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Love the Mets

Updated: 2018-04-26T14:00:02-04:00


In defense of Matt Harvey


Most of what’s been written about him lately is disingenuous at best and outright vindictive at worst. After Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals, despite no shortage of stories to write about, Matt Harvey once again dominated headlines. The fact that the Mets won—in exciting fashion, at that—was essentially an afterthought. Matt Harvey’s move to the bullpen spurred a new wave of “fall from grace” articles, in which writers lament his attitude, “complacency,” and supposed lack of commitment. Conveniently, every single one of them either glosses over or leaves out entirely the fact that Matt Harvey had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. TOS ends careers more often than it does not, and yet the few success stories are often cited as examples that prove that Harvey can be successful if he gets his act together mentally. If only adjusting to a bullpen role while simultaneously trying to figure out how to pitch with significantly diminished stuff with everyone around you seemingly salivating at the prospect of your failure (fall from grace stories get those clicks, after all) were as simple as a positive mental attitude. Of course, the beat writers had some motivation to write negative stories about Matt Harvey. He committed the cardinal sin of refusing to talk to them after the game. Not only did this result in an extra vicious tone in the post-game write-ups, the beats took to Twitter to bemoan Harvey’s lack of “professionalism” and “character,” issuing haughty warnings about his ability to get signed this coming offseason. It is not in Harvey’s job description to have to talk to the media. And last I checked, character flaws or a certain level of brashness does not disqualify a player or seem to matter to teams as much as reporters would make us believe. Just ask Jose Reyes or Aroldis Chapman. Further accusations posited that it isn’t personal; it’s a matter of other teammates having to answer for Harvey if he won’t answer for himself. I can understand if Harvey’s teammates take issue, but I certainly cannot understand why this upsets the reporters. They seem to be operating under the illusion that Harvey himself controls the narrative. Matt Harvey isn’t forcing them to bombard rookie catcher Tomas Nido at his locker. Matt Harvey isn’t writing their stories for them. The drama dragged out further when reporters approached Matt Harvey yet again yesterday, for some reason expecting a different result. “I have nothing to say to you guys,” Harvey responded. And when probed further and asked why he doesn’t want to talk, he replied, “I don’t f***ing want to.” Expletives aside, why should he want to at this point? What could he possibly say to redeem himself in the eyes of the media and in the eyes of a certain segment of the fanbase? Why should he give a quote for a story that will simply chalk his struggles up to a failure of character rather than recovery from major surgery (that was botched by the Mets, no less)? He has already spoken to the media countless times after getting shelled and had very little in the way of informative things to say. Because there’s really nothing to say. But now the columnists have to fill their column inches with—oh, the humanity—their own words. And so Harvey is the subject of their ire once again. To be completely frank, if I were Matt Harvey, I would have stopped talking to the media two years ago after these charming front pages graced the New York newsstands, making light of and mocking a serious condition. But he didn’t. And his frustration over losing his rotation spot is treated as a sense of entitlement rather than something that can motivate him to prove himself. When Zack Wheeler was prompted about the Jason Vargas signing in spring, he had roughly the same reaction as Matt Harvey at the prospect of being dropped from the rotation. Yet his determination and tenaciousness was lauded as he pitched his way back into a spot—deservedly so. But in the court of the New York media, Matt Harvey has been[...]

Mets Morning News for April 26, 2018


Your Thursday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news notes, and links. Meet the Mets Steven Matz unraveled and unraveled quickly in the blowout loss. After the Mets took a 1-0 lead some shaky defense led to an implosion. Marcell Ozuna drove in two to give the Cardinals the lead and it was all downhill from there. Matz left after getting only one out in the fourth inning so Corey Oswalt was called upon in mop up duty. He settled in but not after some damage was done and it was just an ugly night overall in St. Louis. Choose your recap: Amazin Avenue short and long, Bergen Record, Daily News,, Newsday, Post Steven Matz was cruising until his error opened the floodgates. Matz needs to learn how to let it go when things go wrong on the mound. The Mets are in desperate need of rotation help and they will get it on Saturday when Jason Vargas makes his season debut. Paul Sewald has developed into a real asset out of the bullpen. The media continued to complain about Matt Harvey not wanting to speak with them. Asdrubal Cabrera was held out of the lineup after having an issue with his hamstring pop up. It was a sad day for friends and family of Rusty Staub as they gathered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to say goodbye to the beloved Met. Staub will be remembered for his charity work and his giving to others. Around the National League East The Braves stopped their brief skid with a rally late against the Reds. Jake Arrieta again pitched well for the Phillies in their 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks. Max Scherzer helped the Nationals avoid a sweep at the hands of the Giants. Around Major League Baseball The Brewers placed slugger Eric Thames on the DL with a torn UCL in his thumb. After undergoing three Tommy John surgeries, Jonny Venters made his way back to the majors when the Rays called him up from the minors. Clayton Kershaw struggled with his command and walked six Marlin hitters. Indians’ reliever Andrew Miller left the game early with hamstring tightness. The Angels had the dubious honor of being the first team to use up all their mound visits. Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue Chris McShane did a thorough analysis of Matt Harvey’s struggles for the past two years. If last night’s game left a bad taste in your mouth, you can always re-watch Cespedes’s massive dinger from Tuesday. Some of the Amazin’ Avenue staff had a chat about some of the pleasant surprises so far this year. This Date in Mets History Two Mets reached career milestones on this date. Our beloved Keith Hernandez reached 1,000 career RBIs with a seven-RBI night against the Braves in 1988. Mike Piazza was a Padre when he hit his 400th career home run in 2006. [...]

Mets Daily Prospect Report, 4/26/18


Catch up on all the Mets prospects in yesterday's minor league action! *All results from games played on April 25, 2018 Triple-A: Las Vegas 51s (6-14) LAS VEGAS 7, ALBUQUERQUE 0 (Box) P.J. Conlon was sharp in Albuquerque Wednesday night, making a first inning Bryce Brentz RBI double hold up over 6.2 innings. The 51s turned the taut affair into a rout in the top of the eighth, scoring six times to extend the lead to 7-0 thanks in large part to home runs from Zach Borenstein and Ty Kelly. The Isotopes did load the bases in the bottom of the eighth, but Drew Smith came in to quell the potential rally by retiring two batters. Smith then worked around a lead off triple in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the shutout. SS Gavin Cecchini: 2-4, 2B LF Zach Borenstein: 2-5, 2 R, HR (5), 2 RBI, 2 K RF Bryce Brentz: 2-4, 2B, RBI, K PR-CF Matthew den Dekker: 0-1, R, K 1B Dominic Smith: 1-4, R 2B-3B Phillip Evans: 2-4, R, RBI, E (3) CF-RF Ty Kelly: 1-4, R, HR (6), 3 RBI C Johnny Monell: 1-4, 2 K 3B David Thompson: 0-3, 3 K P Matt Purke: 0-1 P P.J. Conlon: 0-2, 2 K 2B Luis Guillorme: 0-1, R, BB, K LHP P.J. Conlon: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, W (1-1) LHP Matt Purke: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, H (2) RHP Drew Smith: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K Double-A: Binghamton Rumble Ponies (8-9) BINGHAMTON 5, NEW HAMPSHIRE 4 (Box) Nabil Crismatt went six solid innings, striking out six and allowing only one run, and left in line for his third win, as the Rumble Ponies led 4-1 at that point. However, the Binghamton bullpen gave that lead back, surrendering one run in the eighth and two in the ninth to a Fisher Cat attack led by uber-prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., who drove in a run each in the eighth and the ninth. The Ponies sent the home crowd home happy, though, after Champ Stuart led off the bottom of the ninth with a double. After intentionally walking the bases loaded, Zach Jackson unintentionally walked Matt Oberste for the walk-off walk. Peter Alonso continued his hot start, going 2-3 with two walks and his fourth home run. RF John Mora: 0-4, BB, K 2B Jeff McNeil: 0-4, K 1B Peter Alonso: 2-3, R, HR (4), RBI, 2 BB LF Kevin Taylor: 1-4, R, BB 3B Matt Oberste: 0-4, RBI, BB, 2 K DH Tim Tebow: 1-3, BB, 2 K SS Levi Michael: 1-4, R, SB (1) C Tyler Moore: 1-3, R, RBI, BB, 2 K CF Champ Stuart: 1-2, R, 2B, 2 BB, SB (3) RHP Nabil Crismatt: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K RHP Austin McGeorge: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, H (2) RHP Tyler Bashlor: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, H (2) RHP Joshua Torres: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, W (1-0), BS (1) Advanced-A: St. Lucie Mets (9-10) CHARLOTTE 11, ST. LUCIE 4 (Box) The Mets actually took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third courtesy of a Brandon Brosher two-run single in the frame, but the Stone Crabs roared back, putting up nine runs against Gabriel Llanes and Thomas McIlraith over the fifth through seventh innings en route to the 11-4 blowout victory. Charlotte had some help from the Mets, particularly in the fifth, where an error, passed ball and wild pitch contributed to two runs. Adam Atkins put up two stellar innings after the game was out of hand, striking out five of the seven batters he faced. CF Jacob Zanon: 1-5, 2B, RBI, K SS Luis Carpio: 0-5, 4 K DH Desmond Lindsay: 0-4, 3 K 1B Dash Winningham: 0-3, R, BB, E (2) RF Ian Strom: 1-2, 2 R, 2 BB, CS (2) 2B Michael Paez: 1-3, BB C Brandon Brosher: 1-4, 2 RBI, PB (4) 3B Dale Burdick: 1-3, R, BB, 2 K, 3 E (5) LF Gene Cone: 0-3, BB, K RHP Gabriel Llanes: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K RHP Thomas McIlraith: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K RHP Adam Atkins: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K Low-A: Columbia Fireflies (12-8) COLUMBIA 6, CHARLESTON 5 / 10 INNINGS (Box) The Colaflies wouldn’t say die last night, putting up two runs in the top of the eighth to knot the game at 4, then scoring two more in the top of the tenth and holding on for the 6-5 extra inning victory. Quinn Brodey struck the tying blow with a two-run double in the eighth[...]

Mets vs. Cardinals Recap: Matz, Mets’ defense meltdown in blowout loss to Cards


Three errors in the third and fourth innings helped bury the Mets in St. Louis. Steven Matz set down the first six batters he faced in the game, then led off the top of the third with a single. Matz got forced on a Michael Conforto groundout, but the hit helped lead to the first run of the game when Jay Bruce singled to plate Conforto and give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Jedd Gyorko lined out to lead off the bottom of the third. From there, Matz would endure a stretch that would see 10 of the next 13 batters reach base, as the wheels came off quickly in this one. The snowball started rolling innocently enough in the bottom of the third, as Kolten Wong reached on an infield single. Michael Wacha’s ensuing sacrifice bunt was thrown away by Matz, putting runners on second and third. The Cardinals cashed in on a Dexter Fowler sacrifice fly and a Marcell Ozuna two-run single to take a 3-1 lead going into the fourth. After Wacha (now 5-2 against the Mets in his career) quickly set down the Mets in the top of the fourth, Matz endured an even uglier bottom of the fourth that essentially put the game away. Paul DeJong led off the bottom of the frame with yet another extra-base hit against the Mets—this time a double—followed in short order by the bad deja vu of another Wong infield single and another error on a Wacha bunt attempt. A hit by pitch and a bases loaded walk ended Matz’s night with the score 5-1 and the bases loaded. Corey Oswalt came in to relieve Matz and make his major league debut in that challenging spot. Two inherited runners scored on a fielder’s choice and a Todd Frazier error, leaving the Mets in a gaping 7-1 hole from which they would never recover. Gyorko launched a home run off of Oswalt in the fifth to provide the final margin, but the rookie settled down thereafter and went the rest of the way, soaking up the final 4.2 innings of the game and providing the Mets’ bullpen with a needed rest. The Mets have now dropped six of their last 10 games, and will look to put the blowout behind them and take their first series since April 13-15 vs. the Brewers as Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Martinez meet up in an Opening Day rematch tomorrow afternoon at Busch. SB Nation GameThreads Amazin’ AvenueViva El Birdos Box scores ESPNMLB Win Probability Added What’s WPA? Big winners: Jay Bruce, +10.6% WPABig losers: Steven Matz, -35.7% WPATeh aw3s0mest play: Jay Bruce’s RBI single in the top of the third inning, +12.2%Teh sux0rest play: Marcell Ozuna two-run single in the bottom of the third, -19.5%Total pitcher WPA: 39.1% WPA-Total batter WPA: 10.9% WPA-GWRBI!: Marcell Ozuna [...]

Final Score: Cardinals 9, Mets 1—Matz All, Folks



Sloppy Mets get blown out in St. Louis.

The Mets actually scored the first run of the game Wednesday night, stringing together three singles off of Cardinals starter Michael Wacha to plate a run in the top of the third. Steven Matz recorded the first out of the bottom of the frame, making it seven in a row to start the game. Then, the wheels came off.

A Kolten Wong infield single was followed by a botched sacrifice bunt, as Matz threw the ball away, putting runners on second and third. A Dexter Fowler sacrifice fly and a Marcell Ozuna two-run single made it 3-1 at the end of the inning.

The fourth inning was even uglier for the Mets. After Paul DeJong led off with an extra-base hit (of course), two more errors—including another on a Wacha sacrifice—led to four more runs, giving the Cardinals a commanding 7-1 lead.

Corey Oswalt made his major league debut in relief of Matz, soaking up 4.2 innings while surrendering only a two-run home run to Jedd Gyorko and giving the rest of the bullpen a needed rest.

Full recap to follow.

GameThread Roll Call

Nice job by MetsFan4Decades; her effort in the GameThread embiggens us all.

  1. MetsFan4Decades: 146
  2. amazins8669: 107
  3. Jets Mets Devils Nets 16: 76
  4. BK_Machetero3191: 52
  5. Knurk: 52
  6. olderfan62: 49
  7. MookieTheCat: 49
  8. stickguy: 39
  9. Gina: 38
  10. IPA: 37

A thorough analysis of Matt Harvey’s struggles over the past two years



We put a lot of time into this.

He had surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Re-watching Yoenis Cespedes’s bomb all day



Cespedes hit a 463-foot game-tying home run last night, and it’s worth watching over and over.

Last night, Yoenis Cespedes turned a game that felt like it might be slipping away into one that the Mets wound up winning with one swing of the bat. The three-run home run was majestic, sailing well over the left field fence, just to the right of the second deck. It had a bit of a Mike Piazza feel to it, and despite the strikeout issues that he’s faced in the first few weeks of this season, Cespedes reminded us all that he’s fully capable of doing that sort of thing. And per the Statcast leaderboard, Cespedes’s bomb was the sixth-longest hit in all of baseball so far this year.

Whatever you have going on today, you’ll undoubtedly need a break at some point. Several points, maybe. And for that, might we recommend listening to or watching that home run on repeat.

Gary Cohen’s call with Statcast details

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Howie Rose’s radio call

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Mets Roundtable: 2018’s pleasant surprises


We talk about some of the things that have surprised us thus far. Cory Lack: We’re a few weeks into the season, and that feels like a fair amount of time to start discussing it. What are everyone’s pleasant surprises so far? Allison McCague: Coming into 2018, the Mets finally had the pitching depth to convert some of their starting pitchers into relief pitchers. While more and more teams are adopting this method, it is easier said than done. Not every starter adjusts to a relief role. Not only that, both Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman came into 2018 with major question marks. Lugo still has a partial UCL tear, and there were concerns that would affect his performance. Gsellman had his own injury-riddled 2017—who on the Mets didn’t?—and was ineffective for large chunks of the season, which led many to question whether the real Gsellman was the 2016 version or the 2017 version. For me, the most pleasant surprise of this season has been the fact that not only have both starters adjusted to relief roles, they have thrived in them. Both have utilized their best pitches more and increased the velocity of their fastballs. Having both available to go multiple innings in close games has been a weapon that the 2018 Mets have been able to utilize that previous Met teams did not have the luxury of employing. Rich Resch: We can all agree that Gsellman has been invaluable to the bullpen’s success, but I would argue that Lugo has been a mixed bag. While he made a great impression in his first appearance, striking out four and walking none over two scoreless innings, he has struck out just four batters over nine innings since then, walking six and allowing two home runs. Obviously this is a ridiculously small sample size, and perhaps the increased velocity and the fact that his curveball looks as good as it ever has may be more important than three weeks worth of stats. Still, I think lumping Gsellman and Lugo together, as most of us have done all year, obscures the fact that Gsellman has had a nearly flawless transition to the bullpen, while Lugo has been shaky. But speaking of small samples sizes, Paul Sewald has allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out 13 over 10.1 innings. His 1.24 FIP leads the team, which is more of a fun fact than a useful stat. Also a fun fact: Sewald has earned 0.0 fWAR as a hitter, flying out in his lone at bat of the season, while Jason Kipnis has earned -0.3 fWAR so far this season. Clearly, Sewald is a better position player than Kipnis. Vasilis Drimalitis: Speaking of Kipnis, the trade that wasn’t has paid huge dividends for the Mets this year. Asdrubal Cabrera has been the Mets’ best offensive player in 2018, and it’s not even close. In the interest of full disclosure, I was 100% against the Mets picking up Cabrera’s option. Editor’s note: Never had any doubts about picking up Cabrera’s option! Cory: Same. David Capobianco: It’s funny because, for whatever reason, my brain just has a negative reaction to Cabrera. For example, I’ll see him batting leadoff and just audibly groan, even if it’s the right move and he’s the hottest hitter. Judging from comments on social media, it seems like a lot of people feel the same way. For me, though, it’s probably because the memory of him and Reyes blocking Rosario last year is forever implanted in my mind. Vasilis: I was convinced he would start to decline and thought his defense would be a liability. Furthermore, as the offseason continued to develop—or, rather, not develop—I thought his $8.5 million was far too high of a price when better and cheaper options were out there. Yet here we are, almost a month into the season, and Cabrera has proven me and every other doubter wrong. He has played respectably at second base and has been the Mets’ offensive catalyst. His 1.3 fWAR not only leads the Mets, but it’s[...]