With today’s 3-0 loss to the Brewers, the elimination number on the Mets went down to six. That means any combination of six wins from the top two Wild Card teams and six Mets losses and the season will finally be mathematically over.
The lives of tormented fans across the country will be made abundantly easier as the load from their shoulders gets lighter. No longer will we have to walk around with the “mathematically alive” chip. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m tired of walking around saying, “We’re technically still in it, but the season’s over.”
At this point in the season, every loss helps us get a higher draft pick. Every game where we use Jeurys Familia or Jenrry Mejia instead of Jon Rauch or Frank Francisco gets the younger guys some major league experience.
I was asked by one of my Twitter followers the other day if I wished I had more answers about the state of the Mets going into the offseason. I responded, “It’s the Mets; we’ll never have the answers that we want.” Of course, my response had to be 140 characters or less.
With the Mets, if one offseason question is answered, another one arises. You can ask if the Mets plan on signing David Wright to a long-term deal, get that answer and then ask, “But what about R.A. Dickey?”
I have to commend Sandy Alderson for being very collected when dealing with questions of this nature. I’m sure he understands that he can’t make everybody happy at the end of the day; I’m sure fans still ask him why we didn’t re-sign Jose Reyes. At the end of the day, he has to do what he feels is best for the organization.
Once October 3 is over and done, I’m sure questions about the long term future of David Wright & R.A. Dickey will come into question. We’ll get news that Dickey was robbed of the Cy Young award (or that he won), we’ll ballyhoo about for two or three days and then we will move on with our offseason.
I can’t think a month into the organzation’s future. Heck, I can’t think about tomorrow’s game. I know Dickey is pitching, but we’re at home..and we are atrocious at home. Think about today and worry about tomorrow, well, tomorrow.
Yeah, it’s September. The elimination number on the Mets is nine. On October 3, Mets baseball will become dormant for the winter as the Wilpon family and Sandy Alderson try to re-sign David Wright and R.A. Dickey to long-term contracts. Or at least that’s what I hope they’ll do.
No, the Mets won’t be a .500 team this year, but that plan went moot after the Mets had horrendous homestand after horrendous homestand. They believe in homefield advantage about as much as they believe in comebacks (remember that slogan?). Sandy Alderson has recently expressed confidence in Terry Collins and his coaching staff as the season winds down, but the future of the coaching staff will be discussed in the next seven to ten days.
Most Met fans I talk to on Twitter have moved on to football season, either rooting for Big Blue or Gang Green, with a few Cowboys fans thrown into the mix. While I go for Gang Green myself, I remain a baseball purist, loyal until the last out. I still listen to Howie Rose and Josh Lewin on WFAN, thanks to advances in modern technology.
People wonder why I even still bother with the Mets. They have the worst bullpen in baseball and can’t win a game at Citi Field if it was handed to them on a silver platter. As Robin Ventura once said, “Mets fans are born, not made.”
My dad, brothers and I still have conversations about the Mets. Whenever I need to complain about them possibly shutting down Matt Harvey or about how Jason Bay can’t hit his way out of a paper bag, I call one of them. We even talk about the deals the Mets are (or aren’t) making in the offseason. We see eye to eye on most things, but if you bring up trading David Wright, I will shut you down.
The Mets bring my family together. Whether we are in Florida, New York, Hawaii, or Alaska, the Mets provide a common discussion piece amongst the DeMattia’s. It’s not over until it’s over for the DeMattia family. And then we start talking about 2013.
Being a Mets fan is a birth right I am grateful that my dad passed down onto me. I can’t let September get me down; it’s just like any other September in franchise history.
September is the worst time of year for any Mets fan. With yesterday’s loss to the Nationals, the Mets were officially eliminated from the divisional race. While they may still be mathematically alive in the Wild Card race, we all know that’s a longshot…and that’s putting it nicely.
The question I find myself asking every year is what happened? The Mets went from being 3.5 games behind the Nationals to holding their breaths and waiting to see what the Marlins do. I hit rock bottom yesterday when I rooted for the Phillies to beat the Marlins.
Was it the lack of offense? Sure, David Wright is sitting with a .313 average and Ike Davis has 26 home runs but neither of them have protection in the lineup. Any pitcher with a brain is going to pitch around Wright & Davis, hope that they swing at a few bad pitches, and then face Jason Bay to end the inning. The lack of a decent bat at any outfield position also disheartened me this season. Lucas Duda has potential, but he still needs to work on his mechanics this winter.
Was it the lack of a decent bat off the bench. Scott Hairston filled that role and went from being a bench player to a sometime starter after Bay and Mike Baxter were hurt. Give Mike Nickeas the bat and the inning’s over. There’s virtually nobody on that bench that can pinch run in a tight situation unless Andres Torres and Jordany Valdespin are sitting.
It’s very easy to point fingers at the bullpen, but only because they are statistically the worst bullpen in baseball. Even the Houston Astros have a better bullpen than we do, and they have the worst team in baseball. Of course, Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch, and Frank Francisco can’t blow every lead that they are given. In fact, the bullpen has been kind of effective as of late. Bringing up top prospects such a Jennry Mejia anf Jeurys Familia seems to have helped lighten the workload for Parnell, Rauch, etc. But nobody in the bullpen had a defined role. No one went up to Parnell and said, “You’re the setup guy.” I think that hurt the team in the long run.
The one thing that went right this season was the starting pitching and I feel the records of Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, Chris Young, Dillon Gee and even R.A. Dickey should reflect better. Even though he doesn’t think of himself as one and would probably be too humble to admit it, but Dickey has been the stopper when we need to get a win. With Zach Wheeler possibly reaching the majors in the middle of 2013, pitching is the strength of this ballclub. Bravo, Dan Warthen, you get a cookie.
Unfortunately for Terry Collins, the perfect storm that is the New York Mets decided to come at him all at once. From the club’s 4-19 record post-All Star break to a horrendous bullpen to slumping All Stars, everything that could go wrong for Terry Collins did go wrong for Terry Collins. He didn’t have one or two problems on his plate, he had 25 problems. It’s enough to make anybody say oy vey.
It’s hard to say, but I hate waiting for next year. I know we have to develop a winning team and we can’t just buy one like other New York sports clubs that will remain unnamed. But like most fans, I want next year to be now, not 2017.
Or at least, that’s close to the sound effect I used to decribe yesterday’s 8-3 loss to the Dodgers in the 12th inning. Some fans might go for an expletive-filled response. Some fans might just hang their heads in shame.
There’s really no straight answer as to why the Mets are doing so bad coming back after the All Star break. It’s very easy to blame the bullpen, with a major league-worst 5.05 ERA. It’s very easy to blame the starters, whose combined ERA was 3.96 before the break and is 6.36 after the break. It’s very easy to blame the offense, who went 4-for-19 with runners in scoring position yesterday.
The consistent Achilles heel, however, has been the Mets bullpen, which ranks seond in the major leagues with 16 blown saves. You know that Terry Collins is desperate as a manager when he uses R.A. Dickey to pitch an inning of releif, and he still gives up two runs. The starting rotation had to be good and go deep into games because the Mets never knew what they were going to get from the bullpen.
Even the starters are struggling post-All Star break, with two huge vacancies in the rotation left by Johan Santana and Dillon Gee. Santana was placed on the 15-day Disabled List with an ankle injury that was causing him not to land properly and put extra stress on his arm. Gee was placed on the DL after an arterial blood clot was discovered in his right shoulder. Gee had successful surgery to widen the artery in his shoulder. It’s highly likely that Gee misses the remainder of the season. It has been announced that Jeremy Hefner will start on Wednesday while top pitching prospect Matt Harvey will make his major league debut on Thursday.
The offense, at best, has been streaky for the Mets. They’re either there or they’re not. While they have been their best when there are two outs in the inning, scoring a major league-best 198 runs in two out situations, they are stranding too many runners on the base paths and taking perfectly hittable pitches for strikes.
It has always been my personal opinion that when somebody is hitting the ball, you put them in the lineup. I understand the whole righty-lefty situational offense, but if you put Jordany Valdespin in to pinch hit, and he hits a home run, then it’s my opinion that he gets put in the starting lineup the next day, whether you have Jason Bay or not. If Daniel Murphy goes 4-for-5 one day, then I expect him to be in the lineup the next day. And if a lefty is pitching, Scott Hairston should always be in the lineup.
Call it an annual second half slide, go ahead, because that’s what it is. I wish I could say things will get better, but I’m not a crystal ball. I can only watch with the rest of you and cheer for my team, good times or bad.
The Subway Series against the Yankees this year was not pretty. The Mets lost five of six and R.A. Dickey saw his his magnificent run end. It was the first non-quality start he recorded since his April 18 start against Atlanta, in which the rain caused his knuckleball to be wild.
It’s not that R.A. Dickey pitched badly against the Yankees (6 IP, 5 ER, 3 K, 3 BB); we could all see that the knuckleball was not going to be his friend that night. It’s not even that the offense blew it for him; the Mets had tied up the game to earn Dickey the no-decision. It was just that R.A. Dickey pitched effectively enough to keep us in the game without dazzling the fans with a one-hit, 13 K outing.
So, where does Dickey go from here? Obviously, the Dodgers are a completely different team from the Yankees. While the Yankees were (and continue to be) red-hot when they played the Mets, the Dodgers are struggling. Before last night’s game, the Dodgers hadn’t scored a run in 33 innings and fell to second in the National League West.
Dickey has to find a place between that normal outing and that dazzling one-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles, where he set a career high strikeout record. For Dickey, the in between would be a quality start, around 7-8 K’s and 1-2 walks allowed. Dickey has always been one of those pitchers that after a sub-par start, he’ll bounce back and give you another run of 12 quality starts. I think the fans expect him to bounce back as much as R.A. expects himself to bounce back.
After his ERA went up to a catastrophic 2.31, I think we’ll be in for a real treat tonight against the Dodgers.
In fact, at this point in the season, Dickey appears to be the front-runner for the NL Cy Young award, with Matt Cain following close behind him in the race.
Did anyone expect Dickey, who entered the 2012 campaign with a career of 41-50 and 4.34 ERA, to be 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA and a WHIP of 0.889?
What Dickey did during his last two starts was phenominal. In case you were living in a rock, Dickey pitched two complete game one-hitters, while striking out 12 and 13 batters against Tampa Bay and Baltimore, respectively. The only run that he allowed to score was an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth inning against Tampa Bay.
Going back to Dickey’s last six starts, he has only allowed two runs (one earned), and struck out 63 batters in 48 and 2/3 innings. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no pitcher in major league history had ever struck out eight or more men without allowing an earned run in his last five starts before Dickey did it in his last five starts. I didn’t say no knuckleballer. I said no pitcher, knuckleball or not.
No knuckleballer has ever won the Cy Young award, even though the knuckleball was in 1959 winner Early Wynn’s arsenal. 1952 American League MVP winner Bobby Shantz also had a knuckler, but the Cy Young award wasn’t created until 1956.
Shantz used the pitch more prominently, but he wasn’t a pure knuckleballer like Dickey, who throws the pitch 85% of the time.
Dickey is performing so well that the team has even discussed pitching Dickey on three day’s rest. The reasoning behind any discussion of the sort is that a knuckleballer’s arm tends to heal up quicker than a fastball pitcher’s. And while Dickey may be a team player and want to get out there more often, I don’t think it’s such a good idea at this point in the season. As the old saying goes, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
And for those of you who think R.A. Dickey’s season is a fluke, since that one bad start against Atlanta, Dickey is 9-0 with a 1.21 ERA, and the Mets have won the last 10 out of 11 of Dickey’s starts. I wonder how many pitchers will be mountain climbing in the offseason. Or writing their autobiography. Or both.
See you in Kansas City, R.A.
Yes, I just typed that.
Fans will always remember June 1, 2012 as the night history was made, the night a team with 35 one-hitters finally got their no-no.
The first no-hitter in franchise history doesn’t come without controversy, with some media speculating about whether or not Carlos Beltran’s ground ball in the sixth inning went foul. But that’s just how the Mets roll. That ball will always be foul in the minds of the believers.
The first no-hitter in franchise history didn’t come without heroics as Mike Baxter slammed into the wall, robbing Yadier Molina of what should have been an extra-base hit. Mike Baxter goes down as a hero in the minds of the believers.
The first no-hitter in franchise history didn’t come without the superstition, fans believing that any move that they made would break the no-hitter. For me, I didn’t leave work until the game was over. I was afraid that if I left, the no-no bid would be gone. I didn’t even watch the game, because if I turned it on in the middle, the first thing I would have seen was Yadier Molina getting that extra-base hit to end the no-hit bid. That, and I was, you know, at work.
But the first no-hitter in franchise history did come with something. It provided Citi Field with its own little piece of history. Something happened at Citi Field that had never happened at Shea. The no-hitter provided Mets fans with their first really good memories of Citi Field, whether you were there or not, whether or not you even watched the game. No longer is Citi Field a really fancy upgrade from Shea Stadium that pays tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Citi Field is a home, a sacred land where history was made.
In their 51st season and in their 8,020th game, the Mets have finally given a younger generation of Mets fans something to smile about.
Newsday reports that the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks signed a deal with former beleaguered Mets pitcher Armando Benitez. Benitez is expected to make his debut with the team this weekend.
“He wants to make his comeback to the big leagues, and he’s had experience in this ballpark pitching for the opposition,” Ducks president/GM Michael Pfaff said. “He always liked what he saw with the Ducks.”
During his 15-year major league career, Benitez played for the Orioles, Yankees, Mariners, Marlind, Giants, and Blue Jays. Benitez previously pitched in the Atlantic League with the Newark Bears in 2009 and 2010.
Of course, we Mets fans remember Benitez not for the numerous games he did save, but the few big ones that he did not. Like Game 1 of the 2000 World Series.
I remember being the happiest person when Benitez was traded to the Yankees in 2003. Then he did good for them and he got traded to the Mariners nine days later.
Best of luck to Armando in his endeavor with the Long Island Ducks. Hopefully the fans are kind.
There is no question that David Wright is the star of this Mets organization. We are at the quarter stretch and Wright leads the majors in batting average (.405). Along with a .500 on-base percentage and .628 slugging percentage, David Wright is the living, breathing version of Moneyball that sabermetricians can point to and say, “He is helping the team win games by getting on base and creating runs.”
It’s no secret that Wright is in the sixth year of his six year, $55 million contract. Wright stands to make $15 million this year and has a $16 million team option for the 2013 season, which Wright can choose to void if he gets traded (I shudder at the thought).
During last night’s 11-5 loss to the Padres, Mets GM Sandy Alderson visited Gary Cohen and Ron Darling in the broadcast booth and said that there was “no great impediment” to signing Wright to an extension.
I agree and disagree. Sure, David has gotten off to the best start of his career. But we don’t know how the season’s going to end. We don’t know how 2013 is going to go. He could get hurt, he could have a bad season, he could get traded for all we know. Time is certainly on Sandy Alderson’s side if he wants to wait things out and see how well David performs.
I disagree with Alderson’s take on Wright’s contract situation only because I think a lot of fans are still reeling over the loss of Jose Reyes. Jose won the organization’s first batting title and then, depending on who you believe, was either made an offer that the Marlins beat or wasn’t offered anything at all except for the salary arbitration that guaranteed the Mets their draft pick. Or he just wasn’t offered anything. Again, that depends on who you believe. Alderson took the same, layed back approach with Jose’s contract situation that he seems to be taking with Wright’s and Jose ended up signing with another team, a divisional rival no less.
David Wright, love him or hate him, is the face of the organization. David Wright, love him or hate him, is the only player on the current Mets roster that I can see being a “career Met.” Tom Seaver didn’t do it. Dwight Gooden didn’t do it. Darryl Strawberry didn’t do it. All the players that are considered franchise greats either moved on from the Mets or were acquired from another team. David Wright is the one player that can not only be a career Met, but can also be considered a Mets great. And I would like to hope that Mr. Alderson would think that there was a little more impediment about Wright’s contract situation than he says there is.
Terry Collins said in his pregame news conference that Ike Davis will not be demoted to AAA. Instead, Collins says, Ike will work out his problems at the major league level. For the time being, Collins says he will use Davis based on match-ups.
Ike’s numbers at the quarter stretch would justify demotion if Terry Collins had decided to go that route.
So far this season, Ike is hitting just a .159 and has a paltry .213 on-base percentage. However, Ike does lead the team in home runs (5) and has 15 RBI. To put things into perspective, Ike is 8-for-64 in the month of May and has two hits in his last 36 at-bats. Oh, and his batting average at Citi Field is .065. That’s two, maybe three, hits.
Even though Terry Collins is preaching patience at the plate, I don’t think Ike is practicing it. He has 10 walks to 44 strikeouts. If he does that for the rest of season, he’ll be on track for 40 walks and 176 strikeouts, give or take a few. Sure, Ike has players hitting around him like David Wright and Daniel Murphy, but even they might begin to see less pitches if Ike continues to struggle.
Collins has stated that his reason for not sending Ike to the minors is because he doesn’t think Ike will learn to adjust. He believes Ike will turn it around, as he has seen Ike become more aggressive during batting practice. I have to admit, this past week, it does encourage me to see Ike pull the ball into the outfield, even if it lands in the outfielder’s glove. It means that he’s at least getting good pitches to swing at. We signed Ike Davis to be a home run hitter, not a base hit up the middle kind of guy. But any fan would be happy to see a base hit up the middle from this guy.
I don’t know how much of Ike’s struggles can be blamed on the valley fever he seemingly contracted (and still has?) but ever since he was diagnosed, I haven’t heard a peep about the valley fever. I’m not sure if I entirely know what valley fever is.
I think another reason for Terry Collins deciding against demotion at this time is the organization’s lack of depth. Jason Bay, Ruben Tejada and Josh Thole are all still on the disabled list. To demote Ike would meaning shifting Murphy or Justin Turner to first and promoting Jordany Valdespin to play second. There really is no one else to play first base, unless the Mets have marveled science and David Wright can play two positions at once.
The person who is the most frustrated with the situation at hand is Ike Davis. He was the hottest hitter coming out of spring training and then it all went away. Ike just needs to calm down, watch some video, and figure what he did then that he wasn’t doing now. Oh, and flip over the dugout and make a catch. He still has that going for him.