Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The shadier side of human nature tells us that this should be a relationship full of side-eye, judgmental head shakes and half-hearted high-fives, even during happy home run celebrations.

Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith are both first basemen, after all. If one guy has the job, that means the other does not. You love the co-worker who's up for the same promotion you are? Yeah, sure. Frenemies is more like it, forced smiles and all.

But something wonderful has happened this Mets season as two young talents are establishing themselves in the Major Leagues: Alonso and Smith have formed an engaging friendship that's obvious each time the Mets dugout explodes when one or the other has done something big.

Fans are charmed by their rapport. City tabloid columnists remark on it. Alonso and Smith? They're getting a kick out of it all, whether it's dinner at a swanky Miami steakhouse, supportive counsel in the clubhouse or a friendly crack to keep each other laughing during a long season that's already had rough patches. Their teammates enjoy it, too.

With National Best Friends Day on Saturday, SNY offers a look at these pals, both of whom might have big baseball futures ahead of them, in their own words. We got some help from teammates, too, because the bonds extend even deeper into the clubhouse than just the guys who play first base.

PETE ALONSO: We played together in Vegas last year (in Triple-A). That's kind of when we were first teammates. We saw each other before, but we were never at the same level for an extended period of time. He was kind of up and down in Triple-A last year, so we never really got to be in the same locker room for more than a couple weeks at a time. Really, it was in spring training where we started to become good buddies. Me and him are kind of in the same boat, two young kids, following a dream, working hard to help this team, whichever role that is that day. We push each other.

He's just a fun guy to be around. He's been such an amazing teammate. He's not just supportive of me or himself, he's supportive to everybody and that's infectious. I haven't seen him ever be in a bad mood or get down on himself or anyone else.

DOMINIC SMITH: Coming into spring training, we knew all the hype and what was at stake. We also know we're young, both two talented players. We knew we could help the Mets win games and we wanted to make it tough on the team and that's what I told him in spring: 'Hey, let's make it tough on them. At the time, you're not on the 40-man, so it's going to be kind of tough to break with the team, so you'll have to do something special.' For me, as well, I'm coming off a bad stint the last year and a half. I knew it was important for me to do well in camp. We just kind of fed off each other and had a good time."

That was one thing we talked about in spring. We have so much control time left. We can sit here and make this miserable or try to compete. We're teammates. We're all trying to accomplish the same thing and that's win a World Series. How about we make this fun and feed off the energy and win ballgames and make this exciting? How about we just bring the energy and passion for the game we have every day and try to make this team good? That's all we want to do.



Both players seem amused by the idea that guys who play the same position should be at odds. They don't see it that way.

ALONSO: At first, people were kind of shocked. I want him to do well. I want everyone to do well. We're a team. That's the part where people are like, 'You're competing for a job, you play the same position, there's got to be some sort of confrontation.' Me and him, we're just two buddies. We're just playing the game that we love. Every time he goes up there and gets a big hit or has a good at-bat, I'm stoked. It's just a positive friendship. The idea, 'Oh, you gotta hate the guy.' You don't have to. It's just been good vibes so far. It's not forced, no, no, no. He's a super genuine dude. He's upfront. If he says something you don't like, it's honest. It's his honest opinion and I feel like with any good friendship, you've got to have someone be completely honest with you, whether you like it or not.

J.D. DAVIS: You can go along with saying the natural instinct for any human being, if you're competing against someone, is to hate that person. But at the end of the day, both those guys have a skill set that this team needs. When you're negative as a teammate and trying to root against somebody, it not only affects you, but it affects the team. It puts more pressure on you. You can't execute anything because you're worrying about someone else. So I think it speaks a lot more about the character of Dom and Pete, about how, from the get-go, it was a competition from day one, but they're always cheering for each other, no matter what. At the end of the day, it's a selfish thing to just worry about yourself. If we win because of Dom's hit or off Pete's hit, the team wins and that's all that matters.

When you go into the Mets home clubhouse through the front entrance, you see that Smith and Alonso have lockers next to each other along the left wall. A cluster of younger players are in the same area. Davis is next to Smith and Alonso is on the other side of Smith. Pitchers dominate the right side and veterans generally get more room.

On a recent day, Alonso walked past wearing a T-shirt that had cartoons of Mets players in the form of their "spirit animals." Alonso, of course, was a polar bear. Where was Smith?

ALONSO: He wasn't on there. He didn't give me his animal. He was going back and forth, but he gave me the animal too late. His was a rhino.

The rhino may hear some good-natured ribbing about that. It's part of the daily routine among friends and Davis, Jeff McNeil and some of the other younger Mets who advanced through the system at the same time get involved, too. Who's funnier, Alonso or Smith?

JEFF McNEIL: Dom. Well, they both have their moments. Pete's got some good imitations of old coaches. And Dom is just Dom, kinda goofy, funny. Pete's always talking about his Florida Gators, I'm always talking about the Long Beach State dirtbags, so we're always joking around. J.D. went to my rival college (Cal State Fullerton), so we'll give each other a hard time.



ALONSO: We jock each other's chops once in a while, day-to-day stuff. My college sent me some spikes and I wore them because they're orange and blue and Dom was like, 'Man, close the yearbook. College was like three years ago.' It's all fun and good-hearted."

On road trips, Alonso and Smith are sometimes part of a group that goes out for dinner. One was a memorable post-game feast in Miami at Nusr-Et Steakhouse. Other times, they'll gather in someone's room for video games. Davis brings his PS4 on the road.

SMITH: We always go to a really nice steakhouse. In Miami, it was the Salt Bae guy (Nusret Gokce), the famous chef on Instagram, his place. It was delicious. We had a rib cap that was unbelievable. Definitely worth the price. We try to do those dinners. We feel like it's a good time to bond with the boys. At home, there's so much going on.

ALONSO: It's not just a select group. It's whoever wants to come. Other guys may have their girlfriend or wife in town. But if we're available, we like to go to dinner and just kind of be normal people. We shoot the breeze without having to be at the field. Some people think the locker room is just a locker room, but for us, this is our office. Being outside a quote-unquote office setting is kind of nice.

SMITH: A lot of times, we just hang out in the hotel room and kick it, talk about the game, laugh, joke around, play video games. I'm more of a watcher on the video games. I'm not good at video games. I'm in there for the fun and to crack the jokes and keep everybody smiling and laughing. They play Call of Duty and Fortnite. They have the headsets on. They get after it."

ALONSO: I love playing FIFA. Some of them have MLB The Show, which is kind of funny. I played that with Jeff and I'm the worst MLB The Show player ever. Thank God I can play baseball. Being a Major League Baseball player doesn't translate to being a successful video game player.

McNEIL: I play only a little bit. They order cookies and stuff. I'm just there for the cookies. They got cookies in the room? Be right over.

The dinners, the jokes, the bonding, even the cookies, all add up to a growing bond among a young core on the Mets. Davis says he hopes they can do what the Astros and Royals did once their youngsters bloomed together and those clubs won World Series. Maybe the connection between Alonso and Smith, as improbable as it might seem to a cynic, was the start of something.

SMITH: It's been working. You see both of us playing well. We've got a really interesting team, a fun team and we're capable of doing a lot. It's just a matter of time until we do what we're capable of doing.


RELATED: Five reasons to be optimistic about the Mets' final 100 games >> Read More

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RELATED: BVW's big-splash mentality carried into the MLB Draft >> Read More

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Anthony McCarron
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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches during the first inning of a baseball against the Detroit Tigers at Citi Field. (Sarah Stier/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches during the first inning of a baseball against the Detroit Tigers at Citi Field. (Sarah Stier/USA TODAY Sports)

Everyone involved insists that Zack Wheeler's shoulder injury is not serious, and that he will be back in no time.

We take that at face value, but there's still a problem. Teams previously interested in trading for Wheeler are now nervous about his health.

Perhaps Wheeler will return from the IL in time to pitch well and assuage those concerns, but the Mets know that the timing of his injury might hurt his value to the point where keeping him and making a qualifying offer at the end of the season is the smarter move.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Jul 16, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) celebrates with New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) after scoring a run in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jul 16, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) celebrates with New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) after scoring a run in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

The Mets' current four-game winning streak is their longest since the middle of May. And while it's still a long shot, they are finally moving in the right direction when it comes to a potential miracle run to win a Wild Card spot and get to the playoffs.

Entering play this past weekend, the Mets had just a 4.1 percent chance of winning a Wild Card, according to calculations provided by FanGraphs. Following Wednesday's 14-4 win against the Twins, that number went to 9.2 percent. 

Baseball Prospectus has the Mets' Wild Card chances at 9.8 percent.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Apr 3, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) celebrates in the dugout after a single by catcher Wilson Ramos (not pictured) in the eight inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)
Apr 3, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (22) celebrates in the dugout after a single by catcher Wilson Ramos (not pictured) in the eight inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)

Dominic Smith has emerged as a legitimate weapon for the Mets this season in a part-time role, proving his value to the team but potentially forcing himself off of it in the process.

While there hasn't been any serious buzz yet about the Mets trading Smith any time soon, his name has been out there simply because he might not have a place to play with the Mets going forward. 

On Wednesday, Smith -- who is hitting .294/.376/.536 this season with nine homers in 173 plate appearances -- weighed in on the trade whispers.

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Danny Abriano
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Jul 17, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) reacts after the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Jul 17, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) reacts after the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

The Mets (44-51, 13 GB in NL East, 5.0 GB of second Wild Card) open a four-game series against the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday at 9:45 PM on SNY. 

Here's what happened on Wednesday, in case you missed it...


In the Mets' 14-4 win over the Twins, New York came back three separate times before a late offensive explosion that was helped along by shoddy defense by Minnesota >> Read more 

Tags: Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith hits a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith hits a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at Citi Field. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

First things first: I wouldn't trade Dominic Smith.

I love his bat and he's looking surprisingly comfortable in left field, to the point where I don't think he'd be a liability even as an everyday player in that spot. 

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, John Harper
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Mets react to timely home runs 00:01:21
Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso react to their home runs, while manager Mickey Callaway is jovial after the 14-4 win.

If any Mets fans still have concerns that Pete Alonso's Home Run Derby showing could hurt his swing in any way, the rookie gave 474 reasons to think otherwise on Wednesday.

In the top of the eighth inning of the Mets' 14-4 drubbing of the Twins, Alonso locked in to a back-up slider from Matt Magill. From the second the ball hit the bat, there was absolutely no doubt that the ball was leaving the park. The only question was how far it would fly.

As it turned out, the answer was 474 feet.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso
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Mets big bats power 14-4 win 00:01:31
Dominic Smith gave the Mets the lead in the seventh inning, but Pete Alonso's monster home run wowed in the eighth in the 14-4 win.

The Mets hit a bunch of homers and took advantage of lots of shoddy defense by the Twins to sweep their two-game set on Wednesday afternoon in Minnesota >> Box score

Five things to know about Wednesday's game

1) With two outs in the top of the eighth and New York leading, 5-3, the Twins gave the Mets a gift when left fielder Eddie Rosario dropped what should've been a routine fly out by Adeiny Hechavarria. Two runs scored on the error as the Mets extended their lead to 7-3. Jeff McNeil then followed with an RBI double before Dominic Smith's RBI single made it 9-3, New York. Pete Alonso -- who had gone 0-for-4 up to that point -- then demolished a 474 foot two-run homer to the second level of the upper deck in left field to make it 11-3. The Mets added three runs against Twins position player Ehire Adrianza in the ninth inning.

Tags: Dominic Smith, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Pete Alonso, Todd Frazier
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Jun 16, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Wilmer Font (68) reacts in the dugout after pitching against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 16, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Wilmer Font (68) reacts in the dugout after pitching against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Mets announced on Wednesday that they have traded RHP Wilmer Font to the Blue Jays for cash considerations. 

Font was DFA'd by the Mets, but he must have cleared waivers if the team was able to trade him.

New York initially traded for Font back in May with the Rays in exchange for 18-year-old prospect Neraldo Catalina. He was brought in to help out the bullpen early on in the season, but things didn't work out between both sides. 

Font had a 4.94 ERA and 6.47 FIP in over 31 innings (15 appearances) with the Mets. He also allowed eight homers, and had a 24/13 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

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Pete Alonso moonshot in 8th 00:00:19
Pete Alonso had a no-doubt home run in the 8th inning for his 31st this year. It hit the 3rd deck at Target Field in Minnesota.

The Twins may have gotten on the board first, but Amed Rosario tied it up quickly in the top of the third. 

In his first at-bat of the day, Rosario took a Martin Perez cutter over the left field fence to make it a 1-1 game....

Tags: Amed Rosario
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May 31, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)
May 31, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Camporeale)

Two days after Zack Wheeler landed on the IL, putting a potential crimp in the Mets' ability to trade him before the July 31 deadline, the right-hander was out playing catch at Target Field in Minnesota.

Wheeler, who said Tuesday that the injury is a shoulder impingement, is eligible to be activated from the IL on July 22 (an off-day for the Mets), meaning he can potentially pitch two more times between now and the trade deadline.  

Wheeler, who underwent an MRI, said Tuesday that the injury is something he has dealt with in the past, noting that he began feeling it halfway through his start against the Yankees as well as the entire outing against the Phillies. 

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Jul 14, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) celebrates after his home run in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jul 14, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) celebrates after his home run in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets (43-51, 5.5 GB for second Wild Card spot) continue their series with the Twins (58-35, 5.0 GA in AL Central) in a Wednesday matinee at 1:10 p.m. at Target Field.

Mets notes

The Mets are now 4-0 all-time at Target Field after their win last night. Overall, the team is 20-35 on the road this season. ...Robinson Cano is hitting .370 with two homers, a double, five RBI and five runs scored over his last 13 games. ...Michael Conforto went 4-for-4 with an RBI and run scored last night. Since the All-Star break, he's 6-for-16 with RBI. ...Jeff McNeil is hitting .364 with five homers, 23 RBI and 25 runs scored on the road this season. 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano
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Jul 16, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) celebrates with New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) after defeating the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jul 16, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) celebrates with New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) after defeating the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

The Mets (43-51, 14 GB in NL East, 5.5 GB of second Wild Card) wrap up their two-game set with the Twins on Wednesday afternoon at 1:10 on SNY. 

Here's what happened on Tuesday, in case you missed it...


In the Mets' 3-2 win over the Twins, Michael Conforto notched four hits and the bullpen tossed 5.0 scoreless innings -- with Edwin Diaz escaping a bases loaded jam in the ninth >> Read more

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Mets win 3rd straight game 00:01:34
Mickey Callaway, Edwin Diaz and Michael Conforto on Diaz escaping a 9th inning jam along withConforto's 4 hits and great catch.

Mickey Callaway knew he'd have to rely on the Mets' bullpen on Tuesday night, and the group answered the call and then some against a potent Twins lineup, leading to a 3-2 win.

Before the game, Callaway set a 75-80 pitch limit for Steven Matz, making his return to the rotation after a brief stint in the pen. After 68 pitches over four innings from the lefty, Callaway turned the ball over to the bullpen, where six relievers combined to hold the Twins scoreless over the course of five innings.

Robert Gsellman, Luis Avilan, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz combined to keep the Twins' bats at bay, allowing a Michael Conforto fifth-inning RBI single to decide the game. Callaway said after the game that he believed this was the bullpen's best overall performance of the season.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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Mets keep potent Twins in check 00:01:11
Michael Conforto had 4 hits and the beleaguered Mets bullpen tossed 5 scoreless innings as they won their 3rd straight game, 3-2

The Mets' bullpen pitched five shutout innings to help lead the way to a 3-2 victory over the Twins on Tuesday night.  >> Box score

Five things to know from Tuesday's game

1) Steven Matz gave the Mets four solid innings of work in his return to the rotation, allowing just two runs on five hits. First inning troubles have plagued him all season long, allowing 23 first inning runs in his first 17 starts, but he pitched an easy first inning on Tuesday in Minneapolis. His night came to an end after 68 pitches, slightly under the 75-80 pitch limit that Mickey Callaway set for him before the game. 

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz
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Conforto flashes some leather 00:00:15
Michael Conforto robs Nelson Cruz of an extra-base hit with a great catch at the wall

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto flashed some leather on Tuesday vs. the Twins. In the bottom of the third inning, Nelson Cruz belted a ball to left-center field that looked like it was at least going to be an extra-base hit, but Conforto raced it down to make a leaping catch while crashing into the wall, robbing Cruz and ending the inning. 

Tags: Michael Conforto
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Wheeler talks shoulder injury 00:02:08
New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler discusses the severity of his shoulder injury and the results of a recent MRI.

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler gave his official diagnosis after hitting the IL on Monday, telling the media Tuesday it is a shoulder impingement that has been bothering him. 

This is an ailment that Wheeler has dealt with in the past, noting that he began feeling it halfway through his start against the Yankees as well as the entire outing against the Phillies. 

After receiving an MRI, Wheeler isn't too worried that this will keep him sidelined for too long.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Scott Thompson
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Jun 19, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) delivers a pitch to an Atlanta Braves batter in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
Jun 19, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) delivers a pitch to an Atlanta Braves batter in the first inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

The Mets (42-51, 15.0 GB in NL East) take on the Twins (58-34, 6 GA in AL Central) in the opening game of a brief, two-game series on Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. 

Mets notes

The Mets are returning to Target Field for the first time since 2013, where they took all three games from the Twins that season. It took two visits to complete the series six years ago, as April weather in Minnesota forced a postponement and a return trip to complete the series in August... The Mets split a two-game series against the Twins at Citi Field earlier this season, but have won eight of their last nine games against them dating back to 2013... Amed Rosario is batting .287/.317/.431 with 11 doubles, four triples, three home runs, 24 RBI and nine walks in 50 games on the road this season... Coming off homers in back-to-back games for the first time since 2017, Robinson Cano is slashing .395/.422/.558 over his last 11 contest... Jeff McNeil's .366 batting average on the road is tops in all of baseball.  

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Robinson Cano, Steven Matz
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Sep 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter (26) walks off the field after speaking with an umpire in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Sep 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter (26) walks off the field after speaking with an umpire in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

After Travis d'Arnaud had stunned Aroldis Chapman and the Yankees on the greatest night of his baseball life, the type of night the Mets gave up on waiting for, Buck Showalter had an interesting take that served as a reminder he's available to manage next season. 

In Queens, perhaps? 

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Doug Williams and Andy Martino drop an all-new Shea Anything, and they re-examine the trade options for the Mets after the news came out that Zack Wheeler has hit the injured list. They also look into the future for potential moves involving Noah Syndergaard, while looking back at the past to judge previous moves made on Travis d'Arnaud and Jacob deGrom.

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Travis d'Arnaud, Zack Wheeler
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Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Rays catcher Travis d'Arnaud (37) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Rays catcher Travis d'Arnaud (37) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With Rays catcher Travis d'Arnaud belting three homers on Monday night against the Yankees in the Bronx, it gave the Mets' self-loathing fan base (of which I am a member) an excuse to launch another "woe-is-us" campaign. To chalk this up as another "LOLMets" moment. But it wasn't one.

Were the Mets wrong to tender d'Arnaud a contract in the offseason only to DFA him after only 10 games and 25 plate appearnaces as he returned from Tommy John surgery? Yes. The smart move would've been to non-tender him in order to not waste that money.

Most expected the Mets to move on from d'Arnaud after they signed Wilson Ramos to be their starting catcher and added Devin Mesoraco on a minor league deal. For some reason, they didn't.

Tags: Travis d'Arnaud, Danny Abriano
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Jun 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 6, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said last Friday that the team needed to face its "reality." Part of that reality meant realizing their place in the standings and trading Zack Wheeler before the July 31 trade deadline. On Monday, those plans took a hit.

Wheeler landing on the IL with right shoulder fatigue (reportedly precautionary, he's expected to be fine and return soon) makes any potential trade of him in the next 15 days more complicated. It doesn't torpedo those plans, but it does make Van Wagenen's job harder. 

Assuming Wheeler is pretty much fine and returns to start on July 23 or shortly after, here are three scenarios that could play out...

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Rays catcher Travis d'Arnaud (37) celebrates after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Rays catcher Travis d'Arnaud (37) celebrates after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Travis d'Arnaud nearly missed the team bus to Yankee Stadium on Monday, and the Yankees probably wish he had. 

The Tampa Bay Rays catcher has suddenly emerged as a new Yankee-killer in the past month. D'Arnaud has four home runs in his last eight at-bats against the Yankees, which include a walk-off home run and a ninth inning, three-run go-ahead shot on Monday night that doomed the Bombers in a 5-4 loss. 

D'Arnaud was responsible for driving in all five of Tampa Bay's runs, with two solo home runs off James Paxton, finishing the night 3-for-3 with a walk. He became the first catcher to hit three home runs in a game out of the leadoff spot, per Elias Sports Bureau.  

 

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, James Paxton, Tampa Bay Rays, Travis d'Arnaud
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American League starting pitcher Deivi Garcia delivers in the first inning in the 2019 MLB All Star Futures Game at Progressive Field. (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)
American League starting pitcher Deivi Garcia delivers in the first inning in the 2019 MLB All Star Futures Game at Progressive Field. (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Mets are sending their most trusted evaluator, former GM Omar Minaya, to scout the Triple-A debut of Yankees pitching prospect Deivi Garcia on Monday night, according to major league sources.

The Yankees promoted Garcia, their top pitching prospect, after he started the Futures Game in Cleveland last week. At 20 years old, Garcia is the youngest player in Triple-A.

The Mets and Yankees have had many discussions about Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, stretching back to last winter. The Yankees will not trade Garcia for a rental player like Wheeler, who will be a free agent after this season.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets are placing RHP Zack Wheeler on the 10-day IL due to shoulder fatigue he experienced Sunday while preparing for his next start, the team said Monday. 

A person close to Wheeler told SNY's Andy Martino that the pitcher is fine, should be back pitching in time to be traded by July 31, and that the IL situation is seen as a blip.

Wheeler, who had been slated to start on Tuesday night against the Twins in Minnesota (Steven Matz will start in his place), will be eligible to be activated from the IL on July 22.

Tags: Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Simeon Woods Richardson (Tom Priddy, Four Seam Images) (Tom Priddy, Four Seam Images)
Simeon Woods Richardson (Tom Priddy, Four Seam Images) (Tom Priddy, Four Seam Images)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Every Monday, we'll be taking a look at how the Mets' top prospects (their MLB.com Mets Top 10 rankings are in parenthesis) are faring.


Andres Gimenez, SS, Double-A Binghamton (No. 1) -- ETA 2020

The 20-year-old Gimenez -- who is the Mets' No. 1 prospect now that Pete Alonso's prospect status has expired -- has hits in 10 of his last 12 games, including five multi-hit games in that span. 

Overall, he is hitting just .243/.309/.364 in 71 games this season with four homers, four triples, and 13 doubles. Gimenez, who can be a staple for the Mets at either shortstop or second base, was recently profiled by MetsBlog contributor Joe DeMayo here

Tags: Andres Gimenez, Anthony Kay, David Peterson, Mark Vientos, Ronny Mauricio, Thomas Szapucki, Danny Abriano
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Jun 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Jun 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

During the All-Star break, the Yankees and Red Sox were both talking to the Mets about Zack Wheeler, setting up a potential race between division rivals to acquire the pitcher.

Then, when the Sox acquired righty starter Andrew Cashner from Baltimore on Saturday, it left rivals to wonder if that took them out of the Wheeler sweepstakes.

That does turn out to be the case: According to major league sources, Boston is out on Wheeler now. With Cashner on board, the Sox expect to now look for bullpen help.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Jul 14, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) and teammates celebrate after defeating the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jul 14, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) and teammates celebrate after defeating the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets (42-51, 14.5 GB in NL East, 6.0 GB of second Wild Card) are off on Monday before opening a two-game set with the Twins in Minnesota on Tuesday night. 

Here's what happened on Sunday in case you missed it...


In the Mets' 6-2 win over the Marlins, Jacob deGrom bent but didn't break over 5.0 solid innings and Robinson Cano had another big game >> Read more

Tags: Amed Rosario, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Matt Harvey, Robinson Cano, Danny Abriano
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New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Robinson Cano has been one of the Mets' hottest hitters of late.

Cano went 4-for-5 with a solo home run, helping power the Mets to a 6-2 win over the Miami Marlins on Sunday.

Since June 28, Cano has a .395 batting average with two home runs and four RBIs. In those 11 games, he has raised his batting line from .222/.270/.358 to .251/.295/.392.

Tags: Robinson Cano
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McNeil calls shot in Mets win 00:01:30
Callaway, McNeil, deGrom on McNeil's "called shot" and deGrom's gritty effort in the road series win over the Marlins

Mets manager Mickey Callaway told left fielder Jeff McNeil what he expected when he led off in Sunday's series finale against the Marlins.

"I told him, 'I want to see an 11-pitch at-bat and then a homer, and it'll be 1-0,'" Callaway said. "And he goes, 'What about a first-pitch homer and make it 1-0?' I said, 'Well it better be a homer.'"

It was.

Tags: Jeff McNeil
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Jul 13, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) throws out a Miami Marlins base runner in the third inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jul 13, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (1) throws out a Miami Marlins base runner in the third inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Mets shortstop Amed Rosario was not in the starting lineup in Sunday's 6-2 win against the Marlins, one day removed from an apparent lack of hustle on a fly ball. 

There were mixed messages as to why Adeiny Hechavarria started at shortstop over Rosario for the rubber match.

Prior to the game, manager Mickey Callaway told reporters that Rosario had the day off, however, Wayne Randazzo said multiple times that Callaway informed him that Rosario was benched for not running out a fly ball in the eighth inning on Saturday.

Tags: Adeiny Hechavarria, Amed Rosario
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Mets finally win series on road 00:01:22
Robinson Cano had 4 hits including a home run and Jacob deGrom gave the Mets 5 gritty innings as they finally won a series on the road, 6-2.

Robinson Cano's bat stayed hot after knocking a two-run homer in the eighth inning game-winning home run on Saturday. Cano had four hits on Sunday in the Mets' 6-2 win over the Marlins. >> Box score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1) It only took one pitch for the Mets' offense to get going. Jeff McNeil knocked the first throw from Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara over the right field fence, giving his team the early lead. McNeil has notched a hit in each game this series against the Marlins, including a two-hit outing on Saturday. McNeil entered Sunday's game batting .350, which leads the National League. McNeil also hit a first-pitch homer on July 3 against the Yankees this year. 

2) Robinson Cano could be changing his fortunes on the road this year. Cano carried his home run momentum into Sunday, as he nearly hit for the cycle with four hits on the day. Cano doubled, singled, knocked a solo home run, and then singled again against the defensive shift in his final plate appearance. 

Tags: Adeiny Hechavarria, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo
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McNeil HR's on first pitch 00:00:14
Jeff McNeil homers on the first pitch of the game off Sandy Alcantara to give the Mets a 1-0 lead

Jeff McNeil isn't known for his power as much as he is for his ability to hit anything. On Sunday, he wasted no time reminding everyone of his power as he gave the Mets the 1-0 lead with a home run on the game's first pitch from Sandy Alcantara. 

The Mets' leadoff man isn't a stranger to hitting a quick dinger, though. 

During the recent Subway Series against the Yankees, McNeil knocked a home run on the first Yankees' pitch from Domingo German on July 3 at Citi Field.

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Miami Marlins
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May 23, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) reacts after allowing a single to Minnesota Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario (20) during the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
May 23, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) reacts after allowing a single to Minnesota Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario (20) during the second inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

The Mets have reshaped their roster over the last year and change, saying goodbye to some familiar faces (some beloved, some not) in the process. Every week, we'll take a look at how some of those former Mets are performing with their new teams...


Matt Harvey, Angels

Harvey took the mound for the Angels on Saturday for the first time in seven weeks after being sidelined with an upper back strain. The right-hander turned in a strong performance, going 5.2 innings and allowing one run on four hits and three walks while striking out three against the Mariners. The run did not come until a sac fly in the sixth, opening the game with five scoreless frames. 

 

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Matt Harvey, Wilmer Flores
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Jul 13, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jul 13, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Mets (41-51, 14.5 GB in NL East, 6.5 GB of second Wild Card) picked up a win on Saturday and will take on the Marlins in the rubber game of the three-game series on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. in Miami. 

Here's what happened on Saturday, in case you missed it...


Behind Noah Syndergaard and Robinson Cano, the Mets managed a 4-2 win over the Marlins. >> Read more

Tags: Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Steven Matz
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Mets on Cano's positive attitude 00:02:05
New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano discusses his positivity during a bad hitting stretch and ignoring people who doubt his ability.

On a 1-1 pitch in the eighth inning on Saturday, Robinson Cano sent a pitch into the upper deck behind right field of Marlins Park. He also sent his team home with a 4-2 win thanks to the two-run homer.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said following the win that the outcome was just what the doctor ordered for the 36-year-old infielder, who's had a tough season on the road, specifically. 

"Yeah, he needed it," Callaway said. "Obviously we've talked about his struggles on the road and to get a go-ahead home run, has to make him feel good tonight."

Tags: Robinson Cano
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Syndergaard records his 9th K 00:00:11
New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard strikes out Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro to get his 9th strikeout of the game.

Noah Syndergaard picked up his seventh win of the season on Saturday against the Marlins. The Mets pitcher navigated his way through seven innings, with nine strikeouts along the way.

Unfortunately for Syndergaard, one good outing doesn't make up for an entire team's season. Unless the Mets' fortunes don't change in a hurry, trade rumors will continue to grow and there's already been plenty with Syndergaard's name attached to them. 

After the 4-2 win, in which Snydergaard said his slider felt the best it's been all season, the right-hander addressed potentially being dealt before the July 31 trade deadline. Personally, Syndergaard would much rather stay in New York. 

 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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Conforto goes deep in Miami 00:00:17
New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto hits a 2-run homer off the foul pole off of Miami Marlins pitcher Zac Gallen.

Coming out of the All-Star break, Mets skipper Mickey Callaway said that the lineups would likely be more fluid on a nightly basis.

He delivered on that statement on Saturday, moving Michael Conforto up to the second spot in the lineup, hoping to get Conforto more pitches to hit in front of Pete Alonso.

"Pete's behind me today? Yeah, so I'll probably get some pitches to hit," Conforto said before the game. "They're not going to want to face that big boy behind me."

Tags: Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso
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Mets beat Marlins 4-2 00:01:22
The New York Mets down the Marlins thanks to strong performances from Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto and Robinson Cano.

Noah Syndergaard pitched seven dominant innings, and Robinson Cano powered the Mets to a 4-2 win over the Marlins on Saturday. >> Box score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) Cano has drawn his share of criticism during his first year with the Mets, but he came up clutch in a huge spot on Saturday. With the game tied in the top of the eighth, Cano slammed a two-run home run to right field off of Nick Anderson to put the Mets on top 4-2. Cano's fifth home run of the year was his first this season with runners on base. 

2) Syndergaard had his best outing in over a month. Syndergaard had pitched to 5.94 ERA in his last three starts, but he was terrific on Saturday, allowing just two runs on five hits. He struck out nine Marlins and did not walk a single batter. He left the game after seven innings with the game tied 2-2, but Cano's blast put him in line for the win.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo
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Conforto goes deep in Miami 00:00:17
New York Mets outfielder Michael Conforto hits a 2-run homer off the foul pole off of Miami Marlins pitcher Zac Gallen.

With two outs in the third inning, the Mets didn't waver against the Marlins on Friday and started off the second half of the season on a positive note.

Jeff McNeil started right where he left off the first half of the season, singling to center field. Then back-to-back walks from JD Davis and Pete Alonso, respectively, juiced the bases against Miami pitcher Caleb Smith for Wilson Ramos. He delivered.

Ramos kept the rally going and had a hard-hit grounder to the left side of the infield. Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas lunged to his right on the play, but Ramos' shot had too much on it to haul it in.

Tags: Miami Marlins, Michael Conforto
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Jun 29, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 29, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Steven Matz' tenure in the Mets' bullpen is over, as he's set to return to his spot in the team's starting rotation on Wednesday against the Twins.

The lefty will reportedly rejoin the starting staff, per Newsday's report on Saturday. Manager Mickey Callaway made the decision to move Matz to the bullpen prior to the All-Star break and at the time the bench boss indicated the move could be short lived.

"It's going to allow guys in the starting rotation to not have too many days off, so they can stay effective. Coming out of the break, we can reset whatever we need to," Callaway said.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Andrew Cashner (54) in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Andrew Cashner (54) in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Boston Red Sox have gotten the wheels spinning for this year's MLB trade deadline.

The team announced on Saturday afternoon that they had acquired starting pitcher Andrew Cashner from the Orioles in exchange for two minor leaguers. Cashner has pitched to a 9-3 record with a 3.83 ERA in 17 starts with the Orioles this season.

This trade may have a ripple effect for both the Mets and Yankees. 

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Apr 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 27, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets (40-51, 14.5 GB in NL East) continue their three-game set with the Marlins (34-55, 19.5 GB in NL East) on Saturday at 6:10 p.m.

Mets notes

The Mets .347 road winning percentage ranks 28th in baseball and last in the National League. ... The Mets have struggled as of late against the NL East, dropping 11 of their last 14 games against divisional foes. ... The Mets have shown some power on the road lately, belting 19 home runs in their last nine road games.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard
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May 17, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) reacts in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
May 17, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) reacts in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Now that Brodie Van Wagenen has made his concession speech, admitting that his "come get us" bravado resulted in "they came and got us," the Mets can officially move on to the brainstorming portion of the schedule.

That is, everything they do over the final two and a half months should be with a vision of 2020 and beyond in mind, rather than trying to squeeze the most possible wins out of a lost season. 

Mostly that means getting answers to as many questions about the future of this team as possible. I'd start with these 10: 

Tags: Amed Rosario, Anthony Kay, Dominic Smith, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano, Seth Lugo, Todd Frazier, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws a pitch during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws a pitch during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

I wanna believe. But, despite what Mickey Callaway has told reporters, I know it's very unlikely the Mets will claw their way back into the Wild Card race.

Therefore, if Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen -- who addressed the media Friday -- concludes that the Mets will again finish with a losing record, he will give serious thought to trading more than just a few players this summer.

The fact is, while some on this roster helped get the Mets to a World Series in 2015, most were not part of that squad. And those that were on that team are either due for major increases in salary or they're about to be or will be free agents very soon.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Edwin Diaz, Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Conforto, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Todd Frazier, Wilson Ramos, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen

The Mets (40-51, 14.5 GB in NL East, 7.0 GB of second Wild Card) dropped the first game of the second half of the season against the Marlins, but will return to action on Saturday at 6:10 p.m.

Here's what happened on Friday, in case you missed it...


The Mets took the field behind Jason Vargas to open the second half of the season in Miami, but the southpaw ran into trouble in the third, allowing four runs en route to an 8-4 loss to the Marlins. >> Read more

 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos
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Mets fall 8-4 in Miami 00:01:23
Wilson Ramos and Todd Frazier provided the runs in the 8-4 loss to Miami, but NY dropped the first game after the All-Star break.

Mets pitchers allowed three home runs as they fell to the Marlins 8-4 to start the second half. >> Box score

Five things to know from Friday's game

1) Jason Vargas' night got off to a strong start, as he retired the first six batters he faced. The lefty got into trouble in the third, though, after the Mets had just given him a 2-0 lead. Jorge Alfaro singled and stole second to start the inning, and he came around to score on a Miguel Rojas sac fly. Then, another former Met struck again, as Curtis Granderson lofted a two-run home run to give the Marlins the 3-2 lead. The next batter, Garrett Cooper, homered as well, staking the Marlins to a 4-3 lead. Vargas ended up going five innings for the Mets, allowing six earned runs.

Tags: Jason Vargas, Jeff McNeil, Todd Frazier, Wilson Ramos
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Sep 23, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees manager Joe Giradi wears the number 8 on his sleeve in tribute to former Yankee player Yogi Berra prior to the start of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Sep 23, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees manager Joe Giradi wears the number 8 on his sleeve in tribute to former Yankee player Yogi Berra prior to the start of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

The Mets started the second half of their season losing to the only team with a worse record than them in the National League, the Miami Marlins. There's plenty of games to go until changes are made one way or another, but such an outing is not going to quell the rumor mill.

Within those rumors which have picked up steam in recent weeks, the name Joe Girardi is the most prominent one connected to the team. 

General manger Brodie Van Wagenen said prior to Friday's game that Mickey Callaway's job is safe. But that won't change much in regard to public opinion, and it won't change the Girardi-Mets connection floating about.

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Ramos 2-run single in 3rd 00:00:17
Wilson Ramos hit s a 2-run single in the third inning to give the Mets a 2-0 lead against the Marlins.

With two outs in the third inning, the Mets didn't waver against the Marlins on Friday and started off the second half of the season on a positive note.

Jeff McNeil started right where he left off the first half of the season, singling to center field. Then back-to-back walks from JD Davis and Pete Alonso, respectively, juiced the bases against Miami pitcher Caleb Smith for Wilson Ramos. He delivered.

Ramos kept the rally going and had a hard-hit grounder to the left side of the infield. Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas lunged to his right on the play, but Ramos' shot had too much on it to haul it in.

Tags: Miami Marlins, Wilson Ramos
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"Come get us."

These words, spoken by New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen in January, were supposed to be the rallying cry for the 2019 Mets season. After two seasons out of the playoffs and several offseason additions, the rookie GM targeted the rest of his division, taunting the National League East to take down the Mets.

Indeed, "come get us" has become a rallying cry for the Mets this season - just not in the way it was intended to.

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