Archive for the ‘Citi Field’ Category

By Steven Inmangiants-mets

After a rollercoaster year, the Mets 2016 season comes down to one game. As Met fans, it’s easy to complain that after 162 games  it’s unfair to be put in this position, to face off with the best postseason pitcher of this generation in a 1-game series but after all the injuries the Mets had, this 87 win team should consider themselves lucky to be here. If this was still 5 years ago with just the 1 Wild Card, the Mets would be in this spot anyway with the Giants, who finished with the same record as New York. They would have just played a 1-game tiebreaker at Citi Field anyway. While this Met team has made an incredible run, the statistics are not on their side. Madison Bumgarner is coming off the best regular season of his career in terms of ERA (2.74), innings pitched (226.2) and strikeouts (251). The Mets also badly struggle against lefties and that has gotten worse since Wilmer Flores slid head first into a catcher and was lost for the season. Flores had 11 homers against left-handers this season, the most by any Met.

With that said the Giants are not unbeatable. Other than a huge confidence boost to the San Francisco club, even-year magic is not a thing. If the Mets do the following things, they will be in Chicago on Friday.

 

  1. Get that Bumgarner pitch count up

This one seems fairly obvious but the Mets chances to advance would spike dramatically if Bumgarner doesn’t go long tonight. Bumgarner averaged just 15.8 pitches per inning in the regular season which would give him at least 7 innings tonight. That isn’t going to get it done for the Mets. Not only is Bumgarner efficient but he works deep in games. No National League pitcher averaged more pitches per game than the Giants ace (105 per game). Bumgarner throws a ton of strikes and the Mets are going to have to work good at-bats. The at-bats that end in 7 or 8 pitch outs will be considered small victories tonight for New York.

Keep in mind that the Giants will have two starters waiting in the pen should Mad Bum not give San Francisco the length they need or if this game goes extras like the American League Wild Card game did. While Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija are no slouches, I would rather take my chances with them over a guy with a 0.25 ERA in 36 World Series innings and a 5-0 record with a 1.80 ERA against the Mets.

 

  1. Stick with the home run ball

While it’s not going to be easy to square up Bumgarner, he has been susceptible to the long ball this season. Bumgarner gave up 26 homers this year, a career high. When the Mets don’t homer they flat out don’t win a lot of ball games. It’s crucial that the Mets flex their muscles tonight whether against Bumgarner or the Giants bullpen. Both Jay Bruce and Rene Rivera have a home run against Bumgarner in limited at-bats. The Mets are going to need Yoenis Cespedes, who left the regular season in his biggest slump since becoming a Met, to wake up. Bumgarner doesn’t walk many so it’s unlikely he’ll pitch around Cespedes tonight.

 

  1. Noah Syndergaard, Rene Rivera slows down the Giants running game

It seems pretty obvious to the baseball world now that Noah Syndergaard can’t hold baserunners. The number of stolen bases he allowed led baseball by a wide margin. It looked like for most of the regular season if a player on first or second felt like padding his stolen base stats he could at any point in the game without contest. While Rene Rivera becoming the starting catcher has helped calm things down, Syndergaard and Rivera are still going to have to deal with that tonight. The Mets catch a huge break as Eduardo Nunez (hamstring), one of the Giants biggest stolen base threats, is not on the Wild Card roster. Syndergaard doesn’t have much of a pickoff move, allowing runners to get huge leads so he must change his times to the plate by holding the ball different amounts of times before going home. Or he can simply get everyone out tonight and not let the running game influence this critical matchup.

 

  1. Terry doesn’t pull a Buck Showalter

Jeurys Familia has had an incredible season, a year where he eclipsed the Mets save record by a wide margin but there was a better closer in the American League this year by the name Zach Britton. Britton was perfect in save chances on the year and watched his team’s season end from the bullpen. Now not using Familia or even Addison Reed has never been a Terry Collins issue but it is imperative that should the Mets have a lead in the 7th he skip the middle men and get the ball to Reed and Familia once Syndergaard’s day is done. The Mets may need the two dominant relievers to get 9 outs tonight.

If the Mets get Bumgarner’s pitch count up, hit a homer or two, limit the Giants running game and Terry Collins doesn’t do anything head scratching, the Mets will be set to face the 103-win Cubs Friday night. The Giants have a ton of experience in games like this but the experience that Noah and the team received in Game 5 of NLDS on the road last year should help prepare them for the pressure that come with surviving an elimination game tonight.

By Steven Inman

The 2015 season is finally here. Barring some sort of bizarre injury, here is your 2015 Mets Opening Day roster.

Starting pitchers: 

Matt Harvey will start Game 3 on the road as well as the Mets second Citi Field Game next week

Matt Harvey will start Game 3 on the road as well as the Mets second Citi Field Game next week

1. Bartolo Colon

 2. Jacob deGrom

 3. Matt Harvey

 4. Jonathon Niese 

5. Dillon Gee

This is the order the Mets will go the first couple times through the rotation. The team will start arguably their worst starter on Opening Day in Colon. There are probably many reasons for this but the most public one at the moment is that way Harvey doesn’t start the home opener and will start the second Citi Field game which the Mets believe will maximize ticket sales. This is a clueless, idiotic way to run a franchise IF true, but hey its Opening Day so we won’t harp on the negatives today.

Relievers: 

Jenrry Mejia had a rough spring but will it carry over into the season?

Jenrry Mejia had a rough spring but will it carry over into the season?

6. Jenrry Mejia

7. Jeurys Familia 

8. Carlos Torres

9. Jerry Blevins

10. Alex Torres

11. Rafael Montero

12. Sean Gilmartin

13. Buddy Carlyle

Sean Gilmartin pitched well as Spring Training came to a close and will not be offered back to the Twins just yet, If he can make it all season on the Mets roster or DL he will become Mets property. The Mets didn’t want to lose Buddy Carlyle either who had an opt-out date coming up so the club elected to keep him and go with 8 relievers, Bobby Parnell and Vic Black will start the year on the DL but both should be ready to contribute at some point in the first half with Black likely ready soon. 

Starting Position Players: 

One thing to watch early on is if the Daniel Murphy-Wilmer Flores combo are able to sucessfully turn double plays

One thing to watch early on is if the Daniel Murphy-Wilmer Flores combo are able to sucessfully turn double plays

14. Travis d’Arnaud

15. Lucas Duda

16. Daniel Murphy

17.  David Wright

18.  Wilmer Flores

19.  Michael Cuddyer

20.  Juan Lagares 

21. Curtis Granderson

After much debate Daniel Murphy will in fact be ready for Opening Day and will meet his teammates in Washington for Monday’s opener. Terry Collins is planning on moving Murphy down in the order to get him more RBI opportunities but he is probably better off in his usual #2 spot in my opinion. 

Bench: 

22. Anthony Recker

23.  Ruben Tejada

24.  John Mayberry Jr

25. Kirk Nieuwenhuis

With the Mets carrying 8 relievers, they will go with a 4-man bench to start the season. Eric Campbell would have been the 5th man on the bench but was optioned to Vegas instead. Campbell even worked on catching this spring to make himself even more versatile. A four man bench isn’t the Mets brightest idea but it likely won’t stay like this for more than a few weeks. Collins would use Jacob deGrom as a pinch hitter should he use the rest of his bench first. 

 

Should be a fun season and Lets Go Mets!

By Steven Inman 

While Mike Piazza did gain a few more votes, it will be until at least 2016 until the former catcher gets into Cooperstown

While Mike Piazza did gain a few more votes, it will be until at least 2016 until the former catcher gets into Cooperstown

Former Met catcher Mike Piazza was not admitted into the Hall Of Fame again when the final ballots were released Tuesday. Piazza earned just 69.9 percent of votes. To get in to the Hall of Fame, a candidate must appear on 75 percent of the 571 ballots from Baseball Writers Association of America. Piazza got 62.2 percent in 2014, up from his debut year (57.8 percent).

There are many reasons Piazza didn’t get in. For starters many writers won’t vote for a player even if there is the smallest hint of doubt that he may have used steroids. Secondly but perhaps just as importantly some writers use their ballots as a way of getting themselves publicity which is just a shame.There were some voters that didn’t even vote for All-Time greats such as Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez for some reason.

As long as there isn’t any proof that Piazza did steroids than I think it is ridiculous that some of these writers chose not to vote for him. It’s disappointing for Mets fans as the Mets don’t plan on retiring Piazza’s number at Citi Field until they know for sure that #31 is getting into the Hall as a Met. Piazza won’t get into Cooperstown in July and it looks like he may not get in for the foreseeable future.

By Steven InmanSpring 2013 014

With less than a week left in 2014, lets go back and look over the most important moments of the 2014 Mets year, on and off the field.

We did this the previous two years. The 2013 post can be found here and the 2012 article can be found here. In case you were living in a cave over the last year here is everything you need to know about the Mets in 2014. There were a lot of positives for the Mets but the team also had a lot of negatives. Here’s the list.

6. Bobby Parnell undergoes Tommy John surgery: Parnell didn’t look right all spring as his velocity was way down in Florida but the Mets elected to put him on the Opening Day roster anyway. Parnell blew the save on Opening Day against the eventual division champion Nationals and was sent for an MRI shortly after that revealed the need for season-ending surgery. The bullpen was a major liability for the Mets for much of the first half after Parnell went down as place holders such as Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth were ineffective as late inning options. Both players were let go midway through the season. The Parnell injury was a major reason the Mets fell in such a large early season hole that they were never able to climb out of. Bobby Parnell will not be ready for Opening Day but for some reason, the Mets elected to pay his arbitration price again.

5. Jacob deGrom win NL Rookie Of the Year: The most pleasant surprise of the 2014 Mets was their

Jacob deGrom was magnificent as a rookie in 2014

Jacob deGrom was magnificent as a rookie in 2014

ninth round pick of the 2010 draft, Jacob deGrom. The right-hander was dominant all season and was easily the Mets best pitcher in 2014. If deGrom can perform as well as a second year player, the Mets rotation should be a force in 2015. DeGrom’s special year was capped off when he was awarded NL Rookie of the Year. Jacob is the first Met to win Rookie of the Year since Doc Gooden in 1984.

4. Mets will bring in the Citi Field Fences once again: In what has become a common discussion in recent years, the Mets have elected to bring in the Citi Field fences yet again. The new dimensions are very similar to Shea Stadium but if the Mets had the money to bring in better hitters, this probably wouldn’t be #4 on our list. The Mets needed to get creative to solve their need for power bats. Regardless David Wright and Curtis Granderson should benefit in 2015 from the more hitter friendly dimensions at Citi Field.

3. Mets sign Michael Cuddyer: The Mets made the first move of the MLB offseason by signing outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two year contract worth $21 million. Cuddyer will cost the Mets the 15th overall pick in the 2015 draft but will provide a much needed bat to the middle of the New York lineup ,should he stay healthy. When the Mets struck unusually quickly to sign the former All-Star most expected this to be a busy offseason for Sandy Alderson and company. That has not been the case as the Mets have been quiet since that move in November.

2. Mets trade Ike Davis to Pittsburgh: The debate over who should be the Mets first basemen mercifully came to an end when the Mets traded shipped the former first round draft pick to Pittsburgh. While the Mets didn’t get much back in exchange for Ike Davis, the move freed up such much needed money and more importantly allowed Lucas Duda to play first everyday.  The left-handed slugger blossomed after being handed the job and hit 30 homers to go with 92 RBI’s for the Mets. Duda will be critical for the 2015 Mets.

Davis did not play well in Pittsburgh and has since been moved to Oakland as a salary dump where he will serve as depth in the A’s first base puzzle.

1. Sandy Alderson’s 2013 offseason signings don’t pan out: Unfortunately the Mets most significant moment of 2014 is a negative one. Last offseason Alderson and company signed OF Curtis Granderson and Chris Young along with P Bartolo Colon to lucrative deals, none of which have worked out. When you are operating at such a small payroll like the Mets, you must hit on all of your free agent acquisitions and the Mets hit on none from last winter. Granderson had a dismal year and received the boo birds often at Citi Field. The former Yankee is still owed $47 million over three years by the Mets. The Grandy Man has now not hit over .232 since the 2011 season. Granderson should benefit from the fences coming in power-wise but must improve on his .227/.326/.388 triple slash in his first season in Queens.

Chris Young was a disaster for the Mets and was released midway through the season. Young was the worst signing in Sandy Alderson’s tenure as Mets General Manager. Young badly struggled even just putting the ball in play as a member of the Mets.

While Bartolo Colon was a reliable veteran presence for the Mets in 2014, but the team simply over payed him. Colon,41, is still owed $11 million in 2015 which is far too much money for a 5th starter on a team that doesn’t want payroll to exceed $90-95 million. The Mets attempted to trade Colon but couldn’t find a team willing to take on his entire salary. Signing Colon last winter is preventing the Mets from finding a shortstop now.

The 2014 Mets year was mostly uneventful but expect 2015 to be a much more interesting year in Queens. With Matt Harvey back along with a rejuvenated David Wright this Met team should improve on 2014’s 79 wins.

Opening Night is now only 100 days away….

What are you looking forward to most from the 2015 Mets?

By Steven Inmanindex

Sandy Alderson recently discussed how the team could bring in the Citi Field fences again this winter. “I think it’s going to help us a little bit confidence-wise when you get in that batter’s box and say, ‘Hey, look, I can use the field and do some damage here,’ because that’s what a lot of guys in this lineup are paid to do, and that’s get big hits. I think it would be great for us.” -Alderson said to reporters recently. That full article of Alderson quotes can be found here.

Based on these comments I would bet the Mets do tweak the dimensions again this winter, especially in right field. The move would help Curtis Granderson and David Wright more than anybody. Sandy Alderson said the team believes the new dimensions, that haven’t been announced yet, would have given Granderson seven more homers this season according to an Adam Rubin article on ESPN NY.

When Wright is at his best he is driving the ball to right center.

Granderson has badly struggled at home this season. In 77 home games this season, the outfielder is hitting .200 with seven homers and 26 RBI. Compare that to a .259 average with 13 homers and 40 RBI in one less game on the road. The Mets should keep this a pitcher friendly park with all of their great young pitching but it could help the Mets offense a lot if the team brought in right field, even if it was just a few feet.

If the team doesn’t plan on adding offense by spending, it could make sense to add offense by moving the fences in a little.

By Steven Inman

The Mets would benefit by making Citi Field much more hitter friendly

The Mets would benefit by making Citi Field much more hitter friendly

Sandy Alderson said it’s possible the organization may again look in to adjusting the outfield dimensions at Citi Field.

Alderson pointed out, that the Mets are among the league leaders in run production on the road. A lot of that has to do with a strong offensive week in Coors Field and Yankee Stadium.

“This isn’t the best hitter’s park, but, at the same time, while you’d expect the runs to be depressed at home, there is such a divergence from the results on the road it’s something we’ve been taking a look at and something we have to fix,” Alderson said. “It’s not about home runs, it’s not about driving the ball to the fence, it’s something else.”

Former hitting coach Dave Hudgens spoke about the dimensions of the stadium on Tuesday, too. He mentioned that David Wright’s best place to hit balls, right-center field, is one of the deepest park of the parks.

“The stadium was not built with David Wright in mind,” Hudgens said.

It makes a lot of sense for the Mets to look into this. When you look at other extreme pitchers parks such as Petco in San Diego or Safeco in Seattle, you’ll notice there isn’t a lot of offense or winning going on with those teams either. The best thing to do would be to move the fences in even further, especially right center field. The goal would be to make it as neutral of a park to hitters and pitchers as possible.

At the moment this just seems to be an idea by Alderson and not something they are seriously considering at this time.

By Steven Inman

Dave Hudgens

Dave Hudgens

After another dismal game for the New York Mets Monday, the team announced that hitting coach Dave Hudgens has been let go and replaced by Lamar Johnson. Johnson has been a minor league hitting coordinator with the Amazins since 2005. Hudgens was brought in a few years ago by Sandy Alderson to preach the team’s patient philosophy. The hope was he would be able to fix former big leaguer Jason Bay.The issue is there simply is not enough offensive talent here for any hitting coach to be successful. While Hudgens didn’t help himself out here, the task of fitting several Triple-A square pegs into round holes was a difficult one.Many players didn’t get along with Hudgens but the move was simply made in hope that it would put hitters on notice and a spark would form. Instead of thanking the Mets for his time in the organization, Hudgens blamed the fans and the SNY broadcast booth for the teams offensive woes. “I really just think guys tried too hard at home,” Hudgens told MLB.com after his firing. “I think the fans are really tough on the guys at home. How can you boo Granderson? They have no idea how hard this guy works and how he goes about doing his business, doing his job. He gets off to a slow start and they’re booing him? Come on. It’s tougher at home to play than it is on the road, there’s no doubt about it. And they’re trying really hard at home.”

If Hudgens is correct and the booing really got into players heads then we may have an even bigger problem here. Keep in mind that the Mets aren’t even filling up half of their seats on most nights so if Curtis Granderson or Lucas Duda can’t handle half a crowd booing them every once in a while then they shouldn’t be playing baseball. This is one of the most subdued fan bases the Mets have ever had so it can’t be that traumatic for these players. The 6th straight year of under .500 baseball will do that to a fan base.

In the three game series vs. Arizona last week Duda went 0-9 and left an unbelievable 15 men on base. His average has fallen all the way down to .236.

I frankly think Hudgens is wrong as Granderson was booed all throughout April and yet has been the Mets best hitter in May. Maybe the team just lacks enough offensive talent. Hudgens really seemed to shoot himself in the foot for future baseball jobs here.

Hudgens didn’t just stop there as he also attacked SNY, the Mets television trio of Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez.  “I’m glad I don’t have to listen to those guys anymore. I just shake my head at the old-school guys that have it all figured out. Go up there and swing the bat. Well what do you want to swing at? It just confounds me. It’s just hilarious, really.” Hudgens told Newsday. Keith Hernandez has been very critical of the Mets taking so many first pitch fastballs with guys in scoring position. The Mets have been historically bad with the bases loaded this year as they are just 6-45. Hernandez is right but Hudgens doesn’t have to listen to him. It is very concerning that even members of the coaching staff seems more critical of fan and media perception than wins.

Lamar Johnson will be very similar to Hudgens in that he will preach pitch selection. However expect him to be much more hands on with the Mets hitters.