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.
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.
WPA Winners: Lucas Duda (.156)
- Jacob deGrom (-.275)
- Travis d’Arnaud (-.108)
- 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)
- 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)
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 (90-72) defeated the Washington Nationals (83-79) by a score of 1-0. Mets pitchers had a no-hitter through 6 2/3 IP, but Clint Robinson lined a ball up the middle that caromed off of Ruben Tejada‘s knee, giving the Nationals their first hit of the afternoon. Mets pitchers combined for a 2-hit shutout, with contributions from starter Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, Logan Verrett, Jon Niese, Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia. Familia garnered his 43rd save of the season, tying Armando Benitez‘s single season record.
Once again, the Mets bats were quiet against Nationals pitching. Starter Tanner Roark allowed only 3 hits and 1 walk in 6 shutout innings while striking out 6. Sammy Solis added a scoreless inning before Curtis Granderson homered to center with 1 out in the 8th inning off of Blake Treinen.
It was the Mets pitching that was on display today though. Jacob deGrom took 72 pitches to pitch through 4 innings, allowing only 2 walks and striking out 7 with no hits. Bartolo Colon and Logan Verrett each tacked on a hitless inning, and Jon Niese got two outs in the 7th inning before Clint Robinson lined a single up the middle, under Niese, that caromed off of Ruben Tejada’s knee for a base hit. Addison Reed got the 3rd out, Tyler Clippard pitched a clean 8th, and Jeurys Familia pitched the 9th and worked around a 2-out double by Bryce Harper.
The Mets finish the season with a 90-72 record, their best since 2006 when they finished 97-65. It marks the first time since 2000 that the Mets will enter the postseason with a better record than the Yankees, who finished their season at 87-75.
With all the playoff spots wrapping up today (Houston got the 2nd AL Wild Card spot, Texas got the AL West title), there will be no tiebreaker games tomorrow. Baseball resumes at 8:00 ET on Tuesday, with Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros taking on Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Jake Arrieta and the Cubs take on Gerrit Cole and the Pirates in Pittsburgh on Thursday, and the ALDS starts Thursday with the NLDS starting Friday.
POSITIVES: Curtis Granderson provided all the offense the Mets needed today with his 26th home run of the season, wrapping up a great comeback season. He was 3/4 on the afternoon. DeGrom, Colon, Verrett, Niese, Reed, Clippard, and Familia were all solid in their pitching work today.
NEGATIVES: The offense in general, once again. It’s certainly concerning that the offense has mustered so little over the last 5 games of the season, but things can certainly change very quickly.
- Bullpen (.433, including .136 by Famliia, .092 by Clippard, .067 by Verrett, and .060 by Colon)
- Curtis Granderson (.376)
- Jacob deGrom (.193 pitching, -.016 batting, .177 total)
WPA Negatives: None under -.100, but plenty in the negatives
- Curtis Granderson homers, Mets up 1-0, 8th inning (.325)
- Jayson Werth flied out off of Jeurys Familia, 1-0, 9th inning, 3 outs (.102)
Worst Plays: None under -.100
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 (89-68) take on the Philadelphia Phillies (60-97) at 7:05 at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia. Logan Verrett (3.40 ERA, 4.32 FIP, 0.97 WHIP, 42 1/3 IP over 3 starts and 13 relief appearances) squares off against Alec Asher (7.52, 5.99, 1.56, 26 1/3 IP over 5 starts). The Mets are playing for home field advantage in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and currently hold a 1 game lead as well as the tiebreaker. The magic number to clinch home field advantage remains at 4, with 5 games to play for both the Mets and the Dodgers.
Logan Verrett makes tonight’s start, first in place of Jon Niese (who asked to be moved to the bullpen in advance of the NLDS) and Steven Matz, who was pushed back a day with right side stiffness. Matz is expected to be ready to pitch tomorrow.
- 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)
- Wilmer Flores, SS (R)
- Logan Verrett, P (R)
- Freddy Galvis, SS (S)
- Odubel Herrera, CF (L)
- Aaron Altherr, LF (R)
- Darin Ruf, 1B (R)
- Cody Asche, 3B (L)
- Darnell Sweeney, 2B (L)
- Brian Bogusevic, RF (L)
- Cameron Rupp, C (R)
- Alec Asher, P (R)
Mets news: Tomorrow’s game time has been moved from 7:05 PM to 12:05 PM due to anticipated inclement weather. Also, Dario Alvarez has returned to the team.
While it may seem as if Phillies first baseman Darin Ruf has been a thorn in the Mets’ side this season, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Though Ruf has hit 3 large home runs (all 3-run shots), he is only hitting .167/.189/.417 against Mets pitching this season (.258 wOBA). In only 29 plate appearances against the Mets this season, Cameron Rupp has been much more of a thorn in the Mets’ side; he has hit .296/.367/.444 (.357 wOBA) against the Mets in that time.
Meanwhile, the Mets have torn up Phillies pitching this season. The 1 through 8 batters in the Mets order have the following wOBAs against the Phillies this season (MLB average for non-pitchers is .318):
.345, .385, .378, .450, .561, .491, .494, .328
The Mets are also 14-3 against the Phillies this season, even after last night’s loss. Let’s hope they can keep those lopsided numbers up against Philadelphia over the next couple days as the Mets compete for NLDS home field advantage.
As always, LET’S GO METS!
Before today’s game, Terry Collins spoke to reporters about a number of things. Here is the gist of what he told them:
- Jon Niese approached Collins about pitching out of the bullpen. Niese will do so for the remainder of the season, while Logan Verrett will start in his place in Philadelphia.
- Harvey will be at about 75-80 pitches against Washington on Saturday.
- The Mets are catching their breath today, but will be going for home field advantage in the NLDS.
- Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard will start in the postseason. The final spot appears to be between Steven Matz and Bartolo Colon.
- Yesterday’s decision to keep pitching was left in Matt Harvey’s hands.
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.
- Curtis Granderson, RF (L)
- David Wright, 3B (R)
- Yoenis Cespedes, CF (R)
- Daniel Murphy, 2B (L)
- Travis d’Arnaud, C (R)
- Lucas Duda, 1B (L)
- Michael Cuddyer, LF (R)
- Wilmer Flores, SS (R)
- Matt Harvey, P (R)
- Jason Bourgeois, CF (R)
- Joey Votto, 1B (L)
- Brandon Phillips, 2B (R)
- Jay Bruce, RF (L)
- Todd Frazier, 3B (R)
- Ivan De Jesus, SS (R)
- Adam Duvall, LF (R)
- Tucker Barnhart, C (S)
- 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!