Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
For a team who’s philosophy so heavily emphasizes the need to get on-base, they sure don’t do a good job of it. On a good day, the Mets are nothing more than a singles hitting, station-to-station team, which requires three hits to score a run, more often than not.
Over the first 43 games of the season, the Mets are third-worst team batting average at .227; they have the fourth worst on-base percentage at .297; and the fifth worst slugging percentage at .378.
This may just might be who the Mets are on the field. The coaching staff can preach patience and selectivity, manipulate lineups, play the matchups, and try and wave whatever magic wand they want over this offense. But, Terry Collins cannot fit square pegs into round holes, while hoping his team plays flawlessly on a daily basis.
In other words, it’s not about the manager or the coaches not being good, it’s the players.
“It’s asking a lot of your starting pitcher to go out there and put up zero after zero because the offense is not doing what we’re capable of doing,” David Wright said after Tuesday’s loss to the Reds. “The way it’s going, you know you have to put up a near-perfect game to get a win, and that’s not a good feeling. We’ve got to keep working, get a couple cheap ones to fall, get guys confidence up and get rolling from there.”
I’m tired of hoping that average players can somehow get better. Eventually, the Mets need better players if they want better results. I’m hopeful the time for such improvements is coming, and soon…
The Mets and Marlins lost yesterday, while the Braves, Phillies and Nationals won.
To read about yesterday’s loss to Cincinnati, check out this post on MetsBlog, as well as beat reports from MLB.com, the Wall Street Journal, Star-Ledger, Bergen Record, Journal News,ESPN New York, Newsday, the Daily News and New York Post.
The Mets are off today, but they open a three-game series with the Braves tomorrow night at Citi Field, with Jeremy Hefner facing Kris Medlen at 7:10 pm.
Mike Puma of the New York Post said on Twitter Ike Davis is unlikely to be demoted before the end of the weekend.
Puma says Davis is on, “double, secret probation,” but the Mets will use the weekend to get a, “better understanding” in Davis’ situation.
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
The Mets really need to make a decision – one way or another – about what they’re going to do with Ike, so they can end constant questions from the media in front of his locker and to to let him figure out what he needs to do to get right.
I’ve been told the team is trying to remain loyal to Ike and his ability to break out of these doldrums, because he showed he is capable of doing so a year ago in a big way. They also feel the best help he can get is from the staff in the big leagues. But, as Sandy Alderson said on SNY last night, what happened last year doesn’t necessarily apply this year and the organization has to remain loyal to the name on the front of the jersey first – even if that means sending Ike down. I really hope the light goes on for Ike, even after a series like he had against the Reds. But, there’s no questioning Ike’s time could be running out.
The Least You Should Know…
Matt Harvey took a no-decision after allowing four runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings.
For the first time this season, Harvey allowed more than three runs in a start.
Bobby Parnell allowed three runs in the ninth inning thanks in part to a mental mistake by Ike Davis, who let a ball go by him down the line with one out to allow the go-ahead run to score.
The Mets got scoreless relief work from Scott Rice and Brandon Lyon.
Daniel Murphy doubled, had two singles, drove in two runs and scored two runs out of the leadoff spot.
Rick Ankiel had a big day with two doubles, a single, and three RBI – his single in the seventh inning drove Daniel Murphy in with the tying run.
It was the first time the Mets have scored more than three runs at Citi Field since April 27, but they went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
The Mets have lost 11 of their last 13 games at Citi Field.
For a full recap and box score, check out SNY.TV.
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
Once upon a time, Ike Davis was a very good first baseman. But, he has made some huge
mistakes out there lately, and today, his whole mountain came crumbling down with two ridiculous mental gaffes. In the seventh, he failed to charge a ball to prevent a fourth run from scoring against Harvey, and in the ninth inning, he just let a ball go down the line in the ninth inning to allow the go-ahead run to score, assuming the ball was foul. That’s just unacceptable.
And, let’s not forget the obstruction call against Ike on Monday which screwed the Mets in the first inning of that game.
I mean, the offensive slump is one thing, but if it’s being taken out into the field too and Ike is going to make these kinds of mental mistakes, it’s hard to continue justify playing him. Yes, he’s costing them badly with the bat, but these defensive problems seem to hurt so much more. He just cannot get out of his own way, and he’s embarrassing himself out there right now in more ways than with his .147 batting average. He’s hurting, he’s working hard to try to get out of this, and we all know there is talent in there. But, he is completely lost out there, and I’m not sure what can be done short of sending him down just so he can clear his mind of all of this and push the reset button on his season.
The Mets are off tomorrow, but they open a three-game series with the Braves on Friday night at Citi Field, with Jeremy Hefner facing Kris Medlen at 7:10 pm.
W.B. Mason Post Game Extra
Today in Iowa, Zack Wheeler allowed three runs and five hits, with two walks and two strikeouts, over five innings.
Wheeler faced 22 batters and threw 67 pitches, 43 of which were strikes. He allowed two solo home runs and recorded nine fly outs and three ground outs.
Wheeler was throwing his fastball 97 mph, according to the Iowa Cubs’ broadcast.
Last night on SNY, Sandy Alderson suggested Wheeler would only need two or three more good starts at Triple-A, after which he could be considered for a promotion.
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
If he can throw 97 mph, I’d say Wheeler’s AC joint is fine.
Wheeler was clearly shaking off some rust after not pitching for ten days. He struggled with his command at times and was working up in the zone for much of the afternoon. He pitched to a lot of contact but was able to get some big outs and work out of some jams. It was a good outing all things considered and another positive step for Wheeler, and should go a long way towards easing concerns over his health and progress.
The Good: Marlon Byrd is hitting .343 with three home runs in the month of May, and Daniel Murphy is 15-for-his-last-36 at the plate, and has at least one hit in nine of his last ten games. David Wright is hitting .313 with three doubles, four home runs and nine RBI this month as well.
The Bad: The Mets are 2-10 in their last 12 home games, 9-14 at Citi Field overall. They have scored three runs or less in nine straight home games, and 14 of their first 23 home games.
The Game: Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.55 ERA) will start for the Mets. Harvey has allowed a league-low 4.5 hits per nine innings this year and owns a league-low 0.723 WHIP in his first nine starts. Harvey is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA at Citi Field this year in five starts. He’s allowed 15 hits and eight walks in 36.0 innings while striking out 40 batters. Harvey’s .126 batting average against at home is the best mark in the majors.
Mat Latos (4-0, 2.91 ERA) will start for the Reds. Latos has allowed three earned runs or less in eight of his first nine starts this season, is averaging nearly 6 2/3 innings pitched per start and has allowed just 69 base runners in 58 2/3 innings this season. Latos is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in five career starts against the Mets.
New York Mets
- Daniel Murphy – 2B
- Rick Ankiel – CF
- David Wright – 3B
- Lucas Duda – LF
- Marlon Byrd – RF
- Ike Davis – 1B
- John Buck – C
- Ruben Tejada – SS
- Matt Harvey – RHP
- Shin-Soo Choo – CF
- Zack Cozart – SS
- Joey Votto – 1B
- Brandon Phillips – SS
- Jay Bruce – RF
- Xavier Paul – LF
- Jack Hannahan – 3B
- Devin Mesoraco – C
- Mat Latos – RHP
After his spot start with Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, Rafael Montero has been shuffled back to Double-A Binghamton, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
Montero, 22, tossed 6 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs, while striking out five and walking one.
In eight starts with Binghamton this season, Montero is 4-3 with a 3.47 ERA, with 54 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings.
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
Matt Harvey is on pace to throw 240 innings this year, compared to 169 innings last season between the Mets and Triple-A Buffalo.
Harvey is among 11 pitchers at risk of injury this season based on the Year-After-Effect, according to Tom Verducci’s March report for SI.com.
In March, Matthew Cerrone talked to Paul DePodesta and concluded that he and Sandy Alderson had moved on from Rick Peterson’s research, which inspired the Year-After Effect, as have many others in baseball. As such, Cerrone said Harvey is probably not on a strict innings limit, though the team will weigh his overall workload throughout the season in the context of his career.
In regards to whether Terry Collins is concerned about Harvey’s workload, the manager said, “I just want him to give me eight innings of shutout ball today, and I’ll worry about September when it shows up.”
I understand Collins’ position. He wants the best possible chance to win on a daily basis and Harvey does that for him every five days. The Mets need Harvey out there as much as possible — he is their symbolic figurehead for this team’s future, he’s a draw at the ballpark, and he creates a positive vibe for the club during a time the Mets need to figure out ways to keep fans interested.
That’s the problem. In a season quickly heading towards irrelevancy — if it isn’t there already — is there really any value in keeping Harvey on the pace he’s on? Sure, he could be the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game (which, as of right now, there’s no better person to start that game) or even a Cy Young Award contender, right down to the wire. Harvey earning those achievements are important to the organization, too. But, I don’t think the Mets can afford to overuse Harvey in their starting rotation now if it means potentially diminished abilities later, no matter what.
Why push it at the end if those games are truly meaningless? Believe me, regardless of what Harvey does, people are not entertained by a 90-100 loss season.
Remember, this is a transition year — Sandy Alderson alluded to it last night on SNY, and assistant GM John Ricco acknowledged it earlier in the year. Yes, Harvey is exciting, riveting, entertaining and growing before our very eyes. However, in this kind of season when the Mets are trying to figure out what is next with so many players, the Mets don’t have to do that with Harvey — they know who and what he is, and what he means to their future.
If this team continues on the pace it’s on, there’s no sense in pushing Harvey further than 200-210 innings. That’s about three or four starts at the end of the season at this pace. Instead, as Sandy Alderson said last night, the Mets can use those last three turns in the rotation to see what guys like Rafael Montero can do at this level.
In a report for the New York Times, Tyler Kepner believes the Mets would be wise to pursue Reds’ OF Shin-Soo Choo this winter.
“If the Mets really want to contend sometime soon, they should make a strong attempt to sign him as a free agent after the season,” Kepner writes.
Earlier this month, a Major League executive told John Harper of the Daily News Choo is Sandy Alderson’s ideal player, and could see the Mets signing him this winter.
“I’d bet on him being a Met next season,” the executive told Harper. “He’s a high on-base percentage guy, which is what Sandy wants, and he’s a really good hitter.”
The 30-year-old Choo wouldn’t rule out the possibility of signing with the Mets, a team with a very large Korean community surrounding it.
“I’m excited to play in front of the Korean fans. They put a good type of pressure on [you],” Choo explained, according to the New York Post. “With New York, you never know. If I have a good opportunity, I’ll take it.”
Though, Choo also told Kepner that thinking about a long-term deal is “too far away.”
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
I agree with Kepner. Choo fills a number of needs for the Mets: he’s an outfielder – although he projects more as a below-average corner outfielder – and has become a very good leadoff guy
, and the Mets don’t exactly have those attributes at the moment.
Choo is represented by Scott Boras, and so he’s more or less guaranteed to hit the open market this winter. And, if he continues this torrid pace, he will be due for a huge pay day and a long-term contract. Yes, Choo is a good player, and that should not deter the Mets from Choo, but it remains to be seen if the Mets don’t direct those resources towards a true power hitter for the middle of the lineup. It’s also worth mentioning Choo could very well receive a qualifying offer from the Reds, meaning the Mets might be required to surrender a draft pick in exchange for signing him if they don’t finish in the bottom ten in the league this season.
Maybe the Mets go out and get Choo, but just as the case with Michael Bourn in February, the Mets need to be careful about committing the bulk of a potential contract to a player who largely depends on his speed for success.
Statistics and information on Shin-Soo Choo...
Stats: Choo is hitting .303 with a .455 OBP and .994 OPS, nine home runs and 19 RBI with 34 walks and 41 strikeouts with a league-leading 36 runs scored in 212 plate appearances this season.
Choo has a .306 average with a .408 on-base percentage in 673 career plate appearances out of the leadoff spot.
Contract: Choo will earn $7.3 million this season, and can become a free agent this winter.
Tim Byrdak threw his third bullpen session today, consisting of 25 pitches, he said on Twitter.
“Hang in there Scotty boy I’m coming to help ya!” Byrdak wrote, referring to lefty Scott Rice’s league-leading 26 appearances.