|Jacob deGrom pitching to Freddie Freeman in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
"That was fun!" was how Mets Manager Buck Showalter termed their 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night at Citi Field.
|Jacob deGrom pitching to Freddie Freeman in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
"That was fun!" was how Mets Manager Buck Showalter termed their 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night at Citi Field.
|Dodgers pitchers, including Clayton Kershaw, at right, before Wednesday's game. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Tuesday's starting pitcher, Andrew Heaney, looked nothing like what he did struggling through the final two months of last season for the Yankees.
Heaney started his career with the Miami Marlins, and then pitched for the Angels from 2015 to last season. He never had a winning record in Anaheim, with his best records being 9-10 in 2019 and 8-9 last season before he went 2-2 with the Yankees in five starts with a 7.32 ERA (earned run average).
This season, the big left-hander has made ten starts, due to two long stints on the injured list, and he has a 2-1 record with a 2.12 ERA.
Last night against the Mets, Heaney went five innings, and allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and no walks, with eight strikeouts. His performance was punctuated by three strikeouts of Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, all on high fastballs. They went on to win the opener of the three-game series, 4-3.
On Wednesday night, Los Angeles will send another left-hander, Tyler Anderson, who has had an amazing season in his first year with the Dodgers, as he is 13-2 with a 2.69 ERA in 24 games (22 starts), and he has 111 strikeouts in 140.2 innings pitched. He has allowed just 42 earned runs (45 overall) with 113 hits and 30 walks.
Before this renaissance, Anderson could best be described as a journeyman, as he pitched in Colorado (2016-19), San Francisco in 2020, and both Pittsburgh and Seattle in 2021 before joining the Dodgers. His only winning record came in the pandemic 2020 season, when he went 4-3 with a 4.37 ERA. That was his only winning record, with the closest he came in a full season being his rookie year, 2016, in Colorado, when he went 5-6 with a 3.54 ERA.
How is this possible? How do the Dodgers make aces out of castaways?
Mets Manager Buck Showalter was asked that in his pregame press conference on Wednesday, and he said, "One of the things that, uh, you know, certain assets that some teams have over others is that you are able to identify those guys. Yankees identified Heaney as looking for that same thing, but they're able to send them to this place where there's no time restraints and they say, 'this is what you do real well,' like you know, they shorten up his breaking ball, shorten up his stride, I mean, we see the short of things they did, get into a consistent place where you can play the high-ride fastball.
"They're able to take these guys and not try to teach them in the big leagues right away. They send them to, whatever you want to call it, a lab, you know, and they're not the only ones, but they've had a great return for it. They're looking at the same information everybody else is, you know, when you see a guy on waivers, you look at certain things and you say, 'maybe we can help this guy if we can get him to do this more.' What you find a lot, though, is they already knew what you think you know. The ability to take it and slow it down and say, 'okay, we're going to give you one side session doing this and we show you all this video, now go pitch,' no, they're able to slow down the process for all these guys, sometimes it's a spring training with an Anderson, you know.
"I would ask the question what happened to Heaney from the time they acquired him to what he's doing now. What did they do with him? I know what they did with him, so you know, some of the things they're able to do, you know, financially - one of the biggest things that they do well is their depth. They have great depth because they're able to acquire these guys and take their time, taking advantage of some of the things they can do that they may not realize. They realize it, it's just how do you get to it. How do you get to that pitch? There's a pitch that has great spin up in the zone, there's a slider that if you would do this to it, it would be a lot more effective; got to slow down the process to get to an endgame."
|Mookie Betts connecting on a double in the third inning, and he would come in to score. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets lost a tough one, 4-3, to the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Citi Field in the opener of this massive three-game series between the National League's best.
|Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker warming up, as Dodgers ' Trea Turner (left) and Mookie Betts size up the competition. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Starting Tuesday night at Citi Field, the Mets will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game set between the two best teams in the National League that could be an October preview.
|Mets closer Edwin Diaz with Timmy Trumpet on Tuesday afternoon at Citi Field. Photo courtesy @Mets on Twitter.|
The song of the summer in New York is "Narco," by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet, which welcomes Mets closer Edwin Diaz as he makes his way in from the bullpen, energinizing the crowd along the way, as he makes it to he mound to finish off another victory.
|Max Scherzer facing Ryan McMahon in the sixth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Every Sunday at Citi Field, Bobby's Darin's song "Sunday in New York" plays just before the first pitch.
|Cleon Jones (right, 21) with Willie Mays' 24, aside (from left) Willie's son Michael Mays, Felix Millan, Jon Matlack, and Ed Kranepool. @Mets on Instagram.|
The Mets made a surprise announcement during Saturday's Old Timers Day that Willie Mays' number 24 would be retired by the club, fulfilling a promise Mets owner Joan Payson made to him 50 years ago when she brought him back to New York.
|Daivd Peterson pitching to Randal Grichuk in the sixth inning. The scoreboard on Saturday night was done like Shea Stadium's in the '60s in honor of Old Timers Day. Photo by Jason Schott.|
David Peterson has been one of the biggest surprises this season for the Mets, and he only keeps building on his phenomenal season as a stalwart in the starting rotation.
|Willie Mays' number 24 that will join the Mets' other retired numbers. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets made a surprise announcement at the end of the introductions for Old Timers Day on Saturday afternoon, the Willie Mays' number 24 would be retired by the club.
|Ron Swoboda (right) chats with (from left) Jesse Orosco, Bobby Ojeda, and Howard Johnson. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Mets Old Timers Day was on Saturday afternoon, and one of the key members of the 1969 World Championship team, Ron Swoboda, came up from New Orleans to play in the game.
Swoboda, an outfielder, played six seasons with the Mets, and is most known for his diving catch of a hit to right field by Baltimore's Brooks Robinson to right field in the ninth inning of the fourth game of the 1969 World Series, which the Mets went on to win in the tenth inning. The Amazin' Mets won the title the next day.
I caught up with Swoboda on the field ahead of batting practice for the Mets legends, and here's what he had to say:
On watching the current team from his home in New Orleans: I do, I'm a fan, on MLB Extra Innings, I watch every inning I can watch if I'm available and it works for my schedule; my schedule's not that crowded, so I'm a fan of this team. It kind of started last year in the first half of the year, they were in first place and you're questioning, what are they doing in first place, then they weren't, and that answered the question, they weren't good enough, but this year, it's more compelling baseball and I've enjoyed it a lot more.
What qualities do you see in them that they could go all the way? Well, they've got some pitching, probably the biggest question is getting the game to (closer Edwin) Diaz and keeping him fresh as you can, but they've got enough starting pitching, I think. They're interesting hitters, they put the ball in play, they make a pitcher work, they hit the ball all over the place, and every once I a while they stick a home run on ya. You know, they're not going to live or die by the bomb, but they've got a couple of guys, so it's been kind of fun. They've gone through a period here where they had a bunch of injuries to the pitching staff and a couple of position players, but they're cruising through it.
What are your thoughts on their Manager, Buck Showalter? Showalter has changed the whole entire culture. They look like a team that's going out there having fun and wants to play the game the right way - that's what it looks like to me.
Your were here for last night's comeback victory, are those the kind of games championship teams pull out? Well, you coughed up a couple of leads, that's not what you want to do, and you were in trouble late, but you know, Mark Canha, you know, he played with the minor league team in New Orleans when I was there (calling games on radio), when he was in the Marlins organization, he always looked like a guy who could play a little, and he went away to the A's and whatnot, and he turned himself into a pretty smart hitter. He's organized up there, you know, and God, he's gotten a bunch of clutch knocks lately.
What do you think of the designated hitter now being used in the National League? It's here, and it's here to stay. I feel badly because I think it takes an element of managing away from the Manager and you don't need 25 guys on the roster if you're using the DH, but it's here to stay and nobody's gonna miss pitchers hitting. I like the element it added, just the question mark, you know when you got a (Jacob) deGrom who can hit, and a (Max) Scherzer who swings the bat a little bit, kind of like to see that pitcher hit a little, but most guys you don't.
Note on Swoboda's Personal Connection To the DH: Swoboda mentioned in a prior interview for his book Here's the Catch that he could have been the first designated hitter in baseball history when it was introduced in 1973 while he was with the Yankees, as he explained, "I would have been the first DH if the Boston Red Sox had started a left-handed pitcher instead of a right-handed pitcher, which gave it to Ron Blomberg,and he was the first DH in Major League history. I was the DH the next day when they started a left-handed pitcher."
To read the full interview from April 2021, click here for Part 1, which was on his career with the Mets, and click here for the second part, on more current topics, and see where Ron was 100 percent right about someone the Mets didn't sign at that time.
|Mark Canha being greeted by Pete Alonso after he scored in the fifth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets completed a late comeback on Friday night at Citi Field, as Mark Canha tied it with a two-run double in the eighth, and Pete Alonso finished it off with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, as they beat the Colorado Rockies, 7-6.
|The banner for tomorrow's Old Timers' Day on the poll next to the Tom Seaver Statue outside Citi Field. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Saturday at Citi Field will be the much-anticipated Old Timers' Day, with Mets' legends taking part in a game before the Mets- take on the Rockies at 7:10 p.m.
|Jacob deGrom striking out Colorado's Charlie Blackmon in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Whenever Jacob deGrom takes the mound, Mets fans must feel like they can see history.
Thursday night, when the Mets ace faced the Colorado Rockies, was no exception, as he threw six innings, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out nine.
The Mets went on to win, 3-1, and deGrom is now 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA (earned run average), returning to his Cy Young Award-form after missing over a full calendar year due to injury.
This was a nice bounce-back win for the Mets after they lost the pair of games at Yankee Stadium earlier in the week, and they are now 80-46, two games up on the idle Atlanta Braves, who are 78-48, in the National League East. Atlanta starts a three-game series in St. Louis against the Cardinals Friday night
DeGrom came out firing, as he retired the Rockies in order the first time through, nine up, nine down, with five strikeouts, and to show his remarkable consistency, three outs made at second base, and a fly ball to right field, meaning all the balls put in play were to the right side.
The Mets gave him the lead in the third when Tomas Nido singled and came in to score on a groundout by Francisco Lindor, which gave the Mets shortstop 85 RBI on the season, and that was followed by the big blow off the bat of Pete Alonso, a two-run shot that made it 3-0.
The Mets first baseman now has 31 home runs and 104 RBI on the season. He is now tied for third on the Major League Baseball RBI list with Cleveland's Jose Ramirez, and he is just one behind the Yankees' Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt (who each have 105) for the MLB lead.
DeGrom kept going after the Mets gave him the lead, and he ended up retiring the first 13 Rockies hitters before Jose Iglesias got an infield hit with one out in the fifth inning.
That was followed by Randal Grichuck lacing a double down the third base line, so the Rockies wound up having two runners on and one out, but deGrom struck out Sam Hilliard and Brian Serven flew out to right field.
Colorado then got on the board with one out in the sixth when Ryan McMahon launched a home run to right field to make it a 3-1 Mets lead.
DeGrom then walked Brendan Rodgers before striking out Charlie Blackmon and then got C.J. Cron hit into a force out to end the inning, and that closed out the Mets' ace night.
Seth Lugo was first out of the Mets' bullpen, and he struck out the side, and worked around two hits and a walk. He struck out McMahon with the bases loaded to end the inning.
The Mets then went with the matchups in the top of the eighth, and turned to their closer, Edwin Diaz, as the Rockies had the top of the order coming up. He retired the first couple hitters, but then gave up a walk to Cron and a single to Iglesias before he struck out Iglesias.
Since the Rockies worked Diaz for 16 pitches, the Mets turned to Adam Ottavino for the ninth, and he retired the Rockies in order, and notched a strikeout, as he earned his first save of the season.
|The Mets banners adorning the roof of Citi Field. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets released their 2023 schedule on Wednesday afternoon, and they will open against the Marlins in Miami on Thursday, March 30, and then host Miami in the home opener at Citi Field on Thursday, April 6.
|Yankees reliever Clarke Schmidt pitching to Tyler Naquin in the ninth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
On Tuesday night, the Yankees, backed by a big night from Aaron Judge, in which he hit #48, and a big outing from Clarke Schmidt in relief, beat the Mets, 4-2, at Yankee Stadium in front of a sellout crowd of 49,217, the largest of the season.
This gave Yankees wins in both games of this part of the Subway Series, and a split of the four that they played overall, as the Mets won the two at Citi Field in late July.
|Domingo German. @Yankees.|
The Yankees beat the Mets, 4-2, on Monday night in the first night of this two-game set of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium, as Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German outdueled the Mets' Max Scherzer.
|Mark Canha flipping his bat after he cracked the game-winning home run on Sunday evening. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets had one of the most improbable wins of their season on Sunday, as they battled back from 4-0 and 7-4 deficits to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-9, powered by two home runs from Mark Canha.
|Paul O'Neill In Monument Park with his retired number 21. All Photos Provided By New York Yankees.|
Paul O'Neill's number 21 was retired by the Yankees on Sunday, the 22nd number to have been done so by the team in their illustrious history. O'Neill is the 23rd player or manager to have his number retired as both Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra have their number 8 retired.
|Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole firing one to Alejandro Kirk in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Yankees, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, as they have now won the first three games in this series and have cut the Yankees' lead in the American League East down to seven games.
|Yankee Stadium on Saturday morning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Yankees' offense has struggled of late, and it continued on Friday night when they were shutout by the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-0. It was the Yankees' fifth shutout in their last 13 games, and to put it in perspective, they had only been shutout six times in the first 107 games of the season.
|The Yankees mob Josh Donaldson after his game-winning grand slam. @Yankees.|
The Yankees had one of their more improbable wins of the season on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, as they battled back from 4-0 and 7-4 deficits to beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-7, on a walk-off grand slam by Josh Donaldson at just about the stroke of midnight capping a long night that included a rain delay in the seventh inning.
|Brett Baty. @Mets Twitter.|
The Mets made a somewhat anticipated move on Wednesday afternoon, as they called up their No. 2 prospect Brett Baty.
The third baseman will be playing third base and hitting eighth in tonight's game against the Atlanta Braves.
Baty was drafted by the Mets out of Travis High School in Austin, Texas, in the first round, 12th overall, of the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft.
The 22-year-old had two stints with the Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2019, he played four games in Brooklyn after he spent most of that season with Kingsport and the Gulf Coast League Mets, and then, after the 2020 minor-league season was lost to the pandemic, he began the 2021 season with the Cyclones, and he played in 51 games, hitting .309, with seven home runs, 34 RBI, a .397 on-base percentage (OBP), a .514 slugging percentage (SLG), and a .911 OPS (on-base plus slugging). He then moved on to Double-A Binghmaton, where he played in 40 games, had a slash line of .272/.364/.424/.787, to go along with five home runs and 22 RBI.
This season, Baty began it at Binghmaton, and he played in 89 games, and his numbers were off the charts, with a .312 BA, 19 home runs, and 59 RBI, a .406 OBP, a .544 SLG, and a .943 OPS. He played just six games with Triple-A Syracuse (.364 (8-22), 0 HR, 1 RBI) before this call up to the Mets.
The call-up of Baty was precipitated by Luis Guillorme and Eduardo Escobar succumbing to injuries in the last week and being placed on the injured list.
Guillorme went down with a left groin strain in Sunday's win over Philadelphia, and he will be out four to six weeks. Escobar was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain, retroactive to August 16, after he tried to play through the injury that he suffered in Friday's loss to the Phillies.
|Yankee Stadium. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Yankees, who have been mired in nearly a month-long slump, called up a pair of their top prospects, Estevan Florial and Oswaldo Cabrera.
|Provided by New York Yankees.|
The Pinstripe Bowl has a new sponsor, Bad Boy Mowers, as they announced a multi-year title partnership of the bowl game between members of the Big Ten Conference and the ACC.
Bad Boy Mowers is celebrating 20 years in business, and it is deeply involved in college sports, as they have served as the title sponsor of the men's and women's basketball "Bad Boy Motors Battle 4 Atlantis" tournament in the Bahamas at the beginning of the college basketball season. Their credo is "mow with an attitude," and the company is committed to being an industry leader in delivering innovation and powerful mowing performance across their entire mowing lineup.
Mark Holtzman, the Executive Director of the Pinstripe Bowl said in a statement, "We are excited to welcome Bad Boy Mowers as a title partner as we continue to build on the incredible success achieved since establishing the Pinstripe Bowl a little more than a decade ago. Bad Boy Mowers had many opportunities to invest in the college landscape as they sought to grow their profile, and we are honored that they targeted our game as the optimal route to increase awareness of their brand. With New York City and Yankee Stadium as its backdrop, our full week of bowl activities truly provides one of the most unique atmospheres and settings in college football, and we are proud to share the spotlight with a company like Bad Boy Mowers, which has trod a similar path as our game, becoming highly regarded in a crowded marketplace in a short amount of time."
Bad Boy Mowers CEO Peter Ballantyne said in a statement, "Bad Boy Mowers is thrilled to be the title partner of the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, and support once again the great American tradition of college football. We continue to grow in popularity and sales across the country and are expanding and surging right now in he Big Ten and ACC territories. We see this partnership as a fantastic way to further instill the Bad Boy Mowers dedication to great products and excellent value in these regions."
|Chris Bassitt rears back to throw one to Rhys Hoskins in the fourth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets shutout the Philadelphia Phillies for the second straight game, and this one was a 6-0 win led by Chris Bassitt on Sunday afternoon.
|Jacob deGrom firing the pitch that would strike out Rhys Hoskins in the sixth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
|Max Scherzer pitching to Alec Bohm in the fifth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets lost a tough one to the Phillies, 2-1 in ten innings, on Friday night at Citi Field in the opener of this big three-game weekend series.
|Citi Field, with the Tom Seaver statue in front. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets announced on Thursday that 65 former players and managers will be on hand for Old Timers' Day on Saturday, August 27, prior to the Mets' game against the Colorado Rockies at 7:10 p.m.
|Pete Alonso connecting on his RBI single in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets romped to a 10-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field to complete the sweep of the three-game series.
The Mets improved to 73-39, winners of seven of eight games on this homestand and an astonishing 15 of 17 overall. Their lead in the National League East remained at 7 games over the Atlanta Braves (66-46), who beat the Boston Red Sox, 8-4.
Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker earned his tenth win of the season with a a very nice bounce-back performance after a tough outing against Atlanta last Friday night. He went six innings, and allowed just two runs, both earned, on five hits and three walks, with 5 strikeouts. Walker is now 10-3 with a 3.43 ERA (earned run average).
The Mets went to work quickly against Reds starter T.J. Zeuch, who was making his Cincinnati debut (he used to pitch for Toronto), who took the place of Robert Duggar, who went on the 15-day injured list three days after he pitched in Milwaukee in their 5-1 loss to the Brewers.
In the first inning, Brandon Nimmo reached on a hit-by-pitch and Francisco Lindor drew a walk. Pete Alonso then singled home Nimmo, and Jeff McNeil hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Lindor.
That ran Lindor’s run-scoring streak to13 straight games, which tied a franchise record set by David Wright, from July 13 to 29, 2008.
In the second, Lindor laced a two-run single to give the Mets a 4-0 lead, and that tied him with another Mets shortstop Jose Reyes for most RBI in a season with 81.
Daniel Vogelbach then got an RBI single to score Lindor and make it 5-0 Mets, and keep up his hot start since the Mets acquired him on July 22.
In the third, another new Met, Tyler Naquin, continued to bury his old team, as he launched a solo shot to right field that landed just to the left of the Coca-Cola Corner. It was the outfielder’s third home run since he joined the Mets (he was in right in this one as Starling Marte got a rare day off).
Walker sailed through the first two innings, working around a couple of singles, but he ran into trouble in the fourth. Kyle Farmer led off with a single and scored on a Joey Votto double, then Jake Fraley hit a sacrifice fly to score Votto and cut the Mets’ lead to 6-2. Cincinnati loaded the bases in the fifth, but Walker got out of it by getting Donovan Solano to ground out to second.
The Mets tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth, with Reiner Sanmartin in for Cincinnati, when Naquin hit a two-out double one hop off the wall in left field, and after Mark Canha was intentionally walked, Luis Guillorme beat out a grounder to shortstop Jose Barrero, who threw it away at first into the Mets dugout, and that allowed Naquin to score and make it 7-2 Mets.
The Amazin’s blew it open against Cincinnati reliever Ian Gibaut in the sixth, which Nimmo opened with a walk. Lindor and Alonso then singled to load the bases, and Vogelbach hit a double to right field to score Nimmo and Lindor to make it 9-2, and Alonso tried to score but was thrown out at the plate by Reds third baseman Solano. McNeil then got a double of his own to bring home Vogelbach to make it 10-2.
|Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets will host the first Women's Day at Citi Field on Wednesday afternoon during their game against the Reds.
|Carlos Carrasco pitching to Kyle Farmer in the first inning on Tuesday night. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds, 6-2, on Tuesday night at Citi Field, led by a superb start from Carlos Carrasco, a two-run home run from Francisco Lindor, his 20th of the season, and a big night from Jeff McNeil, who had a solo homer and two RBI.
|Tim Teufel presenting the award to Brandon Nimmo on Sunday. @Mets.|
Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo was recently named the team's recipient of the 2022 Heart and Hustle Award, and it was announced by the Major League Players Association last Thursday.
|Francisco Lindor approaching home plate as he scores on a single by Daniel Vogelbach, who is looking back from first base. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds, 5-1, on Monday night at Citi Field, as starting pitcher Chris Bassitt went eight innings, Starling Marte had a two-run home run, and Daniel Vogelbach had an RBI and a run scored, as they have now won fourth straight.
|Jacob deGrom pitching to William Contreras in the fifth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets beat the Braves, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon in front of an electric crowd of 37,717 at Citi Field in the finale of the massive five-game series, in which the Mets won four of them.
|Jacob deGrom's first pitch of the game was hit to right field for a fly out by Dansby Swanson. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom had to wait 396 days since his last start at Citi Field, on July 7, 2021, to take the mound at his home park again, and because of a torrential rain storm about an hour and a half before the game, 20 minutes more.
|Max Scherzer striking out Marcell Ozuna in the seventh inning to close out his night. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Mets ace Max Scherzer had a vintage performance, as he threw seven shutout innings to lead the Mets to a 6-2 win over the Atlanta Braves and their ace, Max Fried, on Saturday night at Citi Field in the nightcap to sweep the doubleheader.
The Mets took the first game, 8-5, behind a three-hit, two-RBI performance from Francisco Lindor and a great outing from starting pitcher David Peterson (click here for the summary of that one).
|Francisco Lindor raises his arms at second base after his two-run double in the sixth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets, backed by a great start from David Peterson and a three-hit, two-RBI effort from Francisco Lindor, beat the Braves, 8-5, in on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field in the first game of the day-night doubleheader.
|Atlanta's Eddie Rosario waiting on the pitch he would deposit into the seats for a three-run homer in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets nearly pulled off a massive comeback, but they fell, 9-6, to the Atlanta Braves on Friday night in the second game of this five-game set at Citi Field.
The Braves improved to 64-43, and are now back to 3 1/2 behind the Mets, who dropped to 67-39.
The Braves came out swinging against Mets starter Taijuan Walker, as Dansby Swanson laced a one-out double, and then Matt Olson hit a double of his own into the left field corner to bring him in and make it 1-0 Atlanta.
While Olson was up, Walker fell off the mound delivering a pitch, and it might have tipped that something was off, and after he doubled, it spiraled from there.
Austin Riley was hit by a pitch, and then the big blast came from Eddie Rosario, a three-run home run to right field to make it 4-0 Braves.
Walker then got Marcell Ozuna to fly out to deep left field, and then Williams Contreras bounced one to third, on Walker's 30th pitch, that appeared to end the inning, but it went under Luis Guillorme's glove. Orlando Arcia grounded to second base to end the long inning.
In the bottom half of the first, Brandon Nimmo greeted Braves starter Ian Anderson with a double to left field, and then with two outs, Pete Alonso hit a blast to right that looked like it could have been his 30th home run of the season, but Ronald Acuna, Jr., made a leaping catch to keep the Mets off the board.
The Braves picked up right where they left off against Walker in the second, as Michael Harris II hit a solo home run to make it 5-0, and then Acuna, Jr., singled, stole second, and Swanson singled him home to make it 6-0.
Olson followed with a single, and that knocked Walker out of the game, and since there were no outs in the inning, he only recorded one inning pitched.
Trevor Williams was first out of the bullpen, and he got Riley to hit into a fielder's choice, which brought in Swanson, and then Rosario ripped a double to bring in Riley and make it 8-0, and that closed the book on Walker, whose final line was: 1 inning pitched, seven hits, eight runs (all earned), 0 walks, 0 strikeouts, 2 home runs.
Williams then got Ozuna to pop out to second and Contreras flew out to right to keep it at 8-0.
The Mets had a big chance in the bottom of the second, as Tyler Naquin got a two-out single, followed by a pair of walks from Guillorme and Tomas Nido, which turned the lineup over and brought Nimmo up with the bases loaded.
Nimmo laced a single to center to bring in Naquin to get the Mets on the board, but for some reason, third base coach Alex Cora sent Guillorme too, and he was thrown out by Harris II at the plate easily, so the Mets only cut the Braves' lead to 8-1. If Guillorme had stayed at third, it would have been Starling Marte up with the bases loaded.
Atlanta loaded the bases in the third, but Williams got out of it by getting Riley to ground into a force out. In the bottom half, Marte led off with a single and Daniel Vogelbach drew a two-out walk, but Jeff McNeil struck out to end the inning.
In the fifth, Anderson started to lose it, as he gave up a one-out single to Lindor, then threw one way up and in to Alonso, which got away from Contreras, so Lindor went to second.
Alonso singled, making it first and third with one out for Vogelbach, who struck out, but McNeil followed with a single to make it 8-2.
That chased Anderson from the game, even though he was just one out away from being in line for a victory, and in came left-handed Dylan Lee.
The Mets sent up another new acquisition, Darren Ruf, for Naquin, who had two homers Thursday and a single in this one. The gutsy move paid off, as Ruf crushed one into the corner for a two-run double. Then, Eduardo Escobar, another pinch-hitter, singled in Ruf, making it 8-5 Atlanta. Tomas Nido flew out to right to end the four-run inning.
The final line for Anderson, who entered with a record of 9-6 and a 4.99 ERA, was: 4 2/3 innings pitched, 7 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 3 strikeouts.
Trevor Williams exited after the fifth, and his four shutout innings, in which he scattered four hits and a walk, with two strikeouts, enabled the Mets to get back in the game.
Joely Rodriguez was next out of the Mets bullpen, and he worked around a Riley single to pitch a scoreless top of the sixth.
The Mets made it interesting in the sixth against Braves reliever Collin McHugh, who came up through the Mets system and pitched for the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2009. He came in with one out, and struck out Marte before allowing a single to Lindor and a walk to Alonso.
Atlanta turned to left-hander A.J. Minter, which forced the Mets, playing the matchups, to swap out Vogelbach for Mark Canha, who struck out looking to end the inning.
The Mets turned to Mychal Givens in the seventh for his second appearance since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. This one was a lot better than his debut in Washington Wednesday, as he pitched a scoreless inning, working around a walk to Contreras and getting Harris II to hit into a double play to end the inning.
The Braves tacked on a massive insurance run in the ninth when William Contreras hit a solo shot into the bullpen in right field to make it 9-5 Braves.
Jeff McNeil got that run back with a solo shot of his own, his sixth homer of the season, off Braves closer Kenley Jansen, who did not earn a save since he entered with a 4-run lead.
|Citi Field. Photo by Jason Schott.|
On Thursday, August 11, the Mets and Ford will host the FDNY vs. NYPD Battle of the Badges Charity Baseball Game at Citi Field, with first pitch at 7:10 p.m.
|Pete Alonso connecting on his RBI single in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets made quite a statement in the opener of their five-game the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night at Citi Field, as they won it 6-4, as they hit four home runs, led by two from Tyler Naquin, a two-run homer and three RBI from Pete Alonso, and a blast from Daniel Vogelbach.
|Citi Field on Thursday afternoon. Photo by Jason Schott.|
|Aaron Judge taking a ball from Seattle pitcher Andres Munoz in the ninth. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Yankees lost a nailbiter to the Seattle Mariners, 8-6, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, as they nearly pulled off another one of their signature comebacks from four runs down early, and they loaded the bases in the ninth inning, but Gleyber Torres, whose usually Mr. Clutch, struck out to end it.
The Yankees' record is now 70-35, and because the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants, 9-5, to improve to 70-33, they are now 1 game behind L.A. for the best record in Major League Baseball for the moment. The Yankees still hold a massive 11-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays (58-45) in the American League East.
Jameson Taillon, who entered with a 10-2 record with a 3.72 earned run average (ERA), got the start for the Yankees in this one, and he staked the Mariners to an early 4-0 lead when he allowed a two-run home run to Eugenio Suarez in the first inning, a solo shot to Cal Raleigh in the second, and Adam Frazier walked and came home on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Santana, which was unearned because there was a throwing error by Josh Donaldson on a hit by Suarez in between.
|Seattle starter Logan Gilbert pitching to Andrew Benintendi in the second inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Yankees had a golden opportunity to put something on the board in the bottom of the third against Mariners starter Logan Gilbert, who entered with a 10-4 record and a 2.78 ERA, when DJ LeMahieu got a two-out double and Aaron Judge walked. With Anthony Rizzo up, the Yankees put on a rare double steal. Because Gilbert basically picked off Judge, they got him into a rundown, and while that dragged on, LeMahieu took third and kept going for home plate, but shortstop J.P. Crawford saw LeMahieu round third, he fired to the plate, and they eventually got LeMahieu out. As the official scorer put it, LeMahieu got a stolen base (of third) and a caught stealing (trying to take the plate).
However, the Yankees didn't take long to get on the board, as Rizzo drew a walk to open the fourth and came in to score on a double from Josh Donaldson, and he then scored on a two-run home run from Jose Trevino that made it 4-3 Seattle. Trevino has now homered in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, after he hit a pair in Monday night's 7-2 win over the Mariners.
In the fifth, the Mariners got a couple of those back, as Frazier and Suarez drew walks by Taillon, which chased him from the game, and they scored on a two-run double by Santana off Lucas Luetge to make it 6-3.
That closed the book on Taillon, whose final line was: 4 2/3 innings, 2 hits, 6 runs (5 earned),4 walks, 6 strikeouts, 2 home runs.
Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of the big right-hander's performance after the game, "Hung a slider there with two strikes to Suarez (referencing the two-run homer in first), you know, changeup with two strikes to Raleigh that he left up, and looked like up-middle (second inning solo homer), then I thought he settled in, started throwing the ball well, racked up some punch-outs. I think, stuffwise, it's not off of when he's been at his best, you know, it just comes down to some execution, you know, walked four guys today, that's not like him, just making sure we tighten up the command, and that's a little bit delivery-related, where he's tight with his delivery, where he gets that deception, which is part of his stuff, you know, just gotta keep grinding at it."
In the sixth, the Yankees tied it when Rizzo hit a blast to right field for a solo shot, his 27th of the season. The Yankee first baseman has now homered in four straight games, the first instance being when he was with the Chicago Cubs from July 29-August 1, 2015, nearly the same calendar dates. He now has five home runs in his last seven games, and his 27 homers leads Major League Baseball first baseman this season (minimum 80 percent of games at 1B).
Matt Carpenter followed with a single, and Donaldson then got a two-run blast for his 10th dinger of the season, to tie the game at six.
Gilbert then struck out Andrew Benintendi, part of an 0-for-4 night for him, and that was all for his night, with his final line being: 5 1/3 innings, 7 hits, 6 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 2 strikeouts, 3 home runs.
Luetge stayed on and pitched a perfect sixth, and came back for the seventh, and that inning opened with a solo shot from Sam Haggerty, who was pinch-hitting for one-time Met prospect Jarred Kelenic (who went there in the Edwin Diaz/Robinson Cano trade in November 2018), and that made it 7-6 Mariners.
Frazier then got a one-out single, and that was all for Luetge. The Yankees then turned to new reliever Scott Effross, the sidearmer whom they acquired from the Chicago Cubs on Monday. He got Jesse Winker to fly out to left for the second out of the frame, and then after Suarez singled, Santana popped out to third to end the inning.
Albert Abreu was next out of the Yankees 'pen, and he pitched a perfect eighth, and stayed on for the ninth, when he allowed a leadoff single to Haggerty, who then moved to second base on a wild pitch, and came in on a single by Frazier to make it 8-6. In between, Abreu struck out Travis Jankowski, who just joined Seattle after playing for the Mets this season.
Frazier was the last batter Abreu faced, and they turned to their other new Yankees reliever, Lou Trivino, who came over from Oakland on Monday, with one out in the ninth. He got Winker to ground into a force out and then struck out Suarez.
Seattle turned to Andres Munoz for the bottom of the ninth, and he struck out Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Aaron Hicks, who heard boos all night (hey, the fans need a new target with Joey Gallo gone), for the first two outs of the frame.
The lineup turned over, and LeMahieu hit a cue shot down the right-field line, then Judge and Rizzo walked to load the bases for Gleyber Torres, who was up for Tim Locastro, who had pinch-run for Carpenter in the eighth, and he struck out on four pitches to end it.
Munoz earned just his second save of the season, while Penn Murfee got the win in relief for the Mariners to improve to 2-0, while Luetge took the loss for the Yankees, falling to 3-4 on the season.
The three-game series concludes on Wednesday afternoon with a pair of aces taking the mound, Gerrit Cole of the Yankees, who has a record of 9-3 with a 3.30 ERA, and Seattle's Luis Castillo (4-4, 2.86 ERA), whom they acquired from Cincinnati last week, and it is his Mariners' debut.
|The Mariners celebrate after they took the middle game of the three-game series. Photo by Jason Schott.|
|Jordan Montgomery pitching against the Oakland A's on June 27. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Right at the close of the trade deadline on Tuesday evening, the Yankees traded one of their starting pitchers, left-hander Jordan Montgomery, to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Harrison Bader, who is a Bronxville, NY, native.
|Citi Field. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets made a pair of trades ahead of the trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon. They acquired infielder/outfielder Darin Ruf from the San Francisco Giants for J.D. Davis, left-handed pitcher Thomas Szapucki, minor league right-handed pitcher Carson Seymour, and minor league left-handed pitcher Nick Zwack. They also acquired a right-handed pitcher, Michael Givens, from the Chicago Cubs for minor-league right-hander Saul Gonzalez.
|Photo by Jason Schott.|
In a move that was widely expected when the Yankees acquired Andrew Benintendi last week, the Yankees sent left-fielder Joey Gallo to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor-league right-handed pitcher Clayton Beeter.
|Yankee Stadium. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Yankees made a couple of trades on Monday to bolster their pitching, and then it became apparent just how necessary the new arms will be down the stretch.