Tuesday, September 15, 2015

To Keep Cespedes, The Dark Knight Could Leave Gotham

Since Cespedes has put on the Mets uniform he has been incredible. Undisputedly the best mid-season pickup in the MLB, and arguably the most impactful deadline trade in the past decade. In a Mets uniform Cespedes has put up a batting average of .310 on base percentage of .355 and a fantastic slugging percentage of .684. Every major league team that has traded Cespedes in the past, is currently in last place. He really does make a difference.

That on it's own. I believe speaks for the reasoning in which the Mets need to re-sign Cespedes. However coming up with the money to pay the slugger could be difficult. The Mets have had a lot of controversy with Matt Harvey in the past weeks, pushing fans away from the once lovable Dark Knight. After this extravaganza, Harvey has lost a lot of fans, which has effected his game on the field. Is it possible that Queens (Gotham) could not be the right fit for the Dark Knight anymore? If you were to ask a Mets fan who they would rather keep right now, Cespedes or Harvey, I strongly believe that the answer would be Cespedes (wish I could do a poll, respond to my unscientific poll on the right).

Cespedes not only improves the Mets with his own power, but he forces opposing pitchers to give more hittable pitches to other hitters. Pitchers do not want to face Cespedes, as a consequence, they have to pitch to player like Wright, d'Arnaud, Murphy, Duda and Flores. This is why the Cespedes acquisition has resulted in a total offensive success. The power of one great player in the lineup goes beyond just his at-bats.

As far as Harvey's impact, he is not the Dark Knight of 2013. Harvey's current pitching level has the possibility of being replaced. The right hander is still worth a great deal which is why the Mets could sell/trade him and use that money to pay Cespedes. Logan Verrett has done a fine job in replacement and Zack Wheeler will be back next year which could create a pitching surplus for the Mets. The Mets need to keep Cespedes to stay postseason contenders and getting money for Harvey could be the answer.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Harvey: The anti-Wilmer

Despite my last post about Harvey showing durability, Matt Harvey has become a less of a competitor since. Having pitched 166 1/3 innings thus-far, The Dark Knight was supposed to be capped at 180 innings in a rehab year post Tommy John surgery. With the Mets being postseason contenders, the big question became: Would Harvey pitch in the postseason?

Harvey, who had already skipped a few starts to conserve his innings, decided not to have a civil conversation with the Mets, but instead, have his agent Scott Boras speak about the topic to the public, and said that Matt should not exceed 180 innings as prescribed by a doctor. This was the complete wrong approach. The Mets, Matt Harvey, and Scott Boras should have sat down for a private discussion.

Initially, Harvey expressed no disagreement in Boras's comments. Harvey received a rude awakening from the fans. He became the anti-Wilmer. As much as people love Wilmer Flores for crying on the field and showing that he wants to be a Met, People now extremely dislike Harvey. He presented himself as a lack of a competitor. The Mets are talking about being in the postseason for the first time in seven years, and Harvey is thinking about shutting it down? That is not the competitive Dark Knight that Mets fans knew in 2013.

Harvey throughout the season was against the 6 man rotation (which would have given him one extra day of rest before every start). Which leads everybody thinking: Why is he complaining now? Harvey did a terrible thing for himself as a Met. However now Harvey is trying to polish everything up and says "I will pitch in the playoffs." This is good news for Mets fans, however they still need to make it there! The Mets are only in first by four games going into a three game series against the second place Nationals.

Maybe Boras was making the right decision for his client, but he did not do it in the right way. This left Mets fans angry with Harvey, giving him a clear choice, which is to pitch in the playoffs. I think that this was the right call, who knows the next time that Matt Harvey will be thinking about pitching in October.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tommy What? Harvey Shows Durability

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014, and having an all-star season in 2013, when Matt Harvey came back in 2015, fans were unsure what to expect. With a strict 200 innings limit, Harvey was anticipating a rebuilding year. Post Tommy John surgery, Mets fans were expecting brief starts from the youngster, seeing as how they would not want a reoccurring injury. Although Harvey has not pitched with the same dominance that he did in 2013, he is exceeding expectations on another front.

Citi Field is ranked by Bleacher Report to be the second hardest stadium to hit home runs. With that being said, Mets pitchers usually thrive at home; however none like Matt Harvey has this season. Harvey has gone at least six innings, every time that he has pitched this year at Citi Field. This is outstanding considering the setbacks that he has had. Of course it is easy to give the credit to this stat to Citi Field, however, believe it or not, Harvey has done some pretty incredible stuff.

Throughout the year, the Mets have been a home based team, having a 44-23 home record, and only a 29-35 road record. However, in recent outing, Harvey has done outstanding things with his slider. Somebody like him has a lot on his fastball, in terms of velocity and movement, but if it is the only pitch that he can locate, then he is in trouble. The difference in Harvey's starts has been when he can locate that slider for a strike, and get hitters out with that pitch.

Coming off his surgery, nobody expected this type of durability from Harvey. He has proved people wrong and he has been pitching like the Dark Knight that us Mets fans remember.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Mets Complete Sweep of Phillies With 13 Inning Victory

John Neise took the mound on Thursday looking to even his record at 9-9. Neise pitched a solid first two innings until he ran into some trouble in the 3rd. Neise let up 5 in the third off of an RBI single from former Met Jeff Francoeur, then Aaron Altherr hit an RBI ground ball to third base, after that Darin Ruf stepped up to the plate and hit a bomb to right center, a two run homer, putting the Phillies in front 5-0. After the third, the Mets come out firing in the fourth, scoring two runs on a Travis d'Arnaud's homer. Neise settled down and gave up 0 runs for the rest of his outing. Neise going 6 innings giving up only 5 hits on 5 runs, however 5 base on balls. In the 5th inning, the Mets would pick up 3 runs on a Cespedes homer and a huge homer by Kelly Johnson to tie the game at 5.
The scoring was silent then until the 13th. Daniel Murphy picked up a double, scoring two runs.
David Wright then reached on an error resulting in a run scored. In addition, Michael Conforto hit an RBI single to bring the final score to 9-5. The bullpen was phenomenal for the Mets, shutting out the Phillies for 7 straight innings. The defense by the Mets was also extraordinary. David Wright did not play in Wednesday's game however he did take a lot of ground balls and had an extensive infield workout. The work that he put in exemplified itself on the field on Thursday when he was taking base hits away from batters. Perhaps the craziest play that I have ever seen took place in Thursday's game. The ball bounced off of pitcher Carlos Torres's foot, Murphy dove to field it, and tosses it, basically without looking, on time for the out.

The hyped up Daniel Murphy after that play, would later become the offensive hero in the 13th. As much as Murphy deserves a lot of the credit for both that play and the game winner, you cannot take away from the fact that new players to the Mets such as Johnson and Cespedes made this win happen as well. before the trade deadline, this win would have probably not happened, however now, we have new bats in the lineup that can produce and come back from a 5-0 deficit.

Bringing it back to Murphy though, he has played the game with a lot of excitement throughout this potential postseason run. One thing that he has been doing really well is attacking first pitch fastballs, that is what he did on his game winner as well. The Mets had major struggles with runners in scoring position this game, and Murphy was the man who could come through and get the job done.

The Phillies are yet another last place team on the Mets schedule. Nothing is a-given, however, these are games that a postseason caliber team has to do, and that is exactly what the Mets have been doing. Sweeping the Rockies and now sweeping the Phillies, the Mets are starting to take care of business. This win brings the Mets to 15 games above .500, which is the most that they have been all year. The Mets improve their record on the road, as their road trip is now over. They come back to Citi Field tonight, where they have had a lot of success all season. Tonight, Harvey faces off against the Red Sox and Henry Owens, the Mets looking for their 8th straight win. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hope for the Amazins

As a child growing up in New York, I have always been "made fun of" as a Mets fan. Finishing at a winning percentage of .500 was something to go into school and brag about to my friends. On the Upper East Side of Manhattan, running into a Mets fan is a rarity. In the 2014 season, the Amazins finished yet another season under .500, however, they did finish in second place in the NL East. Walking around after the 2014 season hearing "the Mets suck" and "the playoffs will never happen" (seeing as how Yankee fans were almost expecting their team to make the playoffs every year) I could not help but to counter these negative comments with something like "We finished in second place. Behind the Nationals, thats not that bad!" and then, eating my words as they came out of my mouth, I knew that comment was a mistake, the conversation for the next five minutes would be about how bad the NL East division is.

When the 2015 season started, I had hope as always (this is how us Mets fans are trained to feel at the beginning of every season). The Mets, who have the best opening day record in the MLB, were playing the Nationals on opening day, and facing newly acquired pitcher from the Tigers: Max Scherzer. After the Mets won that game, I felt that it was going to be a great season (as I always do after the Mets start the season 1-0). We started the season rolling, however after 25 or so games, the Mets fell right back into their second place roll. However, then it happened, I was sitting in our usual seats at the Mets v. Phillies game, when David Wright was on first and attempted to steel second base. He got in safely to second, however the crowd grew afraid, the the Captain had been injured. David Wright had slid awkwardly into second base, causing a potential tweak of the hamstring.

I saw the season flash by. A season worse than the 2014 below .500 season. The New York Mets captain, injured, for how long? The rest of the crowd waited until the end of the game to hear the answer to that question. Nobody knew the answer after the game either, but what everybody did know, is that there was a ballgame that had to be won the next day. Instead of the Mets falling into pieces without Wright, they thrived, like never before. Going on an 11 game win streak and taking first place. I myself saw the first glimpse of a playoff caliber team, and without Wright! Travis d'Arnaud, rose up, and became a primary source of offensive power, and fantastic situational hitting. However, then he hit the Disables list with a hand injury, after being hit in the hand.

On their way to their ninth of what would eventually become eleven straight wins, I thought that now the first place Mets was just a fluke of a team, or a "phase." It never hit me that they could keep winning and stay in first place, until they actually did. Once Travis came back from his fractured hand injury, he would quickly hit the disabled list again with an elbow injury.

This was another devastating injury, as you can hear in the commentators voice in the background, quickly after coming back, Travis gets hurt again. Once again, the Mets were able to not fall apart. They kept winning and persisted as either in first place or just a few games out of first. Travis came back for the second time and picked up right where he left off. The Mets were back on track, and yet the amazing thing was, without the captain, David Wright. The 2015 Mets were a real team, that could survive without the Captain. At the trade deadline, there were many talks about the Mets getting one more power bat in the lineup. Carlos Gomez was a potential target for the Mets. Word got out that the Mets were going to trade Short Stop Wilmer Flores and Pitcher Zach Wheeler. Wilmer, who had been a Met since the age of 16, started crying on the field. 

It had turned out that the trade never went through, keeping Wilmer a Met. Two days later was the start of Wilmer doing magical things for the Metropolitans. 

After Flores presented himself as somebody who wants to be on the Mets, his fan base has been growing by the minute. As he rounds third, throws his helmet, and tugs the Mets logo on his uniform, he is showing that he is here to stay, and wants to be apart of the team. Ever since "the trade that wasn't" not only has Wilmer been hot, but every time he walks up to the plate, he receives a standing ovation. This was another hero that rose in the absence of the Captain.

With 44 games left in the season, the Mets were 4.5 games in first place. This is when I started to get excited, the postseason was something that I could actually think about, for the first time in years. David Wright beginning rehab, and his assignments supposedly going well. The Mets has made two big trades at the deadline. One trade acquiring Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson and another acquiring Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes. Uribe now playing third, taking David's spot for the time being. Since the day that the Mets acquired Yoenis Cespedes, they had won six straight games, continuing to be on a role and maintaing first place. Mets fans began thinking, "Is there even room for David Wright?" Set to split time with Uribe at third, on the day of his return, David had his presence heard loud and clear. His first at bat, he hit a home run, catching the attention of every Mets fan.

Every single player in the lineup now, could do offensive damage, which was never the case at any point before the trade deadline. Right now the Mets are 6.5 games ahead of the nationals and have a winning percentage of .556. For the first time ever, I have heard the Mets and World Series in the same sentence. ESPN analysis Jayson Stark said "All of a sudden, when you look at the Mets lineup, and when you look at their rotation, that is a team that nobody would want to play...Real chance of the Mets playing in the NLCS if not the World Series." 

The Mets current "Magic Number" (number of games required to win in order to make the playoffs) is 31. What I am seeking to do with this blog is commentate, write interesting articles about the Mets, occasionally write about a game. I also would like to keep everything in perspective with potentially making the playoffs. I will also write about any Mets News so everything is updated. Thanks for reading, and Lets Make The Postseason!