MetsBlog Executive Editor

Matthew Cerrone

Matthew Cerrone started MetsBlog.com as a project in college, generated 300,000,000 page views and 30,000 posts in 10 years, partnered with SportsNet New York and turned his hobby into a career. In 2011, SNY hired Matt to be Executive Editor and Director of Digital Content for their network of team sites, video content and podcasts.

May 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts after allowing two runs to the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) reacts after allowing two runs to the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jeurys Familia entered the ninth inning Wednesday night with 1-0 lead. However, four hits and one intentional walk later put Mets behind and on their way to a 2-1 loss to the Marlins.

"Everything went good in the bullpen," Familia said after the game. "It's just one of those days." 

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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Michael Conforto celebrates with Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo after the Mets beat the D-backs in walk-off fashion at Citi Field on Saturday. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
Michael Conforto celebrates with Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo after the Mets beat the D-backs in walk-off fashion at Citi Field on Saturday. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets may have young pitching to gamble on, but it's become painfully obvious that they're significantly lacking in young hitters. What's worse, the young hitters they do have in Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Amed Rosario are not yet consistently living up to their potential.

As a result, and because the team is without Yoenis Cespedes, Todd Frazier, and Juan Lagares -- the Mets signed free-agent OF-3B Jose Bautista on Tuesday.

To the tune of no more than $545,000, the Mets can simply release Bautista if he is unproductive. Thankfully, they pay the same price if he exceeds expectations and discovers the Fountain of Youth. Therefore, the decision to sign Bautista, start him in left field and have him bat fifth was a no brainer given their available internal options....

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Piazza breaks his bat at the plate at Shea Stadium in 1999. Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
Piazza breaks his bat at the plate at Shea Stadium in 1999. Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

During a lunch break when working customer service at Home Depot on May 22, 1998, I answered a persistent phone call from my mother.

"Did you hear," she started, sounding overly excited. "The Mets traded for that pizza guy!"

I laughed, because I knew exactly who she was referring to…

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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler winds up. (AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler winds up. (AP)

Tuesday was an important night for Zack Wheeler, who I hope understands how and why he was so effective after a difficult first inning. Instead of just pounding the bottom of the strike zone, Wheeler was wild, but effective.

It all changed for Wheeler in the second inning, down three runs with two outs and runners on second and third base. If Marlins 1B Justin Bour gets the fifth hit of the inning, the game is blown wide open, Wheeler is demoralized and out of the game sooner than later, the Mets easily lose and the bullpen gets taxed again.

However, after a quick mound visit from Tomas Nido and Dave Eiland, and with a 2-2 count, Wheeler set up Bour with an unhittable 97-mph fastball inside. Then, with what was his most important pitch of the night, Wheeler dropped a perfectly-placed 91-mph splitter down and inside for a swing-and-miss strikeout to end the inning.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) hits an RBI double against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) hits an RBI double against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets SS Amed Rosario hit two home runs Sunday and provided a glimmer in to the dynamic, smooth and powerful player he projected to be when making his debut last summer.

It would be a godsend if Rosario emerged this season as the player we all hope he can be and helped lead the Mets to a long winning streak. The thing is, he's still 22 years old. So, instead of an immediate All Star, he's been a typical young player, showing signs of amazing talent in a sea of pressure and learning curves.

I realize we live in a league where it seems every day a new phenom emerges to step in to the spotlight. But, there are far more young players who are making their debuts in line with Rosario, who has produced a career OPS well below average...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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May 8, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
May 8, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The Mets entered their series with the Diamondbacks having lost seven of their previous eight games. Meanwhile, the Mets are 11-7 in starts made by Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard and 17-3 when the team scores four or more runs in a game.

In other words, with deGrom and Syndergaard pitching two of three games, during which the Mets scored 12 runs, sweeping the D-backs this past weekend should be what is expected from a team that entered this season hoping to make the postseason.

"That was a huge sweep," Syndergaard said after getting Sunday's win. "We'd kind of been struggling a little bit. But just as easily as we were struggling, it's that easy to turn it around."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Paul Sewald, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets should not trade Jacob deGrom and/or Noah Syndergaard this season. I'm not against trading anyone, but to deal these two men now in a limited market would be foolish.

If the Mets decide to blow up their roster and rebuild for the second time in 10 years, it would be far better to deal their best, long-term pitching assets this winter when the free-agent market for arms is set up to be very, very weak. 

In terms of what to do going forward, I see the Braves, I see the Phillies and I see the Marlins. I see the amount of young talent they have and I'm pretty convinced they'll soon pass the Mets (if they haven't already) on the path to long-term success.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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May 2, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) reacts after allowing four runs during the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 2, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) reacts after allowing four runs during the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mickey Callaway's bullpen has faced the fifth-most batters in the National League since May 1.

They have faced the second-most batters this week thanks in large part to Jacob deGrom, who was pulled after just one inning during his most recent start due to throwing 45 pitches in the first inning. The next day, Noah Syndergaard pitched only five innings, and Zack Wheeler could only get through four innings Wednesday.

This is bad. It's only a three-game stretch, but it's not a new issue. Even when the Mets were playing their best baseball this season they were at best middle of the pack in this category...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard flips his glove in the air as he walks off the field after being removed during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, April 26, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard flips his glove in the air as he walks off the field after being removed during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, April 26, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

In case everyone forgot, Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland reminded us Tuesday that Noah Syndergaard is a human being. He's not a cartoon character or robot that literally throws thunderbolts and runs on batteries.

It appears that Syndergaard needs to be reminded of this reality, as well...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) hits a two run single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) hits a two run single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets are now down Yoenis Cespedes, who was put on the disabled list Wednesday. Todd Frazier is also on the disabled list, and is eligible to return on Friday. As a result, the outfield and infield will be a bit mixed up and needing support for at least a few more days. 

That said, Jose Reyes probably shouldn't even be be on the roster -- let alone starting at third base for Frazier as he did Tuesday. Instead, especially when a left-handed starting pitcher is on the mound like Wednesday, Wilmer Flores or Luis Guillorme should be at third, with Flores or Jay Bruce at first base, and Juan Lagares always in center field.

Case in point, on a night when the Mets had 16 hits and scored 12 runs with a lefty starting the game, Reyes was 1-for-5. Flores started at first base, leaving Bruce, Brandon Nimmo, and Lagares in the outfield. Cespedes (hip) and Michael Conforto had the night off...

Tags: Jason Vargas, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 8, 2018; Binghamton, NY, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies first baseman Peter Alonso (16) (Gregory Fisher)
Apr 8, 2018; Binghamton, NY, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies first baseman Peter Alonso (16) (Gregory Fisher)

Double-A Binghamton 1B Peter Alonso hit two home runs in a game Tuesday for the third time in his career. He also had a single during the game and is now batting .367 with a .478 OBP and 33 RBI in 36 games this season. His 11 home runs and 1.173 OPS are tops in the Double-A Eastern League.

MLB.com ranked the 23-year-old Alonso the Mets' fourth-best prospect entering this season. However, he's been so hot to start this season and getting the attention of other organizations that I bet he's No. 1 or 2 when MLB re-ranks their list during July.

"Alonso's plus raw power has long been his carrying tool," wrote Ben Badler for BA recently. "He hit well last year in the high Class A Florida State League, but he's showing signs of becoming an even more complete hitter in 2018. ... He doesn't strike out excessively and he's displaying more plate patience than he did a year ago."

Tags: Dominic Smith, Matthew Cerrone
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May 8, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
May 8, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

Mets manager Mickey Callaway wasted no time in deciding it was not worth risking Jacob deGrom's health by letting him throw a second inning earlier this week after the pitcher tossed 45 pitches in the first inning.

It was the right move, but put Callaway and the Mets under heavy criticism by some fans and media for not taking a similar approach to Yoenis Cespedes, who is clearly playing through pain associated with his quad and possibly his hamstring.

"The decision was pretty much already made," said deGrom, who recently had a start skipped and was later put on the disabled list with a hyperextended right elbow. "It's my first start back after missing one. To go out there and throw 45 (pitches) in the first inning, this isn't smart. Why go out there and risk something? I felt great honestly. That's the most frustrating part about it."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) scores a run on New York Mets left Fielder Yoenis Cespedes (not pictured) rbi single during the 5th inning of the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Mar 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) scores a run on New York Mets left Fielder Yoenis Cespedes (not pictured) rbi single during the 5th inning of the game on opening day at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets are satisfied with what they have seen so far from Amed Rosario, Mets assistant GM John Ricco recently said.

"He's a young player who is certainly doing more than hold his own at the big-league level, but I think in the future as he gets his feet under him, you're going to see better and better things," Ricco told The Record's Matt Ehalt. "He's a young player in the big league who's learning but also competing.'

I can't say that I'm satisfied with the 81 games that he's played to date, but I still see plenty of potential and understand why he was the game's top prospect just a year ago...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 24, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) celebrates with right fielder Jay Bruce (19) after the Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in ten innings at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Apr 24, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) celebrates with right fielder Jay Bruce (19) after the Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in ten innings at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

As I wrote earlier Monday, it's getting close to decision time for Sandy Alderson

For me, when I watch this team, I struggle to figure out what and who I'm watching. I imagine Alderson and his staff are trying to determine the same.

For instance, are the Mets the 11-1 team we adored during April or are they the 8-17 kiddie roller coaster we've been riding the last four weeks. Or, are they some place in between...

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Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I'm glad the Mets hired Mickey Callaway to be their manager. He was the right choice. However, it's so far been an up-and-down experience for him running his team, especially this past week.

In the wake of putting Todd Frazier and Jacob deGrom on the disabled list, and trading Matt Harvey, Callaway made national headlines when his team hit out of order in the first inning, lost later that day and ended up winless in six games during that road trip.

Callaway gathered his players and coaching staff after the game, explained to them what happened with the batting order and took full responsibility for what transpired.

"I told them I messed up big time and we need to do a better job moving forward," Callaway said, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. "I took ownership of what happened, and I wanted them to hear that from me, not through the media...

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Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) during first inning against Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) during first inning against Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

In 72 hours, the Mets could be 18-20 or 21-17, and it all depends on if they get their act together during a three-game series with the Phillies, which begins tonight at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

It's just three games, but the above situations are significantly different, especially when you consider the Mets start a nine-game homestand against the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, and Marlins right after.

Ordinarily, a nine-game homestand would be a good thing. However, the Mets are 7-10 this season at Citi Field, whereas they're 11-7 on the road...

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Apr 8, 2018; Binghamton, NY, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies first baseman Peter Alonso (16) (Gregory Fisher)
Apr 8, 2018; Binghamton, NY, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies first baseman Peter Alonso (16) (Gregory Fisher)

In talks to acquire C J.T. Realmuto from the Marlins, Miami almost certainly asked Sandy Alderson about 1B prospect Peter Alonso, who at 23 years old is slugging .686 with 8 home runs in 29 games at Double-A this season.

In addition to showcasing his power this season, Alonso is also contributing articles to the Sporting News about his minor-league experience. In his most recent post, Alonso described himself as a gladiator fighting his way through the minor leagues in hopes of soon joining the Mets.

"Believe it or not, baseball players and ancient Roman gladiators aren't so different," he explained. "Bats are our swords used to go on offense. Gloves are our shields, used for defense. ... We perform in stadiums with spectators staring down on us."

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May 8, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
May 8, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

It was a messed up, embarrassing moment, no doubt, but batting out of order is the least of this team's concerns right now.

In addition to mishandling the lineup card Wednesday afternoon, the Mets lost their eighth game in nine tries, plus lost their series to the Reds, who entered it with just eight wins. Worse, Mickey Callaway's beleaguered and banged up squad scored just three runs during the 24 innings played in Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park, which is notorious for being a big-time hitters park.

It's hard to believe the Mets were once 11-1, but that is a fading memory at this point. It's a shame, too, because this season started with a feeling of potential greatness. It felt like last year might actually have been a hiccup wedged between postseason play. Instead, five weeks in to the season, I'm looking at a fourth-place team...

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Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) during first inning against Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) during first inning against Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mickey Callaway is doing the right thing for the Mets, it just doesn't feel like it right now because they're losing more than they're winning.

The Mets are 3-9 since starting the season 15-6. Yet, team insiders say Callaway is saying, behaving and doing the same things with his players in May that he was doing during all of April.

Regardless of wins, losses, streaks, or struggles, he has continued to press a team-first mindset, which most recently was on display when the organization DFA'd Matt Harvey and skipped Jacob deGrom in the rotation...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Asdrubal Cabrera, Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Kevin Plawecki, Michael Conforto, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Mar 24, 2018; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher P.J. Conlon (80) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 24, 2018; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher P.J. Conlon (80) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

In place of Jacob deGrom, Mickey Callaway recently announced that 24-year-old rookie P.J. Conlon will make his first big-league start Monday against the Reds, who are 8-26. I have closely watched Conlon the last two springs because he's fascinating to see in action.

"We thought if we went with one of our bullpen guys, it could mess our bullpen up the next few days so we decided to give the ball to P.J.," Callaway said when announcing the news. "He's a guy that throws strikes, has a good changeup and maybe he can keep them off balance for a while and then let our bullpen come in and try to finish the job."

Conlon has a 6.75 ERA and 1.58 WHIP with 21 strikeouts in 24.0 innings this season for Triple-A Las Vegas in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He had a 3.38 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with 108 strikeouts in 136.0 innings for Double-A Binghamton in 2017...

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Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 1, 2016; Sandy Alderson speaks to reporters. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets' catching situation, with Tomas Nido and Jose Lobaton in for Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, is untenable. The problem is that I don't see a solution. I think the situation is what it is...

D'Arnaud is gone for the season, so he's no longer an option. And the best case scenario for Plawecki is that he's at least two weeks away from being behind the plate in a game for the Mets. He is making progress, as Sandy Alderson explained to reporters last week. But Plawecki still has to regain his full grip on the bat and ball and also will likely do a rehab assignment. 

It's nice to demand Alderson make a trade or fantasize about acquiring a significantly better backstop, such as J.T. Realmuto, Jonathan Lucroy or Wilson Ramos. But, that deal is nearly impossible to make this time of year, 1) because those teams have yet to open that door, 2) other teams will be interested and may pay more later, and 3) these teams know how desperate the Mets are to get someone, so the asking price is probably through the roof...

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Apr 20, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) and catcher Tomas Nido (3) react after defeating the Atlanta Braves in twelve innings at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Apr 20, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) and catcher Tomas Nido (3) react after defeating the Atlanta Braves in twelve innings at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

The Mets need better catchers behind the plate than rookie Tomas Nido and veteran Jose Lobaton, who are hitting a combined .150. 

Lobaton is a useful second-string catcher. He should not be an everyday player or even a platoon guy. And, while Nido has the tools and talent to eventually be an everyday guy, he's too young and inexperienced to be charged with leading Mickey Callaway's pitching staff.

For instance, Noah Syndergaard (2-1, 3.09 ERA) struck out five batters, allowed two runs, six hits and four walks during his six innings Sunday against the Rockies. In his view, it was a "mediocre start," which is also how he categorized his previous three starts, during which he has a 3.20 ERA, is winless and the Mets are 1-3...

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb., 2016: Matt Harvey throws a bullpen session in St. Lucie. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY.TV
Feb., 2016: Matt Harvey throws a bullpen session in St. Lucie. Credit: Matthew Cerrone, SNY.TV

Matt Harvey will be designated for assignment by the Mets, the team's GM Sandy Alderson said before Friday's game at Citi Field.

It appears Harvey refusing to be sent to the minor leagues was the last straw for Alderson, who has seven days to either trade Harvey or make him a free agent.

"We feel like we failed Matt Harvey," manager Mickey Callaway said of his work with pitching coach Dave Eiland. "Our job is to help every player in there, and it's not a good feeling when you can't."

Harvey, 29, will be paid roughly $5 million by the Mets the remainder of this season whether he is or isn't on the team. Jokingly, I asked on Twitter how long it will be until Harvey signs with the Yankees, who would need to pay him only the league minimum salary...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets pitchers Matt Harvey, Jason Vargas. Credit: Levine, USA Today
Mets pitchers Matt Harvey, Jason Vargas. Credit: Levine, USA Today

Jason Vargas and Matt Harvey have disrupted the ideal plan for the Mets in 2018. 

Vargas was signed to a two-year deal to be the team's third starter behind Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. In doing so, Harvey and Steven Matz would be asked to only round out the rotation, while Zack Wheeler went to Triple-A to work on being more economical with his pitches. 

Instead, Harvey short-circuited and has been sent to the bullpen, all while Vargas returned to get rocked in two starts after beginning the season on the disabled list. As a result, Wheeler rejoined the Mets, where he and Matz are being asked to step up more than they were initially expected to...

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Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) during first inning against Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) during first inning against Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

It has so far been a tale of two seasons. And while I don't typically believe in superstitious hocus pocus, it is worrisome to me that this season started deteriorating on Friday the 13th.

Great, the Mets started 11-1. Since? Todd Frazier has just three extra-base hits; Jay Bruce has one home run and just six RBI; Michael Conforto is batting .163; and Adrian Gonzalez, Amed Rosario and both catchers have become near automatic outs.

While the Mets scored twice as many runs as they allowed during the first 12 games of the season, they have since allowed nearly 20 more runs than they've scored. They still enter Friday five games over .500 at 17-12, despite playing like garbage on both sides of the ball during the previous three weeks. In other words, while the season is hardly lost, it soon could be if Sandy Alderson and Mickey Callaway don't start making meaningful changes to their roster and how it's deployed...

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Apr 13, 2018; Todd Frazier (21) and Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrate after the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 13, 2018; Todd Frazier (21) and Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrate after the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets got great news Thursday when learning that Jacob deGrom simply hyperextended his elbow. He has no structural damage and will not need surgery, which would have meant missing most of this season, if not all of it. Instead, the team announced he'll prepare for his next start. 

This is typical for pitchers that have done this in the past. DeGrom is not out of the woods, though. 

The Mets know the risks. Their manager Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland were both pitchers. DeGrom is their ace. In the end, while it may serve deGrom's ego to let him "prepare for his next start," I hope these men let him rest. It's one start...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Miami Marlins during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Miami Marlins during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

In the wake of Jose Reyes leaving the Mets in 2011 to take a $100 million deal to join the Marlins, the Mets turned to Ruben Tejada to start at shortstop. Tejada struggled, leaving Sandy Alderson to lean on veterans like Omar Quintanilla as he searched the free agent and trade markets for an everyday middle infielder.

If you recall, there were countless posts on every New York news site under the sun pointing to connections between the Mets and Mariners, as well as the Mets and D-backs, who were reportedly looking to deal 24-year-old SS Didi Gregorius. At the time, Gregorius was a career .243 hitter with just 13 home runs, despite 191 big league games under his belt.

Arizona had been shopping Gregorius for more than a year before he was eventually sent to the Yankees in a three-way deal that sent reliever Shane Greene to Detroit...

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jon Niese, Rafael Montero, Wilmer Flores, Matthew Cerrone
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Summarizing Mets' 2018 season 00:06:48
The Baseball Night in New York crew breaks down the Mets' 2018 season thus far and debates how solid their hold is on the N.L. East.

Matt Harvey is in the bullpen. Steven Matz has a 4.98 ERA. Jay Bruce has only two home runs. Michael Conforto is batting just .222 and Yoenis Cespedes leads the league in strikeouts.

Nevertheless, the Mets begin May in first place in the NL East with a 17-9 record, thanks in large part to Mickey Callaway's decisions, the team's bullpen, two aces, Todd Frazier's attitude and performance, and Asdrubal Cabrera leading the league in hits.


Tune to SNY today at 3:45 to watch Sandy Alderson's first game of homestand press conference

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 25, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Apr 25, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

Mets LHP Steven Matz is not having a strong start to this season. And now that Zack Wheeler is doing well, and with the return of Jason Vargas pushing Matt Harvey to the bullpen, all eyes will be on Matz as the rotation's weakest link.

Whether Matz gets his season back on track is going to need to wait, though, since it was announced this past weekend that the start he was supposed to make on Tuesday has been pushed to Saturday because of a stiff back. 

"I just felt a little something in my back," he explained...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Wilmer Flores (4) is congratulated after scoring a run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Wilmer Flores (4) is congratulated after scoring a run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets 1B Adrian Gonzalez, who was born in San Diego and played five years with the Padres, had family in the stands all weekend. He sat the first two games of the series because of left-handed pitchers starting the games, so he was primed to have a much-needed, big day...and he delivered.

Gonzalez erupted Sunday, driving in five runs as the Mets defeated the Padres, 14-2, to win the three-game series at Petco Park.

He started April well, hitting .296 with a .406 OBP and eight RBI through the season's first 10 games, during which he struck out in only 18 percent of his at-bats...

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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard flips his glove in the air as he walks off the field after being removed during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, April 26, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard flips his glove in the air as he walks off the field after being removed during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, April 26, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Thursday's 4-3 loss to the Cardinals was difficult to swallow, especially since the Mets are now 2-4 on this road trip -- 4-7 during their last 11 games -- and have dropped three consecutive series.

Closer Jeurys Familia has blown three of his last five save opportunities. The thing is, had Juan Lagares not lost Jose Martinez's fly ball in the sun, the Mets win the game, 3-2. Instead, Tommy Pham scored to tie the game, Paul Sewald ran out of gas in the 13th inning and the Mets eventually lose.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares, Paul Sewald, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Feb 28, 2018; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; New York Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland (left) and manager Mickey Callaway (right) point to get a laugh out of Atlanta Braves great Fred McGriff (not pictured) during the first inning against the New York Mets at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports  (Reinhold Matay)
Feb 28, 2018; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; New York Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland (left) and manager Mickey Callaway (right) point to get a laugh out of Atlanta Braves great Fred McGriff (not pictured) during the first inning against the New York Mets at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

The Mets are 8-2 in games started by Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.

However, they are 7-5 in games started by the Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey. Harvey, who was 0-2 with a 6.00 as a starter, has since been sent to the bullpen.

Harvey will be replaced in the rotation by Jason Vargas, who was signed to a two-year deal this past winter with the sole purpose of being the team's reliable third starter. However, he chose to have surgery on his non-throwing hand in March after being struck by a line drive.

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Apr 24, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) celebrates with right fielder Jay Bruce (19) after the Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in ten innings at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)
Apr 24, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) celebrates with right fielder Jay Bruce (19) after the Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in ten innings at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Curry)

Tuesday night's 6-5, come-from-behind win against the Cardinals was so far my favorite game of the year. It helps that it occurred in St. Louis, which is always a bonus...

The Mets have had more exciting finishes than this in 2018. However, their relentless, creative fight Tuesday night was fun to watch, but also inspiring. And it validated my belief that, when all is said and done, these guys will have completed a very special season.

I've been told manager Mickey Callaway has been pressing to the team, and through his veterans and coaches, that success is borne out of preparation and opportunity. So, whether they're hitting well or not, or pitching well or not, as long as they're prepared each day and always working to create opportunities, their collective talent will find a way to win...

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BNNY: Harvey available from 'pen 00:07:01
The Baseball Night in New York panel discusses Mets manager Mickey Callaway stating Matt Harvey may be available out of the bullpen Tuesday.

No one said it would be easy for Matt Harvey, who had a rib removed in 2016 to help correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in the right side of his upper body. The moment he went under the knife he put himself on a rocky, unpredictable road that has not ended well for similar pitchers before him...

TOS is the compression of the nerves and blood vessels that run from the spinal cord in the neck, under the collarbone and down the arm. In most cases, initial symptoms include muscle atrophy, numbness, tingling in the arm, and a struggle to grip things, such as a baseball.

There is an additional stress put on this intersection of nerves when the arm is raised and extended, such as when throwing a baseball.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Wilmer Flores (4) is congratulated after scoring a run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Wilmer Flores (4) is congratulated after scoring a run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Is it time for Wilmer to be the everyday first baseman?

I think so, yes. First off, in 55 plate appearances, Adrian Gonzalez is batting .239 with a .345 OBP and .391 slugging percentage, most of which have come against right-handed hitters. He still has a good eye, and he knows his strike zone, but it has been more than a year since he's had any sort of punch to his bat. 

Meanwhile, though he has played in 18 games, Wilmer Flores has started just seven, but all of them have been at first base. In that time, he's hitting .263 with four extra base hits, five RBI and is on pace (mostly as a bench player) to be a 1.5 WAR player this season, according to FanGraphs...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Wilmer Flores, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway signals to a player during the fourth inning of the baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway signals to a player during the fourth inning of the baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

The Mets are 14-6, but they're only one loss better than the Phillies. To be honest, Philadelphia is a concern. Rhys Hoskins is a legit MVP candidate and Carlos Santana, though he hasn't hit much, is clearly setting a nice example and approach for the rest of the lineup. That said, I think their pitching is overachieving. And, as a young team, the long season will likely do them in eventually. For now, though, they're a threat...

Meanwhile, the Mets have issues, despite their hot start. Like it or not, they've lost five of their last eight games and are in the middle of a cross-country travel schedule...

Here are three questions and answers to mull over during Monday's off day...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) jogs up the firstbase line after hitting a grand slam off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) jogs up the firstbase line after hitting a grand slam off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Mets outfielder Jay Bruce is clearly struggling to deal with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and it's going to need to be addressed sooner than later...

Bruce told reporters that he has dealt with plantar fasciitis on and off during his career.

"It's never really been unbearable where I felt like I had to say something," he explained. "However, April 16, he continued, "It definitely was talking to me a little more than I thought it should be. I'm not really one who likes to take days off, but it's the necessary evil sometimes."

He may have requested his first day off in mid-April, but he missed time for this exact issue in St. Lucie. So, my guess is that they beat it back enough to get him on field for the start of the season, but (unlike he experienced in previous seasons, when he was younger) the issue likely flared up again when being forced to play every day in April.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of baseball game, at Nationals Park, Sunday, April 8, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)  (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of baseball game, at Nationals Park, Sunday, April 8, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

We've seen this movie with other pitchers. It begins with potential and helping the team win, but slowly morphs in to a story about one guy, who had success, but is now struggling and only ever speaking about his mechanics, his arm, his velocity, and his health, while limited to only silver linings.

I think of Mike Pelfrey and John Maine, even Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana, all of whom went through a similar cycle, during which each pitcher -- despite previous success -- always ended up spiraling down in to a post-game conversation centered around their personal situation.

The Mets do not need Harvey to be only a pitcher that eats innings and helps save the bullpen from having to pitch starting in the third inning. They are not solely in the business of Matt's personal goals. At 13-5, the Mets are too talented and have too much upside to become the New York Harveys every fifth day...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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Gelbs on Jose Reyes' issues 00:02:43
SNY insider Steve Gelbs discusses the ongoing issues that Jose Reyes has been having since the start of this 2018 season.

In spring training, I heard multiple Mets people say Jose Reyes was re-signed mostly to be a mentor to Amed Rosario, while also acting as a hedge against any infield injuries.

So far, there has been no such injury. Rosario looks totally comfortable in the big leagues and is seen spending most of his time before games with Yoenis Cespedes -- not Reyes.

Meanwhile, Reyes, who signed a one-year, $2 million this past winter, entered Wednesday's game hitless in 17 at-bats...

Tags: Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Jose Lobaton (59) reacts as Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar (24) goes to the dugout after a home run by Milwaukee left fielder Hernan Perez (14) in the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Jose Lobaton (59) reacts as Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar (24) goes to the dugout after a home run by Milwaukee left fielder Hernan Perez (14) in the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Pitchers are being more aggressive with Mets hitters, who are not adjusting. What's worse, when the Mets put balls in play, they're unluckily hitting them right in to the other team's gloves.

Similarly, opposing base runners are being aggressive and forcing the Mets to be a better fielding team than they were even during the recent winning streak. It's a bad combination. It'll work itself out as long as the veterans and coaching staff get to work and adjust to the adjustments. I'm not worried. This is why it's nice to have a cushion...

In terms of the other team being aggressive on the bases, I think part of this is because of the inexperienced rotation of catchers behind the plate. However, this is something that has been going on for years with this team, be it because pitchers have been slow to the plate or because Travis d'Arnaud was struggling with his release...

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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Mets rookie reliever Gerson Bautista has an electric fastball and a wicked glare in his eye that is impossible to miss, so much so that even Mets manager Mickey Callaway commented on both late in Spring Training.

Bautista was promoted Tuesday from Double-A to the Mets as Hansel Robles was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas. He will wear No. 46 and is available for Tuesday night's game against the Nationals at Citi Field.

Bautista, 22, will consistently hit 100 mph with his fastball, which he can spot on command. In St. Lucie, an MLB scout told me that -- if Bautista can tighten up and increase the velocity on his slider -- he has the ability to be an elite relief pitcher...

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Apr 16, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (13) is tagged out by Washington Nationals shortstop Wilmer Difo (1) in the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 16, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (13) is tagged out by Washington Nationals shortstop Wilmer Difo (1) in the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Monday night was brutal. There is no other way to put it. It was a bad loss, but it also felt like a slap-across-the-face wake-up call that this season isn't going to be all wins and salt and pepper shakers.

Intuitively I knew this to be true, because that's how baseball works. But, I was happy living while watching the Mets dominate in fantasy land for as long as possible. However, that bliss had to eventually end, and it ended Monday night...

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Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) walks across the field before the start of the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) walks across the field before the start of the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

I have no issue with Mickey Callaway's decision to let Noah Syndergaard hit with the bases loaded in the fifth inning on Sunday, despite the game being tied.

With the Mets up one run with two outs and runners on second and third, Callaway pitch hit Jay Bruce for his starting catcher, 24-year-old rookie Tomas Nido, who was making his first start of the season. The Brewers responded by intentionally walking Bruce, which loaded the bases for Noah Syndergaard, who quickly ended the inning and potential rally with a pop out. 

Syndergaard returned to pitch the top of the sixth inning, but was removed one out later. The Brewers then knocked in two runs against reliever Robert Gsellman to take a temporary one-run lead, which was erased by a Brandon Nimmo solo homer in the bottom of the frame...

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Apr 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard tossed 101 pitches and allowed one unearned run, while striking out 11 batters in 5 1/3 innings, during Sunday's 3-2 win against the Brewers at Citi Field.

"I feel like this is finally a step in the right direction," Syndergaard told reporters after the game. "I finally got a glimpse of what I'm capable of. I felt like my first three starts were not up to par. I feel like this is close to dominance."

That's an understatement. Sunday, he looked smooth and dominant... like a young Doc Gooden

Tags: Milwaukee Brewers, Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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Sep 25, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) is congratulated by first baseman Kevin Plawecki (26) after hitting the game winning home run against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 25, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud (18) is congratulated by first baseman Kevin Plawecki (26) after hitting the game winning home run against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Kevin Plawecki's left hand was described as red and swollen, but not broken, following Wednesday's win against the Marlins. But on Friday, it was revealed that the hand is indeed broken, though he is expected to miss only two-to-three weeks.

The Plawecki injury happened hours after the Mets announced Travis d'Arnaud had been diagnosed with a partially torn right UCL, which could require season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Tommy John surgery for a position player is not as devastating (in terms of time lost) as it is for a pitcher's throwing elbow. However, given the throw to second from behind the plate, the operation would certainly mean losing d'Arnaud for an extended period of time. So, what do the Mets do now? 

Tags: Kevin Plawecki, Travis d'Arnaud, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 11, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a MLB game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 11, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during a MLB game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

In what was his first start of the season, Zack Wheeler (1-0) allowed one run during seven innings, while striking out seven batters and helping the Mets (10-1) to their eighth-straight win.

Wheeler's first pitch Wednesday night marked the first time ever that he, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz (the heralded Fab Five) all made consecutive starts.

"Everybody is healthy," said Wheeler, who is the team's first starting pitcher this season to get a batter out in a seventh inning. "It's nice to get a turn around. ... Hopefully we can keep it going."

The closest the five pitchers came to making consecutive starts was during June, 2015.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) celebrates with New York Mets center fielder Michael Conforto (30) after hitting a grand slam off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) celebrates with New York Mets center fielder Michael Conforto (30) after hitting a grand slam off Washington Nationals relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

The Mets winning Monday against the Marlins is more exciting and impressive than their recent sweep of the Nationals in DC.

The fact is, because of the late start and finish Sunday night, the Mets did not get to their team hotel until around 5:00 a.m. Monday morning.

It could have been an easy game to 'mail in,' sleep walk through a lost, get rest and go back at it in hopes of taking the series beginning Tuesday.

However, when Callaway gave his veterans the option to rest, they turned him down.

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Noah Syndergaard (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Noah Syndergaard (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Noah Syndergaard battled through a blister on his right index and middle fingers during Monday night's win against the Marlins in Miami.

During the game, Syndergaard was seen in the dugout consulting with a trainer and pitching coach Dave Eiland, all of whom were closely inspecting his fingers.

"I've always kinda dealt with blisters my entire career," Syndergaard explained after the game. "It didn't really bother me (tonight). It just doesn't look very good, but it's not painful."

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a two run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 4, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a two run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

It's either greed or paranoia. In either case, the smile I on my face following last night's 12-inning win against the Nationals, and series sweep to advance to 7-1, lasted all of three seconds before I started thinking of what's next...

The fact is, while I'm thrilled to see the Mets off to a hot start, they're about to begin a series of games that could end up having an ever bigger impact on the outcome of their season.

Starting tonight, the Mets play the lowly Marlins for three games in Miami, after which they return home for six games (three against the Brewers, another three against the Nationals).

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Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo (67) pitches during the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Apr 5, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo (67) pitches during the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. New York Mets defeated Washington Nationals 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Jacob deGrom allowed two runs (one earned) through six innings, after which Jerry Blevins, Robert Gsellman, Hansel Robles, and Seth Lugo combined to pitch three scoreless innings and strike out six, in Thursday's win against the Nationals.

Robles pitched well Wednesday against the Phillies, which was his first appearance of the season after being promoted from Triple-A to replace the injured Anthony Swarzak. Nevertheless, I panicked when he entered Thursday to start the eighth inning, even with the Mets leading, 8-2.

Forgive me, but it's been a difficult last 18 months with Hansel, so much so that I have very little faith that he can get his career back on track. He looked terrible in spring training, necessitating being left off the Opening Day roster. However, here he is. In a medium-leverage spot Wednesday, he pitched well enough to inspire manager Mickey Callaway to see what Robles could do in a low-leverage spot while going back-to-back days. And though he did let up a double, he struck out three of the four batters he faced and kept the majority of his pitches in the strike zone. So, color me impressed and intrigued...

Tags: Hansel Robles, Jerry Blevins, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Matthew Cerrone
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