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A Franchise in Disarray…Again!

If the Washington Nationals go 53-53 the rest of the way, they will end the season with 89 wins.  With a record of 24-31 the Mets would have to go 66-41 the rest of the way, a clip of 25 games over .500. With a bullpen barely holding it together, a starting staff that can’t routinely pitch through the sixth inning, and an offense that sputters occasionally, is this actually a doable expectation?  Remember, that’s if the Nats simply play .500.  There is every indication they will continue to play above that mark. Suffice to say, it will be another season the Mets will not be the division champion.  Well there’s always the wildcard. Or is there?

If the Rockies, Dodgers and Diamondbacks were to go .500 the rest of the way, they would end up with roughly 86-87 wins, requiring the Mets to go roughly 64-43, 21 games over .500 to get into the wildcard.  Of course anything can happen but realistically it looks as if the Mets will not reach the playoffs for a third consecutive season. Doing so would be the first time in franchise history.  This of courses begs the question, what is wrong with this franchise?

The Mets won the National League pennant in 2000, losing to the Yankees in the World Series.  They had the chance to sign Alex Rodriguez and resign Mike Hampton after the season. They did neither and quickly fell into oblivion for several seasons.   In 2006, the Mets won the NL East division with the help of David Wright, a draft pick received for losing Hampton.  So perhaps it was worth falling into obscurity for several years since the team had its first home grown superstar in many years.  But after losing the NLCS to the Cardinals then suffering two monumental late season collapses in the following two seasons the Mets became an also ran again when they opened their brand new ballpark.  Fast forward to 2015, one of the finest and uplifting seasons in Mets history as they fell short to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.  Yes, they did make the playoffs the following season but lost in the single wildcard game to the Giants, not able to plate a single run.  Now here we are today, another disappointing season that had all the promise of truly something special at the end of spring training.  Why does this happen over and over to this franchise?

One answer might be luck, as in bad luck.  The Mets have had talented teams over the past 18 seasons but yet very little to show for. But luck is typically the residue of design.  A more realistic reason is injury for one.

Honestly after last year’s episode of the walking dead, did anyone ever think it would happen again this season? Here we are one year later without Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard, and Jeurys Familia.  Both Cespedes and Syndergaard boasted of an off season regiment fitting of Superman, lifting an absurd amount of weight. Why?  In Syndergaard’s case, wasn’t throwing 100 miles an hour enough.  How about honing the craft of pitching instead?  Did Cespedes think it was better to hit 500 foot homers instead of 450 feet? Last I checked a homerun counts as a run regardless of distance.

But where was the Mets hierarchy in all this? Do they not oversee their players in the offseason to perhaps suggest that these activities weren’t in the best interest of being in “baseball” shape?  This isn’t a Charles Atlas competition.  I often think of  the late great Ralph Kiner’s hilarious remark when chiding ballplayers with too many muscles.  In defending the slender builds of Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, and even more portly good hitting ballplayers, Kiner said “you can’t pull fat”.  In other words, they weren’t lifting constantly. They were hitting constantly.

And is it the best idea to have every starting pitcher throw thousands of miles per hour.  Where are the crafty pitchers that know how to pitch and not just throw?  Why do Mets pitchers throw so many first inning pitches?  They don’t seem to be fooling anyone.  Are they tipping their pitches?

What about the manager?  I thought that Terry Collins was going to hold the fort while the youngsters developed.  I like Terry and think he’s done a good job but his in game decisions leave many scratching their head.  In 2015 when the Mets won the division, it was in part due to the complete melt down of the Nationals under manager Matt Williams.  He lost the clubhouse and I am not suggesting that Collins has.  However, when Dusty Baker came in, he immediately turned the Nats into a championship caliber team.  He even had the smarts to steal Daniel Murphy from the Mets.  Is it time the Mets make a similar move?  Must we wait to see if the Mets pull off another magic act and storm to the playoffs?  Again, that’s not likely to happen this season and the numbers support my conclusion.

In 2015 at this point after 55 games the Mets were 30-25, in first place a half-game ahead of DC.  Last season, the Mets’ record was the opposite of what it is today.  At 31-24, the Mets were in second place just 2 games behind the Nats.  Today, they are 11 games back of a very good baseball team and three very good baseball teams in the western division when considering a shot at a wildcard.

Of course I would like to be optimistic but the Mets have already dug themselves such a deep hole, you wonder if it’s time to rebuild again.  I actually write that in jest. However, the Mets were supposed to have become younger and more agile.  As far as every day players go, except for Michael Conforto, the Mets offensive side is pretty old, certainly older than the Yankees who got young real quick.  So perhaps, while not going through a full rebuild, the Mets need to remain somewhat patient for the Amed Rosarios and Dominic Smiths to come up.  Perhaps another season will thoroughly heal these pitchers.  Maybe a new manager will light a fire under certain players.  I honestly don’t know what the solution is except history suggests that the Mets are a team that for whatever reason, can never sustain success.

It’s frustrating. The Phillies were able to have multiple championship seasons.  Now the Nationals seem poised to be doing the same.  I can see the Braves as soon as next year being a huge threat in the NL East with their talented farm system, and even the Marlins too.  I hate to say it but it looks like the Mets may be heading downward again.  This team never seems able to shake off the perception of being a loser no matter how hard they try.

Another Dropped Pop-Up

Although the stage was not as grand as it was on June 12, 2009, last night’s dropped popup by Asdrubal Cabrera had to bring back some very bad memories.

It looked as though Jerry Blevins worked out of a difficult situation when he got Brewers slugger Jett Bandy to hit a really high infield fly with two outs and the bases loaded.  But as the ball came down, Cabrera back peddled with the ball hitting the tip of this glove and landing on the infield dirt while two runs scored to tie the game.  Unbelievable!  Every time the Mets look like they are turning the corner in this disappointing season, something happens to set them back again.

Blurry fade to eight years ago. It’s June 12, 2009. The Mets are playing the Yankees at brand new Yankee Stadium.  Although the Yanks would go on to win their 27th world championship and the Mets would struggle to a 70-92 finish in their first year at Citi Field, on this date both clubs are in second place.  The Yanks are 2 games back of the Red Sox while the Mets trail the Phillies by 4.

It was a see-saw game, that Friday night in the Bronx eight years ago. The Yankees scored first in the second inning on a Robinson Cano homerun. The Mets rallied in the third on a bases loaded walk and a hit batter to take a 2-1 lead. But a 2 run homer off the bat of Mark Teixeira gave the Yanks the lead right back again in the bottom of the inning.

The Mets took a 6-3 lead scoring 4 in the fifth inning with the big blow being a Gary Sheffield two run homer against his former team.  Derek Jeter homered in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Mets lead to 6-4. Hideki Matsui’s three run bomb off of Jon Switzer who relieved starter Livan Hernandez gave the Yankees a 7-6 lead. A half inning later, the Mets tied it up when Fernando Tatis grounded into a double play scoring Sheffield from third.  David Wright doubled in the top of the eighth, driving in Carlos Beltran from first giving the Mets an 8-7 lead.

No further scoring occurred, leading to the bottom of the ninth.  Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez came in to try and nail down the one run victory and set the tone for the subway series and the supremacy of New York.  K-Rod got Brett Gardner to pop out to catcher Omir Santos for the first out.  Jeter singled becoming the tying run at first.  Johnny Damon pinch hit for Nick Swisher.  Jeter took off for second as Damon struck out.  The tying run was now in scoring position but the Mets had two outs.  Mets manager Jerry Manuel walked Teixeira, an unorthodox move putting the winning run on base.  But Tex was hot and Manuel liked the odds of K-Rod facing a slumping Alex Rodriguez. Manuel’s thinking was correct but the execution failed in what likely became the most embarrassing and distressing play in New York Mets history.

A-Rod popped it up, a mile high popup to second base. Luis Castillo back peddled and back peddled until he ultimately dropped the ball.  Jeter scored the tying run and as Teixeira rounded third, Castillo made his second guffaw throwing the ball to second to try and get a hustling A-Rod.  Too late as the Yankees won the game 9-8 on what made everyone think back to such frustrations encountered during a little league game.  It was one of the most upsetting losses in Mets history.  The Mets were poised to beat the Yankees on their home turf but blew it big time.

Carlos Beltran was a great Met. Unfortunately he will always be remembered for the guy who took strike three with the winning runs on base to end the 2006 NLCS against St. Louis.  It’s such an unfair tag for a guy who was undoubtedly the best center fielder in Mets history.  But Castillo on the other hand was never a fan favorite and his “shining” moment was well deserved.  He will always be remembered for that play that cost the Mets a game in the subway series.

Fade back to the present. The Mets are tied 4-4 with the Brewers after Cabrera dropped an infield popup that would have ended the inning.  The game went into extra innings, a place the Mets have not been comfortable all season long.  With a record of 1-5 in extras this season, each Met hitter looked like they were trying to win it with a ball over the fence instead of just playing some small ball.  Would this be the 2017 Mets defining moment much the way the Castillo play did eight years previous?  What was the percentage of Mets fans last night who honestly thought they would pull this game out once they gave it up so carelessly?

Well maybe it’s a sign.  Josh Smoker pitched three very gutty innings and in the bottom of the 12th, Bronx native T.J. Rivera singled up the middle. All this guy does is hit at every level.  Michael Conforto worked out a walk to move the tying run to second.  Jose Reyes’s fielder’s choice grounder moved Conforto to third.  Jay Bruce came up after going 0-5 then singled into center.  The Mets won.

The only damage Cabrera’s play ultimately caused was to have to use Smoker for three innings when he might have otherwise had the night off.  No one was more relieved with the happy recap then Cabrera as he gave Bruce a big man-hug after the game.

Is the luck turning for the Mets?  Maybe but let’s see them get to .500 first.

Where’s The Urgency?

What a smart move by the Mets to push back Jacob deGrom one day.  After all, the pouring rain stopped the game several times but it was all worth it as the Mets won the game by a score of 10-1 at 1:00AM in the morning.  Of course that’s utter BS but how the Mets had wished it had worked out that way.

This is a team that does not focus on the game at hand. They are constantly worried about what might happen a day or two into the future.  It is one of the reasons why the Mets are so bad this season.

After a devastating loss on Wednesday evening, the Mets had to take comfort in knowing their ace was going to be on the hill the next night to hopefully win the rubber game.  But not to be as the brain trust decided it would be better not to subject deGrom to the horrible weather conditions and instead at the last minute sent Rafael Montero to the mound.  The definition of insanity is when you try the same things over and over and expect different results.  Not to disappoint, Montero threw forty-something pitches in the first inning but only managed to give up two runs because the Padres are actually more pathetic than the Mets.  Never the less, the tone was set as another lack luster game ensued.

The Mets offense could do nothing against Padres rookie Dinelson Lamet who made his first major league start.  Lucas Duda drove in two runs for the Mets including his fifth homerun of the season.  Then in the bottom of the ninth, as they did the night before, the Mets rallied with a chance to tie and perhaps even win the game (only one walk off so far this season).  Michael Conforto, who struck out four times last night, singled hard to right to avoid tying Dave Kingman’s dubious franchise record of five Ks in one game.  With one out, Conforto’s single moved Juan Lagares, who had walked, over to third—the Mets were in business.  Jose Reyes’s ground out scored a run but now there were two outs with the tying run on first.  Jay Bruce fouled out, another Mets loss and another night where I ask why do I bother.  I mean if the Mets organization is showing such little urgency on a day to day basis then why should Mets fans?  Why should I purchase a ticket if this is the lackadaisical thinking going on behind the scenes?

I understand their concern that after two innings there could be a rain delay and deGrom would have to warm up again.  They don’t want their pitcher taxed beyond the norm. They need deGrom for the long-haul, blah, blah, blah, I get it.  But on the other hand there must be some concern in regard to the season slipping away.  There should be urgency to win “today’s” game. They of course will say that is the goal. But if that is the Mets’ philosophy then how can general manager Sandy Alderson look himself in the mirror when at 3:00PM he decides to hold back deGrom and send Montero to the mound?  It’s a joke.

The Mets behave like the Padres do.   The Pads are rebuilding.  They have a great farm system and in a few years they will be an outstanding team.  Right now however, they are going nowhere.  This is not the same situation for the Mets.   They are done rebuilding.  This is the team that’s supposed to win now.  Sure, there are devastating injuries but that’s no reason to give up and throw Montero into the game!

It’s one thing if the Mets are losing but yet doing everything that’s possible to win. That alone earns my respect.  But when deGrom is skipped because of fear then either the Mets have lost their guts or perhaps it’s a conspiracy to cover up yet another injury.  Plus now the front office has put even more pressure on deGrom to win tonight.  If he doesn’t then last evening’s move was for naught and the Mets will have sunk even further into the abyss.

Notes:  The Mets are now 1-13 in games when they score three runs or less.  They are back to seven games under .500 and made no headway during the six game home stand where they went 3-3.  The Mets are 8.5 games out of first place heading into the Memorial Day weekend.  The Mets go to Pittsburgh for a brief three games road trip over the weekend.   The Pirates have struggled too this season but lately they have played better than the Mets.

Three Signs of a Loser

The Mets are now 8.5 games out of first place and 7.5 games out of a wild card spot.  There are signs indicating that the Mets are headed for a losing season.  Last night’s game was a case study in a losing baseball team.  The Mets are not as bad as the Padres or the Phillies but right now, they are bad.  Whether the Mets finish the season 66-96 or 78-84, what’s the difference?  It’s not what the fans signed up for.  The bottom line is when you think things are going to turn around they don’t.  And in my many seasons of following Mets baseball, that’s the first sign that it’s going to be a really disappointing season.

Typically a losing team in baseball is still made up of the most talented people on earth to ever don a baseball uniform.  Think about it.  On any given day from April 1 to August 31, there are only 750 people on the planet that make a living playing Major League baseball.  Even if you include the 40 man roster, that brings the total up to 1,000. Still an insignificant number considering all those wishing they could play this game at the level that these guys can.  With that said, there still will be teams that fail regardless of their talent.  The Mets appear to be one of those teams this season,at least so far.

When a winning team gets off early to a 4-1 lead, especially to the last place Padres, you expect them to hold the lead and win the game.  That did not happen last night.  After falling behind 1-0 in the third inning, the Mets stormed right back and scored 4 in the bottom half.  They added a run in the fourth and I felt okay, now the Mets are starting to get it going and headed in the right direction.

But the second sign of a losing team is that when they hit, they do not pitch.  Sure enough, the lead dwindled away.  Robert Gsellman who pitched better, lasted 6 innings, giving up two more runs to make the score 5-3 in favor of the Mets.  But Fernando Salas imploded again gaving up the tying runs, and Josh Smoker gave up the lead run to turn the game into a 6-5 deficit.  The pitching couldn’t protect a four run lead from the worst team in baseball.

Now for the third sign of a losing team:  When a scoring opportunity is staring them in the face, they cannot capitalize.  Such was the case in the bottom of the ninth.  A single by Neil Walker, a walk to Lucas Duda (great at bat btw), and a single in the hole to left by Wilmer Flores loaded the bases with no one out.  Luck plays a part too.  With Walker on second, he had to hold at third because Flores’s hit was too shallow to take a chance on sending the tying run.  How in the world could the Mets not at least tie the game given the circumstance?  A fly out to the outfield at least ties the game.  And the way the Padres defended, one would have thought they were handing the game to the Mets.

Well Curtis Granderson struck out.  Rene Rivera struck out then Juan Lagares flew out weakly to right to end the game.  So on a night when the Mets could have headed into the clubhouse with a 20-24 record and feeling as if they made some progress, they took a step backward.

We can make all the excuses we want about injuries and disappointing starts but the fact is today, right now, the Mets are a losing team and it’s unclear if this season will ever turn around.

First Quarter Assessment

Michael Conforto continues to have an outstanding season.  Last night, he hit two more home runs for a team leading 13, one to right and the other to left center.  Conforto is hitting to all fields and consistently driving in runs.  He as 31 RBI on the season, one more than Jay Bruce and has scored a team high 34. The Mets seven runs in the first inning in last night’s game basically sealed the win early.  Although Matt Harvey had some rough spots, he improved enough to show that he’s making some progress although it was hoped he might pitch at least six innings.

The Mets have won three of their last four games after losing seven in a row.  At 19-24, the Mets moved a bit closer to the .500 mark but in order for the Mets to start making a move, the pitching is going to have to pick it up.  The Mets were supposed to be a team that would have outstanding pitching this season.  But 43 games into the campaign, the Mets pitching staff has the worst ERA in baseball.  As a team, the Mets ERA is 5.09.  In batting average against, the Mets are 29th with a batting average of .269.  They are fourth in walks with 167 in 392.1 innings pitched.  Mets pitchers also have baseball’s highest WHIP at 1.48. They are tenth in strikeouts with 396.

Same old story in that the starting pitching can barely get to the sixth inning and the bullpen is overworked night after night.  The biggest winners of the starting staff are Jacob deGrom, Zach Wheeler, and Harvey, all with three wins.  Syndergaard, on the disabled list with a torn lat, has been injured and who will likely be out until after the All Star break only has a single victory.  The biggest winner overall is Hansel Robles with four victories however he became the unwitting recipient of victories due to being in the right place at the right time.  Ironically Robles has been sent to Las Vegas for a while.

The pitching is going to be a problem all season long.  deGrom can probably be the ace of the staff.  Harvey may be a third or fourth starter, hopefully he will improve but can we count on it? Doubtful.  With a seven run lead last evening, Harvey continued to struggle throwing 100 pitches in five innings. Wheeler has been pitching well but still throws way too many pitches and has a limit on the number of innings he will be allowed this season.  He may have to be shut down in August.  Steven Matz is due back soon but got raked last evening in a rehab start.  I’m beginning to think Matz will never be the pitcher everyone had hoped.  Syndergaard will hopefully be back and start focusing on pitching instead of throwing a fastball faster than anyone in the history of the game.  Why is that so important?  Thor should sit down with Greg Maddux for a spell.  Also let’s not forget that Jeurys Familia is likely lost for the season.  Can Addison Reed be the closer for an entire season?

For the Mets to be successful, their pitching will need to improve even if never living up to the hype that was thrown at them.  They will also need to score a lot of runs.  The Mets are capable of doing that.  They have scored 219 runs in 43 games. That’s 11th in the majors, 8th in the National League.  Runs produced are going to have to go up and the Mets can achieve that hopefully by getting back Yoenis Cespedes and benching Curtis Granderson.  An outfield of Cespedes in left, Conforto in center, and Jay Bruce in right will need to be the order of the day.  Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Jose Reyes and a combination of Wilmer Flores and T.J Rivera will need to make up the infield with Asdrubal Cabrera coming back eventually and rookie phenom shortstop Amed Rosario waiting in the wings.  Unfortunately Travis d’Arnaud has proven he is not an everyday catcher and he’s way too fragile to be counted on day in and day out.  Therefore look to see Rene Rivera, a much improved hitter this season, to continue getting most of the work.

With a weakened pitching staff, the Mets are going to have to approach winning American League style.  They’ll need to bash the other teams in order to make it to the post season for a third straight season. The Mets have their work cut out for themselves.

Down on the Farm:

This afternoon in Columbia South Carolina, Right hander Jordan Humphreys threw a complete game shutout (7 inning doubleheader game), striking out 10 and giving up 4 hits.  He walked one.  The twenty year old Humphreys’ record is now 7-1 on the season.  In 51.2 innings, Humphreys has struck out 65 and walked 7 with and ERA of 1.57 and WHIP of 0.70.  You can be sure if the Mets are looking for a piece come the trade deadline, Humphrey’s name is going to be mentioned.

Right behind Humphreys on the Fireflies is Merandy Gonzales, a 21 year old right hander from the Dominican Republic.  He has a 5-1 record with an ERA of 1.59 and a 0.77 WHIP in 45.1 innings.  He has struck out 39 and walked 7.  Another name that will be discussed in trade talks.

1-12 in Games Scoring 3 Runs or Less

It took 40 games for it to happen but finally the Mets won a baseball game in 2017 scoring three runs or less.  They are now 1-12 in that dubious category.  That’s why it’s so important to have good pitching.  Jacob deGrom’s seven innings of shutout baseball, including a Houdini like finish to his night, is why the Mets were able to win their first low scoring game of the year.  In their previous 16 wins this season, the Mets scored more than four runs. If the Mets could have won just half of games when they scored three runs or less, they would be in a much better shape than they are in today. Obviously it will take a number of pitchers to start turning in the performances they are capable of before or if this season is to really turn around but deGrom’s brilliant start was a step in the right direction.

Last night was only the second shut out of the season for the Mets. The first came on opening day when they shut out the Braves 6-0 also at Citi Field. Michael Conforto hit his 11th homer of the season. It was off a lefty and hit into the left field pavilion.  Conforto is certainly making the case to be a Mets all-star at Miami in July.

Oh For the Road

Another day, another loss; another one run game, another loss; another scoring first, another loss; another late lead, another loss; another extra inning game, another loss—on and on it goes as the Mets losing streak has now reached seven games.  Last Wednesday, the Mets reached the .500 mark, fighting their way back from a rough April. Seven games later they are seven games under .500, in third place behind the Braves and Nationals.

Were there any positives from yesterday’s loss?

Not really.  All you can say about Matt Harvey is he was marginally better. However, no one is going to go out of their way to buy Mets tickets for a Harvey start these days.  He gave up another home run, one that gave the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead.  He pitched in trouble in all five innings plus but he did leave with a 4-3 lead.  Unfortunately Robert Gsellman who has been put into the bullpen to work out his problems gave up the run tying double.  I see a glimmering city in the desert in Gsellman’s future.

The Mets lost all six games of their road trip.  The last time the Mets were swept on a road trip was back in 2015 but it was a brief three game set in Pittsburgh where the Bucs swept the Amazins.  On another road trip of eight games in their National League championship season of 2015, the Mets lost the first seven before winning the finale in Milwaukee.  In 2012, the Mets also had a six game trip where they lost the first five before salvaging the last game.  The last time the Mets lost every game of road trip of five games or more was from September 21 to the 26, 1999 when they lost all six games to Atlanta and Philadelphia.  But the good news was they did make the post season that year.

But in fairness to this underachieving Mets club, health has been a big problem as it has been for a long time now.  Here’s a list of the injured Mets and the main reason they are in this predicament.

Noah Syndergaard, the ace of the staff – out with lat tear indefinitely
Yoenis Cespedes, the team’s main power threat – out with a hamstring injury at least another couple    weeks.
Jeurys Familia, the Mets all-star closer, likely gone for the season after surgery to remove a blood clot in his shoulder.
Asdrubal Cabrera, now on the DL due to ligament tear in his thumb
Travis d’Arnaud – chronically injured catcher on the DL once again, this time for hitting a batter’s bat with his hand.
Steven Matz – elbow woes seem to keep him out forever but he’s making rehab start soon.
Seth Lugo – elbow problems too, partially torn ligament, making rehab start soon also
David Wright – Ah David Wright, will we ever see David Wright play again.

Here’s another list. This one of players not injured but who have really struggled so far.

Curtis Granderson – He’s having dreadful all season, batting under .150 but plays every day. Why is anyone’s guess.
Neil Walker – Got hot in Milwaukee but really has not been the same player he was before he had his back surgery last season.
Lucas Duda – Always streaky has not offered much offense since coming back from the DL for a hyperextended elbow.
Harvey – As mentioned above, has been struggling all season long.
Robert Gsellman – Will be demoted sooner than later, he’s been awful and is making us wonder if last season’s great stretch was a fluke.
Jacob deGrom  –  by default is the team’s ace but he’s throwing way to many pitches, can’t put hitters   away and because of those two things he can’t get into the seventh inning.
Jose Reyes – He’s not a third baseman and has lost a step now that he’s playing short for Cabrera. His offense is what you expect and why Sandy Alderson never gave him the long term contract he wanted back in 2012.
Rafael Montero – I think of Buddy Rich, the famous drummer who would leave musicians by the side of the road, fired and kicked off the band bus when not happy with their performance.  Was wondering if Montero got left behind in Arizona after yesterday’s walk off loss.

Add it all up folks and what you have is a 16-23 team.  Really, are you surprised?   We thought 2017 was going to be the Mets year. But that was based on everyone being healthy and the pitching staff living up to the hype, ignoring all of their post-surgery concerns.  For whatever reason, poor conditioning, bad luck, or some sort of diabolical conspiracy, none of what the Mets hoped for is working out. Four of the five stud pitchers were coming back from surgery.

Michael Conforto, Jay Bruce, and Zach Wheeler have been the highlights of the season so far.  Conforto is living up to be the hitter everyone thought he could be.  Bruce has had a very good year too.  Thankfully he wasn’t traded.  Wheeler has made a nice comeback and is getting better with each start. Perhaps we can put Rene Rivera in the win column as well. An adjustment in his stance has improved his production tremendously and he was always the better defensive catcher.

Sit tight.  Until the Mets get their wounded back, what you see is what you get. Tommy Milone and Neil Ramirez are not the answers.  What makes you think someone else’s castoffs would help this mess?  It’s a wonderment that the Mets continue to have seasons like this, plagued with injuries.  Their luck has to turn soon, it just has to.