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nmigliore

Official 2013 New York Mets Thread

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Harvey's numbers continue to be ridiculous.  He's now walked 1 batter and struck out 31 in his last four starts.  10.03 K and 1.63 BB per 9 IP.  .190 BAA.  0.86 WHIP.   

 

Maddening that he has just 12 wins in 33 career starts...man it would've been nice if Sandy was the slightest bit motivated to put together a team that had a chance to compete this season.  So many terrific Harvey starts flat-out wasted. 

 

Interestingly enough, the other guy who has been as ridiculously dominant as Harvey (the Dodger's Kershaw) is only 10-7 in 24 starts. 

 

The Cy Young really should come down to those two pitchers (unless one or both of them struggle down the stretch), but the voters tend to misinterpret what the Cy Young Award is supposed to be.  It's supposed to be awarded to the best pitcher, end of story.  Unfortunately, some voters think of it more as an MVP for pitchers, or will dock a guy like Harvey, who's stuck pitching on a bad team through no fault of his own, points for not pitching in "pressure" games as the season comes to a close.  How is that Harvey's problem?  And does anyone really have any doubts that Harvey would likely pitch well against just about anyone right now, whether or not his team was in a race? 

 

It's not Kershaw's nor Harvey's fault that their teams don't support them offensively...the fact is that these two pitchers have been THE best pitchers in their league this season.  Kershaw's been a hair better.  It's still too early to call, and there's other guys who can still get in the race, but I really hope the voters get this right.

 

The game has changed a lot.  Walks are down, Ks are up, and pitchers are really taking control of the game.  It's reminding me of baseball in the 80s, though the overall physiques of the players today remains more impressive than those of their 80s counterparts (players seemed to want to have nothing to do with weight rooms back then...the guys who were "big" seemed to be naturally so).  If this is a result of steroids having a reduced presence in the game, or a nice crop of talented pitching coming up, whatever...I'm just glad that I'm not watching 3.5-4 hr games where pitchers are clearly afraid to throw strikes...the much-improved BB rate among pitchers shows that the "nibble and hope they swing days" of the Roid Era are a thing of the past. 

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Yeah right now it looks like a 2-horse race between Harvey and Kershaw. Wainwright is highly deserving of being up there -- he actually has a better park-adjusted FIP than Kershaw over the same amount of innings (and thus tops him in fWAR) -- but the traditional numbers will knock him down from Harvey/Kershaw's level (he's "only" 6th in the NL in ERA). And if we're being fair, just using FIP wouldn't give Kershaw enough justice anyway, as he's proven to be a BABIP-suppressor over his career, which makes ERA a better indicator of his true talent.

 

As of today, Kershaw would definitely win it and he'd probably be my choice as well, but it's close. 

Edited by nmigliore

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It's Kershaw heading into the final turn.  It's funny, for a while now it seems like whenever Harvey's ERA is about to drop below 2.00, he gives up a few runs. 

 

He's the closest thing the Mets have had to a young Gooden since...well, since they had a young Gooden.  Cone had that out-of-nowhere terrific '88 season, and Dickey was a blast to watch last season, but no one had that "Wow, gotta see HIS start!" presence like Gooden did, even though he was never as electric as he was in his first two seasons...I'm sure Seaver had that too, but his best days as a Met were before I was born and when I was a toddler. 

 

But I wonder how long it will last with Harvey.  For one, he was NEVER projected to be this good.  And though everyone is different, guys who appear to be unhittable can become much more so quickly...sadly Gooden showed us this, though his off-the-field problems clearly affected his performance.  Lincecum is only 29 and it looks like his best days are already well behind him.  That's why when people say things like "The Mets have found their ace for the next 10 years", who the hell really knows? 

 

That's why I hope Passive becomes aggressive and really goes for it in the next couple of years.  Who knows if Harvey will still be Harvey when he's 28 or so?   

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That's also why pitchers are just maddening in general; they can get hurt (take a look at Brandon Webb's career, such a shame), they can randomly lose velocity (Lincecum); their performance in general can be more volatile than hitters. There's just so much attrition there. The Mets appear to have hit the jackpot on Harvey but this is why I remain completely open to moving the likes of Zack Wheeler, Rafael Montero, and/or Noah Syndergaard for an established MLB bat(s). 

Edited by nmigliore

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That's what worries me about Harvey...a lot of what he's doing is velocity-related, in that his pitches come at such different speeds.  The guy throws just as hard at the end of games as he does in the beginning...it's scary. 

 

Syndergaard intrigues me the most...for some reason he's the guy I'd like to see the Mets keep, out of the three.  Overall, re: Wheeler, still so early, but I could see him never quite putting it all together...not saying he's going to suck, but I could see him never reaching expectations...or being a late-bloomer, a guy who puts in 5-6 "meh", up-and-down, around .500ish seasons, then all of a sudden seems to figure it out.  Let's face it, I touched on it in a previous post, but I think if Mets fans think the team is going to get better in the outfield by hanging on to ALL of their pitching prospects, they're mistaken.  And guys like Niese/Gee/Hefner aren't going to be enough...I'm guessing a potential trade partner will want one of Wheeler/Montero/Syndergaard, then two other players (a good major-leaguer and a second-tier prospect), and maybe something else.   

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Ike Davis is now at .199.  Could .200 be in his future?

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nmig, remember earlier this season, when Gee's velocity was down?  Since he's been pitching better as of late (2.55 ERA in his last 12 starts, coming into today's game), just wondering, since I haven't looked it up...did he get his velocity back?

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Only 79 pitches through 7 innings for Gee.  ERA is now down to 3.84 for the season.  Who would've guessed his ERA would've been a half-run lower than Hef's at this point? 

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nmig, remember earlier this season, when Gee's velocity was down?  Since he's been pitching better as of late (2.55 ERA in his last 12 starts, coming into today's game), just wondering, since I haven't looked it up...did he get his velocity back?

 

Yeah it went up, actually peaked nearly 1.5 mph in June (compared to April) but since July has been more around 1 mph up from April. 

 

This chart shows it pretty well, see the grey and black trends at the top:

gee_velocity.png

Edited by nmigliore

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What a ridiculous move by TC to pull Gee.

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That's good...I think based on his being hot and his general track record, and Hef kind of being a "What the hell" guy that worked out for a while, Gee's probably going into next season with a starting slot to lose, while Hef goes in on the outside looking in.  He's probably going to lose his spot to Niese soon enough, unless the Mets decide to shut down Mejia. 

 

Rice with a four-pitch walk...frak.

 

Collins is SUCH an amateur...he'll leave guys in when they're gassed and take them out when they're still going strong.  Gee was at 87 pitches. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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That inning was some horrible managing. There was no reason to pull Gee and by going to Rice TC walked right into the dreaded Tulo/Rice matchup (Rice is about as useless as one can be versus right-handed batters). Then he goes to Aardsma, who has the worst FIP and 2nd worst xFIP among Met relievers with at least 20 IP this season. 

 

He was bailed out, thankfully, but oof, horrible stuff there.

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Only 211 pitches needed by the Mets to win the past two games.  Team ERA is now down to 3.73.  Sounds really good, until you look in the NL team ERA standings and see that it's average.  The worst team ERA in the NL belongs to the Rockies, and at 4.33, it's not really bad, considering where they play half of their games. 

 

Not that much different in the AL either...only Houston (4.93) is by-themselves bad.

 

Nice to see normal baseball again...right now it feels like the game is balanced.

 

BTW, the major league ERA by season since 2000:

 

2000  4.76

2001  4.41

2002  4.27

2003  4.40

2004  4.46

2005  4.28

2006  4.52

2007  4.46

2008  4.32

2009  4.31

2010  4.07

2011  3.94

2012  4.01

2013  3.88 

 

2010-13 is where it should be.  Not sure what the league ERAs were before 2000...couldn't find that info anywhere.  I would love to see how the league ERA rose through the 90s though (as I'm sure it did).

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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1992 and 1998 were expansion years, which probably explains the spike.

Edited by Daniel

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Kind of amazing the Mets are tied with the Nats in the loss column for 2nd place (and have a better run differential), especially considering what the team looked like in early June, granted it says more about Washington than the Mets. The Mets are on pace to win about 75 win games, which was a pretty fair preseason projection, maybe slightly optimistic (I had them down as a 72-win team, see first page of this thread). The Nats are on a 77ish win pace though, which is like 15 wins off the expectations for them entering the season. 

 

The Phillies' demise is not in the least bit shocking, and frankly, they're lucky to even be where they are. They have the 3rd worst run differential in baseball, ahead of just the lowly Astros and Marlins. They've played more like a 47-66 team than a 51-62 one.

Edited by nmigliore

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1990  3.86

1991  3.91

1992  3.75

1993  4.19

1994  4.51

1995  4.45

1996  4.61

1997  4.39

1998  4.43

1999  4.71

 

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1990-standard-pitching.shtml

 

The rise between '92 and '94 is staggering.  It spiked again after '98.

 

1994 might've been the first year they tried juicing the baseballs. Wasn't just the players....

Edited by '7'

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Kind of amazing the Mets are tied with the Nats in the loss column for 2nd place (and have a better run differential), especially considering what the team looked like in early June, granted it says more about Washington than the Mets. The Mets are on pace to win about 75 win games, which was a pretty fair preseason projection, maybe slightly optimistic (I had them down as a 72-win team, see first page of this thread). The Nats are on a 77ish win pace though, which is like 15 wins off the expectations for them entering the season. 

 

The Phillies' demise is not in the least bit shocking, and frankly, they're lucky to even be where they are. They have the 3rd worst run differential in baseball, ahead of just the lowly Astros and Marlins. They've played more like a 47-66 team than a 51-62 one.

 

Hard to believe that Davey Johnson survives this...the Nats were hugely disappointing.

 

Mets are 27-20 since that 25-40 low point.  They have 50 games left.  Amazingly, if they can continue to win at about the same pace as they have in their last 47 games, they can finish the season with a .500 record (they have to go 29-21 to do it).  That would also give them a record of 56-41 in the season's last 97 games.  That would translate to about a 94-win season over 162 games.

 

Look, not saying this will happen...they have a bitch of a trip starting tonight, and if they finish it 6-5, they'll have done a hell of a job.  It's kind of hard to entertain any of the above until seeing where they stand after the trip is over.   

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Davey is gone no matter what, this is his final year managing before taking some kind of consultant/special adviser role with the team. 

 

This is going to be a pretty tough stretch of games. In addition to the west coast trip, they'll come home and face the Braves and Tigers, two of the best teams in baseball, over 5 games.

Edited by nmigliore

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Big start for Hef tonight.  Niese will probably be back soon (just pitched 5 innings for AA Binghamton on 8/6), and with Mejia pitching well in his first three starts, Hef is the mostly likely to lose his spot, at least for now.  Maybe he gets more starts if the Mets decide to shut down Harvey, Wheeler, or Mejia in September (I think the innings limit on Harvey was 215...he's at 159.2 right now through 23 starts...since he averages a shade below 7 IP per start, that would give him eight more starts before he reaches that limit.  Not sure what Wheeler's limit is, but he's at 119.1 minors/majors combined, and suffice it to say a Wheeler inning tends to be more labored than a Harvey inning.  And of course Mejia has his bone chips.)   

 

Last two weeks of the season could be ugly if the Mets decide to play it safe with their future arms...could be seeing Chris Schwinden and those types getting a start here and there...Torres and deGrom probably get a start or two as well.  Can't say it will bother me in the slightest though, if the Mets go that angle...I can suffer through two tough final weeks in 2013 knowing that 2014 should be at least be competitive from Opening Day to season's end.  The Mets have at least been pretty entertaining from that 25-40 start on.   

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They are keeping the 6-man rotation with Niese returning so I don't think Hefner is in any trouble just yet. I'm sure things can change, but they seem committed to keeping Harvey and Wheeler's workload down. Plus, despite his rough stretch, Hefner still has the best K/BB ratio and xFIP among non-Harvey starters (excluding Mejia for sample size reasons). Even in that rough month of July he put up a 3-to-1 K/BB, mostly being undone by the longball. Again, I'm more inclined to view him as a good swingman/#6 starter than rotation stable, but he's managed to be the only non-Harvey starter to put up an xFIP below 4 this season. 

 

I'm intrigued to see Niese. He was able to maintain his good groundball tendencies but his strikeout and walk rates were way off what you'd normally expect from him; after posting a 3.15 K/BB across 2011-2012, he was down to 1.48 this year. I wouldn't mind the Mets just shutting him down if his velocity is down and/or he gets battered around. Really no reason to screw with his shoulder, better to have a full offseason of rest than try and prove anything over the final 2 months of 2013.

Edited by nmigliore

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That's Hef's weakness...longballs.  I'm hoping he gets the rest of the season to start...I think he's earned it, and it might be the only season is his major-league career that he gets to be a starting pitcher wire-to-wire.  I'm not a big fan of six-man rotations, but at least that would give Harvey and Wheeler a better chance to get deeper into September without getting reaching their innings limits. 

 

I would shut down Mejia sooner than later, and yeah, if Niese has a couple of rough starts, don't screw around, shut him down too.  Means the rotation will see the deGroms and lesser names, but like I've said, only temporary.    

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Well that does it. Hefner should be out of the rotation like RIGHT NOW. All downhill from the double to the god damn pitcher in the 5th. Of course Terry sticks too long with him. He was getting tagged (but lucky early on) all game.

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Did Lagares really need that triple? JUST STOP AT 2ND YOU IDIOT

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Well that does it. Hefner should be out of the rotation like RIGHT NOW. All downhill from the double to the god damn pitcher in the 5th. Of course Terry sticks too long with him. He was getting tagged (but lucky early on) all game.

 

In fairness, the Mets have a long trip with no off-days...I can understand trying to squeeze a few more outs out of Hef, to try to save the bullpen.  You can argue that Harvey's CG and Gee's long outing probably had the bullpen reasonably rested though.   

 

It's sad...Hef's numbers have been awful since the ASB...I think this was the Hef we were all expecting to see from the beginning of the year.  As long as we remember that he was never a future piece here, and that he actually gave the Mets far more than they had any right to expect, it's kind of hard to get on him too much; that being said, I don't think he really should get more than one more start, unless someone else in the rotation gets hurt or shut down.  Niese is coming back, and like nmig said, the Mets should get deGrom a few starts before the season's out.  We already know that Harvey, Wheeler, and Niese are locks to be in the rotation next season.  Gee probably is too, if he's not traded as part of a package for outfield help.  Then you've got Montero, Syndergaard, Mejia, and deGrom.  Hef bridged the gap pretty well (he held onto his job through mid-August...would any of us have thought that back in April?), but the Mets really aren't going to have any use for him shortly.  nmig thinks he can be a decent swingman-type, but I'm starting to think the lightning's escaped from the bottle.  Too bad...I always enjoy guys who exceed expectations. 

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