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.

Jun 14, 2017; Neil Walker (20) is helped off the field at Citi Field. Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2017; Neil Walker (20) is helped off the field at Citi Field. Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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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Mets manager Terry Collins and Nationals manager Busty Baker (Credit: USA Today Sports)
Mets manager Terry Collins and Nationals manager Busty Baker (Credit: USA Today Sports)

The Nationals are again reaching out to teams in an effort to trade for a closer, sources recently told FanRag.com's Jon Heyman.

This past winter, the Nationals reportedly tried to sign Greg HollandAroldis ChapmanKenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon, all of whom joined different organizations.

In the case of Jansen and Melancon, each pitcher reportedly accepted less money than what was offered by Washington. Instead, the Nationals ended up signing Joe Nathan, Matt Albers, Tim Collins, Vance Worley, and Neal Cotts to minor-league deals.

There has so far been no evidence yet that Sandy Alderson is taking a similarly aggressive approach. However, it's fair to assume he eventually will make a move...

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Mets fans dressed as Thor wield their hammers as Syndergaard warms at Citi Field. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mets fans dressed as Thor wield their hammers as Syndergaard warms at Citi Field. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In this week's #FeedbackFriday edition of the MetsBlog Q&ACast, Dennis Holden and I answer fan voicemails about...

  • Is there any hope for the Mets this season...
  • If so, why will they turn it around...
  • If not, what will they do to be better next season...
  • Lastly, is their record a reflection of their attitude or injuries...

To check out Holden's Dennis Has a Podcast, click here! To follow him on Twitter, go here!

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

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Jun 28, 2013; Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Credit: William Perlman via USA TODAY Sports
Jun 28, 2013; Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Credit: William Perlman via USA TODAY Sports

Matt Harvey (2-3, 5.63) will start today at 3:40 pm ET against the D-backs, as the Mets conclude a six-game road trip, during which they're 0-5.

In his previous start, which was hist first outing since being suspended earlier this month, Harvey gave up seven hits, including a career-high three home runs, five walks and five runs during a 7-4 loss to the Brewers in Milwaukee.

According to Terry Collins, getting Harvey on track is critical to the team's success.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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Terry Collins waits in the dugout at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Terry Collins waits in the dugout at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

I'm pretty sure I wrote this exact post a year ago, which makes it all the more irritating to write...

But just like the last two years, when the Mets were hit by injuries and under-performing, I don't know how to judge this current season, its potential outcome and the job being done by Terry Collins.

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USA Today Sports photos from Mets-Diamondbacks on May 17, 2017
USA Today Sports photos from Mets-Diamondbacks on May 17, 2017

In a 1-1 count, the D-backs up and Yasmany Tomas at bat, their runner at first base broke for second base on a pitch down and away. Mets C Rene Rivera received the pitch, popped up and threw to second base, but the runner stopped half way as Goldschmidt slowly moved toward home.

Neil Walker jogged the runner back to first, keeping an eye on Paul Goldschmidt, who broke hard for home plate when Walker tossed the ball to Lucas Duda at first base. Flat footed, Duda turned his body and threw home, but the throw was too far wide, unable to remain in Rivera's glove and Goldschmidt was safe -- giving Arizona a commanding three-run lead...

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In this week's MetsBlog Q&A Cast, I talk with former Mets pitcher and current SNY pre- and post-game analyst Nelson Figueroa in hopes of answering the following questions...

1) Why are these very talented starting pitchers struggling?
2) What can Rene Rivera and Dan Warthen do to help them be better?
3) How much of a factor is the shaky defense impacting each pitcher's performance?
4) Will a better bullpen help the rotation?
5) Is the rotation's success as simple as pitching inside?

To listen to our conversation, download it here, or click play below...

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Apr 25, 2017; General view of the tarp on the field seen through raindrops on a window before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 25, 2017; General view of the tarp on the field seen through raindrops on a window before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The story of this season for the Mets continues to feel incomplete and hard to believe, as if it never really started, it's all just a bad dream and eventually we'll wake up with everyone healthy and it's the real Opening Day. It doesn't help that - in this nightmare - the Yankees are 22-13, though I know that shouldn't matter...

The fact is, had I known the Mets would play a chunk of April and May without their best hitter, (Yoenis Cespedes), their best starting pitcher (Noah Syndergaard), and their elite closer (Jeurys Familia), this current reality would make total sense...

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Apr 20, 2017; Neil Walker (20) is congratulated in the dugout by teammates after hitting a three run home run at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2017; Neil Walker (20) is congratulated in the dugout by teammates after hitting a three run home run at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The chatter on talk radio and the team's record indicates that the Mets are a disaster, struggling, off track and heading toward a wasted season.

"Everything about the Mets feels out of control," Bob Klapisch writes today for the Bergen Record in an article titled Feels Like the Mets are Spiraling Out of Control.

He's not wrong. It does feel this way. However, to anyone watching the Mets play baseball during the last 10 days, it looks like everything is fine. The Mets appear to be back on course and ready to again contend for their third-straight postseason.

Last night is a perfect example of this disconnect...

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Rene Rivera (44) greets Jeurys Familia (27) after a win at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Rene Rivera (44) greets Jeurys Familia (27) after a win at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Mets closer Jeurys Familia needed just five pitches in a perfect ninth inning Monday to get his first win of the season to go with three saves in three chances this season.

He looked good in his previous appearance. However, last night is the first time this season that Familia looked calm, confident and like the dominant, shut-down closer that cruised to 51 saves in 2016.

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Matthew Cerrone
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New York Mets manager Terry Collins on the dugout phone during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets manager Terry Collins on the dugout phone during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

It's 5:16 p.m. before Monday night's game and I have no idea who is on the team's 25-man roster. It's getting to a point this season where one of my pre-game routines is to double check the transaction list to be sure I'm not imagining who is and isn't available...

In case you missed it, LHP Tommy Milone, who was picked up on waivers a few days ago, has been added to the 25-man roster in place of LHP Adam Wilk, who was temporarily called up this past Sunday to start in place of Matt Harvey, who was suspended three days for not showing up to Saturday's game.

Meanwhile, though SS Asdrubal Cabrera is unavailable after jamming his thumb this past weekend, he will not go on the disabled list. Instead, though Terry Collins said Cabrera feels "great," he will almost certainly remain unavailable... to rest his legs.

.

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Mets celebrate a win at Citi Field in May, 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images - Hunger)
Mets celebrate a win at Citi Field in May, 2017 (Credit: USA Today Images - Hunger)

RHP Jacob deGrom (2-1, 3.68 ERA) will start tonight as the Mets begin a three-game series with the Giants at Citi Field.

Finally, the Mets will suit up against a team not from the NL East, against whom they played their first 30 games of the season. Frankly, I'm thrilled to see a different team on the other side of the field. The Mets also play the Marlins, Braves and Nationals quite a lot during Spring Training, so to say they've been overexposed would be an understatement.

My hope is that by seeing some new faces, different competition, eventually hitting in other ballparks on the road and in different, warmer weather will all combine to help breathe new life in to the season and put wind in the team's sails as they move through May and June.

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In this week's MetsBlog Q&Acast, I talk with Press Box Revolution author Rich Coutinho, who was at Citi Field covering the Mets during the Matt Harvey fiasco, about...

1) The reaction from Harvey's teammates, specially Jay Bruce and Jose Reyes
2) The team's recent success, and if it's being overshadowed by injury and scandal...
3) The way Harvey and the team should handle the situation going forward...
4) How Harvey can easily turn himself from villain back to hero in less than two weeks...
5) Bruce as team leader, which was unimaginable a few months ago...

To learn more about Coutinho's book, Press Box Revolution, click here...

To listen to our conversation, download it here, or click play below...

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Jun 28, 2013; Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Credit: William Perlman via USA TODAY Sports
Jun 28, 2013; Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Credit: William Perlman via USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have won six of their last nine games. However, every day during that time, fans and media have been bogged down in some sort of off-field controversy or injury news.

For instance, to end April, the Mets took two of three from the Nationals, but I spent the next few days only being asked about Noah Syndergaard's injury.

This past weekend, the Mets took two of three from the Marlins. And, instead of talking about the team's recent success on field, or how they're the top scoring team in the NL during the last week and a half, I'll likely spend all day today talking and writing about Matt Harvey being suspended for three days and what that means to his career in New York.

So, let's get to it...

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets pitcher Rafael Montero (50) reacts during the twelfth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.
Mets pitcher Rafael Montero (50) reacts during the twelfth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.

Rafael Montero will start in place of Noah Syndergaard tonight when the Mets (12-15) host the the Marlins (12-15) for the start of a three-game series at Citi Field.

Thursday night's game between the Mets and Braves was rained out in Atlanta. The New York area has been getting rained on heavy all day Friday, though reports indicate it should let up enough in advance of game time to keep it from being cancelled.

The Mets have won four of of their last six games, whereas the Marlins have lost seven of nine after starting the season 10-8.

Tags: Rafael Montero, Matthew Cerrone
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In this week's Feedback Friday edition of the MetsBlog QAcast, The Happy Recap's James Blind joins me to answer voicemails from Mets fans about...

1) The all-or-nothing offense and needing to play small ball...
2) Upgrading the lineup or pitching staff by trade...
3) Steven Matz, and if he'll ever live up to expectations...
4) Being cool, not freaking out and hoping for a better May...

The final question is sent in by comedian John Santo, who, in his dead-on accurate impersonation of Donald Trump, asks how the Mets can be terrific and great again...

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

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Apr 15, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson connects for a triple during the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 15, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson connects for a triple during the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Mets OF Curtis Granderson is expected back in the starting lineup tonight, despite hitting .124 with a .175 OBP and just five extra base hits through 26 games this season.

Granderson was not in Tuesday's starting lineup. Instead, he took early batting practice under the watchful eye of his hitting coach and long-time batting guru, Kevin Long. He did, however, pinch hit to lead off the seventh inning and flied out to left field.

Tags: Curtis Granderson, Matthew Cerrone
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Jun 28, 2013; Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Credit: William Perlman via USA TODAY Sports
Jun 28, 2013; Matt Harvey (33) delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Credit: William Perlman via USA TODAY Sports

Matt Harvey (2-1, 4.25 ERA) will take the ball tonight against the Braves, the same team that roughed him up for six runs in 4 1/3 innings last week. In that game, Harvey walked a career high five batters.

In case you forgot, before Noah Syndergaard ever sniffed the big leagues, before we had "Thor," it was Harvey who turned heads in New York City and captured the attention of baseball.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Matthew Cerrone
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