 35 strikeouts is a major league record for a 9-inning game, but I have not been able to confirm that. It was definitely the best pitching performance I have ever seen.


POSITIVES: Matt Harvey, Erik Goeddel, and Carlos Torres. Harvey was very strong over 6, Goeddel struck out the side, and Torres pitched a clean inning. Other than that…

NEGATIVES: Offense… but frankly, a game like this is much easier to accept than game 1. Here, they were facing a pitcher who, honestly, was not going to be stopped. Also, Hansel Robles allowed yet another home run, around 3 strikeouts.

The Mets finish their season tomorrow at 3:10 against the Nationals. Jacob deGrom, in an abbreviated start, will face off against Tanner Roark. The Mets are now 1.5 games behind the Dodgers for home field advantage, and their magic number to clinch it is now 1.


WPA Winner: Matt Harvey (.107 pitching, -.011 hitting, .096 total)

WPA Losers: Hansel Robles (-.100), offense (none under -.100, but aside from Plawecki’s ROE, none over -.042 either…)

Best Play: None over .100 (highest was Plawecki’s ROE, .069)

Worst Plays:

  • Dan Uggla homers, Nationals up 2-0, 7th inning (.133)
  • Clint Robinson singled, Michael Taylor to 3rd, 0-0, 6th inning (-.111)

10/3/15 Game 2 Preview: Scherzer vs. Harvey

The Mets (89-71) take on the Nationals (82-78) in game 2 of a day-night doubleheader. Matt Harvey (2.80 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 1.03 WHIP, 183 1/3 IP over 28 starts) faces off against Max Scherzer (2.91 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 0.96 WHIP, 219 2/3 IP over 32 starts). Both teams are sitting many players who started game 1; only 5 players are starting both games: Ruben Tejada, Michael Cuddyer, Yunel Escobar, Clint Robinson, and Matt den Dekker.

Lineups:Matt Harvey

Mets:

  1. Curtis Granderson, RF (L)
  2. Ruben Tejada, SS (R)
  3. Michael Conforto, LF (L)
  4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B (R)
  5. Kelly Johnson, 3B (L)
  6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF (L)
  7. Kevin Plawecki, C (R)
  8. Dilson Herrera, 2B (R)
  9. Matt Harvey, P (R)

Nationals:

  1. Trea Turner, SS (R)
  2. Michael Taylor, CF (R)
  3. Yunel Escobar, 3B (R)
  4. Clint Robinson, 1B (L)
  5. Wilson Ramos, C (R)
  6. Matt den Dekker, RF (L)
  7. Tyler Moore, LF (R)
  8. Wilmer Difo, 2B (S)
  9. Max Scherzer, P (R)

It seems Terry Collins is focusing more on resting his regulars than gunning for home field advantage. With the Mets down 1 game with 2 to play for each team, it seems unlikely now anyway, and it seems Collins would prefer to rest Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, and Yoenis Cespedes after game 1 (David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud were givens). I would venture a guess that if he felt up for it, Wilmer Flores would get the start at shortstop, however Flores is still recovering from lower back stiffness and strep throat.

Matt Harvey makes his 29th and final start of the regular season, and it’s certainly been a success in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. While his strikeout numbers are a bit down (24.2% compared to 27.7% in 2013), he still had a solid season, with a 75 ERA-, compared to 64 in 2013 and 73 in 2012 (ERA- measures his ERA relative to league average, therefore, an ERA- of 75 makes him 25% better than league average in ERA). Harvey’s numbers have been significantly stronger at home, where he has a 2.36 ERA compared to 3.42 on the road. With Harvey likely starting game 3 of the NLDS, it certainly appears as if he’ll start at home, where he has held opponents to only a .264 wOBA and an 0.95 WHIP.

Max Scherzer had a Cy Young Award-caliber 1st half this season, with a 2.11 ERA over 132 innings (150 strikeouts and only 14 walks). However, he has struggled more in the 2nd half, with a 4.11 ERA over 87 2/3 IP, but his walk and strikeout numbers are still fantastic (109 strikeouts and 20 walks, 2 intentional). If there has been one thing indicative about his 2nd half struggles, it has been the increased home run rate, which was 0.68 HR/9 in the 1st half and 1.75 HR/9 in the 2nd half. The last time the Mets faced him, they scored 5 runs in 6 innings, 3 of which came via the solo home run (Conforto, Johnson, Cespedes). The batted ball profile against Scherzer has changed as well; Scherzer has allowed 2.7% more hard hit balls, 2.9% more medium hit balls, and 5.6% less soft hit balls (according to Fangraphs). The home run per fly ball rate has also jumped from 6.3% in the first half to 18.5% in the 2nd half (league average is 11.4%).

As always, LET’S GO METS!

Game Recap: Phillies 3, Mets 0; Pitching strong as offense falters, Regulars watch from bench

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.

chart100115

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)

10/1/15 Game Preview: Gilmartin vs. Eickhoff

The Mets (89-69) take on the Philadelphia Phillies (61-97) at 12:05 at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia. Sean Gilmartin (2.58 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, 52 1/3 IP over 49 relief appearances) faces off against Jerad Eickhoff (3.07, 3.66, 1.09, 44 IP over 7 starts). For Gilmartin, it marks the Rule 5 selection’s first major league start. He will likely be followed by veteran starter/reliever Tim Stauffer in relief.

Lineups:

[USA Today]

[USA Today]

Mets:

  1. Kelly Johnson, 2B (L)
  2. Ruben Tejada, SS (R)
  3. Michael Conforto, LF (L)
  4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B (R)
  5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RF (L)
  6. Eric Campbell, 3B (R)
  7. Kevin Plawecki, C (R)
  8. Juan Lagares, CF (R)
  9. Sean Gilmartin, P (L)

Phillies:

  1. Freddy Galvis, 2B (S)
  2. Odubel Herrera, CF (L)
  3. Aaron Altherr, LF (R)
  4. Jeff Francoeur, RF (R)
  5. Darin Ruf, 1B (R)
  6. Cody Asche, 3B (L)
  7. Carlos Ruiz, C (R)
  8. Chase d’Arnaud, SS (R)
  9. Jerad Eickhoff, P (R)

With a tough loss last night and only 11 hours between games, the Mets are sitting all regulars except for Michael Conforto and Ruben Tejada (only Conforto started last night). This gives the Mets secondary lineup another chance to get a big win – a lineup of many of the same characters beat Cincinnati 8-1 on Sunday. Yoenis Cespedes is out after being hit in the hand by a pitch yesterday (contusion) and Wilmer Flores is out with lower back stiffness. David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, and Daniel Murphy are getting the day off.

Sean Gilmartin gets his first major league start today in place of Steven Matz, who is out due to right side stiffness. The team hopes to pitch Matz at some point this weekend, otherwise Matz’s NLDS roster spot may be in jeopardy. Gilmartin has had reverse platoon splits this season; righties have a .237 wOBA against him while lefties have a .306 wOBA (though even that number is solid, especially considering he’s a rookie Rule-5 selection that had not pitched out of the bullpen prior to this season). Part of that discrepancy could fall in BABIP and batted ball rates – 25.6 percent of batted balls from righties have been softly hit, while only 17.9% to lefties. That could explain a .358 BABIP to lefties versus a .282 BABIP to righties. Gilmartin has above average strikeout and walk percentages for relievers (23.6% and 7.9%, respectively), but has a way-below league average .17 HR/9 allowed (the league average is .94, suggesting good luck for Gilmartin). Gilmartin has only allowed 1 home run in his 52 1/3 innings of work.

Jerad Eickhoff has been very good in his 7 starts with the Phillies this season. Eickhoff, acquired from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade, has a 3.07 ERA over his 7 starts. Part of that, however, can be explained by a low .256 BABIP which is due for at least some regression. Eickhoff has neutralized righties very well, to a .227 wOBA in 97 plate appearances, but has struggled more against lefties (.348 wOBA in 80 plate appearances). In those 80 plate appearances, Eickhoff has allowed 8 walks, a double, 2 triples, and 4 home runs. The Mets, while without 3 of their 4 regular lefty bats, will look to take advantage with Kelly Johnson, Michael Conforto, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. In his two starts against the Mets this season, Eickhoff has allowed 7 runs (6 earned) over 13 innings pitched, striking out 10, allowing 10 hits, walking 3, and allowing 2 home runs. The Mets won both games.

As always, LET’S GO METS!