In signing Curtis Granderson to a $60 million contract over the next four seasons, the Mets made a sizable bet on improving the team in the short term. The slightly front-loaded deal covers Granderson's age 33-36 seasons, the years where players of his ilk -- outfielders who strike out regularly, but rely on power for their offensive value -- decline dramatically.

In this post, Toby Hyde will dig into the type of player Granderson has been, and the one he'll likely be going forward. Finally, he will construct an estimate of Granderson's value to the Mets...

Granderson clearly fills a need for the Mets: a big league outfielder. In 2013, Mets outfielders produced 7 fWAR, 20th in baseball. The since-traded Marlon Byrd was responsible for half (3.5 fWAR) of that production. Before Granderson agreed to terms with the Mets, Eric Young Jr. and his career 77 wRC+ (where 100 is league average) was the placeholder in the corner not occupied by Chris Young.

In some ways, Granderson is a similar player to C. Young: they both hit home runs, strike out regularly and have played centerfield in the past. With Juan Lagares in center, Granderson and Young should complete a very fine defensive outfield.

The Mets farm system was not prepared to offer a starting everyday outfielder for Opening Day 2014. Cesar Puello, the best option in the top three levels of the farm system in 2013, finished his year hitting .326/.403/.547 with a career-high 16 home runs in 91 games in double-A, but missed the final month of the season because of a Biogeneis-related suspension. An aggressive hitter, some time in triple-A will serve him well to work on his strike zone discipline. Perhaps, after a few months in Las Vegas, he will be ready to help the Mets by the heat of summer. Promising 2011 first round pick Brandon Nimmo ended the 2013 season in a-ball with Savannah. He's at least two years away from the big leagues.

In short, the Mets needed another outfielder.

The left-handed hitting outfielder hit free agency after an impressive four-year run with the Yankees, when he hit a combined .245/.335/.495 with 115 home runs. His 41 home runs in 2011 were, at the time, a new career high, one he surpassed a year later when he hit 43 in 2012.

Granderson's 2013 was marred by injury when he was plunked by a pair of pitches. The first, in spring training, broke his foream.  After he returned to action in May, eight games later, a broken pinkie sent him back to the disabled list.

When he did play, Granderson hit .229/.317/.407 in 61 games. By wRC+, again where 100 is league average, he earned a 97, making him slightly below league average. By bWAR, Granderson was worth 1.1 wins, while in Fangraphs' accounting he was worth 1.4. Prorating his time out to say, 140 games, we can estimate his bWAR at 2.53 and his fWAR at 3.22. Fangraphs assigns a positive number to his defensive contribution because he was playing centerfield in a below average way, and right field in an above average way. Defensive numbers over partial seasons bounce around, so those estimates on his defense are rough. (Note: I use both fWAR and bWAR in this piece. There are various comparative searches that I find easier at one site or the other. For most purposes, now that there is a unified replacement-level baseline, they're similar enough.)

Power Spike

Why did Curtis Granderson have back-to-back 40-home run seasons in 2011 and 2012, his age 30 and 31 seasons? Simple. He had a HR/FB spike. He hit line drives, ground balls and fly balls at rates that looked like his final seasons in Detroit (2007-2009) and his first with the Yankees (2010). However, in all of those seasons, his home run to flyball ratio hung between 10.9% and 14.5%. In 2011 and 2012 it climbed to 20.5% and 24.2% respectively. By 2013, it was back down to 11.3%, in line with his career norms.

Walks and Strikeouts

Granderson is a high-walk, high-strikeout hitter. He fanned in 28.5% of his plate appearances in 2012 and 28.2% in 2013, while walking 11% in both.

Platoon Splits

Over the course of his eight-plus professional seasons, Granderson has run a major platoon split, hitting righties much better than lefties. He's hit .274/.357/.519 against righties with a 21.8% strikeout rate and a 11.1% walk rate. Meanwhile, against lefties, he has hit  just .226/.295/.409 with a 26.7% strikeout rate and a 7.8% walk rate.

In 2013, his worst season by OPS+ or wRC+ since 2006, Granderson actually hit lefties (.242/.356/.435 in 73 PA) better than righties (.224/.300/.395 in 172 PA). Largely, this was a result of unusually good results on balls in play. He had a .371 BABIP against lefties and a .279 BABIP against righties. His underlying rate stats were better against righties (25.6% k rate/9.9% walk rate) compared to lefties (34.2% K/14% walk).

Lefties have given Granderson fits, over the course of his career, but he has improved against southpaws from his younger days through his Yankee peak in 2012. For example, take a look at his on-base percentage against lefties, by year, moving forward from 2007 through 2012: .225,  .310, .245, .292, .347, .304.

Defense

Once a strong center fielder, Granderson will play a corner outfield spot for the Mets, likely deferring to Juan Lagares' prowess in center. UZR rated Granderson as a combined 27 runs above average in 2006 and 2007, but that was a long time ago. In his four years as a Yankee, he was a combined 14.2 runs below average. That's a slightly controversial rating, as the other advanced systems do not rate him as poorly. Baseball Info Solutions' Defensive Runs Saved, puts Granderson at seven runs below average for his Yankees' tenure. Total Zone measures -8 for the same four-year span.

There's a line of thinking that playing next to a very strong defender, as Granderson did when playing alongside Brett Gardner, will hurt his defensive ratings. If Granderson was playing next to say, Lucas Duda, he would have caught more balls, both within his zone, that is the area a center fielder is expected to cover, and outside of it. Both types of catches, in and outside his area, would have helped his zone numbers.

Lets assume moving forward that Granderson's defense on the corners will help his value a little - say five-ish runs a year.

Projection Moving ForwardAt this point, we should have a pretty good handle on what kind of player Granderson has been, but the question the Mets just spent $60 million to answer is what kind of player he will be in his next four years.

The Oliver projection system at Fangraphs sees Granderson as a 3.0 fWAR player in 2014, who experiences a slow, steady decline. Dan Szymborski's ZiPS system does not see as big a bounceback in 2014, and then a similar if slightly steeper decline. Analysis that rests on these two projection systems which have Granderson contributing something like eight or nine WAR over the life of the contract turn generally positive. This includes Eno Sarris' fine work here.

Many of the analyses of the contract assume a gentle aging curve for Granderson. However, most of his peers, once they started to go, went in a hurry.

I created my own specialized aging curve for Granderson. First, using Baseball Reference's play index to find players like Granderson, I selected outfielders who put up between 15 and 25 WAR in their age 28-32 seasons who struck out at least 596 times. These are good, solid, above-average everyday outfielders. The bWAR cap of 25 removes six players  - who are or approach Hall of Fame level  (Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Jim Thome, Reggie Jackson, Carlos Delgado and Bobby Abreu). The rest are comfortably Granderson's peers: he put up a 18.3 bWAR over his last five years. (Note: I would have preferred a rate-based search around strikeouts or production, but neither Baseball Reference nor Fangraphs offers that publicly. My original cutoff was 600 strikeouts. However, moving down four whiffs adds Jim Edmonds into the list and, much more on him later. Edmonds is a fairly good match for Granderson's peak by WAR value and strikeout rate.)

We're dealing with 19 players, found here.

I removed the following four players who moonlighted in the outfield, but were not primarily outfielders in any sense of the word: Dan Uggla, Mo Vaughn, Carlos Pena and Jorge Posada.

I removed the following guys whose careers ended before 1980, because hey, it was a different game 33 years ago and players follow different workout regimes now, and can be expected to age differently. Bye-bye: Willie Stargell, Bobby Bonds, Tony Perez.

Again, to make sure we're dealing with decent defensive outfielders, I mandated that all of the comps had played at least some center field. Goodbye, Frank Howard and Mikey Tettleton.

This left our final comparable list as: Alfonso Soriano, Dale Murphy, Gorman Thomas, Nick Swisher, Ray Lankford, Jayson Werth, Jeremy Burnitz, Mike Cameron and Jim Edmonds. Swisher, who is as old as Granderson, has not begun his age 33 season. His career offers no clue as to how Granderson will age in his 33+ years.

These are good offensive outfielders. Their combined age 28-32 seasons look like this.

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

Player;HR;WAR;SO;G;PA;BA;OBP;SLG;K%;CF

Alfonso Soriano;172;16;639;704;3188;.280;.333;.529;.20;12 games

Dale Murphy;170;23.9;677;799;3459;.275;.368;.512;.20;Yes

Gorman Thomas;165;16.3;721;731;3080;.238;.331;.477;.23;Yes

Curtis Granderson;145;18.3;690;673;2858;.246;.333;.484;.24;Yes

Nick Swisher;127;15.3;669;743;3135;.263;.362;.470;.21;Yes

Ray Lankford;123;23.9;629;690;2856;.288;.382;.523;.22;Yes

Jayson Werth;115;17.1;655;693;2763;.270;.368;.478;.24;108 games

Jeromy Burnitz;163;15.7;664;759;3185;.259;.363;.511;.21;yes

Mike Cameron;110;17.6;696;671;2790;.251;.340;.460;.25;yes

Jim Edmonds;130;24.3;596;655;2719;.299;.396;.540;.22;yes

[/sny-table]

How did this group age from 33-36? Not well. The following chart shows each player's production by bWAR, in their age-33 season and beyond.

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

Player;5 yr WAR avg 28-32;33;34;35;36;37+

Alfonso Soriano;3.2;-1.6;0.5;-0.2;2.0;2.4

Dale Murphy;4.78;1.6;0.9;0.8;-0.7;-0.9

Gorman Thomas;3.26;-0.8;1.7;-0.3;-0.5;

Curtis Granderson;3.66;;;;;

Jayson Werth;3.42;0.7;4.8;NA;NA;

Jeromy Burnitz;3.14;0.0;0.2;1.3;0.2;-0.6

Mike Cameron;3.52;4.3;3.2;3.1;3.0;-0.1

Jim Edmonds;4.86;6.0;7.1;4.4;1.3;2.2

Ray Lankford;4.78;0.9;1.1;-0.4;0;0.4

[/sny-table]

Graphically, their production looks like this: I normalized all of the players' age 28-32 peak to one. Each year thereafter the player's production by bWAR is illustrated as a single point as a fraction of their peak years.

After their age-32 seasons, only three players had a single season better than their average of their peak seasons of 28-32: Jayson Werth, Jim Edmonds and Mike Cameron. Edmonds was the only player to have as many as two seasons at age 33 and older that equalled his peak years.

What's remarkable to me is how essentially similar all of the aging patters are, outside of those three. Moving from age 28-32, every other player lost over half of his value. Expressed as percent of their age 28-32 value by age 33 this group was worth 40% of their peak, by age 34 - 65%, age 35 - 33% and age 36 - 20%.

Fangraphs author Eno Sarris suggested a slightly different list of comparable players who put up 10+ fWAR between age 30 and 32 and struck out at least 24% of the time. This list includes three outfielders, all of whom are in our original study: Ray Lankford, Jim Edmonds and Mike Cameron. Edmonds and Cameron are the two most successful agers in the group. Lankford's decline was steep from age 33 onward.

Now, we create specialized aging curves for Granderson using his comparable players. I simply took an average of each group's production (bWAR) relative to their peak for their age 33 through 36 season. Then, we apply this set of parameters to Granderson's starting level.

The following chart compares these aging curves with publicly available projections: ZiPS and Oliver.

[sny-table rowheader=true columnheader=true]

Granderson Projections;33;34;35;36;Total

Full Set;1.3;2.0;1.0;0.6;5.0

Sarris Comps;3.1;3.2;2.0;1.2;9.5

Oliver;3.0;2.6;2.1;1.5;9.2

ZiPS;2.4;2.2;2.0;1.3;7.9

[/sny-table]

Graphically, Granderson's projections for the next four years look like this.

What's remarkable here is not the difference between the systems, but the convergence. All four estimators suggest that if Granderson ages like his peers, he will be a 2.0 bWAR player and below for both of the final two years of his contract with the New York Mets. It's also notable that comparing Granderson to the broader range of outfield candidates my "Full Set" pushes his expected aging path down.

Is there a reason to think Granderson will age unusually well? This is your time commenters. Suggest it, and I will investigate it.

The Decline/The GrandyMan's Strikeout ProblemIn fact, there is reason to think Granderson will not age particularly well as is already showing signs of decline. Remember, his strikeout rates in his four years as a Yankee have been in order: 22, 24.5, 28.5, 28.2. There are three reasons Granderson struck out more in the last two years:

1. He swung at more pitches outside of the strike zone, he made contact with fewer pitches both

2. Outside the strike zone and 3. inside the strike zone.

If that 28% strikeout rate sounds high, you're right. Since 1980, there have only been 21 outfielder seasons in which a player qualified for a batting title with a strikeout rate as high as Granderson's 28.5% in 2012, (when he was healthy!). For these seasons, the average wRC+ was 110, while the mean fWAR for those seasons was 1.62 and the median was 1.5. There's certainly some selection bias here: this group of hitters averaged 27.5 homeruns per year. Put another way, teams do not tolerate that many strikeouts unless a batter is putting the ball over the wall regularly.

Because their high strikeout rates keep these players batting averages down, they must contribute offensive value through secondary skills. Among this high-strikeout group of 21 seasons, there are two above three fWAR: Adam Dunn's 2004 (4.9) and Drew Stubbs' 2010 (3.6). Dunn hit 46 homeruns with a 16% walk rate while Stubbs supplemented his offensive and defensive value by being worth 10 runs, or roughly one win, on the bases. Granderson has never had a 46 homer season, a walk rate above 12.3% or a season worth more than 6.3 runs on the bases since 2009.

Lets go back to those four seasons by our full outfield group age age 33+ that matched or exceeded their production from their peak years: Jayson Werth's 2013, Jim Edmonds' 2003 & 2004 and Mike Cameron's 2006. If those guys could do it, could Granderson?

All four had strikeout rates significantly below Granderson's in both 2012 and 2013.

Last year, Jayson Werth hit .318/.398/.532 in 129 games for the Nationals with 25 home runs. The 25 homers seems like a reasonable enough estimate for Granderson's production if he can stay healthy in 2014. Werth walked in 11.3% of his plate appearances, a rate nearly identical to Granderson's recent seasons. However, Werth struck out in only 19% of his plate appearances. That's over 9% less than Granderson's recent seasons. Granderson has one full big league season with a strikeout rate at 19% or lower -- 2008 -- when he hit .280/.365/.494 with 22 home runs for Detroit.

Jim Edmonds was great in 2003 and 2004. In '03, he hit .275/.385/.617 with 39 homers, a 14.5% walk rate and a 23.9% strikeout rate and was worth nearly a full win on defense. In '04, he poked .301/.418/.643 (!) with 42 homers, a 16.5% walk rate and a 24.5% strikeout rate. Those strikeout and walk rate numbers are just not close to Granderson's 2012 and 2013.

Mike Cameron's story is the same in 2006, when he hit .268/.355/.482 with 22 homers, an 11% walk rate and a 22.4% strikeout rate for the Padres.

Note that all of these seasons came with strikerate rates well below Granderson's 2012 but similar to his 2010-2011 period. Can he return to that form?

Conclusion

Even with a strikeout rate in the upper 20s, if Granderson can stay healthy, bop 20+ home runs in the next two years and play average- to plus-defense on the corner -- all extremely reasonable expectations -- he will be roughly a 2-to-2.5 win player, and help the Mets in the next two years. If Granderson can cut his strikeout rate back to 22-24%, his batting average and on-base percentage will rise, and he could be a 3+ win player.

However, my expectation, is that by the third year of this contract, Granderson will be a sub-two-win player - a below average regular. The concern here is not strictly a dollar/win calculation. It's simply the likelihood that Granderson just should not be starting everyday for a winning team.

Perhaps, Granderson, who has long struggled with lefties, will become the long half of platoon for the Mets with a right-handed hitter. The Mets actually have a pair of right-handed hitting outfielders in the upper minors, Puello and Cory Vaughn, who have hit lefties hard in their minor league tenure. Both Puello and Vaughn would start at the Major League minimum.

Granderson's contract potentially says something important about future Mets' payrolls. The Mets now have $36 and $35 million committed to David Wright and Granderson combined in 2016 and 2017. This is inconsistent with running a payroll below $100 million, as the Mets have done the last two seasons. They will need 23 other active players on the roster. Some of them, ideally, will be good. Some very good. Some of them will be expensive or at least, not earning the Major League minimum. In order for the Granderson contract to not hamstring the Mets' roster construction past even 2014, the team's payroll will have to rise comfortably above $100 million again so the team can continue to address other areas of weakness. This signing suggests, or even demands, that once again, the Mets will be willing to spend at a level well above their recent seasons. 

In some ways this is an odd deal for the Mets. It makes the team better in 2014 by putting a league average player, who can provide insurance for centerfield, out in a corner. It could make them better in 2015. It is extremely unlikely to add a league average player to a corner in 2016 and 2017.  There is downside risk all over.

The Mets identified a need in the outfield. They spent to fix it. However, the patch they chose looks like a short-term repair, and one that is already showing signs of ripping.

Tags: avsny, matthewcerrone, MetsBlog, tobyhyde, Toby Hyde

 (Brad Mills)
(Brad Mills)

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Josh Edgin got Bryce Harper to ground into a 1-2-3 double play to end the game. Jeurys Familia had loaded the bases with nobody out and struck out Trea Turner before Terry Collins took him out of the game.

2) Travis d'Arnaud homered twice off Max Scherzer and drove in a career-high five runs. After homering in the second to give the Mets a 2-0 lead, d'Arnaud blasted a three-run shot in the fourth to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Josh Edgin, Travis d'Arnaud
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Mets 1B Lucas Duda finished 1-for-3 with a single and a strikeout in his first rehab game for Class A St. Lucie. He played six innings at first as he began his rehab assignment coming back from a hyperextended elbow,

Duda had been placed on the 10-day disabled list last Friday due to the injury.

He suffered the injury on Wednesday, April 19 and did not appear in a game after, meaning he's eligible to return from the DL on April 30.

Tags: Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda
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The Mets (8-13) open a three-game series with the first-place Nationals (16-6) in Washington, D.C. on Friday night at 7:05. The Mets were swept by the Braves in a rain-shortened two game series that concluded Thursday, and have lost six games in a row.

The Mets' six game losing streak is their longest since they lost seven in a row from June 17-24, 2015. ... The last time the Mets were five games under .500 was Setpember 27, 2014. ... The Mets are 2-6 in their last eight series against the Nationals.

The Mets' six game losing streak is their longest since they lost seven in a row from June 17-24, 2015. ... The last time the Mets were five games under .500 was Setpember 27, 2014. ... The Mets are 2-6 in their last eight series against the Nationals.

 

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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In this week's #FeedbackFriday edition of the MetsBlog Q&ACast, MetsBlog's Maggie Wiggin and I answer fan voicemails about...

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Syndergaard on biceps injury 00:01:17
Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard discusses skipping his start against the Atlanta Braves due to inflammation in his right biceps.

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard, who was scratched from Thursday afternoon's start against the Braves due to discomfort in his biceps/shoulder, has been cleared to start on Sunday, manager Terry Collins said after Friday night's win over Washington.

Syndergaard had a throwing session on Friday that went well, Collins said earlier Friday.

Syndergaard said he took anti-inflammatory medication earlier this week, played catch Wednesday, and 'felt great,' but then his arm stiffened up again in the cold and wet weather, which restricted him from lifting his arm above his head.

Per doctor's orders, he took additional anti-inflammatory medication and entered Thursday feeling like he could pitch. But, in an effort to be extra careful, the team decided to not let him start...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Yoenis Cespedes heading to the disabled list with a pulled hamstring will be a crushing blow for the Mets, who posted a 15-21 record with him out of the starting lineup last season. Yet the firewall for the Mets in recent seasons has been the strength and depth of the team's starting rotation. And now that appears seriously breached, as well.

As they enter a weekend series against the Nationals in D.C., during which they will face Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, the Mets are five games under .500 for the first time since Sept. 27, 2014. They are in last place in the NL East and 7½ games behind Washington. Their current six-game losing streak is the team's longest in nearly 23 months.

The scariest part of the current skid? The state of the once-envied rotation...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Yoenis Cespedes
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Cespedes limps off the field 00:02:08
Yoenis Cespedes limps off the field with a left hamstring injury after hitting a double against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.

Yoenis Cespedes has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to his strained left hamstring and LHP Sean Gilmartin has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas, the Mets announced Friday.

Mets manager Terry Collins said the team got better news than expected on Cespedes, but that he would still be out for a while.

Cespedes exited Thursday afternoon's game in the fourth inning due to the hamstring injury after he came up limping while legging out a double to lead off the inning.

Tags: Sean Gilmartin, Yoenis Cespedes
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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)

I have no idea what to write or think about the current state of Mets. Their situation has become such a mess, so fast, so aggressively, I'm left totally bewildered.

Frankly, I feel like we left St. Lucie, started on a happy walk down the street, swaying, whistling beneath the sun, birds chirping, feeling great about ourselves and the potential of a terrific season. Then without warning ... WHACK. Someone cracked us on the back of the head with a sledgehammer, and now we're bleeding, hunched over, seeing stars, dizzy and can't remember our names.

How this happened, I don't know.

But it's too early to give up. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, Matthew Cerrone
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Jeep Pitchcast: Reed's arm angle 00:00:25
SNY breaks down Addison Reed's arm angle and pitch location with his fastball.

Mets RH reliever Addison Reed, who filled in at closer during Jeurys Familia's absence, has been terrific so far in 2017.

Reed has a 3.09 ERA and 0.69 WHIP with no walks and 15 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings (11 games) this season.

He struck out the side during his inning against the Braves on Thursday afternoon, and SNY's Ron Darling had the following to say about Reed's arm angle:

"He raises that front arm. And when he throws the ball away from right-handers, it's very hard to catch up. ... He steps acrsos his body, then fires it to the other side of the plate -- glove side of the plate."

Tags: Addison Reed
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Apr 22, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) congratulates third baseman Jose Reyes (7) after scoring during the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Washington Nationals won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Anthony Gruppuso)
Apr 22, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Jay Bruce (19) congratulates third baseman Jose Reyes (7) after scoring during the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Washington Nationals won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports (Anthony Gruppuso)

After the Mets lost their sixth straight game and their 10th in their last 11, third baseman Jose Reyes said New York has lacked energy over the past two weeks.

"No doubt, me myself, I feel like I have no energy at all," Reyes said, according to the New York Post's Brian Lewis, after Thursday's 7-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves dropped the Mets to 8-13 and to the bottom of the NL East. "We don't have energy out there. We feel that way, like we go out there with no energy. It's hard to win a ballgame like that."

New York's six-game losing streak is its longest such streak since losing seven straight in June 2015.

Heading into a stretch in which the Mets play 13 of their next 19 games on the road, including this weekend's three-game series against the division-leading Washington Nationals and a four-game series against the Braves, manager Terry Collins addressed his team following Thursday's loss.

Tags: Jose Reyes
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This season, thanks to Citi, each time the home run apple goes up at Citi Field, another step is taken in the fight against childhood hunger.

For each Mets home run at Citi Field this season, Citi has pledged to donate $2,000 to No Kid Hungry. Every dollar donated provides 10 healthy meals, meaning each Citi donation provides up to 20,000 meals to kids in need in NYC and throughout the U.S. Learn more at NoKidHungry.org/onedollar.

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Apr 27, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) reacts after an injury in the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 27, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) reacts after an injury in the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Mets will try to get back on track Friday as they open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals in D.C. at 7:05 p.m. on SNY.

Jacob deGrom (0-1, 2.55 ERA) will face off Max Scherzer (3-1, 1.95 ERA) for the second consecutive outing. DeGrom walked six batters against Washington on Sunday, but also struck out 10 batters. Scherzer gave up three runs on five hits in eight innings against the Mets on Sunday.

The Mets will be without Yoenis Cespedes, who left Thursday's game with a hamstring strain and is scheduled to have an MRI. Manager Terry Collins said he expects Cespedes to land on the disabled list.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Washington Nationals, Yoenis Cespedes
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New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo connects for a base hit against the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at First Data Field. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo connects for a base hit against the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at First Data Field. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Brandon Nimmo led off and played nine innings in a rehab game for Single-A St. Lucie on Thursday night.

Nimmo went 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout as he completed his second rehab game in as many days.

He went 1-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and three runs Wednesday in his first rehab game since straining hamstring during the World Baseball Classic in March.

Nimmo, 24, hit .274 with one home run and six RBIs in 32 games for the Mets last season. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo
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In this week's Meet the MetsCast, comedian Steve Hofstetter and I discuss the week's best off-beat moments and topics about the Mets, including...

  • As fans, how we're each dealing with the team's losing streak...
  • If it's better for the Mets to be playing on the road right now?
  • Fan sentiment toward Daniel Murphy, who is crushing New York since leaving...
  • The life and times of Oliver Perez, who pitched twice against the Mets this past weekend.

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

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Mets RHP Matt Harvey allowed six runs on five hits while walking five and striking out one in 4 1/3 innings against the Braves on Thursday as his ERA rose to 4.25 for the season.

He said after the game that he had an 'intense' workout on Wednesday, was tight during his start, and that his body didn't respond. 

Harvey tossed a 1-2-3 first inning as his fastball sat in the mid-90s, but struggled with his command each inning after. 

Tags: Matt Harvey
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Collins on Cespedes injury 00:07:41
Terry Collins discusses Yoenis Cespedes' left hamstring injury following the Mets' 7-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.

Mets manager Terry Collins addressed his team after Thursday afternoon's loss, before speaking to reporters, and told them it's time to begin doing what they did so well last season, which is fight through adversity.

In 2016, the Mets lost several players to injury during the season, including Yoenis Cespedes, Matt Harvey, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jacob deGrom and others, yet still won the top Wild Card.

I told them, 'We can do it again, but it's got to start now,'" Collins said, raising his voice in response to a reporter's question. "OK, so the weather is gonna start changing. That can no longer be the excuse. It's now time to go out and grind it out as we did last year...

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 4/27 00:03:43
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets? 7-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Yoenis Cespedes limped off the field in the fourth inning after injuring the same hamstring that kept him out for three games recently.

2) Matt Harvey looked great in the first inning and looked like a mess thereafter, as his command vanished and his fastball velocity dipped as low as 90 MPH. He limited the damage until the fifth, when he was done in by a three-run homer by Kurt Suzuki that ended his day...

Tags: Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes, Josh Smoker, Juan Lagares, Matt Harvey, Michael Conforto, TJ Rivera, Travis d'Arnaud, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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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 their 10 games since April 14, the Mets are 1-9, they've made 13 errors, they're batting just .178, and averaging less than three runs a game. Also, they've played 93 innings, during 40 percent of which they sent just three batters to the plate.

This is a classic Sandy Alderson team, though. It's built on power hitting and power pitching. Its goal is to win by hitting home runs and striking guys out. That's it. It's not very nuanced or creative or strategic. It's not about stealing bases, manufacturing runs, pitching to contact or having a top-rated defense. He may be smart, and he might make decisions using statistical evidence, but to Alderson baseball is simple.

In 2013, I asked Alderson on record about his ideal roster...

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R.A. Dickey (19) throws a pitch against the Nationals at SunTrust Park. Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY
R.A. Dickey (19) throws a pitch against the Nationals at SunTrust Park. Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY

R.A. Dickey will make his first appearance at Citi Field since being traded by the Mets in late 2012.

In 2012, Dickey, his story and his knuckleball distracted Mets fans from an otherwise disappointing season, during which he led the NL in victories (20) and strikeouts (230) and won the franchise's first Cy Young Award since Dwight Gooden in 1985...

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The Mets (8-12) continue their shortened two-game series against the Braves (7-12) at Citi Field at 1:10 p.m. on Thursday. The Mets, who were off on Monday and were rained out on Tuesday, lost to Atlanta 8-2 Wednesday night.

Noah Syndergaard was today's scheduled starter, but was scratched Thursday morning after experiencing discomfort in his biceps.

The Mets have lost five straight games and nine of their last 10 to fall to fourth place in the N.L. East -- 6.5 games behind the first place Nationals. ... The Mets are 4-9 at home this season. ... The Mets opened this season by winning 2 of 3 games against the Braves at Citi Field. 

Who is starting today for the Mets? 

Right-hander Matt Harvey, (2.84 ERA/4.91 FIP, 0.947 WHIP), who allowed three runs on four hits while striking out two and walking two last Friday against the Nationals.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard
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Jose Reyes (7) reacts at third base at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Jose Reyes (7) reacts at third base at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets committed three errors in the first three innings of their series-opening loss Wednesday to the Braves at Citi Field.

It was the team's fifth straight loss, during which they've logged seven errors.

Tags: Jose Reyes, Robert Gsellman, Yoenis Cespedes
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Apr 26, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 26, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Robert Gsellman (65) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Mets rookie RHP Robert Gsellman gave up five earned runs on 10 hits in four plus innings during Wednesday night's loss to the Braves.

The five earned runs all came in the first inning.

"He fell behind in counts," manager Terry Collins said after the game. "When you fall behind in counts in the big leagues, you're going to get in trouble."

 

Tags: Robert Gsellman
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Your dreams of getting past the concessions and actually stepping on the grass at Citi Field might just come true this season.

Each month from May to September, lucky Mets fans who subscribe to Sports Crate's hot, new Mets gear subscription box could receive the opportunity to participate in special VIP Mets experiences.

These experiences are part of the Golden Ticket rewards that elevate those much beloved orange and blue colors to a new level - view batting practice on the field, meet team legends or players, or throw out the first pitch. Membership to Sports Crate means there's a chance every month to get Golden Ticket opportunities delivered straight to a subscriber's door.

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Collins, Gsellman on Mets defeat 00:05:12
Terry Collins and Robert Gsellman comment on the Mets' frustrating 8-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

The Mets will again try to rebound and split a rain-shortened two-game series with the Braves at Citi Field today at 1:10 p.m. on SNY.

R.A. Dickey (1-2, 3.86) and Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 1.73 ERA) will face each other for the first time since they were involved in the same trade during 2012.

Tags: Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, Wilmer Flores
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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 4/26 00:03:27
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets' 8-2 loss to the Braves, their fifth defeat in a row.

For a full box score of the game, click here.

Things you should know about today's game...

1) Robert Gsellman allowed five runs in the first inning, paving the way for the Mets' fifth straight loss and ninth in 10 games. Gsellman (0-2) was charged with six runs (five earned) on 10 hits and three walks while striking out two in four-plus innings.

2) The Mets made three errors in the first three innings, giving them 13 during their 1-9 stretch.

Tags: Robert Gsellman
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The Mets (8-11) open a shortened two-game series against the Braves (6-12) at Citi Field at 7:10 p.m. The Mets, who were off on Monday and were rained out on Tuesday, were swept in a three-game series by the Nationals over the weekend.

The Mets have lost four straight games and eight of their last nine to fall to fourth place in the N.L. East -- 5.5 games behind the first place Nationals. ... The Mets are 4-8 at home this season. ... The last time the Mets were three games under .500 was April 12 of last season, when they were 2-5. ... The Mets opened this season by winning 2 of 3 games against the Braves at Citi Field. 

Who is starting tonight for the Mets? 

Right-hander Robert Gsellman, (5.09 ERA/3.48 FIP, 1.36 WHIP), who allowed three runs on six hits while walking one and striking out seven last Wednesday against the Phillies...

Tags: Robert Gsellman
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Mets LHP Steven Matz and RHP Seth Lugo have both thrown from 120 feet while rehabbing their respective injuries and are expected to soon begin mound work, manager Terry Collins said Wednesday.

Matz, who has been out since the end of Spring Training due to a left arm injury, began a throwing program last Wednesday.

He could theoretically return around the end of May, though an exact timetable has not been set, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said last week.

Tags: Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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Mar 20, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) hits a single to right center during the fourth inning of an MLB spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Mar 20, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman Wilmer Flores (4) hits a single to right center during the fourth inning of an MLB spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

Wilmer Flores has been discharged from the hospital and is in Port St. Lucie where he will resume baseball activities at an undertermined date, MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reports.

Flores was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with a left knee infection and reportedly spent the weekend in a New York hospital to receive treatment.

He is eligible to come off the disabled list prior to Sunday's game with the Nationals.

Flores is hitting .171 with two homers and three RBIs in 12 games this season.

Tags: Southern Methodist University, Wilmer Flores
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 (Scott Rovak)
(Scott Rovak)

The Mets have recalled Matt Reynolds from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned Sean Gilmartin to Las Vegas. Reynolds will be in uniform for Wednesday's game against the Braves.

The 26-year-old was hitting .300 with four RBIs and 10 runs scored in 13 games with the 51s, starting games in left field, center and third base. Reynolds made his Major League debut last year with New York and hit .225/.266/.416 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 47 games.

Gilmartin made one appearance for the Mets, recording two outs without allowing a run. The southpaw has a 3.69 ERA in 65 Major League appearances.

Tags: Matt Reynolds, Sean Gilmartin
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Mets have a rotation of young, fire-balling pitchers, led of course by Noah Syndergaard.

What makes the rotation so special is the fact that all of its members have great secondary pitches. However, the main focus is usually on their fastballs.

Here are the fastest pitches each member of the Mets rotation has thrown so far this season, courtesy of Statcast:

  1. Noah Syndergaard: 100.9 MPH sinking fastball on April 9 against the Marlins.
  2. Jacob deGrom: 97.4 MPH 4-seam fastball on April 22 against the Nationals...
Tags: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler
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SNY's Steve Gelbs and Wayne Randazzo of WOR were live from the Citi Pavillion today providing the latest updates on the Mets and answering questions from fans.

Click below to watch.

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Oct 1, 2016; Mets celebrate after clinching a wild-card berth. Credit: Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2016; Mets celebrate after clinching a wild-card berth. Credit: Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The old saying goes that you cannot win a pennant in April, but you certainly can lose it. So let's not fully dismiss the uphill battle the Mets have created by getting swept by the Nationals this past weekend, which has spotted Washington a five-game lead over them in the division.

However, let's also resist the easy temptation to declare the sky is falling because the Mets are in the midst of a 1-7 stretch that has dropped them three games under .500 entering Wednesday's game against the Braves at Citi Field...

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes
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Dash Winningham playing for the Columbia Fireflies in April. (Brian McLeod/MiLB.com)
Dash Winningham playing for the Columbia Fireflies in April. (Brian McLeod/MiLB.com)

Mets 1B prospect Dash Winningham's second season with the low-A Columbia Fireflies got off to a resounding start. An eighth-round pick in 2014 out of high school in Ocala, Fla., Winningham began this season with consecutive four-RBI games.

The 21-year-old Winningham currently is hitting .246 with one home run and 13 RBIs through 65 at-bats. The RBI total leads the Fireflies and ranks sixth in the South Atlantic League.

 

 

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This season, during every Mets home game on SNY, you can enter for a chance to win Mets tickets and be featured as the Mets Trivia Drive contestant live on SNY.

Just follow @SNYtv on Twitter and during the 5th inning look for the SNY 5th Inning Sweepstakes Presented by your Local Ford Dealers question.

Tweet your answer to @SNYtv using #SNYFord5thSweepstakes to be automatically entered to win.

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Apr 21, 2017; Terry Collins (10) on the dugout phone at Citi Field. Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 21, 2017; Terry Collins (10) on the dugout phone at Citi Field. Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins is not panicking and he still believes in his team, he told the NY Post's Kevin Kernan.

Kernan's article is more or less one long quote from the manager, who - among other talking points, cliches and wisdom - says...

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New York Mets starting pitcher Robert Gsellman delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Mets starting pitcher Robert Gsellman delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Citi Field. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Robert Gsellman (0-1, 5.09 ERA) will face Julio Teheran (1-1, 3.52 ERA) as the Mets begin a shortened series with the Braves tonight at Citi Field.

Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d'Arnaud were in Tuesday's lineup before the game was postponed by rain. The two players are expected to again be in the starting lineup tonight after missing the previous few games due to injury.

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The Fountain of Youth 00:02:27
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein debate if it's time for the Mets to call up some promising young talent including top prospect Amed Rosario.

The Mets are not a 'train wreck,' Bob Klapisch, though you make several excellent points about why this season may be a constant struggle. Sandy Alderson's current roster still has World Series upside. The team's potential has not changed in the three weeks since leaving Spring Training.

"It's easy to push the panic button, it's easy to say, 'Oh, sh!t,' but we are too good for that," Jay Bruce said Sunday, according to the NY Post. "We are a legitimate World Series contender, I believe, and I wouldn't just say that. This is a team that is stacked. We just have to be healthy and play well."

I agree. That said, I fear Alderson and Collins are still making decisions like they did a few years when rebuilding, as opposed to reverse engineering every choice based on winning a Championship.

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Apr 25, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; 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; New York City, NY, USA; 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 first game of a three game series between the Mets and Braves at Citi Field has been rained out.

Tuesday night's game has been rescheduled for 4:10 p.m. on September 25 as part of a doubleheader. 

Robert Gsellman, who the Mets had planned to skip, according to Marc Carig of Newsday, will make his scheduled start on Wednesday. Noah Syndergaard will start the series finale on Thursday.

Julio Teheran, who was scheduled to start on Tuesday for Atlanta, will start on Wednesday, according to Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan.

Tags: Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Robert Gsellman
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 (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
(Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

LF Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring) and C Travis d'Arnaud (wrist) are back in the Mets' lineup on Tuesday night.

However, Cespedes may be scratched from the lineup if the game is played in inclement weather, Terry Collins said.

Cespedes has not played since exiting last Thursday's game with the hamstring issue. He was on deck to pinch hit Sunday night when the Mets made the final out of the game against the Nationals.

Tags: Matt Reynolds
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New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a three RBI home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)
New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits a three RBI home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher)

Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes has turned to analytics to help improve his performance at the plate, Ken Rosenthal explains in an article for FoxSports.com.

The Mets have been able to show Cespedes the zones where he tends to chase pitches, resulting in him using that information to generate 11 walks in just 16 games.

"For him to be leading our team in walks is nothing short of a miracle," the team's hitting coach, Kevin, Long told Rosenthal, when asked how statistical analysis has benefited Cespedes.

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes
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Apr 5, 2017; Citi Field during the second inning in April. Mandatory Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2017; Citi Field during the second inning in April. Mandatory Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets begin a three-game series against the Braves on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.

Robert Gsellman (0-1, 5.09 ERA) will face Julio Teheran (1-1, 3.52 ERA) in the opener.

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This season, Verizon customers can enter to win unique baseball experiences to every Tuesday Night Baseball home game... all you need is a current Verizon Wireless or Verizon Fios account!

It's better baseball from the Better Network.

To enter, go to SNY.TV/VERIZON or click here for more information...

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In this week's MetsBlog Q&ACast, I call on NY Post columnist Kevin Kernan to talk me off the ledge in April, as we discuss...

1) If the Mets can rebound from starting the season 8-11...
2) Whether Sandy Alderson left his roster too vulnerable to injury...
3) How much the Mets miss Daniel Murphy's bat and attitude...
4) Amed Rosario, and if he should be promoted...
5) The long view, and all that still has to happen before the end of the season...

To review my talk with Kernan, I'm joined at the end of the show by my friend Brian Mangan, who does a terrific job co-hosting the Good Fundies podcast...

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

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