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New York Mets 2016 Season Thread


Colorado Rockies 1976
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Even in the late innings with a pretty comfortable lead, against not exactly the 1927 Yankees, Niese can't make it nice and tidy. Couple of hits...a walk...a home run. Always a struggle with him.

Good to see De Aza and d'Arnaud with a pulse. Took long enough with De Aza.

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8 hours ago, '7' said:

Even in the late innings with a pretty comfortable lead, against not exactly the 1927 Yankees, Niese can't make it nice and tidy. Couple of hits...a walk...a home run. Always a struggle with him.

Good to see De Aza and d'Arnaud with a pulse. Took long enough with De Aza.

Niese is pretty much a reclamation project at this point...not that he was ever great to begin with.  He is what he is:  hittable and ordinary, and not exactly overflowing with mental toughness.  I'm guessing he gets the innings that would've gone to Bastardo for now, then starts to get higher-leverage innings if he makes progress (or if there's no one else to go to).  As we know, he can do one thing that Bastardo couldn't:  make a spot start if needed...the results are obviously up in the air, but at least he can give you six innings or so in a pinch. 

I think both De Aza and d'Arnaud are better at the plate than what they've shown so far...hopefully things are evening out for them.  A quick glance at De Aza's career shows that he's only had a couple of samples as bad as this season's, and one of them was his rookie year way back in 2007.  It'd be nice to see more of Sandy's bargain signings work out...because many haven't, and let's face it, a lot of teams probably would've released De Aza by now.  He did finish with a .262/.333/.755 slash last season...is there any of us who wouldn't sign up for something approaching that now?  I'm definitely not banking on it, but really hoping that this guy has a couple of big months that pull this year's slash somewhere into that neighborhood.  Mets need contributions from everyone. 

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Some nice numbers for deGrom since 6/25 (7 starts, Mets have gone 5-2 in those games):  46.1 IP, 36 H, 8 ER, 4 HR, 8 BB, 46 K, 0.95 WHIP, 1.55 ERA

The dud against the Marlins really stands out...though he also had a good start against them in that 7-start stretch as well.

He's quietly (very quietly) been the Mets' most consistent pitcher all year, really (but of course hasn't been rewarded with many wins)...like seemingly everyone else not named Colon, his pitch counts have been a bit high (though his pitch-per-inning and pitch-per-plate-appearance numbers are pretty much identical to his previous two seasons in the majors), but he's only allowed more than 3 ER in a start twice.  His season ERA was only above 3.00 once...way back on May 21.  His numbers since then:  78.1 IP, 61 H, 18 ER, 7 HR, 15 BB, 87 K, 0.97 WHIP, 2.07 ERA

It's just weird with him this year...the above numbers are really about what you'd expect from him when he's completely on top of his game and on a roll...but so often it seems like the focus has been continually on what hasn't been right with him.  It's almost as though no one (media AND fans) realize how good he's really been.

 

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re: DeGrom - I was definitely worried coming out of spring training with the down velocity but at this point he's pretty much proven it's a non-concern (at least performance wise), not to mention he's been throwing harder post-April. Sure, he may not be throwing as hard as he did a year ago, but his ERA and FIP are nearly in line with last season (his ERA is a little bit better relative to 2015 while his FIP is a little bit worse).

Also, we tend to forget about 2014, when his velocity was about even with this season and he still posted a 2.69 ERA and 2.67 FIP in 140 innings. It was cool to see deGrom sitting 95+ throughout most of last season, but as evident to the results, the difference between 95 and 92 hasn't been essential to his success.

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4 minutes ago, nmigliore said:

re: DeGrom - I was definitely worried coming out of spring training with the down velocity but at this point he's pretty much proven it's a non-concern (at least performance wise), not to mention he's been throwing harder post-April. Sure, he may not be throwing as hard as he did a year ago, but his ERA and FIP are nearly in line with last season (his ERA is a little bit better relative to 2015 while his FIP is a little bit worse).

Also, we tend to forget about 2014, when his velocity was about even with this season and he still posted a 2.69 ERA and 2.67 FIP in 140 innings. It was cool to see deGrom sitting 95+ throughout most of last season, but as evident to the results, the difference between 95 and 92 hasn't been essential to his success.

Something about his delivery makes his pitches seem just a little bit harder than they really are...Ks are down (a little bit) and his walks are up (not a ton, but they are), but his season numbers overall are definitely good...and have only gotten better.  I was worried too...especially when the walks were up to start the season.   

Worth noting is that is was right around mid-August that he fell off a bit last season...he had a 1.98 ERA on 8/18, and saw that jump up to 2.64 over the course of five stats (two in particular were bad).  He was better after that, though had to grind a little in the playoffs. 

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Don't know if it's the bone spur...but Matz is plenty hittable right now.  League average against him up to .272.  WHIP up to 1.30.  Not impressive.

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Thanks for nothing tonight Steve.  Overrated. 

Think Matz might be a little short on guts.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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Dont know if it's the spur, but time to get Matz. He can't pitch today. Ridiculous. 2 out nobody on...hit...hr

Mets bases loaded 1st inning 2-0. K next pitch DP

Next inning...3-3 1st and 2nd 0 out. DP. Liner to 3rd. Inning over

One pitcher limits the,damage. The other craps the bed and then barfs in his crap

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10 minutes ago, '7' said:

When they lose, look no further than unclutch DP's and Matz gag job

So down on him.  Still young obviously, but I think we gotta lower our expectations when it comes to him. 

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Bottom line is this. Conforto came up a Met. He was nurtured in this organization

Unclutch is in his DNA

Bruce puts on the Mets jersey and immediately takes on the braindead unclutch habits of Mets that came before. Same as happened to Bay

Heck Cespedes DP'd that inning. They booted it

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Well the Mets have been gutless all season and have shown zero fight most nights. They are literally on pace to have the worst RISP in MLB history since the 1969 Padres. And on top of it they now adore the DP. The fact that they let a scrub who was BEGGING to be bombed out of this game like Greene is unforgivable. And Matz comes up small, and Teixiera acts like a clown and we will not retaliate (robles was taken off his game)

The entire team is a mess. They have no concept at all regarding situational hitting. None. 1st and 2nd 1 out 3-1 pitch 3 inches outside? Reach for it, pull it to short. DP. 

This is no longer bad luck, this is no longer "Well the BAPIB RTU GHP HIV moneyball luck meter says the Mets are due for a regression etc...

No. This will continue all season. Much like the Devils with the shootout, this team defies math.

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14 hours ago, '7' said:

Well the Mets have been gutless all season and have shown zero fight most nights. They are literally on pace to have the worst RISP in MLB history since the 1969 Padres. And on top of it they now adore the DP. The fact that they let a scrub who was BEGGING to be bombed out of this game like Greene is unforgivable. And Matz comes up small, and Teixiera acts like a clown and we will not retaliate (robles was taken off his game)

The entire team is a mess. They have no concept at all regarding situational hitting. None. 1st and 2nd 1 out 3-1 pitch 3 inches outside? Reach for it, pull it to short. DP. 

This is no longer bad luck, this is no longer "Well the BAPIB RTU GHP HIV moneyball luck meter says the Mets are due for a regression etc...

No. This will continue all season. Much like the Devils with the shootout, this team defies math.

Funny you mentioned Jason Bay in a previous post, because as I was driving home I was thinking that's exactly who Jay Bruce is going to become while he's here...the next Jason Bay.  Of course he'll get some hits here and there, and will drive in some runs here and there, but there's plenty of evidence to suggest that Bruce could be plenty lousy at the plate (as in, just about all of 2014 and 2015).  And Sandy chose to ignore all of it.  And now yep, we've got another guy who fits right in:  doesn't hit the ball enough and can whiff with the best of them.  I'm all for Sandy getting canned after this season, because I think he's just too limited skill-wise as a GM and he's taken the team as far as he can (too little creativity and too many shaky moves to think he can do much to build upon the pitching staff he's got)...but it won't happen. 

I lost a LOT of respect for Robles last night...letting a declining Teixeira get inside your head that easily is a serious joke.  That's as bad as the Devils allowing Avery to get to them in the playoffs.  Robles obviously has ability, but no way do I ever trust him not to have a meltdown in a big spot.  But he's just a microcosm of what this team is.  They're Charmin soft.  No guts.  No balls.  No heart.  Nothing. 

As for the suckage with RISP...I agree, I think it's so on these pussies' minds now that this can't be fixed.  And of course, there's that complete lack of accountability thing that's been a staple of the Alderson Era. 

And geez, would it be too much for Senile Sandy and Terrible Terry to have a fvcking chat with Cespedes and say "Hey, maybe it's not such a great idea for you to play golf right now, even it's not that big of a risk to worsen your current injury.  Why don't you cool it until your quad feels better?"  The guy has hit plenty while he's been here, no disputing that, but he can definitely be a maddening presence at times (and feel free to learn English any time...gotta admit that it bothers me that some guys can't be bothered to learn the language of the country employing them).

--------------------------------------------------

Picked up Lenny Dykstra's memoir and I'm about halfway through it.  As someone who watched him play, there was always something universally likable about him as a player...the way it seemed like he was always willing to go all-out, and back then he had a certain goofy (almost retarded) kind of charm that made him impossible not to like.  Also had a knack for coming up with the big hit. 

He's not a good guy (another book I read about him called Nailed!, by a former employer of his, chronicles how crazy, manipulative, abusive, and flat-out deceitful he could be to a number of different parties...and I get the impression as I'm reading this book that his "Always moving forward" mentality is the reason it's so easy for him live his life with little regret, with minimal responsibility for the damage he does...the guy definitely fits the definition of a sociopath to a T.

That being said, the book flows so easily that it's hard not to keep turning the pages.  It's only taken me a couple of days to read the first 110 pages or so.  It's typical Lenny...crass, yet funny at times (though some of his sayings, like "feeling like I have a 15-inch cock", definitely get overused).  Some general info/spoilers so far:

1) Lenny absolutely loved the game of baseball.  All he ever wanted to do was to become a major-leaguer one day...as a kid and teen, he cared about little else.  He also had a deep-seated fear of living his life in what he calls "the Middle"...basically had no interest in being a 9-to-5 guy working for people he had no respect for, living a typical (in his mind, boring) existence.  His simple (almost child-like) love of the game, his fear of "the Middle", and the many baseball personnel (scouts, managers, other players, etc) who told him that he was too small to ever make it to the majors drove him to succeed.  As kooky as he was, he did have a very high work ethic when it came to baseball. 

2) He has a VERY high opinion of himself as a ballplayer...way higher than it should be...almost comically so.  He was a good player who had a knack for memorable moments, but was never nearly as good as he would have you believe.  He did have an absolutely beastly year for A+ Lynchburg, but never really duplicated that insanely high level of play in AA, AAA, or the majors.  One thing that was surprising is, as goofy and kind of dumb as he can come across, he clearly has a certain baseball intelligence.  If he was much less of a loose cannon and more stabile and had taken a different path in life, he could have been a solid coach or even a manager...but he makes it clear how much he hated the minor leagues, so I doubt he would've been willing to start over at those levels. 

3) He gets some obvious (to older, hard-core Met fans) stuff wrong...which makes you wonder about the validity of everything he writes, and why fact-checkers didn't do a better job vetting the book.  In his chapter dedicated to the '86 season, he mentioned that the Mets acquired Sid Fernandez before the start of the season, but Sid had actually been a Met since 1984 (this is odd mostly because Sid and Lenny were teammates on the Mets in 1985, Lenny's rookie year...Lenny also adds that Sid wasn't fat at all, but was just built very oddly...man, he sure looked pretty fat to me!).  Lenny brings up the infamous Keith vs. Strawberry team-photo fight (in passing) and places it as having happened before the 1986 season...it actually took place in 1989.  Maybe the errors (these aren't the only ones) were allowed to stand to show that the guys who lived it all don't truly remember every last detail accurately...but it's still kind of weird, as almost anyone who witnessed that season will recognize those mistakes (and the others) instantly. 

4) Lenny couldn't stand Davey Johnson.  Basically said he was a bad manager who underachieved with the talent that he had, and who was often on the sauce.  Blamed him completely for the 1988 NLCS loss to the Dodgers, for leaving Gooden in too long in Game 4 and not bringing in closer Randy Myers (who had been dynamite that season).  Said that basically the whole team thought Davey was an idiot for not going with Myers after Gooden walked John Shelby (just prior to giving up Mike Scioscia's game-tying bomb).  Also said that Davey fvcked up by going with Ron Darling instead of going back to Gooden in Game 7 (although Davey definitely wasn't infallible, this is where Lenny's occasionally fuzzy memory rears its ugly head...Gooden had thrown a lot of pitches in Game 4, and due to no off-day between Games 5 and 6, he would've been starting Game 7 on two days' rest).  The ironic thing is that most of Dykstra's anger at Johnson had to do with Lenny feeling like he was never getting enough playing time...as Davey thought that Lenny wouldn't hold up physically if he became a full-time player...which leads to:

5) Lenny starting taking steroids (he claims a doctor prescribed them for him) when, after getting a chance to be the everyday center fielder for the Phillies in 1989, his numbers plummeted as he wore down...he tried upping his "greenies" to compensate for being spent physically, but all that did was cause him to lose more weight and become even skinnier/weaker (he was down to 150 lbs by the end of the '89 season, and said the bat had gotten absurdly heavy in his grip).  He basically admitted that Davey was right, and that he knew he would never hold up over the course of a full season as an everyday player without some serious PED assistance...and would be in serious danger of losing his job and having to life the rest of his life in "the Middle"...which he refused to consider as an option.  He starting shooting up the 'roids, got a personal trainer to help him put on muscle properly, then showed up to spring training weighing 190 lbs and looking like Adonis.  He basically said that he wasn't interested in honor...said that so many players were shooting up at that point, that all he was really doing was trying to keep up. 

6) He (and all of his Met teammates) despised Gregg Jefferies, and it took all of about two days from his first arrival for that to happen.  And the fact that Davey Johnson was determined to get Jefferies' bat in the lineup (even though he was a terrible fielder no matter where Davey stuck him) made the Met players despise both Jefferies AND Johnson that much more.  When Lenny's not calling him a whining, spoiled p*ssy (his words), he blamed Jefferies for much of the decline of the Mets. 

7) He also hated Sam Perlozzo (I think he was the 3rd base coach in 1986).  Said Perlozzo was a me-first phony who all the players could see through...which was why he failed as the Orioles' manager (and why he hasn't gotten another job since). 

8) Lenny also painted Kevin McReynolds as a backwards hillbilly who hated baseball (Big Mac never did seem to have much passion) and would've rather been deer-hunting year-round.  Lenny tried hunting once with him in Reynolds' hometown and suffice it to say, it didn't take.  He also mentioned that Mookie Wilson was a great guy who had awful breath ("death fumes"), and also labeled George Foster "Human Xanax", and the one of the most boring guys he'd ever met.     

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Nice post on Lenny... I always admired his grinding way to play the game. As soon as you started with the part about hating Davey I knew was going to lead towards playing time. He and Mook were almost a straight platoon. 

If the Mets FO knew that Jeffries was such an issue with his teammates they should have traded him that first off-season. However, by a lot of what I'm reading it sounds like a lot of the Mets problems were the primadona vets that had slipping skills from the years of going at it hard on and off the field. In hindsight perhaps a firesale would have been appropriate. Looking back, not having the fire sale cost the team years of relevancy.

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1 hour ago, capo said:

Nice post on Lenny... I always admired his grinding way to play the game. As soon as you started with the part about hating Davey I knew was going to lead towards playing time. He and Mook were almost a straight platoon. 

If the Mets FO knew that Jeffries was such an issue with his teammates they should have traded him that first off-season. However, by a lot of what I'm reading it sounds like a lot of the Mets problems were the primadona vets that had slipping skills from the years of going at it hard on and off the field. In hindsight perhaps a firesale would have been appropriate. Looking back, not having the fire sale cost the team years of relevancy.

Doc and Darryl get a lot of the blame (unfairly).  Too many people forget that Doc was still not only a solid pitcher (who racked up a lot of wins) for several years, but that he was clean for seven years after he went to rehab in 1987.  He won 157 games as a Met, and playing on bad teams in 1992 and 1993 stopped him from winning more (he was much better than his 10-13 and 12-15 records suggest).  And Darryl was very good at the plate in three out of his final four years as a Met...much of his self-destruction came AFTER he left for LA.  The popular narrative is that they both flamed out after 1986 and took the Mets down with them, which simply isn't accurate or deserved.  Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez succumbing to age and decline, and Cashen making a number of bad moves, contributed to the fall of the Met empire more than anything else.  And there were other issues too...like Kevin Elster never really putting it together offensively as a Met (after hitting .310 in AAA prior to his first full season, the Mets thought he could at least be a decent bat in the majors...though he was a very good defensive SS for a while, he simply couldn't hit), and other young guys not really panning out.  And yeah, some other guys turned into fat cats, while others who were brought in (like McReynolds, then Juan Samuel, then later Vince Coleman and Bobby Bonilla) just didn't seem right and didn't fit. 

Re:  Jefferies...keep in mind that he was considered to be a HUGE deal and a practical can't miss...he was taken #20 overall in his draft, and he was a beast in his first three minor league seasons (the last of those was in AA), though his defense was an issue from Day 1.  There were signs that he might not be all that once he got to AAA Tidewater in 1988 (his slash of .282/.322/.395 there was far less impressive than his previous seasons, though he was one of the youngest players in AAA at the time...I remember him getting off to an awful start there, but then got hot a couple months into the season).  But he then slashed .321/.364/.596 in 118 AB once he was called up, and then the mentality was "OK, he had a bad year in AAA, but he picked it up there and carried that up here, so he's good to go, game on."  Unfortunately, we know how it turned out:  Jefferies never really found a position that worked for him (though he became a passable first baseman after his NY tenure), and his bat never lived up to expectations...but the feeling was that he was so young and so talented that it was inevitable that it would all come together.  It just never did...he had some solid offensive years (some high BAs), but never anything near what people predicted...he was a pretty good bat at best overall, but never hit with enough power...a DH who was never going to hit with enough oomph to be a good DH, and he was never going to be anything more than a bad defensive player.  And he came off as a whiny "me-first" guy who had a way of rubbing people wrong very quickly (he was probably not mentally ready to be in a clubhouse with much older players yet).  The Mets just simply overestimated his abilities badly...but again, they weren't the only ones.  SI even did a write-up about he was going to be the next big thing (I remember reading the article...he used to swing a bat in the pool as part of his strength-training).

I'll never forget the Mets home finale of the 1989 season...Roger McDowell (traded from the Mets earlier that year to the Phillies with Lenny Dykstra in the ill-fated Juan Samuel deal) got Jefferies to ground out for the final out, and as Jefferies was running out his grounder, McDowell had plenty to say to him.  I read that the main comment McDowell made was how Jefferies' odd and annoying treatment of his bats (he treated them individually and insisted they be kept away from everyone else's bats) sure wasn't helping him much...I think there was a general feeling that Jefferies' presence was causing Cashen to phase out the guys who had been a big part of prior winning teams...though McDowell went on a tear promptly after the deal to the Phils, I don't think he was happy about leaving the Mets at all.  Jefferies took exception and went after McDowell.  Supposedly damned near the whole Met team was rooting for Roger to pound the snot of out Jefferies. 

The problem with the Mets is that in the two years after 1988 (after 5 straight seasons of contention), it still felt like they were right there...so of course the feeling was that if they could just get that right player or two, that would put them over the top.  So they kept going for "right now" deals (like the Jeff Musselman and Frank Viola, etc)...as one would expect, soon the farm was pretty barren.  They never had that .500ish kind of season that might have persuaded them to trade off assets with good years left...the 1991 Mets were 51-36 and only four games out of first on July 17 and been pretty hot, and then seemingly out of nowhere, they completely fell apart......they went 26-48 from that point on (the real shocker was the 4-23 collapse from July 30 - August 21...it was stunning that the years of contention just ended so abruptly...a true kick to the balls if there ever was one...the WFAN didn't know what to make of it all...no one did at first).  Unfortunately, as we saw, once the crash happened, they tried to buy their way out of it with some terrible moves (like trying to make Bobby Bonilla the man and new face of the franchise) that made things even worse.          

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Dykstra is wrong regarding Gooden/Scioscia. Doc was somewhere in the 120's regarding his pitch count...120's today for a starter in a playoff game is absolute top end heart attack level.

In 1988 120's was like 85 pitches today. And Scioscia had 3 home runs on the season. I am all for yanking pitchers one batter too early than one batter too late, but every manager in baseball in 1988 would've let Doc pitch to him. Every manager.

One thing that often gets forgotten about that Scioscia game is that the Mets came within an eyelash of winning it. Or at least tying it. With the bases loaded and 1 out in the 9th Orosco induced an infield pop out from Straw, and then McReynolds hit a fast dying looper to CF which Shelby made a great running basket catch on (which you rarely see today) 

Davey was a good manager. Not an X's & O's genius...but a better X's & O's guy than say Willie and Terry (Terry is the worst I've seen since Torborg maybe)

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I think Davey was the right guy to build them up, but maybe not the right guy to keep them there.  He did underachieve a little with the talent he had.  But Dykstra (simply out of hatred for Davey) clearly isn't going to give him much credit for anything.  As you've probably figured out by now, Dykstra doesn't come off all that well through the first half of this book.  Sure, he's kind of funny at times, and there's something about him that makes you want to keep reading...in a trainwreck sort of way. 

Doc did say that Davey tended to have him throw a lot of pitches, which he thinks wore him down prematurely.  I'll admit it...at the time, I definitely wasn't thinking "Why the fvck is Davey leaving in Gooden in this spot?!"  I was a huge Doc fan and the matchup against Scioscia was a good one...I wanted to see him finish the game.  Sometimes crazy sh!t happens.  That Dodger season was full of crazy sh!t. 

Yeah, Davey by his own admission didn't have a great World Series, as far as his managing went, but he was NOT a bad manager by any stretch.  Terry is...gets in the way all of the time, and constantly has to be overcome.  Yeah, Torborg was awful...he got a lot of mileage out of his early White Sox success.  I thought Dallas Green was pretty bad too...sounded like he was drunk at half his press conferences, and just came off as kind of a dumb blowhard.

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