Mets Links to Read: AM Edition

In a terrific report for Newsday, Marc Carig profiles Terry Collins, from his days growing up in Michigan to playing minor league baseball to failed stints managing with the Angels and Astros to finally being rewarded for his time with the Mets >> Read more in Newsday.

According to Collins, playing and surviving in New York has prepared the Mets for the postseason, and Bob Klapisch believes they’re confident and ready to surprise their doubters >> Read more in the Bergen Record.

Steve Serby talked with Daniel Murphy about winning in New York, his postseason mindset, why he loves the Mets, and what might happen when he’s a free agent in two months >> Read more in the New York Post.

Lastly, Fred Kerber explains the game-changing mental tweak that saved Jeurys Familia >> Read more in the New York Post.

deGrom Matz Harvey Syndergaard

The Mets rotation is pretty good, too

Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, who were both likely considered the for NL Cy Young this season, will start for the Dodgers in Game 1 and 2 of the NL Division Series, which begins tonight at 9:47 pm ET.

However, the Mets are confident in their rotation, as well, Terry Collins told reporters in Lon Angeles on Thursday.

“I’ve been saying this for a long time,” he explained. “When you think about what this thing could become, what it can be in a year, night after night after night … the other team’s saying, ‘We’ve got to face three of these guys?'”

Collins will start Jacob deGrom in Game 1, Noah Syndergaard in Game 2, Matt Harvey in Game 3 and most likely Steven Matz in Game 4, the four of which combined for a 2.77 ERA in the regular season.

“We have good pitching, too,” Collins added.

Kershaw and Greinke have a combined to make 608 career starts, compared to the 147 games started by deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz and Harvey.

“This is the beginning of what’s to come,” Harvey said. “Like I’ve said all along, we’re here to win now. Obviously, we won this year and we’re going to where we want to be, but for the staff to look like it does for years to come. It’s exciting.”

Sep 26, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores celebrates on the field with fans after clinching the National League East Championship at Great American Ball Park. The Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-2. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Wilmer Flores is feeling better, ready for postseason

Mets SS Wilmer Flores is feeling better after being diagnosed with strep throat last week, he told reporters Thursday, according to (Oct. 9, 2015).

“I feel good,” said Flores, who lost about 10 pounds because of the infection. “There’s no excuse. I’m ready to go.”

Since the Mets nixed trading Flores and Zack Wheeler to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez, Flores is hitting .296 with six home runs and 19 RBI.

The Mets are likely to start Ruben Tejada on the infield for Game 1 when the Mets face Clayton Kershaw, Terry Collins has said, but Flores will be prepared once his name is called.

“This is what you work for all season,” Flores said. “We’re ready to go.”

Sep 6, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (46) looks over at first base during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Clippard will remain set-up man in postseason

Mets reliever Tyler Clippard will remain as the team’s eighth-inning, set-up man, while Addison Reed will continue work the seventh inning during the NLDS, Terry Collins told reporters on Thursday.

Clippard has two blown saves and a 7.11 ERA during his last 12 appearances.

“With the back end of our bullpen, the way they’re set up, we like it. It’s worked,” Collins said. “I think the four days off has helped a lot of guys, including Tyler.”

Collins will also take into consideration Clippard’s work against left-handed hitters. Including his time with the A’s, Clippard is holding lefties to a .137 batting average and .468 OPS, while right-handed hitters are batting .242 and have a .745 OPS against him.

Adrian GonzalezChase UtleyCarl CrawfordAndre Ethier and Joc Pederson all bat lefty for the Dodgers and Jimmy Rollins, a switch hitter, bats .204 as a left-handed hitter and .297 as a righty.

“You’re looking at a lineup that’s primarily left-handed,” Collins said. “You look at Clippard’s numbers against lefties and they’re really good.”

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What’s on Tap for Friday, Oct. 9…

The Mets play Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Friday at 9:47 p.m.

Jacob deGrom will start for the Mets, opposed by Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers.

The teams must set their NLDS roster by 1 pm ET.

Matthew Cerrone
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Well, this is it. Tonight’s the night, nine years in the making, as proud Champions of the NL East, the Mets will take the field during Game 1 of the NL Division Series. As I said the other day, while it’s not going to be easy, I believe the Mets can take the Dodgers in a five-game series. It’s the subsequent series — if the Mets get that far — that concerns me. But, first things first, and I think the Dodgers are beatable. Tonight will not be easy, facing Clayton Kershaw, and neither will the next night, facing Zank Greinke. But the fact is that the Mets beat the Dodgers this season during games started by both of these men, and that was before acquiring Yoenis Cespedes and getting back David Wright. So, it’s possible. And, you know the old postseason axiom, which says, if they can steal at least one of these two games, they’ll have the advantage going back home and with Matt Harvey starting Game 3. I hope the Mets are focused and feeling disciplined and ready to scratch and claw these next two night. I can’t wait for 9:47 pm!! Let’s Go METS!!!

In case you missed it on Thursday

Steven Matz threw five innings during a simulated game in Port St. Lucie and said afterwards that his back and arm felt great. The Mets will decide on Friday morning whether Matz will be on the NLDS roster, which has to be submitted by 1 p.m. ET.

Jacob deGrom said that any of the Mets pitchers could’ve handled the Game 1 NLDS start, but that he’s honored to have it.

Harvey and the Mets have moved on from Harvey being late to the team’s workout on Tuesday, Terry Collins said.

Game times were set for the remainder of the NLDS. Game 3 at Citi Field next Monday will be at 8:07 p.m. ET or 8:37 p.m. ET and Game 4 (if necessary) will be at 8:07 p.m. ET. If needed, Game 5 in Los Angeles will be at 8:07 p.m. ET.


Jacob deGrom talked with reporters today in Los Angeles and had the following to say about…

How meaningful it is to be the one chosen to pitch Game 1, given the talent on his team’s pitching staff

“In our pitching staff, any of the guys can take on Game 1, and when they told me I had it I was really honored. I want to be able to go two games in this series, I was honored with that. So, I don’t really know. I’m excited to have it though.

Whether he has talked with any veteran pitchers about what to expect

“I haven’t talked to them really yet. I don’t think I’ll really approach them tomorrow before my start. I think I’ll prepare how I usually do. I’ll go over it with Dan and Travis and come up with a good game plan from there.”

If he watched the Wild Card games

“I watched both of them. Watching those guys pitch, it was like it was during the regular season and they were making their pitches when they needed to. You know, keeping the ball down in the zone, which I think that helps out.”

How he’s preparing to face the Dodgers lineup

“My approach every game is to try to keep the ball down and get ground ball outs. So I think that’s going to be my main game plan going into this game. I’ll take one batter at a time and try not to think about it too much.”


Game times set for Games 3, 4 and 5 for the NLDS

The Mets will host the Dodgers for Game 3 of the NL Division Series on Monday, October 12, at 8:37 pm ET.

In the event there is a Game 4 at Citi Field, it will be Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 8:07 pm ET. The series will return to Los Angeles for Game 5, if needed, which will be begin 8:07 pm ET on Thursday, Oct. 15.

The two teams will begin the series Friday, Oct. 9, in Los Angeles at 9:45 pm ET, with Game 2 being played the next night in LA at 9:00 pm ET.


Citi Field is getting ready…

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Mets Links to Read: PM Edition

From Jerry Seinfeld to Jon Stewart, why do A-List comics all seem to by Mets fans >> Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

According to Jayson Love, the Mets should be thankful they do not have home field advantage >> Read more at Double G Sports.

The Mets could be the latest postseason team to prove youth is not an obstacle, explains veteran reporter Danny Knobler >> Read more at B/R.

Mike Vaccaro chronicles Wilmer Flores‘s impact during two weeks this past summer, which turned his team’s season around >> Read more in the New York Post.

Michael Cuddyer turned down $16.5 million from the Rockies to be with the Mets, because, according to Cuddyer, winning is more important than money >> Read more in the New York Post.

The Mets are a very different team than they were just a few months ago, and with a strong rotation and a revamped lineup they are a very scary team heading into the playoffs >> Read more at Beyond the Boxscore.