Category Archives: noah Syndegaard

WHICH METS STARTER WOULD YOU TRADE FOR A SORELY NEEDED BAT?

The New York Mets have some big decisions to make this winter. Assuming they are not willing to put up the money it’s going to take to sign Yeonis Cespedes,images-134 (left) or even better they don’t want anything to do with him – they will need to move on a trade to replace his bat – one that clearly rejuvenated a struggling lineup and powered them to the World Series. To do this, teams will be looking at their core of young starting pitchers saying “Okay, for this guy, we’ll give you him but if you sweeten the deal with HIM we’ll give you HIM”. So, what is the best move for the Mets? Continue reading

PACKAGE HIM UP AND SEND HIM ON HIS WAY

All you really need to know about Matt Harvey is not the fact that he pitched eight credible inningsimages-32 for the Mets in the final game of the 2015 World Series (as the ace of any staff is expected to do)……..it’s the fact that he missed a mandatory TEAM workout the day before the Playoffs began. And the fact that neither the Mets organization or Harvey himself have publicly addressed the issue gives you a glimpse into the”play” on both sides.

Look, full disclosure here……..I’ve had a problem with Matt The Brat since he announced to the masses that he was the second coming of Derek Jeterimages-35 and his singular goal in life is to have as many girls as Jeter (whatever that’s supposed to mean). To make it worse, the New York media fell right into step snapping photos of him with a girl on each arm for Page Six for weeks on end. Continue reading

TODAY’S HISTORY AND MATH LESSON

Okay, real quick now……..how many times has a team come back from a 3-1 deficit to capture a World Championship?

I didn’t know either and had to look it up. It’s only been done four times. In 1925, the Pirates beat the Senators. images-1More than thirty years later in 1958, the Yankees beat the (then) Milwaukee Braves winning the final two games on the road. In 1968, the Tigers beat the Cardinals (Mickey Lolich!) also winning the last two games in St. Louis. And finally, the Royals came back and bested the Cardinals in 1985.

For our math lesson, what this means is that the Mets have less than a 4% chance (there have been 111 World Series) of coming back to beat the Royals. Or, to put it another way, the odds are 25 to 1 against them to accomplish this feat. Improbable, but not impossible you might say.

So tonight becomes yet another opportunity for Matt Harvey to show up and demonstrate that he is trulyimages-32 the ace of this young staff. I have my doubts about that but if he can get the ball to DeGrom, the true ace, well then you never know. Especially with Noah Syndegaardimage (1) waiting in the wings. It will be all hands on deck tonight and don’t be surprised if you see Syndegaard come in for a inning or two if the situation presents itself.

No doubt, if you are a Mets fan you will hold on to the late Tug McGraw’s refrain……”Ya gotta believe” and hope against the odds that you don’t have to say around midnight……”Wait till next year”.

 

AS THE GAME TURNS……

Just when it looked like the Royals had their gears in synced motion and their lineup was ready to quiet the raucous crowd at City Field with one of those keep the line moving rallies that has become their signature in this year’s Playoffs, the game turned on a dime in the second inning when a call at third base was overturned by replay.

The play (shown here in this MLB video) occurred when David Wright took a throw from left fielder Michael Conforto and the runner, 635818530669234576-USATSI-8892351Alex Gordon, was called safe on a very close play putting runners on first and third with one run in and nobody out.. However, Wright immediately raised his hand signalling to the dugout and Terry Collins pleading for a replay. Collins acknowledged his Captain and Gordon was ruled out by the replay umpire – resulting in runners on first and second with one out. Not necessarily a game turner but the play certainly swung the momentum back to the Mets and they never looked back from there. Continue reading

TAKE A DEEP BREATH – IT AIN’T OVER YET

Before the World Series began, I asked what I believed were two pertinent questions. The first one revolved around the contest of the Met starters who consistently average between 95-97 mph and have a litany of strikeouts as their major weapon – and how that would fare against the Royals offense which doesn’t strike out, images-1seldom walks, and seems to have a propensity to string together five or six consecutive hits creating the big inning that often decides what was (until then) a close game.

You may already get the drift of where I’m going with this, but I also pointed to the distinct possibilityimages-38 that most (or even all) of the Mets rotation has ( or would soon) run into a wall based on innings pitched and plateaus never realized until now. Never was this more apparent than the wall Jacob DeGrom (above) smashed into last night. Cruising images-19along with electric and dominant stuff, all of a sudden he left a few pitches up in the zone and voila – the Royals being the Royals capitalize on these mistakes and turn the game around – for good ( Congrats Johnny Cueto – above right). Continue reading

GET IT WHILE YOU CAN – OR NOT?

 We can all recall the decision of the Washington Nationals to shut Stephen Strasburg down prior to their Playoff appearance a couple of seasons ago – and we all know the ensuing history whereby the Nationals are still waiting for a return visit. The reason XXX C01 ANDREWS 25 S ALfor their decision was that he was coming back from “Tommy John” surgery performed by the pioneering Dr. James Andrews (left) and they wanted to protect him from another injury.

Unfolding now is a similar dilemma faced by the New York Mets as we await the start of the World Series on Tuesday. Except in this, we have not just one but four tender and spectacularly young arms in play, images-23with two of them (Harvey and Matz) in the rebound year of  their surgeries. Adding to the drama are the events surrounding Matt Harvey and his agent Scott Boras late in the season when both nearly tore the team apart when they declared a 180 innings limit for “The Brat”. Luckily, Doc Gooden and others stepped in to reason with Harvey and the fiasco fizzled out.

Nevertheless, all four of the Mets starting pitchers are approaching or have already surpassed their highestimages-33 inning totals in their brief career. In fact, in Harvey’s case, if he indeed starts game one (probable but not yetimages-38 written in stone), and if the Series is extended beyond four or five games, he will have pitched the most innings ever for a player coming back from surgery, and this includes Tommy John himself. 

As it was for the Nationals, this almost certainly is a lose-lose proposition for the Mets. Because if they play it safe by shutting down one or possibly even more of these young studs and lose the Series, they’ll have all winter to answer to that decision. On the other hand, if they win the Series and one or more of them suffers a career threatening injury, they’ll have all winter to answer to that decision. 

I’m of the mind that they (and in particular Dan Warthen, their underrated pitching coach) should look closely at their mechanics and body language when they are throwing. If one or more of them “looks” different now from the way they looked in July, then that should be a red flag demonstrating possible strain that could lead to injury. In this regard, Jacob DeGrom deserves a close look as he’s seemed a bit “off” in his last two starts, even though in both he was able to grind it out and secure two wins. As with Strasburg, this must be a management decision since all of them are too young to know their own bodies yet. Plus, they’re all bulldogs with a competitive edge and they’ll never shut themselves down voluntarily.

Adding to the intrigue is the fact that the Mets have two proven and stable starters on call in the ageless Bartolo Colon (left) images-51and Jonathan Niese who bounced back nicely in his last few starts when there was serious discussion about him even being on the Playoff roster. But in the end, it should be a “feel” decision made by the Mets and it should be done individually and not collectively. The Nationals were wrong when they shut Strasburg down even before the Playoffs began. To their credit, the Mets didn’t do that even when they could have when Harvey gave them the chance to. They hung in there and so did Harvey. Now, it’s game on! Continue reading

BARTOLO COLON – AGELESS WONDER – AND A PITCHER

Bill Lee, images-39(right) the former tall flamethrower for the Boston Red Sox ( also known as Mr. Spaceman for good reasons), was once asked by a reporter, ” Bill, what is your best pitch?” Without hesitation, he succinctly replied “Strike One.”

Bartolo Colon, the winningest pitcher on the New York Mets at 14-11, knows that. images-47More importantly, he has learned to execute that often decisive first pitch to almost every batter he faces.  And this all comes at the tender age of 42. With 218 wins logged thus far, he is not likely to be destined for the Hail of Fame, but the nearly 3,000 innings he has thrown has to catch your attention as one of those “rubber arms” of the past who simply took their turn when it came up – and pitch count were words from a foreign language.

I once met “Bart” as he is known to his teammates when he was with the White Sox in images-512005 when I attended a game at Yankee Stadium. At the players entrance, he paused to say hello to an acquaintance. I recall being struck by his stature – kind of roly poly – built strong. Nowadays, he has almost become a caricature of himself as he has somehow managed five hits and four RBI ” running” the bases.

Bartolo Colon is not a flamethrower. In fact, he seldom touches 90. What he does do however is keep hitters off balance while constantly changing their eye level. In essence, most times they get themselves out. This is a practiced art. It seldom can be taught. You have to buy into it…….and then (maybe) it can be taught. It’s a formula more “throwers” should take notice of.

All of this becomes more interesting as the Mets move forward to the Second Season and a playoff rrotation is formed. Jon Niese has pitched his way out of that rotation and probably even the roster. That leaves (pick yours – you only need four with ample days off) DeGrom, Harvey, Syndegaard, Matz, and Colon. One man is out but relegated to a all important bullpen role. Who should it be?