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NJDevs4978

New York Mets 2018 season thread

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One more time:  Thanks for nothing Sandy.  The above is what we'll remember you for.  Have someone write a book about that.  Awful awful AWFUL GM.  Thief.

Dom Smith of all people gets a run home. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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And even though it's obvious we're going to have to deal with Mickey as manager again no matter who the GM is, how the hell do you hit Austin Jackson third and Nimmo 9th?  Some of these decisions are just mind-bogglingly bad.

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Jackson has been so bad of late that he makes Reyes look like fvcking Babe Ruth.  Jackson has a .414 OPS over his last 30 GP.  It's hard to be THAT rotten.  Yet Genius bats him THIRD?!

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Well finally the long national nightmare is over.  I don't see any way they can deny Jake the Cy Young at this point, especially since Scherzer and Nola's teams aren't in the playoff hunt anymore themselves.

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Gotta give credit where it's due...Conforto and Smith with HRs to tack on a pair of insurance runs, and Lugo nailing it down with a 1-2-3 save.  Yeah, Jake should have wrapped it up with this game, though polls already had him winning the Cy.

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How good was Jacob deGrom in 2018?  He has a .196/.244/.277 opponent slash and an OPS of .521 against.  Among other factors, what truly separated him was his ability to keep the ball in the part...only 10 HR allowed THE WHOLE SEASON (Scherzer allowed 23 and Nola allowed 17).  And he was just so absurdly steady. 

Max Scherzer is at .188/.247/.332 with an OPS of .580 against.  He put up a 4.38 ERA over his last 6 starts, which is surprising because his peripherals were very good...only 6 BB against 56 K, and a solid .231 BAA in those six starts.

Aaron Nola is at .200/.259/.317 with an OPS of .576 against.  He kind of became forgotten because he wasn't special down the stretch...he had a 4.60 ERA and allowed 9 HR in his last 5 starts (29.1 IP).

And here were the slashes with RISP:

deGrom:  .142/.195/.209, .404 OPS against

Scherzer:  .153/.224/.219, .443 OPS against

Nola:  .132/.216/.178, .395 OPS against

 

The difference in ERA, lack of HRs against, and general consistency are really the reasons Jacob deserves the award.  He allowed 4 ER once the whole season.  Just a phenomenal year.  Says a lot that his competition pitched well enough to have won in a lot of other years. 

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Some pitching insanity for the ages:

Everyone knows that only one guy has thrown back-to-back no-hitters...Johnny Vander Meer.  Impressive feat, though what gets left out is that Vander Meer walked three in the first game...and EIGHT in the second (but still never allowed a run).

What's crazy is that those two no-nos came within the midst of a 5-game complete game streak, when the guy was about as unhittable as one could get (BB-to-K ratios weren't as pronounced in favor of Ks as they are now, as they weren't nearly as common):

45 IP, 12 H (?!), 3 ER, 22 BB, 25 K, 0.60 ERA, opponent slash of .084/.206/.112 

That hit-to-innings ratio is just absurd...gotta think that even over such a short sample, there might not be another run to match that.  Nolan Ryan was quite the hit suppressor as well (he and Vander Meer were similar...they didn't give up a ton of hits, but gave up plenty of walks).  Ryan had a 15 hits allowed in 45 IP (29 BB) burst to close out 1974 (included a no-hitter), and a 16 hits allowed in 45 IP (22 BB) stretch in 1973...and the 1973 run doesn't even include the two no-hitters he threw that season.  Makes you realize just how special he was...even WITH all of the BBs. 

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17 hours ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Some pitching insanity for the ages:

Everyone knows that only one guy has thrown back-to-back no-hitters...Johnny Vander Meer.  Impressive feat, though what gets left out is that Vander Meer walked three in the first game...and EIGHT in the second (but still never allowed a run).

What's crazy is that those two no-nos came within the midst of a 5-game complete game streak, when the guy was about as unhittable as one could get (BB-to-K ratios weren't as pronounced in favor of Ks as they are now, as they weren't nearly as common):

45 IP, 12 H (?!), 3 ER, 22 BB, 25 K, 0.60 ERA, opponent slash of .084/.206/.112 

That hit-to-innings ratio is just absurd...gotta think that even over such a short sample, there might not be another run to match that.  Nolan Ryan was quite the hit suppressor as well (he and Vander Meer were similar...they didn't give up a ton of hits, but gave up plenty of walks).  Ryan had a 15 hits allowed in 45 IP (29 BB) burst to close out 1974 (included a no-hitter), and a 16 hits allowed in 45 IP (22 BB) stretch in 1973...and the 1973 run doesn't even include the two no-hitters he threw that season.  Makes you realize just how special he was...even WITH all of the BBs. 

And VanderMeer led the league in walks twice. Ryan from what I can remember was almost a batter to batter mystery. One guy would come up and look so foolish against him it looked like he never stood a chance. The next guy would just calmly leave his bat on his shoulders and take 3 bounced curves and a fastball outside and walk

Ryan only really did have two pitches but when his curve was working and he had his fastball he was damn near unhittable. Because even if you guessed right, as a lot of veterans did...you still couldn't touch his stuff

fwiw Ryan struck out Tony Gwynn more than any other pitcher. 9 times. 

Edited by '7'

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I'm not sure how hard Vander Meer threw, but in some ways he was very Ryan-like.

What was pretty amazing about Ryan is that the walks should've killed him on so many levels, but really didn't...he was still able to pitch a ton of innings, complete a lot of games (when pitchers were still doing that)...and lefty hitters were as equally baffled by his stuff as righties.  Both lefties and righties batted .204 against him lifetime, with righties putting up a .604 OPS, and lefties a .607 OPS.  His control did improve once he left the Angels to sign with the Astros as a free agent...he walked 3.8 per 9 IP from that point on (only allowing 6.8 hits per 9 IP, for a very respectable 1.181 WHIP...prior to that, he walked 5.5 per 9 IP (allowing 6.3 hits per 9) and had a 1.313 WHIP).  But I would love to see his pitch counts from some of these games, especially in his youth.  He must've been routinely at 150+ in his Angels days (he completed 156 out of 288 career starts with the Angels)...and the guy's arm never fvcking broke down.  From what I recall, I think it was everything else that started to break down in 1993, his final season...I don't think he ever lost much velocity.   

I was too young to see the Angels part of his career, but I remember a chunk of his Astros and Rangers seasons.  I remember Game 2 against the Mets in 1986, where he basically admitted that he was so jacked up for that one that he actually completely ran out of gas during the fourth inning...he threw three scoreless to start that game, then gave up two in the fourth and three in the fifth.  He bounced back strong for Game 5...gave up only two hits and one walk (the big hit being a bomb to Darryl) and K'd 12. 

Of course, there were hard throwers who put it together better than Ryan in shorter samples...Pedro's numbers from 1997-2003 were absurdly good (though he failed to crack 200 IP in each of the final three years of that stretch).  Randy Johnson's 1993-2002 run was pretty amazing too...he struck out 2928 hitters and allowed only 1661 hits and 712 walks in 2190 innings.  Also pitched well over 200 innings in all but two of those 10 seasons...he averaged over 250 IP and just under 350 K per season over the final five seasons of that time frame, in what were his age 34 through age 38 seasons.  Outrageous. 

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Of course, Vargas had to go and pitch well enough to get the Mets excited about what he might do in 2019.  Yeah, his numbers were nice over his final 8 starts:  44.2 IP, 33 H, 13 ER, 6 HR (that one is a bit of a red flag), 10 BB, 41 K, 2.62 ERA, 0.963 WHIP. 

The Mets will obviously buy into this, because it's the path of least resistance...now they don't have to expend any energy or spend any money to upgrade, so of course they'll be selling us all on Vargas as a fifth starter.  They'll gloss over the fact that Vargas averaged 5.4 days of rest heading into each start (including 8 days once and 6 days three times)...gotta think that helped him.  I'd sign up for a more consistent version of 2014 Vargas, but no way I can expect that five years after the fact...and even in Vargas' better seasons, his game logs shows that he's usually either pretty good to good, or downright lousy...not a ton of in-between with him.  I can't say I'd even want the 2017 version (18 wins) because he tailed off so horribly in that season's second half.  It's just a shame that the Mets probably won't even consider trying to find a better player. 

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Honestly I’m not sure they will find better than Vargas as a fifth starter from the outside anyway though personally I’d rather deal him off for an expensive, expiring bullpen arm and take my chances with Lugo/whomever

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59 minutes ago, NJDevs4978 said:

Honestly I’m not sure they will find better than Vargas as a fifth starter from the outside anyway though personally I’d rather deal him off for an expensive, expiring bullpen arm and take my chances with Lugo/whomever

Yeah that's an option, though Lugo really seems to have found a nice role as a guy who can give you a lot of innings out of the pen. 

As far as Vargas goes, if you take him strictly on the balance of his entire season, then yeah, it's not like you're guaranteed to find a huge improvement over him (especially if you're looking in bargain bins, and obviously that where the Mets would shop)...but I still have very clear memories of the guy who pitched to an 8.75 ERA through 8/7...and the one who had a 6.66 ERA over the last half of 2017.  If that guy reappears, he's giving you no chance to win most of the time.  This is why I hate that he pitched well in garbage time...he did just enough to make what were purely lousy numbers look just barely respectable by season's end.  He went from 2-8 with a 8.75 ERA to 7-9 with a 5.77 ERA.  His end-of-season numbers make his year look better than it was.

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Man I'm kind of glad I didn't go tonight, I might have been tearing up too with Wright's exit, or even that adorable first pitch from his young daughter.  At least he got a walk and made a putout flawlessly.  I actually did go last night, cause I knew he'd be pinch-hitting and I was only paying $10 for a ticket as opposed to the $80 and up today went for though obviously I stayed for none of the game after his appearance :P

Ultimately the end of Wright's career is a bit of an allegory for his career as a whole, just served as a reminder of what could have been if he could have stayed healthy, Citi wasn't built to the antithesis of the way he hit, and there wasn't an organizational six-year period in the wilderness after the end of 2008.  And obviously a touch of irony having Mattingly in the building for it, since Wright's basically to us what Mattingly is to Yankee fans of the late '80's, apart from the fact Yankee fans also have a number of other HOF players to celebrate before and after while the Met Mount Rushmore is basically Seaver, Piazza, Wright and whatever fourth figure you want to put up there (Doc, Koosman, Keith, Davey, Gil - you could make an argument for any of them I suppose).

And lol at Keith...yeah you can play for the '86 Mets but you're not hitting in MY spot :lol:

Edited by NJDevs4978

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Of course the Mets being the Mets now Nimmo somehow hurts his hammy rounding first...hopefully it's 'only' a pulled hammy.

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11 hours ago, NJDevs4978 said:

Man I'm kind of glad I didn't go tonight, I might have been tearing up too with Wright's exit, or even that adorable first pitch from his young daughter.  At least he got a walk and made a putout flawlessly.  I actually did go last night, cause I knew he'd be pinch-hitting and I was only paying $10 for a ticket as opposed to the $80 and up today went for though obviously I stayed for none of the game after his appearance :P

Ultimately the end of Wright's career is a bit of an allegory for his career as a whole, just served as a reminder of what could have been if he could have stayed healthy, Citi wasn't built to the antithesis of the way he hit, and there wasn't an organizational six-year period in the wilderness after the end of 2008.  And obviously a touch of irony having Mattingly in the building for it, since Wright's basically to us what Mattingly is to Yankee fans of the late '80's, apart from the fact Yankee fans also have a number of other HOF players to celebrate before and after while the Met Mount Rushmore is basically Seaver, Piazza, Wright and whatever fourth figure you want to put up there (Doc, Koosman, Keith, Davey, Gil - you could make an argument for any of them I suppose).

And lol at Keith...yeah you can play for the '86 Mets but you're not hitting in MY spot :lol:

I caught Wright's real "farewell" moment (when he left the field), and it was a truly genuine emotional moment...it didn't make me tear up, but I felt it, all the same. 

I've been very tough on Wright the player at times, but Wright the person was never anything but a total class act, incredibly loyal, and someone who never gave it anything less than his best...in end, it was that last attribute that was a bit misguided...he just refused to listen to his body, and unfortunately that refusal caused the Mets to keep leaving the door open for him longer than they should have.  Ultimately his quest to try to play again was not so good for the franchise. 

It is sad that there wasn't more of 2005-2008 Wright, because that guy was a hell of a player.  Yeah, Citi with its original dimensions definitely weren't much of a help, and who knows how much that fvcked with his head.  And I think in spite of the fact that the 2009+ Wright was often maddening and incredibly unclutch, you're right, he goes on the Met Mount Rushmore.  It's actually kind of sad (and very telling) that the current "fourth" head, no matter which one you pick, won't be as compelling as the first three.  What's sad in Doc's case is that it's his first three seasons as a Met that really made his Met career...from that point on, he was more pretty good than anything else...ERA+ of 105 from 1987-1993 (100 is average), and the rest of his numbers were decent, but no longer dominant (8.4 H and 7.1 K per nine IP).  Davey you can argue didn't get enough out of that pitching staff...lots of talent and he only made the World Series once and the playoffs twice.  I'd probably put Keith up there, even though his time as "Vintage Keith" was relatively short-lived...after 1989, his decline was pretty quick.  But he brought so much to the Mets...leadership, clutch hitting, incredibly defense...he just fit so well here.   

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Re:  Matz...nice that he got his season ERA under 4.00 (finished at 3.97).  I'm not a huge fan of his, but if you look at his numbers from May on, and you take out that one disastrous implosion start against the Nationals (0.2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER), his numbers are pretty good...main problems are that he doesn't go deep enough into games, and gives up a lot of dingers.

His numbers from May, with the fugly Nats start taken out:  24 starts, 131.2 IP, 108 H, 49 ER (20 HR), 47 BB, 124 K , 3.35 ERA

Still wouldn't trust him in big games (he just seems like a guy who can come apart easily), but the above numbers aren't bad. 

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Yeah for a 'fourth' starter which is what Matz basically is now (really what he's always been), he's fine when healthy.  The key thing is he actually MADE all these starts this season, which was really the big issue with Matz for most of his career.  Wheeler too...I guess if we have to give this new coaching staff credit on any count it's that the starters have generally gotten to the post this year, and certainly Wheeler and even Jake took big steps up from where they were.

I am glad they got all this Wright stuff done yesterday now cause honestly I'd rather pay attention to the NL Central and NL West last-day chaos than the Mets' last game of the season.  That's even before factoring in the Jets' 1 PM game :P

And yes I'd probably pick Keith for the fourth face on Mets Mount Rushmore too, admittedly in part cause of his status as a post-player icon (not to mention getting to look at that playing day 'stache lol). Plus you probably have to have someone from the '80's era since every other major Mets era is represented with Seaver/Piazza/Wright.  Of course he was my favorite Met growing up too.  If there was a broadcasting Mount Rushmore that could actually be as impressive or moreso than the players one with Murphy, Ralph, Cohen and Lindsay Nelson I suppose.

Edited by NJDevs4978

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Was nice to see the Mets get the W on David Wrights special night. He's seen enough bad last day losses to the Marlins at least he can go out a winner. 

They couldn't had him play the whole game though? Or at least get a third AB in?

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23 hours ago, NJDevs4978 said:

Yeah for a 'fourth' starter which is what Matz basically is now (really what he's always been), he's fine when healthy.  The key thing is he actually MADE all these starts this season, which was really the big issue with Matz for most of his career.  Wheeler too...I guess if we have to give this new coaching staff credit on any count it's that the starters have generally gotten to the post this year, and certainly Wheeler and even Jake took big steps up from where they were.

I am glad they got all this Wright stuff done yesterday now cause honestly I'd rather pay attention to the NL Central and NL West last-day chaos than the Mets' last game of the season.  That's even before factoring in the Jets' 1 PM game :P

And yes I'd probably pick Keith for the fourth face on Mets Mount Rushmore too, admittedly in part cause of his status as a post-player icon (not to mention getting to look at that playing day 'stache lol). Plus you probably have to have someone from the '80's era since every other major Mets era is represented with Seaver/Piazza/Wright.  Of course he was my favorite Met growing up too.  If there was a broadcasting Mount Rushmore that could actually be as impressive or moreso than the players one with Murphy, Ralph, Cohen and Lindsay Nelson I suppose.

Not to nit pick but I may take Howie over Lindsay. Nelson only called games for the Mets from 62-79. Howie is a fanatical Mets fan, has been our master of ceremonies for many events. He's got the Put it in the Books thing going for him.

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On 9/30/2018 at 9:01 AM, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Re:  Matz...nice that he got his season ERA under 4.00 (finished at 3.97).  I'm not a huge fan of his, but if you look at his numbers from May on, and you take out that one disastrous implosion start against the Nationals (0.2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER), his numbers are pretty good...main problems are that he doesn't go deep enough into games, and gives up a lot of dingers.

His numbers from May, with the fugly Nats start taken out:  24 starts, 131.2 IP, 108 H, 49 ER (20 HR), 47 BB, 124 K , 3.35 ERA

Still wouldn't trust him in big games (he just seems like a guy who can come apart easily), but the above numbers aren't bad. 

He's the type of guy who gets flustered and loses focus it seems. Things snowball out of control for him. In a big game I'd want him as far from the mound as possible because you can just see him lose focus and confidence. He wears his emotions on his sleeve much like Al Leiter did. But Leiter was more of a battler.

Now maybe that's changed, but it's not like he's pitched any important games for us down the stretch here. I'd still make him available this off-season and see what kind of bites we get. Hopefully a good young pen arm can be the return.

Edited by '7'

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Jeffy basically said that the GM hire will definitely come from outside the organization, and that the new GM will have a lot of power to do what he feels is necessary.  Wouldn't really commit to a payroll number for 2019. 

More and more I'm thinking the new guy will initially be trying to rebuild the farm more than anything else.  Sandy struck out big-time on trying to find a bunch of young BP arms.  I think all five starting pitchers performed well enough down the stretch that I just don't see any of those guys being dealt...Mets' brass has always been enamored with them, and now more than ever I think they're even more infatuated with them, especially with Zack taking big steps forward, and Matz actually making 30 starts.  I still don't feel strongly about trusting them all to make it through a full season (we've just been burned too many times), but I can kinda-sorta understand giving them one last year to prove that they can all get it done. 

But unless the new GM has the freedom to do the completely unthinkable (make a run at Harper or Machado...no, of course that won't happen), I gotta think the big team is coming back intact, save for some serious BP revamping.  Will be interesting if Lugo gets a shot to claim a rotation spot at Vargas' expense next spring...I'm guessing no, because he was quite good out of the pen. 

Cespedes saying he has no idea when he'll play in 2019...not like he's in any rush to get back anyway.

Mets finish 31-20 in their last 51.  Probably the worst thing that could've happened, really...I think the feeling in Metland is now this team is putting it all together and will be primed and ready in 2019.  Of course, when you look at the starting pitching from 8/8 on (when the 31-20 run began), it's easy to wonder why the Mets weren't a hell of a lot BETTER:

deGrom:  10 starts, 70.2 IP, 43 H, 11 ER, 2 HR, 13 BB, 96 K, 1.40 ERA, 5-2 record (Mets went 6-4), .441 OPS against

Wheeler:  8 starts (shut down early), 55 IP, 34 H, 12 ER, 3 HR, 12 BB, 54 K, 1.96 ERA, 6-1 record (Mets went 6-2), .520 OPS against

Syndergaard:  10 starts, 66.1 IP, 58 H, 21 ER, 3 HR, 22 BB, 62 K, 2.85 ERA, 6-2 record (Mets went 6-4), .618 OPS against (some good performances at the end make this sample look a little better than it really was)

Matz:  9 starts, 46.1 IP, 31 H, 16 ER, 8 HR, 17 BB, 53 K, 3.11 ERA, 0-2 record (Mets went 5-4), .640 OPS against (take out the first start of this group and his ERA drops to 2.44 over his last 8 starts)

Vargas:  8 starts, 44.2 IP, 33 H, 13 ER, 6 HR, 10 BB, 40 K, 2.62 ERA, 5-1 record (Mets went 6-2), .606 OPS against 

These five combined for a 2.32 ERA as the team went 31-20....in a combined 45 starts, the team went 29-16 (6 games were started by others, like Oswalt, etc).  Is that W-L really all that impressive, given the ERA?  Across five starters, it's hard to be much better than ALL five of these guys were down the stretch, really...some were obviously better than others, and Thor was kinda meh until the later part of his sample, but it's kinda scary to think that the Mets are going to bank on these kinds of efforts from their starters in thinking that they can be true contenders next season.  And Matz and Vargas need lots of BP help in their games...neither one goes past the 6th often.  The pen HAS to be addressed. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Crazy pitching numbers from the past that would probably want to make poor Jacob deGrom hang himself:

Remember Steve Trachsel?  In 2006, here were his numbers over a 15-game stretch:

84.2 IP, 97 H, 49 ER, 17 HR, 42 BB, 39 K, 5.21 ERA, OPS against of .868, 1.64 WHIP    Basically these are about Rafael Montero numbers.

His record over those 15 starts?  Somehow the guy went 12-1. 

12-1?!

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