In 2012, the Buffalo Bisons are averaging a franchise-worst 6,992 fans per game. It is the first time the team has been below 7,000 in the 25 years of Coca-Cola Field. Do not blame the Mets.

Rather, this disappointing result, down from a high of 17,235 per game back in 1991, is the culmination of a slide that has lasted over two decades. That's average attendance on the y-axis matched by year on the x-axis.

 

 

The uncomfortable truth for Buffalo is that the team's attendance was way down from their late-80s and early 90s highs even before the Mets arrived in 2009.

There have been good years and bad years, but since the ballpark opened, the Bisons' attendance has declined by an average of 3.8% over the previous year. Just seven times in 24 tries has the team increased their attendance on the previous season. One of those cases came in 2010, in the second year as a Mets' affiliate. Perhaps the fans were responding a little bit to a better team on the field, as the 2010 team finished 76-68, a far cry from 2009's miserable 56-87.

The role of  that 2009 team, the Mets first in Buffalo deserves a brief examination. Bisons' attendance was more or less flat in the middle years of the last decade as the team averaged between 8,768 and 8,947 fans from 2004 through 2008 in the final five years as a Cleveland affiliate. However, when the Mets put their first clunker of a team in Buffalo in 2009, attendance declined 8.9% on average versus 2008, the third largest annualized decline in Coca-Cola Field. One plausible theory is that the 2009 team soured Buffalo the town, and Buffalo the organization on the Mets. However, I find that theory incomplete at best. First, as Jess G. pointed out on Twitter, that the economic crisis of 2008 surely had a carryover into attendance in 2009. Second, the relationship between winning and attendance is very, very weak. In the final three years of their player development contract, the Mets did a much better job stocking Buffalo with AAA veterans along the lines of Valentino Pascucci, Matt Tuiasosopo and Fred Lewis on the position side.

 

Winning and AttendanceHow weak is the relationship between winning and attendance in minor league baseball? Lets examine Buffalo.

 

 

Winning percentage is on the x-axis and attendance per game is on the y-axis. What's happening here? Not much. There's a weak positive correlation between a team's winning percentage and that year's attendance, but nothing that would sustain the argument that a winning team on the field will put more fans in the seats that summer.

 

Toronto, Eh?The Bisons might be more interested in a stronger regional affiliation with the Jays. It is under two hours from Coca-Cola Field to Rogers Centre without traffic whereas it is almost seven to drive to Citi Field. Few New Yorkers were spending 14 hours to drive roundtrip to Buffalo. How many Torontans will spend the roughly four hours to drive round-trip to Buffalo? That's a more palatable weekend trip for a baseball junkie. So probably a few more, but I would expect a negligible increase in the grand scheme of team attendance - hardly enough to off-set the Bisons' two-decade attendance slide.

Toronto has a strong farm system. Coming into the year, Baseball America had them ranked #5 in the game, while ESPN.com had them at #3.  Writing at Baseball Prospectus, Kevin Goldstein said before the season that "Some elite position players and a cadre of young high-ceiling pitchers make Toronto the envy of every team in baseball."

The Blue Jays, over their current PDC setup in Las Vegas, have finished over .500 once in four tries. This year for example, in that highly touted Jays system, the AAA team in Las Vegas is 73-55, while the double-A team in 53-74. Both of the a-ball teams in Lansing and Dunedin own winning percentages over .580. Las Vegas finished two games under .500 in 2011 while New Hampshire was 12-over. Moving back to 2010, Vegas was 12-games under .500, while New Hampshire was 17 over. In 2009, Vegas was two games under, while New Hampshire was 14 games under.

In choosing Toronto over New York, the Bisons will leave the US' largest media market for Canada's and the New York City metro area of over 18 million people for the Toronto metro area of almost 6 million people. For what it's worth, even with the Mets own attendance slide, the Mets are still out drawing the Jays 29,487 to 27,851 per game this year.

A good farm system does not automatically translate into winning records for affiliates, nor do winning records do not translated into attendance jumps for the affiliates.

This move cannot be about winning and losing games for the Bisons. Instead, it could be about geography and relationships.

Tags: Analysis, Business of Baseball, Toby Hyde

New York Mets' Michael Conforto (30) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Mets' Michael Conforto (30) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

MLB commiossioner Rob Manfred will be taking five immediate actions after a study revealed that the baseballs have gotten more aerodynamic during the current home run surge.

There were an all-time high 6,105 home runs hit during the 2017 season, up from 5,610 in 2016 and 4,909 in 2015. 

The study, which was conducted by a committee of scientists on the increases of the home run rate since 2015, was assembled by Manfred in August of 2017 and included chairman Alan Nathan, the Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of Illinois, and nine other experts...

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Apr 11, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run against the Miami Marlins in the eighth inning during a MLB game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 11, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run against the Miami Marlins in the eighth inning during a MLB game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Kevin Plawecki started at catcher and went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer Wednesday night as he begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Las Vegas. 

Plawecki has been out since April 11 due to a hairline fracture in his left hand. Grip strength in Plawecki's left hand doubled earlier this month, and he began a hitting progression shortly after.

Without Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud (who is out for the season due to Tommy John surgery), the Mets have been using a combination of Devin Mesoraco and Tomas Nido behind the plate recently. 

Tags: Kevin Plawecki
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New York Mets thrid baseman Todd Frazier (21) congratulates New York Mets left Fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52). Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
New York Mets thrid baseman Todd Frazier (21) congratulates New York Mets left Fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52). Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Yoenis Cespedes (hip) and Todd Frazier (hamstring) are both eligible to return from their respective 10-day DL stints, but neither is expected to return within the next few days. Cespedes has been out since May 14, with Frazier out since May 8. 

Cespedes and Frazier accompanied the Mets on their road trip that begins Thursday night against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

"They're in the same spot,'' Mickey Callaway said on Wednesday. "They're day-to-day. They're gonna come on the road trip with us just so our guys can continue to get their hands on them."

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

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

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

Tags: Jeurys Familia, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/23 00:02:03
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling discuss Jeurys Familia's blown save and the Mets wasting another great performance by Jacob deGrom.

Jeurys Familia could not protect a 1-0 lead in the ninth as the Mets dropped their second straight to the Marlins, 2-1, on Wednesday night at Citi Field.

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

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

1) Familia (2-2) allowed four hits and two runs in the ninth inning to blow his fourth save in 17 opportunities. JT Realmuto tied the game with a single, but Michael Conforto temporarily kept it that way by throwing out Derek Dietrich at the plate for the second out. Following an intentional walk to Justin BourStarlin Castro singled to bring in Realmuto with the tie-breaking run.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia
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May 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 23, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom had yet another brilliant performance in his start against the Marlins on Wednesday night. 

Just days after tossing a 13-strikeout game against the Diamondbacks, deGrom cruised through the Marlins lineup. It wasn't the start deGrom wanted when he plunked Derek Dietrich to lead off the game. But he would get three straight outs to complete the first. 

The second innings saw more of the same, with a walk to Miguel Rojas being the only baserunner. The Marlins finally struck for their first hit in the fourth when Justin Bour placed a bunt into the hole left by third base on a shift...

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Apr 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Apr 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland said before the season that he wanted his guys to pitch inside more, and Jacob deGrom is one pitcher who has taken pitching inside to a whole new level.

From 2017 to 2018, deGrom's fastball usage against left-handed batters has changed dramatically, as the graphic below shows:

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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May 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an rbi single during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
May 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an rbi single during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets (24-20) wrap up their three-game series against the Marlins (18-30) on Wednesday night at Citi Field at 7:10. 

Mets notes...

The Mets are 5-2 on their current homestand, which concludes tonight. ... The Mets are 4-1 against the Marlins this season, posting a 2.20 ERA in 45.0 innings against them. ... Mets pitching has struck out nine or more batters in seven straight games -- tied for the longest streak in franchise history. ... The Mets have 14 come-from-behind wins this season -- the third most in the majors. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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May 20, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Asdrubal Cabrera (13) reacts with shortstop Jose Reyes (7) after hitting the game winning two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports  (Andy Marlin)
May 20, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pinch hitter Asdrubal Cabrera (13) reacts with shortstop Jose Reyes (7) after hitting the game winning two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

On the latest episode of Shea Anything, Doug Williams and Andy Martino discuss the sad state of affairs surrounding Jose Reyes, the Jose Bautista signing, and the importance of getting quality starts from the likes of Zack Wheeler and Jason Vargas.

Plus, Doug and Andy want to hear from you! Go to SNY.tv/SheaAnything and upload a video or audio clip of your take on the Mets. Keep it to 30 seconds or less, make it good, and you may be on the show!

Click below to listen!

Tags: Jason Vargas, Jose Reyes, Zack Wheeler
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Michael Conforto celebrates with Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo after the Mets beat the D-backs in walk-off fashion at Citi Field on Saturday. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
Michael Conforto celebrates with Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo after the Mets beat the D-backs in walk-off fashion at Citi Field on Saturday. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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

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SNY's Steve Gelbs and David Lennon of Newsday were live from the Citi Pavilion today providing the latest updates on the Mets and answering questions from fans.

Click below to watch.

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LM: Should the Mets DFA Reyes? 00:05:17
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein discuss the Mets' slumping offense and whether veteran infielder Jose Reyes is in serious danger of being DFA'd.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Word this afternoon is that Jose Reyes' roster spot remains safe, at least over the next several days. The Mets do not plan to cut him as a reaction to last night's two error performance.

That equation could change before long, though -- especially when Todd Frazier returns from the disabled list. At that point, the team could buy time on a Reyes decision by optioning Luis Guillorme or a reliever. Or they could decide that Reyes' long Mets career is over.

Reading between the lines, if Reyes doesn't show value soon, the end could be drawing near. It just won't come today.

Tags: Jose Reyes, Andy Martino
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Piazza breaks his bat at the plate at Shea Stadium in 1999. Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
Piazza breaks his bat at the plate at Shea Stadium in 1999. Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Gameday: Keith's scorecard 00:03:09
In the latest installment of Gameday, Keith Hernandez discusses how he prepares his scorecard for each night's game.

May 22, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 22, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings against the Marlins on Tuesday night, and was done in by an inexcusable error by Jose Reyes in the second inning. 

With runners on first and second and one out in the second, pitcher Caleb Smith bunted toward Reyes at third base while attempting to move the runners over. Reyes fielded the ball and would have had the runner out by 20 feet at second base, but didn't throw there. Instead, he hesitated before throwing wild to first base -- allowing Smith to reach.

After Wheeler got Martin Prado to pop out for the second out of the inning, J.T. Realmuto's two-run single made it 3-0, Marlins, with both runs unearned due to Reyes' gaffe...

Tags: Jose Reyes, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Porsche, Coca-Cola®, and the Mets have teamed up to provide fans the opportunity to win an experience to catch the Mets take on the Braves in Atlanta.

Enter for the chance for you and a guest to win this once in a lifetime trip, including the following:

  • Roundtrip airfare for two
  • Hotel accommodations for two for one night
  • Two tickets to the Mets vs. Braves game on Tuesday, June 12th
  • Access to pre-game batting practice on the field at SunTrust park
  • Gift card for the food and beverage at the game
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Bautista's first Mets hit 00:00:56
Jose Bautista doubles down the left field line in his first at-bat as a member of the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

The newest member of the Mets arrived just in time for Tuesday night's game against the Marlins and made an immediate impact.

Jose Bautista, recently released by the Braves, doubled in his first at-bat and scored the Mets' only run of the night. He batted fifth and started in left field.

Bautista flew from Tampa to New York in the afternoon to join the Mets, who were searching for a right-handed hitter to add depth in their depleted outfield.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra 00:02:23
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez discuss the impact of veteran Jose Bautista after the Mets' 5-1 loss to the Marlins on Tuesday.

Caleb Smith allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings to help the Marlins end the Mets' winning streak at four games with a 5-1 win on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

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

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

1) Zack Wheeler overcame a shaky second inning to turn in a solid start for New York, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs -- one earned -- on 106 pitches in six innings. He retired 13-of-his-last-15 batters and matched his season high with nine strikeouts while issuing no walks for the first time in eight starts.

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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May 4, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Jose Bautista (23) hits a double against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
May 4, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Jose Bautista (23) hits a double against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Jose Bautista signing is not a big enough deal to get worked up about, but that's the best thing I can think to say about it.

Okay, that's not totally fair. The move makes logical sense, in that Bautista is a righthanded hitter, and the Mets need outfielders.

The only problem is that, in the eyes of multiple talent evaluators, Bautista does not seem to have much left. He was 5 for 35 in a brief stint with Atlanta this year, and posted a .674 OPS in 157 games in 2017. There is little indication that, at 37, he can still be productive.

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May 18, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Jose Bautista (23) warms up during batting practice before their game against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
May 18, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Jose Bautista (23) warms up during batting practice before their game against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

Moments after the Mets signed Jose Bautista on Tuesday, general manager Sandy Alderson touted the veteran outfielder's ability to hit left-handed pitchers.

"We had been looking at the possibility of a right-handed bat in the outfield that could spell our other outfielders and give us some offensive potential against a left-handed pitcher," Alderson said. "Given the way that we expect he will be used initially, that fit pretty well with what we need."

Bautista has three hits -- including two home runs -- in 16 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season. In his career, Bautista has hit .257 with 82 home runs and 203 RBI against left-handers.

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BNNY: Bautista joins the Mets 00:06:25
The BNNY panel discusses Jose Bautista signing with the Mets, and whether he is a good fit for the team this season.

The Mets have agreed to a one-year major league deal with INF/OF Jose Bautista, who was released by the Atlanta Braves this past weekend, the Mets announced Tuesday. Bautista will be available for Tuesday night's game, with Phillip Evans optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the roster.  

SNY's Andy Martino had reported a deal was close. 

Bautista, who was just 5-for-35 (.143) with two home runs after joining Atlanta's big-league roster on May 5, had agreed to a minor league deal in April.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Yoenis Cespedes
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New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario is congratulated by left fielder Brandon Nimmo after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario is congratulated by left fielder Brandon Nimmo after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets (24-19) continue their three-game series against the Marlins (17-30) on Tuesday night at Citi Field at 7:10. 

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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May 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an rbi single during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
May 18, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an rbi single during the first inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Michelle Ioannou, MetsBlog | TwitterWhen the Mets opened their series in Philadelphia on May 11, Ron Darling and Gary Cohen spoke on SNY about how if Michael Conforto is hot, the Mets will be hot. In case you don't remember, this was the game where the Mets were losing to the Phillies, 1-0, going into the ninth. Conforto hit a bomb that just missed and landed foul. He then compensated for this by hitting a two-run home run, putting the Mets in front. He sparked a rally, with Devin Mesoraco knocking it out of the park right after him for his first homer after becoming a Met. The Mets, who were reeling at the time, desperately needed that come-from-behind win.

And Conforto needed that big hit, too, as he had hit a slump towards the end of April and beginning of May, to the point where he was kept out of the lineup twice in order to have mental health days off. That is not the Conforto any of us know, or ever want to see. Shortly before the Phillies series -- upon returning from being benched for two days, Conforto led off a Monday game against the Reds, going 2-for-5 with a solo home run, helping his team finally win a game. Not a bad way to break a slump, right?

Since then, Conforto has continued to heat up. Over his last 10 games, Conforto is hitting .333/.366/.590 with 13 hits -- including three home runs -- and seven RBI. To put things into perspective, from April 13 - May 6, Conforto was just 8-for-58, hitting .138. He's improved in a drastic, much-needed way.

Tags: Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Michelle Ioannou
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Mike Piazza (AP)
Mike Piazza (AP)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | 20 years ago today, the Mets made one of the biggest moves in franchise history, acquiring Mike Piazza from the Marlins for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall, and Geoff Goetz.

I was a 14-year-old listening to Mike and the Mad Dog on WFAN when I heard the news, and ran back and forth in my house in excitement. It was the biggest moment I had experienced up to that point as a Mets fan, and I -- along with thousands of others -- rushed out to Shea Stadium the next day to see Piazza make his Mets debut against the Brewers. 

Piazza -- a 29-year-old superstar in his prime -- instantly turned the Mets from a nice little team into a legitimate contender. And for the first time since Darryl Strawberry departed following the 1990 season, the Mets had a hitter whose every at-bat was a must-see event. Piazza shined in his Mets debut, but his first huge Mets moment arguably came at the Astrodome on Sept. 16, when his laser of a three-run homer off Billy Wagner in the top of the ninth inning erased a 2-0 deficit. Watch his debut and the huge homer in Houston below...

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Sep 26, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 26, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (26) rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets C Kevin Plawecki will join Triple-A Las Vegas Tuesday and begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday. Plawecki has been out since April 11 due to a hairline fracture in his left hand.

Grip strength in Plawecki's left hand doubled earlier this month, and he began a hitting progression shortly after.

Without Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud (who is out for the season due to Tommy John surgery), the Mets have been using a combination of Devin Mesoraco and Tomas Nido behind the plate recently. ..

Tags: Kevin Plawecki
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May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Toronto Blue Jays on a single by shortstop Amed Rosario (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 15, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Toronto Blue Jays on a single by shortstop Amed Rosario (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Devin Mesoraco (elbow) is not in the Mets' lineup against the Marlins on Tuesday night, but is available off the bench.

X-rays on Mets Mesoraco's left elbow came back negative Monday night after he suffered a contusion on a backswing in the Mets' 2-0 win Marlins.

Mesoraco suffered the injury midway through the game, but stayed in. He said after the game that he felt no pain and that he would be fine.

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New York Mets pitcher Anthony Swarzak throws during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)  (Jeff Roberson/AP)
New York Mets pitcher Anthony Swarzak throws during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Mets RH reliever Anthony Swarzak (left oblique strain) threw a bullpen session on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie as he continues to work his way back.

The earliest he can return is May 31. 

"He's progressing nicely," manager Mickey Callaway said last week. "We're hoping to get him in games and get him going so he can get back here and help us."

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

Robert Gsellman has been one of the Mets' most valuable weapons in the bullpen this season, and manager Mickey Callaway believes a lot of that has to do with Gsellman's attitude and desire to learn.

"When I told him and we relayed the message to him that he was gonna be going to the pen, he embraced it from day one," Callaway told SNY's Steve Gelbs prior to Monday night's win over the Marlins at Citi Field. "And you have to do that to have success. And I think that's why he's having success." 

The 24-year-old Gsellman -- like Seth Lugo -- is adjusting to his full-time bullpen role on the fly. And while he is excelling -- with a 2.76 ERA and 1.19 WHIP to go along with 28 strikeouts in 29.1 innings (21 appearances), Gsellman is still learning...

Tags: Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Danny Abriano
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GEICO SportsNite: Andy Martino 00:01:53
Andy Martino joins GEICO SportsNite to discuss Jason Vargas' start and what to expect from him and the rest of the Mets moving forward.

Mets LHP Jason Vargas struck out seven batters in five scoreless innings to earn his first victory of the year in Monday's 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.

Vargas (1-3) lowered his season ERA by nearly four runs. He entered the game 0-3 with a 13.86 ERA and a 2.68 WHIP, having allowed 19 runs, 26 hits and seven walks in 12 1/3 innings. He hadn't pitched since May 8, the Mets skipping his last turn in the rotation.

But Monday, he threw five complete innings for the first time this year, lowering his ERA down to 9.87.

"The biggest difference wasn't giving up multiple runs each inning," Vargas said, "just making quality pitches and getting some swings and misses ... It was a good night, definitely had a good rhythm going, had good control with the hitters."

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New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco runs towards home plate after hitting a home run during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco runs towards home plate after hitting a home run during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

X-rays on Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco's left elbow came back negative after he suffered a contusion on a backswing in Monday's 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins.

Mesoraco suffered the injury midway through the game on a backswing, however he stayed in the game. He said he felt no pain.

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Cadillac Post Game Extra: 5/21 00:01:42
Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez discuss the strong pitching of Jason Vargas and AJ Ramos in the Mets' 2-0 win over the Marlins.

Jason Vargas turned in his best outing of the season, tossing five two-hit innings as the Mets extended their winning streak to four games with a 2-0 win over the Marlins on Monday night at Citi Field.

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

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

1) Vargas (1-3) came into the game having allowed 34 baserunners in 12 1/3 innings over his first three starts. The 35-year-old retired the first nine batters and allowed two hits, walked one and struck out seven to lower his ERA from 13.86 to 9.87. He was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the fifth after tossing 86 pitches -- 51 for strikes.

 

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Vargas
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SNY's Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez call a Mets game from the outfield at Citi Field. (SNY)
SNY's Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez call a Mets game from the outfield at Citi Field. (SNY)

Tonight in Post Game Extra, Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling will be answering your questions about tonight's game against the Marlins.

While Gary, Keith, and Ron have a wealth of knowledge about lots of things and would love to answer every question under the sun if they could, please keep the questions specific to tonight's game. 

Leave your questions in the comments section below!

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