The team busted out of their offensive doldrums with a season-high, 14 runs punctuated by a 10 run fourth inning that was highlighted by a Wilmer Flores grand slam. Kevin Plawecki and Curtis Granderson also added dingers to the offensive barrage and starting pitcher Jacob deGrom set a career high with three hits including two in the big fourth.
deGrom was exactly what the team (and we) needed. He needed to get back on track after getting beat up in Chicago and he responded with six solid innings of one-run ball. The bullpen took over from there and closed out what, at that point, was already a laugher: exactly the kind of game that usually seems to be against us rather than in our favor.
We all know where I stand with Wilmer Flores. I’m the guy waving the “LET WILMER TRY” flag (#LWT, ya’ll) and I get hammered for it every time a ground ball is hit within a five mile radius of him. Rightfully so. I’ll admit that I thought he’d be at least a bit more steady defensively, though, I understood we weren’t running Omar Vizquel out there.
Wilmer’s saving grace was supposed to be his bat. My hopes coming into this season for him were .260 18 HR 80 RBI. I figured if he gave us that with the bat, it should cover his defensive inadequacies. Unfortunately, he got off to a slow start at the plate and a worse-than-expected start in the field. Last night, he hit his team-leading 6th dinger, which shouldn’t be so easily discounted on a team that’s starved for power right now. And, actually, he doesn’t stack up horribly against the other shortstops who were options for the Mets in the offseason. Take a look… (Hey, I did research! Mr. McKenna from senior year Film class who told me I was “stupid, unfunny and insulting” would be proud. Side note: I’m not unfunny. Stupid and insulting, I may give you, but I’m moderately hysterical. OK, OK…back to Wilmer…)
I’ve included the slash lines (AVG, OBP, SLG) as well as HRs and RBI.
Ian Desmond: .237, .284, .349, 2 HR, 9 RBI
Starlin Castro: .272, .303, .354, 3 HR, 22 RBI
Jimmy Rollins: .200, .278, .356, 4 HR, 13 RBI
Asdrubel Cabrera: .219, .272, .336, 1 HR, 10 RBI
Elvis Andrus : .233, .305, .295, 1 HR, 10 RBI
Alexei Ramirez: .242, .264, .367, 2 HR, 15 RBI
Stephen Drew: .183, .272, .358, 4 HR, 10 RBI
Troy Tulowitzki: .284, .292, .448, 2 HR, 11 RBI
Wilmer Flores: .250, .296, .454, 6 HR, 15 RBI
Honestly, that’s really not that bad. And using those numbers to project over 162 games, they come out to .251, 30 HR, 76 RBI which (outside of the home runs) is pretty much in line with my expectations. The home run number is a little out of sorts because Wilmer’s only played in 32 of the team’s 37 games thus far. Factoring in the full run and that number drops to 26 which still is pretty hefty coming out of the shortstop spot.
I’m not trying to argue that his defense hasn’t hurt the team at points and may have even cost a game. But the fact of the matter is that he’s here. He’s not going anywhere…at least not yet, so it’s a waste of breath and motor skills to throw a fit about wanting Tulowitzki everyday. I don’t know. Maybe some of you expected him to be Roy Hobbs with the bat, but he’s pretty much been as advertised and still has room to improve seeing as how he’s only 23. It feels like he’s a lot older because he’s been in the system and we’ve heard his name for what seems like decades, but, right now, he’s pretty much given the team what was asked of him and, despite what you think you know about Matt Reynolds, there’s a reason the front office hasn’t pulled the trigger on that yet. Quite frankly, I’ll side with the guys whose job it is to make those decisions on players I’ve only seen a handful of times in meaningless and misleading spring training games.
I know numbers can get boring, but at least they can provide some perspective on quantifying Wilmer’s production in relation to the other players who we could have had in that role right now. Once factoring in the money or prospects it would have cost to obtain any of those names, I still believe that sticking with Flores was the right decision. He may not be the long-term solution, but he’s the best option right now. So, hopefully, you’ll jump on the bandwagon with me, pump #LWT and hope that he’s able to consistently improve as the season goes on.
This team is still in first place which is unbelievable considering how bad they’ve been over the past week. Bartolo got rocked Friday night and the offense hasn’t been able to buy a hit until last night. But the fact that we’ve given up 7 and a half of an 8 game lead over Washington in two and a half weeks is still troubling. There’s a complete lack of leadership on this squad and it starts with the head man in the dugout and his hemming and hawing. Terry Collins became a deer in headlights in every single post-game interview this week going as far as calling on guys he left out of the lineup to step up.
To make matters worse, in Friday’s abysmal loss – a game the Mets clearly had no chance at coming back in – Collins inserted Carlos Torres in mop-up duty as if he doesn’t get enough work in games that are close. Absolutely horrible managing and a glaring example of his inability or misunderstand of how to manage a bullpen. One more reason that Terry needs to go before the season gets frittered away.
Is it just me or does nobody on the DL seem to be coming back any time soon?
Noah Syndergaard will make his home debut this afternoon. I actually think this is a good matchup for him. The nerves from his debut in Chicago should be shaken out and I expect him to do pretty well against a Brewers team loaded with free swingers. Would have loved to have seen what Matt Harvey could have done against this lineup especially while Jonathan Lucroy is still on the disabled list.
The biggest thing for Thor will be pitching out the stretch. It was completely obvious to me as I watched him at Wrigley and he did make mention to it post-game that he let himself become distracted when runners were on base. Led to him getting frazzled a bit and then an increasing pitch count. I know it’s only one game, but I liked a lot of what I saw from him against the Cubs. It’s going to be fun to watch him develop as we go on. But you do have to wonder where Dillon Gee fits in once he’s ready to return.
So yes, 14 runs was nice and a ten run inning was spectacular, but that doesn’t mean shit if the Mets go out and get no-hit today. The Brewers are a last place team and losing a series at home against them is unacceptable. This is a must win game. Sure, the sky doesn’t fall if you lose, but if you want to be a good team, you’ve got to beat up on the sad sacks. Getting embarrassed the way they did Friday night was bad enough. You have to leave the building today with a win. I don’t care how ugly it is or how bad it looks. Just win.
One last thing before I go:
First 125 AB as a Met:
Michael Cuddyer: .232, .294, .352, 8 XBH, 13 RBI
Jason Bay: .264, .361, .392, 11 XBH, 15 RBI
Just food for thought. #LGM