The Least You Should Know…
Shaun Marcum started tonight and was ineffective, surrendering five runs on six hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six, but was saddled with his ninth loss of the season.
After falling behind 3-0 because of a home run by Chris Johnson, the Mets were gifted two runs on a throwing error by Kris Medlen.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis singled in the only Mets RBI tonight in the fifth, tying the game at 3-3.
Marcum would allow the Braves to re-take the lead on a wild pitch and a double in the bottom half of the fifth.
Carlos Torres relieved Marcum and was fantastic, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out four.
Daniel Murphy, who was 0-for-4, is now 3 for his last 22 and owns a .200/.268/.277 line in the month of June.
For a full recap and box score, check out SNY.TV.
Andrew Wharton, Contributor
What a letdown following the greatest day of the season yesterday. A lot has been made of Marcum’s bad luck, and rightfully so, but he just wasn’t sharp tonight. His breaking stuff was frequently hanging, and his command was very spotty. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention the very
questionable officiating behind the plate tonight; it was almost comical at times early on. Nonetheless, Marcum has now given up 11 runs in his last 10 1/3 innings, which isn’t going to get it done no matter what the advanced stats say.
The offense still stinks. Young provides speed at the top of the order, and he instantly becomes one of the best outfielders on this team, but his impact will be little-to-none if there aren’t guys driving in runs in the middle of the order. Wright and Murphy aren’t slump-proof, and Byrd’s hot streak isn’t sustainable.
On a positive note, Duda looks comfortable at first base. Sure, he’s not an award-winning defender, but it’s very clear that’s his natural position. He should remain at first base until Ike reclaims the spot.
This Braves team really does baffle me. I can’t quite figure out how they have won so many games. They have really good pitching, which is the most important piece of the puzzle, but their offense is super-reliant on the long ball and they don’t really seem to have much chemistry or hustle. Either way, it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day they still win.
The Mets conclude their five-game series against the Braves tomorrow night at Turner Field, with Jon Niese (3-6, 4.15) facing Mike Minor (8-2, 2.68) at 7:10 pm.
The Good: David Wright collected his 1,500th career hit in the ninth inning of the second game last night with a single. Wright has at least one hit in seven of his last eight games, including four multi-hit games. During both ends of the double dip, Mets pitchers racked up 24 strikeouts, tied for the third-most in a doubleheader in franchise history
The Bad: Shaun Marcum hasn’t earned a win this season. The Mets placed righthanded pitcher Scott Atchinson on the 15-Day Disabled List today, citing a sore right groin. Infielder Justin Tumer is also on the 15-Day DL, retroactive June 17, with a left intercostal strain.
The Game: Shaun Marcum (0-8, 5.43 ERA) will start for the Mets. Marcum is the fourth pitcher in franchise history to start a season 0-8. Two of Marcum’s losses this season have come as a reliever. Kris Medlen (3-7, 3.09 ERA) gets the start for the Braves.
New York Mets
- Eric Young Jr. – CF
- Daniel Murphy – 2B
- David Wright – 3B
- Marlon Byrd – RF
- Lucas Duda – 1B
- John Buck – C
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis – LF
- Omar Quintanilla – SS
- Shaun Marcum – RHP
- Jordan Schafer – RF
- Andrelton Simmons – SS
- Freddie Freeman – 1B
- Justin Upton – LF
- Brian McCann – C
- B.J. Upton – CF
- Dan Uggla – 2B
- Chris Johnson – 3B
- Kris Medlen – RHP
Andrew Wharton, Contributor
The Mets acquired 28-year-old Eric Young, Jr. The son of a MLB player, Young has made a career so far out of being a replacement-level player known for his speed and defense. In five MLB seasons, he’s compiled a .261 AVG/.329 OBP/.342 SLG line, while successfully stealing 70 out of 90 bases.
Young shocked a lot of people when he hit .316/.377/.448 in 98 games last year while posting an OPS+ of 110. So far in 2013, he has followed his career-best season with a very pedestrian .242/.290/.352 effort. But, compared to Collin Cowgill’s .180/.206/.311 line this year, it’s an improvement any way you cut it for the Mets.
I see this move as serving two purposes: 1) to provide the outfield with some major league depth in the event of future trades, and 2) to allow McHugh to pursue a career outside of New York, because he clearly had no future with this team.
Young makes a decent bench piece in almost any city, which means he could still be a part of this team if Sandy Alderson made a few moves to rebuild the roster. He’s also a switch hitter, which lessens the need to platoon every single outfield position and gives the team a little stability in the lineup, regardless of how (un)impactful his bat may be in a full-time role.
For the rest of 2013, I’d like to see him take the majority of the playing time in center field, while hitting leadoff. This allows Juan Lagares to slide over to left field while Lucas Duda holds down first base and some split of Marlon Byrd, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andrew Brown in rightfield.
It’s still not a pretty lineup, but I’ll take it for now.
What I don’t expect is for Young to be an everyday player in 2014.
In preparation for the MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field, 35 apple statues have been placed around New York City. We’re counting down the days to the game by posting a photo of one statue every day. Today’s apple: Minnesota Twins…
The Mets have placed Scott Atchison on the disabled list with a sore right groin.
Atchison left Tuesday night’s game after pulling his groin during his warmup pitches. He was activated off the DL earlier on Tuesday due to bone spurs in his elbow and numbness in his fingers.
This move brings the Mets back to 25 players on the active roster after the doubleheader on Tuesday, so no one will replace Atchison on the roster.
To hear what WFAN’s Evan Roberts, Aaron Boone, Doc Gooden, David Wright and others had to say about Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey and what they mean to the Mets, watch this video from SNY’s Recapr.com:
Yesterday on MLB Network Radio, Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said, when asked if he’ll lean toward choosing Matt Harvey as the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game, because the game is being played in Citi Field:
“Well, it would play a part in it, sure. … I think it should play a part, to be honest. Now, I also believe that whoever deserves to go, whoever deserves to start that game should get that. But all things even, then I think you look at something like that — a guy that’s in his hometown pitching.”
In the National League, Harvey is fourth in the league with 104 innings pitched, first with 115 strikeouts, fourth among qualifying pitchers with a 3.7 WAR, first with a 0.90 WHIP, and third with a 2.16 ERA.
Michael Baron, Contributor
The numbers speak for themselves. If this continues, Harvey deserves to start the All-Star Game for the National League, regardless of the venue. Hell, if this continues, Harvey will be in consideration for the National League Cy Young Award at the end of the season. Naturally, I can envision a scenario of Harvey being pissed about being removed from the All-Star Game after two or three innings because he didn’t do enough to help the team win.
As for the game being played at Citi Field, it would be a huge moment for the organization and the game itself; he would be representing one of the elite, young starters which are beginning to put their stamp on the game as they begin to steer away from an offensive-oriented game into a game dominated by finesse and pitching. And, it would be taking place on the Mets’ front lawn — during a time when the Mets are hungry for some positive attention, this would be a perfect opportunity to put the beginning of their plan on display for the whole country to watch.
Sam Page, Contributor
Listening to the SNY booth talk about the Mets’ franchise direction in the wake of Ike Davis’ demotion, you would think a brilliantly constructed team had tragically fallen apart. The reality is closer to this: a team that wasn’t very good to begin with has experienced normal amounts of both good and bad fortune — i.e. as bad as Ike Davis’ breakdown has been, Matt Harvey’s breakout has been equally brilliant.
Mets fans are down on their team, and understandably so. The Sandy Alderson/Terry Collins regime has been in power for three years and in a purely wins and losses sense, the Mets have not progressed at all. Unfortunately, stasis is the inevitable result of a team that not just fails to invest in its rebuild, but actively cuts payroll. If there’s any criticism to make of Alderson, it’s that he’s not creative — but even creativity requires some additional money.
Put simply: the Mets being bad was inevitable. But their long-term prospects as a franchise have improved. The failures of this team are failures of the short-term, which will look trivial in hindsight. The Mets’ successes this year, while seemingly modest now, can be built upon.
If the Mets are going to be contenders during David Wright’s career, it will be because they have a core nucleus of superstars surrounded by decent complementary players, a la the 2005-2007 Omar Minaya Mets. I don’t know if this blueprint is preferable to any others, or even advisable given the franchise’s current assets, but it’s where the Mets are headed.
There is, of course, another way to build a contender. It’s the way pioneered by Sandy Alderson’s protégé Billy Beane in Oakland, in which the A’s have managed to field competitive teams in nine of the past fourteen seasons, despite major payroll limitations.
The A’s model develops players, then flips them during their arbitration years for a handful of prospects. This philosophy captalizes on the reality that baseball players’ most productive years are also often their cheapest. Many onlookers errantly assumed that the Mets would adopt a similar system to tide over the Wilpons during the Madoff litigation. And while Alderson certainly brought over some of the personnel and player evaluation philosophies detailed in Moneyball, the book, he did not bring capital-M Moneyball, the codeword for systematic cheapness, to Flushing.
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