BNNY on Bruce's return to Mets 00:05:47
The Baseball Night in New York crew break down Jay Bruce returning to the Mets and how this impacts the team going forward.

Sandy Alderson intends to acquire at least one more position player, but can add only an additional $10 million in salary this winter, according to sources.

By the way, as it pertains to payroll, MLB agents expect nearly every team will end up cutting payroll by at least 10 percent, which is about where the Mets will end up as well.

I keep hearing that the Mets are still open to doing something meaningful, be it trading Juan Lagares, acquiring an everyday center fielder, or freeing up money to bring in a bonafide third baseman or second baseman. However, with so few impact prospects to deal, just $10 million left to spend, only 33 days until pitchers and catchers, and still so much gridlock in the market place (see below), it's growing increasingly difficult for Alderson to knock down dominoes and make an ideal surgical strike.

This is why I think the Mets will soon end up signing a less-than $10 million per year infielder, like Howie Kendrick, declare themselves essentially done, and then shift to luring in position and pitching depth using minor-league deals.

Where is the gridlock?

The Pirates will trade Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison, both of whom the Mets (and several other teams) have been interested in acquiring. However, I hear they don't want to move McCutchen or Harrison until they know the return in trade for Gerrit Cole.

Unfortunately for them, nearly every team interested in Cole is still exploring whether to keep their prospects and instead sign Yu Darvish, Jake Arietta, Alex Cobb, or Lance Lynn.


Sep 5, 2016; Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) circles the bases on a two run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fifth inning at PNC Park. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)


Meanwhile, a team in need of a center fielder may not spend on Lorenzo Cain if it can get McCutchen for less money. Similarly, why give Todd Frazier a one-year deal if a trade can be made for Harrison?

Why don't the Mets trade Lagares for McCutchen and Harrison?

For starters, McCutchen and Harrison minus Lagares will add $18 million in salary. So, money is a factor. However, even if ownership OK'd the bump in spending, the Pirates are said to have zero interest in Alderson's prospects, which may be more of a sticking point than dollars.

The Mets may be willing to deal Dominic Smith, but the Pirates have 25-year-old 1B Josh Bell, who hit 26 home runs last season and is under team control through 2022. The Pirates would certainly love to pair Amed Rosario with infield prospect Kevin Newman, but there is no way Alderson is trading Rosario in a deal for McCutchen and Harrison.

In dealing Cole and McCutchen, Pittsburgh's goal will be to acquire as many young players as possible. It is not necessarily to save money.

The new baseline and Jay Bruce...

"I don't negotiate with humans anymore. I negotiate with computers and robots," a current player agent told me about how statistical analysis is influencing contract talks.

The three-year deal is the new baseline, he said.

Basically, every front office is looking at guys through the same prism. They are confident in how much value a player is likely to provide each of the next few seasons, at which point they'll determine whether the player is worth committing to for slightly more or slightly less than three years based on probabilities, projected future budgets and roster need.

"We used to to talk a lot about age and what a player had done leading up to free agency and how many years that was likely to continue, most of which was based on opinion," the agent explained. "It was more emotional then, especially for the owners. Now, when we walk in the door, the analytics guy is standing there with hard numbers, predictions, and a value set that isn't moving."



In other words, Jay Bruce may have wanted five years and $65 million, but if no front office had information saying he will produce more than 1.2 WAR each of the next five seasons, he was never going to get a five-year deal. Instead, from what I've been told by teams that expressed interest and didn't sign him, most projections show have him capable of producing 2-3 WAR during next three seasons, after which (at 33 years old) he'll be a fourth outfielder.

So, in a world where 1.0 WAR is worth around $10 million, it makes sense that he ended up getting a reported three-year, $39 million deal from the Mets.

I've heard the Jays liked him at $10-12 million, but for just two years. And, while the Giants offered him three years, they planned to give him less money because of how hitting and fielding in the NL West and AT&T Park would negatively impact his production.

Why are the Mets paying him more than anyone else? I don't know exactly, but it may be an indication of how they value his ability to play in New York, popularity in the clubhouse, relationship with media, and other subjective qualities.

By the way, while New York was never Bruce's first choice, I've heard he was very happy to learn Mickey Callaway would be replacing Terry Collins. Of course, the fact that New York offered him the most money likely helped changed his mind too...


Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...

Tags: Jay Bruce, Matthew Cerrone

Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets (72-83) will wrap up their 2018 road slate in the final game of a four-game series against the Nationals (78-77) in Washington D.C. on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. on WPIX.

Mets notes

The Mets are 6-4 in their last 10 games. They improved to 8-9 in extra-inning games last night as well. ...The Mets are 12-7 in September, the eighth-best win percentage in the league. ...The Mets are ranked fourth in the MLB with a .330 road on-base percentage. ...Nine wins have came against the Nats already this season compared to six all of last season. 

Tags: Steven Matz
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Sep 22, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Corey Oswalt (55) throws to the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Sep 22, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Corey Oswalt (55) throws to the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Mets RHP Corey Oswalt allowed two runs in five innings against the Nationals on Saturday in what was his longest outing since Aug. 16.

The only runs allowed came in the bottom of he third when he allowed a two-run homer to Trea Turner. Oswalt has pitched well since allowing five runs on four hits without recording an out against the Dodgers on Sept. 4.

"[Oswalt] has got enough weapons to go out there and compete and he's been doing that for us quite a bit," manager Mickey Callaway said after Saturday's game.

Tags: Corey Oswalt
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Nationals one-hit Mets 00:00:44
The Mets managed just one hit, an infield single by Michael Conforto in losing to the Nationals, 6-0 on Saturday

The Mets showed no life on offense and the Nationals went deep twice in a 6-0 shutout on Saturday at Natonals Park.

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The guys talk rotation depth 00:01:18
Gary and Keith discuss the depth of the Mets starting rotation and whether Corey Oswalt could be part of that mix in 2019

The Mets mustered just one hit and the Nationals hit two home runs en route to a 6-0 shutout on Saturday at Nationals Park.

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

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

1) The Mets drew a pair of walks in the first inning to put a runner in scoring position, but struggled from that forward. Michael Conforto's fourth inning infield single marked the Mets' first and only hit of the game. Conforto was on base three times, as he drew two walks to go along with the team's lone hit. Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, and Todd Frazier each went 0-for-4.

Tags: Corey Oswalt
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Jeff McNeil (68) Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jeff McNeil (68) Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets (72-82) continue their series against the Nationals (77-77) in Washington D.C. on Saturday at 4:05 p.m.

Mets notes

The Mets are 6-4 in their last 10 games... The Mets are 28-19 in their last 47 games and 40-34 since July 1. ... Mets starting pitchers are 8-3 with a 2.86 ERA (38 earned runs/119.2 innings), the second-lowest ERA in the majors this month. ... Jacob DeGrom has a 1.77 ERA and 259 strikeouts and 46 walks this season. Since 1908, only two pitchers have had an ERA of less than 2.00, at least 250 strikeouts and 50 or fewer walks (Christy Mathewson 1908, Pedro Martinez 2000).

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What's better than the home team winning? One lucky fan winning big! At every home game this season, if a Mets player hits a home run off the New York Lottery sign over the bullpen, you could win! If it's not hit, don't worry, because if you're the fan of the night you'll still get a $100 gift card. Just click below and hope they knock it out of the park.

 
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New York Mets assistant general manager John Ricco looks on before facing the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (David Zalubowski/AP)
New York Mets assistant general manager John Ricco looks on before facing the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski/AP)

There was a lot of noise at the trade deadline about whether or not the Mets should trade Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Of course, if those names were on the table, that went for Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz and just about everyone else on the roster would be available, too.

July 31 came and went, and all four starting pitchers are still with the team. The Mets have improved form over the second half of the season and deGrom is a favorite to win the NL Cy Young.

With 20/20 hindsight, Mets assistant GM John Ricco stands behind the team's decision to keep the team's best players.

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Mets ace Jacob deGrom managed to make his ERA even lower, while tossing his MLB-record 28th-straight start allowing three runs or fewer on Friday night against the Nationals in Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola saw solid outings in their most recent starts. 

Here's where things stand with deGrom, Scherzer, and Nola in the race for the NL Cy Young award...

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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The guys talk deGrom 00:01:43
Gary, Ron and Keith discuss Jacob deGrom's remarkable season as he set a new Major League record with his 23rd straight quality start

Jacob deGrom added another stellar start to his Cy Young resume, as he kept the Nats at bay in a 4-2 win down in Washington D.C. on Friday night.

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

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

 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Washington Nationals
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deGrom brilliance continues 00:01:03
Jacob deGrom set a new Major League record with his 23rd consecutive quality start, as the Mets downed the Nationals, 4-2

Jacob deGrom shut the Nats' bats down, while the offense gave him the cushion he needed to work with in the 4-2 win down in D.C.

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Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets (71-82) continue their series against the Nationals (77-76) in Washington D.C. on Friday at 7:05 p.m. on SNY.

Mets notes

The Mets are 6-4 in their last 10 games. They improved to 8-9 in extra-inning games last night as well. ...The Mets are 12-7 in September, the eighth-best win percentage in the league. ...The Mets are ranked fourth in the MLB with a .330 road on-base percentage. ...Nine wins have came against the Nats already this season compared to six all of last season. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom
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Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 10, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway (36) at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

In April, new Mets manager Mickey Callaway was adored and viewed as terrific. In June, during which the Mets were 5-21 and killed their season, he was labeled a fool. Not surprisingly, with his team 31-27 in the second half, including 12-7 during September, he's back to being revered.

The above is the life of a baseball manager, especially in New York.

I tend to judge managers based on wins and losses. To nitpick specific moves in the moment is a dangerous game because -- despite having access to tendency and predictive stats -- we can never know how the human element and luck factored in to the manager's choice in the moment...

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Sep 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Sep 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

Mets ace Jacob deGrom faces the Nationals on Friday in Washington, D.C. at 7:05 p.m. on SNY as he looks to bolster his Cy Young case.

In advance of his start, here are 10 incredible deGrom stats...

  • Leads the majors with a 1.78 ERA and .540 opponent OPS, while his 0.45 HR/9 rate is second in the majors and leads the NL.
Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE
September 11, 2011; John Franco and Mike Piazza during pregame at Citi Field. Credit: Wong-US PRESSWIRE

17 years ago today, Mike Piazza hit a go-ahead, two run home run in the eighth inning off of Steve Karsay of the Braves to propel the Mets to a 3-2 victory in the first professional sporting event in New York after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Anyone who saw it will be happy, anyone who didn't see it will be told about it," Piazza's manager, Bobby Valentine, told reporters from his office after the game...

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On the latest episode of Shea Anything, Doug Williams and Andy Martino go all in on the past and future of David Wright, and also play a round of "Agree or Disagree" with some offseason moves that might be coming up quick for the Mets as 2018 winds down.

Don't forget - we want 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 TO THE PODCAST

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Mets outlast Nationals 00:01:19
After blowing an early lead, Jose Lobaton's sac fly in the 12th inning enabled the Mets to edge the Nationals, 5-4 on Thursday night

The Mets beat the Nationals 5-4 in extra innings.

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The guys talk Mets bullpen 00:01:24
Gary, Ron, and Keith discuss the up and coming prospects in the Mets bullpen who are getting their opportunities as the season winds down.

Jose Lobaton's sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the 12th inning lifted the Mets past the Nationals, 5-4, on Thursday night at Nationals Park.

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

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

1) New York loaded the bases on a single and two walks in front of Lobaton, who collected his first RBI since April 27 during his first big league plate appearance in more than three months. The Mets led 3-0 in the sixth and 4-2 in the eighth, but Anthony Swarzak allowed a single and a walk to begin the frame. Daniel Zamora battled Bryce Harper for nine pitches before getting him to fly out to the right-field fence, but Robert Gsellman surrendered an RBI groundout to Rendon and game-tying double to Juan Soto. Both runs were charged to Swarzak.

 

Tags: Jason Vargas, Michael Conforto, Washington Nationals
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Jun 26, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jun 26, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Jacob deGrom's Cy Young competition faced the Mets on Thursday and deGrom didn't get much run support again.

The Mets' ace was watching from the dugout, but, a big performance from the bats could have ended Max Scherzer's Cy Young campaign. But the Nats' ace gave up three runs over seven innings with 13 stirkeouts.

Scherzer was done in by the longball, giving up back-to-back home runs in the third inning. A two-run shot to Michael Conforto then a solo blast by Jay Bruce.

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Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) leads the high five line after a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) leads the high five line after a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets (70-82) kick off a four-game series against the Nationals (77-75) in Washington D.C. on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. on SNY.

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New York Mets' Wilmer Flores (4) connects for a base hit to drive in the winning run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the tenth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in New York. The Mets won 4-3. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)  (Julie Jacobson/AP)
New York Mets' Wilmer Flores (4) connects for a base hit to drive in the winning run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the tenth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in New York. The Mets won 4-3. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Mets infielder Wilmer Flores has been shut down for the season due to early onset arthritis in both knees, manager Mickey Callaway said Wednesday. 

Flores had been sent back to New York on Wednesday to have pain in his knees examined, with Callaway calling the pain "bilateral" and noting that Flores has been dealing with the issue for a while.

The 27-year-old Flores hit .267/.319/.417 with 11 homers in 126 games this season while getting time at first base, second base, third base, and designated hitter. Flores had been serving mainly as a pinch-hitter since Sept. 8, with just one hit in his last 10 at-bats. 

Tags: Wilmer Flores, Danny Abriano
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Jun 26, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jun 26, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

With his league-leading 1.78 ERA and in the midst of an otherworldly season, Mets ace Jacob deGrom is the favorite to win the Cy Young award.

But Nationals ace Max Scherzer is still visible in deGrom's rearview mirror, and the Mets can likely put an end to any chance Scherzer has by hitting him hard on Thursday night in Washington, D.C. While that might be easier said than done, Scherzer's recent struggles have been glaring.

Scherzer has allowed 17 runs (all earned) over his last 32 innings spanning five starts as his ERA has risen from 2.11 to 2.53.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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On Episode 9 of Rain Delay Theater: The Podcast, Steve Gelbs and Wayne Randazzo are joined by Mets pitcher Seth Lugo. The guys hear about Lugo's unconventional path to the major leagues, his unique approach to hitters, and how he's battled through challenging injuries to find success in New York.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Seth Lugo
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Apr 9, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland (left) talks with Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (right) on the pitchers mound in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins during a MLB baseball game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 9, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland (left) talks with Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (right) on the pitchers mound in the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins during a MLB baseball game at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Near the trade deadline, rumors of the Mets dealing away some of their top-tier starters were swirling around Flushing. And rightfully so considering the Mets weren't ticketed for the postseason. 

Initially, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard were of high interest, but the Mets eventually walked that back. They didn't, however, take Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz off the table. At the end of the day, no trade was ever struck and the rotation stayed how it was. 

Pitching coach Dave Eiland was a happy camper. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Scott Thompson
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The guys talk Syndergaard 00:01:44
Gary & Ron discuss Noah Syndergaard's inconsistency of late and what adjustments he needs to make to become a complete pitcher

Noah Syndergaard allowed two homers over four innings and the Mets offense mustered six hits in a 4-0 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday night at Citzens Bank Park.

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

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

1) Syndergaard (12-4) was charged with three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out six in four innings.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Philadelphia Phillies
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Phillies blank Mets 00:00:43
Noah Syndergaard allowed a pair of home runs while the Mets offense managed just 6 hits themselves in a 4-0 loss to the Phillies

The Phillies silenced the Mets' bats on Wednesday night, as they took the rubber game 4-0 over New York at Citizens Bank Park.

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Noah Syndergaard (34) Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Noah Syndergaard (34) Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard was brilliant in his last outing against the Red Sox, but he couldn't seem to channel that Wednesday night in Philadelphia. 

Syndergaard saw an early exit after allowing three runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out six over four innings of work. 

It was the long ball that did Thor in. In the bottom of the first, Rhys Hoskins mashed a solo homer to right center field. Then, after working out of trouble in the third, Odubel Herrera crushed a two-run homer to right to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead. 

Tags: Noah Syndergaard
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 (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

In a dreadful season marked by still more crippling injuries and some awful baseball, the Mets couldn't have imagined finding a winning lottery ticket in the middle of a sidewalk, as if it had somehow fallen right out of the sky.

Yet Jeff McNeil might just be that rare stroke of good luck this franchise desperately needs these days, if he proves to have staying power as a hit-machine second baseman - an unexpected gift from the baseball gods. 

"If anybody says they saw this coming," Mets assistant GM J.P. Ricciardi was saying over the phone, "they're lying. He's been a total surprise."

Actually, McNeil himself begs to differ.

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Sep 8, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) hits an RBI single against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 8, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) hits an RBI single against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets wrap up their three-game series against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. on SNY.

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Jul 29, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Jul 29, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Due to his workload this season, the Mets are shutting Zack Wheeler down for the year, with Corey Oswalt taking his spot in the rotation.

"We're gonna shut down Zack for the year, given the fact that he's 101 innings over what he pitched last year," Mickey Callaway said Wednesday. "The way he pitched, pitching deep in to games, we're really excited about the year he had. And we feel like we'd probably be taking the best care of him we can if we shut him down at this point."

Callaway had hinted on Monday before Wheeler's start the the team was considering ending his season after that start.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Phillies C Wilson Ramos will be a free agent after this season and I want him to be on the Mets in 2019, when he'll still be just 31 years old.

The Mets are set up to again have a dominant starting rotation next year, with or without Jason Vargas. My hunch is no one from the current group will be traded, which means Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and the matured and impressive Zack Wheeler will need a veteran catcher capable of taking charge, instilling confidence and providing stability for them behind the plate.

Travis d'Arnaud is not likely to be back until the middle of next season after having Tommy John surgery this past summer. But, let's be honest, even if d'Arnaud is healthy, there is absolutely no guarantee he'll be able to elevate his game to a level that is needed to help the team contend for a playoff spot. I realize there is no guarantee that anyone will remain healthy and productive, but d'Arnaud's track record indicates he's even less of a guarantee than most. My guess is he gets non-tendered anyway, but that's just a hunch...

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Gary Cohen 2006 Clincher 00:01:33
Gary Cohen reflects on 30 years of broadcasting Mets games, including the memorable celebration after the Mets clinched the 2006 N.L. East.

Gary Cohen reflects on 30 years of broadcasting Mets games, including the memorable celebration after the Mets clinched the 2006 N.L. East.

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Phillies big inning beats Mets 00:01:05
Steven Matz homered in his second straight start but the bullpen failed to provide any relief in a 5-2 loss to the Phillies

The Phillies couldn't score against Steven Matz, so they pounced on the Mets' bullpen en route to a 5-2 win at Citizens Bank Park.

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The guys talk Steven Matz 00:01:59
Gary & Ron discuss Steven Matz's stellar performance since the All-Star break and what he can do to join the ranks of the elite.

Steven Matz homered yet again and pitched five shutout innings, but Jerry Blevins and Drew Smith combined to allow five runs in the sixth inning and the Mets fell to the Phillies on Tuesday night, 5-2.

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

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

1) With his third-inning solo blast, Matz joined Tom Seaver and Ron Darling as the only other Mets pitchers to homer in consecutive starts. His latest home run comes just five days after his first major league home run. Matz struggled with control on the mound Tuesday night, walking five batters, but he never allowed it to cause real damage. He walked five batters but allowed just two hits in five innings.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Matz doing it all 00:00:20
Steven Matz makes an incredible behind-the-back grab of Roman Quinn?s line drive and turns it into a double play

Mets LHP Steven Matz made an impressive catch in the fifth inning of Tuesday's game against the Phillies.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Matz homers again 00:00:19
Steven Matz belted a homerun in his second straight start, the first Met to do it since Ron Darling in 1989

Mets LHP Steven Matz hit a solo home run in the third inning of Tuesday night's game against the Phillies, marking his second homer in as many starts.

Matz became the third pitcher in Mets history to homer in back-to-back starts -- and the first since Ron Darling completed the feat in 1989. Tom Seaver also hit home runs in consecutive starts.

Matz's blast off Phillies ace Aaron Nola gave the Mets a 1-0 advantage. His home run traveled 362 feet, according to Statcast.

Tags: Steven Matz
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Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets will play the second game of their three-game series against the Phillies on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

Mets notes

The Mets have posted a .688 winning percentage (11-5) in the month of September, which ranks fourth-best in the majors and first in the NL ... The Mets have now won the season series vs. Philadelphia seven straight years ... The Mets are 44-20 at Citizens Bank Park since 2012 and have hit 31 home runs at the park since last season.

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Aug 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) smiles during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Aug 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) smiles during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

In a poll where BBWAA (Baseball Writers' Association of America) voters were asked who should win the NL Cy Young award, Mets ace Jacob deGrom was the near-unanimous choice.

DeGrom received 30 of 33 first place votes in MLB.com's poll, with Max Scherzer of the Nationals receiving the other three first place votes.

When it came to point total, deGrom received 153, Scherzer received 101, and Aaron Nola of the Phillies received 63.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Mets outfielder Michael Conforto is showing signs that he has picked up where he left off before dislocating his shoulder during the second half of last season.

He's been especially on fire since September 4, hitting .345 with five doubles, six HR and 20 RBI during 12 games and 55 at bats.

"This is the Michael Conforto that everybody wants to see," manager Mickey Callaway said after Monday night's game, during which Conforto had a career-high six RBI...

Tags: Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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Jul 11, 2018; Trenton, NJ, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies outfielder Tim Tebow (15) warms up for batting practice prior to the game at ARM & HAMMER Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jul 11, 2018; Trenton, NJ, USA; Binghamton Rumble Ponies outfielder Tim Tebow (15) warms up for batting practice prior to the game at ARM & HAMMER Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Mets OF Tim Tebow, whose season ended in July due to a broken hamate bone in his right hand that required surgery, will likely be back in 2019 for more Tebow Time.

"I'd be surprised if he didn't want to continue," assistant GM John Ricco recently said, according to Newsday.

Tebow hit .273/.336/.399 with six HR and 36 RBI in 84 games this season for Double-A Binghamton. On July 11, he served as the Eastern League's designated hitter in the Double-A All-Star Game.

Tags: Tim Tebow
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Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) leads the high five line after a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) leads the high five line after a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Mets won their 70th game of the season on Monday night, matching their win total from 2017 -- when they finished 70-92.

Having gone 38-32 since their disastrous 5-21 showing in June, the Mets are 70-80 on the season with 12 games remaining.

But while they have righted the ship, the Mets -- who were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Monday night -- are still in fourth place in the NL East, where they will almost certainly finish the season behind the Braves, Phillies, and Nationals.

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New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway watches from the dugout during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway watches from the dugout during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Monday after the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves.

The Cardinals' 11-6 win put the Mets 12 1/2 games back for the second spot in the wild card with 12 games to play.

New York was already eliminated from the NL East race; despite beating the Phillies 9-4, the Mets are 13 games back with 12 games left.

The Mets officially miss the playoffs for the second straight season after reaching the World Series in 2015 and making the wild card in 2016.

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New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

Mets RHP Zack Wheeler improved to 9-1 in the second half by pitching seven strong innings in Monday's 9-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Wheeler (12-7) struck out four batters and allowed four runs, three hits and three walks in what could have been his final start of the season.

Manager Mickey Callaway said it's possible the team will shut Wheeler down for the rest of the season given his 182 1/3 innings he's logged this year are nearly 100 more than he threw last year and are his most in a season since 2014.

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Zack Wheeler
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Conforto hammers Phillies 00:01:26
Michael Conforto drove in a career-high 6 runs and Zack Wheeler grinded through 7 innings for the win as the Mets topped the Phillies, 9-4

Michael Conforto drove in six runs and Zack Wheeler earned his 12th win of the season as the Mets beat the Phillies 9-4 on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies
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The guys talk Conforto 00:01:44
Gary & Ron discuss the return to form of Michael Conforto and his red-hot September at the plate

Michael Conforto homered and collected a career-high six RBIs as the Mets defeated the Phillies, 9-4, on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park.

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

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

1) Conforto had a two-run single in the fourth, a tie-breaking double in the seventh and a three-run shot in the ninth. It was his fifth multi-RBI effort in 16 games this month during which he's gone deep seven times while driving in a Major League-best 22 runs. Conforto has 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 56 games since the All-Star break. 

 

Tags: Michael Conforto, Philadelphia Phillies, Zack Wheeler
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Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) walks off the field during the seventh inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 11, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) walks off the field during the seventh inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Mets are skipping Jason Vargas' next turn through the rotation in order to keep everyone else on track, Mickey Callaway said before Monday's game -- calling Vargas the "odd man out."

Vargas had initially been expected to pitch on Tuesday. Instead, Steven Matz will get the start, followed by Noah Syndergaard on Wednesday.

The biggest impact of skipping Vargas, though, could be down the line -- on Jacob deGrom.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Jul 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets rightfielder Brandon Nimmo (9) singles against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jul 13, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets rightfielder Brandon Nimmo (9) singles against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Mets continue their 10-game road trip when they open a three-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

Mets notes

The Mets won three of five games when they faced the Phillies on the road from Aug. 16-19, outscoring them 43-20 in the series. ... New York has not lost three games in a row since Aug. 26-28. Since then, the Mets have won 11 of their last 17 games. ... The Mets have a better record on the road (36-38) than they do at home (33-42).

Tags: Philadelphia Phillies, Zack Wheeler
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Mookie on Aging Actively 00:00:47
Mookie Wilson discusses his approach to aging actively and how he has shaped his mind to enjoy growing older.

Mookie Wilson discusses his approach to aging actively and how he has shaped his mind to enjoy growing older.

"Everything changes when you grow a little older and I've had to make that adjustment. Sometimes you can't eat what you used to eat, when you grow a little older you can't do the things you did. You may have to sleep more or sleep less. Your eyesight changes, you have to make those adjustments. I still have to work out, now what I do is that I do a lot of walking."

"A lot of people spend so much time trying to be that person that they imagine themselves being. You have to understand who you are. Your body is your body but you can actually shape your mind. So when you do that life will be easier to make those adjustments. Aging can be a blessing and something you can really enjoy."

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Mets RHP Zack Wheeler has been one of the league's best pitchers since the All-Star Game, during which the Mets are 30-25.

In his 10 starts since the break, Wheeler has eight wins and the second-best ERA in baseball (1.32). He also has the league's best WHIP (0.81) and he's tied for fourth overall with a 2.5 fWAR since mid-July.

The last Mets pitcher to have nine or more wins after the All-Star break was Steve Trachsel in 2001. During Wheeler's past 12 starts, the Mets are 10-2...

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets ace Jacob deGrom tossed his MLB-record 27th-straight start while allowing three runs or fewer on Sunday against the Red Sox in Boston in what was his third-to-last (or was it?) start of the season.

Meanwhile, Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola each had one of their worst starts of the season.

Here's where things stand with deGrom, Scherzer, and Nola in the race for the NL Cy Young award...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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