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By Keith Gendron

Recently, this Mets team has a different feel to it. Beginning 9 days ago Sandy Alderson made a deal and brought in some major league talented offense acquiring Kelly Johnson and Jose Uribe from the Braves. Three days later he strengthened the bullpen acquiring Tyler Clippard from Oakland. Wednesday night around 9pm est, word got out that the Mets were acquiring Carlos Gomez from the Brewers in exchange for Zach Wheeler and Wilmer Flores. We all know how Flores was currently playing in a game at the time word got out and that Terry Collins left him in regardless of the rumor as he hadn’t received word by his boss. The “deal” broke off, with Milwaukee saying the Mets pulled out of the deal due to money and the Mets saying it was due to Gomez hip issues was enough cause for concern. With the Nationals coming into town, Mets fans were clamoring to put up or shut up and get us a Bat. Three and a half hours before first pitch, the Mets finally traded minor league talent for a two month rental in right handed slugger Yoenes Cespedes. The move caused a buzz in the crowd at Citifield and Matt Harvey appeared to feed off it pitching into the eighth inning striking out nine in a no-decision. It was a night of redemption as the Mets won in the bottom of the 12th with a leadoff, walk-off homer by the Wilmer Flores beating the Washington Nationals 2-1. The newest favorite son of Flushing, who was all but traded 48 hours previously, received standing ovations for his great defensive play robbing a sure hit from Yunel Escobar, each at bat and for hitting the game winner.

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Last night behind Jacob deGrom’s rising pitch count and six inning appearance, Yoenis Cespedes’ Mets debut, Lucas Duda kept his hot streak going by driving in all 3 Mets runs in a 3-2 victory with 2 homers and a double.

Tonight, Noah Syndergaard faces Jordan Zimmerman for game 3 of this weekend series which has gone in the favor of the Mets. Mets fans have a new sense of confidence. We already knew we had dominant young, stud starting pitching and now that we were given bats, that this idea of making it to the post-season is truly becoming something that appears very realistic. In a sense this team is realizing it’s worth and like Wilmer Flores is fighting for everything it deserves.This team is no longer hoping to just sneak in, but appear poised to take the National East by the horns and aim for division champs. No better way but to sweep the Nationals and make them aware that there’s a new team to contend with in this division and making the playoffs might just be a path through the Mets!

Metblogfever: Enough to make the post-season in 2015?

published by Keith Gendron

The Mets are trying to sell their fans and Major League baseball in general, that this year they will be post-season bound. With their group of young power arms and collection of experienced veteran starting pitching, that is a very good starting point to making it to October baseball. With Matt Harvey back from a year plus of rest and rehab, the sophomore season of NL ROY Jacob deGrom and Zach Wheeler, the Mets have 3 young studs in their rotation. Ok, maybe not. Harvey has pitched almost one full dominant season, Wheeler one and a half good seasons and Jacob deGrom pitched 2/3 of a very good season in 2014. Bartolo Colon is in the 2nd year of his 2 year contract and went 15-13 pitching 202.1 innings as an overweight 41 year old. He has to break down this season, doesn’t he? Then, you have the oft injured Jon Niese and Dillon Gee. The rotation depth is good but you don’t know how long Harvey goes this season as he will have an innings limit to contend with. You hope deGrom builds on last years success and that Wheeler can become more efficient and go longer in his starts. Their also is the likely promotions of Noah Syndergaard and Long Island’s own Steven Matz. They may possibly be added to the bullpen late summer if the Mets are vying for a playoff spot.

But, the signing of Michael Cuddyer from Colorado is the only major addition to this lineup, which has had it’s issues scoring runs the last few years. If he is healthy, Cuddyer is a solid right-handed bat to offer Duda protection. Can Wright bounce back from a shoulder injury and be a productive hitter again? or is he simply past his prime. Curtis Granderson is heavily relied upon as well to be more productive this year and is reunited with his batting coach from the Yankees in Kevin Long. The outfield walls were again brought in to help transition some of the long fly outs to now become round-trippers as well. I expect d’arnaud and Lagares to also continue progressing and showing more power. Daniel Murphy is a solid bat, but his time in NY is coming to an end as he will warrant a nice payday next year as a free agent. Does Wilmer Flores prove shortstop worthy? I am willing to give him a shot. As a 24 year old, he was drafted as a shortstop, so he had to be adept at some point. Does Lucas Duda build on his 30hr 92 rbi 2014? Or was it a flash in the pan.

There are still many questions, but there is more hope this year. I don’t know how this team will remain afloat if someone goes down with an injury, but the good teams find away. Maybe the Mets hit just enough as their pitching gets it done and their young relief arms don’t take a step back. They will get Bobby Parnell back possibly in May. The relief pitching did a solid job last year, that I expect it to take a step back. Does Carlos Torres and Jeurys Familia continue logging large innings totals from the bullpen without consequence?

These concerns will play themselves out during the course of the season. I think the Mets take another step forward this year, but with the talent of the NL West and the major upgrades to the San Diego Padres lineup, the Mets work is cut out for them in getting that second wild-card.

Metblogfever: Outfield wall renovation, the sequel: Positive effect on Mets hitters

The fences being reduced at Citi Field

By Keith Gendron

The Mets unveiled the new outfield wall dimensions in right-centerfield this week, to little fanfare. The biggest alteration is from 390′ to 380′ with lesser change as the wall is constructed towards the rightfield corner. According to Met’s gm, Sandy Alderson the Mets would have cleared the new dimensions for homers 17 times if the change was in effect  for last season. Opponents would have hit 10 additional home runs.

I think with David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud, this change will enhance the Met’s power from the right side of the plate. Wright, if healthy, can go back to what made him a good hitter, instead of trying to pull the ball and think less about his mechanics and just concentrate on hitting. Citifield has been in Wright’s head since it’s inception in 2009. The huge power alleys and the lack of protection, have inhibited Wright’s numbers over the years. With the recent addition of pal Michael Cuddyer from Colorado, the continued growth of Duda and a reunion of Curtis Granderson with new Met’s hitting coach, Kevin Long it seems like their may be more elements than an outfield wall alteration that will lead to more pop in 2015 from the lineup.

Montero called up for date with Yanks

By Keith Gendron

Rafael Montero has been called up by Mets GM, Sandy Alderson to pitch against the Yankees Wednesday night at Citifield. One of the Mets prized pitching prospects will get a big taste of “the show” thrown right into the subway series, which will certainly be a sell out crowd in attendance.
Montero 4-1 at Vegas with a 3.67 era in 8 starts has averaged 9 so/9 ip, is hoping to provide a kick to the struggling team and provide some quality starts. The move sends Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen. Mejia has struggled to get past the 3rd time through opponent’s batting order in recent weeks. I didn’t know Alderson could think outside the box and also to let go of the obsession with delaying every prospect’s promotion due to their “super 2” status on occasion.

No end in sight

Published by Keith Gendron

Is their a closer in the house? Not residing at citifield, apparently. And not anytime soon, either. The Mets(16-16), may be 20-12 if not for the void left from Bobby Parnell’s season-ending injury.
With Terry Collins trying to solve the issue with the limited options at his disposal, so far has proven futile. Jose Valverde saved a few at the beginning of the season before giving up 4 homers. Farnsworth has been ok at best, but really isn’t able to be used too often. Familia and German have also fallen victim to giving up the long ball. Mostly, this is because they have failed to get ahead of hitters and are then forced into hitter’s counts. Dice-k has a save this year too, but hasn’t been given the opportunity to run with it.
I am assuming at some point this summer deGrom, Montero and Syndergaard will be in the bullpen as well, and Mejia too but who will get it done until then?
An option is Vic black who is in Las Vegas trying to correct a common problem amongst Mets relievers, and that is his control issues, walking 10 in 11+ innings in relief, although he hasn’t been punished by his wildness with a 0.73 era heading into last night.
Oh and by the way, the Mets made no offer on reliever Joel Hanrahan either, who the Tigers just signed after he auditioned for half the league.

Ike to Pirates

Published by Keith Gendron

About an hour ago it became official that Ike davis was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for RHP Zack Thornton and a player to be named.
Davis, was a part of trade rumors all winter and his days were numbered after opening day, when the Mets decided to give Lucas Duda an extended look at first base. Duda has done well batting .275 and a team leading 3hrs and 8 rbis.
Ike’s career has been derailed by injuries and at 26, the Pirates hope he can supply them with power in a platoon with Gabby Sanchez.
Davis best year was in 2012 when he hit 32 hrs and had 90 rbis.

Chris Young plays tonight


Chris Young’s Mets debut was cut short on opening day with a quad strain. He played leftfield for the top of the first and was then removed.
After a productive stint in Vegas, he will be in the outfield tonight beginning a 3 games series against the Braves at Citifield.
Young was signed in the offseason, in hopes to rejuvenate his career and return to the right-handed power bat he was just 4 years ago.
With Juan Lagares on the DL, Young should be patrolling centerfield for almost 2 weeks.

Mets outlast Angels, win 7-6 in 13


by Keith Gendron

After surrendering a 3 run lead in the bottom if the ninth, Anthony Recker put the Mets(5-6) ahead for good with a solo blast in the top of the 13th inning in Anaheim, Ca.
Jose Valverde pitched the ninth inning in hopes of preserving a very good performance by Jon Niese(7-2/3 ip, 3er, 5so, 1bb), but gave up a 3 run blast to Raul Ibanez.
Lucas Duda, designated hit for the first time this year and hit his 3rd homer of the year off Angels starter Jered Weaver on a full count 87mph fastball.
Omar Quintanilla starting fir Ruben Tejada also had a good game, driving in a pair if runs.
John Lannan, easily had his best outing with 2 perfect innings in relief for his first win if 2014.
Todays rubber game is a 3:35 EST start, with Bartolo Colon facing C.J. Wilson.
Mets are 3-2 on this road trip. After today they fly to Arizona for 3 more before returning home Friday.

Chris Young begins assignment at Vegas

Published by Keith Gendron

Chris Young begins his rehab assignment in Vegas tomorrow. The Mets 7.25 million dollar, right-handed batting outfielder can be re-called from the DL as soon as Friday, the 18th. He hasn’t had any setbacks during his extended spring training games in Florida, but what will Terry Collins decision be with Young’s inevitable return?
Juan Lagares is so valuable defensively and has been a run producer thus far. After a slow start, Eric Young Jr. has become more productive and stole 3 bases in last nights 6-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
When Chris Young was signed he was pretty much garaunteed playing time for an opportunity to reclaim a once promising career. By next Friday, Young will have missed 15 games.
My feeling is Collins, as per directives by Sandy Alderson, will give CF to Young and have Lagares fill in on off days for the other two outfielders. It isn’t fair, but as of now if the outfield is healthy, this is how i see the situation is dealt with.

Mets take 2 of 3 in ATL


The Mets have started well on this 9 game road trip, taking 2 of 3 from the Braves. They took last nights game 6-4. Jenrry Mejis was shaky through 5 innings, striking out 7 and walking 4 and giving up all the Braves runs. Daniel Murphy had 3 hits and 3 rbis. Eric Young Jr. also had 3 hits and stole 3 bases causing havoc whenever he got on. The bullpen has simmered down recently after their horrible series opening the season against the Nats and shut down the Braves for 4 innings. Jose valverde got his 2nd save and is yet to give up a run in 5.1 innings.
Next up is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for 3 games out west beginning tonite after the Mets arrive there 5:30am EST. Dillon Gee opposes Tyler Skaggs tonite. The Mets get a break with the absence of Josh Hamilton, due to a thumb injury.

A perspective from an avid Met fan of over 35 years on the Mets and baseball in general.

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