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.

Curtis Granderson follows through on a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves.  (John Bazemore/AP)
Curtis Granderson follows through on a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves. (John Bazemore/AP)

There are five teams, including the Nationals, that have recently reached out to the Mets about acquiring Curtis Granderson, radio host Mike Francesa reported Friday on WFAN.

I'd also list the Orioles, Brewers and Twins -- and maybe the Pirates and Yankees -- among the teams still keeping an eye on Curtis, who is free to be traded after clearing waivers earlier this month. 

In the event he's traded during the next few days, I expect it will be similar to what Sandy Alderson got from the Indians for Jay Bruce. In other words, the acquiring team will likely pick up his remaining salary with Alderson adding another arm or two to his farm system.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 17, 2017; Matz (32) throws the ball the first inning at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2017; Matz (32) throws the ball the first inning at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mets manager Terry Collins said LHP Steven Matz may be skipped in the rotation after his winless stretch reached nine games in Thursday's 7-5 loss to the Yankees at Citi Field.

Matz allowed seven runs (six earned) in just 3 1/3 innings, giving up a three-run home run to Gary Sanchez in a 40-pitch first inning and surrendering four straight hits to begin the fourth inning.

The 26-year-old Matz hasn't won a game since June 28. Over his last eight starts, he is 0-6 with a 10.19 ERA, having allowed 38 runs (37 earned) and 57 hits in 32 2/3 innings.

"We've been trying different stuff and it's not really translating to the mound," Matz said. "I've never gone through a stretch like this before in my career. It is tough, but I never want to say that I'm lost. ... I want to think I'm just one step away from where I need to be and things will just click.''

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Matthew Cerrone
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JRSportBrief: Judge or Conforto? 00:01:26
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR compares Aaron Judge to Michael Conforto as the Subway Series begins Monday

20 years after playing their first regular season, interleague series, the Mets (53-62) and Yankees (61-55) begin a four-game, home-and-home series ay Citi Field and Yankee Stadium this week.

The Yankees won the first-ever series, which was played at Yankee Stadium, though the Mets won the opening game 6-0 behind Dave Mlicki's nine-hit shutout.

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Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)
Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)

Terry Collins is in the final year of a two-year extension he signed at the end of 2015.

To date, there have been no reports that he and the Mets have discussed a contract extension.

"That his situation remains unresolved is just one indication that there doesn't seem to be a clamoring within the Mets organization to retain Collins, and it may well be that -- after seven years of managing the Mets -- he's ready to move on to something else," ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote this past weekend. "Nobody has said anything out loud, one way or the other."

Tags: David Wright, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

It was 14 years ago that we watched with anticipation as the Mets promoted the highly rated, aggressive, speedy and charismatic Jose Reyes. The next year, Reyes was joined by the quiet, mild-mannered, smooth and sound David Wright.

The Mets have a similar dynamic about to hit the stage this August with prospects Amed Rosario (who was promoted to the Mets earlier this week) and Triple-A 1B Dominic Smith (who is expected to follow in Rosario's footsteps later this month).

During their first three years together with the Mets, Wright and Reyes scored more than 500 times, collected nearly 1,000 hits, won 205 games and got to the National League Championship Series, while also playing side-by-side during the 2006 All-Star Game...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Aug 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) bats in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Aug 1, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) bats in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

It was 14 years ago that we watched with anticipation as the Mets promoted the highly rated, aggressive, speedy and charismatic Jose Reyes. The next year, Reyes was joined by the quiet, mild-mannered, smooth and sound David Wright.

The Mets have a similar dynamic about to hit the stage this August with prospects Amed Rosario (who was promoted to the Mets earlier this week) and Triple-A 1B Dominic Smith (who is expected to follow in Rosario's footsteps later this month).

During their first three years together with the Mets, Wright and Reyes scored more than 500 times, collected nearly 1,000 hits, won 205 games and got to the National League Championship Series, while also playing side-by-side during the 2006 All-Star Game...

Tags: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Matthew Cerrone
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Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

The MLB Trade Deadline is always disappointing, especially in New York, where expectations are consistently sky high... even when selling not buying. However, to be fair, it helps to judge the Mets against how other teams did and how the Mets stacked up trading similar players that got moved by other teams.

In that context, I'm confident the Mets did well essentially swapping free-agents-to-be Lucas Duda and Addison Reed and prospects Merandy Gonzalez and Ricardo Cespedes for right-handed pitching prospects Drew Smith, Jamie Callahan, Gerson Bautista and Stephen Nogosek and big-league closer A.J. Ramos and his 92 career saves...

"We're pleased with how things developed and turned out over the course of the week," Mets GM Sandy Alderson said during a conference call after the deadline, during which he said his priority was helping his bullpen in 2018.

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Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed and Neil Walker, all of whom are eligible to free agents after the 2017 season (Credit: USA Today Sports)
Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed and Neil Walker, all of whom are eligible to free agents after the 2017 season (Credit: USA Today Sports)

Today is the "Trade Deadline," as it's known around MLB...

In other words, the Mets have until 4 pm ET today to trade Jay Bruce, Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Addison Reed, and anyone else they want to move, without having to first expose them the player to waivers.

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Jul 27, 2017; Bruce (19) is congratulated by Granderson (3) at Petco Park. Credit: Roth-USA TODAY
Jul 27, 2017; Bruce (19) is congratulated by Granderson (3) at Petco Park. Credit: Roth-USA TODAY

Jay Bruce, who is 30 years old, is tied for fourth in the National League with 26 home runs. He's owed roughly $5 million, due to be a free agent after the season, and is not drawing any significant interest in the trade market, a source recently told Newsday's Marc Carig.

Meanwhile, Curtis Granderson, who will also be a free agent this winter, is six years older than Bruce, has 13 fewer home runs and is due more money, yet teams have started showing interest in trading for him, according to MLB reporter Jon Heyman.

According to one team executive I talked with earlier this week, part of the issue with Bruce is that teams are putting less value on power because most teams already have it. This season, home runs are up across the entire league and for nearly every team. So, trading for a guy that is known for being only able to hit home runs is not something worth overpaying to get...

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone
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Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

It's feeling like the Mets may be missing the moment to make a trade. Admittedly, I started today worried they may botch the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, end up stuck with pending free agents and lose out on acquiring prospects and players who could help next season.

However, after talking to people around baseball, I'm slightly less pessimistic.

For starters, according to Ken Rosenthal, Mets GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets are willing to include cash in trades to get better prospects back in deals, sources with knowledge of the team's thinking said.

This is good news. It'll help push things through. And, I'm glad Alderson was able to convince ownership of this approach when the front office held a strategy session earlier this week.

Tags: Addison Reed, Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, David Wright, Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Neil Walker, Steven Matz, TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 18, 2017; Reyes reacts after failing to complete the double play. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 18, 2017; Reyes reacts after failing to complete the double play. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets were charged with three errors, which led to three unearned runs, during Tuesday's 5-0 loss to the Cardinals at Citi Field.

By the end of the game, T.J. Rivera had committed two errors, Jose Reyes misplayed a ground ball and bungled a double-play ball, Asdrubal Cabrera confused his feet on two throws to second, Yoenis Cespedes let a fly ball drift over his head and Lucas Duda dropped a pop up in foul ground. He also struggled to scoop several short hops at first base, but that is mostly due to the consistently poor throws coming to him from Rivera and Reyes.

"It was kind of ugly for us in the beginning," Reyes said.

The beginning? Try the middle and the end, too, Jose...

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Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)
Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)

Terry Collins said this past weekend that he isn't currently focused on the Wild Card race. Instead, he's preaching to his team a goal of getting to 90 wins.

"You can't just throw up the white flag and say the season is over,'' Collins said before losing on Sunday. "I said going into the break, let's win 51 of the 76 left. That's got to be our goal, get to 90 wins and see where we're at. I don't think for any stretch of the imagination that this is over yet.''

To win 90, the Mets must win 67 percent of their remaining games to go 49-24. In other words, they need to win every series they play, despite winning just half the series they have already played this season.

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The 2017 group of Mets infielders. Credit: USA Today Sports Images
The 2017 group of Mets infielders. Credit: USA Today Sports Images

Prior to last night's postponed game, Terry Collins expressed frustration with his team's fielding.

"When you're a team that relies on pitching the way we do, that's built the way we are, it's disappointing when your defense isn't sharp," he explained. "Every time we make a mistake, it seems like it always comes back to bite us."

The thing is, this is hardly a new issue...

In the span of three weeks in May and June, I argued that it was time for Sandy Alderson to make fielding and fundamentals a bigger priority when building his team...

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Apr 19, 2016; Cespedes (52) celebrates with Conforto (30) after hitting a home run. Credit: Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 19, 2016; Cespedes (52) celebrates with Conforto (30) after hitting a home run. Credit: Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In an effort to continue giving themselves a chance to win this season, but also work on improving the roster for next season, I wonder if the Mets will consider acquiring a pending free agent, such as Rangers C Jonathan Lucroy or Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen.

I realize this reads counterintuitively, and could possibly be foolish. However, in the event the Mets are considering signing Lucroy or trading for McCutchen this winter, is there a benefit to acquiring them and learning now how they handle New York? 

For instance, if the Mets have no interest in retaining, say, Lucas Duda, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, and Asdrubal Cabrera, could they trade some of these guys for a collection of so-so prospects, which would add depth to the farm system and make it easier to trade for a player like McCutchen or Lucroy?

Teams set up to sell usually dump their higher-priced, pending free agents for high quality prospects, most of whom they intend to keep, nurture and use during future seasons. However, the Mets intend to compete for a World Series in 2018, and they still believe they can put up a fight in 2017...

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Rivera's RBI double 00:00:56
After an RBI single from Jay Bruce, T.J. Rivera brings Bruce home with an RBI double to give the Mets a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Mets infielder T.J. Rivera picked up three more hits and two RBI during Thursday's 6-3 win against the Marlins in Miami.

Rivera, 28, has at least three hits in eight of 57 starts during his big-league career. He also has 11 multi-hit games this season, during which he's batting .303.

The Mets demoted Rivera to Triple-A when Yoenis Cespedes was activated from the disabled list June 11. However, he rejoined the team two days later when Asdrubal Cabrera went on the DL.

Tags: TJ Rivera, Matthew Cerrone
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Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)
Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)

In case you haven't noticed, the Mets have picked up five games in seven days in the race for the final Wild Card spot. Last week, they trailed the Rockies by 13 losses. Today, they're eight back, thanks in large part to Colorado losing eight games in row.

At the same time, there are now just three games dividing the six closest teams chasing the Rockies, who lead the Cubs by only five losses.

The point is, things are tightening up. The Mets play seven of their next 10 games against teams that are below .500, after which they welcome the Rockies for three games at Citi Field. In other words, if the Rockies can keep in their current downward spiral, and continue losing in Queens, the National League could soon be in store for a pretty crazy, seven-team Wild Card race...

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DNL: Gsellman's injury 00:01:01
The Daily News Live panel discusses how much of an impact Robert Gsellman's injury will have on the Mets' injury plagued starting rotation

Robert Gsellman left Tuesday night's game in the fourth inning with a left hamstring strain.

He is expected to miss at least two-to-three weeks, though how long he's out will ultimately depend on the severity of the strain. In either case, it means both Tyler Pill and Rafael Montero could be in the team's rotation at the same time, depending on if Zack Wheeler is ready to return from the DL for Saturday.

I don't blame you for being confused. I'm confused. The roster is impossible to track.

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Collins, Gsellman on injuries 00:04:18
Terry Collins and Robert Gsellman discuss the injury Gsellman suffered tonight and where the Mets go from here in the rotation

It's the little things that kill a season, and the seventh inning last night felt like a microcosm of what is killing this team in 2017. I know, I know, it's the injuries too, but then it's the little things...

For instance, Travis d'Arnaud tied last night's game with a home run in the top of the seventh inning. Neil Ramirez then entered in relief for the Mets and began the bottom of the inning by walking Miami's leadoff batter, J.T. RealmutoJT Riddle then followed with a single to give the Marlins runners on first and third with no one out.

In relief of Ramirez, Jerry Blevins was called on to face pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki, who slapped a single on the ground to left field. Dee Gordon moved the runners up with a hit, and Giancarlo Stanton was intentionally walked to load the bases. Christian Yelich then hit a a 2-2 pitch up the middle to drive in two more runs and extend Miami's lead to 6-3, which would end up being the final score.

Tags: Jerry Blevins, Matthew Cerrone
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Jun 21, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins reacts during a MLB baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers defeated the Mets 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jun 21, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins reacts during a MLB baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers defeated the Mets 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Mets are doing it again, aren't they? By winning three in a row, despite still being significantly below .500 and a mile back from a postseason spot, they've got me running scenarios again and wondering what it will take for them to get back in a playoff race.

And, of course, I'm taking the bait. Because, as the Mets swept the Giants, the Rockies -- who lead for the second Wild Card -- lost five in a row.

I know, I know, the Mets beat up on the Giants, who have lost nine of their last 10, are the second worst team in the NL, and more or less a total mess and shadow of the team that beat the Mets in the Wild Card game last October...

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Terry Collins speaks to the media in San Diego during 2015. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY
Terry Collins speaks to the media in San Diego during 2015. Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY

These last four days in Los Angeles have to rank among the worst four-day stretches in Mets history, at least in terms of playing baseball, getting beaten up, losing, and crushing everyone's hopes and dreams for a season as early as June.

The fact is, things already seemed bleak when they were just six games under .500, 10 back of the Nationals and 11 games back of the Wild Card, as the Mets were on Monday before starting their series against the Dodgers. 

However, after watching them get stomped on in Los Angeles, being outscored 36-11, having more players end up on the disabled list, and dropping to 10 games under .500, 12 back of Washington and 14 games away from a Wild Card, any shot at a successful season now feels impossible. And that sucks... It really does, because I still feel like this season never actually started.

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Collins on the recent struggles 00:04:24
Manager Terry Collins breaks down the recent struggles of Zack Wheeler and talks about how the Mets can improve.

"The Mets have some serious pitching talent," I wrote in Spring Training, moments after watching Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard simultaneously throw bullpen sessions in February. "I actually take it for granted. But when seeing them all lined up together, throwing side by side, it takes the realization to a different level."

I wish I owned a time machine. I also wish pitchers weren't so easily and routinely injured. The thing is, while I understand that injuries are part of the game, especially for pitchers, do they all need to also pitch poorly at the same time?

As intimated in my quote from February, this season's success was supposed to happen because of the starting pitching. This isn't my theory. It is the strategy that was repeatedly emphasized by Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and the starting pitchers themselves. Instead, the arms never showed up.

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Jun 6, 2017; Lucas Duda (21) on the field in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Heitman-USA TODAY
Jun 6, 2017; Lucas Duda (21) on the field in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Heitman-USA TODAY

Lucas Duda may end up being the most likely position player to be traded by the Mets, assuming Sandy Alderson decides to trade away an asset or two in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

In 48 games this season, Duda has 12 home runs and 21 RBI, while batting .244, but with a ..353 OBP and 0.8 WAR, according to FanGraphs.com. Also, by the time the deadline rolls around, he will only be due roughly $3-4 million through the rest of this season, after which he's eligible to be a free agent.

Tags: Lucas Duda, Matthew Cerrone
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Division title or Wild Card? 00:04:16
Jonas Schwartz, John Harper, Sal Licata and Peter Botte discuss what might be the best possible path to the postseason for the Mets.

The Diamondbacks and Rockies, who are currently leading the NL Wild Card race, are on pace to both win what would be 100 games -- which would be the most ever for a Wild Card team. This is why, despite winning six of their last 10 games, the Mets still lost ground in their pursuit of a third-straight postseason appearance.

To end this season with 100 wins, the Mets would need to go 69-25 the rest of the year, which is a .734 winning percentage. The Mets never played better than .650 baseball (during a 30-day stretch) when hot at the end of each of the last two seasons. 

In other words, to reach their third consecutive postseason in 2017, the Mets need to play a lot better than they did down the stretch in 2015 and 2016, plus do it with fewer healthy players and for a longer stretch of time...

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Collins, deGrom on Mets' win 00:06:21
Jacob deGrom and Terry Collins discuss deGrom's pitching performance and his first career home run in the Mets' 5-1 win over the Nationals.

During Sunday's series finale against the Nationals at Citi Field, Jacob deGrom did everything he could to get the Mets a win on a day that often felt like it might be the last relevant game of the season -- despite there being 95 left to go.

For starters, by getting a victory, he helped the Mets avoid being totally embarrassed by losing four games to the Nationals at home during a vital stretch of the season.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matthew Cerrone
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Jun 2, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) in the dugout in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 2, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) in the dugout in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets are not 30-35 simply because of weak talent, spending, coaching, and executive action or inaction. Yes, all of the above is a factor, but the big culprit begins and ends on the disabled list.

The current DL is about to look like this, with six of these guys out another several weeks...

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40 years since the Seaver trade 00:00:40
SNY.tv looks back at the trade that sent Mets pitcher Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds.

In my book, "The Mets Fans' Bucket List," which published June 1, I detail 10 painful moments from the organization's history helped to create the #LOLMets experience...

Naturally, the "Midnight Massacre," which occurred 40 years ago today, is on the list...

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Apr 3, 2017; Fans wait in line outside Citi Field on Opening Day. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2017; Fans wait in line outside Citi Field on Opening Day. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I feel bad complaining, since the Mets have actually won five of their last seven games and appear in good position to keep winning against the Nationals this weekend.

Nevertheless, because this entire season - which is only 64 games old, by the way - has been so chaotic (Harvey's suspension, Mr. Met's finger, Terry's Omertà), so full of injuries and endless frustration, their recent winning is literally having zero impact on my ability to be hopeful about its outcome.

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Travis d'Arnaud (18) talks to Matt Harvey (33) in the fourth inning at Citi Field. Credit: Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Travis d'Arnaud (18) talks to Matt Harvey (33) in the fourth inning at Citi Field. Credit: Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Harvey told reporters he will see a doctor Thursday after experiencing arm fatigue during Wednesday's difficult start against the Cubs.

In just four innings pitched, Harvey tossed only 58 pitches and allowed four runs, including three home runs, while walking one batter in what was his shortest outing the season.

"I'm just pretty tired, my arm's just not working," he told reporters after the game. "In past games it's taken a while to get loose, that's kind of been the issue. But tonight, it got loose and kind of progressively felt really tired."

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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Jun 13, 2017; Smoker (49) pitches against the Cubs at Citi Field. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2017; Smoker (49) pitches against the Cubs at Citi Field. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mets LH reliever Josh Smoker entered during the second inning Tuesday and tossed four innings pitching in relief of Zack Wheeler.

In what was his longest relief appearance of the season, Smoker faced 21 batters, gave up six hits, struck out five batters, walked four and was charged with three earned runs.

"He saved us, because we could have burnt out a lot of pitching tonight," Terry Collins later said. "He went out there and pitched some tough innings and I appreciated it."

In his previous three relief appearances, Smoker combined to throw 75 pitches. He tossed a total of 81 pitches during his appearance Tuesday night.

Tags: Josh Smoker, Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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GEICO SportsNite: Bobby V 00:00:43
Bobby Valentine tells the story of going incognito in the dugout as he signs autographs at the Queens Baseball Convention.

It was 18 years ago today, June 9, 1999, that Bobby Valentine was ejected from a game at Shea Stadium, after which he emerged in the dugout moments later wearing a fake mustache and sunglasses.

In January, I had the chance to interview Valentine on stage during the annual Queens Baseball Convention. I opened the discussion asking about the fake mustache moment, to which Valentine responded with a funny and detailed 16-minute answer, which you can listen to here...

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Apr 11, 2017; Asdrubal Cabrera (13), Neil Walker (20), Jose Reyes (7) and Lucas Duda (21) talk during a pitching change at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2017; Asdrubal Cabrera (13), Neil Walker (20), Jose Reyes (7) and Lucas Duda (21) talk during a pitching change at Citizens Bank Park. Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes combined to hit .306 with 15 HR and 65 RBI during August and September as the Mets went 32-24 to win a spot in the NL Wild Card game.

This season, during a similar 10-week stretch to start the season, Cabrera and Reyes have combined to score just 51 runs in 57 games, while batting .214 with a .290 OBP and just seven home runs.

The duo have also struggled in the field this season, a year after looking so sound on the left side.

According to NY Post reporter Mike Puma, Mets officials are mostly surprised and confused by Cabrera, who frequently fought off injury last year and is again battling knee and leg pain.

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Jun 7, 2017; Wheeler (45) throws a pitch at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Credit: Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2017; Wheeler (45) throws a pitch at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Credit: Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

His start last night is the best Zack Wheeler has looked all year, despite it being the seventh time in nine starts that he's allowed two or fewer runs in a game.

Wheeler pitched seven innings Wednesday, allowing one run and six hits and three walks against the Rangers at Globe Life Park in Texas. He loaded the bases in the first inning with nobody out and gave up a run on a fielder's choice. However, he recorded a double play to end the inning and did not allow any more runs the rest of the game.

"I honestly didn't have a clue where the ball was going in the first inning," Wheeler said. "But, after that, I settled down and found it quick."

Wheeler, who has now thrown at least six innings in five of his last six starts, did not factor into Wednesday's decision.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 1, 2016; Cespedes (52) leaves the field at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 1, 2016; Cespedes (52) leaves the field at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Mets were eight games under .500 was September, 2014.

Dillon Gee started for the Mets that day. Interestingly, he started against the Mets last night, when they again dipped to eight games below .500.

"We have issues we have to deal with," Terry Collins said in his final remark to reporters after Tuesday's demoralizing loss to the Rangers. "We've got to come up with an answer."

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Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed and Neil Walker, all of whom are eligible to free agents after the 2017 season (Credit: USA Today Sports)
Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed and Neil Walker, all of whom are eligible to free agents after the 2017 season (Credit: USA Today Sports)

There are still 107 games left in the 2017 season. However, the non-waiver trade deadline is just 49 games away.

Jay Bruce, Neil Walker, Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson and Addison Reed are all eligible to be free agents at the end of this season, meaning they could be viewed this summer as possible trade acquisitions by other teams.

"We're certainly aware of the contractual status of the players that we have,'' Alderson said this past Sunday during an exclusive, on-field Q&A with season ticket holders.

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Alderson talks season so far 00:03:22
New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson talks about the challenging 2017 season to this point, including all the ups, downs, and the injuries.

According to FanGraphs.com, the Mets currently have a 15.8 percent chance of getting to the postseason this season.

Nevertheless, in an exclusive, on-field Q&A session for season-ticket holders at Citi Field on Sunday, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes the Mets still have the talent and time to make a run like they did the previous two years...

"If we get the pitching together and start playing up to our potential, I think we can make a run to the end," Alderson explained. "We did it last year, and I don't see why we can't do it again."

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In this week's Meet the MetsCast, comedian Steve Hofstetter and I talk about the best off-field stories from the last week, including...

  • The chance of Michael Conforto being a lone All-Star for the Mets...
  • Tom Seaver's misguided comments about velocity...
  • Who would be a better fit for the 2017 Mets? Seaver or Mike Piazza...
  • Matt Harvey winning and wearing the post-game crown...
  • And, should we suspend Brender for missing today's episode?

To listen to the show, click play below or use this link to download...

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Alderson talks season so far 00:03:22
New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson talks about the challenging 2017 season to this point, including all the ups, downs, and the injuries.

 

In an article for the NY Post, columnist Joel Sherman argues that despite being 23-29 to start June, the Mets still have a legit chance to get back to the postseason...

For starters, the Mets will soon add Yoenis Cespedes, Seth Lugo, and Steven Matz to their roster, which will in turn strengthen their bench, plus help their bullpen by shifting Robert Gsellman out of the rotation.

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In this week's #FeedbackFriday edition of the MetsBlog Q&ACast, I turn to Twitter instead of voicemails to answer questions about...

  • Whether the Mets should be buyers or sellers...
  • How does this PR staff and Front Office ranks in MLB...
  • Where is T.J. Rivera...
  • Is Dan Warthen good or bad for the pitching staff...
  • What must go right to get back to the postseason...

To listen to today's Feedback Friday, click play below or use this link to download..

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Rosario gets ready for Mets 00:00:32
SNY checks in with New York Mets shortstop prospect Amed Rosario, as he gets ready for the big leagues at Triple-A in Las Vegas.

The best way to help a pitching staff - aside from adding better pitching - is to put behind them the best fielding shortstop, second baseman and center fielder on the roster.

Neil Walker is doing fine at second. Center fielder is a more complicated issue, given the number of outfielders on the team and the pending return of Yoenis Cespedes. However, at shortstop, the Mets have options, especially when factoring in top SS prospect Amed Rosario, who is again crushing the ball in Triple-A.

I appreciate Asdrubal Cabrera and see him as an important part of the 2017 team. However, while he looked terrific in the field last season, he's struggling to handle shortstop this year.

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May 3, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) is shown in the dugout before their game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
May 3, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) is shown in the dugout before their game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

The Mets are trying to hold things together. The goal during May and June has not necessarily been to make up all the ground lost in April. Instead, the goal is to simply keep the season alive and not drop so far behind that coaches start getting fired, players get traded, fans become angry and the season ends before it ever really started.

Despite a recent seven-game losing streak, the Mets have somehow kept it together the last 30 days and are seemingly in position to at least do the same in June...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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In this week's Meet the MetsCast, comedian Steve Hofstetter, SiriusXM's Rob Brender and I try our best to be upbeat and positive in our assessment of the Mets, while talking about...

  • The awesomeness of Michael Conforto...
  • How this season is feeling like every Batman movie...
  • Who goes to the bench when Yoenis Cespedes returns...
  • The impact of missing Seth Lugo...
  • The more surprising Rivera, T.J. or Rene...
  • Terry Collins and running a beleaguered bullpen...

To listen to the show, click play below or use this link to download...

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Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)
Sandy Alderson is surrounded by reporters during the 2013 MLB Winter Meetings (Credit: Manning-USA TODAY Sports)

Based on what happened before Wednesday's game, it appears the team's management is not letting Terry Collins talk to reporters about the player injuries.

In response to the directive, a source the NY Post's Ken Davidoff that Collins was "downright irate."

Collins was more or less vague Wednesday when asked about Jay Bruce, who was out of the starting lineup due to a back issue that pulled him from a game the night before.

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Blevins on his bullpen role 00:04:03
Steve Gelbs sits down with Jerry Blevins to discuss his recent success despite his heavy workload.

The bullpen and the way Terry Collins is handling it is such a collective mess right now, it's actually difficult to write about in a coherent and constructive manner.

The whole situation is mind numbing.

Last night, Collins and his team held a 5-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, but the bullpen faltered late, blew the lead and the game and the Mets lost, 6-5, to the Padres.

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Matt Harvey's mechanics 00:03:22
Nelson Figueroa and Gary Apple break down some of Matt Harvey's mechanical issues on the mound and discuss how they can be addressed.

Despite being staked early to a 7-0 lead, Matt Harvey (3-3) labored through 103 pitches and five innings Tuesday against the Padres, though he still managed to get his first win since April 11.

"Obviously, he wasn't real sharp tonight," Terry Collins said after the game. "He just didn't have his command. It wasn't very good. His velocity was down. ... He had to work hard to get through the fifth inning and he did that. There is a space for that in the process of getting better. There's nothing wrong with it, being able to go out there and battle your butt off and keep your team in the game."

It was Harvey's first time pitching in Citi Field since being suspended three games on May 6 for missing a Saturday afternoon game against the Giants. He was greeted with a mix of unenthusiastic cheers and jeers by the roughly 20,000 fans in attendance.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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Mike Piazza: Road to the HOF 00:07:22
SNY recaps Mike Piazza Day as the legendary catcher had his No. 31 retired by the Mets after his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.

The Dodgers traded Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile to the Marlins on May 18, 1998, for Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich, Charles Johnson, Gary Sheffield and Manuel Barrios

In less than four days, the Marlins would turn around and trade Piazza to New York for prospects Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall, and Geoff Goetz.

The next day, May 23, Piazza -- who had already hit 177 career home runs -- played the first of his eventual 972 games for the Mets.

"Piazza was a marquee-type guy and we needed that type of player," then-GM Steve Phillips told me in 2015 about the decision to pursue Piazza. "We were a good little team, but we needed to get a superstar. At the same time, we know from previous discussions that the Marlins liked our top outfield prospect, Preston Wilson, as well as some of our young pitching talent."

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Hall of Fame Inductee Mike Piazza makes his acceptance speech during the 2016 MLB baseball hall of fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center. (Gregory Fisher)
Hall of Fame Inductee Mike Piazza makes his acceptance speech during the 2016 MLB baseball hall of fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center. (Gregory Fisher)

Tomorrow, May 23, is the 19th anniversary of Mike Piazza's first game with the Mets...

In this week's MetsBlog Q&ACast, I talk with Greg Prince about his new book, Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star, which you can learn more about by clicking here!

In the 20-minute interview, Prince and I talk about...

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In this week's Meet the MetsCast, comedian Steve Hofstetter, SiriusXM's Rob Brender and I stop laughing to commiserate about the Mets, while talking about...

  • How to deal with being 16-23, despite the injuries and expectations...
  • Injuries, and if they're solely to blame for the team's disappointing record...
  • Is this the worst bullpen in team history...
  • The good and bad of Terry Collins...

In a unique twist, I'm the emotional host, ranting and rambling about injuries, the job of a New York manager, the difference between a relief pitcher and bullpen, and Luis Ayala, who I still can't believe was acquired to be a closer when the Mets were in first place during August, 2008...

To listen to the show, click play below or use this link to download...

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Terry Collins celebrates with fans during the 2015 postseason (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Terry Collins celebrates with fans during the 2015 postseason (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Terry Collins will break the record for most career games as manager of the Mets tonight when his team hosts the Angels at Citi Field...

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Alderson on Mets medical staff 00:01:33
Sandy Alderson discusses changes to the Mets' medical protocols in a press conference before the game against the Angels on Friday.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson has started to meet with the team's medical staff each day, he said on Friday at Citi Field.

"We haven't reached any significant conclusions but we have changed some of our practices," Alderson said about potential changes to the Mets' protocol when it comes to handling injuries. 

Alderson has been investigating ways to help facilitate the flow of information between his coaching staff, trainers, and medical departments, he recently told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, who penned a terrific article earlier this week specifically about Alderson's staff, protocols, and team injuries.

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